Let me be the first to say, I love a soap wedding: The drama of potentially someone objecting, the entire town in formal wear, the drunken guests, the gown, and all the other romantic trappings make soap weddings one of my favorite plots. But as lovely as Ali and Aaron's wedding was this week, I have to question why these two were rushed to the altar so quickly?
What benefit does marrying Ali and Aaron give the plot, other than keeping Ali and Chris apart? The writers could have done that without the "I do's," and still maintained the chemistry of this triangle. Now, Ali is married to a man she doesn't seem to love as much as the guy she bedded the night before the wedding, and Aaron is blissfully ignorant to his new wife's feelings (or lack thereof.) Which brings us to Chris, the guy left eating his heart out, after he confessed his true feelings. Again, all of this could have been accomplished without a wedding. We could still have had plenty of longing looks between Chris and Ali, without putting a ring on Ali's finger.
Sometimes, I think soaps are too quick to have couples tie the knot. If you examine all the grand weddings of daytime (Luke and Laura, Bo and Hope, Lily and Holden, etc.) these couples were married after years of struggling to be together and overcoming huge obstacles to do so. The end result was a gigantic romantic payoff for viewers, who were rooting for the couple to finally find happiness. I'm not saying that all quickie marriages on soaps are a bad idea. Sometimes they advance the plot to such a degree that the result is a compelling must-see storyline (Katie and Simon come to mind and perhaps Casey and Emily could fit this bill, as well.) But, overall, I wish ATWT would be a little choosier with whom they choose to send down the aisle. At this rate, Liberty and Parker may be headed to the chapel next.
In Other Musings:
--Two Scoops readers are some of the savviest on the 'net, so I have to tip my hat (if I wore a hat) to those of you who have e-mailed to say that you think Brian is gay and more interested in Luke and Noah than Lucinda. I apparently missed the signs, so thanks for your keen observational skills. I hope this isn't true for poor Lucinda's sake. I was hoping she was finally going to get some lovin'! It's about time Lucinda had a partner again, isn't it?
--I never noticed how ostentatiously big Meg's diamond is, until this week. Wow! Paul should just forget going all Bob the Builder at the Snyder farm and hawk that ring to pay off his debt. Seriously. He could feed a small country with what he'd get for that ice.
--I had to laugh when "Juicy Janet" said she was going shopping to buy a dress that would cover "her girls" for the wedding. I guess she didn't find one? That blue dress was gorgeous, and she looked stunning, but "the girls" were on full display. You go, Janet!
--In my last column, I wrote about my dissatisfaction with the Luke/Noah storyline. Well, to say I was bombarded with e-mails would be an understatement. (See the Reader Mailbag at the end of this column for a sample of the onslaught.) Surprisingly, I received plenty of e-mails from folks who agreed with me. Not surprisingly, I received plenty of hate-filled e-mails telling me how much I "suck" for daring to criticize such groundbreaking characters and that I'm so out of touch that I should stop writing this column as it "jumped the shark" a long time ago. Good to know. As much as those e-mails depressed me, as a critic, I know it's part of the job. I criticize the show here bi-monthly for plots/characters that I think can/should be better. The difference is, I don't personally attack the actors, and I don't do it in a mean-spirited way. I love daytime, and my goal is to try to help show the daytime brass where I think the problems are and many times to offer support to actors who I see struggling with very little storyline, despite ENORMOUS talent and potential. In closing, let me say thanks to those of you who do disagree with me and wrote to tell me so, but did so eloquently and respectfully. The bottom line is that everyone has an opinion, and I expect us all to disagree from time to time. I just ask that if you want to roast me for my opinion, please don't resort to name-calling, like a schoolyard bully. I prefer the James Stenbeck way: polite disobedience.
--I think the song "Puppy Love" should have been playing in the background, when Ali and Chris were taking care of that cute little puppy and bonding right into bed.
--I mentioned this in my last column, but it's worth repeating. What is ATWT thinking in bumping Chris (Dylan Bruce) to recurring status? He's fantastic! Chris Hughes is an important character in the Oakdale family, and the fact that he's currently embroiled in a major storyline, makes this move all the more perplexing.
--New-in-town Dani has confused me. Is she going to be a trouble-making bad girl or the Mary Jane type? I'm not sure. At first, she seemed to be set to cause trouble for Ali and Chris, but then she did a 180 and tried to talk Ali out of marrying Aaron, when she realized that Ali was still involved with Chris. That was selfless, so I'm puzzled. Regardless of whether she's a good girl or a little bit bad, I think she's destined to make trouble for Emily and Casey. Emily, you've been warned.
--Why does Vienna constantly dress like she's going to a cocktail party, when she's going to work at Al's diner? That said, her wardrobe is quite impressive, so perhaps she just wants to show it off. That little red dress she wore this week, WOW!
--Thank you, show honchos, for involving Henry in the James storyline. Yay! Finally, Henry has something going on besides serving a BLT or a martini. Interesting, though, that he can't seem to get away from the booze, no matter where he goes. At least James gave him a corkscrew when he locked him in the wine cellar.
--Poor Jack. He finally compromised his moral code when he stole the evidence that could convict Brad, and now Jack is having trouble dealing with the aftermath. I knew true-blue Jack wouldn't be able to live with the guilt. I'm curious as to what will happen next. Will Margo suspend him for tampering with evidence? Will Jack forgive Janet and Brad for burning the evidence? Perhaps this is a springboard to reunite Jack and Carly. Ironically, it seems she was the only one who knew Jack would crack, if he couldn't tell the truth.
--Every time I see that giant lamp in Paul's living room, I think it looks like a giant seashell or something you'd see on the ocean floor on SpongeBob Squarepants.
--This week in an e-mail, Two Scoops reader Curtis reminded me of something I hadn't thought about in a long time: same-sex chemistry. I don't mean romantic chemistry. I mean good old-fashioned platonic chemistry. (See the Reader Mailbag for his letter.) Rivals or friendships on daytime have to have chemistry to work, too. There are plenty examples of this in primetime: Shawn and Gus on "Psych," Clark and Lex on "Smallville," Danny and Mike on "Las Vegas," etc. I think all too often, soaps are so focused on romantic pairings that they fail to appreciate that many times friendships and rivalries are equally as entertaining.
--Paul Ryan is a mad man. Period. James is accomplishing his goal. James is so calm, cool, and calculating, in direct contrast to crazy-man Paul, that I can't help but chuckle. The fact that that truly crazy/evil James is making Paul look like the lunatic is pure genius. Digging for gold on the Snyder farm? I wouldn't be surprised if Paul ends up in a straight jacket before this is all over.
--Kudos to Vienna this week for admitting that gambling is a "sickness" to Bonnie. Wouldn't this be a fantastic storyline for Henry to tackle. Hint. Hint, writers!
--I had so many great e-mails this week from passionate readers that I've included more in the mailbag than I usually do. Thank you all for writing. I do read each and every one.
Best Lines of the Week:
(James kidnaps Henry and puts him in the wine cellar.)
Henry: "Just answer me one question: What do you want from me? Why do you have me locked up in here?"
James: "That's two questions."
(Vienna calls Bonnie's date a thug because Henry told her he wasn't a good guy.)
Bonnie: "Well, Henry's not a good judge of character. Look at you."
(Meg tells Paul she hears clanging in the basement.)
Meg: "You think I'm going crazy again?"
Paul: "I'm the last person to ask about crazy."
(From Two Scoops reader Rosemary.)
I completely disagree with you about Luke and Noah. So they are the most boring couple on the show? Are you sleeping through the show and missing Alison and Aaron, Carly and Holden, Holden and Lily, and worst of all Parker and Liberty? Or maybe you find all these couples riveting. Lucky you. Considering the little amount of airtime Luke and Noah get, I find it hard to believe that they bore you so much that you had to devote such a large amount of your column to slam them. You suck.
(From Two Scoops reader Jenny K.)
I respectfully disagree with you about the Luke and Noah story. I don't think you are looking at the bigger picture. The reason they are boring is because the writers don't write for them and only move their relationship along very tentatively. Luke and Noah could be an amazing couple, if the writers would just write for them. I don't think the support for them is because they are gay. I am one who supports them because of their chemistry and potential of the characters.
(From Two Scoops reader Curtis.)
I couldn't agree with you more about your thoughts on Luke and Noah! If they had any chemistry at all, I'd be pushing for them to be front and center, but they don't! ATWT has written two men having chemistry before, maybe not in a romantic way, but bear with me here. Remember Jack and Craig (when he was played by Hunt Block)? Paul and Craig (again with Block in the role)? They had TONS of chemistry because of the dynamic between the characters. There is no dynamic between Luke and Noah, other than the fact that they are the first story of this kind on daytime. That does not a compelling tale make. I am a gay man, so I'm certainly not opposed to having men together, just opposed to one's that have no chemistry with each other! Kudos to you for not only taking a possibly unpopular stand, but mostly for pointing out the elephant in the room on this one.
(From Two Scoops reader Clayton.)
I totally agree with you on putting Luke and Noah on the back burner. The relationship lost my true devotion months ago. However I still watch ATWT online. I also think that people are more supportive of the couple because they are gay and not for the actual characters being together. Personally, I think 'Nuke' fanatics are going too far with pushing 'Nuke's' airtime. Don't get me wrong as a gay man myself I'm glad daytime TV has brought a gay couple into the mix but to me 'Nuke' fans are becoming a little over zealous.
(From Two Scoops reader Dana.)
I would just like to say "Thank God Bonnie finally got some new clothes" If I had to see her in that same red print dress that Brad had to offer to dry clean ages ago I was gonna scream. I guess she must have been doing all her cases pro bono, because every time she has been on camera up until about two weeks ago she wore that darn red dress. Thanks for changing her clothes!
(From Two Scoops reader Kelly.)
I'm truly offended by your comments about Luke/Noah. I agree that the characters are now getting boring and whiney. But did you ever take into consideration that they've become boring because of the writing? Come on, you of all people should know that the actors only say what is on their scripts. CBS & ATWT are using them as tokens for appearances only. They where never given a chance. No you are just writing them off. SHAME ON YOU!!! It sounds more to me that you never wanted them to be on in the first place. Saying Noah should have stayed straight is an insult. He was brought on specifically for Luke. Now he and Luke are relegated to the backburner by people like you. For shame!
(From Two Scoops reader Mary.)
I completely agree with you about Luke and Noah. They just bore me to tears. I hate Luke's clinginess and frankly, they just don't have an interesting storyline. It has nothing to do with them being gay, if they were straight I'd still find them BORING! Add me to the "what are they thinkin' letting Dylan Bruce go?" camp. However, I don't want to see Aaron go either. I think that they are both good actors (although Agim hasn't had a chance to show it recently). Surely there can be room on the show for BOTH of these guys. I don't get why they are bringing back Grayson McCouch (who I never felt really fit in) and letting Dylan hit the road. They can cut Brad, Jack and Holden's scenes as far as I'm concerned! I'm sick to death of all of them. I'd hate to be an Oakdale 30-something because the man pool is pretty shallow. I think that Emily has the right idea!
(From Two Scoops reader Ann.)
Watching the show yesterday I couldn't help but wonder how James Stenbeck and Barbara Ryan could have produced such a blithering idiot as Paul for a son! There he is digging holes in the vast plot of land looking for....what? Then he tries to come on all strong and powerful to James. Good grief!
(From Two Scoops reader Karen.)
Great column as usual, although for once, I don't pretty much agree with everything you wrote-and it's not Luke and Noah. I totally agree with you on that front. It's your excitement about Stenbeck that I don't get. He has become so cartoonish as to become ridiculous. How can one man be all-powerful? There's literally nothing he can't do. Oh yeah, I forgot. There's one thing. He can poison Emma's entire farm but can't dig up his own money. Give me Craig for a villain. He's got humanity, some hope of redemption. But James? He's so predictable. I still love your column and you, but I can't lie, I've grown so used to our agreeing that your endorsement of James shocked me! Ah well, maybe the story will surprise me and I'll come over to the dark side. Or just maybe you'll grow tired of the done and done again and join me over in the minority.
(From Two Scoops reader LeeAnn.)
In regards to your last weeks column. Yes Aaron Snyder has run his course and he is as dull as dirt. To think they are getting rid of Chris (Dylan Bruce)who has been the best Chris and one of the bright spots on the show and kept Aaron is to hard to believe. The show is struggling for ratings but it is apparent TPTB, especially the EP, could care less what viewers want to see but if they think this long time viewer is going to be watching the lifeless Aaron instead of Chris they are sadly mistaken. Why should you watch a show that doesn't care about it viewers?
(From Two Scoops reader Barb.)
I completely agree with you on the Luke and Noah storyline. I'm really not sold on Noah's sexuality. He always seems like he's holding back. I liked him better with Ameera and Maddie, although I just didn't get the whole need for the Ameera storyline, except to throw a curve in the Luke and Noah storyline. Find Luke another man!!! I also agree with you about Dylan Bruce. At first, I really didn't like what the writers did with the character, but recently he's grown on me. And it's a wonderful soap opera triangle. I feel that Ali and Aaron have run their course and they've lost their chemistry. Aaron needs to find someone else because it's obvious that Chris and Alison are in love.
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.