(Thanks so much to Reggie for writing last week's column for me on such short notice. My Lasik eye surgery took longer to recover from than I thought. Everyone, let's give Reggie a round of applause for stepping in last week. Go ahead, I'm waiting. Thanks, Reggie! I'll be writing next week's column to play catch up, so brace yourselves. Now, let's scoop!)
As John McCain is fond of saying, "My friends" this is one tough election. The university presidential election storyline is just the kind of story I've been waiting for Luke and Noah to have. It's exploring issues that kids their age face: college politics, drunken parties, and attacks through the Internet. Introducing Kevin back in the mix is the perfect shot in the arm that Luke and Noah needed to create romantic tension. This election plot is so good; I'm not missing a moment.
Finally, Luke and Noah are front and center in a storyline that is both complex and entertaining and will test them as a couple. Noah is not pleased with Luke's new political aspirations, since Luke's old high school crush, Kevin, is involved. I especially loved that as deplorable as Kevin's campaign has been, he actually spoke a shard of truth when he told Luke that he was interested only in gay issues, so he wasn't right for the job. The look on Luke's face showed that he realized that perhaps Kevin was partially right. I think we'll see Luke actually "reaching across the aisle" and meeting with other campus groups, after that little stinger from Kevin.
This storyline could help Luke grow, and Noah, too, and also give us some great Casey and Alison scenes. Thank you writers, for finally giving college kids age-appropriate college stories. It's what I had hoped for with Will and Gwen and never saw. Kudos for this fantastic and timely tale. I've missed the teen scene.
In other musings:
--Sage and Parker are chips off the old Carly. Sage and Parker are quite the little schemers, when they want to be. Sweet little Sage and scheming Parker are a force to be reckoned with. They played Janet this week, and I fear it won't stop until Jack calls off his wedding. Janet, you've been warned.
--Note to Dusty: Please use some of your millions to get a shave and a haircut. I'm begging here. When you look scruffier than Paul Ryan, you know it's time to head to the barber.
--Has Jack been drinking the Katie serial marriage Kool-Aid? Lately, it seems he keeps rushing to the altar. He broke speed records marrying Katie, and we all know how that worked out. Now, he's doing the same thing with Janet. Jack, take a page from Henry's book. Date a woman for longer than two months before marrying her.
--We all know that death doesn't always mean death on As the World Turns. In other words, just because a character gets a toe tag, it doesn't mean the end of the road. Just ask Dusty, or Paul, or James, or Jack, or any number of other Oakdale residents who have "died," only to be found living elsewhere, before making their way back to Oakdale. It seems that the writers are hinting that perhaps Jennifer could be alive or is reincarnated in this JMD patient. I'm not buying it. It's Paul playing Dusty. (Or Craig?) I have no doubt. It's just the kind of sick scheme James would have pulled, and I'm sure wherever he is, he's proud of Paul, if he's the culprit. Still, I had enough of morose, solemn Dusty the last time Jen died. I had hoped he'd come back for a fresh, exciting story. I really don't want to see Dusty endlessly dreaming about Jen and stomping around the Lakeview swirling scotch, again. Been there, done that. But, I suppose the scheme is working in that Dusty is staying away from Meg and not looking for his son. Well, played, Paul (or Craig) whichever one of you is responsible. Well played. [Related Story: Do you think Jennifer is alive? Click here to share your thoughts.]
--The cop shop apparently pays more than I thought, or Jack Snyder has a side job that we know nothing about. Janet's engagement ring was some serious bling. Lucky girl. When it all falls apart, I hope she gets to keep that gorgeous rock.
--Understatement of the week goes to Emily for her line to Paul: "God, Paul, you need help." I couldn't have said it better myself. Although, as much as I pick on Paul, his crazy card sure does make him more interesting.
--It's been more than a decade since I attended a college party, and apparently the party games have changed. What happened to good ol'quarter bounce? I'd never seen that flip cup game Casey and his pals were playing. Yes, I feel old.
--Did you catch Vienna, actress Ewa da Cruz, on "Lipstick Jungle" the other night? She was playing a supermodel hired to model Victory Ford's designs. Her appearance was brief, but memorable, as Victory hilariously commented that the model had the body fat equality of bamboo. Congrats, Ewa, on the side gig! We all know she's gorgeous, so it makes sense that she'd get a job playing a model. May I next suggest a stint on Ugly Betty? Daniel Meade could use a stunning model with attitude to give him problems. It's not like she's got much to do in Oakdale these days.
--Speaking of old ATWT alumni popping up in primetime. Did any of you catch Scott Holroyd (Paul Ryan) on "Dirty, Sexy, Money?" It's great to see our old faves doing well in primetime.
--Jack cut his hair and it looks great. Thank you, Michael Park! I'm so tired of the messy 'dos on the guys in town. Call me a traditionalist. I can't help it.
--It was bittersweet seeing James Stenbeck this week, as one of Paul's visions. James looked handsome, tanned and healthy, didn't he? And he was wearing that suit! He should burn those kimonos he constantly dons when he hits Oakdale. I'm so sad that his character couldn't somehow have been partially redeemed so that he could have had potential business dealings/romances with Barbara, Margo and Lucinda. Things are always more interesting when James is around. Perhaps, Craig coming home will give us the villain-we-love-to-hate element that's been missing in town.
--Lucinda's cancer storyline is back. Yay! Anything that gives us more time with the old gal makes me happy. I'm sure this will be a springboard for a reconciliation with Lily. Let's hope so. I don't think Lily is so cold that she could continue to blow off her mother when she's going through this ordeal.
--Speaking of Lucinda, is it just me or do she and Brain have zero chemistry? I know many of you have hypothesized that he is a closeted gay man, and if you're right, it makes sense that he and Lucinda wouldn't spark. But, boy, do I miss the days when Lucinda did have sparks with a romantic partner. John Dixon and James Stenbeck, you are missed.
--A note to Two Scoops readers: Several of you have written me, and when I reply back to you, the e-mail is returned to me. If you're going to take time to write me, I usually reply back unless it's a crazy week, so please make sure you have my e-mail address added to your OK list so that it's not rejected by a Spam filter. Cristina, you're just one of the e-mail replies that was returned to me last week. I'm sorry! Also, if you'd like your e-mail used in this column, the chances of that happening increase tremendously if you don't abbreviate, write clear, concise sentences, and use punctuation. Periods and commas are good, Scoopers. Also, I'm going to try to start a new thing here, where my reply is printed along with your e-mail. We'll see if it works.
--Kudos to Henry for recently bringing up the fact that he thought Spencer was a schemer because Katie had once pulled the same shenanigans when she started her job at WOAK. It takes one to know one. Great use of history, Henry.
--I can't help but chuckle every time Liberty calls Parker her future "stepbrother." The look of complete horror on Parker's face says it all. I can't say I blame him. Having the girl you lost your virginity to become your stepsister would be weird.
--Alison's abduction scene was so horrific for me to watch, I had to turn away. I wasn't sure if she was going to be gang raped by those masked men in Halloween costumes, but I was so traumatized I was on the edge of my seat, feeling Ali's humiliation and fear. I wish Casey had beat down all of them. Ali needs to get some post-traumatic stress counseling, or I do, because that scene still gives me nightmares.
--Finally, I'd like to take a moment to talk about storyline equality, or in many cases, inequality. I'm sure it's no easy task running a daytime drama, trying to give audiences what they want, when audiences always have differing opinions, and not to mention trying to juggle plots and characters, but when Paul and Meg are on screen almost every day, I have to say enough is enough. No offense to Meg fans, but in my opinion, she's one of the most boring characters to ever hit Oakdale. She doesn't have Carly's fire, or Katie's likeability, or Emily's crazy gene. Yet, she and Paul are front and center almost every day. And I find it amazing that new girl Janet gets so much screen time and "juicy" storyline (as much as I love Janet,) when poor Henry can barely get a scene where he's pouring coffee. We see the same characters over and over, while others languish on the backburner. In some cases, it makes sense. Brad/Katie/Jack and Carly are so entertaining that I could watch them everyday. But, I'm sorry that I can't say the same thing for everyone. My point is that I'd like to see more of Margo, Henry, Lucinda, Casey, and other characters that we love who barely get a scene, while the "popular kids" eat up all the screen time. Writers, please give us more balance. Paul Ryan and Meg Snyder have dominated the screen this year. Please give them, and us, a break.
Best Lines of the Week:
(Casey asks Alison to spy on Kevin to gain campaign secrets.)
Ali: "Wow, I thought the people I worked with in porn were sleazy."
Casey: "This is politics."
(Tom overhears Margo's young cops tell her they'd like to "stream" The Untouchables movie, just before Tom proposes that he and Margo have a night to themselves.)
Tom: "We've got the house to ourselves. We can turn the lights down, put on some jazz, 'stream' a little romantic video."
Margo: "Do you actually know what that is?"
Tom: "Hell, no."
(From Two Scoops Ken.)
Jennifer, you're breaking my heart. You really don't see why (all) women in Oakdale are crazy about Dusty? Check out the competition: Paul is insane. Holden is a self-righteous hypocrite. Aaron is a bore. And Casey is a really nice BOY.
Dear Ken, you're right. When you put it like that, Dusty is the man. He's not crazy, a hypocrite, or a bore. And if I recall, he looks pretty darn good without a shirt. I'm in. --Jennifer
(From Two Scoops Sandy.)
In my humble opinion, there are so many flawed people on ATWT, who are the heroes/heroines anymore? (Well, maybe Jack) Everyone makes mistakes but where are those characters who can quickly rewind and make it fine again? The Sages on the show shouldn't be the only people with values. There are enough people we love to hate. I'm just saying, how about a good role model for ATWT? Lily isn't it anymore.
Dear Sandy, I think soaps have anti-heroes because a character who is all good, all the time, just doesn't make for good television. It's all about shades of gray. If you look at daytime's greatest heroes and heroines, (Bo and Hope Brady, Robert Scorpio and Anna Devane, Frisco and Felicia Jones, etc.) none of them were perfect. But, they had that likeability element that made all of us forgive them when they made mistakes. I agree with you that I'd like to see some everyday heroes, too, in Oakdale. It's been too long. We used to have Jack and Holden and Lily, but they've all fallen from their pedestals the past few years. Maybe it's time for a new role model. Is it too early to rapid age little Johnny? (Easy, Scoopers, I'm kidding.) Writers, don't get any ideas. That was a joke. -Jennifer
(From Two Scoops Juanita.)
Oh no, you didn't Miss J. Don't tell me you don't get Dusty's appeal. The man oozes it from every pore. I love your commentary and never ever disagree with you, but you're wrong on this one.'
Dear Juanita, I've already been schooled! See Ken's previous e-mail. --Jennifer
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.