Yes! Paul Ryan, version 2.0 is a keeper. (Or maybe it's version 4.0 at this point.) If you can't tell from my emphatic exclamation point on the first word of this column, I'm over-the-moon excited at the guy who woke up from the explosion calling himself Paul Ryan, with no memory of his former self. (Frankly, I wish I could erase all my memories of him in the past two years, too. But, hey, I'll settle for the new improved version of Paul.)
Gone is the obsessive, psychotic, tortured soul who plots kidnappings, attempted murders, and his own personal brooding time. In his place, is a sexy, funny, snarky guy, who doesn't seem to give a hoot about Meg Snyder. (Say it with me, Scoopers, "Hallelujah!") What that means for you is a rocking good time when Paul is on screen. And I say, "It's about time!" Roger Howarth is a talent, but the writing for his character has been so uneven and disappointing that I've been barely able to resist the fast forward button lately. Regular readers know that every time I write this column, I usually rant about the down spiral and transformation of Paul. I pray that those days are behind me.
At this rate, I hope Paul never regains his memory. I don't care if the microchip storyline seems absurd. It has essentially given us a new character with a familiar face, who says what he thinks, and I'm loving this version. He and Emily are electric. From the moment she told him she shot him in the back, and, grinning, he asked if he deserved it, I was intrigued. And when he told Emily that he hoped he'd had the good sense to take her to bed at some point in the past, I was sold 100 percent. It's like Paul Ryan has turned into Rhett Butler. Now, if he could just tell Meg Snyder, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Wait, that's right. He already did. Long live Paul Ryan, the microchip-free version!
• Someone wake me if Casey and Ali ever call it quits. I don't think there ever has been a more boring couple in Oakdale. Is it wrong that I'm almost longing for Ali to dye her hair blonde again and hit the nearest crack house?
• Could someone alert the cop shop to put out an APB on Jade Taylor? I haven't seen her in months. Is she even still in Oakdale, or did she go the way of John Dixon?
• I've taken the show to task many times for the lack of family scenes where characters simply get together. So, I feel like shouting, "Thank you, writers!" for giving us the Snyder dinner party this week. It was excellent. Janet, and her meatballs, were feeling left out, jealous of her sister and her fancy cuisine. Parker and Liberty reconnected. Jack and Craig were sparring as usual. Rosanna and Craig were bantering as usual. And Brad and Katie actually went somewhere other than work and their apartment. BRAVO!
• So, Rosanna Cabot, who used to run business conglomerates worth billions is incapable of caring for a 17-year-old and his younger sister? Surely, a woman who can manage a corporation could manage to make a box of Mac-n-Cheese and a salad, get a little girl off to school, and throw some laundry in the wash. Carly did it every day drunk.
• From the moment Henry's mother Audrey opened the door with her mismatched earrings, I knew this was going to be a fun ride. Henry called her a grifter. I call her a breath of fresh air and a reason for Henry to get out of the diner and the bedroom. More please!
• Jack is taking a lot of heat from his kids, Janet, and everyone else for not wanting to hire Teri to be the nanny. Sorry, folks, but I'm on his side on this one. I don't care if she's the Pope's sister. No one in town has known this kid since she was five. Hello! Teri IS a stranger. Jack is right about not leaving his kids with someone he doesn't know. Just because Teri is Janet's sister doesn't mean anything; (Remember how nutty Henry's sister turned out to be?) However, Jack shouldn't have been so rude to Teri, trying to usher her out of his house. Bad move, G-Man.
• I don't know about you, but I'm thrilled that Luke is finally getting a job. Anything that will give him something to do other than whine about how little he gets to see Noah is a plus in my book. I'm begging here, please give Luke a storyline and a life of his own that doesn't involve his clinginess to his boyfriend. Luke needs to be his own strong character.
• Was it just me or did Katie seem irritated at Henry this week when he said that Vienna was the only woman he'd ever truly loved? I guess she thought he must have forgotten that he once declared Katie the woman of his dreams, during their marriage. It was a fun moment to see Katie realize that Henry has truly moved on.
• -Lily Snyder, you are treading on dangerous ground. Your handsome European ex-husband is in town looking better than he should with his frosted tips and he seems to have left his troubled past behind him. The green-eyed monster reared its ugly head when Lily spotted Damian kissing Meg this week. (Holden, you have been warned.) This may be just what Lily and Holden need to reignite some spark in their marriage.
• If Janet truly wanted everyone to eat her meatballs at the party, then perhaps she should not have put them in the kitchen, when the rest of the food was in the dining room. I'm just saying.
• After months of frustration at the stories on my screen, this week seemed to have a different energy, in a good way. Plots weren't racing at breakneck speed. We had family scenes. Henry and Janet both got new family members. The humor was back. People were just having conversations. And I only reached for my fast forward button once. (Sorry, Ali and Casey.) Did I just have too much chocolate this week or did you feel it, too? I'm sensing a change, and I like it. The show was fun again. In fact, there were so many good lines, I think I could have written the column this week with just the one liners. I don't read spoilers, but I did see some casting news that has me even more excited about the changes at the show. Stop reading this paragraph now, if you want to remain spoiler free. Last warning! It seems Maddie is on her way back to town, and some new faces, too. Namely, Stuart Damon, of General Hospital fame, and Judi Evans, of Another World and Days of Our Lives. I can't wait to see if Damon and Lynn Herring get a scene together. The two once played an hilarious husband and wife team on General Hospital.
• Don't get me wrong; I'm loving that Craig is all up in Carly's house and kids' lives. It gives me plenty of chuckles to see him needle Jack and spar with Rosanna. But, isn't it a little strange that he's so invested there every day? Last time I checked, he had a kid of his own to raise. Paging little Johnny!
• Bravo to Paul for tapping into history and declaring that Emily was essentially taking his virginity twice. I guess he's right, since he has amnesia and doesn't remember the first time, and Emily is the first woman he slept with since coming out of the coma. These two are more fun than Henry, a martini, and his pick for the ponies.
• I'm thrilled to see Lucinda back at the helm of Worldwide. Maybe now she'll get a meaty story.
• It's too bad Brad and Henry didn't cement that deal for a talk show. I know I'd watch those two gorgeous men. Kim could change the name from Oakdale Now to Oakdale Wow.
• I'm not sure I was supposed to laugh at this moment, but I simply couldn't help it. Paul wrote a check, after sex, to Emily a former hooker to which she declared that he was "out of his mind" if he thought that he could pay her for sex. Then, she pocketed the money. Hilarious.
• Henry, I'm begging you. Burn that green and purple printed jacket you wore on Monday. My eyes will never be the same.
Best Lines of the Week:
Between Henry's mom in town and plenty of Craig time, the chuckles were nonstop this week. Thank you, writers!
(Much to Brad's dismay, Kim offers Henry his job back, if he'll be himself.)
Brad: "Which self would that be the booze-swelling card shark or the cross-dressing back-stabbing goober?"
(After years apart, Henry's estranged grifter mother assumes he's gay and tells him she'll support him.)
Audrey: "My heart and arms are wide open."
Henry: "I'm sure there are many men who can vouch for that."
(Henry tells Katie that his mom is back and it's bad news.)
Katie: "You never talk about her; I've never met her."
Henry: "That's because God has been very kind to you."
(Craig shows up at the Snyder farm.)
Janet: "What do you want?"
Craig: "What else? I came to argue with Jack."
(Parker questions why his dad wants him to live under the same roof as his ex-teen wife, Liberty.)
Craig: "I guess he trusts you."
Parker: "I wouldn't."
(Craig calls Jack relentless, but Rosanna defends him.)
Rosanna: "You want to talk about relentless? Look up the word in the dictionary, and it's a picture of you."
Craig: "Yes, but it's a good picture."
(From Two Scoops reader Sharon.)
I'm with you (in hoping) that they don't make Paul into a goody two-shoes. I like it when he's smart and sneaky, but not a wuss. And Meg needs to go to an island without men! I've never seen a woman who has one thought---MEN-- more so than working, getting her own place, and taking care of her baby. It doesn't work dragging in different men all the time in front of your child. If she used her head, maybe she and Paul could work out the problems with the baby.
(From Two Scoops reader Kathie.)
As far as the Margo/Casey/ Riley story goes, Margo doesn't want to tell Tom about Riley/Adam so that Tom doesn't feel compelled to do the right thing. What is she thinking? In her role as Lieutenant, they'll can her for keeping this secret. As you say, for a similar type of breaking of the law, she turned in Casey in a heartbeat! Is it worth her job? All Riley seems to do is meddle in other people's business; it's not like he's curing cancer! I also loved the intervention for Carly and the introduction of Hunter "Stewart," great acting!! But I would have been so much happier if Kim had known that Henry was Geneva and just felt that he was fabulous and didn't care. But it sure looks like she didn't have a clue. I have always given her much more credit than that.
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.