To sit down and think about things in Oakdale and what we as viewers should be thankful for, I think I speak for many when I say the changes have not happened soon enough for us, but the show is watchable once again. So what am I thankful for?
Jack and Carly
In order to jumpstart things in Oakdale and bring it back from possible cancellation (we don't know for sure yet), to have Jack and Carly moving closer is magical. These two characters bring out the absolute best in each other. I have to say that Maura has brought out the best in each one of her co-stars, though never as much as she does with Michael Park. You can see him bringing his best when he is acting with her.
I don't think this is going to be an easy road back to each other, as she has unfinished business with Craig, and Jack has Janet. The fun of their relationship has always been the journey of them getting back together.
So thanks to TPTB for deciding now was the time for Jack and Carly to get out the compass and find their way back to each other.
Holden Without Lily
Yes, this is great for the character of Holden. He is so much more of his own person when he is away from her. It is not even because Martha Byrne is not playing Lily anymore, as that was the problem when she was playing the role, too. Now that he is a bachelor, Holden has a sense of purpose and comes across as the strong Snyder.
I have a separate category for this one - the return of Molly; she will only energize the character more. She is just what he needs right now; she is fun and unpredictable, and they have a history, too, which will make this all the more fun to watch.
Great move on this one, too!
The Return of Molly Conlan
She should have been back home a long time ago, but things happen when they are supposed to, and now is indeed the right time.
Molly has some strong ties to in Oakdale with Holden and Carly; there are those people who she did not leave town with good feelings for, like Kim, Lily, and Katie. She is like a breath of fresh air to Oakdale right now. I certainly hope she stays for a while and creates some real drama; she is such a joy to watch.
Parker and Liberty
It is great to see the rebellious Parker leave, and see this young man who cares about the well-being of others, like Liberty and his parents. He is not chasing Liberty for her to be his girlfriend anymore, just his friend. It is time that there was a girl for him, which would take him away from all the grown-up drama that he is always participating in.
Liberty has an edge right now that makes her interesting to watch, because of the death of her father and losing the baby. I have to admit that I almost shed a tear when she read her essay for college; it showed that she has gone through a lot for someone her age, and she has learned from her mistakes, too.
Meg was such a one-note song when she was with Paul that it was tiring to watch. Wow, what a difference as she is putting the screws to Damian (no pun intended) and getting him to do what she wants. It really is a pathetic portrait of a woman who could easily find love elsewhere, yet she chooses to chase a man who doesn't want her. What is going to happen when Damian turns on her, and he will; he needs to remember that she is a nurse and you don't make an unbalanced nurse angry with you.
I enjoy watching Barbara Ryan, and to see her more is a real joy. Her flirtation with Henry was somewhat foolish in the beginning, but if they end up spending some more time together, it wouldn't be a bad thing for either one of them.
Barbara is once again feisty and in control of things - throwing her weight around, being the meddlesome mother and the seductress for the younger man. Will she go after Mick next?
Relationship Drama for Casey
How long have viewers wanted Casey and Maddie to get back together, as she was his first love? Their time away from each other changed them, as it would any couple. They are finding that it is not easy to just fall back into each other's lives. He still has feelings for Alison, and Maddie has more in common with Hunter. The realism of this story is what makes it worth watching: will Casey end up with Alison? Will Maddie give Hunter the time of day? And will Maddie and Casey realize that the time apart caused them to grow up, and they are no longer compatible? We don't know, and that is the beauty of good storytelling.
The Takeoff on Ghost
I hated to see Brad die ,and I wish there were a way to bring him back for Katie. Nevertheless, this story of his ghost hanging around town is really good. I am enjoying it a lot. All of the actors involved have been giving some outstanding performances. We can see the love that Brad and Katie have for each other as she mourns and he can't transition to the other side.
It was quite a moment to see Nancy appear on the Thanksgiving episode. I know the actress is getting up in age, but seeing her with Katie and Margo was just right. It's too bad she didn't visit any of her other relatives for Thanksgiving. Where were Tom, Casey, Bob, and Kim?
Thanksgiving at the Snyders'
It would not have been Thanksgiving without the Hubbard Squash and everyone crowded around Emma's table. Since the Snyders became a major family in Oakdale, this is always what Thanksgiving is all about. It is fun just to see who will be at the table each year. I always feel like each year this is a tribute to Douglas Marland for creating this wonderful family.
Let's see what some readers are saying:
Karen said, "I really liked seeing Molly with Holden. I hope this wakes Lily up. I hope Meg helps her see thru Damien and that her and Holden get back together."
Pauletta said, "Now is a great time for Carly and Jack to get back together. While I like Janet, I don't feel she fits with Jack. I was so mad at her when she kept trying to get Jack to tell Margo that he had been drinking. Two beers - gee whiz - would not make him drunk."
Yaseena said, "I love, love, love that the writers on ATWT are giving us some much needed drama on the show. I'm loving that Jack and Carly are working together on Jack's mission to salvation and I love that a possible reunion between the much loved couple may be in the works. I'm also very intrigued by Mick Dante's character. I loved Tom Pelphrey on Guiding Light and am so glad to see such talent back on the daytime screen. The only misgivings I have about this character is that the person he met was Alison - please say that the writers are not going for a pairing between the two because I really couldn't stand it!! Alison ruins every man she gets within 5 feet of and as a new character comes on the screen I would really hate for him to be DOA before he's even gotten his feet wet!"
Diane said, "You are so right that the surprises are back on ATWT. The storylines had become so predictable and downright boring, it was hard to watch. No more! I certainly didn't see the Barbara & Henry connection, to have Mike married with a kid is great, and when Jack shot Brad, I cried my eyes out. I'm a little annoyed at all the new people & all the missing veterans, but the writing has been fabulous! Hey, maybe the "fountain of youth" plant will bring back James and/or Brad."
Finally, I am thankful for all of you who read my column and take time to write me emails, it is very much appreciated. I have watched and loved ATWT for many years and it is wonderful to see these changes for the better. As we move forward, let's hope the positive momentum continues and we see the stories continue to get better and better. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday!
That's all I have for now.