Apathy is an option

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Apathy is an option
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The week of February 13, 2006
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This is a time of the year when the stories are supposed to be must-see and the pacing is meant to be breathtaking.

I have a poster that hangs in my classroom which reads "Apathy Is Not an Option." It's supposed to be there to remind students that not caring about the class (or anything) is not the road to take to be successful. But seeing that poster this week reminded me just how much apathy I myself feel for OLTL during a time of the year when the stories are supposed to be must-see and the pacing is meant to be breathtaking. If I weren't so floored by the action taking place on the other ABC shows (the ball on "AMC" and the deadly outbreak virus on "GH"), I would never think that this is February Sweeps!

First, the search for Niki and Tess is going nowhere very fast. I thought at the very least, we might finally get a clue about what caused Tess to emerge all of those years ago. We already knew MONTHS ago that it involved some perverted (or so we think) guy at a bar-and Niki makes that same conclusion (that he's a pervert, I mean). Niki makes some allusions to the dirty deeds Victor committed against Viki when she was just a little girl, and we are supposed to assume that a similar situation occurred when Jessica was left unattended in the bar. "It's so much worse," spits Tess. Allllllllrighty then, so why not fill us in the whole thing? Stretching this out for so long had better be worth the wait. It better be a jaw-dropper, because most viewers think we already have this figured out (and it will be a pleasant surprise if that turns out not to be the case). But all of their scenes in the cabin amounted to nothing. Niki got CLOSE to getting Tess to admit what happened to her. She got CLOSE to making sure Tess kept to a less-than-stellar plan to ensure their dominance as the primary personalities. But the viewers were cheated out of a good story. Who really cares that they hopped into a truck and took off just as Clint, Antonio, and Nash ride to the rescue? Snooze! Talk about apathy!

Then we have the kick-off of Margaret's return. In all fairness, I will admit that Margaret didn't annoy me half as much as she had in her past stints. Maybe the preoccupation she has with her baby has made her more bearable. I do find Spencer's role in her hiding to be quite interesting. It was clever on the writers' parts to catch us up to speed on what transpired by having Margaret tell Todd Jr. a story about the "Prince" and his role with her. That Spencer is one sneaky and conniving man, let me tell you! Also, I am NOT at all impressed with NuPaige (see "Thumbs Down" below), and I'm even less impressed that she isn't telling Bo or David what is going on. Not a great way to endear a character to the viewers! And let's just get the Spencer/Blair making love issue out of the way---EWWWWWW! They have zero chemistry, the guy is a scum-bag, and Blair's judgment is getting to the point that she might seriously want to consider a summer stay with her mother! Maybe the two of them can share a room!

The little bit of apathy that I was able to shed occurred in the least likely place for me this week---scenes between Cristian and Natalie and Cristian and Evangeline. I applaud Cris's efforts not to give up on Nat. He truly loves her and is willing to do anything he can to prove that to her. On the other hand, he has a genuine friendship with Evangeline, the woman who helped him get out of prison and stood by him and his secret. To help her get rid of some guilt she is shouldering because of Todd's death sentence, he wisely invited her to his loft to do some painting---something that clearly rattled Natalie. I'm intrigued by the idea that we all suffered through a Natalie/Evangline/John triangle, and now we are moving into the potential of a Natalie/Evangeline/CRIS triangle! While the first complex love conflict didn't do much to entertain me, I might actually go out on a limb and suggest that I might enjoy the one involving Cris. The scenes with Nat and Cris in Carlotta's diner were great, and the scenes between Evangeline and Cris in the loft were equally as good.

Other than this, I'm completely bored and stunned by how little action is going on during this key time period of the season---when advertisers really pay close attention to the ratings. I can't imagine why anyone would stay tuned to a show that has given lackluster writing and less-than-stellar plot advancement in several weeks! Wish I had more to say this week, but apathy WAS my option this week, unfortunately.

But on to other events in Llanview...


1. Kudos to Renée Elise Goldsberry for scoring a "Supporting Actress" nomination for her role as Evangeline. I'm really shocked that Bree Williamson didn't score a nod for her portrayal of the two alters, Tess and Jess, but I'm happy for Goldsberry who really is a divine actress and deserves this long-overdue recognition.

2. I enjoy seeing more of Catherine Hickland. Even if it's just to offer Cris a caricature job at a birthday party for a hundred bucks an hour, I'll still take any scenes with Hickland that I can get!


1. NuPaige. What can I say about her? This role has been cursed since its initial casting of Mary Beth Evans in the role. This flip-flop-flip-flop of a character that most viewers don't even like is disturbing. I'm not invested in the character, I never really was, and it's even more difficult to find affection to the character when the actresses seem to go through revolving doors to play Paige! It's clear to me that the execs WANT us to be invested in Paige, but how can we when the message is being sent that they can't even cast an actress in the role who apparently embodies what they want? I thought the second Paige was probably the best, but this NuPaige is just a trainwreck! I think the actress is fine---I hold nothing against her, but I do think that the character keeps getting softer and harder to relate to! I say cut the losses and pair Bo with Nora...his true love!

2. How can OLTL score a writing Emmy nomination and not a "Best Show" nomination? Don't the two basically go hand-in-hand? I don't think this was OLTL's year in either category, but the fact that it scored one nomination and not the other just baffles me.


In my continued quest to make Hillary B. Smith a permanent fixture in Llanview again (more than just the next year of her contract extension), I take a moment to reflect back on a favorite memory of Nora.

Someone had written to me about some favorite Nora moments, and this one in particular made me smile. It isn't one moment in particular, but it was basically those calm moments shared between Bo and Nora during their heyday as a supercouple. These were mostly "filler" scenes, I would imagine, but they really helped embody the couple as one to root for. I'm referring to all of those moments when she and Bo would hop into bed with popcorn, ice cream, pizza, or any junk food and watch those old movies together. It was their favorite way to relax after Bo's tedious job at the station or Nora's strenuous job at the law office. They always found time for one another, and those small moments of the two of them laughing and carrying on while not caring at all about their waistlines made for some truly memorable moments.

If you haven't already written a letter in support of Hillary B. Smith, please do so today. Just a few paragraphs will do the trick! And every letter can make a difference. We must not give up!

Enjoy your week,

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