Ahhh . . . that feels better.
I am EY Jackson, and I am a new columnist, here on Soap Central's One Life to Live Two Scoops section. I've been an OLTL fan since I was about six, and here I am almost 32 years later, still watching and keeping up faithfully. This year has been kind of a drag, though, hasn't it? Duke died, David lied, and Todd died . . . and was resurrected!!! Sheesh! Will madness ever end?!
So, in the midst of the madness, I've been thinking to myself, "Self, what would we do if we could change one aspect of One Life?" And what better place to discuss that than here?! As we go along, I will discuss one specific aspect of the show, what I would change, and what I would change it to. And please, feel free to email me through the feedback form with your suggestions and comments. I will feature the best ones in future columns.
Let's see . . . what aspect of One Life beg to be changed?
I think we can safely start with Relationships. The pairings have been all wrong for a long time - but the split between Evangeline and John was the straw that broke the camel's back. And speaking of Evangeline . . .
Relationship #1: Evangeline and Cris. Does this relationship seem hokey to anyone but me? Ok, first, Vange deserves way, way better than to be settling for Natalie's rejects. Evangeline is classy, mature, just angelically beautiful . . . if John couldn't step up, then Hugh should've been the man, not Cris. Not that I have anything against Cris, but even on a good day like Thursday - with him talking so passionately about how important Evangeline is to him - he still doesn't fit quite as well as Hugh would. Hugh is a little older, a little more together, and a lot more Vangie's speed than Cris. Plus, you know that Hugh and Evangeline would just be beautiful together - powerful, sexy, and so intelligent, it makes you cry. Ah . . . that takes me back to the early days of Bo and Nora. And Vange and Hugh would make pretty babies, too. (You know they would.)
Relationship #2: Blair and Spencer. We all know that the Blair who got locked in a trunk and called the deranged psychopath who put her there a crazy bitch while slapping her stupid would never, ever in a millionzillion years give a guy like Spencer the time of day. But "Blair Kramer: Undercover Spy" is just way too much! And Spencer, dude, if you can't tell that she's not really "there" when you're doin' the deed, walk away. I'm just sayin' this 'cause I love ya, bro-but you're looking pretty pathetic there, doing all the work. Blair's never been a Pillow Queen, and she's not doing too well trying to pull it off. (No pun intended. Right.) Dude, just walk away. Kelly's open. (er . . . ditto on the pun. Right.)
Let Todd take care of Spencer and by all means, bring back Max Holden. Nobody could love Blair like Max did. And bring back Rachel, who would be awesome as Todd's equal - plus, she would not put up with Starr's crap. Oh, and Todd with Starr on Friday . . . it's so sweet to see him so in love with his little Starr. I've actually enjoyed Todd all this week. He so wants to be hated, not just for the sake of being hated, but because being hated is much more preferable than being pitied. Everybody's giving him those sad, "I'm so sorry" looks . . .driving him nuts! I'll let you in on a little secret: The bad, bad part of me just loved the Tuesday exchange he had with Blair:
Blair: Are you gonna hate me forever?
Todd: Yeah, I am.
Classic Todd! Nice to see you back!
Relationship #3: Natalie and John. Ok, really. First, John is too old to be chasing somebody as flighty and air-bubble-headed as Natalie. Really, she reminds me of a bobble-head sometimes. In real life, you have to know that John would have never chosen Natalie over Evangeline. Hell, I would never choose Natalie over Evangeline. John and Nat just have no chemistry together whatsoever. Zero. 'Cause he's too friggin' old to even be attracted to her. I have nothing against May/December pairings; in fact, I am part of one. But this one doesn't work, and unfortunately, it really is kind of an age thing because John doesn't usually go for women who are young enough for his brother to date. Natalie doesn't know enough about passion to be paired with John.
Natalie should be single for awhile. Her character is not as well established as it needs to be for her to be paired up with John. I think that John should help Paige pick up the pieces after Bo dumps her - and you know he's gonna dump her, despite all his touchy/feely/this-is-new-territory-ness. Fact is: Bo can't trust a woman who lies to him, so he just needs to walk away now . . . well, after he gets done using her to trap Spencer . . . and join a monastery. And yes, I know that Paige is the drunk doctor who let John's father flatline, but she's the only one left who would actually put up with John's crap. In fact, just between you and me, John doesn't need a girlfriend; he needs a puppy. Come on, "If you ever lie to me like that again, we're through"???? Oh no, honey, we are through en-oh-double-u NOW. Somebody so needs to kick his butt to the curb. Natalie's bobble-head needs to move out of Llanfair and take Adriana with her to Pine Valley University. (Yep, PVU; there's more opportunity for a great storyline involving college students on AMC than there is on OLTL.) And speaking of Adriana . . .
Relationship #4: Rex and Adriana. And we've gotta spend our entire Summer watching the two of them and their "Love Story". Ya know, it doesn't get much worse than this. Less chemistry here than John and Nat. Palpably less. For one thing, Adriana is getting a little old to be subject to Mommy locking her in her room and not letting her go anywhere but to school. What is she, twelve??? And this stalker business . . .
If Adriana must stay and must have a relationship, well . . . it sucks that they've already killed off Duke. But, if Adriana's gotta have it, bring Duke back as one of Cord's kids. Hey, Michael did grow on us eventually, didn't he? If we can let Al go, surely Duke won't be so hard. Only this time, give Dan Gauthier's character more depth and more of the familial investment, as is befitting for a long-lost Buchanan boy. Or better, . . . okay, this is going to sound really off-the-wall, but here goes: the waitress at Carlotta's diner. (Ok, listen, you can send me all the angry, hate mail you want to, but I'd hate to see you waste your time that way. But if you must, feel free. So there.) Anyway, back to the waitress. I've seen flirtation and this waitress was definitely putting out some vibes on Thursday. And that was the first time I saw sparks between Adriana and anybody in Llanview. Now that could make Adriana an interesting character, as long as TPTB don't try to reinvent the Bianca.
Oh, and Rex . . . give him more interesting people to interact with like his old forgery friend we met this week. That should keep him busy for awhile.
Finally, Relationship #5: Jessica and Antonio. Watching Jessica and Antonio together is like listening to nails on a chalkboard. One would never know that Antonio survived Angel Square when it was gang infested. Does he even speak Spanish anymore? He tries so hard to be like Clint - to take charge, to have Jessica listen to him the way that Viki listens to Clint. 'Tonio just tries too hard. I think he'd be great with Layla. Their scenes together when she was pretending to be his girlfriend were priceless. They had so much chemistry together. He didn't have to try so hard, and Layla was perfectly paired with someone who could help her become more invested in Llanview. I think a storyline involving Antonio, Layla, and Jaime becoming a family would be a great thing for the summer and fall, or maybe even over Christmas. (And it would get us out of the whole Rex/Adriana/Ug-Story . . . thing.)
On a positive note, I absolutely loved the scenes between Jessica and Viki. Erika Slezak's range is unbelievable! She's got that going-coocoo-for-cocoa-puffs eye thing down to a science. I giggle everytime she starts with the eyelashes. And I really loved her scenes with Jessica where she apologized for not protecting Jessica and keeping her safe. I think sometimes parents forget that it's just as important for parents to apologize to their kids as it is for them to teach their kids to apologize to others. How else will they learn what it looks like to really mean an apology if they never see the emotion that goes into a heartfelt "I'm sorry" from the first people who accidentally hurt them? I think that like everybody else, I never want my kid to experience pain, but kids grow up; they learn to process difficulties, mistakes, and pain from their parents. I think it's important that they learn how to do it the way it's supposed to be done from the people who clothe them and feed them as well.
Love/Hate Time This week, I loved: talking children (GH, take notes); Todd and Blair's "show me yours/I'll show you mine" conversation at the pool on Wednesday; and watching Claudia struggling to get into Nash's bed after creeping over in her shoes - didn't you hear that click/clack when she got up off the window seat? Too funny!
This week, I hated: Nash stripping to half-naked and then treating Claudia badly when she took the bait; Bo's speech on Monday about taking Matthew to see Asa and going to see Paige, and then . . . nothing about Nora; and the icky-sticky-ewwwy-gooey . . . thing . . . going on between Clint and Dorian. It's almost worth getting them off the screen to have to sit through another screeching hour of Antonio's mind-numbing soliloquies about the end of Jessica's psycho alter. 'Tonio, word to the wise: Even after it's all over, it's still not over; some stuff just never goes away. So Jess, please, please . . .
Ok, I will admit (much to the delight of all who know me) that I am a serious fan of my own belly-button lint. I pick through it for hours and hours, processing everysinglesolitaryemotionIhave. Each one. But we One Life fans have been a captive audience to Tessica's belly-button lint for ages. Oh . . . my . . . GOSH!! If we were any more caught up in what's-in-Jessica/Tessica's-head-today, we would be Jessica/Tessica. Either integrate or dis -integrate: pick one!
Well, that wraps it up for this, my first column. Before I go, I need to say a couple of thank-yous. To God and my church, my foundation. To Ryan, for getting me started and encouraging me, and to Dan, for giving me this great opportunity. To Dell, my love, and to my son, my life. And to my mom, who introduced me to OLTL. And to Shirli, Venson, Candace, and my DC and WV families.
And thanks to all you, too! Please do send me your thoughts, comments, questions, and such via feedback. JacksonEY@comcast.net.
Thanks for reading and until next time,