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Wrapping things up
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The week of July 30, 2007
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Clint needs to buy a vowel and figure out which woman he wants. He was obviously outraged and disgusted by what he felt was a betrayal of Viki's friendship by David.

It's taken awhile, but I finally concluded that the primary difference between Adriana and a fruit fly is their lifespan. A fruit fly only lives one month on average, which is sad for the insect but good for everyone else. In contrast, Adriana's subsistence has exceeded that month-long lifespan, and this simply isn't good for anyone. What is it about her character that speeds up my rate heart, causing me to feel as though I'm about to lose total consciousness every time she speaks? Certainly we've had more annoying characters on the canvas in my thirty years of viewing, but I just can't name one at present. I have attempted to look for that one redeeming attribute in this character since she first appeared in Llanview and repeatedly wind up empty handed. The time has come to send her back to "Santi Land," where the grass is always green and animals roam free, never to be seen or heard from again. I must admit I was impressed to hear Adriana refer to herself as "naïve" and "gullible" when speaking to Rex about her bad judge of character pertaining to Tate. Honey, we've been saying that for years ...

Tate was rivaled only by Miles in terms of his failure to come across as evil and disturbed. A famed baseball player-turned-fascist? Nah, I just never bought it. Stranger things have happened, but this storyline was a bust from day one. The OPP saga could've been compelling and explored Llanview's roots in diversity. This story could have woven every major character together, driven serious conflict, and paved the way for a restoration of both racial and social multiplicity on the canvas. Instead, it was never fully fleshed out and became a plot point (for what, I still don't know) and I'm truly relieved that Carlivati wrapped things up. I actually laughed when Tate was wielding his knife, trying to intimidate Layla by describing how he intended to "off" her and Vincent. First of all, I'm convinced that Layla could beat Tate to a pulp on her very worst day. Second, Tate never looked bright enough to be the mastermind behind a successful white supremacist group. We owe Talia a huge debt of gratitude for ridding us of yet another failed Higley creation that consumed precious screen time, though I must say - Vincent is a much better person than I. In fact, watching Tate fall to his death would've been a fitting end to this fiasco of a storyline.

Speaking of failed characters, good riddance, Paige! Sure, it was an anti-climactic finale to years of enduring her torturous presence, but who really cares? She's gone and that's the bottom line. A shove off The Palace rooftop seemed more in order than a subtle exit into the humanitarian job sector, but either way, I'm grateful she's history. I do think Alex Neil deserves recognition for giving everything she had to a role that was twice recast and doomed from the start. Maybe Bo will finally be jolted back into reality and realize that Nora is worth fighting for - and I am betting Lindsay will use this as a prime opportunity to pounce! Add Paige's departure to that of the Harmon men, and it reinforces that Carlivati's clean-up work is underway. This is what a good Head Writer does; he wraps up story that isn't working and purges characters that are extraneous and unsuccessful. Yet in my ongoing quest to approach things from a "glass half full" perspective, I do think the OPP story yielded two positive results.

First, it gave BethAnn Bonner a chance to win viewers' hearts and strut her stuff in a way that didn't shove Talia down our throats, thereby burning us out on the character prematurely. Second, it made me step back and reevaluate my impression of Vincent's character. I was firmly convinced Vincent was expendable until I witnessed the effort Tobias Truvillion generated these past few weeks. This actor has been given nothing but hollow dialogue, and he repeatedly gives one-hundred percent in an attempt to carve out some semblance of substance for the character. It's because of his effort that I've seen Vincent's character in a new light and am now willing to give him another shot. I wish to send a "shout out" to Dave, who emailed me with a wonderful suggestion. Dave proposed that Vincent could potentially be linked to the Gray family, thereby carving out some meaningful back story for his character. We recently discussed the concept of how Nixon's core families have vanished and here's an excellent opportunity to reinstate one on the canvas. I thought the writers missed the boat by not connecting Vince to R.J., and we've lost Tim Stickney in the process - and that is an absolute travesty.

Why was anyone surprised that David asked for money in return for part of his liver?! I was truly befuddled by why those "in the know" responded as they did when David's condition of terms manifested itself. David consistently rises from the ashes like a phoenix, only to continue his scheming and conning, and this is what endears his character to us. I simply cringed as Clint stormed into David's room and smashed the laptop Viki gave him to the floor. His response mimicked that of a spoiled child who missed out on his birthday cake. First of all, Clint needs to buy a vowel and figure out which woman he wants. He was obviously outraged and disgusted by what he felt was a betrayal of Viki's friendship by David. My response is that perhaps he should've been upfront with Viki about the ten million dollars from the get go, thereby placing all of his cards on the table. I am seriously hoping Carlivati takes Clint's character in another direction - perhaps strengthening his position as Buchanan patriarch after Asa's departure - because he is starting to grate my nerves. This has nothing to do with Jerry verDorn and everything to do with sub-par writing, and it needs to be addressed immediately.

I remain deeply saddened to see Tuc Watkins depart OLTL, as I am each time he leaves. Tuc owns David's character so implicitly and contributes something vital to OLTL's canvas. He provides that necessary "charge" of electricity and brings out the best in every actor with whom he works. Please write the network and express as much if you're a fan of Tuc's and share my sentiments. I see a multitude of storyline potential in light of how his bond with Viki has strengthened. Perhaps I'm a sentimental fool, but I was truly relieved that David returned the money after weighing his options and reflecting upon how it impacted Viki. I also laughed when David tried one last attempt at holding onto the fortune by leaving his signature off of the document. The friendship these two share is so unique; it's quirky and oddball and joins two people who are from such different walks of life that they would normally never cross paths or give the other a second glance. Weaving him into the Buchanan framework would certainly complicate matters, especially in terms of how it might impact Dorian and Clint. I remain hopeful that viewer sentiment and a visionary scribe will combine to make his appearances more frequent and meaningful. On that note, Watkins and Strasser still make magic together, and I will miss their interactions dearly.

Marty seriously needs to stop crying. I simply cannot tolerate the whining, trembling timbre that her voice elicits when she grows emotional. This woman is a survivor and yet is consistently painted as a victim time and again. I've attempted to exercise some level of tolerance with this character since Carlivati assumed the reins, because I'm hoping he propels her out of "victim mode" and restores integrity and backbone to the character. I do enjoy the chemistry between Christina Chambers and Brandon Buddy, and they are very credible as mother and son. I felt Cole's anguish and rile as he witnessed his mother behind bars, feeling helpless and as though he should assume the task of guardian in a sudden role reversal. I'm really attempting to give Christina Chambers every opportunity to make this character work, because I concede the main issue with Marty stems from poor writing. I do maintain that Chambers is miscast in this role, and while I'm willing to keep an open mind and see what Carlivati pens for her character, I still am not feeling the history shared by Marty, Todd and Blair. Oddly enough, the only person with whom I feel that historical connection in terms of Marty's character is Nora.

I've enjoyed their character interactions and do think that Chambers "clicks" with Hillary B. Smith, which is no surprise. Smith, like Watkins, brings out the very best in her peers. Her commanding screen presence and flawless execution of material demand that all sharing scenes with her put forth their best work. I enjoyed Nora's interaction with Marty at the jail, as Nora's maternal instinct kicked in and she eagerly agreed to take Cole back to Asa's and care for him. I also really enjoyed the scenes with Nora, Cole and Matthew, as well as the pseudo-sibling bonding that occurred between Cole and Matt. I've yet to figure out why in the world Nora and Matt are still living at Asa's, but like the fact that it reestablishes Nora as part of the Buchanan clan. Higley attempted to strip her character of any connection to Bo or to the Buchanans, and I think with Asa's impending death (which still has me seething) that it'll be interesting to see how things unfold. Will Bo move back into the mansion as an effort to feel closer to his beloved, deceased father - thereby sharing a home with his son and the mother of his child? Which Buchanan man might Nora find herself consoling - Bo or Clint? This could get very interesting, indeed...

As thrilled as I am about Trevor St. John's return, Todd's reentrance has been, well...a dud. Perhaps I'm just tired of seeing him lie in bed, wounded and weary, but I find myself being bored FOR him. The issue of Tommy's parentage has been dragged out for so long and I believe most viewers are ready for the truth to finally manifest itself. I'm curious to see how the fallout will impact these characters, and I believe Carlivati will make the "endgame" worthy of our praise and patience. The best part about his return thus far has been the interaction between Todd and Starr. The real Starr Manning is finally starting to reemerge and she is definitely her father's daughter. She refused to back down and intended on speaking her piece in terms of Cole, no matter how furiously her father responded. While I enjoy watching Todd's softer side emerge with his daughter, I'm yearning to see his "edge" and ruthlessness restored. We've already established Todd has a heart, and his recent experiences and relationships have granted him a new perspective. That said, the time has come to shift his character in a fresh direction that doesn't involve being stuck on a romantic seesaw with Blair, or chasing ghosts and demons. I'm more than ready for Victor Lord's son to take on the town - and eager for St. John to get storyline material worthy of his time and talent.

Have a wonderful week!


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