Bullying is the Llanview way

by Dawn
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Bullying is the Llanview way
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The week of March 21, 2011
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Jack was never a saint, but there is a difference between pulling pranks at school and viciously going after another kid with asthma.

Many things happened in Llanview last week, as Shane was bullied by someone named Jack, Todd ended up in a coma, David returned to Llanview to resume his place in the Buchanan family, Alex Olanov reappeared, Tess and Robert continued their charade, and Nigel proved that he has more wisdom than just about anyone in Llanview.

My main problem with the show last week was the bullying story involving Jack and Shane. So far, this story isn't working for a couple of reasons. First, Jack is a completely different person, both in appearance and personality. We saw him watch in childlike amazement as "Santa" fell through the chimney just a few months ago. Now, we are watching him be incredibly cruel to Shane just because he can. We weren't given an explanation for Jack's change in personality or any time to adapt to it before this story began. Jack was never a saint, but there is a difference between pulling pranks at school to viciously going after another kid with asthma. Also, are we supposed to believe that Jack can bully someone one minute and then bring his family together for an inspirational prayer the next?

The other problem is, we weren't given the chance to connect to the new actor playing Jack. When I watched him and his "friends" plot against Shane last week, I felt like I was watching three strangers hanging out at La Boulaie. I had to remind myself that this was the new Jack Manning. All of this happened suddenly, which makes it hard to accept. It seems like this story was slapped together at the last minute, and stories rarely work under those circumstances.

The only meaningful thing to come out of this story so far was that we got to see what a nice kid Shane is. He wanted to believe that Jack was trying to make amends with him and even showed concern for Jack when he learned that Todd had been shot. I don't want to see a good-natured kid like Shane be bullied. He's been through a lot in his short life, and making him the center of a random bullying story isn't fair.

As for Todd being shot, I feel like this is a case of "one time too many." We've seen Todd's life in jeopardy numerous times, and I am very sure that he won't die this time. It's just another chance for Todd to be redeemed because no one in his family can even think of being mad at him after he's been through something like this. Starr even wondered why something bad happens to him every time she is mad at him. It's almost become routine for Todd's life to hang in the balance, and I hope Todd isn't in a coma for too long this time.

I liked how Téa and Blair consoled each other at the hospital, though. I thought they would have fallen out of their friendship by now, so seeing them still be on good terms is surprising. I have a feeling that Tomas will become an issue between them, though, so their friendship might not last for too much longer!

It looks like Tomas was the one who shot Todd, and I don't like this at all. Is Blair really in the position to get involved with yet another man with a bunch of secrets and a sordid past? I hope it doesn't get that far because that is another thing we've seen too many times on this show. I'd rather see Blair be on her own for a while than see her continue to flirt with Tomas, as he tends to his secret wound and takes cryptic phone calls behind her back.

I am glad that David is finally back in Llanview, even if it won't be for a long period of time. He's been through a lot, and we saw how it affected him as he attacked Rex. Rex was so worried about Bo's reaction to his confession, but that was nothing compared to David's reaction! It was clever to have him end up on Alex Olanov's island. I liked seeing her again, especially since she interacted with Bo and Clint. It would be great if she returned to Llanview, but since she has a luxurious lifestyle where she is, I don't know why she'd want to return! As a side note, I wonder if Bo will tell Nora how he distracted Alex as Rex searched for David. I don't think she'd really want to know!

I am looking forward to Dorian and David's reunion, even if it will be brief. Their relationship can never go too far if Tuc Watkins can only come back for short stints. I am always glad to see him, but I wish he could be on the show on a regular basis. At least Dorian will know that he didn't intentionally jilt her at the altar for a second time.

People have asked me what I think of Dorian and Cutter as a potential couple. I think there is some chemistry between them, but since Cutter is involved with Aubrey, I don't see how it can work. I want Dorian's next relationship to be something that will last and isn't based on lies. She's had a rough few years, and I don't want to see her be the other woman in anyone's life. However, if she's well aware that a fling with Cutter won't go anywhere, and she just wants to have fun, then she should go for it.

I still don't like this story with Tess and Robert. Tess has already worn out her welcome, and I don't want to see her become romantically involved with Robert. I don't care how much they banter or how much Robert says he wants to be with Ryder. He is willingly keeping the mother of his child from receiving the help she needs. He might care about Ryder, but he isn't doing what's best for him. Viki and Clint presented him with a reasonable offer in exchange for getting Jessica the treatment she needs, but he decided letting Tess stay out to cause trouble was a better idea. His actions are misguided, and both Jessica and Ryder deserve better. I am still hoping that Ryder turns out to be Brody's son, after all, but until then, I hope that Robert and Tess don't grow closer.

Langston sounded pretty immature when she broke up with Robert because he put his son first. I am not sad that she broke up with him, since I never liked their relationship. I just wish she had better articulated the reason why. I enjoyed her conversation with Dorian, though. It's a shame that Britney Underwood won't be on the show anymore. She and Robin Strasser never disappoint in their scenes together, and Dorian and Langston's relationship was never developed as fully as it could have been.

I am glad that Natalie finally appears to understand that it's time to move on with her life and not focus on John. It was painful to watch her remind him for the 100th time that she still loved him, but at least she isn't in denial anymore. John clearly wants space from her, and she is finally willing to give him that. I don't know if she will ever accept the gravity of the mistakes she made, but at least she isn't trying to guilt John into taking her back anymore. She has also accepted that Brody is Liam's father (at least for now), and she knows he will be there for Liam. I am sure this won't last, but it was nice to see last week.

I loved that Rama blackmailed Aubrey last week. Aubrey has had such an easy time of getting away with things, and I hated when Rama fell for Aubrey's manipulation a few weeks ago. It was great to see her confront Aubrey, ready to settle the score. It should be fun to watch her make Aubrey nervous, as she moves into the Buchanan mansion with an incriminating yearbook in hand. It's time for the truth about Aubrey to come out. I can't watch Joey continue to be duped by her for much longer!

Finally, the best part of last week was Nigel confronting Clint about his recent actions. Nigel has witnessed a lot of crazy things during his employment with the Buchanans, and it was great to see him take a stand about what he didn't like. Clint seemed surprised by Nigel's opinion of him but was affected by it at the same time. I hope he takes what Nigel said to heart about how far he has strayed from being a real Buchanan. I like how often Asa's memory is being mentioned these days. Asa is gone, but he should never be forgotten. That being said, I kind of wish Nigel had quit and left Clint to fend for himself. Clint doesn't deserve Nigel's loyalty, but Asa's memory compelled Nigel to stay. I hope he gets his island back one day. He deserves it and so much more!

Until next time,

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