You know how, especially when you're young and doing foolhardy things regularly, there's always that one friend that's a buzz-kill about it? It's the friend who stands back wringing their hands, making concerned faces, and saying things like, "I don't know, guys. This seems like a pretty bad idea." I felt like that friend to several characters on One Life to Live this week. You know what? That friend is usually right. People in Llanview need that friend.
Well, they'd need that friend if we wanted them all to lead emotionally stable and normal lives. However, since part of the fun of soaps is watching folks crash and burn on a regular basis, I suppose it's a good thing I'm not a Llanview resident. People have enjoyed watching their questionable life decisions for forty-five years now. Who am I to argue with that? I will, however, go ahead and share some of my hand-wringing with you.
I Don't Know If This is Such a Good Idea
First of all, I feel like Dorian and David need me to sit down with them and tell them to put their pride aside. Considering other people's feelings was a basic preschool lesson right along with "sharing is caring." I think David and Dorian both missed a few key days of preschool. These two make me laugh more than any other couple on the show, but I just don't know if they're built to last. They're both far too proud and far too concerned with themselves to truly support each other, and that was painfully obvious as their conflict came to a head this week and resulted in David moving out.
It was the week for couples splitting up and people moving out, apparently. I felt worse about the Viki and Clint breakup than I did about David and Dorian, maybe because there's always an element of humor to David and Dorian, and Viki and Clint's breakup was just genuine, raw heartbreak.
I enjoyed that Nigel was the one to intervene and make Viki realize she was putting her own pride before the welfare of her employees. It says a lot about Viki and her dedication to her employees that she saw the light and swallowed her pride enough to tell Clint she'd be keeping his money for the good of the Banner and the people who worked there. And, even though I don't agree with what Clint did initially by lying to Viki about the five million dollars, my heart melted just a little bit towards him when we found out he'd sent Nigel to Viki out of concern for her welfare.
If you listened to last week's Soap Central Live, you heard Dan J Kroll call Clint "rascally" and Jerry verDorn say, "Well, that may not be the first word that came to Viki's mind. I think 'rascally' would be perhaps from Clint's point of view." (If you didn't listen to the One Life to Live 45th Anniversary show with Jerry verDorn, you can do so here.) That disconnect between how Clint sees himself and how Viki interprets his actions was exemplified in this week's episodes. Everything he's done is manipulative, and Viki has a right to be upset about the way he goes about things, but Clint himself doesn't fully understand that. The thing that allows him to remain a loveable character, at least in my opinion, is that he does these things with the best of intentions.
I wouldn't have thought to warn Téa of the dangers of attending a boot camp aerobics class. Honestly, though, I should have because I'm always the person who ends up facing the wrong direction in the middle of the class only to find the rest of the class who is facing the correct direction staring back at me as I try to complete some complicated exercise maneuver that everyone else seems to have already mastered. Fortunately for Téa, she's much more coordinated than me.
Unfortunately for Téa, she's under more stress than ten people could handle, much less one person. I loved seeing the protectiveness Téa's panic attack brought out in Dani. Téa tried to be strong and insist she didn't need to go to the hospital but, when Dani insisted, Téa let herself be vulnerable and fall into Dani's arms.
Both Téa and Dani hide their feelings from the outside world. Moments like that where they let down their walls with each other are all the more meaningful because it's something that's difficult for both of them to do. It seems like Dani moving out has actually been good for their relationship. There's been much less drama between them and a lot more of the mother/daughter bond I've grown to love in their recent scenes.
In addition to great emotional scenes like the one I mentioned above, I appreciate the way the show keeps humor in the mix. The aerobics class scenes are a perfect example with Nikki and Rama bickering and Jeffrey being confused that there weren't more guys in a class called "boot camp." But, my absolute favorite humorous moments was Dani's line when she saw the only guy besides Jeffrey in the class, standing very close to Téa. "Of course he's close to my mom. She's like a hot guy magnet. It's weird."
Going forward, I hope there is a continuing story surrounding Téa's panic attacks. It makes a lot of sense for her character, given the trauma she's had in recent years and the intense stress she's under now. Seeing Téa deal with and try to understand the panic attacks and how the people in her life respond would be a great storyline.
Like I said, I do think Dani gets her need to pretend she's okay when she's not from her mom. But Dani's been failing more and more at acting okay lately. Jeffrey was worried enough to call Destiny in as a reinforcement. It seemed at first that this might not have been such a great plan.
Dani does have obvious feelings for Matthew, whether she can see or admit it or not, and I think the question of whether anything was going on between Dani and Matthew has been bothering Destiny for a while. Dani's obvious jealousy over Matthew's relationship with Michelle seemed to push the final button for Destiny, and she couldn't keep her anger over Dani's suspected betrayal of their friendship in.
When her fight with Destiny culminated in Dani screaming, "I'm so freaking lonely I could kill myself," my heart broke for Dani. I love that Destiny stopped everything and forgot that they were in the middle of a major fight in order to comfort Dani and make sure Dani wasn't honestly contemplating suicide.
Dani is truly very lost and, even though she seems to have learned her lesson as far as harder drugs, she relies on alcohol far too much. I have a feeling we might see Dani get worse before she either helps herself or the people who love her realize they need to intervene.
In the preview for next week's episodes, we saw Dani telling Téa to lean on her whenever she needed. I truly hope that Dani helping Téa will bring them closer together and make Dani feel less alone instead of putting more pressure on Dani. Still, I feel the need to offer a preemptive "that doesn't seem like such a good idea" to Dani because I have a bad feeling this focus on her loneliness might be the set-up for her getting romantically involved with Arturo. She so wants to be with someone that wants her back and that can distract her from all the pain in her life that I worry her judgment is compromised.
I know Jeffrey told Dani to stay out Matthew's relationship with Michelle, and I agree Dani has enough of her own problems to deal with. Still, while I was actually pretty charmed by their scenes in the hotel, I'm giving Matthew some pretty serious side-eye for the amount of lies from Michelle he's been willing to forgive. Michelle has told so many lies that I honestly cannot keep track anymore. I have no idea who this girl is, and Matthew can't possibly know either.
And, Michelle, I don't know that hooking up with Matthew is such a good idea for you either. Destiny lost her virginity to Matthew, too, and he hasn't exactly been a stand-up guy for her since. I'm still waiting to see how Michelle reacts when she finds out Matthew has a son he isn't taking care of. She seems completely gone over Matthew now, and he was patient and ready to wait to progress their physical relationship when Michelle told him she was a virgin, which, amusingly, just made her want to jump him immediately.
Right now, Michelle seems to be putting Matthew on a pedestal and/or trying to get something from him. If she really is as in awe of him as she seems, I'll be interested to see if she feels the same way about him after she learns a little more about him. I'm not saying Matthew is a bad guy at his core, but he's definitely not the prize Michelle seems to think he is either.
Nora didn't need my advice. She decided for herself that maybe letting Bo on her radio show wasn't such a great idea. I love her laughing and calling him a cornball in response to his dorky, "Hey, out there, all you cool cats." Bo and Nora are such a joy to watch, and I loved their story about finding a picture of the two of them at Woodstock together long before they'd ever met. They're a happy break from much of the angst other couples are going through.
I think both Nora and I certainly would have advised Cutter to call before showing up at a woman's door, expecting a date. There's a difference between being spontaneous and being annoying, Cutter, and you were toeing that line. And then you have the balls to complain about the pizza toppings? Dude, nobody invited you. Natalie protested when he first arrived, but it seems she didn't mind too much, since they ended up sleeping together before the night was out.
I don't know that I'm feeling the Natalie and Cutter pairing. What do you think, readers? It almost seems like the show is putting them together because they're the only two single main characters around the same age. I like both characters individually, and their scenes are cute enough, but I'm not sold on their chemistry with each other. When Natalie was with John, you could just feel the electricity between them anytime they were on screen together. I don't get that with Natalie and Cutter.
Y'all, if I were that nervous friend who just wanted to do appropriate and safe things and be home before curfew, I'd have a freaking heart attack hanging out with Todd Manning. What really happened when Todd went to get the dead body tattooed and dump it in the river to fake Victor's death? He seemed incredibly shaken when he got back to the hotel room. Blair didn't think to ask Todd what went down because she was too busy staring at him lustily and then ripping off his clothes.
Blair and Todd have so much history and so much passion between them, and them finally giving in to that passion made for a hot scene. Still, I can't help but worry Blair is setting herself up for heartbreak. Blair doesn't need me to be her reality-check friend, though, because she's got Téa whose all too willing to stare disapprovingly and say things like, "Tell me you are not going there again." Let's face it, Téa's saying it both because it is true that Blair is making a whopper of a mistake and because Téa's a little jealous because Blair was well on her way to becoming Téa's girlfriend before Todd came back to town and wedged his way between them again.
Where Exactly is Our Cutting Edge Content?
I joke about Téa and Blair, but this brings me to something that's been a letdown for me so far on the TOLN soaps. The only out gay character between the two soaps is Bianca on AMC. But remember how they killed her girlfriend off-screen, and we've not seen her in a relationship since?
When the TOLN soaps premiered, I remember talk about how they could push boundaries that televised soaps couldn't. But, aside from the cursing, which they've now given up, and somewhat steamier sex scenes, what have we seen that's really pushing it beyond what we've seen in televised soaps? Maybe Rama and Vimal's talk of open marriage is something we wouldn't have seen on a televised soap but, other than that, I can't think of anything. I was hoping for some LGBTQ characters in relationships that would get equal play with the heterosexual romances.
One Life to Live had a great gay storyline in 2009 with Oliver Fish and Kyle Lewis but has not had one since Fish and Lewis left the show in 2010. I truly hoped moving online would give One Life to Live a little more room to be progressive as far as diversity of their characters in terms of sexuality but, so far, this seems like an area where they've taken a step back, or at least stayed still, rather than taking a step forward.
If you're looking for suggestions, how's this? I honestly think Téa and Blair would make a spectacular pairing. They've built such a solid and supportive friendship, have a rich history with one another, and Florencia and Kassie have amazing chemistry together. Seriously, if one member of the pairing were male and they'd gone from passionately hating one another to the supportive and loving kind of relationship Blair and Téa have now, we'd all be expecting them to hook-up.
We know Roger Howarth as Todd is on his way out. We don't know that Trevor St. John is coming back as Victor anytime soon, so it's looking like Téa and Blair will both be single soon. Why not pair them up? And, if Victor did come back, that would be one hot love triangle.
A Few "YouScoops" from soapcentral.com Readers
Mary, a Two Scoops reader who commented on my last column, had this to say:
Kill off Roger Howarth as Todd and bring Trevor St John back as the real Todd Manning. Irene paid the FS to switch the DNA.
I'm intrigued by the idea of revealing Victor was the real Todd all along, especially since we know Roger is now a regular on General Hospital and won't be on One Life to Live much longer but, personally, I don't care if he's Victor or Todd, I'd just love to see Trevor St. John back on the show for good. This got me thinking, though. If you could bring back one character to the current cast, who would you choose?
With Natalie, Viki, and Clint so front and center, I find I've really been missing Jess. She'd fit perfectly into the Internet version and, as much as I love Destiny's friendship with Natalie, nothing really takes the place of a sister, and Natalie could use hers now. Viki could also use both of her daughters for support as she struggles with her financial woes and her relationship with Clint.
Reader Michelle wrote in to say:
Okay, maybe I'm crazy, but I think the Arturo and Dani story could be interesting. Dani could totally hold her own with an older man, that is, if Tea and Todd let him live. [...] And 2014 Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Actress should go to Tea Delgado aka Florencia Lozano!
I've made no secret of the fact that I find the Arturo and Dani pairing creepy. It's not so much because Arturo is older but because he seems to have a pattern of seeking out much younger women and because I think he might be deliberately trying to manipulate or take advantage of Dani's sadness. That said, I've resigned myself to the fact that it's probably going to happen. I agree with Michelle that it's going to be interesting to watch. And I think she's right that Todd and Téa will absolutely flip out when and if they find out Dani and Arturo are together. I'm looking forward to those scenes because that family does a screaming match like no other. Finally, Michelle, let me just give an "amen!" to your suggestion of Florencia Lozano for a 2014 Daytime Emmy. She is consistently delivering stellar performances!