Why is it soaps insist on changing characters' personalities to prop up a plot? It's the one thing in daytime that drives me nuts. The latest casualty in Oakdale is Craig Montgomery. He started out years ago as a morally bankrupt villain, when he tried to kill Steve with a bomb. (Not Craig's best moment, obviously.) But through the years, he redeemed himself from an attempted murderer to a general mischief maker. Now, sadly, he's being written as a cold-blooded killer, once again.
The Craig we've come to know through the years would never have physically hurt Rosanna. Stolen her money? Sure. Lied to her? Absolutely. Cheated on her? Perhaps. But this is too much, even for him.
Craig has never been black and white, always shades of gray. What a disservice to this wonderful, unique character, and to his fans, to end his run in Oakdale like this. Craig's character is distinctive and irreplaceable in daytime. Not many shows have a villain we love to hate. It's usually a villain we just hate. Shame on ATWT for taking Craig down this road and making him completely unsympathetic. He deserves better. So do his fans. (Hunt Block's last airdate is August 11.)
In other observations: :
--I'm mad about Maddie Coleman. Henry may have finally met his match when it comes to scheming. She's the freshest thing to blow into Oakdale in quite sometime. The casting department gets a big thumbs up this week for getting it right with the adorable Alexandra Chando. She's gorgeous, funny, and can act. It's enough to make me forgive them for Celia and Rafi. Almost. And Maddie gets points for slamming the door in Mike's face on her first day in town. (As much as I like the guy, I couldn't help but enjoy that.) Between Maddie, Gwen and Will, I'm suddenly looking forward to the teen scene. Just, please, keep her far away from that mumbling Casey Hughes.
--So, Henry wears tight whiteys. Hmmm. I always pictured him as a boxer-short kind of guy. Note to writers: More underwear scenes of Henry are needed to solve this burning mystery! (See later in this column for one suggestion.)
--Has there ever been a funnier name in daytime than Iris Dumbrowski? It cracks me up every time Jack or Carly or any of the Oakdale clan mention that woman's name. I can't help it. It's funny. Dum-brow-ski, Dum-brow-ski, Dum-brow-ski. See? Hilarious. It's even better than the marrying minister Rev. Lovejoy.
--How did Craig escape from the holding room at the cop shop? I thought there was only one door to the holding room, and I didn't see him come out of it. Did you? That was some kind of magic. Forget the corporate world. Craig may have a future with Penn and Teller.
--Give it up Meg Snyder. Dusty is all about Jennifer now. No matter how hard you throw yourself at the guy, he can't see beyond Jennifer and her latest crisis. Move on already. Besides, I hear there is an adorable chauffeur in town who could use a "swim" at the Snyder pond.
--Naming babies in Oakdale is usually troublesome, as there is usually confusion about who the parents are or who will have custody. Remember the Cabot Montgomery/Cabot Ryan/Jimmy mess? Now, it seems we have John Dustin/Craig Jr. or perhaps Samson Snyder. Or maybe Samson Cabot. Or, God forbid, Samson Munson. (Let's hope the kid isn't saddled with that one, unless he goes by "Sam.")
--Do drunk kids really use the bathroom in dumpsters? Suddenly, I feel a lot more sympathetic toward garbage men. And for the record, ewwww!
--It's really hard to feel compassionate toward Hal, when he seems to have cut off communication with his son Will. Did he even know Will was supposedly the father of Gwen's baby? Has Hal even talked to Will in weeks? Hal is all about family. Give him some scenes with Will, already, and let viewers remember why we love this guy.
--Does anyone like Keith? My mailbag is overflowing with negative letters about him. I'm not sure what the problem is here. Kin Shriner is a talent, who I always enjoy. It just seems like this character isn't clicking yet. He needs some tweaking, fast. And does anyone else think that his trip to fly "medical supplies" to the tropics is perhaps a clever euphemism for something else?
--Lucinda gets points this week for working the term "solitary rumination" into a sentence. And her scenes in church were priceless.
--It's good to know that even Paul Ryan gets harassed by telemarketers. Apparently with all the craziness in his life, he didn't have time to get on the national Do Not Call List.
Best Lines of the Week:
(Craig is arrested and Katie tries to help, while Paul offers his own kind of help.)
Katie: "Is there anything I can do?"
Craig: "Yes. You can find out what the hold up is. I have a lot to do, and I want to make bail."
Paul: "People in Hell want ice water. Lots of luck."
(Maddie asks Mike why he isn't home with his wife, who just lost a baby, instead of being at Katie's house. Henry tries to get Maddie to apologize for her insensitivity.)
Maddie: "I just asked an innocent question."
Henry: "Said Marie Antoinette, before they lowered the guillotine."
(Maddie finds a picture of Henry and a gorgeous Katie on their wedding day and questions the photo's validity.)
Maddie: "Is this your wife? Oh no, it's not one of your sad Photoshop fantasies is it?"
(From Two Scoops Reader Leslie.)
"I've watched ATWT for almost 30 years now, and what I've always loved about the show is its sense of family. The Stewarts, the Hughes, the Snyders and the Walshes made the shows I remember and most loved. When the writers drop long established beloved or "love to hate" characters, they are really working against one of the hallmarks of what makes ATWT so special. It's getting to the point where I don't know anyone or care about anyone in Oakdale anymore. And frankly, I'm just not very interested in most storylines. (I TIVO the heck out of the show these days.) In my opinion, what ATWT is missing is NOT new hunks or the latest trends in soap plotting, it's a sense of what it's been about for decades - family. So, I agree with you. I'd like to see more of the old guard."
(From Two Scoops Reader Mark.)
"In your most recent column, you asked about Paul's statement about "coconuts." It reminded me of one of your "Best Lines of the Week" (probably my favorite part of the column) from back when Paul and Rosanna were first starting to get together, and Paul made a comment about Rosanna's "coconuts." So maybe Paul was making a reference to that statement from the past. In any case, keep up the good work!"
(From Two Scoops Reader Erica.)i>
" I just wanted to say that "Two Scoops" is one of my favorite places to visit when I come to Soapcentral. I thoroughly enjoy your writing. And of course, I agree with everyone else, Hunt Block needs to stay! He is by far one of the most enjoyable characters on the show, whether he is being good or bad. I also despise Jennifer Ferrin's character, Jennifer Munson Kasnoff, and hope that they explore a relationship between her and Dusty eventually. I am **sigh** a romantic and think the few die hard couples, Lily/Holden, Jack/Carly and Mike/Katie should be a constant. There are enough interesting storylines going to keep ATWT great, without having to break them up. Thanks again for a great column."
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.