As I think about this year in Oakdale, the majority of it was spent on the 'Baby Mamma Drama', however there were other happenings in Oakdale. So this column is devoted to the best and worst in Oakdale from my perspective - Jennifer Biller will post her take on Oakdale next week.
Characters that never should have been seen
Celia Ortega - the young woman who arrived in crate of oranges that should have immediately been returned without ever opening it. This poor girl sort of grew on us but the actress lacked the acting chops to hold her own against characters like Will, Gwen and Alison. Her time in Oakdale was really a waste of time especially after the recast of her brother, Rafi with another actor that did not fit in.
BJ Green - this guy is so far out there that he is scary. He believes that all of his money gives him the right to manipulate lives with a single phone call. He has caused such chaos in such a sort period of time. When he leaves it would not be too soon.
Keith Morrisey - his character has deteriorated to an all-time by blackmailing Lily into marrying him. His character was used as a red herring in the Julia Lindsey murder case. Once that was over so was his usefulness. Nothing against the actor - Kin Shriner - is great though this is not the role for him anymore.
Storylines that ran too long
The Mystery of Carly's childhood - it was so out of left field. All of a sudden, Carly started to have memories of something she supposedly did to a mysterious baby. It did not go along with history of the character that we have known and loved for years. The good thing is that it introduced two new characters like Gwen and Iris.
Julia's Murder Mystery - for a character we did not know that long; why did the investigation of her murder last so very long? In her case, this murder should have been solved very quickly. It did appear sometimes that the writers were making things up as they were going along. I really thought Keith might have been the murderer then it turned out to be Les, her abusive ex-husband.
Characters that we will miss
Craig - as devious as he could be sometimes, he is truly missed. The baby switch storyline would have had much more punch if Craig was around to appear as a threat to Jennifer. His wit and humor leaves a hole in the Oakdale canvas.
John Dixon - where did he go? I think that he would have been so great with Lucinda as she is going through her cancer. He could have been a sounding board for Dusty throughout his many ordeals. John Dixon was always a presence in every scene he was in and there was never any explanation as to what happened to him.
Ben Harris - another character to just disappear. There could have be a reconciliation between Ben and Jessica just like Margo and Tom. I think the show just threw him away for lesser characters that do not need to be in Oakdale.
Iris - what a hoot! I really did like Iris because she provided such comic relief in everything that she did. She could have stayed around Oakdale for a while longer to just be an irritant to Gwen and Carly. Her flirtations with Cass Winthrop and any other man in Oakdale was just fun to watch.
Rosanna Cabot - she deserves to come out of her coma and return to Oakdale. I thought Cady McClain did a magnificent job as Rosanna. I hate to here that she has decided to go back to All My Children as Dixie and from the pictures she looks a lot like Rosanna now.
The Veterans Get Airtime
Lucinda - this cancer storyline is showing Lucinda in a way that says 'What the heck have these people been thinking?' This character needs to be front and center all the time. As a result of this storyline, she gets to interact with other veterans like Bob, Kim and Emma. Even with her cancer she can still tell people like Keith exactly how she feels at all times.
Bob, Kim, Susan and Emma - they get to be seen on a regular basis now interacting without seeing like afterthoughts. I know that the older characters do not get the type of stories they used to so it is great that each of them is seem. Now where is Lisa Grimaldi?
The Major Story of the Year - The Baby Switch
As convoluted as this tale was, it kept the viewers coming back every day to see what would happen next. This story showcased the talents of many actors like: Jennifer Ferrin as Jennifer Munson and Jennifer Landon as Gwen Norbeck. If it were not for these two ladies and their wonderful performances, it would have difficult to watch this story to its rewarding end.
On the other hand, Paul and Emily just made you want to throw something through the screen because of their sick machinations. I need to include the desperate Meg for her need to keep Dusty by lying as well. In addition, Casey Hughes made us almost forget that he was a Hughes with his horrible treatment of Gwen and his denials that he could have been the father of Gwen's baby.
This story highlight was the blossoming romance of Gwen and Will which was a joy to watch these two young actors be able to find love as the odds against them were being stacked day by day.
Overall, Oakdale is still a place that I want to visit everyday. I have been doing it for a number of years. As with all daytime dramas right now, it seems to be about budget issues that cause us the viewers to be the losers. I look forward to 2006 and the celebration of ATWT's 50th anniversary. I also want thank all of you who took the time to send emails with your opinions of my column and the show in general. I do hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and I look forward to 2006 in Oakdale.
That's all I have for now.