Why doesn't Henry have a storyline? He's a leading man, yet he is constantly used as comic relief, or as a supporting player. Give him a past, a former lover, something to do besides gamble and drink martinis.
By now you've all heard the shocking news of actor Benjamin Hendrickson's death. I can't tell you how difficult it was to watch this week's scenes of him at the hospital comforting a dying Jennifer and bonding with his family, knowing that those were some of the last scenes we'll see him in ever. It made those heartbreaking deathbed scenes even more painful.
I grew up watching Hendrickson's Hal and often joked in this column that his character was the most fertile man in Oakdale, considering the number of children he fathered. When Hendrickson left the show previously, I never bought the replacement "Hal," despite Randolph Mantooth's impressive efforts. To me, there was only one Hal, and that was Hendrickson. He brought earnestness to the character that made him believable, even when he had to bumble those police investigations in story after story. Hendrickson's performances were honest and effortless. It was easy to understand why all those women loved Hal.
Mr. Hendrickson will be missed. My thoughts are with his co-workers, family, friends and fans who mourn this tragic loss. Please understand if this week's Two Scoops isn't the normal funfest I try to deliver. The real-life loss of one of daytime's greatest actors coupled with the devastatingly sad story of Jennifer's death hasn't put me much in the mood for humorous rhetoric. Godspeed Ben.
For more on the life of Benjamin Hendrickson, please click here
--Say it with me: Lucy Montgomery did not kill Jennifer Munson. There. If I have to watch Dusty, Bob or the entire Munson/Ryan clan take turns lambasting Lucy for Jen's death, I will be certifiable. The only person responsible for killing Jennifer is Jennifer. She left the hospital, against Lucy's orders. She argued with Lucy and was adamant about going home. So, in my opinion, Jennifer didn't die of a heart condition. Stupidity is the disease that killed her.
--I nicknamed ATWT the Prozac Hour this week. Those hospital scenes had me reaching for Kleenex every few minutes. Barbara and Hal ripped my heart out trying to accept that they only had a few hours left with their "princess." And don't get me started on Will. When he broke down in Gwen's arms, I think I was sobbing right along with him. Jesse Soffer was raw with grief. And kudos to Colleen Zenk-Pinter who looked like a grieving mother, all the way down to her gobs of black mascara running down her tear-stained face.
--I'm still shocked that they killed Jennifer. And even more shocked at that speed at which they did it. I honestly thought they would recast the role, in light of the whole baby Johnny drama that engulfed the town for the entire past year and the possible future storylines. I try to stay spoiler free, and I have to say that was one heck of a plot twist.
--I'm enjoying Dallas. He seems like he'll be a good addition to the Oakdale PD. But, let's hope he doesn't end up like Nick, the last new cop to join the force. I'm not sure how they'll incorporate him into the story, though. His only tie to Oakdale is Jessica, who we never see anymore. Perhaps his ties to Maddie will be enough to give him some storyline.
--I keep writing this week after week, so I'm sure you're sick of reading it. Frankly, I'm sick of writing it, but why, why, why doesn't Henry Coleman have a storyline? He's a LEADING man, yet he constantly is used as just comedy relief or as a supporting player in the Emily/Maddie/Katie dramas. I don't understand why the show keeps bringing on new young men a la Nick, Dallas, Damian, etc. when Henry keeps languishing on the backburner. Give him a past, a former lover, something to do besides gamble and drink martinis. Trent Dawson is a find and a fan favorite, and I'm starting to think he's never going to get a decent story or the respect he deserves on this show. So, I'm suggesting that pampered, pop-tart Vienna be a gal from Henry's past. Perhaps they met in Monte Carlo gambling? Those two would be a hoot, no? I can hear the one-liners now.
--Simon's back, and I'm a little nervous as to how this story is going to play out. His character was so villainized during his last tour of Oakdale, I'm not sure he can recover. And lying to Katie and hiding that golf ball isn't earning him any points with Katie or viewers. I'm just not sure what they'll do with him this time. If Paul Leyden is only short term, then pairing him with Katie isn't realistic. So, how do you give him storyline? I don't really see him paired with any other Oakdale lady, though. Katie and Simon were a super couple, like it or not, and when he's in town it's hard to see them apart. I'm worried for my Simon.
--Paul and Meg…hmmm…. no comment. I'll leave it at that.
--Poor Mike and Katie. They're honeymoon cruise has turned into honeymoon Hell. First, Katie's ex is across the hall. Then, a storm. Then, she falls overboard and gets stranded on a deserted island with the said ex. (Or so she thinks.) Meanwhile, Mike is trapped in a small room with tiger Vienna, and the door won't open, thinking he's lost Katie at sea. All that bad luck can't be a good sign for starting out a new marriage. I hope they kept the receipts for those wedding gifts.
--I'm really enjoying Maddie's storyline. Thumbs up to the writers for including Margo in this tale. Using her character's history with rape to help get through to Maddie is brilliant. (We don't see nearly enough of Margo these days, and this seems like a good way to get her involved in a front-burner story.) I hope we get to see more of Henry too, stepping up to be the big brother I know he can be. I also hope the writers use this opportunity to delve into the Coleman family history a little further. Why couldn't Maddie talk to her parents about what happened? Was it a family member who hurt her? Is their family so horrible that Maddie ran away? Is that why Henry spends more time at the bar than most bartenders? There are plenty of possible story threads to run with. I hope the writers take advantage of them.
(From Two Scoops Reader Lisa.)
"Jennifer, I, too, am thrilled to see Simon back and also Damian. We so need some mature men who can let the strong women of Oakdale be themselves. I agree about Meg. I loved her when she first hit town but pairing her with Paul has turned her into a dud. Every pairing with Paul ends badly. Meg may not end up poisoned or comatose. She may just bore herself to death. As for Lily, I don't like putting her in a coma. Been there, done that with Molly. With Rosanna already off somewhere in a coma for months already and little Johnny cured of cancer in one night, the medical timing of this show is silly. I'm delighted to get a rest from Lily, but I think they could have been more inventive. Couldn't there have been some crisis with Iva that took her off screen?"
Lisa, you get the award for Best Line of the Week with that comment that "Meg may not end up poisoned or comatose; She may just bore herself to death." Priceless. ---Jennifer
(From Two Scoops Reader Frankie.)
"Jennifer, these people are just killing me. I can't handle watching any more hospital scenes with Jen and her family. Even though I hate to see a beloved character leave, I have to give kudos to the writers. The actors are doing an amazing job, but it is simply heartbreaking to watch. On the other hand, I can't tell you how disappointed I am with the storyline between Katie and Simon. Were the writers asleep at their computers? How many times can one guy get stranded on a desert island? I'm sure Simon must hold the record. I'm also sure the writers could have come up with something new for such a talented actor. To just give us more of the same old regurgitated stuff is insulting to the viewers. Why bother bringing him back if they had nothing new to offer.
No wait --- after watching Tuesday's show, it appears they are actually stranded on a golf course. Go figure!"
Frankie, I'm hoping they will have something to offer Simon. Perhaps he really is a millionaire after all. That would be good, wouldn't it? .---Jennifer
(From Two Scoops Reader Bethany.)
"Lucy makes a mistake with Jennifer and Jennifer dies." I read this and to say the least I am ticked. Okay Jennifer Ferrin (Jennifer Munson) wanted off the show. But to have this character die from pneumonia, no less in this day and time, is just more than I can handle. They could have sent her and Dusty on an extended honeymoon and recast the character. But what really irked me is I saw the show yesterday, and if anyone is to blame for Jennifer's death, it is Jennifer. She practically ran out of the hospital, all the while Lucy was telling her it was not a good idea. I don't particularly care for Lucy, but she did all she could to keep Jennifer in the hospital where she apparently needed to be. I would think this is just too much of a burden to place on Lucy, and I sure hope Dusty doesn't blame Lucy for Jennifer's death. If I had been Lucy, I would have gotten another doctor in there to deal with Jennifer. I would have never allowed Jennifer to place me in this position. She could have stayed there, or she could have found herself another doctor to go along with her insane plan. Poor Lucy."
Well said, Bethany. It looks the show wanted to set up some sort of conflict between Lucy and Dusty and apparently Lucy and the entire town. Personally, I think Dusty being engaged to Jennifer would have been conflict enough, but I guess not. I was never a big fan of Jennifer's character, because historically her insipid behavior and refusal to take any blame for her actions made me crazy. (Remember that she slept with her boyfriend's cousin, only to get caught by her boyfriend who became so upset that he forgot to fasten his seatbelt and drove too fast to his death. Then, she got drunk, came onto Craig, slept with him, blamed him for her pregnancy and then refused to let him be any part of his child's life, resulting in Craig masterminding the whole baby switch.) So, the fact that Jennifer's legacy is that she acted stupidly and left someone else to take the blame doesn't surprise me. It fits with this character. I'm sure the good townsfolk will probably be ready to make her a saint or something though, as they seem to conveniently forget that Jennifer repeatedly made poor choices.----Jennifer
(From Two Scoops Reader Lisa.)
"Am I the only person waiting for Jade to show up pregnant? You know a one-night stand on ATWT always equals pregnancy."
Lisa, no, you aren't the only person waiting for the stick to turn blue for Jade. This is a soap opera, so it's almost inevitable. But, let's hope they don't go down this path, as we've already been there with Gwen, a character I actually care about. To see a teen pregnancy story again, especially with Jade, would be a big mistake. ----Jennifer
(From Two Scoops Reader Lori.)
"I cannot believe it, but it looks like they are going to kill off Jennifer! Too bad, as there is potential for a storyline if Craig comes back! I cannot believe they aren't going to recast Jennifer!"
Lori, I can't believe it either. As I said, I'm in shock. It makes me lose that little glimmer of hope that Hunt Block's Craig will ever make it home. (Poor Lucy and poor us.)
That's all for now, Scoopers. Sorry if this week's column was light on the humor. It's been a tough week. Hope you had a great Fourth of July. See ya next time.
Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.