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Michael Park
Dr. Oliver, the charming curmudgeon
For the Week of March 1, 2010
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Watching Dr. Reid Oliver work is a bit like watching a reality show. It's painful, yet I can't look away. His ego is larger than any Oakdale character I can recall. (Yes, even Paul Ryan.) So why can't I get enough of misanthropic Dr. Oliver? It's simple. He's a breath of fresh air in a genre of television too often speckled with archetypal romantic heroes, villains, and comic relief players.


Just like popular Dr. House in primetime, Dr. Oliver has a charm that slowly makes viewers like him. Yes, he's horrible to patients and to pretty much anyone who crosses his path, and he makes no apologies. Yet, he's still likeable. Perhaps, it's simply the fact that he is saying lines that no one else in town would dare ever say, even spewing his verbal vomit to beloved Bob and Kim Hughes. And when he aimed his sights on Princess Lily, declaring her a hottie in one breath and insulting her the next, I couldn't help but laugh. No one talks to Lily or Bob that way. No one would ever dream of insulting the highest tier of Oakdale society, except Dr. Oliver.


The guy does seem to have a soft spot, though. He was folding Jacob's baby clothes for Katie this week. And he carries around his notebook of dead patient names to remind himself of his mistakes and of those he couldn't help. So, I think there is a little more going on under that lab coat than sheer hostility and defiance of social etiquette. We haven't seen many glimpses of his personal side, yet, so I'm not sure whether he is a potential love interest for Katie or if he even plays for her team. (If he doesn't, I think he could have some serious sparks with Noah.) I do know this. I can't wait to find out more about this charming curmudgeon. Thank you, ATWT casting and writing departments, for bringing such a fun, unique, dysfunctional character to town. What do you think, Scoopers? Would you like a house call from Dr. Oliver, or is his nastiness a prescription for fast forwarding?


Meanwhile:

• Attention Oakdale PD, Carly Tenney is a thief. She walked out of Fashions without paying for that gorgeous black dress. Yes, Jack went to track her down for her crime, but he didn't seem too interested in arresting her. I think the only real crime here, though, is if Carly doesn't buy that dress. She looked stunning!


• Janet's secret is out. Carly spilled the beans to Jack, after he rejected her seduction. Jack finally knows that his wife cheated on him. I know I should be on Jack's side here, since he is the wronged party, but honestly, he checked out of his marriage a long time ago. So, I don't fully blame Janet for this mess. As for Carly, well, that gal never could keep a secret.


• Speaking of Jack and Janet, did their sex scene give anyone else an "ewww" vibe? I know Jack was supposed to seem uncomfortable because he's still in love with Carly, but I don't think I've seen him that disturbed about sex since he was raped by Julia.


• I can't help it, I love Janet and Dusty. Finally, Dusty is clicking with a woman again. (Yes, I know he falls in and out of love every other week, but this time it seems real.) I'd like to see Janet and Dusty end up with a little happiness. She's worked hard her entire life to raise her daughter alone, so marrying a rich man who loves her and could take care of her, for once, seems a perfect end to her story.


• I knew Damian wasn't wearing a toe tag. That guy is turning into James Stenbeck. You just can't kill him. The problem with this storyline is that Damian has been painted as such a terrible villain this time around, that the chance of him ever having a relationship with Luke again is unlikely. Of course, when Meg finds out that Damian isn't really dead, she may try to kill him herself.


• I used to respect Jack Snyder, but I'm having a hard time getting my mind around his behavior lately. Agreeing to have a child with Janet, who he doesn't love, to save his niece is a bit much. Yes, he's harboring a big case of guilt for accidentally killing Brad, but Jack should know better than to want to bring a child into a marriage that is never going to make it.


• Just when I thought Craig had left his nefarious ways behind him, he's contemplating stealing Parker's trust fund money to finance a business venture with Carly. Oh, Craig, I thought we were past this! Please don't do it. I don't want Jack to be right about you again. On a side note, just once I wish one of Carly's business ventures would work out. The woman has tried everything from fashion to interior design to club owning and nothing ever works.


• I know most of you believe that Holden and Lily should be together, but I'm sorry, it's hard to board that ship when Molly and Holden are steaming up my screen. Lily and Holden are both good characters. Molly brings a little bit of bad to the mix, which is the perfect counter to Mr. Perfect Holden. Plus, they share a child together, so they do have history.


• I hope Margo calls child services about that kid Arthur. The poor kid is hanging around the docks and water unsupervised for hours.


• So Henry is a rich guy now, courtesy of Paul and James. I thought it was adorable that he tried to give the "blood money," as Katie called it, to Jacob for his future. Katie should have taken the cash. Knowing Henry, he'll just gamble it away soon.


• I can't get enough of bickering Katie and Henry. She was irritated that he brought Barbara to the wedding, and he was irritated that she brought Reid. And when Henry stormed out this week, after offering her money that she refused, it became clear to me. These two are my favorite couple in Oakdale, whether or not they're romantically involved.


• Note to show honchos: If I never see another scene in the hospital's dismally painted and echo-inducing stairwell, it's too soon.


• What is wrong with Tom? Suggesting that Casey and Ali "try it again" was absurd. Any parent would be fuming that his son was cheated on the night before his wedding.


Best Lines of the Week:

(Notorious grump Reid hurls one of his insulting comments at Luke and his family.)
Lily: "You should be ashamed of yourself."
Reid: "Yeah, that seems to be the general consensus around here."


(Barbara and Paul have yet another fight.)
Barbara: "I am through mothering you, smothering you, and bailing you out of whatever trouble you get into."
Paul: "Well, thank God!"


(After Henry and Barbara hit the sheets, their pillow talk turns to reasons they shouldn't sleep together.)
Henry:" You're really, really, really needy."
Barbara: "You're unreliable. "
Henry: "You're my brother's mother."
Barbara: "Enough!"
Henry: "Enough - there's no such thing, not for you when it comes to sex."


Reader Spotlight:

(From Two Scoops reader, Janice.)
This story-line with Mick/James must end soon, as it is driving me away from my hour of ATWT. It's ridiculous storylines like this, paralleled with poor writing, that is spelling doom for soaps. Give me more Carly and Craig, Lucinda, Lisa, and the old Stewart women. Also, give Meg a backbone; her forever-the- helpless victim is tired.


(From Two Scoops reader, Lisa.)
At first I couldn't stand Reid Oliver. It seemed that had to go to great lengths to create a character even more obnoxious than Luke Snyder. (What was wrong with Noah waiting on a list for his treatments the way any other patient would? He's blind, not dying. ) Now though I really love watching (Dr. Oliver) and Henry spar, (and) anything with Henry and Katie is gold. Not so with Mick Dante. You are right, the whole idea is silly. The only good part is the bonding of Paul and Emily. I finally believe that they might make it. I used to love Ali, now I am sick of her. She gets way too much screen time and far too many men - handsome or not. The brightest spot is Molly. I love having her back with Holden, back period. She spices up every scene she is in. Liberty's story is great. Most importantly, where is CRAIG??? He needs to be front and center immediately.


(From Two Scoops reader, Betty.)
This Mick/James storyline is another lame attempt to dupe the fans into watching a sinking ship. It is just a ridiculous storyline and a WASTE of our valuable time left with ATWT on the air. WHY would the writers just give up on us, the fans? It infuriates me because this show is a legacy show and has been one of the shows that has been on daytime since the beginning, and NO one is respecting its legacy, its actors, and the fans.


That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.
Jennifer Biller


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.



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