I'm baaaaack! As many of you may recall my mentioning a few weeks ago, I have been spending the last 22 days Down Under in Australia and New Zealand. Now before you get too excited for me, remember that I was traveling with 50 students and four other adult leaders. It was enormous fun, but only as much fun as someone can have with a group of 55 people! Nonetheless, I did have the opportunity to climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge, go for a luge ride and a Huka jet ride, stay with a Maori tribe for a night, rappel down a 200 foot cliff, and spend two days with a New Zealand family. I feel very fortunate to have experienced a breathtaking view of the world that I've only seen on television or in the movies. I also was privileged to meet many interesting and colorful people on my journey. Thank you to all of those who sent me fond wishes for a good time and a safe return! I even appreciated the message from one reader whose name I can't recall at the moment who motivated me to get home quickly by writing, "Going to New Zealand? I hope you stay there." I just couldn't wait to return to the column after that! Seriously, enough about me and my journies. Admittedly, I only recorded a handful of OLTL episodes from the last three weeks (besides the fact that only one tape would fit in the VCR and that I would need another 15 hours to watch the episodes); however, I did catch quite a few pivotal episodes that inspired me to cover a topic suggested by faithful reader, Sheree---the couple shuffle. With all of the couples on the show being mixed around, why not consider the couples that would be most interesting?
John/Evangeline/R.J...this could be the triangle of the century! When I saw that night of passion erupt between Evangeline and John, I gasped for a couple of reasons. First, because I frankly didn't see it coming! With Natalie holding both John and Paul in the palm of her hands, I thought he was going to remain in flux for an interminable period of time. So, imagine my shock at seeing Mr. McBain in his first real love scene since arriving on the show! The second reason I gasped was in my delight in knowing that Evangeline looks to be getting more screen time. This has been a character I have found interesting for quite a long time. The actress delivers her line effortlessly and makes Evangeline likeable and interesting to watch. The fact that she is also adored by resident bad-guy R.J. makes the pairing of her and John even more intriguing. Poor R.J. is never cut a break, and I love that he has yet another person from the law enforcement field other than Antonio to direct his hateful ire towards. This triangle has the potential to be blockbuster as it adds more character interaction and gives two characters (R.J. & Evangeline) the screen time fans have been screaming for!
Antonio and Sonia. What a breath of fresh air this new character is! I especially like that there is a bad-girl persona that is engaging to see on-screen and who can bring life to a character I've come to be incredibly bored with...Antonio. But just in the episodes I've been able to catch up on, Antonio is emerging as an interesting character once again by his undercover work in bringing down the Santi family. Putting a rift between him and Jessica was definitely needed as the characters had reached that level in their relationship where comfortable means boring (on a soap opera, anyway!). But throw in spicy Sonia, and now Antonio has a storyline that even I am interested in watching!
Todd/Kelly. An interesting dynamic has emerged with these two characters. Todd has found a partner in crime that he never really had with his on-again/off-again wife, Blair. Kelly is a character who has become so desperate yet so vulnerable that she is grasping at straws to save her marriage to the one man she deems worthy enough to give her love to. Claiming that Ace is really Todd's baby and not Kevin's has added another unforeseen and complicated rift in the baby-switching story. Now Kelly and Todd are not only bound together by the secret they share regarding the fact that Ace isn't her child, but the two are now bound by the fact that they are claiming to be parents to the infant! The ramifications of such a revelation are far-reaching. It is going to further complicate the relationship between Kevin and Todd, affect Todd and Viki's relationship to a degree, change the dynamics between Blair and her ex-husband as well as with her cousin, and lead to a possible romantic connection between Todd and Kelly. Todd has really only ever been involved with two women who have significantly affected him: Blair and Téa. I suppose one could go back to the old, old days of Rebecca (played at the time by "24's" Reiko Aylsworth), but she didn't last too long to be considered a real romantic lead for Todd. I'm anxious to see if Kelly can breath some new air into Todd and this stale game of tag he seems to play with Blair.
Nora and Daniel. As much as I want to see Bo and Nora reunited, I have to say that I'm interested in the blossoming relationship between Nora and Daniel. He reminds me of the old Sam. As Bo pointed out the other day, Daniel might not be the best fit for Nora, but I think that their mutual love of law coupled with his desire to start over (as she does) leads to a comfortable relationship that the two share with one another. Of course, Bo will have to overcome his jealousy, but if the writers allow a slow build to the Daniel/Nora relationship, there will be a great potential for a solid triangle.
Now having commented on the obvious couple shuffles, how about my going out on a limb and dreaming up some wildly impossible (but fun!) potential couples:
1. Blair and R.J. Bad girl meets resident bad boy! 2. Adriana and Duke. When Kevin's son comes to town, how about putting a Cramer with a Buchanan? 3. Paul and Duke. Paul was rumored to originally be smitten for CJ Roberts, so why not go back to that original premise with Duke? 4. Roxy and Daniel. Hey, if Nora doesn't work out, he'd have his hands full with Foxy Roxy! 5. Lindsay and Asa. Just for fun, it's time to see Lindsay itching for those deep pockets once again! Hey, she fell for Clint, why not consider Papa Buchanan?
Summer is always the time on soaps to try new things and have fun. I think that has become the new motto for OLTL this summer, and I'm willing to go along for the ride! Hope your summers are continuing to be relaxing.
Enjoy your summer,