Viki returned to Llanview to find that things had changed for her family while she was gone. Kevin was suddenly involved in politics again, Natalie was no longer with Paul, and Jessica was getting ready to get married...but not to Antonio. She has had to accept a lot of new developments in her children's lives, leaving Viki and the viewers to wonder "What happened to the Buchanan children?" It seems like they have been pulled into a vacuum and are lost...
Two weeks ago, I discussed some changes that I hoped would be made to One Life to Live with the change of writers. Overall, people seem to agree with me and have their own ideas of what they want done to improve the show. As I reviewed readers' feedback, I noticed one overriding theme, which was "Stop ruining characters for the sake of a plot." I received several messages like this referring to Jessica. While Jessica isn't a Buchanan biologically, she still is one her family's eyes, so I will begin with Jessica. Amarjeet writes "What happened to Jessica? She used to be my favorite character, and now I cringe every time I see her because I know she is going to make a mistake. She has become so gullible that it is hard to watch. Marrying Tico was the last straw, in my opinion." I agree with Amarjeet, as Jessica seems to trust anyone and will do just about anything for people she hardly knows. She trusted Mitch, then Professor Haver, and now she is falling for Tico's manipulations and lies. Jessica's character has been used over and over again to perpetuate storylines for some creepy men. Watching Jessica marry Tico was almost painful. We all know Tico is a creep and does not actually love her; he wants to own her and win a war against Antonio. When he gave her that bracelet and called her a "captured bird," Jessica had a facial expression that said "What have I gotten myself into now?" I kept thinking "She isn't actually going to do this! She can't." When I saw Viki wasn't there, I was hoping I was watching a dream sequence instead of the actual wedding. After all, Jessica wouldn't get married without her mother there, would she? Apparently she would, even when her family tried to warn her. Now, Jessica is stuck with Tico, who will probably have her followed and who will pressure her into doing things she does not want to do. Optimistically assuming that this marriage will not last, will Jessica finally learn not to trust everyone? She has been duped too many times, and it is getting difficult to watch. Perhaps the new writer can restore Jessica's common sense and give her a backbone once again.
Next, there is Kevin, who has become a ruthless, cold person that Viki and Jessica hardly recognize. It's true that he has been in a bad situation with the baby switch and has to accept some difficult things. However, Kevin was like this before the baby switch even took place. He acted like the old Kevin for a brief time when Kelly was pregnant, but he quickly reverted to being how he was when he returned to Llanview last year. He walks around with a smug expression and doesn't care what anyone else (except Tico) thinks. There was a glimmer of hope when he stood up for Asa when Tico was pointing out that Asa could ruin Kevin's campaign, but other than that, Kevin seems to lack a heart these days. The fact that he and Viki are not on good terms says a lot in itself. Viki and Kevin were close for a long time, and now they barely speak to each other. There are readers that also wonder what happened to Kevin. For example, Theresa writes "Kevin used to be one of my favorite characters, and now he has become an unpleasant person who I don't even want to watch. I have been watching OLTL since it began, and this is not how Joe Riley or Clint would have wanted to turn out. Bring the old Kevin back!" While Kevin has never been my favorite character, I agree with Theresa's point I was not watching when Joe Riley was around, but Clint certainly wouldn't approve of Kevin's current attitude and behavior. He really wouldn't like the idea of Kevin getting involved with a creep like Tico to start his political career. Maybe Clint needs to come back to Llanview and remind Kevin of that!
Since Joey isn't around anymore, I will conclude by discussing Natalie. She didn't know she was Viki's daughter for most of her life and had a very different childhood than the other Buchanan children. In fact, she still seems to feel like she doesn't fit in with Jessica, Kevin, and Joey. However, I am going argue that for right now at least, she has made the best decisions of all of them. It is true that she made a bad decision to get involved with Paul, but she also made the enlightened decision to leave him. Last week, she knew Paul had taken her earrings, and she went to confront him. While physically attacking him in public might not have been the best decision (even if it was entertaining and almost funny), she decided that Paul isn't going to push her around anymore. Natalie has obviously learned from her error in judgment, unlike Jessica so far. She knows that Paul is bad news and won't be duped by him again. I just hope she isn't the one that ends up murdering Paul. I would have to take back everything I just said about Natalie learning from her mistakes, and poor Viki might not ever get over it.
As Dena Higley takes over the writing for OLTL, I want to see the Buchanan children change for the better. Jessica needs to stop being so gullible, Kevin needs to get his compassion back, and Natalie needs to remember that she doesn't have to get involved with men like Paul because she feels like she doesn't deserve better. All soap characters make bad decisions, but I think the Buchanan children have met their quota and need to go back to being Viki's pride and joy.
Have a pleasant week!
Until next time, Dawn