OLTL's new head writer does not officially begin taking the reigns until this week (and her new material will not air until probably December), but already some great decisions have been made which should definitely benefit the show. It's always a little scary when a new head writer assumes responsibility (especially one with whom few people are familiar) since we viewers are never sure if our favorite characters or couples are safe or if the direction of the show will plummet to the point that nobody wants to watch anymore. Fortunately for us, the only way the direction of this show can go is UP! We have reached that low point a very long time ago, and with the cast changes already made, I'm confident the pace of the show should vastly improve.
First, it's very clear the Santi storyline is wrapping up at record speed. This story just didn't work from the beginning, not because it is an awful story, but because it engulfed the entire hour. Everyone and everything became centered around this Santi business. Boy, I bet the producers could kick themselves for having ruined the history of the Vega family and Antonio in particular. So when word came that Tico and Sonio were the first casualties of this head writer, I wasn't surprised. In fact, I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness some action is finally being taken regarding this mess of a story. Admittedly, I think Sonia was a character with potential. She was indirectly connected to the Santi family, and I still think the show could benefit from a strong-willed female law enforcement officer. Her portrayer is also worth her mettle; unfortunately, she became too connected with the Santi storyline, and she had little else to do besides that. Tico, though, couldn't leave fast enough. Buh-bye!
I also like the way the show is transitioning to Higley's start as head writer. In particular, look at the great way Asa is being utilized. Didn't you just LOVE Bo and Nora tricking Asa into admitting that he was faking his insanity? The relationship that these characters all share with one another is finally being explored. Further, it is refreshing to see Asa and Blair battle one another and try to prove that each is the better adversary. These two have always had a tumultuous relationship that stems back to their brief marriage when Blair ultimately let Asa lie on the floor begging for his heart medication. Now, the two are back at each other's throats, and I'm loving it! It's nice to see characters' histories being used this way.
I'm also thrilled to see Paul exit the show. This guy just turned into a creep that had no hopes of being redeemed. And what purpose did he really serve on the show except to cause trouble? Preparing for a murder mystery may just be the needed distraction we all need to get our minds off of the last few months of the Santi Saga intrigue. I still couldn't even venture a guess as to whom will be the guilty culprit, but I hope it's fun trying to figure it out. Having a few suspects on All My Children is also a first, and wouldn't it actually be refreshing to see a major character on that show be the guilty one?
Cristian's return is right around the corner, and it's probably not going to be surprising for us to learn that Tico has been his captor. I could be wrong on that assumption, but it makes the perfect way for Tico to ultimately exit from Llanview. After my last column regarding my love for John and Evangeline, I was FLOODED with mail (so much so that I was unable to answer it all in a timely manner; don't worry though, I'm still making efforts to answer everyone. It may take a while though). I was shocked by the overwhelming support for this couple. I knew they were popular, but I had no idea just how popular this couple is! I'm not kidding, if OLTL messes with this couple in any way, there could be an uproar and unleashing of fury like none other! At any rate, I am very eager to see how Cris's return will impact Natalie's feelings for John and what his return will also do to John and Evangeline. I think that this could really make for some incredible fireworks.
And finally, with this Election Week sure to make headlines, it will be interesting to see what happens when Kevin likely wins the Pennsylvania election. What will his position do to his relationship with Kelly and his family? What will happen when Ace is revealed to be Babe's child and not his own? I think Higley has a plethora of material to work with in the coming months. The big question is will she make the show "must-see-TV" like it had been in a time far, far away!
Enjoy the week,