Wearing out their welcome
For the Week of July 18, 2005
Spencer Truman was first introduced as a famous, arrogant doctor that easily attracted women. Viewers then learned that Spencer is David's estranged brother and Paige's ex-husband.
While watching One Life to Live last week, I started to feel as though some characters and storylines were just taking up too much time, to the point of making the show less enjoyable. W The show is still worlds better than last summer, but here are some things I wouldn't mind seeing less of everyday.
Spencer Truman was first introduced as a famous, arrogant doctor that easily attracted women. We then learned that Spencer is David's estranged brother and Paige's ex-husband. This was a great way to set up his purpose in Llanview; he had connections to two characters that were already on the show. I liked the idea of giving David a relative because we hardly know anything about his past or why he became a con man. As for Paige, her connection to Spencer made her a little more interesting and gave a her a purpose. I couldn't wait to see what would happen with Spencer after he was introduced. However, all of these weeks later, we haven't learned anything new about Spencer. He and David exchange insults almost daily, but we still don't know why. Paige has disappeared, due to Kimberlin Brown's exit, so her connection to Spencer has become practically irrelevant. Since Spencer has been on the show almost everyday since his debut, we should know more about him. Everyday, he acts aloof and superior to everyone else, and the Cramer women fall for his "charm." I personally think he is too self-absorbed and conniving to be charming, but the Dorian, Kelly, and Blair have all fallen for his act. Kelly was getting her life back on track and becoming self-sufficient, but now that she is interested in Spencer, she is becoming gullible again. She didn't mind that Spencer brought up her personal medical problems on their first date, which might be a turn off for other women. She would rather trust Spencer's word over anything Kevin says, and she is ignoring all of David's warnings. I don't want to see Kelly become a weaker person again; nor do I want Spencer cause trouble for Blair and Todd. While I am not necessarily a die-hard fan of Todd and Blair, I think they've had enough complications for a long time. With Margaret's inevitable return looming on the horizon, Spencer's meddling in Todd and Blair's relationship is overkill. I also don't enjoy the fact that Dorian is so charmed by Spencer, that she is willing to ignore her fiancee's qualms about her getting to know Spencer. The more he protests, the more Dorian wants to see Spencer. This is obviously causing a strain on their relationship. This is an unnecessary and unwelcome complication for Dorian and David, especially considering that they just got back together. Spencer is everywhere, all of the time. He started out as an intriguing new character, but now he is becoming less interesting to watch. Everyday he has scenes, I know he is going to taunt David and flirt with any combination of the Cramer women. It's time to give this character more dimension or give him less time on the air.
On a similar note, Tess is quickly wearing out her welcome. At first, she was a refreshing change from the stagnant Jessica. However, Tess has been around for too long now, without developing the storyline. Tess' spunk and self-confidence made her a fun character at first, but now these qualities have become annoying and old. She expects to get her way no matter what. She thinks she can have any man she wants just because she is beautiful. We get it! She thinks stealing a car and a wallet is okay because that's what she needs, and that's all that matters. Enough already! This is why I liked her encounters with Nash at the beginning. He rebuffed her multiple times and didn't fall for her schemes. Tess didn't know how to react when she was rejected because it's never happened before. Nash suddenly became a high quality new character because of his actions towards Tess. However, this went on all week long. He embarrassed her, rescued her, and then followed her around. What did we learn about him or about Tess during this time? The answer is absolutely nothing. Tess and Nash had a lot of interaction last week, and that should have led to character development for both of them. However, I felt as if they were having the same conversation everyday. Nash thinks Tess only thinks about herself but can't take care of herself, and Tess thinks Nash is pathetic because he doesn't have money and a fancy car. After all of this, we are no closer to finding out about why Tess was created, and we don't know anything about Nash (except that he likes to imitate the men of Miami Vice with his attire). While I enjoyed the outdoor scenes, I feel as though the week was wasted. All of the dialogue that Nash and Tess had during the week could have been whittled down to one day. We don't need to see how Tess acts at a party. We already know her routine. Instead, the focus needs to be placed on why she exists at all. What happened to Jessica that made her create an alter? This question has been asked but never answered. With Erika Slezak's vacation, I doubt we will find out before the fall. If that is the case, Tess needs to be around less. She, like Spencer, has been on everyday, and we still don't have any new information about her. If Tess has to be on everyday, it would be more interesting to see her interact with more people in Llanview that we already know. The more people Tess interacts with, the more people will figure out there is something wrong with her. Jessica could also return and try to deal with her DID, with Tess making sporadic appearances. The bottom line is that Tess needs to have fewer scenes or be put in more interesting situations. Either option would be preferable to watching her do the same things everyday. I can't speak for all viewers, but I think Tess' act is getting old quickly.
Finally, I must comment on the Killing Club storyline. I've had a difficult time getting interested in it from the beginning. The characters that have been killed so far are ones we didn't know that well. When the killer kidnapped Evangeline and Natalie, I knew that neither character would be killed, so it was hard to be interested at all. As a side note, I did like seeing Natalie and Evangeline set aside their differences and work together. One of my favorite aspects of soap operas is how rival characters get thrown together in dangerous situations and have to work together to survive. I doubt that Natalie and Evangeline's cease-fire will be permanent, but their truce was a good change of pace. We've seen them argue enough! However, the rest of the storyline is lackluster. At this point, I don't even care who the murderer is. The killer isn't going to be a major character that is going to shock the viewers. In fact, I think it will end just like the Music Box Murderer storyline ended....with a whimper. I also don't like how this murder mystery has suddenly become all about John McBain. This has been done already, and it wasn't successful the first time. Why must we go down this road again? To make matters worse, the Killing Club has also been linked to the triangle with Evangeline, John, and Natalie. The murderer holds Natalie and Evangeline hostage, and instead of reacting to the horrible situation of being trapped by a murderer, we have to listen to Evangeline and Nora talk about how John "chose" Natalie. It wasn't an episode of "The Bachelor," and John wasn't choosing a bride. He was rescuing 2 women that were in grave danger, and Natalie was in more danger at the time. It doesn't mean that John loves one person more than the other or that Natalie is his soulmate. If he really would have rescued Natalie because he cared about her more, I wouldn't want John to ever be involved in rescuing me. It's bad enough that he went to the football field without a shovel to search for Natalie, who he feared had been buried alive. It was a ridiculous sight to see him digging in the dirt with his hand, hoping to find Natalie. He obviously wasn't thinking, and he needs to get some rest, as Viki advised him. For someone who used to work for the FBI, he certainly doesn't know how to separate himself from situations or let someone else handle the case when he is too close to the people involved. The Killing Club storyline has been dragging on for months, and with the victims being practically strangers, John's "investigating," and the inevitable letdown when the killer is revealed, this storyline has worn out its welcome. It really wasn't welcome in the first place, but now it just needs to end.
Have a pleasant week!
Until next time,
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