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 Two Scoops: September 12, 2005 columns
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Tika Sumpter
Wiping the slate clean
by Dawn
For the Week of September 12, 2005
Since she has been in Llanview, Layla has made Evangeline feel bad about her broken relationship with John, and she has made things worse between Natalie and Evangeline.
Since I am not inspired by One Life to Live these days, I've been thinking about the reasons why. I've realized that there are some characters and storylines that deter me from watching the show. Since it's never a good idea to list problems without offering solutions, I will pretend like I have the power to make Llanview a better place. Here are some of the problems (and solutions) I would suggest.

There are certain characters that annoy me everyday, if I could, I would send them away or change them drastically. Layla is at the top of my list. She came on the show in a random way. We then found out she was Evangeline's sister, and then she became annoying. She sticks her nose in everyone's business, she acts like she is the center of the universe, and she overreacts to everything. She thinks her meddling and obnoxious comments are helping her sister, when in fact, they just create more problems. I am an only child, so I confess that I don't know much about having siblings. However, if sisters help their siblings as Layla has "helped" Evangeline, I am quite happy to be an only child! Since she has been in Llanview, Layla has made Evangeline feel bad about her broken relationship with John, and she has made things worse between Natalie and Evangeline. Now, she is pretending to be romantically involved with Antonio to "help" him with his custody hearing. I am not sure why Antonio thinks this is a good idea, but he is going along with it with little protest. There is nothing worse than when 2 annoying characters team up. Antonio has been frustrating to watch for a long time. He thinks he owns Jessica and refuses to believe that anyone else can help her deal with her DID. He also thinks he is the best parent for Jamie, when he hardly ever thinks about her or makes an effort to see her. Sometimes it seems like he is just trying to gain custody of Jamie because he would win over R.J. He treats Jamie as an object instead of his daughter, and it's hard to watch. R.J. certainly doesn't have a clean past, and he's definitely done some bad things in his time. However, he seems focused on Jamie and her well being. Evangeline was absolutely right when she told Antonio that he needs to stop pursuing Jessica and focus on his daughter. He shouldn't have to be told this, but at least her words seemed to move him at least a little. However, pairing up with Layla to prove that he is the more stable parent doesn't make sense, and it could (and probably will) backfire. At this point, both Layla and Antonio are frustrating to watch, and if they insist on being a "couple," they should do so outside of Llanview. If I had my way, they would leave together and not look back. Antonio wore out his welcome during the Santi ordeal, and his recent attitude and behavior have only made it worse.

Next, if I could magically change something in Llanview, I would speed up Spencer's storyline and explain Paige's role in it. We still don't have any new information about this character, and we've had to deal with him all summer. He still has essentially the same dialogue with the same characters everyday, and his act is old. I've heard of the slow reveal, but this is taking it too far. We need to know why he and "Dave" don't get along and what happened between them in the past. We need to know why Paige is so hostile towards her ex-husband and why he keeps saying she owes him. We should know this information already, and there should be an actual storyline progressing at a reasonable speed. We don't need to see him threaten David and Paige and dupe all of the Cramer women day after day. It was okay the first time because these actions established his character as shady and creepy. However, watching him interact with the same people in the exact same way everyday accomplishes nothing. There have been rumors that Spencer is connected to Margaret and/or Ginger in some way. If this is true, we need to see at least a hint of that on the show. I remember Dena Higley's remarks about Spencer, saying that he would be an interesting character with a lot of mystery surrounding him or something to that effect. She did not, however, warn us that we would stop caring about him just weeks after his debut. He either needs to serve an actual purpose on the show, or he needs to be written out. Soap operas are supposed to serve as an escape from our daily lives. However, I feel like I need to escape from watching Spencer. What is wrong with this picture? At the same time, I don't even know what to think of the new Paige. She is a good actress, but this is obviously not a true recast of Paige. The last Paige we saw was dark and sullen most of the time, and I think she smiled once or twice the entire time she was on the show. This actress is nothing like that. I don't mind that the character of Paige was completely changed; I didn't miss her while she was away. However, I still don't see a solid purpose for her in Llanview. She is in a forced relationship with Bo and suddenly became chief of staff at Llanview Hospital, but we don't know anything about her. She, like David, has some deep dark secret with Spencer, but we don't have even a hint of what that secret is or if we should actually care about it. She and Bo even have roughly the same conversations every time they share a scene. Paige has doubts about her future with Bo, and he tells her she would be a great mother. We've hardly seen her with Matthew, so Bo's comments mean very little. It's irksome that I have to watch this relationship "develop," while we hardly ever see Nora anymore. In my ideal vision of Llanview, Paige wouldn't be around. However, if we are stuck with her, we need to learn more about her, and she needs an actual purpose for being there. Right now, I wouldn't mind if she and Spencer reunited, and went back from where they came in the first place.

Margaret has been terrorizing the Todd and his family for almost a year in one way or another. After she left Llanview, Todd and Blair couldn't move on with their lives because they knew Margaret could return at any moment. We all knew she would return to Llanview with "T.J." as a surprise at Todd. However, I am dismayed that she still continues to prevail over Todd and all of the bodyguards that are protecting his family. First, she was able to stab him with scissors and get away, then she was able to escape both Kevin and Todd by wielding a gun, and now, she's managed to trap Starr. This woman seems to be invincible, and it amazes me that she keeps defeating Todd. I don't want to see a sequel of Todd being kidnapped or otherwise tortured by her, and I don't want her running around Llanview for months. Now that she is back and ready to claim Todd as her own, she needs to be caught, and the storyline needs to be wrapped up once and for all. We've already seen Margaret torture Todd and Blair. It is time for the next chapter of this story to begin. For example, we need to know if Todd is actually the father of her baby. Just because Margaret says Todd is the father doesn't mean it's true. If Margaret is put in jail, a psych ward, or leaves in some other way, what will happen to her baby? Todd has made it very clear that he doesn't want anything to do with a child of two rapists (which he said in some terrific scenes by Trevor St. John), so even if Margaret dies, I doubt Todd would want to keep the baby. Finding out what ultimately happens to Margaret and the baby would be more intersting than watching her terrorize the Mannings. The actress playing Margaret is doing wonderful job with the psycho stalker role, but we've already seen that. It's time to wrap up the storyline and deal with the repercussions it will have on Todd, Blair, Jack, and Starr. We don't more repetition of Margaret's actions. We need a conclusion and a hint of whatever comes next.

Finally, we've been watching Tess and Jessica for months, with little insight into why Jessica created an alter. Tess has created an entire new life without Jessica's knowledge. She's built a relationship with Nash, which has to be the best part of the entire storyline. Nash is a great new character and arguably the best new character to be introduced in a long time. Regardless of whatever happens with Tess/Jessica, Nash needs to stick around. However, we know that his relationship with Tess can't be a permanent fixture. Jessica is going to try to integrate Tess, which means Tess won't have her own life anymore. Tess and Nash have been fun to watch, but it's time to move on to the next part of their story. Nash needs to learn the truth about Tess, and Jessica needs to deal with her DID. We need to know what caused it and why Tess is the way she is. On Friday, we saw the beginning of Tess remembering what happened, as she saw a little girl standing in the bar (presumably a younger Jessica). As an aside, that particular moment actually reminded me of a scene in the movie Living Out Loud, where Holly Hunter's character sees a younger version of herself standing in front of her because she needs to deal with her past. Anyway, it will be interesting to see if that little girl appears in other locations, and if she is visible to both Tess and Jessica. I am glad to see that we are least starting to learn what caused the DID, although I think the big revelation is still in the distant future. I think we've seen enough of Tess and Jessica and their obvious differences. The storyline now needs to progress to a point where we can learn new information. This storyline hasn't been as bad as I originally feared, but I don't want it to lose steam and become a burden to watch. It needs to move forward, or we need to see less of it.

I have just suggested a few changes I would make to One Life to Live if I had the chance. As I said, I want less repetition,a dn I want to see less of certain characters. Now, I want to give you that opportunity to do that as well in a public forum. I am asking each of you to go to the One Life to Live message board and tell me the one (1) thing you would change about the show if you had the power. Please only suggest one (1) change at a time in your posts; we don't want to get carried away with our imaginary power! Or do we? Please join me at the message boards! See you there!

Have a pleasant week!

Until next time,
Dawn


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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