I LOVE rollercoasters. Love em! In fact, when I'm not teaching, I spend part of my summer serving tables at a restaurant in an amusement park. LOVE rollercoasters! However, with that said, I do not like the rollercoaster ride I've been on while watching OLTL. This show just goes up and down and up and down in both interest level and plot direction more than any other show I've watched over the course of 20 years. I just can't figure it out. A couple of weeks ago, I felt OLTL was must-see TV; I looked forward to coming home and watching the episode from that day. Last week, I actually deleted two entire episodes from my TiVo because I was completely bored and knew I wouldn't miss a thing (plus, I didn't have a column to write last week, so I didn't feel obligated to watch them). This week, though, it was an absolute chore to watch these episodes. If the show were on the top of that rollercoaster a couple of weeks ago, the ride went downhill fast! What I really want is just a nice, steady ride---the fall looks promising, but I don't want to wait for Clint's return and Cristian's release from jail to put me on that path.
So, what was on the rollercoaster's climb to the top this week?
1. Carlo and Cristian's encounters in jail. I am finally happy to see Carlo back in his true form! This isn't a man who can be so easily fooled by a senile old cowboy. This is the man who can taunt Cristian 24/7. This is a man who can bribe guards to do things HE wants. This is a man with an agenda. It's obvious by now that Carlo is somehow connected with Cristian's brainwashing, but now the big question is "Why?" The answer to that question will probably free Cristian from the guilt and pressure he's been keeping all of this time. Moreso, I'm hoping that it will propel Carlo to yet another level in this complex story. I never, ever grow tired of watching Thom Christopher on screen. There's a reason he won a Supporting Actor Emmy for his role of Carlo in the early 90's!
2. Even though I'm not a fan of the couple, wasn't it great to see Adriana slip and call out Rex's name right before she and Duke were about to sleep together? Even better was when she thought she's actually be able to convince him to return to bed with some lame explanation. Is there ANY explanation that anyone could ever give to weasel his or her way out of a situation like that?
3. I am interested in Margaret's disappearance. Don't get me wrong; I'm not interested in her return to Llanview to cause more pain and misery. The last thing we need is a pregnant Margaret lurking in the shadows even longer than she already was. No, I'm curious to see what actually happened to her. There was quite a gap in our viewing from the time Margaret and Todd are in the boat to when he emerges from the water onto the dock. Is that hand sticking out of the water Margaret's? Ding-Dong....is the witch really dead? If she is though, I hope there is more to this story than Todd just making sure a pregnant woman who can't swim falls into the water and drowns! It can't be that cut and dry.
4. The only thing to keep my interest thoroughly this week was watching Nora descend into madness! By now, we all know that she has an aneurysm, and this has been the cause of her erratic behavior. But how much fun was it to watch Nora attack Paige when she found out that she was moving in with Bo? Or when she heard Matthew talking so nicely and highly of Paige? Or when Nora later confronted Bo in the hospital, and the two of them had it out with one another. "What do you see in her, Bo?" Nora asks. "Everything that you're not," Bo dead-pans. Ouch!! Of course, Bo was just lashing out at her because Nora was just appearing to be cruel and vindictive, but what will everyone do when they realize Nora's life is in jeopardy? Will this finally be the impetus to put Bo and Nora back together? I sure hope so, because we viewers have been promised this reunion for what seems like over a year!
Despite these four stories pushing the coaster "up," let me tell you that most other stories were on a fast ride "down!"
1. Tess and Nash. Okay, if you've been reading my columns, you know how much I have raved about this couple. They were so hot, they sizzled. But ever since they have moved in together far away from Llanview, they have lost that sizzle. Their story completely bores me. As much as I am more excited by Tess than I am Jessica, I can barely manage to watch these scenes together. Jess/Tess is pregnant? So what? Where they are right now, it doesn't matter to me. Now, if they move back to Llanview and interact with those who know them (well, at least those who know Jess), now we have a better story, because Antonio could be the father or Nash could be daddy dearest. I realize the writers are giving Tess and Nash enough time to develop as a couple so that the ultimate showdown between Jess-Antonio-Tess-Nash is a whopper, but enough is really enough!
2. I'm sick, sick, sick of Todd being Todd. I wish he and Blair (who I actually like as a couple when they are truthful) would just stop the "protective" lies they keep from one another and just act as a team. When they act as "one," they are always a force that cannot be beaten. It's when this silly cycle starts all over again. Of course Blair will think Todd killed Margaret if she turns up dead...then the lies start, and the doubt, and the mistrust, and the scheming, and ahhhemmmmm.
3. Finally, let me have a moment to rant about the complete misuse of Duke Buchanan. First, kudos to Matt Metzger. He has improved in my opinion immensely from his debut on the show. I really think he has done a nice job becoming comfortable in that role. With that said, I believe the writers are doing this character a horrible disservice. Pairing him with a bland and boring character like Adriana was mistake number one. When everyone saw the chemistry didn't exist, I think that the choice should have been made to place Duke in a new story. This is Kevin's son! He is Asa's grandson. He just came to Llanview last year after not having a great relationship with his father. Why not explore that? Why not separate him from the stories that are dragging him down and completely plant him in another rich story? What if he and Todd somehow became mixed up in something together and formed a bond or a relationship? Kevin's archenemy and his son in cahoots? That would make far more interesting television for me than Duke and Adriana fighting about whether or not she likes Rex or him! This is a character filled with possibilities. It would be ashame to lose him simply because the writers bungled it up!
Enjoy your week,