First, let me say that on behalf of Soap Central and all of the readers of Two Scoops, we will truly miss Dawn's commentary and opinions about OLTL! I know how overwhelming "real life" can be with the myriad of demands that we face, so I can appreciate Dawn's realization that it's time to move on from Llanview for now. Just like the many characters who leave the show, Dawn will start a new chapter in her life, and we thank you for the many great columns that you have given to everyone over the years. Two Scoops won't be the same without you!
With that said, just as Dawn rides off into her own sunset, another OLTL favorite strolls back in...Clint Buchanan! Every since Clint left Llanview years ago, I have always felt that there was a vacant hole in Llanview that needed to be filled. Family is the core element of this show, and though we have seen the Rappaport, McBain, and Walsh families over the years, none have ever rivaled the Buchanans. Yet, the mighty Buchanans have never been quite so mighty without the feisty Clint in the midst. And very fittingly, viewers first caught glimpse of nuClint as he strolled in to the family cabin after a bizarre poker game/bachelor party for David Vickers.
First, let me just get out of the way that I found the entire poker match a bit too contrived. Am I supposed to think for one second that THIS is the bachelor party David had in mind for his wedding---hanging out with a group of people who can't really stand him? Sure, his conniving brother Spencer manipulated the scenario, but I sure hope that when I finally tie the knot and rely on my Best Man to throw me one killer bachelor party that I don't end up playing Monopoly with my school Administration! And since nobody knew Clint was coming home, how did he know to go to the cabin and not go to Llanfair or to Asa's mansion or even to the Banner? Okay, enough of the nit-picking...
The fact of the matter is that Clint's arrival came during a mind-blowing week of action and excitement! Not only Clint and Viki discover that their beloved daughter, Jess, is suffering from multiple personalities (D.I.D.), but Nash was dealt a heart-wrenching blow when he also found out that the woman he loved was really an alter of Jessica's. Between dealing with the mental health of his daughter; briefly reuniting with his brother Bo, biological daughter Natalie, son Kevin, and father Asa; and making sure Antonio and Nash stayed as far away from Jess as possible, Clint has been one busy man since dropping his bags on the cabin stoop.
As far as Clint having a new actor fill the role, I am excited and surprisingly delighted! I have never really been a fan of CBS shows (only because I've never given time to watch them); however, Two Scoops reader Patrick assured me when the casting news broke that Jerry Ver Dorn (formerly Ross on "Guiding Light") would not let the viewers down. And boy, was Patrick right! Not only does Ver Dorn have an uncanny resemblance to Bo and Asa (they all seem like family members!), but Ver Dorn also SOUNDS like Clint! In fact, I closed my eyes for one scene just to see if I was really right, and sure enough, I would have thought Clint Ritchie was on the screen when my eyes opened again. Besides these similarities though, Ver Dorn has an amazing chemistry with nearly every single actor/actress he shared the screen with. He assumed his head of the family immediately; there was never any doubt for me that Clint fit right back in to the very spot he left all those years ago. It's as though he has never been away. I already see the way Erika Slezak so easily connects with him; their characters' reunion will be one of the much-anticipated events of the new year for me!
With Clint's history so firmly established in Llanview, can there be any doubt that the Buchanans will once again flourish and become a focal point for the show? Hopefully the writers and producers have learned at least that much from the many angst-ridden years we've endured watching. History is the root of this show, and with re-introducing focal characters (even if they are recasts), OLTL is destined for greatness. John Loprieno already writes occasional episodes of OLTL, so how crazy is to think that he couldn't show up for a handful of episodes as Clint's son, Cord? Or what about Tina, Viki's sister? Tina's children, Flash and CJ? Clint's son, Joey? All of these characters have immense ties to the Buchanans, so why not expand the family and make them a force to reckon with?
This week, I'd like to add a new element to my column entitled "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down." These are just a few random moments from the week that either made me yawn or kept me glued to the screen. See if you agree...
1. Bree Williamson as the battled Tess/Jess was amazing this week. She has gone through hysteria to desperation to anger to frustration to sadness all in a matter of days. Williamson has taken a storyline that was meant to be short-term and has run with it for well over a year. Bravo!
2. How great was it to see Nora's sworn-enemy, Lindsay, sitting by Nora's bedside with Matthew encouraging him to talk to his mom because she was sure Nora could hear him? Another example of how history between characters makes small moments like this work.
3. Viki's horror of realizing she might be responsible for Jess's D.I.D. was haunting. I'm willing to go for another round of Niki Smith with the quality of writing I'm seeing right now!
1. The thought of Hillary B. Smith being removed from the show as Nora is ridiculous! That character has endless possibilities left, and I'm not ready to accept that Bo and Paige are meant to be together in holy matrimony. Wake up and smell the Emmy winner you have on your hands!
2. I'm having Carlo Hesser withdrawal. Bring back Carlo stat!
3. Blair is angry at Todd AGAIN? Never saw that one coming! (read: sarcasm) YAWN!!!
Enjoy your week,