Ryan is on assignment and unable to provide a column this week. Please enjoy this encore column from March 21st, 2005.
What is in the water over there in Llanview? Geez, from two serial killers on the loose to a crazy business tycoon out for revenge to someone suffering from multiple-personalities, Llanview is hardly coming up short in the drama area! Certainly few dull moments are anywhere during the OLTL hour these days, yet I'm beginning to wonder if ANYONE is sane in our little Pennsylvania town anymore!
First, whether you like him or hate him, Asa Buchanan is larger than life and a staple of OLTL. While it looks like the Blair and Todd saga is close to wrapping up, I love how Asa was brought in as a foil to Blair's reuniting with her family. Blair and Asa have a volatile relationship at best, so it's such a treat to see Asa think he's exacting revenge on Blair for all of the schemes and all of the malice that she has done to him over the years. Long time viewers will no doubt recall the most hateful of those moments when Blair (pre-Kassie DePaiva) withheld Asa's heart medication from him as he lay on the floor gasping for air. I doubt anyone would ever forgive something so horrible as that, and it looks like Asa is diabolical enough to hatch a scheme.
Here's what bothers me about this surprising twist: what happens when Asa would eventually let Blair loose? Surely, Asa knew that he couldn't keep Blair hostage in that institution forever, so what was he thinking would happen when she leaves? Does he really think she won't tell anyone that he has been holding her against her will for all of this time? Does he think Todd would ever allow him to breathe an extra breath knowing that Asa kept the love of his life away from him and his kids longer than necessary? While I'm not sure I see Asa's "grand plan" quite yet, I do know that he just wants Blair to suffer a little longer for all of the pain she caused to him. Previews suggest this part of the story wraps up this upcoming week, so I have to ask myself if this twist would have been prolonged had Phil Carey been signed to a contract extension prior to this? I'm glad Carey is signed to OLTL for whatever length of time has been worked out. Although aging, Asa Buchanan is the staple of one of the last remaining core families from OLTL's rich history. Has he gone off the deep end? Maybe so, but it's so much fun to watch!
Then we have poor Jessica. She wakes up with a bruise on her face, and she's unable to come up with any coherent excuse other than she must have hit her face on a door (or at least that's the lame excuse she gave her mother, who actually accepted it!). Wouldn't it seem strange to someone that if they are waking up in strange beds or with bruises that something other than simple sleepwalking is the problem? Further, I'm surprised nobody, especially Antonio, has volunteered to stay with Jessica in the same room for a period of time to observe her in the evenings to find out what is happening. I know, I know...that takes away from the fun of having Tess slut herself about in search of some clueless man. I can't wait to see Viki's reaction when she realizes her D.I.D. has been passed on to her daughter.
As for our two serial killers, must OLTL constantly rely on murder mysteries to propel its stories? My word, it seems like we just finished the deadly dull Music Box Murders when we had Tico's murder, Paul's murder, and now the Love Shack Murders. Surely there are other great stories to tell besides these second-rate murder mysteries. Okay, I take that back. The Tico Santi murder mystery outcome? Snoozer. The Music Box Murders? Ridiculous. The Paul Cramer murder mystery? Potentially enthralling!
(SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you don't know who killed Paul and don't want to know!) Considering how long this particular mystery has been dragging on, I'm surprised anyone really would care how this turns out! From Dorian to Jen to Rex being suspected for Paul's demise, it is a stroke of brilliance to turn to the one person who would be least likely to be suspected: Daniel! It all just makes sense now---Daniel framing Jen, probably not because she is Riley's girlfriend but because she is the easiest target. I can't wait to see what the real reason is for Paul blackmailing Daniel. The first step will be figuring out why Daniel doesn't go by his real name anymore. I also am eagerly awaiting to see who discovers the truth first and what that person does armed with the information. Wouldn't it be a great twist to have Riley find out that his father is setting up his girlfriend. What does someone do in a situation like that? Will Nora make it to the alter to marry a killer before someone gets to her in time? These are all great questions that I hope have exciting answers to them.
Then we have the murders of our friends from the Love Shack. This week, Julie apparently fell victim to someone who seems intent on mimicking the events from Marcie's novel "The Killing Club" (which I just purchased today and will give a full review of in my next column). Whoever this is, I'm a little wary of having a copycat storyline that will follow in the footsteps of the Music Box Murders. I keep thinking, "Here we go again!" A few insignificant characters killed, and then a big one will happen (like Gabrielle was with the MBMurders)---my hunch is that Jen is going to the most significant character killed by the time we're through. It's too early to tell if this next murder story will be a flop or will sizzle, but I do really enjoy the outdoor location scenes. Seeing John and his police force out on the streets investigating the car crash first hand lends so much credibility to the story and draws me in even more. It's such a small, seemingly silly thing---but those outdoor shots are such a refreshing change from the fake, stilted scenes always shot indoors. I hope to see more of them!
I haven't forgotten other crazy characters, including Dorian, who seems hell-bent on exacting revenge on Viki for SOMETHING. I particularly enjoyed the scenes this week between Adriana and her mother when Adriana pointed out to Dorian that if she can forgive her mother for basically not claiming her as her own for 15-plus years, then she can do the same by calling a truce with Viki. Truer words were never spoken!
Finally, if this were a few months ago, I wouldn't be able to end an article about crazy Llanview characters without mentioning Kelly Cramer, but guess what? Kelly is actually one of the few sane people in Llanview these days. In fact, she has quickly become one of my most favorite characters on the show right now! Can you believe that? I was ready to beg Brian Frons to send the character packing months ago, and now I can't get enough of her. Furthermore, I think that with the baby ordeal behind her, she and Kevin belong together! Heather Tom and Dan Gauthier have some GREAT chemistry together! They have such good rapport that comes across on screen in a bold way. I hope that they work through their problems to re-emerge as a super couple. I can see it happening! There's still a lot of territory to explore with these two.
Enjoy your week,