Ryan was unable to provide a new column this week. In its place we provided a look back at what was happening one year ago this week.
Bear with me, friends, I have a lot of random thoughts this week, and it all is the result of watching OLTL this week only to realize that there are SO many different stories going on and SO many different characters are being utilized. And after the botched storyline that will go down in history as The Santi Stinker, spreading the wealth among the characters is a good thing!
1. I'm finally glad that Head Writer Higley has finally put a definitive stamp on the Natalie/John/Evangeline triangle. One of my biggest complaints about that particular storyline and romantic "triangle" was that it never was a triangle, despite what anyone will ever tell me. John was unclear about his feelings towards Evangeline, despite the on-going physical relationship, and she seemed to keep wanting to deny her feelings for him for fear of getting hurt, probably. On the other hand, Natalie just continued to deny that there were any feelings for John whatsoever. She had numerous conversations, in fact, with Evangeline to put her fears to rest; she wanted nothing romantic in her relationship with John. How does anyone possibly consider that scenario a romantic triangle? Well, that has finally changed. Natalie has decided "life is too short" (as she put it to John), and she is no longer going to deny herself what she truly wants...and that is John! But then we have John himself, who has taken his relationship with Evangeline to the next level by meeting the family when he attended a family funeral with Evangeline. I'm ecstatic that each of the characters involved is finally defining his or her feelings for the other players. This helps make this story compelling and worth watching. Even though I will always remain a faithful John and Evangeline fan, I think that there is finally rooting value in Natalie's quest for John's affection. This is the way to make a "triangle" work; not everyone shares my opinion that John and Evangeline are the better couple, and I don't share the views of other steadfast John and Natalie fans that they are the best couple. We all have our preferences and our likes/dislikes, but it was so difficult in the past to see how anyone could root for Natalie since she and John never really shared a romantic relationship. Now that there are romantic feelings involved, it makes more sense to root for them (even though I'm remaining loyal to Evangeline).
2. Speaking of John meeting Evangeline's family, how great was it to see such a big African American cast? Diversity is lacking on all soaps these days, but including a large family for Evangeline (and KEEPING them on canvas) is a step in the right direction!
3. While I'm singing the praises of the show right now, I'm also a big fan of the Jessica/Tess storyline. It's nice to see Bree Williamson expand her portrayal to a character who is contrastly different than sweet Jessica. Tess is manipulative, sly, deceitful, and...proud of her body (is that a tactful way to put it?). I really am eager to see what happens once the rest of her family and Antonio discover that she is suffering from this disorder. It will be a great way to include Viki's own past when she struggled fiercely with D.I.D.
4. I continue to root for Kelly and Kevin! I swear, watching Heather Tom in Kelly's shoes is like watching an entirely different character! Kelly's revival into a strong, beautiful, and engaging woman is one of the greatest feats that Higley has managed to accomplish since taking over the head writing reigns. I think Tom and Dan Gauthier as Kevin have incredible chemistry together, and I'm very eager to see them reunite and become the strong couple they are capable of being, other than the dysfunctional mess they were just a year ago.
5. I'll never accept watching Matthew Metzger in any acting role. He's a decent actor, but I just keep waiting for him to break into song and look to Simon, Paula, and Randy for his next critique.
6. Whoever is responsible for turning Dorian into the annoying, vindictive shrew that she has become should be fired! Pronto! I thought she put this "I'm a Cramer, and they are all wicked Buchanans" behind her. Okay, maybe having Dorian and Viki as friends wasn't effective in the long-term (even though I really liked it!), but finding such contrived reasons for Dorian to hate her long-time nemesis is ridiculous. Kudos to someone though for writing David as having enough sense to leave her for her deceiving and deceptive machinations. What cracks me up, though, is that her entire family is fully involved with some form or relation of Buchanan. Kelly is working her way back to Kevin Buchanan. Adriana is dating Kevin's son Duke Buchanan, and Blair is involved with Todd, Viki's brother. Even though Viki isn't technically a Buchanan anymore, she is the bane of Dorian's existence. Why can't Dorian focus on her own life and her own struggles? The writers are turning her into such a busy-body that it's difficult to find anything in her that is worth liking.
7. I hope Daniel's big secret is a whopper, because I could really care less that he's guilty of Paul's murder. Poor Nora--will she EVER reunite with Bo?
8. I'm very disappointed at the recent news that Catherine Hickland has been reduced to recurring status. First it was Illene Kristen, and now it's Cat Hickland. I realize Lindsay has been backburner for some time, but her new relationship with R.J. had "promising" written all over it! I suppose with Jen's imminent demise at the hands of the Killing Club Murderer, this spells the end for the Rappaport family once and for all! Very disappointing.
9. Speaking of The Killing Club, I'm soon finished with the novel, and it's a good read (a review is coming soon!), but it's just so bizarre for me to be reading acknowledgements from "author" Marcie Walsh that mention Bo Buchanan, Michael, and Michael Malone (the REAL author of the story and OLTL's former Head Writer). It's just a little too surreal for me. But, haven't read this novel, it's going to be quite interesting to see how this story will turn out. I'm still waiting to learn the identity of the killer in the book, so I'm hoping that my discovery of that person doesn't ruin the storyline or give away too much on OLTL regarding those murders.
10. I hope you would agree with me that what OLTL, and any daytime show for that matter, needs is consistency. Look at The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful over on CBS. Two of the top rated shows on that network have enormous success because their writing teams are consistent. There has been little to no turnover in those writing teams for decades. The results are evident in the Nielson ratings and in quality. Dena Higley has done a really great job digging the show out of the rubble from which it was buried under and has spread the wealth of the storytelling over a great deal of the canvas. So, when I recently saw rumors that recently fired As the World Turns Head Writer Hogan Sheffer is being considered for a position on OLTL to replace Higley, I started to worry. Why replace someone so new who has done a great job trying to restore the show to something that is watchable? Why not work on giving some consistency to the show so many people have come to love over the last 30 years? I just don't understand. I just don't think I could take another Santi invasion anytime soon!
Enjoy your week,