Hello again! I am back for 2 weeks [This week and the Week of July 24th] to fill in for a vacationing Ryan. I confess that I haven't been watching OLTL daily for several months now, but I have been keeping up with the events in Llanview. Here is what I think of OLTL these days:
First, I don't understand why so much time is being dedicated to Adriana's stalker, or why she even has one.The only person I could see having a reason to stalk Adriana is River, and even that is a stretch. They broke up a while ago, and it doesn't make sense for him to suddenly return and stalk her. Besides, I don't see the logic of bringing him back at this time. If the stalker turns out to be someone who we don't even know, the storyline is even more pointless. The character of Adriana has become annoying and unlikable as she gives Rex a difficult time for trying to protect her. Rex and Adriana becoming a couple had so much potential, but the spark they had fizzled in record time. Sometimes, I just don't know why Rex doesn't tell Adriana to back off, since he is trying to protect her, and she is clearly unappreciative of his effort.It's like she doesn't understand the danger of having a stalker who is known to be violent. He (or at least presumably he) has already attacked Rex and put a knife through a picture. Why these actions don't scare Adriana is beyond me. I couldn't believe when she asked Rex if they could go anywhere without him casing the place for her stalker. Does she want to be attacked? She is giving women a bad name with her bad treatment of Rex and attitude about her stalker. At this point, I am not dying to know who the stalker is, and if Adriana were to disappear one day, I wouldn't miss her. I doubt this is the outcome the writers had in mind when they decided to give Adriana a stalker, but I just don't see the salience of it. Why are we watching this? How does this develop the characters of Adriana, Rex, or their relationship? While I realize searching for logic on a soap opera can be a fool's errand, there simply has to be a logical explanation of why we're being subjected to this storyline. Doesn't there?
Next, I am most troubled by the writers' attempt to redeem Paige. This woman has lied to Bo (and so many others) for such a long time, and now the writers are attempting to make her a martyr by having her turn herself into the authorities. Too little, too late! Bo has never given anyone in his life this many chances to lie. Nora told him one lie (and yes, it was a BIG one), but he tossed her to the curb like an old shoe. Paige lies about killing someone, knowing Margaret is alive, and she was willing to let Todd DIE for it, and yet Bo wants to take her back. What?! Are we supposed to become fans of Paige because Bo let her off the hook? I can't speak for anyone else, but it didn't work for me. To make things worse, we had to watch Nora give Paige her blessing to get back together with Bo. In reality, I know that Nora isn't a huge fan of Paige, and I think she was nice to Paige because she wanted to be gracious in that conversation. Nora appreciates anyone that helped Matthew while she was in her coma. She is in a vulnerable position, having missed so many months of Matthew's life, and Paige was there. I don't have a problem with Nora's response; I just wish some of this air time with Nora had been dedicated to Bo, Viki, Evangeline, or any of Nora's other friends in Llanview. The writers are working very hard to get the viewers to like Paige. She's been on for 2 years with 3 different faces, and it hasn't worked. It's time to focus on the more important characters. Let Paige go to jail and stay there!
The saga of Jessica and Tess has gone on for too long. Integration is long overdue. We've been through discovering who Brennan's parents are, and we know Jessica is having memories of Tess' time with Nash. There's nothing left to do now except integrate Jessica and Tess and see what happens from there. I find the whole plot with the Restons to be frivolous, and it is taking time away from other stories and other characters. I remember when the DID storyline was just starting to develop. I thought it would be interesting to see Jessica battle the same illness that her mother had for so many years. The problem is, the focus of the storyline drifted away from the mother/daughter connection and ended up being reduced to a story about Jessica and Antonio vs. Tess and Nash. With all of VIki's history with DID, the story could have written itself, but the writers chose to play musical couples instead. Now, as the storyline is approaching the 2 year mark, it just needs to wrap up.
I am just dismayed at what is happening to David as well. He is the one source of much needed comic relief on OLTL, and he is caught up in this mess with John and Michael's father. I hate to see a character sacrificed (or so it seems) for the sake of building this storyline surrounding John and his demons. It might be easier to get invested in this if we had actually known Thomas McBain as a character. Instead, we've only seen him in flashbacks and in ghost form. I realize David might have to be written out if Tuc Watkins chooses to leave, but I hate seeing David taking the fall for the murder, when I am positive there is more to the story. It also effectively ends Dorian and David's relationship. Their last scene together was amazing and so well acted. What a shame, and what a waste. Tuc Watkins has done an amazing job with the material he's been given; I just wish his character weren't headed in the direction of going to jail while Spencer roams free. After all that Spencer has done, it's heartbreaking to watch David confess to a crime that happened so many years ago! I hope there is more the story that exonerates David, but I am not getting my hopes up! I don't understand the practice of sacrificing good characters for pointless storylines.
Another example of sacrificing a character is Kelly.There simply aren't words to describe what happened between Kelly and Duke. It was gross, disturbing, and difficult to watch. I had trouble believing that Kelly would sleep with Duke, even if Kevin told her to do it Is anyone shocked she is pregnant? No, I didn't think so! She waited weeks to take that pregnancy test, but I am sure most viewers knew she was pregnant. I was hoping she wouldn't be, but more than a decade of watching soaps told me otherwise. Now, we have to watch her deal with being pregnant with Duke's child. I have a feeling that the baby will turn out to be Kevin's in the long run. I think Spencer might have lied when he said Kevin could never father children again. That's really the only outcome I care to see at this point. The thought of Kelly giving birth to Kevin's grandchild is nauseating, and it would be very difficult to "redeem" her if she had a reminder of Duke with her all the time. Kevin will never forget Duke, obviously, but it would be hard for him to move on if Kelly had Duke's child! This storyline is just a mess right now. I don't know if there is a future for Kevin and Kelly, but in the end, Kelly's baby should be Kevin's. This could be one of the creepiest cases of "Who's the Daddy" ever, but at least Kevin would have a child, and viewers wouldn't have flashbacks of Kelly and Duke in the rectory.
Now that I've discussed what I don't like about the show, I will end on a positive note. I was thrilled to see Nora twice in one week. That seems like an odd thing to say, but considering that we've gone MONTHS without seeing her at all, it's wonderful to see her back again! Hillary B. Smith is doing a wonderful job of portraying Nora as a stroke victim. You can feel her pain and her frustration in every scene. Her kiss with R.J. was unexpected, but it was nice to see Nora receiving affection from someone in her life. She and R.J. share a long history, and it's great to see him be there for her. I don't think anything romantic will transpire here; I think R.J. has just missed Nora and is relieved to see her awake and among the living. Lindsay has already started being jealous of Nora again, and this should create an interesting dynamic between her, R.J., and Nora. I don't want to see a love triangle, but I am sure there will be some interesting exchanges! These scenes were all well done. The question is, why isn't Bo visiting Nora has R.J. has? Has he even spoken to Nora since she woke up? I can understand it if he is hesitant to talk to her, considering how things ended before she collapsed. However, it seems like their conversation is long overdue. If nothing else, they should be discussing Matthew! I love the scenes with Nora and R.J.; I really do. I just don't understand why Bo hasn't visited her himself. He's certainly spent enough time at the hospital in Paige's room; why can't he give Nora the time of day? I would also love to see Evangeline, Viki, and Rachel visit Nora. It seems like everyone in Llanview and her own family have all forgotten about her. Since it looks like Nora is getting more air time, I hope to see these visits take place in the coming weeks.
The incredible thing about Nora is that any scene she is in is captivating. She was in 2 scenes by herself trying to walk, and that was more interesting than watching any of the Restons or any scene with Paige. This is why Nora needs to be the focus of the show again. It looks like Nora will be able to walk again soon, since she is so determined, and I can't wait for her to leave that hospital. Nora needs to be a bigger part of Llanview like she was in the past. The people at ABC need to realize what an invaluable actress they have, and they should give her the respect and air time she deserves. One Life to Live was difficult to watch for months knowing that Nora wouldn't be around. Now that she is back, she needs to come back in full force. Several other characters have made miraculous, speedy recoveries, and Nora should too.
Finally, when Ryan asked me to fill in for him, I asked him if I could continue his campaign to restore Hillary B. Smith's standing on One Life to Live by continuing the "Favorite Nora Moment." He insisted I include this segment, so here it is:
A Favorite Nora Moment
October 8, 1999: It was the day after Nora had been taken hostage in the courtroom by the rapist she was forced to defend. Nora visited Bo who was trying to deal with the fact he was unable to fire his weapon to save her because he had mistakenly shot Sam not long ago. Nora knew he would be beating himself up over this, and she went to tell him that caution and good judgment caused him to freeze instead of fear. He felt better, and it was the beginning of Bo and Nora becoming friends after their divorce.
Nora has bee the voice of reason for Bo and so many others in Llanview, and this is just one of the many reasons she needs to be front and center on One Life to Live again.
Until next time,