Sometimes, it's easy to forget that there are dozens of regular characters on "One Life to Live." Viewers go through periods during which the only focus they see seems to be on a pointless villain (Spencer), a renegade anti-hero (Todd), a tumultuous triangle (Nash/Jess/Antonio), or a troubled cop (John). When those periods occur, viewers can become frustrated because the rest of the denizens of Llanview are ignored. That's why this week it was so refreshing to see that everyone in town seems to have a life and problems of their own in Llanview. In fact, there was so much that I was excited about this week (quite far from the norm!) that I can actually create a list:
1. Who knew that young Kristen Alderson could belt out tunes like that? What I enjoy about this new storyline for the teens is that it focuses on something that every high school makes a huge ordeal---the high school musical. In keeping with the spirit of conflict, Brittany and Starr are competing for roles, Marcie is begging Cole to try out so that she has more males involved, and Starr and Cole are once again placed in close proximity to one another. The timing of the high school musical is suspicious to me though. It's already late-spring, and most schools are focusing on preparing for the prom and commencement for the seniors. Our high school began try-outs and rehearsals way back in December with a mid-March performance. I'm wary of the realism Dena Higley is creating by having try-outs in late April. Is she suggesting that a high school musical can be put together in just over a month? Highly unlikely, but I'll give her points for trying a new story that doesn't involve the star-crossed lovers (pun-intended!) being chastised by their parents over sneaking out to be together or anything of that nature. This story can involve all of the teens on the canvas and can also utilize Kathie Brier's awesome Broadway singing talents as her character of Marcie advises the production. I'm always stunned to find out that yet another actor or actress on "One Life to Live" can sing so amazingly. At this point, I shouldn't be, but it's still a pleasant surprise to hear yet another brilliant talent like Alderson strut her stuff with the microphone!
2. I've written quite a number of times about my inability to accept Christina Chambers in the role of Marty despite my affection for the actress herself. So, do you know what I've decided to do? I pretend that Chambers is playing some other character! Seriously! And, surprisingly, it works. Her scenes with Michael Easton this week during which John came to "New Character (a.k.a. Marty's)'s" apartment were quite enjoyable. I find myself loving the way that John has taken to mentoring Cole and has become a paternal figure, if not big brother, to young Thornhart. The affinity that John holds for Cole really reminds me of the relationship that Bo and Rex share. And then when Easton and Chambers flirt with one another, I find myself able to actually stand watching scenes involving John McBain. Before this, John McBain was a superfluous character in my eyes. Maybe it was his brooding over his childhood and his father. Maybe it was the total lack of chemistry I found between Melissa Archer (whom I really like) and Easton. Or maybe it was just the apathy I felt for the detective who seemed to show little personality outside of the time he spent with Evangeline. But now, I see a new light inside of him. I see that John is becoming interesting again, and as long as I can pretend that Chambers is not Marty SAYBROOKE but some other Marty that I've made up in my head, I think I'll really enjoy the direction of this relationship.
3. Weren't those scenes with Dorian, Viki, and Clint in the car on their way to see Nash absolutely hysterical? What a great way to show this interesting new dynamic between the former married couple (Viki and Clint), the arch-rivals (Viki and Dorian), the jilted woman (Viki because of Clint), and the woman who now holds Clint's affections (Dorian). Dorian's entire demeanor as she sat in the front seat with Clint while her nemesis was sitting in the back seat pleased her so much that viewers could see it painted all across her face. Without gloating (…too much!), Dorian used her body language to make it very clear that she won this battle and that she didn't intend to give Clint up without a fight. Later when Viki had her turn in the front seat, it was as though old wounds had resurfaced. Although I'm sure it was a matter of courtesy why Viki was now in the front seat, Higley and Co. sure made a deliberate attempt to use the "front seat/shotgun position" to serve as symbolism for how the ladies felt about their position in Clint's life. It was so enjoyable to watch that I really almost felt compelled to write an email to Brian Frons and insist that he force Higley to script a road trip storyline for the three characters!
4. Although I find Tate and Adriana and this underwear company to be nothing more than filler space, I was intrigued by their trip to promote the underwear line on "The View." As someone who started TiVo'ing "The View" since Rosie O'Donnell took over as Moderator of the show, I love the outspoken views of the women at that table! They are feisty, opinionated, and passionate about their views, so I'm really psyched to see how Adriana and Tate handle Elisabeth and Joy Behar, the two co-hosts from "The View" who will appear on camera for this segment. I'm still not an Adriana fan, and I probably never will be, so the whole Rex/Adriana/Tate love triangle stinks about as much as another plot-gone-awry of Spencer Truman's.
5. Talk about a powerhouse performance! Kamar de los Reyes turned in one of the most memorable performances for Antonio that I can ever remember. I haven't been a fan of the whole Nash/Jessica/Antonio triangle since Jessica and Tess were integrated, but bringing 5-year old Jamie into the picture as Jessica couldn't go through with the adoption proceedings really brought this story to an entirely different level. Seeing the anger and the rage eminate from Antonio wasn't from a place of jealousy; he still doesn't know definitively that his wife and Nash are having an affair behind his back. Rather, these hostile (and, quite frankly, justified) feelings come from a place of fatherhood. When he saw his little girl crumble at hearing that her new "mommy" didn't want to adopt her, Antonio became protective and defensive of Jamie. He didn't mince words when he forcefully yelled at Jessica and told her how selfish she was and how much her actions hurt his daughter. Though Jessica tried to spit out the truth about her newfound relationship with Nash, her tears just didn't make her sympathetic in my eyes. For once, I side with Antonio on this one. There were a lot of different ways that Jessica could have handled herself in that courtroom, but crushing the dreams of a little girl like this only create ramifications that can never be rectified. Knowing what comes up next, I know that this complicated love story is far from over, and the twists and turns that keep the three affected parties in each other's orbits are unbelievable!
6. How exciting were those scenes between Lindsay and Nora? I love a good catfight and this "bitchfest" is only the beginning, I'm sure. Hillary B. Smith and Catherine Hickland have produced much of their best acting work on the show in scenes together, and seeing them spar once again reminds me of what the show has missed out on for a few years now. The animosity and the history of these two ladies is rich and deep. To ignore it is sloppy writing, so I'm happy that Nora's current living situation with Asa hasn't kept Lindsay from telling Nora exactly what she thinks of her. Of course, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Lindsay is indeed thisclose to setting her sights on nabbing Bo for herself once again. But I appreciate the way in which this is being done: slooowwwly. Bo isn't realizing that Lindsay is a changed woman in one or two episodes. By having the duo share beers or engage in conversations is allowing Bo to realize that Lindsay has lost a lot in her own life over the years, and that while she may not be perfect, she is not the same conniving woman (at least not to that extent!) that she was when they were about to be married. On the flip side, it's more apparent every day that Nora is jealous of Lindsay's reconnection with her ex-husband, and despite the lame-brain decision on Higley's part to have NORA, of all people, convince Paige to stay in town (I wanted to scream on that day, folks, believe me!), I think that Nora is coming to realize that she has suppressed feelings for Bo for too long. This rivalry between Nora and Lindsay is just getting started, and I can't wait for the fireworks to begin this summer.
7. Although I have to acknowledge that Blair and Todd have teamed up to look for his "dead son," I admit to being soooooo over this couple. I've given them the benefit of the doubt many, many times over the years, but I've had it with rooting for a Blair and Todd reunion. That train has passed, and trying to keep the couple viable will just turn cartoonish. There is too much hurt, deceit, and lying to get past. I'm over it.
Finally, on behalf of Denise and me, I want to extend our thoughts to everyone affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech this past week. What happened there is beyond the scope of anything I can wrap my head around, and its ramifications were felt all across the nation, including the high school where I teach. We have deep sympathy for anyone affected by this.
Enjoy your week,