Video and popcorn night
For the Week of May 19, 2008
This past week, we saw the triumphant return of David Vickers, who squared off with Jared and Natalie in a battle of the hotness that, just this once, he could not win.
…Oh, David, I've never had that particular night with you, but I desperately want it! Did y'all catch Erika Slezak break up when Tuc Watkins said that? God, how I have missed him.
So, as Snoop said, "Llanview, what it do?" Being painfully unhip, I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds like a good general introduction to the week, so let's go with it! BTW, I know it was the end of last week, but wasn't Snoop's appearance fun? So often these musical guests are just lame and a tiresome bit of business you have to slog through to get back to the stories you care about, but I thought the tie to Bo's past was hilarious and a brilliant little addition. Lest we forget: Once, long ago, Bo Buchanan was Jill Farren Phelps! Only prettier. Anyway, this week, we had the run-up to the long-awaited doomed nuptials of Rex and Adriana - which God evidently did not smile upon, but rather averted His eyes, tried to play it cool, and looked distinctly uncomfortable while making polite small talk - and I swear, Rex looks like he would rather stick his junk in a cage full of Dobermans who have been raised from infancy by DMX than marry that chick. But more on that soon. We also had the triumphant return of David Vickers, obviously, squaring off with Jared and Natalie in a battle of the hotness that, just this once, he could not win; we had Addie finally rearing her blessed blonde head again; we had Brody foolishly contemplating dropping his wonderful facial hair; and of course, we had Todd, Blair, Starr, Cole and…John…and all their DRAMA! in Jersey, oops, I mean Virginia Beach. It was a packed week so there's quite a bit to talk about, and let's get to it.
Firstly, there is David: David, David, David. I needn't tell you what you probably already know for yourself, that his montage and flashbacks the week before last were the funniest thing I've seen on this show in years. Suffice to say he was still his usual sparkling, one of a kind self this week. Leaving poor Noelle and Moe to continue to flirt in circles, David headed back to Llanview to confront Natalie and Jared with his typical hypocritical distaste for their "incest" (and hooray to the show for remembering David's affair with Tina). In typical Vickers backwards-assed fashion, he is blackmailing a fake heir while unaware he is the real one. Natalie and Jared's response to David's blackmail threats? Hot makeout session in the foyer! Not only was it a great kiss, but David's facial expression was hilarious. The forbidden lovers' constant mackage around the house is not only hot but downright amusing, especially when people like David or Nigel walk in and just groan. The episode title is true, I guess: "Uncle-cest is best."
Thank God Addie is back. I've missed her so much it's not even funny. What they've done with this character is so riotously innovative yet so simple, and it wouldn't even cross the minds of most of the hacks or burn-out cases left in daytime. Pamela Payton-Wright, a well-renowned stage actress, is finally getting to dazzle us all with multiple facets of a character, while retaining maximum flair and strut. I liked her scene with Adriana for two reasons: Number one, I always wondered if Adriana's name was a slight tip of the hat by Dorian to her long-lost sister (though Addie's full name is "Agatha"), and there's been precious few scenes between these two Cramers, but number two, and most important, we finally got some more insight into the unfortunate shrew Adriana has become, a de-evolution which has been sped up in a major way since her return from Paris. Adriana's explanation? "It's either Gigi or the bangs." Classic line! And very meta. Yet, it's more than that, and we'll return to the subject of the Rex/Gigi/Adriana and all its players shortly.
Oh, Starr! All her youthful illusions are being snuffed one by one. It's not fun, easy, and romantic to run away with your boyfriend and live in a flophouse on the Jersey shore - I mean, Virginia Beach. You can't live on hot dogs, popcorn, Vitamin Water (though I seriously wish I could, because their Raspberry Apple flavor? Or Peach Mango? Blueberry Pomegranate?), skeeball tickets, and crab shack tips. And most shocking of all: Freddy the Magic Frog is actually a mass-produced plush toy! In all seriousness, yes, this story is lame, but I liked the callback to Freddy and thought it was well-done. It's so strange to realize that just five years, Starr still unquestionably worshipped her father, even as he ruthlessly hounded her mother, and now, they are all but mortal enemies - especially after what just happened on the boardwalk steps. I hate the story that Ron Carlivati has to clean up from the scabs, I hate that Todd's descending down into the depths of family abuse again after such a brief sojourn of peace (I prefer it when he turns his psychopathy onto others), but I also respect and understand why Todd must be brought low after his reprehensible behavior during the strike. I just hope there's a Manning family to be salvaged from it. In my opinion, Blair is right to cut Todd out of the equation here because he's had multiple chances to be rational regarding the teens and failed every time. Todd is a loaded gun waiting to fall off a shelf, but at the same time, it was painful to see them talking it out before Todd found Starr and Cole - you could see that he was trying to come to terms but couldn't yet. Now we see why Blair has to sometimes supposedly "boss Todd around" (though I don't believe she does)…if she lets Todd run roughshod without setting distinct limits, and instead tries to play passive voice of reason, things like this happen. You can tell that all Todd's being doing for days is listening to PJ Harvey's "Down By The Water" on repeat on his iPod; he's about to make a T-shirt with the lyrics on it! (And if any of you get that joke…write me.) Anyway, I know there's a lot of heartache to come. I just hope Todd's willing to eventually eat several humble pies at once. He can projectile vomit them up afterwards. So long as he eats them. Aren't those the rules in a pie eating contest? No? I'm sorry, let's move on. By the way, John: Think camo. You're in the sun.
Back to the wedding God was "busy washing his hair" for: Never let bad writing like Dena Higley's "I Love Dorian" Clint/DorLor sitcom follies or Michael Malone's OTT operatta with undead Mitch fool you - Dorian Lord is an ice queen. When she is written right, and at her best, she operates cleanly, quietly, and on so many levels you don't even know what she's doing half the time. Such was the case with her brilliant swerve to Brody Lovett (the hottest short ribs I have ever seen) this week, doubling the ante to get him out of Dodge, knowing Adriana should not marry Rex. And you know what? She's right. And so is what she's trying to do. Dorian's controlling megalomania towards her daughter has, I think, played a large part in Adriana becoming who she is today, and many of the things she did to Rex and Adriana were horrible, but in the end, regardless of Dorian's personal accountability, this situation has become untenable for love or marriage. Adriana spends the entire morning of the wedding texting back and forth to Brody in a panic, muttering to herself things like, "I don't like people playin' on my phone!" (okay, no but after the phone follies earlier this week I had to invoke Chappelle's Show…and will again) Is that healthy behavior for a happy bride-to-be? I think not. It's gotta stop, Adri-babes. It's not a good look. I think that due to Dorian's machinations, Adriana has become someone she doesn't recognize, so she's clinging to the only thing she thinks she can trust: Her "love" for Rex.
At the other end of the equation, Gigi and Rex remain hot together, and Shane remains adorable, but Rex is far from blameless, and neither is Gigi given her lie. Rex has had a thousand opportunities to end this thing and chose not to again and again, because he seems to believe it's what's expected of him after his boring-as-tapioca "reformation" under Dena Higley. Which is not to say he would become a scoundrel again for Gigi and Shane…he just wouldn't be quite so lifeless and fake. But Rex refuses to man up and do the right thing, even when he can't perform in the bedroom, even when he has to drink himself into a stupor the night before. And no, we don't approve of Rex's behavior, but personally? I enjoy watching it. Because I understand it. Because a young, still somewhat naive man who's gotten himself into a bad situation he doesn't know how to get out of it might do that. Because it's realistic. Drunkenness, impotence, indecision. It makes sense, it's human drama, and that to me is good soap. And, so is Gigi standing up next week as the one to "speak now" and not hold her peace - only, judging by the promos, she gets a left hook for her efforts. Please! Are you telling me Gigi can't take Adriana?! That's the only load of bull on the show, people.
I'll add another note of praise for Mark Lawson as Brody, and not just because someone claiming to be him left me a nice note last time. I feel bad because I think I only complimented his body and looks then, and while yes, whoa, lest we forget, there's still a great actor under all the hot. He did very well this week revealing that Brody is not just a user or a roustabout drunk, but a real man with pathos and desires of his own. I will miss the beard, though. God, how I'll miss it. I do wish he'd come on as CJ Roberts, though.
It wasn't an all-wedding and teens week: Jessica and Nash were blissfully in love (ahem), and Antonio and Talia unwisely made out in the church before the ceremony. I can't decide whether Reverend Andrew, if he'd been there, woulda shut that mess down or let it go, seeing as he had his own peccadilloes with Megan and Marty, not to mention Téa. Still, kids: There's a time and place. Still not enough Viki and Charlie this month, but I trust in Carlivati. Next week: Blair rips Todd yet another new asshole, Cole unfortunately continues to draw breath, Charlie gives Viki some (emphasis on some…sigh) truth, and Gigi Morasco stars in her own episode of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong." See? I did another Chappelle joke. Later!
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