The residents of Llanview have some issues. Some -- like Dani and Matthew's sexual tension -- aren't nearly as important as others, say the financial troubles facing the Banner. Who has what it takes to work through the problems and who will crash and burn? Find out in this week's Two Scoops.
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It was our first two-episode week of One Life to Live. I did watch these two episodes back to back at the end of the week, as Prospect Park seems to think many viewers are going to. I know they are still running episodes they shot when they were planning to air four a week, but I think with only two a week, it's more important that the two shows be more of a cohesive unit. I'd like the experience to feel more like a two part episode -- something that would keep you hanging on for the Thursday episode if you watched the first episode on Tuesday but would also feel structurally tied together if you watched the two episodes in a row later. I hope One Life to Live will keep this in mind once they're writing and shooting episodes with this new two-a-week plan firmly in place.
One thing this change did emphasize for me is how absolutely jam-packed these episodes are compared to a traditional soap. I was worried about having enough to talk about with only two episodes but, as you know if you watched this week, there is plenty. First up, everybody in Llanview has got problems.
No, Seriously, These People Have Got Some Issues
Viki and Clint aren't getting married just yet, and it may be awhile before Viki likes Clint enough again to marry him if he keeps trying to interfere with her running the Banner
. I cringed each time Clint came back with a new idea for the paper. Clint, buddy, you need to use your context clues because it was so obvious Viki was about to snap the very next time you tried something "helpful."
I loved seeing Viki stand up for herself and her right to run the paper as she sees fit. For his own good, I hope Clint backs off and lets Viki run her business, but I do like the idea of Jeffrey helping Viki get the paper into the digital age and running successfully again. Those two have a great mentor/mentee dynamic and have been fun to watch together.
There is a soap tradition of throwing obstacles at couples just
to make the wedding all the more rewarding and exciting for fans when it finally takes place -- and it's one of my favorites. I hope putting off Viki and Clint's wedding means the show plans to make a big event out of it when it does happen, even if there are a few more obstacles first.
Viki has one huge problem that's obvious to us viewers but not to Viki yet. Dorian is ecstatic that the files she's shared with the SEC are about to sink the fund that she's tricked Viki into investing all her money in. As much as I hate the idea of Viki losing all of her money and possibly the Banner
, I am eagerly awaiting the full-on showdown between the two of them that this is sure to bring about as soon as Viki realizes Dorian plotted to make it all happen.
When Viki wasn't worrying about work, she was advising Natalie to move on from John. John has some impeccable timing because, after not calling for months, he managed to call Natalie about two seconds after she'd finally decided to get on with her life. Seriously, I'm pretty sure he's got some kind of radar and a "Natalie is about to go on a date with Cutter alert" popped up.
I'm not sold on Natalie and Cutter together just yet either. They've had some fun flirtation. But I'm with Rama in wanting to ask Natalie if she really wants to go there with him. Even so, it was nice to see Natalie so excited about a date and I am wary of John coming up again. I wonder if this will be to bring some closure to the relationship so Natalie really can move on or if the show is planning to bring John back onto the canvas.
If anyone has a right to some issues, it's children who can call both Todd and Victor dad. As much as you or I may love one or both characters, I think we can agree neither is up for a parent of the year award unless said award is super sarcastic. I appreciate that the show is exploring the negative effect their parents' drama has on Jack and Dani especially.
I don't buy that Todd was genuine about burying the hatchet with Victor, especially given the "Victor is alive. Finish what you started...or else." notecard he's carrying around that's marked with the symbol Victor was tattooed with by his captors. I do, however, believe Todd genuinely wants to make things right with his kids. As evidenced by his scenes with Jack this week, though, he's pretty terrible at knowing how to do that. Both Viki and Blair see how much Jack is suffering and are more emotionally equipped to help him than Todd is, but they, too, are at a loss. Kassie DePaiva was brilliant in her Thursday scenes where you could just see Blair's heartbreak at watching her son struggle.
Todd didn't limit himself to upsetting just his kids. Bo being so irritated that Todd might actually be telling the truth about Victor attempting to murder him was excellent. And I'm intrigued by the fact that Téa went straight to Bo with the evidence that Victor was, indeed, responsible for the arsenic in Todd's scotch rather than trying to hide it or investigate more on her own. I imagine this will cause some tension for Téa and Victor when and if he returns, even though Téa only did it out of concern for Victor.
I must add that I'm pretty disappointed in Victor for Googling "500 ways to kill" and leaving a browser history trail. I'm not even mad at him for trying to kill Todd because that's just how those two relate to one another. But, dude, could you not have brainstormed a few murder ideas on your own?
You've Got to Have Friends (Really, You Desperately Need Them in Llanview)
Who do you turn to when someone switches your baby or your long-lost sibling shows up to claim your fortune and/or murder you and/or steal your identity? On soaps where romantic relationships are so often up in the air, it's important to have a few solid friendships that stand the test of time and drama. To that end, I'd love to see the show focus a little more on some of the past, current, and potential friendships on the canvas.
I'm really enjoying the Dani, Matthew, and Jeffrey living arrangement. While I don't think Matthew and Jeffrey are doing Dani any favors by drinking so much with her after her recent overdose, the three are believable as college-aged friends and roommates. Jeffrey and Dani teaming up to tease and interrogate Matthew about his online relationship was particularly entertaining, as was Jeffrey's reaction to Dani's attempt to fix dinner.
I don't know that we can count on this three-way-friendship to last, though. Things are already getting a little awkward and are bound to get more so, given Dani's obvious feelings for Matthew as well as Jeffrey's interest in Destiny. Dani and Matthew were adorable a few years ago. They were one of my favorite teen romances, and I was sad to see them breakup. But now, with the way Matthew treats Destiny and his son, I can't help but shouting, "You can do better, girl!" at my screen every time Dani gives Matthew a lustful look or daydreams about him like she was doing this week.
Bo and Nora call them family and Destiny calls them complicated, but, at the very least, I think it's safe to say Bo, Nora, and Destiny are friends. Bo and Nora obviously have so much love, not only for their grandson, but for Destiny as well. It's compelling to see them torn between wanting to see the best in their son but seeing how negatively his actions are impacting Destiny and Drew. The two seem to be growing increasingly frustrated with Matthew's behavior even as they are determined to help him. I'm interested to see how this all plays out and whether Bo and Nora can successfully help Destiny and Matthew rebuild a friendship that will allow Matthew to play a bigger role in his son's life.
Unfortunately, it seems like the show might be sacrificing Destiny and Dani's friendship in favor of the Matthew and Dani pairing. I hope I'm wrong about that because I'd enjoy seeing the two of them support each other more, like when Dani volunteered to babysit last week. I liked Destiny and Natalie hitting the club together and would love to see that friendship developed further. The two of them are both a little isolated right now, and, even though Natalie is a bit older, it makes sense that they'd connect as young single moms. And while Natalie and Rama might qualify more for frienemy than friend status, their scenes are always fun to watch. I wouldn't argue with having more of them together either.
Speaking of Rama, she is a David Vickers fangirl or, should I say, a Vickerman fangirl! If they haven't already, I am begging the writers to find more ways to throw those two together because they were absolutely hilarious. I would watch them discuss chipmunks and awkwardly film reality show scenes all day.
Finally, I was drawn into One Life to Live by a friend who was madly in love with the Todd and Téa pairing. This was back when Trevor St. John was Todd, and no one knew he was actually Victor. But the pair that kept me coming back to the show day after day was Téa and Blair. It was rewarding watching the two of them progress from enemies to frienemies to genuine friends who supported each other, even when they still found plenty of time to argue and snark at each other.
I hoped coming into this online version that the Téa and Blair friendship would get a decent amount of screen time. Florencia Lozano and Kassie DePaiva play off one another so well and have such great chemistry with one another. The show should be taking advantage of that. I'd love to see the two of them getting some drinks at Shelter and commiserating about Victor, Todd, and their troubled kids. Heaven knows they could both use a friend right now, and I think the show is missing out by not capitalizing on the rich history and relationship the two of them share.
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.