It was a heck of a year in Llanview. Let's start with the best of all: we got an online season of One Life to Live! I, like many fans, am bummed that this may have turned out to be our only season. However, having thought we were going to get nothing after the cancellation of the televised version, Prospect Park bringing us forty new episodes certainly makes my best of the year list.
I'm an optimist this week. Don't worry, we can talk lawsuits, weird storyline decisions, and vague non-announcement-announcements all you want next week. But right now, on to the awesome stuff.
Téa and Blair It is fitting that the pair who drew me into the televised One Life to Live is also the pair that convinced me to give the online version a shot. And, despite the rocky ending of season one production -- meaning I'll likely never get to see these two ladies get past their denial and proclaim their undying romantic love for one another -- I'm glad I did tune in to the online season. Shhhhh. If I want to believe that was the likely outcome of season two, don't stop me. I'm feeling a little fragile about the indefinite hiatus, and I need my coping mechanisms.
Fittingly, my takeaway quote from the 2013 season was, without question, "You're still going to the party, bitch, so dress nice." I say it often, mostly to my cats, if that gives you an idea of the type of exciting life I lead.
Blair and Téa's everyday lives were much more eventful than mine. As Blair said in the party bitch scene, as I like to call it, no one else knows the hell these two have gone through quite like the other. I appreciated the show acknowledging that their shared experience made them kindred spirits of a kind. They could easily move from calmly sharing a glass of wine to a screaming match to angrily agreeing to accompanying one another to a party all in the space of minutes, and every second of it was filled with a chemistry that made them a fascinating duo to watch.
Vicki and Dorian These two are definitely more enemies and less "fr" but some of my favorite scenes came when they were both too classy to out-and-out brawl. Vicki and Dorian delivered thinly veiled insults to each other with expert marksmanship. Dorian's glee at pushing Vicki into financial ruin and Vicki's delight at rubbing her recovery from that ruin in Dorian's face made for some delicious viewing.
Bo and Nora -- The We Might Be the Only Sane and Stable Pairing on this Show Award I loved Bo and Nora as the calm in the center of the storm that was Llanview's other romantic pairings. They were so sure and open in their love for one another. And with imagined tropical vacations, late night radio shows, and family poker nights, they disproved the notion that happy couples are boring to watch.
Jeffrey and Destiny -- The Super Cute Until… Award These two were the cutest thing to ever happen on my laptop screen. Watching them smile at each other goofily and dance around their attraction to one another was the "awwwwwww" equivalent of a YouTube video of kittens and puppies frolicking in a field and then maybe snuggling with some baby chicks. They were insane amounts of precious.
And then -- BAM! -- suddenly, with the reveal of Jeffrey's shady intentions, they had the possibility to be dramatic, angst-ridden, and maybe even dangerous. Did Jeffrey really care about Destiny, or was she part of his plan to destroy the Buchanans? I, for one, was pretty jazzed to find out.
David and Rama -- The Comedic Relief Award Ah, the life and times of Rama and Vickerman! Remember their first meeting? It was magical, and they talked about chipmunks. They were both ridiculously narcissistic but not in the viciously competitive way that Dorian and David had come to be. Maybe that was because Rama adored Vickerman, as she called him, almost as much as she adored being on TV, and David enjoyed being with someone, aside from himself, who was visibly impressed by his star power.
I loved these two so much that I wanted them in every scene. Can you imagine in some of the most dramatic scenes, say one of Vicki and Clint's blow-out arguments, we'd suddenly cut to Rama and David sitting on Vicki and Clint's couch with fruity drinks and a bowl of bar nuts, just taking in the action and giving hilarious play-by-play commentary?
"Wow, that was intense," Rama would observe, taking a sip of her drink as Vicki stormed out of the house and slammed the door behind her. "Okay, this is how I would have played that," David would say as he began his one-man reenactment of the fight.
Dani and Arturo -- The Creepy but Sexy Award When it first became evident this pairing was happening, I was disturbed to say the least. Arturo was twice Dani's age. His girlfriend, also Dani's age, had just died. Dani was clearly a replacement, and Arturo was obviously playing on Dani's insecurities to get her into a relationship and into bed. It was creepy to the max! But, you know what? It turned out to be creepy in a totally hot way. I'm not ashamed to admit I got into it.
Victor at Shelter Victor, back in Llanview and skulking around Shelter in his hoodie, was the big reveal of the last seconds of the premier episode, and was it ever a good one. The fact that Trevor St. John was returning had been kept so hush-hush that Victor's sexily scruffy-just-escaped-from-captivity face appearing on our screens was a complete shock. The first episode needed to end with a bang and leave people wanting more. Mission accomplished!
Jeffrey Has the Tattoo Looking back, I should have suspected Jeffrey was too good to be true. He was the perfect stand-up guy. He was there for Vicki when her newspaper and personal life crumbled as both a loyal staffer and a trusted confidant. And, until that moment when he kicked back and put his feet up on the table, revealing the tattoo on his foot, we had no idea that he was responsible for the trouble raining down on Vicki.
As much as I loved the idea of Jeffrey as a bad guy once I got over the initial shock, what intrigued me most were the shades of grey in his character. Though he appeared loyal to Carl and was, indeed, responsible for many dastardly deeds, there were hints even after the reveal that Jeffrey had genuinely grown to respect Vicki. What awkward positions might that have put him in had the story continued? And can you imagine the fury with which Vicki would have gone after him when she realized what he'd done? Seeing the formerly friendly pair as fierce adversaries would have made for great drama.
Clint Is Being Drugged Clint being drugged was a brilliant twist that changed so much about the story that had come before. I loved that the show didn't hit us over the head with clues the reveal was coming. Having no reason to suspect that Clint's downward spiral was due to anything but his own bad choices made it all the more shocking when we learned Jeffrey, on Carl's orders, had been slipping Clint drugs all along.
This one reveal set up so much story potential, and the viewers' knowledge of the drugging made Clint's breakdown at the Man of the Year party and his family's reaction all the more heartbreaking. For a split second, his "screw all of ya!" and "this is my trophy!" were comedic, but the extent to which he'd lost it became clear as did the effect it was having on those who loved him.
Viewers were left wondering how much further Clint would spiral and if, when the truth came out, he could forgive his family for believing the worst of him. And would Vicki, Bo, and the rest be able to forgive themselves? I can just imagine the tearful scenes once the truth had come out.
Téa, Dani, and Arturo I am scared of Téa Delgado when she's mad. I know she's a fictional character but I'm certain, if she were determined enough to come after me, she would find a way; such is the power of her full-on rage. You don't mess with her, and you certainly do not mess with her children. Apparently no one mentioned that to Arturo, or he was just too busy sleazy-sexy-seducing Dani and buying her expensive presents to listen.
Whatever the case, the confrontation I'd been waiting for from the moment Dani and Arturo's flirtation began happened outside the already oh-so-disastrous Man of the Year party. The blow-up did not disappoint. I enjoyed the progression as Téa started out confronting Arturo and then suddenly all the issues that had been building between Téa and Dani throughout the season and before erupted, so the fight became more about their issues than it was about Arturo.
Of course, her mother's disapproval just sent Dani straight to bed with Arturo. Somebody should probably point out to Téa that Dani's attraction to shady men obviously comes from her mother. I'm not doing it, y'all. You know I don't want her to yell at me.
Destiny and Dani Destiny and Dani had seemed on a collision course for a while. Dani's obvious attraction to and continued strong friendship with Matthew and Matthew's refusal to step up and care for his and Destiny's son left Destiny and Dani's relationship filled with tension.
It could have been another case of two friends losing or damaging their friendship over a man but, instead, when Dani broke down and confessed how lonely and miserable she was, Destiny dropped the fight in order to comfort her. By shaking things up and giving us an unexpected ending to what could have been the typical soap opera "cat fight," the show and the actresses involved gave us a touching and memorable scene.
Natalie, Vicki, and Clint I felt the making up was rushed which, spoiler alert, I'll talk about in next week's "worst of" column. However, the initial scenes of Natalie confronting Clint about his role in her and John's breakup and Vicki's reaction the reveal were superbly acted and a stellar example of the topnotch drama that comes out of actors and characters who have a rich history with one another.
Florencia Lozano I could spend an entire column singing Florencia Lozano's praises. Téa was such a strong and independent character who had suffered so terribly. It was fascinating watching Florencia tease out each nuance of emotion that she brought out in her character.
Florencia made Téa's every scene a must-watch moment from telling Victor what had happened to their baby, to panic attacks, to her frustrated confession to Blair about how full of rage she was, to her fierce protectiveness of Dani. I marveled at the fact that, even after Trevor St. John had left the show, and Téa's scenes "with" Victor were Florencia and a laptop, she made those scenes compelling and dramatic. Even in the midst of a cast filled with strong performers, she stood out.
There were many moments that delighted me in the first season, far too many for me to capture in this column. But, that's what the comments section is for! What moments did I miss? Did you agree or disagree with my choices? Tell me all about your favorites things from this season's One Life to Live in the comments.
Happy holidays, fellow soap fans! I'll see you next week for the worst of 2013!