Plus, what’s ahead for the gays of General Hospital and Days of Our Lives, Mick urges his son Johnny to come out on EastEnders and John Paul and Finn spend the night together on Hollyoaks.
Langford’s Picks and Pans
Days of Our Lives (U.S.)
I missed the week of Days where the show dealt with Sonny initially finding out about the murder and didn’t bother trying to watch since I didn’t have to review that week. After all, with the show giving us so many flashbacks during the storyline, I feel like I didn’t miss anything at all. And that’s not a good thing.
So now Will knows. But can I say his overwrought concern about his family throwing him a surprise party is such a dumb plot point? Will following Gabi and Sonny and actually hiding in the closet to eavesdrop? Sigh….
This silly story just gets sillier, like with dumb scenes of Sonny, Gabi and Kate with exaggerated looks of horror on their faces so they couldn’t smile for the Santa picture. But I did like EJ hoping Sami hadn’t killed so soon after her last murder. That was funny as was EJ and Sami’s ensuing conversation about it, especially EJ admonishing Sami about being such an amateur at covering up a murder. But I do think that Sami should have told EJ from the start. I mean if anyone knows how to handle an accidental murder it would be EJ.
BTW, the Nick lookalike was hot. Yummy! And I think it was sweet that Adrienne referred to Arianna as her first grandchild. Seeing Jack’s ornament made me miss Jack. But where was Sonny’s? Maybe next year after he and Will are actually married. And I loved Ciara trash talking Ally for blabbing about the earring. While I don’t much care for Theresa, I did like her nasty comment about what would happen if JJ went to the slammer. Maggie’s Christmas speech was really sweet as was her aside to the camera. And the cliffhanger of Sami seeing Nick’s floating body (though it’s a fake out of course) was hot.
*Thanks to MRFIXIT for the clips!
Thank you, Emmerdale. Here I was expecting an angsty drawn out coming out drama and there was no drama at all. Finn’s family knows he’s gay and it’s no big deal. In fact, Finn’s being gay was revealed in a scene that wasn’t about him, though I’m not sure if I buy Ross referencing his brother being gay in that particular scene. Still, I couldn’t be more delighted and am just looking forward to the show telling a story with Finn that is not about homophobia or coming out. And as there’s no chance of anything ever happening between Finn and Andy, I’m wondering who Finn’s love interest will be as there are no other gay men in the village.
They better not be planning a coming out drama for Andy. Andy is totally hot, but having him question his sexuality would be a stretch as he’s been on the show for nearly 20 years and has only been into women. While I don’t think the show is going there any more than when Aaron had a crush on Adam, I’m just going on record that I don’t want to see it happen.
As for the final scene with Finn and Robbie, I hope it doesn’t mean anything as well. Robbie is a relatively new character and while he is a perceived womanizer, he’s been unattached during most of his duration on the show. Like with Andy, let’s avoid the coming out drama and get Finn a beau that’s out of the closet already.
General Hospital (U.S.)
Shut up, Felix. He’s just so overbearing. He’s actually the worst kind of friend, telling you what he thinks you want to hear rather than what you need to hear, even if it hurts. If he had have at least prepared Sabrina for the possibility that Patrick might go back to his wife, maybe she wouldn’t have been so hurt when it happened.
As for Sabrina’s sudden illness, is it any surprise that she would be pregnant? This show loves baby stories after all. The thing is, it’s not a bad story. It’s classic soap opera. I just don’t care for Patrick and Sabrina as a couple and a pregnancy will tie them together forever. If it’s Patrick’s baby, of course. Remember a few weeks ago when Sabrina thought she had sex with Carlos?
Carlos said they didn’t, but he might have lied to her to make her feel better. My guess – eventually he’ll reveal they did hook up and then we’ll have a “who’s the daddy?” story. And Felix will have an opinion on everything rather than having his own life and minding his own business. I can hear him now, haranguing Patrick about abandoning his poor baby mama. Sigh….
Good Times, Bad Times (The Netherlands)
Remember when I said a few weeks ago that Lucas and Menno, much like their silly breakup, would just be thrown back together out of nowhere? The show didn’t disappoint. This entire arc has been so badly played. Lucas and Menno breaking up like they did for the reasons they did was just dumb and made Lucas seem more childish and ridiculous than he usually does. Yes, he finally gained his senses and realized what a mistake he’d made and he and Menno got back together. However, it happened all too quickly, Lucas really didn’t apologize for what he done, nor did they actually address what happened.
At one point, Menno said Lucas would change his mind and they’d be back where they were and given how flighty Lucas is, Menno has no reason to believe that exactly what wouldn’t happen. Given that, immediately deciding to get married seems as foolish and reckless as their decision to get married to begin with. I know, I know it’s supposed to be romantic. But having sat through the last month, there are some things that can’t and shouldn’t be wiped away so easily. There would have been nothing wrong with a scene or two where they hashed things out and it might actually add depth to their pairing and the characters.
*Thanks to GTSTfanMARK for the clips!
Well, I knew the show would eventually go there with Ste and John Paul. After all, they’ve shared men (Doug, Brendan and Danny) so why not be with each other? But what’s the deal with gay men beating each other leading to romance? I don’t get this trend of violence between lovers and potential lovers. It’s just sick and Hollyoaks is one of the worst about it. And while it was just a kiss, for now, I wonder how long Ste and John Paul’s fake affair will be real. A triangle between father, son and the guy they both love? It sure would be a different spin on the old love triad.
But I don’t blame Ste for leaving Danny’s house. Danny can say it’s over, but that’s only because John Paul broke up with him. When John Paul wants Danny back and I do say when, the lies and secrets will be going on all over again.
I think it’s sad that Ste is still in love with his abuser. Even more tragic is that the show still glosses over the truth of Brendan and Ste’s relationship, depicting it as some epic love rather than the abusive dysfunction that it was. Too bad John Paul didn’t ask Ste why he remains in love (or rather obsessed) with this man who beat him and continued to beat him until Brendan left.
And while Ste told Doug he would never go back to Brendan, when he rhapsodizes about their great tragic love, that says he would, even though a fist in his face would be a regular part of the relationship. Oddly enough right now the show has a domestic abuse storyline with Patrick and Maxine and the show has taken the steps to do an extensive ad PSA campaign warning people to get out of such couplings. They never did that with Brendan and Ste, at least not after the show saw what chemistry the actors had. I guess hot gay kisses glosses over the bruises and broken ribs.
You’d think though that with all the talk about Brendan and he and Ste’s revisionist version of their relationship that Brendan was coming back. Let’s hope that isn’t the case. I’m burned out on this character and I’m sick of him being lionized rather than written as who he really was. The show is still whitewashing and if he came back the whitewashing would continue. Ugh.
While I did think Ste and John Paul laying out their ugly past was funny, they were having a very public shouting match about John Paul’s affair with Danny. Lucky for them no one was around. Speaking of Danny, John Paul needs to lose this man and quickly. I mean, Danny tells John Paul that he loves him, but he’s willing to let John Paul be harassed and humiliated and bullied by Finn and Robbie to keep their secret? And John Paul is letting this happen to protect this selfish, selfish man? I can’t decide who’s worse.
But at least we found out that Ste’s kids went back to live with their mother. That’s the only thing that makes sense on this show these days.
River City (Scotland)
This was nicely done and well written as usual and the whole arc, including Edward’s suicide attempt, seemed designed to take another step into eventually reuniting Will and Robbie. Like I said before, the show is sure taking it’s time, but that’s realistic after all they’ve been through.
The acting was really very good, especially in the scene where Robbie confronted Will about believing that Robbie had tried to kill his father. But, I had a problem with this whole thing is that Robbie was rather unfair to Will. Will never actually believed that Robbie was guilty and insisted time and again that he wasn’t. Will did what anyone would do, he wanted to find out what happened. I don’t think he should have to apologize for that. He wasn’t investigating Robbie, nor did he send Donald to talk to Robbie.
The fact that Will had never done anything wrong seemed to be lost in all the histrionics. Even when Robbie ‘forgave’ Will, that salient point never was really addressed. If anything, Robbie actually owed Will an apology, not the other way around. I’m not sure why the show ignored the facts of its own story, but that seems to be the case. The one thing I did like, though, was that Edward admitting he didn’t like Robbie, but cared enough about Will to see that Robbie was the best thing for him.
Scoops and Spoilers
All That Matters: Kai is tormented by homophobic harassment at the Centre, but Joscha refuses to do anything to speak up for him, afraid people might think he’s gay. Later, Joscha catches Timo, one of his fellow teammates slashing the tires on Kai’s car, but Joscha lets him go. Joscha is ashamed of his behavior, especially after he sees that Kai is not going to be intimidated by bigots. Impressed by Kai’s strength, Joscha goes to his teammates and demands they leave Kai alone once and for all.
Days of our Lives: As we say goodbye to Chandler Massey as Will Horton, his last week will certainly be dramatic. Now that Will knows the truth about Nick’s death, Sonny, EJ, Sami, Kate, and Gabi worry that Will won’t keep the secret. Will is torn about what to do and his anxiety gets worse when he comes across someone he least expects. Elsewhere, Gabi worries that Abigail is about to find out what happened after she begins getting text messages from Nick. However, she doesn’t know that Kate is sending the texts so folks will believe Nick is alive and well. Panicking, Gabi seeks out EJ to help her deal with Ms. Deveraux. Plus, when Sonny runs into trouble on New Years Eve, Sami and EJ are there to help the club owner.
EastEnders: Determined to hide his sexuality, Johnny flirts with Whitney, who responds to his advances. Later though, Danny shamelessly flirts with Johnny, who has too much to drink and kisses Danny, a smooch that is witnessed by Shirley. Later, Johnny pretends to his family that he kissed Whitney, but Shirley knows he’s lying. Johnny keeps up the pretense by flirting with Whitney, but Danny continues to tease Johnny about their kiss. Later, Shirley confronts Johnny and tells him not to use Whitney to hide behind.
Later, Johnny tells his parents he’s going to attend his sister Nancy’s wedding to Wayne, a man that Mick and Linda cannot stand and think is bad for their daughter. Mick and Linda go too, but things get out of hand when Mick decides he can’t let his daughter make such a big mistake and drags her away from the church. Nancy later sneaks out to see her fiancé and when Johnny calls her on it, Nancy reminds her brother about his own secrets.
The tension in the family comes to a head and Mick, Linda and Nancy argue about her life. In order to take the attention off herself, Nancy outs Johnny, telling her parents that their baby boy is gay. Realizing her mistake, Nancy insists she was lying, which Mick and Linda are quick to believe. Johnny later continues his pursuit of Whitney with his parents watching. Seeing what Johnny is doing, however, Danny goes out of his way to make Johnny uncomfortable.
Nancy and Shirley try to convince Johnny its best if he comes out, but he’s afraid of what Mick will think of him. When Mick comes to Johnny and tells his son he’ll love him, gay or not, Johnny has to decide if he’s ready to be honest with his father.
Emmerdale: Finn tries to enjoy starting the New Year in the village, but he can’t help but worry about his future given his current living situation. Later, with Victoria’s help, Finn gets a job cleaning at the inn, but grows to hate it quickly thanks to Pollard’s constant demands. To that end, Finn plots to find a way to get himself fired.
General Hospital: Felix is worried about Sabrina in the wake of Patrick going back to his wife Robin and things get worse when Sabrina starts feeling nauseous and throwing up. Given this is a soap opera you can imagine what her problem is. Coincidentally, Patrick decides he’s ready to have another child.
Good Times, Bad Times: The wedding is back on, but Lucas gets some surprising news about his upcoming nuptials. But is it good news or ummm…. bad news?
Diane, who’s an idiot, gets the wrong idea about John Paul and Finn…
Hollyoaks: Upset because he can’t see his daughter, Finn turns to cocaine to deal with his issues. When John Paul sees what pain Finn is in, he takes Finn home with him and lets him stay overnight. Robbie, looking to stir up trouble as usual, sees Finn leaving JP’s house and tells Diane that John Paul and Finn spent the night together and that John Paul took advantage of Finn. Believing someone she knows to be a habitual liar instead of asking her son, Diane goes to Patrick to report John Paul’s believed inappropriate behavior. And then things get much, much worse.
Best and Worst of 2013
It’s been a long year in soaps with lots of characters, stories and shows to love and hate. But which were the best and the worst of the bad year? If you want my opinion, keep reading…
Wedding Disaster/Adventures on Smith Island (Days of Our Lives)
Days gave us some old school soap with this storyline and I couldn’t get enough of it. Surprising for a show I often have serious problems with, most notably the writing of its gay characters. The wedding itself was a soap classic, a shocking revelation that changed several lives with all of Salem finding out that gay Will was the father of Gabi’s baby. The ensuing storyline, with Nick scheming to steal Will’s baby was full of twists and turns and Blake Berris stole the show as the villainous Nick.
Even more exciting was the action on Smith Island, when Nick and a pregnant Gabi were kidnapped and we found out that Nick had been raped, which was the cause of his homophobic actions towards Will and Sonny. Will’s shooting and the birth of the baby made for riveting soap drama. The story went south after that with the show not dealing with the aftermath of Nick’s prison ordeal and boring us silly with Will, Sonny and Gabi playing happy families. For a time though Days was a soap I did not miss, enough for this story to be the year’s best.
Ringo and Yannick’s romance (Among Us)
What an awful story. From start to finish it stank to high heaven. Ringo had been believed to be straight, but from the minute Yannick came to town, it was obvious his sexuality was in question. Unfortunately, Ringo couldn’t accept the fact that he was gay and in one scene after another, Ringo verbally abused Yannick. Of course, Ringo couldn’t resist Yannick and they eventually slept together. But even then, Ringo didn’t treat Yannick any better, but for some inexplicable reason, Yannick continued to take Ringo’s cruel treatment.
We were supposed to believe they were in love, but you couldn’t tell it by the acting as most of the scenes between the boys were cool and remote. Eventually, Ringo was outed and he responded by beating Yannick to a pulp. Ringo was sorry and wanted Yannick back, but Yannick refused so Ringo decided to ruin Yannick’s life and drove him out of town. And that was that. I don’t understand what the point of this story was. There was no one to root for here, no one to like and certainly no one to care to about.
Most Pointless Storyline….
Christian’s Return (Forbidden Love)
Christian’s return and the story that surrounded it, was not just a bad story because of the writing, but it really made no sense and damaged both Christian and Olli as characters. Christian came back from his job in England and Olli was glad to have his husband home, not knowing that Christian had already agreed to spend another year in London without telling him. But that wasn’t the biggest thing. Olli found that that Christian had gotten drunk and cheated on him with a woman — again. After a little angst, Olli forgave his cheating husband and waved goodbye to him for another year, leaving things exactly as they had been. Many viewers, including myself, wondered what the point of it all was.
First off all, why does this show insist on keeping Christian and Olli together? Thore Schölermann has left the soap and may or may not return. Not only does the actor seem uninterested in an ongoing stay, the writers don’t seem to want that either. So why are they willing to just keep Olli on, advising his friends about their love lives and being a supporting character with an off screen husband? It makes no sense that they wouldn’t just break them up and let Olli move on. Worse, Olli looks like a sad and pathetic fool staying with a man who not only cheats on him repeatedly and really makes no promises it won’t happen again, but who decides to stay away from him for an extended period of time with no input from his spouse.
Olli needs to move on. So does the show. And perhaps, more significantly, the fans clinging to this dead relationship need to let them.
Most Boring Couple….
Will and Sonny (Days of Our Lives)
I’m sure many Will/Sonny fans are upset and outraged by this, but surely anyone who has read this column can’t be surprised. Both Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith are fine actors, but for me, as a couple, Will and Sonny have never been engaging. Part of it is the lack of chemistry and part of it is the show saddling these two young men with a child and shoving them towards marriage in the first year of their relationship. I know Days is intent on sending a positive message about gays raising families, but it doesn’t make for riveting soap.
The show wasted what could have been a delicious triangle with Will, Brian and Sonny…
But the big thing for me is that the potential of Will and Sonny as characters simply isn’t being realized. Will is the son of the show’s lead bad girl. Sonny’s lineage includes mobsters, murderers and a serial killer. Yet both Will and Sonny are so nice and sweet it makes your teeth hurt. With the backgrounds of these two, they should be raising hell and causing all kinds of drama, not changing diapers and being supporting players in stories where they should be playing the leads.
The show goes on and on about how much Will and Sonny love each other and have the perfect relationship while the more interesting drama and stories take place around them. Perfect relationships and happy families are great in real life. But on soaps, it’s dull, dull, dull.
George and Vincent (Hollyoaks)
Hollyoaks tells plenty of bad stories that make no sense, but usually there is at least something that makes them watchable. But not with George and Vincent and their horrible love story. It’s so bad I actually dread their scenes and enjoy when weeks go by and I don’t have to see them. They don’t work on any level. No chemistry, spotty acting and horrible, lazy storytelling. I hated a lot of couples this year, but when it came to the worst, it was no contest.
Maybe it’s because I’m not a shipper and I don’t root for couples or maybe it’s because I’ve watched soaps for so long and I can remember when soaps told real love stories, but none of the romantic couples captured my attention this past year. There were couples I liked and enjoyed, but most of the time that I was bored by or actually hated a pairing. The point is none of them really entranced me or compelled me to root for them. I just didn’t care one way or the other. And given that, it’s hard for me to give best to anything.
Shows that Deserve to Return….
Please Like Me, All My Children (reboot), The LA Complex
Will Cooper (River City)
I think what I like most about Will is how we’ve watched the character grow during his time on the show. He started as a violent, abusive cop who beat his husband. We’ve seen the character deal with his demons, get to the root of his issues and resolve to handle his problems in a different way. That growth made him compelling to watch and a fully-fleshed, well-thought-out character. And Scott Ryan Vickers was excellent as he wonderfully played out each beat of Will’s journey. I credit the show as well for giving such time and attention to the character with a series of terrific and compelling stories centered on him.
Best New Character….
Menno Kuiper (Good Times, Bad Times)
Do I have a thing about cops? Of course, but that’s only part of the reason why Menno is the best new character of year. An intelligent, no nonsense cop, he’s openly gay without a hint of self-hatred or issues about his sexuality, a rare depiction of gays these days. I loved that Menno has never been defined by his sexuality. Most of all, Menno makes Lucas Sanders, probably my least favorite gay character ever, a little bit tolerable. And that’s quite an accomplishment. I’m not sure if Menno is the best cop though. He was unable to nail Aysen and it took him months to find Mike’s killer. He does look great in a pair of skimpy black boxers though!
Most Annoying Character….
Felix DuBois (General Hospital)
I was delighted when General Hospital added a gay character. Even better was that he was a person of color. After all, the show’s regime had done a wonderful job with Kyle and Oliver on One Life To Live even if things ended badly because of behind-the-scenes issues. It’s just too bad that Felix is that character. Unlike Kyle and Oliver who had lives and stories of their own, Felix is a tragic throwback to the days when gay characters only existed to support the straight characters. And whether it’s Sabrina or Carly, that’s all that Felix does and in the most annoying and shrill manner possible.
Whether he’s picking out Sabrina’s wedding dress or being advisor to Carly on her dating a serial killer, Felix goes from other people’s stories and has no life of his own. Sure, there his romance with Brad, but that’s not even really a romance. Felix spends most of his time criticizing Brad on things that are none of Felix’s business. Felix and Brad’s romance, such as it is, while possessing the essential ingredient of chemistry, lacks any real interest from Felix. He’s usually too busy worried about Sabrina to think about the intriguing man standing in front of him.
And don’t get me started on that Felix and Brad not having had so much as a kiss despite months of being in each other’s orbits. That makes me wonder if we’ve progressed with gay storytelling on this network at all. The treatment of Felix has me really concerned as Lucas is coming to the show. I hope that Lucas is an actual character with a fully fleshed personality and life of his own and not just a “talk to.”
And BTW, please don’t pair Felix and Lucas, GH. Either hook up Lucas and Brad or even better, give Lucas a front burner, juicy love story with an all new character. Do that and all else is forgiven. Well, except for that Franco nonsense.
Character Who Needs a Story….
Iolo White (People of the Valley)
You’d think being an attractive actor playing an appealing character would mean decent airtime on a soap. But not if you’re Iolo White. Another year has gone by for this character and he’s received little in the way of storylines. Yes, Iolo did have that hit and run plot arc earlier this year, but it didn’t last long and even more problematic, the story was hard to believe.
There is no way that sweet, honest Iolo would have ever run over Gethin and left him there to die. It was completely out of character. And in the end, the story was much ado about nothing. Iolo confessed to Gethin what he did, Gethin forgave him and it was mostly forgotten. The show never even followed through on the possible romance they teased between Iolo and Gethin.
Iolo and Gethin just stayed good friends…
Since then, Iolo went back to doing what he’s done for most of his time on the show—playing support to his family’s endless dramas and problems with no life of his own. And that’s the biggest thing. It’s highly implausible that this young gay man wouldn’t have a love life or at least be dating. But in the years Iolo has been on screen, he’s only had one ongoing romance — and that was years ago. Since then, save an off screen date or two, Iolo doesn’t seem interested in love or rather the show isn’t interested in going there with him. The question is why? I can’t believe it’s homophobia. POTV is a very gay positive show. When Iolo did have a love story, the show wasn’t shy about depicting the physical aspect of it and they had a lesbian romance that lasted for years.
So even if the show won’t write Iolo a love story, why won’t they give this character something to do? It’s a mystery to me.
Character Who Most Wore Out His Welcome….
Brendan Brady (Hollyoaks)
Longtime readers know there was a time when I loved Brendan Brady. I found him to be a compelling and engaging character, unique among gay characters and the actor Emmett Scanlan was dazzling in a role he fully inhabited. It was a wonderful blend of strong acting, smart writing and daring, provocative storytelling. But it couldn’t last.
The viewers fell in love with the character and so did the writers. They made the mistake of letting Brendan eat the show whole, involving him in a number of the show’s biggest stories and sometimes at the same time. Eventually, nearly every major plot somehow involved Brendan and it wasn’t to the show’s credit. And how many different characters came onto the show that were tied to Brendan’s dark past? Seemed like a new one every other week.
Brendan ‘protected’ Ste, when he wasn’t beating him up…
But even worse, the show presented us with a violent, abusive sociopath and then attempted to redeem in him the laziest of ways without really dealing with the horrible things Brendan had done. This required the show to whitewash (or forget) many of Brendan’s actions as well as damage the integrity and credibility of other characters.
Most notably, this includes Ste, who left Brendan because Brendan beat him, went on to grow and mature as a character, only to have it all stripped away so he could go back to Brendan, who continued to beat him. Ste (and the fans with the help of the writers) made excuses for Brendan’s actions, instead of presenting it as the abusive relationship that it was and always had been.
In another WTF moment, Doug, Ste’s husband, actually gave Ste the money to reunite with his abuser. Brendan’s sister Cheryl suffered too as she disowned Brendan for his horrific actions one episode, then forgave him the next, even though Brendan was never sorry and never really apologized.
Brendan’s exit story dragged on and on to the point of incredulity, ending in the most implausible of ways with Cheryl shooting and killing Brendan’s sexual predator of a father and Brendan taking the rap for a crime that would be clear self-defense in any court in the world. Worse was that the day after Brendan went to jail for the rest of his life, Cheryl moved away to her own happy ending without a thought to her brother. But most of all, the show chickened out on killing off the character, which would have been a much more fitting end to Brendan, something even the actor had pushed for.
Admittedly though, I was glad it was over however it ended because I’d had enough of Brendan.
Most Groundbreaking Show….
My Husband’s Lover
I know this is a curious choice given that the show was incredibly antiquated and terribly chaste. I mean, one has to question a love story where the lovers never kiss, but nevertheless, this compelling and provocative drama, which hailed from the conservative country of the Philippines, broke new ground by creating an entire soap with a gay couple as the leads and gave them the same kind of romantic dramas and conflicts as straight characters would in a similar drama.
Yes, the show dragged on too long and yes, some of the plot twists made you roll your eyes, but the fact that this could be made and that it was incredibly popular to boot was quite an accomplishment in gay storytelling. It helped that Vincent and Eric made a nice couple with great chemistry (even though they both cried way too much).
The supporting cast, which included Vincent’s betrayed wife Lally, Vincent’s gay pal Dave and Eric’s doting mama Sinag, were great characters played by terrific actors. Will we see other countries adapt this successful show and create their own versions?
One can only hope.
Most Improved Show….
Wow. What a new season and new writers and show runners can do for a show. I had given up on Revenge last season because it got mired in that horrible cabal storyline and I loathed both love interests for Nolan. The show seemed to forget its focus on soapy drama full of wicked schemes and romantic travails.
I usually don’t root for couples, but Nolan and Patrick are hot enough to make me a shipper…
But this season returned to what made the show work, refocused on Emily’s revenge against the Graysons, a steamy romance with Emily and Aidan and gave Nolan a wonderful love interest in the form of the sexy and intriguing Patrick. Not to mention dumping characters that didn’t work like Declan and Ashley. It’s back to being classic, unabashed soap. And for me, it’s not to be missed.
The Haves And The Have Nots
I think it’s wonderful that television has given us a show about a black family that isn’t a comedy or African-Americans mired in crime or poverty. We haven’t had a soap centering on a black family since Generations. I just wish it weren’t written by Tyler Perry. His stamp is all over this sloppily-written, lazily-acted and horribly overwrought soap.
The stories are your usual soapy plots of infidelity, scheming and plotting, but it’s all so badly played. The biggest problem is the pacing not of just of the show and the stories, but of the scenes themselves. Scenes drag on forever and ever with characters repeating the same dialogue before getting the point… of later repeating the same dialogue again in another scene.
Perhaps most egregious is the offensive, insulting and stereotypical character of Jeffery, the show’s closeted gay. This show treated viewers to some of the most homophobic scenes I’ve seen on any soap in years like Jeffery climbing into bed with a sleeping (and straight) Wyatt, leering at Wyatt when he was half naked and his shrill and shrewish reaction to the return of Wyatt’s girlfriend. And his schemes to break them up were so transparent that a blind man should have seen them. But perhaps even worse was Veronica’s over the top reaction to having a gay son. Veronica, as written, is an educated woman who has seen the world and interacted with all sorts of people. Her reaction to having a gay son reeked of closed minded ignorance from a woman who should know better. Like I said before, Dynasty was more progressive in gay storytelling. And that was over 30 years ago.
Jeffery perved all over his straight pal, who just happened to be his patient…
Now that Jeffery is out, will he break free of those stereotypes that have plagued the character? I doubt it. This show seems intent on depicting gays as self-hating and self-destructive. Given that, I predict gay bashing and a suicide attempt for Jeffery next season. They’re two stereotypes Perry hasn’t written for Jeffery. And I doubt if he’s willing to let any of them slip by.
A Place To Call Home
This show hearkens back to classic 80’s soaps like Dynasty and Dallas with its glitz and glamour, but with much better writing and acting. So as fan of those old shows, you can bet I wouldn’t miss this throwback to those once popular dramas. I loved each and every moment of this look into a wealthy Australian family in the 50’s with its steamy love triangles, forbidden affairs and shocking revelations. I especially loved the ongoing battle between matriarch Elizabeth and heroine Sarah as they went head to head over Sarah’s romance with Elizabeth’s son George. Their clashes are the stuff that soaps are made of.
Amid the other watchable stories, like Anna and Gino’s affair, the show also told a compelling and haunting gay drama about George’s son James, who struggled with the fact that he was gay in a time when it was illegal. David Berry is terrific as the tormented James, but even better was Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood, David’s wife Olivia, who began the season as a fragile, troubled creature, ended it as a fierce mama bear not to be messed with. This show also had one of my favorite scenes of the year when in a painful confrontation between David and Olivia, where David admitted he’d only married Olivia because she reminded him of her brother, whom he was in love with. So delicious.
James had a thing for the stable boy, and who could blame him!
The season ended with Sarah moving into George’s house setting up a battle royal between Elizabeth and Sarah while James underwent shock therapy to wipe away the gay. And let’s not forget the murder! Full of sweeping cinematography and sumptuous sets to go along with the top notch drama, I simply cannot wait to see where this delicious soap takes us for a much awaited season two.
Gays, new and old will be making their debuts on our screens in the next few weeks. On Days of Our Lives, we say goodbye on Chandler Massey’s version of Will Horton as the actor makes his last appearance on the show on January 2nd. It won’t be long before we see NuWill though as Guy Wilson debuts as one half of Salem’s gay duo on January 8th. So now all the loyal Massey fangirls (and fanboys)know when to stop watching. LOL….
But for those of you who will be watching, Freddie Smith, who plays Sonny Kiriakis, says that Wilson put his own little spin on the Will that we know and love.
“Guy is his own person, so he’s bringing something new to the character; his own little flavor,” Smith told About.com. “Will is getting older and evolving. Guy has definitely put his own little twist on who the character is.”
Meanwhile, on General Hospital, Ryan Carnes returns as Lucas Jones on January 12th. What’s ahead for Port Charles’ latest gay as he makes his way home? Ron Carlivati, head writer for GH, spoke to Michael Fairman about why brought Lucas to the canvas and what to expect.
“I think it was a character that needed to be addressed. When we brought back Julian and he was Lucas’s biological father, we knew that it would have to come up at some point….” Carlivati said. “….Bobbie is in town and she is Lucas’s adoptive mother. So the story seemed to be crying out for Lucas. He is connected to a lot of characters. He is related to Sam as well as Carly. Lucas is a pretty central character and I am excited that he is back, and with the fact that the character is gay, he is going to mix it up a little bit with Felix and Brad. I thought that was ready to be shaken up a little bit, so we shall see. We are excited about it.”
That’s it for this edition of Langford On Soaps. Please share your comments on the thoughts and opinions expressed in this week’s column below. See you next week!