Langford on Soaps: Hello (again) John Paul and Goodbye Doug on “Hollyoaks”



I knew I would hate this past week’s episodes as just reading the spoilers had me dreading what was going to play out. But what I didn’t know was how much I would hate it. Ste has become a pathetic, weak and utterly spineless character and all in the name of he and Brendan’s destined coupling. Of course that’s on the writers because a strong individual who had any self-respect would never go back to an abusive relationship. Destroying a character to make a relationship work isn’t exactly brilliant writing.

And the thing is, the writers aren’t even trying to write Ste as strong or showing any growth or maturation after they worked so hard to show him becoming a new person; starting a new business and getting into a relationship that wasn’t perfect, but far more healthy. He’s right back where he was a year ago, obsessed with a man who beats him. And according to the show, who initially set out to write a story about the pain of domestic violence two years ago before they fell in love with Brendan Brady and he became all that’s good and right in Hollyoaks, that’s a good thing.

For example, Ste’s initially not wanting to move to America with Doug because of his kids was always a bunch of garbage because you knew it was about Brendan. His kids were just an excuse and never really factored into anything. I think the worst part is that Ste continues to sniff around Brendan and then lie to Doug’s face and paints Doug as the bad guy when he questions what’s really going on. Of course viewers fall for this since many of them hate Doug because he goes on about Brendan, even though he’s right. Sure, Doug should see the obvious and move on, but Ste lying to him doesn’t help and only keeps his hopes alive.

The scene where Ste begs Brendan to ask him to stay in town and after a kiss Brendan punches him in the face was appalling on so many levels. It just astounds me that the show thinks it’s romantic for a victim to plead with his abuser to love him and be with him. Now of course, we’re to see feel sorry for Brendan hitting Ste because he ‘had to do to it’ and ‘he did it out of love’, but it’s not different than when he broke Ste’s ribs, beat him black and blue and stalked and harassed him. Those were because he loved Ste as well, but couldn’t deal with being gay and hated that Ste had found love with Doug and wanted revenge.

But this punch is an acceptable kind of abuse is the message we’re getting from the show. And Cheryl falling for Brendan’s ‘woe is me’ nonsense about how he had to hit Ste again and her falling for it also shows what a poorly written character she is. She’s asked Brendan to leave Ste alone for months, but it takes Brendan hitting Ste for her to want them back together again? Huh? What?

And I wonder, what was the point of bringing Leah’s real father back now? Ste and Doug had already decided to move, there was no real purpose in having him show up and want to take Leah. And of course he had to be a homophobic bigot. Big surprise. I suspect though that he’ll be back once Ste and Brendan have reunited and we’ll get to see Brendan manhandle and threaten Billy to stay away from his daughter and the Stendan fans will wet them themselves squeeing with delight. Whee! Can’t wait!

All in all, it was a tough week for me watching this show and I suspect next week for the ‘grand reunion’ will be even tougher. To be honest, I’m considering taking a break until Brendan has left the show as it’s not fun or enjoyable to watch anymore. Yet, I do want to see John Paul now that he’s returning so I’ll stick it out, I guess.

I’m so glad George is back. I was afraid would write him out following the tragedy of the car crash. I could have done without the gushing over Maddie though. She was a hateful, despicable person. On the other hand, Tilly and George always saw her through rose colored glasses no matter how badly she treated the rest of the world so I guess they would pay tribute to her. I loved that Esther spoke up and told it like it was regarding Maddie, even if her friends weren’t listening. As for George, I just hope there’s a storyline in the works for him. He’s one of my favorites which say a lot since I couldn’t stand the character when he first debuted.

Secret Lives

Slowly, but surely this storyline is getting to the inevitable point where Lari is finally outed. I do think Lari and Elias are cute together, but I’m wondering if the relationship will actually last once the hysteria about Lari being gay calms down and they actually have to deal with each other as a couple. Like Lari pointed out, they really don’t have much in common so exactly why are they together? To be honest, I’m not sure what they see in one another other than they find the other attractive. It’ll be interesting to see where things go, if anywhere.

I did enjoy this past week’s scenes, even if Lari displayed some of his usual jerky behavior. But I liked that Katarina got involved and tried to help and it was nice to see Lari eventually relax and more comfortable with Elias with someone else around. I actually think Lari was glad someone else knew and was on their side. Unfortunately, though, I don’t think everyone is going to be as accepting. It’s pretty obvious that Ida will make it all about her going by the way she behaved when Lari dropped by to see Elias. Still, I’m looking forward to that moment.

Thanks to Monpensiers88 for the clips!

General Hospital

The jury is still out for me regarding Felix so I don’t have a lot to say. I do like the character and I think he has potential. However, I’m not sure that his having most of his scenes with another new and not very well received character is the way to do it. And it doesn’t help that Sabrina and Felix aren’t very believable as BFF’s. The characters just don’t click and the actors don’t have much chemistry, in my opinion.


Felix could be a standout character though. It just depends on what the show has planned for him. However, I don’t have a problem with a slow introduction and spending time weaving him into the show and with the other characters. I just don’t want to be at the same place six months from now.


Days of Our Lives

There’s still so much I hate about this storyline, but I have to admit I found myself enjoying certain scenes this past week.

I’m enjoying that the show is involving so many of the show’s characters in the storyline. Personally, I’m finding Sami’s decision to plan Gabi’s wedding to be a stretch, but I like seeing her and Rafe and Hope and everyone else being pulled into the drama. The scene where Hope found out about the wedding and that Gabi was pregnant was cute and had me chuckling. I love how Sami ‘accidentally’ keeps blabbing Nick and Gabi’s business. Nick’s comment that his choice of a best man had five years to serve and couldn’t come to the wedding was hilarious. And the scenes with Chad and Kristen were nice, but my favorite was where Will saw Rafe and EJ bickering and went in the other direction before they spotted him. This interaction makes Salem seem like a real community.

I’ve missed EJ and Will’s scenes and it was nice to see them together again. Though that storyline dragged out for far too long, I wish EJ and Will were still in contact or at least had a storyline connection. Unfortunately, putting EJ and Will in scenes together only reminds me of the terrific chemistry they had and regret that the show couldn’t or wouldn’t go there with them. And sadly it again shows that Will and Sonny’s love match pales in comparison to some of the totally platonic, but sexually charged scenes Will and EJ had last year. Will and Sonny have fallen in love, had sex and there still isn’t a spark between them, no matter how hard the actors have tried to create it.

However, I did find one thing odd about EJ and Will’s scene. Why didn’t Will tell EJ who he was dating? I didn’t quite get why Will would keep that a secret. On the other hand, wouldn’t EJ already know this? He works with Sami and sees her every day and they’ve had conversations about Will. I’m just puzzled as to why Will just didn’t tell EJ about Sonny. It can’t be for story purposes because that wouldn’t make sense. Strange…

I’m tired of Chad running around complaining about Gabi and calling her ‘a crazy bitch’ every other scene. Do people really talk like that? It just seems unreal to me and it makes Chad seem like a douche. I know he resents her because of her role in Melanie’s kidnapping, but Gabi isn’t the reason why Melanie left. Melanie left because of Chad’s behavior, not Gabi’s. Chad kept the secret about Gabi’s actions from Melanie, and Chad beat Nick up after Melanie had made her own peace with him.

Besides, if Chad really wanted to make Gabi pay he would have never agreed to keep silent about what she did in exchange for his not doing time for his assault on Nick. Chad doesn’t have a record and he’s a DiMera. He wouldn’t see an ounce of prison time for that, if you ask me. This is family who has literally gotten away with murder.

I know the show is trying to involve Sonny more in this story since he really seems like he’s quite the outsider, but I really hate the way he’s written. He has no life or persona other than to run around after Will and to try and ‘protect’ Will from Gabi. Sonny really had no business going to Justin (though it was nice to see him again) after what Chad told him.

Chad specifically asked Sonny to keep it quiet. I know Sonny has this thing about secrets, but sometimes it’s not your place to talk about what’s going on in someone else’s life. And who Will chooses to have as friends is not for Sonny to decide no matter what Gabi has done. Frankly, Sonny comes off like Will’s father or brother than his boyfriend. But that also might because they’re a dud as a romantic couple.

I did have to laugh when Sonny threatened Gabi. For a Kiriakis, he’s not very good at it and we know that Freddie Smith can play the tough guy when he needs to. I did love that Gabi got all bitchy up in Sonny’s face though. I really enjoyed Gabi when she was scheming and plotting last year. That’s when the character was at her most interesting and the actress really plays that aspect of her character well. Let’s hope we see more of it. Though for someone who kept secrets for months last year, she certainly spilled her due date rather quickly. LOL…


I was delighted to see Will and Abigail talking again. They’re supposedly close and I hope we get more of them together. But I’d really like more scenes with Sonny and Abigail. The show really played up their bond in the early days and I think Sonny needs a confidante or good pal. Overall though, I’m still annoyed by this storyline. I hate that Will is so weak and spineless. His keeping quiet about his child, given his own history, just seems really out of character to me. I know it has to be that way for the storyline to work, but for me it just doesn’t compute.


Will grows more upset about the lies in his life…

Days of Our Lives — Gabi realizes she’s made mistake by letting her family know she’s further along than originally claimed, which could put the identity of the father in peril. Nick shows up and says that he and Gabi hooked up right after meeting, but Gabi didn’t want to admit she’d slept with Nick the same day she met him and that’s why she lied about her due date. Rafe is upset that his sister could do such a thing and stalks off. Gabi and Nick realize they are lucky to have dodged that bullet.

Meanwhile, Sonny tells Will to stay away from Gabi, but Will refuses. Sonny is frustrated, but since he can’t clue Will in on Gabi’s role in Melanie’s kidnapping, he lets it go. Sami drops by to ask Sonny to be an usher at Nick and Gabi’s wedding and Sonny says no, putting Will and Sonny further at odds. When Lucas hears about Will and Sonny’s problems, he encourages Will to work things out with his boyfriend.

Lucas makes a rare appearance to remind us he’s still okay with having a gay son.

Gabi is afraid her secret is going to be exposed when Marlena starts asking questions about her, Nick and the baby. Things get more tense when Sonny reveals he figured out what Will, Gabi and Nick are hiding — but it turns out Sonny just figured out that Gabi was going to have an abortion and Will was going to help pay for it. Sonny and Will agree to move on the issues revolving around Gabi and patch things up.

Later, during an argument with Nick, Will is stunned when Nick says nasty things about gay people.

“Thank you for understanding I need to be beaten…”

Hollyoaks— One couple breaks up and another reunites this week, but that isn’t even the major event. Ste and Doug are headed for a new life in America, but Ste can’t forget his past with Brendan. Ste laments losing Brendan forever, saying that even when it was bad, he still kept going back. Later, Doug accidentally finds out from Cheryl that Ste still loves Brendan and that the only reason they’re not together is because of Brendan’s vow to God to stay away from his former victim.

At the airport, Doug gives Ste a ticket to Dublin and says he’s tired of being second best and that Ste should go after what he wants. It can’t be easy to tell your husband to go back to an abusive relationship, but that’s what Doug does. Ste can’t wait to be reunited with the man who broke his ribs, blackened his eyes, stalked and harassed him — not to mention punching him just last week.

Meanwhile, in Dublin, Brendan isn’t have a good holiday because his plans fall through. Seems they aren’t really interested in spending time with Brendan. Looks like someone has the right idea. As Brendan walks away feeling sorry for himself, he sees a troubled man chasing after a train, calling out for ‘Craig. That man is John Paul McQueen, who hasn’t been seen since he left Chester with his lover four years ago. But it would seem that relationship is over and John Paul isn’t very happy.

Look whos back and without Craig

Brendan and John Paul wind up in a bar, giving each other an ear to bend. It isn’t long before John Paul and Brendan are in bed. But they are both shocked when Ste shows up. Ste is upset to find Brendan sleeping with someone else and tells Brendan it’s over. But since beating Ste to a pulp didn’t deter him from Brendan, it’s unlikely this will either. Eventually, Ste and Brendan talk and Ste pleads with Brendan to give things another chance. Brendan finally forgets his vow to stay away from Ste and they reunite.

Meanwhile, back in Chester, trouble awaits Brendan and Ste when Brendan’s father Seamus, who molested Brendan repeatedly as a child shows up in town, looking for a reunion with his family. Uh-oh!


General Hospital Felix and Sabrina talk Lucy Coe into returning to run the Nurses’ Ball…


Look for John Paul to be busy with lots of men (other than Brendan) upon his return

This is the week that Hollyoaks fans have been waiting for when John Paul McQueen, played by James Sutton returns after a four year absence during which the actor did stage work as well as a stint on Emmerdale playing mechanic Ryan Lamb. Sutton says when he left the show that made him famous worldwide he’d always planned to come back some day, it was just a matter of the right storyline. When Bryan Kirkwood, who was the executive producer when Sutton was on the show before, returned to the UK soap a few months ago, he contacted Sutton about a possible return.

“I met up with Bryan and he asked me how I felt about coming back.” Sutton told the Daily Star. “He then told me what he was proposing to do and there was no way I could turn it down.”

Sutton went on to give a tiny tease about what’s ahead for John Paul, which is reportedly a storyline that no soap has ever done before.

“When he told me what he had planned for John Paul, I was so excited. And it’s certainly going to get a reaction.” Sutton said. “…It’s quite a dark direction for John Paul, which for me as an actor is great. There’s some juicy stuff coming up and people will be excited as well as shocked. But that’s all I’m allowed to say…except that John Paul has terrible taste in men.”

That’s it for another edition of Langford on Soaps.. There won’t be a column next week as I’ll be off celebrating the Christmas holiday. But I’ll be back with a new edition on January 2nd.. See you then and Happy Holidays!