Plus, “Hollyoaks” lands British Soap Awards nominations, the return of “House Husbands” and “Days” is a winner.
LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS
General Hospital (U.S)
As much as I liked that final scene where Felix told Britt she wasn’t going to get away with trying to break up Sabrina and Patrick, I just kept thinking that this show really needs to get Felix out of the BFF role because that’s all he does. Or at least give him something else to do. Everything in his life is about Sabrina and her life and her romances. Even when he was pursuing Milo, it was really about Sabrina. And having a gay character’s life revolve around his best girlfriend’s romances just seems so dated and a shame on a show headed by two gay men. Even Days,with all its flaws, treats their gays better than that.
House Husbands (Australia)
I loved this show and I’m glad it’s back. Kane is probably one of my favorite gays currently on television. But I didn’t like Kane so much in this episode. I really had a problem with Kane not only going behind Tom’s back to find out whether Liam was Stella’s biological father, but then he went and told Liam the truth after confirming paternity. Yes, Liam had the right to know he had a child out there, but it wasn’t Kane’s decision to make when or if the truth would be revealed. I just found Kane’s actions to be a huge betrayal of trust and to me, Tom was much too forgiving and let Kane get off far too easily for his thoughtless and reckless behavior. It never seemed to occur to Kane that they could wind up losing custody of Stella so the situation had to be handled delicately. To me, Kane’s behavior was outrageous and perhaps even unforgivable, even though things turned out all right.
I knew the subject of Kane’s legal status would be brought up and I knew that it would result with Tom deciding to have Kane be named at Stella’s legal co-parent. As it stands Kane, though he’s the primary caregiver, has no legal rights where Stella is concerned and you would think that after that was made painfully clear when Stella was sick last season they would have done something about it before another crisis hit.
And you know, I got a feeling of foreboding from the events in this episode. One thing is certain is that Liam will be back and he’ll want to be part of his daughter’s life. But what if he returned just as something happened and Tom was either killed or was unable to care for Stella and Kane’s legal rights hadn’t been established in the courts yet. Liam could take the child away from Kane and there’s nothing he could do about it. Just something that occurred to me while watching. I don’t know if this will happen, but I could see it happening.
One last thing, while I was delighted that Liam never was bothered that his daughter was being raised by two gay men (though it could be he didn’t care who was raising her as long as he didn’t have to be involved), I’m not so pleased at something in regards to Tom and Kane’s interpersonal relationship. Last season we really saw little of Tom and Kane ’s interaction as a couple because Tom’s role on the show was very limited.
But this season Tom’s role is bigger, but we still don’t get much of Tom and Kane as a couple, dealing with their relationship outside of being parents, including making time for romance. It just became very clear on last week’s show when during the show’s opening we saw all the couples in intimate and romantic moments, except for Tom and Kane. It’s great that the show wants to be relevant by having this openly gay couple raising a child. But if they want to tell us that Tom and Kane are like any other couple, then perhaps they should treat them as such.
Holby City (U.K.)
I admit I fell way behind on watching this show, even though they’ve been featuring Malick in a pretty lengthy story arc about his relationship with his son and Malick’s ongoing coupling with fellow doctor Nathan. But I finally caught up and I like what the show has been doing. Malick is still Malick, brash and egotistical and edgy, but we see him softening a bit and becoming more multi-dimensional as he develops these new relationships in his life. I still think his fiery relationship with Dan might have made a more compelling love story for Malick, but I’m happy with what the show is doing.
I thought that Malick’s nervousness about coming out to his son was completely realistic and believable. He’d never cared what people thought of him in the past, but with Jake it was different. Like Malick said, Jake had been through a lot and finding out that his father was gay and that being in part was why Malick was never part of his life would be shocking news. On the other hand, Jake’s reaction was also believable. He’s already lost his mother and as he said, there’s really no other news that could be worse. I liked that Jake basically saw being gay as no big deal and felt that people who think it is are living in the dark ages. And it was a nice point that Malick made that his father’s inability to accept his homosexuality wasn’t really all that long ago.
So for the moment, Malick’s life seems relatively settled. He’s developing a relationship with his son and he’s got Nathan in his life. That tranquility can’t last. It’s going to be interesting to see where they take the character next.
It’s a pretty sad week when the most interesting thing about it is the show’s new credits, which have finally been updated following all the recent cast changes. Fans are complaining that the show hasn’t changed their cheesy song lyrics, but they don’t seem to realize that those lyrics are what the show is all about and that changing them would be like Days dropping its hourglass. It’s an integral part of the show’s history and in soaps your history should always be respected. Overall, I actually like the new opening theme and it’s curious how prominent Chris is, even if the show really seems uninterested in writing for him these days.
I dunno, I think the show doesn’t know what to do with him these days or that’s how it’s seems, so he drifts between scenes talking to Kyle about his problems or talking to Amber about her problems or running the garage single handed while Lucas deals with his baby and having cancer. Mason doesn’t seem to be around much either. Perhaps he’s looking for his shirt since he never seems to have one on. Anyway, I keep hoping that the show would follow up in its promise to give Chris romantic interests with Aidan gone. With each passing week my hopes fade.
People of the Valley (Wales)
This storyline has been playing the same beat for a few weeks now, with Iolo looking sad and whipped while he beats himself up over having ran over Gethin and this past week was no different with Iolo’s reaction upon seeing Gethin out of the hospital. I still have a big problem with the overall character arc of this storyline cause I don’t believe that Iolo would have ever done this to begin with. But having Sion now telling Iolo he needs to just get over it and move on might even be harder to buy. Sion has always been about being honest and telling the truth so his encouraging Iolo to keep lying just stretches the credulity of an already hard to believe storyline. I guess we’re to forget that Sion spent weeks haranguing Iolo about coming forward, even to the point of threatening to turn Iolo in himself. The show isn’t even bothering to explain Sion’s change of heart, we’re just expected to roll with it.
I have to say though that more than this story arc, what’s got me bothered the most is that the show still refuses to give Iolo a romantic life. I thought things had changed a few months ago with the introduction of Josh, but the show seems to have dropped that. I just don’t believe that a young, good looking man like Iolo wouldn’t have had at least a few dates since his relationship with Alun, which was three years ago. But Iolo has been on the show for nearly 5 years now and that was his only ongoing coupling. The show has been overwhelmingly positive in terms of gay storytelling. They had a lesbian romance that lasted for years. So why is Iolo still inexplicably single? Much like Iolo’s current storyline, that doesn’t make much sense.
Whew! Another crazy big week in Hollyoaks as the show said goodbye to another longtime character. I’ve always loved Jacqui and I’ll miss her terribly. Her exit is going to leave a big hole in the show and in the McQueen family. I suspect that the show will bring on a new McQueen girl to fill in the gap, that’s what they’ve done in the past when McQueens have left the show. Though I suspect that’s why they made Phoebe a family member. Just don’t bring back Michaela. I’ve always hated her.
Poor John Paul. I loved how he came home and landed smack dab into his family’s latest disaster, yet jumped right into trying to help rescue Mercedes, even though he knew what they were doing was a big mistake and that the plan would never work. I loved the last scenes with John Paul and Jacqui. They have always had a special relationship and they haven’t spent nearly enough time together since JP came back to town. And the goodbye scenes with Jacqui and Phoebe were nicely done, even though I never quite bought the bond between them.
The twist with the illegal immigrants was a surprising development and it’s going to be interesting to see where the show goes with it. Looks like Phoebe is finally going to have a love interest, which she has been long overdue for. It’s funny that fans always assumed she was a lesbian, even though the character herself insisted she wasn’t.
I really liked the George and Diane scenes. There was some nice writing and some really well-done characterization scenes, especially for two characters who’ve had little do with each other before this. Diane finding out she was pregnant was a nice touch and a necessary one since they had to come up with a reason for Tony to stay in town after agreeing to leave with Jaqcui. He’s always wanted children and has lost out on several chances to be a father. It makes sense Jacqui wouldn’t want him to miss out on that and would give him up. Let’s just hope the child survives.
This is Hollyoaks after all.
Overall, I wasn’t thrilled with Jacqui’s exit storyline. It was far too convoluted with the whole kidnapping scheme and a lot of it didn’t make sense. And with Mercedes still missing, it’s still not over. I never liked the Trudy character, which much of it revolved around. At least we won’t have to see her again. Too bad Clare, who is just as ridiculous and cartoonish, is still around. The main issue is that the whole thing just seemed made up as it went along rather than thoughtfully planned out. I wish the show was better at these things, but look how they bungled Brendan’s exit and Mitzeee’s wasn’t that great either. Though I love how soap characters can just drop everything and leave town forever.
I still don’t like what the show has done with Callum. Stealing cars, drug dealing, getting involved in a hit and run and leaving the victim to die is nothing like this character. The show is trying to tell us that he went this way because he was upset about his mother’s drinking, but some of this went down before she started boozing again. Besides, even if that were the case, Callum’s reaction is far too extreme given how he’d been written before this. As for Robbie, I think he’s kind of a ridiculous character and he’s certainly isn’t as dangerous and threatening as the show wants us to think he is. Sinead continues to be an awful, unsympathetic person. And who is she to judge her mother about her surprise pregnancy given that she got pregnant by a married man and is still passing the baby off as Bart’s.
But, I really should stop expecting consistent writing and characterization from this show. Odd how it does these things and keeps doing them, yet remains crazily entertaining.
Secret Lives (Finland)
So, they’re back together, just like I thought. I can’t imagine it’ll last long though since Lari isn’t out to his father yet and is reluctant to tell him the truth. I thought the date mixup was kind of cute and I liked how Lari and his new pal wound up going out to talk about their problems. Overall, the reunion seemed kind of anticlimactic. It’s no surprise that Elias would just take Lari back without a second thought given that he’s pretty much let Lari walk all over him from day one. But I wish there had been more actual discussion between them after all the drama and that they’ve been broken up for so long. Instead it all seemed somewhat glossed over and rushed. In the end, the whole thing had no impact at all. And well, I’m sure that jerky Lari will be back in an episode or two.
Days of Our Lives (U.S.)
I wanted to like this more, I really did. After all, we got lots of positive messages about gay love and acceptance and some onscreen kissing of which Grandma Caroline thoroughly approves. I know the fangurls were besides themselves, squeeing themselves silly and running out and making new gifs of the boys nose rubbing and kissing (another aspect of fandom that I find really weird, BTW). It was cute. And if I didn’t watch this show every day and only saw this snippet in time, I might have been more thrilled by this episode. But I do watch this show every day and I know what the overall story arc, such as it is, has been like. So what I came away with, despite the positive messages, were disappointment and an overall feeling that Sonny and Will are still second class citizens on this show.
For example, according to the show, when Will isn’t scheming with his mother to get Stefano to help take down Nick and Sonny isn’t getting into fist fights with Mr. Fallon, they’re hanging out with Chad, T and Brian. And apparently for the past few months, even though Will and Sonny are clearly back together, Brian has been hanging around like a proverbial fifth wheel, trying to find ways to rain on Will and Sonny’s happiness. So my question is, why haven’t we been seeing any of these scenes? Why is all this triangle drama taking place off screen and we’re only hearing about after the fact? And why is this pseudo-plot arc wrapped up in a few minutes so we can squeeze in Caroline’s endorsement of Will and Sonny’s relationship? We’ve already had similar scenes, after all.
We just sat through months of hours and hours of Daniel, Jen and Chloe’s agonizing to watch triangle play out. We’ve seen lots of Kristen convoluted scheme to get revenge on John. EJ and Sami have had a long arc of them reuniting and moving into the mansion. Plus, there’s Cam’s stripper secret and a number of other plot arcs and story points we saw play out on screen. And with all that, the show simply couldn’t find some airtime here and there to see these moments that Will and Sonny were talking about? I’m sorry, it’s not just right, it’s unacceptable. No other couple or storyline would be treated with such indifference and given the short shrift, but yet Will and Sonny are and continue to be treated in such an offensive manner.
This is not the first time this has happened in regards to this relationship. I’ve commented before on how most of the ‘falling in love’ part of Will and Sonny’s coupling either happened off screen or didn’t happen at all. Sonny was apparently pining for Will for the better part of year (which is as believable as Brian’s so called lecherous behavior towards Sonny), but we never saw any of it.
The point is, for all the positive things this show has done in regards for gay storytelling, the storytelling still isn’t being treated the same as what goes on with the straight stories, even if the show claims that they are treating this couple the same as everyone else. The fact is that they re not and until they do, episodes like this, won’t be nearly as meaningful as they could be.
As for the rest of the show, they made a big deal about EJ and Sami reuniting and planning to remarry, but as much as I like these characters and think that they have amazing, blistering chemistry, it’s hard for me to root for them given the shootings and rapes and ugliness that have permeated their relationship. The fact that the show whitewashes and glosses over that mess doesn’t help or make people forget that it actually happened. That’s the problem with having your regular characters do such extreme, horrific actions. You eventually have to somehow deal with those acts or pretend they never happened. And Days to some extent has pretended the latter. I just don’t have that capability.
SCOOPS AND SPOILERS
People of the Valley — It’s Jinx and Ffion’s wedding day and Iolo is Jinx’s best man. But the knowledge that his brother Macs is the father of Ffion’s baby and not Jinx is weighing heavily on Iolo’s mind. It bothers him so much that he blurts out the truth about the baby and ruins the wedding. Sion and Macs are upset with Iolo; Sion because the truth was kept from him and Macs because Iolo revealed it after promising not to.
Macs goes to Jinx and begs him to forgive Ffion and be a father to the baby as he has no intention of being involved in the child’s life ever. But it turns out that’s not the only secret that’s being kept. It turns out that Jinx and Ffion are cousins. Yipes! Meanwhile, the village turns on Iolo for ruining the wedding. But Iolo has even more reason to be guilty. Gethin’s health has taken a turn for the worse and he has been rushed to the hospital.
AND ALSO THIS WEEK…
As part of their plan, Vargas gives Nick $30,000…
Days of Our Lives — Will, Sami and EJ are delighted when Stefano agrees to help Will get his hands on the evidence the police have implicating him in EJ’s shooting. While Vargas gives Nick $30,000 in cash…
Shortland Street —Henry’s attempts to play hero could cost him everything….
Good Times, Bad Times — Lucas tries to find Weit a new man, but things take a surprising twist when he ends up snagging a man for himself.
General Hospital — Though she has agreed to have an abortion, Felix is suspicious about Britt’s true intentions. Later, Emma puts Felix on the spot when she asks about the unborn child…
Neighbours — Chris goes on a ‘date’ with Amber and the two enjoy themselves. However, Amber’s feelings for Chris are becoming more than platonic…
Days is a winner…
The British Soap Awards nominations have been announced and Hollyoaks came away with several nominations. Recently departed actor Emmett J. Scanlan, who played Brendan, was nominated for both Villian of the Year and Best Actor. Kieron Richardson, who plays Ste, was nominated as Sexiest Actor. Hollyoaks was also nominated along with Doctors, Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale for Best Soap. The winners will be announced next month. Fans can vote for their favorite here.
While other soaps are waiting to see if they will win, one soap has already won. Days of Our Lives nabbed GLAAD’s Outstanding Daily Drama award, beating out The Bold and The Beautiful, which has a barely existing lesbian storyline. Freddie Smith, who plays Sonny, accepted the award.
That’s it for this edition of Langford On Soaps. See you next week!