LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS
As I said last week, I’m really enjoying Neighbours these days. The fallout from the accident has continued to make for interesting soap. Now, I don’t know anything about epilepsy or its symptoms, so I can’t say if the show is being medically accurate about Andrew’s illness, but it’s dramatically compelling to watch.
I see a lot of comments about Andrew being ‘stupid’ for not taking Aidan’s advice and telling people about his situation, but his behavior makes perfect sense to me. Andrew has always been one to avoid problems. His father is repeatedly telling him he needs to be tough and he can’t even talk to Chris and his friends because they won’t have anything to do with him following the accident. Risking his health might be stupid, but it’s realistic.
What isn’t so realistic, however, is the lawsuit that Paul has against Chris. Surely before they go to court Paul will get all the facts, which will include getting the testimony of Tash, Summer, Andrew and Sophie. While Andrew might lie, there is no way that the others won’t tell that the accident happened because Andrew hit Chris’ arm while he struggled with Tash to stop her from phoning the police about the fraud he committed.
Paul is supposedly a smart guy, so I can’t believe he hasn’t gotten all the details before making any moves. Once he knows that Andrew was in part responsible for the accident and his fraudulent behavior would become a matter of public record, there’s no way he’d let the case go forward. So things realistically should never even get to court. But I guess if it came out now, we’d have no story, would we? Still it’s a big flaw in the story that none of this has been explored.
As for the impending reunion of Chris and Aidan, I still don’t think they have chemistry, but James Mason and Bob Morely are both good actors so I enjoyed the scenes of Chris trying to win Aiden back. It makes perfect sense that Aiden would be reluctant to get back with Chris, even if he still loves him. Sure, Chris is out of the closet at long last, but he does have the habit of lying when things get difficult. How can Aiden ever trust or believe Chris? But it’ll be interesting to see how Chris convinces Aidan to trust him again as it’s only a matter of time before they are back together.
I tell you what, they sure do make those boys from Finland awfully purty. Heh. But back on topic, I actually enjoyed this story. Sure, we’ve seen it a thousand times before, but it’s all about the execution and this is executed well. The actors, while not particularly strong, do handle their roles well and Elias is likeable — even if he is cheating with his best friends’ boyfriend behind her back. His guilt and confusion is well depicted and I really liked the scenes with the woman that I assume is his mother.
How long will Elias and Lari’s relationship stay a secret?
I like that she is totally non-judgmental and accepting of her son’s sexuality, but I was a little shocked that she wasn’t more troubled by his sleeping with Lari. But I’ve come to realize that other cultures tend to not be as moralizing about these things as they are here in the States. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know; it’s just different.
Let’s face it though, we know where this is going. Lari won’t be able to stay out of Elias’ bed, they’ll get caught, the young woman will feel all kinds of betrayed, but ultimately Elias and Lari will get together and everyone will come to accept it. At least, that’s how these things usually work out. The thing is, despite that, I’m looking forward to seeing it unfold, not dreading each and every clichéd beat. As I said before, it’s all about the execution and here, it works.
Good Times, Bad Times
This probably won’t last given my love/hate relationship with this show, but I actually enjoyed this soap as it begins its new season. Yes, it bothers me to no end that Lucas is (yet again) being victimized because he’s gay, but he seems to have learned from his past and sees that he needs to stay away from these closet cases. But, we’ll see how long that lasts.
However, are we really supposed to believe that Lucas actually feels something for Bilal? As far as I can tell, they barely know each other and they really don’t have much chemistry. They just strike me as rather mismatched in just about every way I can think of.
But I liked is that Lucas didn’t suffer in silence, but immediately told Maxine about it. I love that she insisted Lucas go to the police and I wish Lucas had at least considered it rather than feeling sorry for Bilal by saying he’s confused and whatnot. Who gives a flip about his confusion, I say. Call the police. Still, those scenes were nice.
I also thought the scenes between Bilal and his bride-to-be were well done. It’s obvious and sad that they are both desperately running from feelings they want to deny because they feel they’re wrong. And it’s a nice twist that instead of being the clueless bride besotted by her closeted boyfriend, she’s got her own issues and problems and secrets. It makes it a bit different from the usual cliché.
The scenes with Lucas, Maxine and Nina where she admitted she had sex with Mike were fun and terrific. Yes, it was melodramatic and soapy, but those type of frank and honest family relationships do exists so the scenes rang very true. Poor Noud. He’s going to be hurt when this comes out, though I admit I never really liked Nina and Noud together anyway. He seems like the type of guy Nina is only settling for (which she pretty much admitted) and not the type a free spirited girl like her can be happy with. I actually think the real problem is that they married far too young and Nina is seeing that now.
Thanks to GTSTfanMark for the clips!
Days of Our Lives
Will and Sonny’s romance hasn’t even gotten off the ground and already I’m tired of it. Yes, it has the usual soap complications: stalled and interrupted conversations, miscommunications and misunderstandings. But the show is doing such a bad job at writing it. Neither Will nor Sonny are acting like the bright and intelligent young men we know them to be. Instead, they’re acting like a pair of school-kids with limited social skills. And the fact that they tell God and everybody about their feelings without naming who the other person is just ludicrous. And well, most people, such as Marlena, should be able to guess anyway.
But even sillier and perhaps a bit insulting, was Sonny trying to make amends with T. I just don’t get what Sonny’s motivation was. In fact, I don’t understand Sonny’s behavior during this entire story arc. Why didn’t he report T and why is he apologizing to his homophobic abuser? It’s times like this that the show has forgotten the background of its characters. Sonny is a member of the Kiriakis family. They’re mobsters, you know? They don’t apologize to their foes, they take them out.
That’s why I’m bothered by Justin and Adrienne’s somewhat non-reactions to their son being attacked and why Victor wasn’t more outraged. The Victor of this show’s past would have made a mysterious phone call and we would have seen T being beaten to a pulp and run out of town. Even having Victor threaten such actions and Sonny talking him down would make more sense.
So is Tad gonna be Sonny’s romantic advisor now?
But what makes this even more ludicrous is Sonny telling T about his feelings for Will. Seriously, show? That scene was so awkward and so unrealistic. And this is on a show that’s had demonic possession as a major storyline. Heck, that makes more sense than this. Elsewhere, it was nice to see Will, Chad and Sonny in the same scene. I always loved them as friends, and it’s a reminder that not long ago these guys were inseparable. And I’m glad that Chad and Will finally talked about Will being gay. Sadly though, it’s a conversation that is months too late.
I’m so glad Doug came to his senses and called off the wedding and came out to his family. However, the drama that led up to it makes no sense. I guess I understand Doug’s position. It all started out with a little white lie and snowballed into a big mess. He was afraid to come out to his parents. That makes sense to me.
But I really got tired of Ste’s whining and griping out it. He seemed to want to forget that the wedding was his idea to begin with. And he wanted to do it so he could get his hands on Doug’s inheritance. So as much as Ste wanted to blame Doug for coming out to his family, it’s just as much his fault for pushing Doug into asking Leanne to marry him to begin with.
Oh well, at least it’s all over and Ste and Doug patched things up. But I think the writing was quite unfair to Doug’s parents. They tried to write them as homophobes, but the fact of the matter is, Doug lied to them and tried to bilk them out of $20,000 by staging a fake wedding and a baby that didn’t exist. They had every reason to be upset with him, over and above his being gay. Doug owes his parents an apology. The issue of his sexuality is a separate matter altogether, at least in my opinion.
SCOOPS AND SPOILERS
River City — When Gabriel is charged with murdering a hooker, Will is certain that Sean is setting him up, but he has no proof. Every lead goes nowhere and Will’s frustration grows more profound. Will goes home, hoping to get some support from Robbie, but that only serves to make matters worse. Will takes his anger and rage out on his fiancé, but has Will gone too far this time? And worse, Robbie isn’t the only who suffers because of Will.
What will Olli do when he learns what Charlie is hiding from him?
Forbidden Love — Olli wants to know what Arno knows about his long lost sister, But given that the man is lying at death’s door, not to mention that Charlie doesn’t want the secret revealed, she discourages Olli from bothering Arno. Christian thinks Olli should just leave the whole thing alone, but Olli is certain that something is being hidden from him. Since Olli can’t let it drop, Christian suggests Olli talk to his mother about it, but Olli wants to know more before he confronts his mother with any suspicions.
But before things can go any further, Arno dies and everyone is thrown into mourning. But it’s not the end of the mystery surrounding Olli’s supposed sister. Arno leaves a letter to Charlie revealing the secret and Charlie is terrified Arno may have left Olli a similar note. In fact, Arno did just that and Charlie tries to intercept the letter, but Olli gets hold of it anyway. It isn’t long before Olli discovers what Charlie is hiding…
Is it time for romance for Will and Sonny?
Days of Our Lives — Will and Sonny are still wandering around town as they have for weeks now, telling everyone who’ll listen about ‘the guy’ they like, but not naming said guy and certainly not talking to each other about their feelings. But things are about to take a turn, thankfully. Sonny tells his mother Adrienne about his feelings for Will and Adrienne is less than thrilled. She thinks Will is too flaky for her level-headed son and that a relationship would never work.
Will runs into T of all people, who informs him that Sonny really is into him and that nothing ever happened between Brian and Will. Will is delighted to hear Sonny still likes him and races over to talk to him. The two finally clear the air and admit they are attracted to one another. Sonny realizes, though, that Will is nervous about being in his first relationship with a man and they decide to take things slowly.
Hollyoaks — Ste and Doug are happier than ever, but Ste’s encounter with Brendan could ruin everything, leaving Doug to face that Brendan may always be part of their lives. The question is if Ste and Doug’s relationship can withstand Brendan’s ongoing presence. Meanwhile, Walker gets horrible news about his brother’s health and is left devastated when Cam’s condition turns grave. As a result, he becomes even more determined to exact revenge on Brendan. And Brendan gets involved when Joel tries to stop his mother from going back to her abusive ex-husband.
Chris gets his heart broken by Aidan… again.
Neighbours — Still in love with Aidan, Chris is determined to win his ex-boyfriend back. Aidan still cares about Chris, but he’s afraid to give Chris another chance. After some advice from Tash, Chris realizes what he has to do if he’s going to have another chance with Aidan, but will it work? Meanwhile, the symptoms from Andrew’s epilepsy are getting worse and with Andrew refusing to get treatment, Aidan is becoming more and more worried and is unable to convince Andrew to get the help he needs.
Elsewhere, Chris still faces Paul’s civil suit as Paul is determined to make Chris pay for the accident that left Sophie unable to walk. Toadie offers to represent Chris, but when Toadie’s partners balk at getting involved in Chris’ case, will that leave Chris without a lawyer?
AND ALSO THIS WEEK…
Holby City — Malick struggles with his students…
Coronation Street — Marcus leaps into action when Kristy goes into premature labor while Sean is upset by changes at the Rovers.
Say goodbye to one of soaps most popular gay couples…
Last week, EastEnders bid goodbye to gay teen Ben Mitchell, leaving only engaged couple Syed Masood and Christian Clarke as the gay citizens in Walford Square. But soon there won’t be any gay folks left in town as actors Marc Elliot (Syed) and John Partridge (Christian) will exit the soap in November.
But before fans cry that the show is trying to degay the long running UK soap, that isn’t the case. It was the actors choice to leave, at least in one case. Reportedly, Elliot decided he wanted to leave the show after three years in the role of Syed Masood. That led to Partridge being written out as well.
Look for lots of drama before Syed and Christian exit…
“When Marc announced he had decided to move on, we had a tough decision to make.” Executive Producer Lorraine Newman told The Mirror. “After numerous conversations, which included John, it was decided that there is only one outcome for Syed and Christian. We wish them both all the best for the future.”
Elliot, for his part, is looking forward to taking on new projects and roles.
“I have had a brilliant time on EastEnders and made some amazing friends. I have also been blessed with some incredible storylines. I am especially pleased that the show has tackled and raised awareness of the sensitive subject of being a gay Muslim.” Elliot said. “As an actor you are always looking for new challenges and I feel now is the right time to explore different projects – perhaps returning to my roots in theatre.”
Will Syed and Christian get a happy ending raising Syed’s daughter Yasmin together?
And Partridge is at peace with his leaving as well.
“I have had the time of my life at EastEnders, but I have always gone with my instincts – and leaving at the same time as Marc felt like the only thing to do.” Partridge said. “It is the right end to the story and for Christian. But, excitingly, it is also the start of a whole new chapter for me.”
While the show is keeping mum on exactly how Syed and Christian will be written out, we previously reported that Gary Lucy is joining the cast as Danny Pennant, a gay banker and that he will become involved with one of the gay duo. And it looks as if Syed will find himself attracted to the new boy in town. With his wedding to Christian approaching, Syed is going to find himself in severe financial straits and he will resort to his old ways of conning people to make a buck, including his own family. Danny might be there to offer Syed a way out of his money problems and when sparks fly between the two men, it could lead to a whole lot more.
Also, Amira, Syed’s ex-wife, played by Preeya Kalidas, will make a few appearances to help wrap up the storyline.
So the question is, will Syed and Christian leave town as a happy couple or in the wake of a painful breakup? That, of course, remains to be seen.
Thore Schölermann leaves Forbidden Love to find his ‘Voice’
EastEnders isn’t the only soap to lose its gay characters. Thore Schölermann, who plays Christian Mann on Forbidden Love is bidding goodbye to the German set drama, but the actor will reportedly return to the show. Schölermann is merely taking a four month break from the show while he tapes the reality show The Voice of Germany. No word on how the actor will be written out of the show, but since Christian has so little storyline anymoreone wonders if anyone would notice if he left for a few months.
Out gay soap writer Sri Rao has a new gig…
After nighttime soap General Hospital: Night Shiftwas cancelled after its second season, this columnist wondered if we’d ever see talented out gay soap writer Sri Rao, who wrote the second season of that sudser, in a new soap project. And it looks like we might finally see Rao’s work on screen in the near future as he has sold a political based drama to NBC. The show is called White House: Confidential, which is described as an ‘Upstairs-Downstairs type of drama about life in the White House’. The show will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, currently showrunning Smashand Drop Dead Divas.
We’ll be following the news on this exciting new project as it develops.
And that’s a wrap for this edition of Langford on Soaps. See you next time!