Langford on Soaps: Luke’s New Man on “Good Times, Bad Times”

Plus, the debuts of the rebooted All My Children and One Life To Live, what’s ahead for the gays on Days and Shortland Street. Also, Ste turns to drugs and violence on Hollyoaks.


Good Times, Bad Times (The Netherlands)


When I heard that Lucas was, after far too long, going to get a new love interest, I prayed that the show would avoid giving us another closet case (like Edwin or Bilal). The show not only did not that but gave me a character I can’t wait to get to know. Menno is mature, out of the closet, confident about his sexuality and he’s a cop, all of which I love. Plus he is gorgeous and looks great in a pair of jeans. He and Lucas already have red hot chemistry, something missing from Lucas’ previous relationships and boyfriends. The scene where they were flirting in Lucas’ club had sizzling sparks flying all over the place. I absolutely loved that episode and it’s been a very long time since I could say that about anything involving this show.

There is already built in conflict with Menno telling Lucas that they can’t get romantically involved because Lucas is part of the investigation that Menno is conducting. Of course we know that won’t last, not when the attraction is so obvious and potent. And this is a perfect relationship for Lucas at this point in his life. Lucas is a grown man with a business. It’s time for him to have an adult relationship, full of soapy complications, but free of tired issues revolving around sexuality and coming out. Lucas has been there and done that more than once. And it’ll definitely be interesting to see Menno and Lucas try to navigate their relationship amid the sometimes shady dealings of Lucas’ family. I’m really anxious to see where this already intriguing storyline is going. However, I have been disappointed by this shows storytelling and plot choices in the past. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen here.

As for other events on the show, there are things that only happen in soaps and one them would be Lucas and Weit’s friendship. Only in soaps can you pal around with the person who shot up your sister’s wedding and put you in a coma. Heh…. Meantime, I loved seeing Noud, who is handsome and sweet as ever. I still think that he and Nina are completely unsuited for each other and I can’t believe they are going to get married again. I wonder though if Weit will ruin this upcoming wedding as well. Hopefully this time she doesn’t bring a gun.

General Hospital (U.S)

There’s really not much to say here as Felix continues to spend all of his time obsessing about Sabrina’s romantic life (and now her clothes and hair and makeup). The show does, however, through dialogue, keep hinting heavily that Felix will soon have his own romance. It needs to happen soon. Felix is far too invested in his BFF’s life. Oh and can we end his still pining for Milo? That ship has sailed, the dude is straight and it makes Felix just look sad and pathetic. And I still don’t Patrick and Sabrina have much chemistry. He’s also far too old and mature for her.

People of the Valley (Wales)

Anyone who reads this column knows I am not one who appreciates violence, but I won’t lie and say I don’t think Iolo got what he deserved when Jinx punched him in the face after Iolo revealed the truth about the paternity of Ffion’s baby just as she and and Jinx were about to marry. He did it for totally selfish and thoughtless reasons, knowing all the people who would be hurt by the truth, including his own brother. As Macs pointed out, it wasn’t Iolo’s truth to tell. He betrayed everyone, people who were closest to him and trusted him, because of his own issues about Gethin. I’ve always liked Iolo, but this storyline has tried my patience with this character, who has really become about a completely different person. I never like it when a show changes a character for a storyline. It usually does the character no good.

Shortland Street (New Zealand)

I’m pretty much anti-smoking as I think it’s a gross and disgusting habit. And if the point of this storyline is that smoking is bad, then I guess I’m all for it. But not only do I not think that’s the reason behind this plot arc, it’s really boring and quite frankly stupid, requiring the characters to behave in unbelievably foolish ways. For example, why in the world would Henry continue to smoke in the exact same spot where he’d been nearly caught before? It was bad enough that he would do it, but why would Rachel, who is in charge of the hospital, join him in violating employee policy in such a flagrant manner?

BTW, I would think if there are blind spots that the cameras don’t catch in the hospital parking lot, cameras would be installed there forthwith as not having them would be dangerous for a lot of reasons. And I really don’t think much of Henry proving his loyalty by covering that Rachel was smoking with him. I also didn’t like Rachel going on to ‘punish’ Henry by demoting him, even though she proved she still trusted him by passing some confidential information on to him. I’m sure though that Henry will probably lose the plans or let the wrong person see them, which probably the reason for this dumb story.

Overall though, while there’s the usual sin and sex and scandal, this soap spends far too much time discussing the ennui of hospital activities, which this week included some chatter about parking spaces for the nurses, and none of it is very interesting drama.

Neighbours (Australia)

When the show’s producers promised that Chris would have romantic interests, I certainly hope they didn’t mean what we’ve seen so far. Chris had no interest in Scotty and Amber, well, is a girl. Besides, we know where this is going. Amber is clearly going to develop a major crush on Chris, which is going to go absolutely nowhere, so what’s the point? I’m starting to think the show really isn’t going to go anywhere with Chris given the overall direction of the soap these days, but I’m hoping that I’m wrong. I know this is just part of an overall arc about cyber-bullying, a social issue story the show is touting right now, but it seems giving Chris his own story and his own life is getting lost in all of this.

Days of Our Lives (U.S.)

I LOVED the opening scene with Kate and Nick, where she told Nick she enjoyed his work, but hated him. Classic Kate. And Nick’s reaction was priceless. The scene with Rafe and Gabi was cute too, where she teased him about his stint as a stripper. Admittedly, I didn’t watch those scenes revolving around the stripper storyline as pretty much anything involving Cameron and Daniel bores me to tears, even if they don’t have their clothes on. Elsewhere, I like that the guys are still hanging out with T, who continues to be a character I want to see more of, if only because he says things that are totally inappropriate, but always funny. He’s a lot more real than other folks in Salem.

Those scenes with Stefano, EJ, Will and Sami were really kind of ridiculous. EJ and Sami were being so painfully obvious about their intentions, which is completely unlike these characters, who are much better at lies and deceit than this. They would have been much better off just asking Stefano upfront for what they wanted rather than all that silly subterfuge. Speaking of subterfuge, Sonny’s going to visit his mother was much more believable. Unlike EJ and Sami, Sonny is a terrible liar so he should have been easy to figure out. But, it was so nice seeing Adrienne again. We don’t get enough of this character. She and Sonny have a wonderful mother/son relationship that rings true. I thought the loving smile on her face before she answered the phone to talk to him was a nice touch.

I’m glad things are finally picking up with Eric, Nicole and Vargas, but I wish the show would play out a real triangle here Nicole has chemistry with both men and it would be hot to see her torn between two very different men. But Days has an annoying habit of introducing a third party to a relationship, but not making the other person a viable interest. They did that with Brian in regards to Will and Sonny and they did the same with Chloe, who was never really a threat to Jennifer and Dan’s (boring ass) relationship. Real love triangles where someone is really caught between two people they both have feelings for can fuel soapy drama for years. Days used to tell those stories better than anybody. Wish they would get back to it.

Hollyoaks (U.K)

We didn’t see much of the gays last week as the show focused on the fallout from the kidnapping and the Will/Texas storyline and Doug and John Paul only played minor supporting roles, which kind of didn’t make sense. I was having a hard time with the fact that Mercedes had been kidnapped and all the drama surrounding that and John Paul was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t like he was at work since he is currently suspended from the school so where he was he? It just was silly that he was MIA at a time like that.

I was glad that he and Doug got the chance to catch up, even if it didn’t go so well. I know some people thought Doug was being ‘whiny’ in regards to JP which takes me back to folks who thought was being ‘whiny’ when Ste was always chasing after Brendan and then lying to Doug that he was only imagining things when he called Ste out on his obsession with his abuser. Like with Ste and Brendan, Doug has reason to be upset. John Paul told him he wanted to pursue a relationship with him, then he skips town with no explanation. And when he comes back, he blows Doug off. Anybody would be upset about being treated (again) so badly in a relationship. But because it’s Doug, he must be in the wrong…

Poor Doug keeps getting screwed over…

I always find it ridiculous when people find bags of money on television and in movies and immediately start spending the cash as if such things happen everyday and no one is going to be looking for their missing dough. But just as ridiculous is Leanne’s sudden attraction to creepy Will. Leanne doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to men, but her being into Will reeks of plot device. She knows how creepy and weird Will is. So what exactly does she like about him? But at least Leanne knows what she’s feeling is wrong, so that’s a plus.

I wish I cared about this Texas/Will/Dodger triangle. Texas and Dodger as a couple have always bored me silly and the acting of the three parties veers from competent to woeful depending on the scene. The only good thing is that Dodger often appears without a shirt. But that’s not nearly enough to make up for the bad storytelling. As for Paul and Mercedes, there was a time when I really loved these characters and loved them together, but that was before the murders and all the other scheming and plotting. Like I’ve said before, when you take your characters to extremes, it’s sometimes hard to pull them back. Viewers have long memories no matter how much the writers want us to forget past misdeeds and transgressions.

I’m glad we got to see Jacqui one last time to give closure to her story and she and Mercedes’ relationship, but the show yet again followed the tired beat of Mercedes doing something absolutely horrendous, in this case staging her own kidnapping, and being forgiven all too quickly and easily. Jacqui literally went from raging and telling Mercedes how she ruined her life to, in the blink of an eye, hugging her and telling her she loved her. I know the show wanted to end things on a nice note with Jacqui at peace with her new life, but it defied emotional logic and credulity.


Will gets his job back, but how long will he keep it?

River CityPetey’s father is about to go on trial for murdering his mother and Will is assigned to the case, having handled the initial investigation. Will has to interview Petey, but Petey’s not happy to see Will, who didn’t keep his promise to keep in touch after his mother was killed. Petey wants to see his father, which Will doesn’t think is a good idea, but DCI Donald agrees to it. However, the meeting proves to be a disaster and the fallout makes Will rethink how he’s been living his own life and his failed relationship with Robbie.

While, Robbie is back from visiting Hayley and her new baby, but he’s not very happy. Despite how things went during their marriage, Robbie misses his husband, something his friends aren’t pleased to hear about. When Robbie’s mother comes to visit, Kelly is upset to hear that he hasn’t told her about what happened with Will and makes sure that Sue knows the facts. When Sue hears that Robbie was abused by his spouse, she insists he go to the police and report Will. But that’s the last thing Robbie wants. He wants to go back to Will.

Later, Will drops by to see Robbie and Robbie begs Will to take him back and give their marriage another try. Will’s response will change both their lives.

Ste does his best Brendan imitation by picking on someone who doesn’t fight back…

HollyoaksKevin returns to the village to see Maxine and no one is more shocked than Ste, who has also returned home. Still devastated about losing Brendan, Ste blames Kevin for Ste being without the man he loves and savagely beats Kevin. Doug is shocked by Ste’s behavior and they have an ugly confrontation. Ste realizes he no longer wants to work in the deli and decides to sell his half, just as the deli is about to enter an important food competition.

Meanwhile, Robbie decides to throw a rave at the club and sell drugs to make money. When Ste sees that Robbie is flush with cash, he admires the young punk, until he realizes how Robbie is making his money. But when Ste decides he needs to make some changes in his life, will he enter a dangerous alliance with Robbie?

When Callum makes a date with Holly, things get quickly steamy and Robbie is jealous to see them kissing. He decides to show Callum a lesson by slipping him some drugs. Unfortunately, Maxine winds up taking them and doesn’t react well to the potent brew. Maxine winds up in in the hospital, fighting for her life.

Elsewhere, Phoebe is shocked when Vincent shows up in town, and it isn’t long before an attraction sparks between the two of them. However, Vincent doesn’t plan to be around long and Phoebe is sad she could lose her new beau before things even get started. When George sees that Phoebe’s made a new friend, he tries to hide his jealousy.

Iolo is ready to face the music…

People of the Valley — Iolo’s behavior at Jinx’s wedding have his friends and family furious at him and he’s pretty upset at his own actions, especially since his behavior stemmed from his guilt over having run down Gethin. Realizing he’ll never be at peace until he tells the truth, Iolo goes to visit Gethin at the hospital and tells him everything. Gethin’s reaction is not a pleasant one, of course, and Iolo goes home, preparing himself for the police to show up at any moment and arrest him. Someone does drop by to see Iolo and he’s shocked at who it is.

EJ goes to Justin for help in taking down his daddy….

Days of Our Lives — Sami and Sonny slip into Nick and Gabi’s room, determined to find the evidence he has against Will that could send him to jail for shooting EJ. Sami not only finds the evidence, but $30,000 in cash — belonging to Vargas. Sami takes the evidence and the money for good measure. It doesn’t take long for Nick to realize who took his belongings. Nick confronts Sami and things get ugly fast. Before Nick can get violent with Sami, EJ shows up and chases Nick away. Now all Sami needs is for Stefano to get the evidence from the police station, but when she goes to talk to Stefano about it, she overhears him scheming to backstab she and Will. EJ is not going to let his father win, however, and meets with Justin on a plan to take his father down.


Can Lucas convince Menno to let things get personal between them?

Good Times, Bad Times — Lucas has to deal with Aysen, who attempts to prevent him from testifying against her. Elsewhere, things are heating up between Lucas and Menno, the new cop in town.

Holby CityMalick’s upset over being passed over for consultancies at work leads to a clash with Michael…

House Husbands Kane and Tom get their first chance at fostering when they take in a troubled child, who turns their house upside down…

Neighbours — Chris is suspicious when Mason tries to befriend him…


Vargas brings danger for Will, Nick. Sonny and Gabi in May….

May brings plenty of drama to the lives of the gays on Days of Our Lives and Shortland Street.

On Days, as Gabi nears giving birth to Will’s baby, things get dangerous for the two of them and Nick and Sonny as well thanks to Nick’s involvement with Vargas. Gabi will finally have the baby, but it’ll be under risky and life threatening conditions, this being a soap after all. Mother and child will pull through, thankfully. The quartet will then move into a new story arc that will play through out the summer. Despite rumors, don’t look for Blake Berris (Nick) or Sean Douglas (Vargas) to be leaving Salem in the near future. Both actors are still taping with the show and as we know, Days is currently filming 3 to 4 months in advance.

In a related storyline, Rafe is beaten up and left for dead, leaving Kate to think Stefano is behind the attack. But after she reveals her relationship to Rafe to everyone, she learns otherwise, leading to a story that will envelop the rest of the canvas.

Will Seth and Henry get it together?

Meantime, on Shortland Street, the show finally remembers that Henry and Seth used to be lovers. When Henry has problems at work, Seth offers to help Henry, but only if Henry agrees to a date. Henry reluctantly agrees to go and it isn’t long before he realizes he’s still in love with his ex-boyfriend. But as the two of them rekindle their romance, the old conflicts of business and Seth’s refusal to come out of the closet has them at odds again. Seth and Henry come to realize they need to make a choice about their future, but what will it be this time?

Eric Nelson plays the super cute and adorable A.J. Chandler on the AMC reboot…

This week saw the debuts of the web reboots of One Life To Live and All My Children nearly two years after their cancellation on ABC. And having watched both shows I have to say I was shocked at how surprisingly well done they both were. It was as if the shows had never left the air, except the sets are better. While there were things I loved (Cutter and Nat on OLTL and AJ and Miranda on AMC) and hated (such as the opening credits and some bad acting by some of the younger players) about both shows, overall I felt they were a great start and both have the chance to be a success.

The commentary on the shows have been mostly positive thus far and the viewer interest is bigger than I thought it would be. Let’s hope that the shows maintain the quality shown in the first episodes and have a long run on their new homes, leading to other revivals (As The World Turns, perhaps) and maybe even brand new soaps. And please can we get some gay men in the casts of both shows? Thanks in advance.

That’s it for this edition of Langford On Soaps. See you next week!