Langford on Soaps: Shocking Confessions on “Days” and “General Hospital”

Plus, Robbie is unfaithful on River City and the latest on prime time soaps How To Get Away With Murder, Empire and The Haves and Have Nots.

Langford’s Picks and Pans

Coronation Street (U.K.)

So Sean and Billy are dating now? I must say I’m confused by this whole thing. Why did Billy need to struggle with his feelings for Sean and have to stop lying to himself? He didn’t even explain the reason for this need. It’s not like he’s closeted or that anyone gives a flip that he’s a gay vicar. So what’s the big deal?

Then again, we don’t know anything about Billy because he’s only appeared in a handful of scenes with Sean. I guess this confusion happened off screen. And Billy doesn’t care that Sean doesn’t believe in God or have any sort of faith? Well, that’s great for their relationship. But it, again, removes any sort of conflict or drama. So like I keep asking, what’s point of it all?

Days Of Our Lives (U.S.)

Paul’s mother absolutely refuses to come to Salem? LOL! Talk about anvils! Thirty years of watching soaps tell me there’s a secret here. My guess is that Paul’s bio dad is in town and his mother knows it. So who is the father? John? Stefano? Lord, don’t let it be Daniel. I know some folks think it’s Lucas, but the show would never go there. I’m gonna bet that they’ll tease that it’s Lucas for ‘drama’, but we’ll find out that it’s Stefano. Sure, Stefano has a bastard child show up every few years or so, but dramatically it’s the most interesting.

So Will slept with Paul because he was flattered?! Seriously? That’s a terrible motivation for infidelity, especially since Will was ready to sleep with him again. The show needs to do better than this. It just makes Will look like a idiot. Will and his reasons for the things he does have been poorly written since the recast.

Will using Michael Sam and Jason Collins as reasons for Paul to come out weakens Will’s argument since things didn’t go so well for either athlete and their pro careers are over. But this is what happens when you shoot your show six months in advance and real life events negate your story.

Sonny can’t be shocked that folks are going to Victor’s new nightclub rather than his joint. After all, it’s an actual club with music and dancing. Club TBD is a coffee house open late.

This hillbilly storyline is boring as hell. But I like Victor being a bad ass and reminding us he was an actual mobster who took care of business for many years.

Loved you on ‘Remington Steele’ and ‘North and South’. Not so much here.

T remains the most charming and engaging younger male on this show, except for Paul or JJ when he’s away from Paige. Give this guy a story and a girlfriend.

So after a year or so of separation, John and Marlena get back together off screen? Terrible. The viewers don’t deserve such shabby treatment for one of their most popular couples ever.

Paul’s abs are amazing. Yum! Victor’s new henchman Damon is super hot. More please!

*Thanks to MRFIXIT for the clips!

EastEnders (U.K.)

I really don’t have much to say at all. I just wish Johnny hadn’t left the show. I have a feeling Ben is just going to drift for awhile.

*Thanks to WINTERHYMN for the clips!

Empire (U.S.)

The last fifteen minutes of Empire last week were the finest of this show’s brief TV history. The conflict between Lucius and Jamal was powerful drama, but still delicious, glorious soap, starting with Lucius cruelly taking a song he didn’t want away from Jamal out of pure spite and homophobia and ending with Jamal realizing he couldn’t let his father control him with his money and walking away from it. I loved Jamal planning to take over the company. Not sure how that’s gonna work though.

I don’t think Jamal is ready to take over the company or would know what to do if he had the power. He’d probably have Cookie calling the shots, which isn’t a bad thing. But it was nice to see this character get some teeth and not endure his father’s bigoted behavior because he pays his bills. Besides, Jamal is a grown man. He should be working and supporting himself. And this leads to a question of mine….

What does Michael do?

See, I haven’t seen any indication that Jamal’s mostly mute boyfriend has a job. Was he living off of Lucius dime as well? It would seem so. Michael looking whiny and asking Jamal ‘do you really want to give it all up’ makes the character seem like a lazy gold digger who doesn’t mind being treated badly as long as he doesn’t have to do anything that draws a paycheck. At any rate he’s boring and the show needs to either work on that or dump him. I personally wouldn’t mind it if Michael, now that the money isn’t coming in, left. He’s really kind of a pointless character anyway and we’d get to see Jamal find new love in a new relationship with someone who is perhaps say, interesting?

And ‘ew’ on Andre bending his wife over a table while he details how he had sex with that lawyer in the same way. And double that ‘ew’ with Hakeem having sex with a woman I didn’t know was supermodel Naomi Campbell until someone told me, while calling her ‘mommy’. I guess that’s all the insight on Hakeem’s character we need. It explains everything about him, don’t you think?

Emmerdale (U.K.)

Ross’ plan to trash his mother’s house so she’d be forced to lean on her sons is typical Ross and a nod to a similar plan when he and Aaron staged that robbery for Robert. That didn’t work out so well, if I recall. Though it was the start of Aaron and Robert’s affair. But I don’t believe for a minute that Robert would be stupid enough to peruse porn on his laptop and pay for it with credit cards Chrissie has access to. So it’s either a set-up by Katie or Lachlan made the purchases.

Ross being smug about him being Emma’s favorite is typical Ross, though his admission that James loves Finn and Pete more than him says so much about his character. Can’t wait until he learns Emma tried to kill him as a baby. I’m sure Michael Parr will excel in those scenes.

I liked James noting that Finn was just drifting through life with no purpose lately. I really hope that’s addressed further and the character gets out of his funk.

Well, it took the actresses’ pregnancy to get her off screen, but it’s good to see Charity finally pay for her sins and go to jail. 2 years isn’t nearly enough time though, especially since we know she won’t serve it all. But hopefully when the actress returns from her maternity leave in a year, the character will have grown a bit. I found her quite tiresome.

Rachel’s surprise return and the reveal that the baby Jai has been raising for months is an imposter and his real son has been with Rachel all this time was a nice twist. But I’ve never liked any of the characters in this storyline, especially Rachel and Jai. And her return also means more of Sam whom I’ve also always hated. Blech.

Forbidden Love (Germany)

I’m not sure when this show is supposed to end (or if it’s already over in Germany), but maybe things will work out for Olli and Jo. But I find it very, very hard to believe that Jo would get his job back after operating on a patient while suspended, even if he did save the patient’s life. And I can’t believe the attending doctors and nurses went along with the surgery on Bella– because if something went wrong, they could be held liable as well.

*Thanks to OST for the clips!

General Hospital (U.S.)

OMG, this show is bad. Terrible, unwatchable. Ridiculous. I don’t like it at all.

Get my point?

This fake Luke storyline that’s dominated the show for over a year is awful, mostly because it centers on Tony Geary who overacts in some scenes and barely acts in others. Hard to believe he’s won multiple daytime Emmys playing this role. But most of all, the storyline is just stupid and has stretched well beyond credulity. And on a show that has frozen weather machines and space aliens as plot devices over the years that’s really saying something. I don’t care who fake Luke actually is. I just want it to end.

The plot device of having half the cast in prison is also silly, especially since they’re all walking around freely using cell phones and what not. Yes, many of those characters deserve prison, but we don’t need to see them there. The show needed a break from Sonny and his antics, not more story centered around him. And *yawn* we have another character threatening at gunpoint to kill someone else, but never pulling the trigger. On GH, this happens weekly so the ‘danger’ kind of loses its effect.

And the gays? Well, out of all of them we only see Lucas. Both Felix and Brad work at the hospital, but they must be busy on other floors. And Lucas only exists to recap the over-convoluted storylines. The show brought him back with such a big deal and he’s basically a glorified extra. I doubt if that’ll change. Strange how you have gays running the show, but they don’t want to write about the gays on their show. I don’t know what to make of it, but it’s not good.

Hollyoaks (U.K.)

This is gonna be one of those weeks where I discuss not just the gay storyline but other stories on the show. Just be warned.

First off, I’m not thrilled about this HIV storyline. I know it’s important and I know it’s very relevant with the surge of HIV+ cases in the UK among young gay men, but I generally don’t enjoy social issue stories in soaps. That said, soaps may be the perfect format to raise awareness for a social issue. They can spend months or even years playing these dramas out and can get audiences to care by having beloved characters affected. Also, let’s face it, without social issue storylines there would probably be a lot fewer gay characters on TV. Even so, I could personally do without the social issue stories. Keep my soaps light and frothy and melodramatic.

But if the writing can stay as sharp and the acting and solid as in the episode focusing on JP and Ste’s being tested this will be a terrific storyline. Kudos to the show for keeping the episode strictly on them and free of the show’s other melodramatic stories. The line of the episode for me was JP saying “This is exactly what I imagined married life being like.” It was funny, sad and very telling all at once.

It was a beautifully done episode with both terrific performances by James Sutton and Kieron Richardson and strong, solid writing. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was still moved by that final scene between JP and Ste in the waiting room. And later, JP pulling away from Ste’s kiss after vowing to be there for him was a strong moment and quite realistic given the circumstances.

The spoilers indicate that as the story moves forward, the show will deal with the ignorance of other characters when Ste’s HIV+ diagnosis is revealed. I guess that’s to be expected. But I do hope the show hasn’t forgotten Malachy, who was HIV+, was married to Mercedes (probably her best romance IMO) and was beloved by nearly everyone on the show. Even with the show’s high turnover rate, there are still characters around from that era so Hollyoaks should use that history. JP wasn’t around for that storyline, but Mercedes was his sister so that would make that bit of show history relevant to his current life. Too bad Mercedes isn’t around herself (though I still don’t believe she’s dead). She’d be terrific support for both Ste and JP.

Now onto the storyline surrounding Dodger’s exit. I’m surprised that the show didn’t kill Dodger off. That’s how they usually get rid of characters. But the way in which they did write him off was stupid. There was no reason for Dodger to take the blame for Will falling off the roof. If they’re going to lie, simply saying that Will fell during the struggle makes much more sense since Will was trying to kill them both. He’s a serial killer! No one would question them. This other lie is far too complicated and unnecessary. I did like Dodger and Maxine’s goodbye though. Very powerful and dramatic. Of course it’s a reminder that this show never, ever lets their couples be happy for the slightest second.

I’ll miss those abs though. They were amazing.

Silly how Will continued to keep escaping from police custody. Man, the Hollyoaks police force is the worst. They didn’t even bother to show how he escaped when he kidnapped Nico!

I wonder what this means for Sienna and Maxine, whose stories have revolved around Dodger for the longest time. Maxine, I suspect will continue to be terrorized by Patrick until her next love interest/rescuer comes along. And I loved the twist of Sienna accepting she was mentally ill and seeking help. That was a long time in coming and Anna Passey played that scene wonderfully. I just hope the show continues with that and doesn’t have her going crazy again and kidnapping people a few months from now.

Sinead is still the worst. Terrible. Loathsome, awful character.

So should we feel sorry for Teresa because she gave up Dodger so he could be with Maxine? The show is trying hard to make me like her, but it’s not working. See, I can’t forget she murdered someone in cold blood, was never sorry for it and got away with it. So jump through all the story points you want show, but she will always, always be an awful person. Will made the point of saying he’s already serving life for two murders, so why not one more when threatening Teresa? Why not kill her? For all our sakes.

Of course Lockie likes hanging out at a place called ‘Smoking Poles’ Love it…

So the McQueens don’t have the money to get the heating fixed, but they do have money for last minute trips to the Tropics? Okay, show.

I’m glad they finally had Jason go to an eating disorder clinic. This story has dragged on for far too long.

Neighbours (Australia)

I hated Chris initially deciding not to have a baby because the guy he just started dating doesn’t want kids, so I’m glad things worked out, even if Chris had to somewhat get Nate’s permission to do it. It never should have come to that, but I guess there has to be drama. I did like the talk he and Nate had at the park. It was very sweet. But the scene where Nate, having changed his mind, told Chris to go through with it with Lucy, was even better. I still don’t think they have a lot of sparks, but they are kind of cute together.

The show having said more than once that Lucy will be staying in New York so Chris and Nate won’t be raising the baby makes me wonder if that’ll be the case. Especially with Chris not wanting to rush into things. Hmmm….

It would have been really, really nice if we’d of seen Chris telling his parents about his being a daddy. I just feel that’s a beat that should have played on screen.

Can you really just have a sperm donor’s sample sent to you by messenger? Never heard of such a thing.

I generally don’t pay much attention to the other couples on this show because they’re mostly awful, but Naomi and Mark are cute, adorable and have great chemistry. They could work.

River City (Scotland)

In case you’re wondering who this Patrick guy is, he’s Kelly-Marie’s long lost stepbrother who showed up looking for his family a couple of weeks ago. His introduction was a terrific episode by the way and I advise you catch it if you can.

As for last week’s show, as much as I hate to see Will and Robbie fighting and their marriage falling apart, it’s making for terrific drama. They have real and legitimate issues that have played out for nearly a year now and led them to where they are. Robbie is right in that Will has put Finn before everything and instead of seeing the problem, he sees it as business as usual.

The scenes are very well-acted and wonderfully written as always. BTW, there was something really hot about Will just sitting on the sofa in his tee shirt and jeans. However, I digress…

With the introduction of Patrick, it’s clear where this is headed. Patrick and Robbie bonding over Robbie’s marital woes, Patrick telling Robbie he needs to live his own life and Patrick merely raising an eyebrow when he learned Robbie was gay is a recipe for infidelity if you ask me. My heart is already breaking for poor Will who will be devastated. Let’s just hope he doesn’t react by smacking Robbie around again….

Secret Lives (Finland)

I’m glad that Miska and Kalle were the ones to find Lari and Elias, but how did they track them down? I’m sure the explanation will be lame just like the rest of this story. Like, Marianna dragging a tasered Janne to the storage closet and the three of them just watching while she chained him up. Stupid.

I’m glad this awful story is finally over and hopefully these people can get their brains back because everyone being stupid is how the story ran for so long. Then again, Marianna is still on the loose so it’s not quite over yet. Sigh.

One silly thing about this story is that despite all their time alone Lari and Elias never once discussed their sleeping together or how they felt about one another or anything. That’s not only unrealistic, it’s also missed opportunity for drama. As for where it goes from here, clearly we’re going to have to deal with a traumatized Elias. I suspect that Lari and Kalle and Miska and Elias will get back together, but Lari will be the only one who can help Elias through the trauma of his kidnapping. Predictable, but so is this show.

*Thanks to MISSFINLANDIA for the clips!

The Haves and The Have Nots (U.S.)

This show is still ridiculous.

Now, this is obviously the same night from the end of last season because Jim is still held captive and the show hasn’t bothered to tell us who got shot in the season ender from last year. Yes, a new day started mid episode, but slow and slower this show’s pace goes.

Candace literally shocking Jim until he signs over some money was hilarious as was the speech he gave her about a gift tax. What? I did like the act that Veronica put on for the security guards, but did they literally stand there and watch while she made out with her husband and ask her repeatedly if she was okay before she finally closed the door. Yep. The scenes continue to drag out to unbelievable lengths.

How nice of the show to remind us that Jeffrey is the weak homosexual preying on straight guys and getting punched in the face in response. Not that we needed a reminder, this was just more blatant than usual. And of course, Jeffery just stands by meekly while the controlling women in his life call all the shots, though I did like the bitch fest between Candace and Veronica.

Wyatt’s grown-ass self got drunk because he found out about Jim’s affair? Hasn’t he suspected as much for like forever? Celine calling him ‘little boy’ and making fun of his ‘tube of lipstick’ was funny. This character does need to grow up. He’s been playing the same beat over and over since the show started. Then again so have a lot of characters. Overall though that scene was weird and creepy. And pointless.

This Week in Spoilers

Todd schemes to ruin his brother…

Coronation Street: Secretly blaming his family for not being there for him, which led to the attack that caused his (barely noticeable) scar, Todd is angry when he hears that Jason and Eva are planning to get their own place. So when Jason reveals that he can’t afford it, Todd can’t help but be pleased at seeing his brother fail at something. Tony offers to help pay the deposit on the place, which only angers a prideful Jason. When Todd sees Tony comforting Eva over her being upset about Jason, a scheme rolls around in Todd’s evil mind.

Todd overhears Eva and Tony planning to look at apartments and once they’ve found one, they’ll show it to Jason in hopes he’ll change his mind about the loan. Eva and Tony have their heads together at Jason’s place and Todd makes sure Jason finds his way there. Jason demands to know what is going on between them and they make up a quick lie. Later, Jason confides in Todd that he worries that Eva and Tony are keeping something from him. Todd nastily feeds into Jason’s insecurities and fuels his brothers jealousy.

Elsewhere, Sean and Billy go on their first date as an official couple, but Sean is disappointed when Billy has to cut out to handle an emergency with the church…

Days of Our Lives: When Paul elaborates on the man he loved and lost, Will is stunned to realize that Paul is speaking of Sonny, his current husband. But is Will more worried about saving his marriage or keeping his story? Elsewhere, Sonny overhears Kate talking on the phone and what he learns could lead to Sonny finding out about Will’s infidelity.

Will this timely phone call keep Robert and Aaron’s affair a secret?

Emmerdale: When porn and arrangements to meet women are found on Robert’s laptop, Chrissie assumes that Robert is cheating on her. Robert worries that she’s discovered his affair with Aaron, but he soon learns what she’s actually angry about. Robert manages to clear his name, but who is the guilty party? Still Katie is convinced that Robert is cheating and manages to get Chrissie suspicious as well. Robert makes plans to meet Aaron at a hotel and Katie over hears his phone call. She gets Chrissie and they tail Robert to the hotel.

Things get steamy between the guys in the hotel room, but Robert gets wind of Katie’s plan and foils her scheme to expose him, making a fool of herself yet again. Robert smugly enjoys his victory when Chrissie and Andy tell Katie to leave Robert alone. Meanwhile, tired of all the sneaking around, Aaron rants to Paddy and tells him far more about his secret relationship than he intended.

Will Aaron tell Paddy everything?

Elsewhere, Finn and Ross remain unaware why Emma really left all those years ago, but Pete is afraid he might have to reveal the truth to his brothers. When Emma finds out that Pete knows she blames James, leading to a terrible argument. A pallet falls on James and Emma angrily leaves him to die. But when Pete shows up, she pretends she was going to help James and he is rushed to the hospital. As the family waits for news on James, Pete wonders about his mother’s role in James’ accident and is on the verge of telling Finn and Ross everything.

Empire: Jamal and Michael move into a tiny apartment to start their new life off Lucius’ dime. Jamal is determined to take over Empire Records, but first he needs to get his career going, something Jamal will find difficult when he tries to compose his own original music. Cookie, of course, has an idea that can help, but will Jamal go along with it?

Meanwhile, the investigation into Bunkie’s murder deepens and Lucius finds himself being questioned about where he was that fateful night. And Empire Records’ war with a rival company could lead to tragic consequences for the Lyons family.

General Hospital: Brad makes a confession to Lucas; Lucas and his family come to together for the anniversary of the death of their beloved Aunt Ruby.

Hollyoaks: Angry about his HIV+ diagnosis, Ste is out for revenge against Connor for infecting him with the virus. Ste goes to Connor’s house and attacks him. Fortunately, John Paul and Ste’s sisters arrive and come to Connor’s rescue. When Leela and Teegan demand to know what is going on, Ste admits to them he has HIV.

How To Get Away With Murder: Connor has to deal the lies he told Oliver about his ‘drug addiction’ as Oliver starts to wonder what’s really going on with the man in his life.

Can Chris and Nate deal with the latest bad news?

Neighbours: Chris and Lucy’s plan to have a baby hits another roadblock when the question of how involved Chris will be comes up. Chris has every intention of being as involved with his child’s life as he can (even with the kid living in New York), but Lucy sees Chris as no more than a sperm donor. When Paul steps in and wants to legalize things, it gets even messier, but eventually Chris and Lucy come to terms. But a new complication rears its ugly head when Chris and Lucy find out they are both carriers of a disease that could seriously threaten the baby’s health. With that risk in mind, Chris decides against having the baby, devastating Lucy.

River City: Robbie feels neglected by his hubby Will, who is focusing all of his attention on their foster son Finn. He decides to go out on the town with Kelly-Marie and Patrick. It’s awkward at first, especially after Kelly-Marie goes home and leaves Robbie and Patrick alone. But as the evening progresses, things between Patrick and Robbie get out of hand and Robbie is unfaithful to his husband.

What will Patrick say about his night with Robbie?

The next day, Robbie finds himself lying to Will about what happened the night before. But how long can he keep his actions a secret? He does tell Kelly-Marie about what occurred and she immediately confronts Patrick, not too happy about her stepbrother’s behavior.

Meanwhile Finn is contacted by his sister Catriona, who wants to see him. Given how badly things when between them before, Finn wonders what to do. Will worries that Finn might get hurt again.

The Haves and the Have Nots: Things get ugly at the press conference when the reporters have questions about Jim and David’s position on gay rights. Meanwhile, as Veronica’s schemes to control Jeffery and get rid of Candace put Jeffery at risk, Jeffrey reaches out an old friend for help.

Secret Lives: Following their kidnapping, Lari and Elias go back to everyday life… and their relationships. Kalle and Lari patch things up and decide to give what they had another shot. Meanwhile, Miska and Elias split after Miska finally realizes that Elias is still hung up on his ex. And if that weren’t enough, Elias is suffering some emotional trauma from being held captive. Who will help him get through it?

Teasers For Next Week

Days of our Lives: The triangle between Will, Sonny and Paul is rocked by a horrible act of violence that leaves one of them fighting for their lives…

Empire: Things get ugly between Jamal and Hakeem and the brothers come to blows…

Emmerdale: Katie uncovers Robert and Aaron’s affair, leading to a terrible tragedy…

Katie uncovers Robert and Aaron’s affair, but will she live to tell about it?

Nashville: Will comes to a decision about his marriage….

Neighbours: Chris is upset to learn that Lucy has found another donor in her quest to have a baby…

Iolo is upset by a face from his past. Who could it be?

People of the Valley: Iolo is shocked to run into an important face from his past….

River City: As Robbie’s guilt builds, Will begins to suspect his spouse is keeping something from him…

That’s it for this week’s Langford On Soaps. Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. See you next week!