Langford on Soaps: Ste and Danny Keep It In the Family on “Hollyoaks”

Plus, Will and Brent clash on Days — and it’s as boring as you think, Robbie struggles to let go of his marriage on River City and Chris suspects a close friend of attempted murder on Neighbours

Langford’s Picks and Pans

Casualty (U.K.)

I said last week that Terry and Ramin were probably lovers and it turned out that I was right. I am, however, glad that I was wrong about things turning out badly for Ramin since he did get asylum. However, there was a plot point that seemed to have gotten lost. Ramin’s fear was that the Iranian authorities would find out and his family back home would suffer, but that fear, oddly, seemed to have vanished by the end of the story. But I did enjoy this small arc. The show did a very good job with fictionalizing a story that for many is all too real.

I felt bad for Terry’s wife though. The show seemed to be implying that Terry and Ramin’s relationship was far more than an affair. It was pretty obvious that they love each other. I got the impression it would be only a matter of time before Terry leaves his wife for his lover. I also thought that Terry’s wife wasn’t all that surprised by the revelation that her husband was gay given her refusal to hear him say it when he tried to tell her. I don’t know when the show will have another story for Jamie, who is an appealing character, but let’s hope it doesn’t take another few months.

Neighbours (Australia)

So let me get this straight. For weeks, Josh has been whining about Hudson, but all Josh really wanted was some attention from Daddy Brad? Yeesh, way to make Josh seem like a little kid. Neighbours does this often, dragging a story out for weeks and then having a silly resolution in a scene or two. Not that I’m complaining in this case because I have had it—officially—with Josh’s bitching, as of a long time ago.

But I just don’t like how they often handle story arcs. Besides, I think the rivalry between Josh and Hudson could be an interesting ongoing story minus the whining and sniping. Now, Josh and Hudson will probably become good pals, which is actually kind of boring. It is nice that Hudson is developing a life and story outside of his relationship with Chris though. Some other shows should take notes.

My Husbands’ Lover (The Philippines)

Last week’s subbed episodes of My Husband’s Lover continued the drama between Eric, Lally and Vincent, but it was a subplot that I found myself the most interested in. Danny’s longtime boyfriend asked Danny to move in with him, something that Danny was very excited about—until he told his mother about it and she made it clear that he couldn’t do it. What is interesting about this storyline is the many layers that are involved and I like that the show is showing the incredible hypocrisy that exists in the way that straight and gay relationships are treated by society.

For example, Danny’s mother, who says she accepts Danny for being gay, clearly does not. She makes nasty, passive aggressive comments, referring to Danny and Eric as ladies and saying that their relationships don’t last and the only men that want them are straight men looking for a handout. Those scenes, for me, are perhaps more difficult to watch because these are the kind of homophobic scenes that happen in homes all over the world, far more often than physical violence and maybe more painful because they often come from those who say they love us.

Even more telling was that Danny is expected to support his entire family, including his sister who has children by different men, not to mention a deadbeat brother. Yet, Danny has a long-term relationship with a man whom he loves and wants to make a life with him, yet his mother derides and dismisses it. Not only that, his mother said the entire family would disown him if he moved in with his boyfriend because they can’t get married and living together would be a sin. This is a Catch 22 since (as was pointed out) they can’t get married as gay marriage is not legal in the Philippines. I like that the show is depicting the unfairness of these legal and cultural mores that gays deal with, adding depth to the soapy melodrama of the story.

As for the triangle with Eric, Lally and Vincent, I was a wee bit frustrated watching, mostly because the story started to move very slowly. I understand why, we’re only a 1/3 of the way through and there’s a lot more to happen before we get to the conclusion a few months from now, but I think that despite the show’s overall excellent storytelling, the fact that emotional logic is being ignored in order to slow the pace is annoying. Like, Lally wants Vincent and Eric to give the details of their relationship, but they refuse to do so.

Lally assumes that they were simply having a fling and Eric seduced her husband and seems unaware that they were deeply in love and it was far more than just an affair. Yet, Lally should be able to figure that out for herself. She knows that Eric and Vincent were close in high school and she knows that Vincent was hiding Eric’s picture from her. And she heard Vincent, more than once, telling Beh (Vincent’s pet name for Eric) about the love they shared. So it would seem to me that Lally would be clued into the depth of their relationship without Vincent having to spell it out for her.

The scene where she discovered that Vincent raced to Eric’s side when he found out that he was sick seemed to be the first time that it dawned upon her. So while I realize this is all being laid out piecemeal for dramatic purposes, it just makes the characters now seem not as bright as we know them to be. Still though, I’m loving the story, with all the anguish and angst and heartbreak and melodramatic scenes. It really delivers the soapy goods. And despite my gripes, I love that the entire story is playing on screen with all the beats, unlike some shows (I’m looking at you Days) where so much of the gay story takes place off screen.

I do have one other gripe though. Where is Dave? He’s one of my favorites and he hasn’t been around in a while. Hopefully he’ll pop up soon. And finally, I’m generally not one to notice fashion, but I love the way this show dresses Lally. She always looks fantastic no matter how miserable she might be. LOL. The white dress she wore the say she dropped by Eric’s place to question him about his affair with Vincent was particularly fetching.

Thanks to mhlteam2013 for the clips!

All That Matters (Germany)

I’m still really not into this storyline and my patience with Joscha is wearing thin. I don’t like at all the way he is continuing to jerk Melanie around. And I don’t even like Melanie. I’m not sure why the show added the complication with Deniz being into Melanie, especially since he never gave her the time of day before this. And how many more times do we have to watch Joscha avoiding having sex with Melanie? That plot arc got old weeks ago.

I do think though that fans who were expecting Deniz and Joscha to wind up together might be disappointed. I still believe that Deniz will ultimately help Joscha come out of the closet and then Joscha will find a new love interest. Unless they’re going to have Joscha come out and break up with Melanie, then she gets involved with Joscha only for Deniz and Joscha to start a fling and fall in love. That would be interesting. But it would sure would suck for poor Mel.

I will admit, however, that fantasy of Joscha and Deniz having sex while he was actually with Melanie was pretty hot.

Hollyoaks (U.K.)

Soaps rarely surprise me anymore, after having watched them for all this time, but I admit to being shocked that Danny turned out to be Ste’s father. I figured we’d see Ste’s father at some point with all the talk about him, but I didn’t expect it to be Danny. I think it’s interesting that both father and son are gay. That’s something only Hollyoaks would do. I complain a lot about them, but they always have had multiple gay characters and stories in major important stories. Kudos to them.

And now John Paul, who has always been a manwhore when you think about it, has slept with nearly every man in Ste’s life—Brendan, Doug and Danny. He just needs to get with Ste to complete the set. And even though they supposedly hate each other, I wouldn’t be shocked to see that happen.

I’m glad that they resolved the paternity of Matthew quickly and didn’t let that plot arc drag out. I also think that having JP be Matthew’s father and that Craig is now dating someone new (a woman, no surprise) closes the chapter on John Paul and Craig, though I still get notes from folks crying bitter tears that the show has ended a relationship that we haven’t seen on screen for five years now. I don’t get that kind of inability to let that fictional relationship go any more than I understand the daily posts from people weeping about how much they miss Brendan Brady. I’d say move on, but well, what would be the point? I guess I’ve never been one to cling to characters who have left the show. Once they leave, they are gone no matter how much I liked them. Life and the show must go on.

The thing that was dumb about the whole story, for me, was that Chloe was threatening to get a lawyer and take the child unless JP paid her, but where was she going to get the money for an attorney if she was blackmailing JP for cash? I just kept thinking John Paul should have called her bluff and she would have had no choice but to walk away. But that would have ended the ‘drama’. And I was glad that the kid turned out to be JP’s if only to stick it to Frankie, whose attempt to steal her ‘grandson’ away from JP was disgusting—and yet so Frankie.

Actually, I lied. Something else this past week surprised me as well. I didn’t expect Ste to confess to helping his mother to die. Though out of all the terrible things Ste has done just in the past few months, I’m surprised he has the capacity to feel guilt. And as much as I don’t like Ste, I thought the scene where he shaved Tony’s head was quite moving. I’ve enjoyed the renewal of the father/son relationship between Tony and Ste, which the show had forgotten for a long time. Personally I think the bald head suits John Pickard. He should keep it shaved.

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

I loved, loved, loved Candace calling Jeffrey’s nonsense about Wyatt for what it was: he’s hanging around hoping Wyatt is gay because he’s in love with him. Thank you sister for speaking some truth. I liked how she told Jeffery to just stop it and come out and live his life and I enjoyed her little speech about how she knows what she knows about men and how she refused to go along with Jeffery saying he was straight. It’s really one of the best scenes this show has had regarding Jeffrey since the show began because someone was finally being frank and honest about the sad life he was living. Of course, Jeffery wasn’t listening. But that was the high point. From there it went rapidly downhill.

I thought the low point of this episode was Jeffrey crying because Wyatt had a girlfriend and told him to butt out of his life, but then I had to keep watching. Jeffery’s going to Laura and telling her to break up with Wyatt because she would interfere with his sobriety was just gross, especially his exaggerated evil smirks and grins. It’s even more odious after Candace told him that Wyatt wasn’t gay and he’d never have him. And why in the world would Laura even listen to Jeffery? Most folks would have at least discussed things with Wyatt before just dumping him like that.

More importantly though you would think that today’s television wouldn’t have a scheming gay men out to seduce a straight guy because of how offensive and stereotypical it is. But apparently this show doesn’t seem to be bothered by offending viewers—at least the gay ones.

Days of Our Lives (U.S.)

This show needs to do better than this for Will and Sonny. For weeks we’ve had Will pouting like a three year old because Sonny had friends and a business that didn’t involve him. It was especially annoying because Sonny has done nothing but be ‘the perfect boyfriend’, taking care of Ari, breaking the law and choosing his Will over his own family. But all Will can do is feel sorry for himself. And of course he had to make a fool of himself with Brent.

Brent has never done anything wrong in regards to Sonny. There was nothing wrong with him thinking it’s weird that Sonny would be a stepfather to a child of the guy he just started dating and there’s nothing wrong with him asking Sonny about the camping trip. I know some folks think it’s suspicious, but Days has never played it that way. If Brent had nefarious intentions towards Sonny, it would be obvious. This is not a subtle soap. It’s as perfectly innocent as it appears. And that’s the problem.

Were this any other couple, they’d be dealing with the requisite schemer/home wrecker by now. But not the ‘perfect gay couple’. Instead we get an old friend of Sonny’s, who is really only his friend. Yawn. Where is the drama? Where is the angst? Where is the STORY? They haven’t had one since way back when the baby was born. Actually, when you think about it, they’ve never really had an ongoing, long term storyline that was about them and their relationship. But that’s another issue altogether. My point is, they came out of the birth of the baby with a lot of momentum and plenty of places to take the story. Instead, it’s gone nowhere. And it’s not just Will and Sonny.

The show has done very little with Nick and Gabi as well. Nick was primed for an arc dealing with his rape that could have been powerful drama and we’d get to see Marlena use her shrink skills on someone that she wasn’t related to. Instead both Nick and Gabi have drifted and so much story potential was never realized. And if that weren’t bad enough, I hear that Thursday’s episode is the last with Sean Douglas, who played Vargas. I just don’t get it.

The show can’t use an actor who looks like this? Stupid show…

Sean Douglas was the kind of actor soaps should kill for. He was good looking, could act, played an interesting character you wanted to know more about and he had chemistry with several of the show’s leading ladies. Not to mention his relationship with Nick and his own mysterious past. There was plenty of story for this guy and the show simply didn’t take advantage of any of it. He especially would have been a red hot romantic interest for Hope, who has been sitting around doing nothing for nearly a year now. A married cop with an MIA husband and a shady ex-con with secrets? That’s the stuff of classic soap romance. I’m sorry, but none it makes any sense.

I haven’t liked much of what Days has been doing lately and given the show’s slipping ratings, I’m not the only one.

Scoops and Spoilers

River City: Will and Robbie reach a crossroads when Will signs over the beauty shop to Robbie, cutting one of the last ties that bound the couple together. But is it truly over? When Robbie is asked on a date by a good looking caterer, Robbie has to decide if he’s ready to let go of his marriage.

Will Chis and Hudson get in over their heads?

Neighbours : To protect Amber’s reputation, Chris teams up with Mason and Joshua to find the sex tape that Robbo made of he and Amber. When Hudson finds out what is going on, he becomes part of the scheme as well. But when their plans go awry, everyone becomes desperate to find a way to deal with Robbo, who has made many enemies in town due to a number of nefarious deeds. When Robbo is run over by a car and left for dead, everyone in town is a suspect, leaving Chris to wonder about his friends and neighbors’ suspicious behavior. Elsewhere, Hudson finds out that Josh had a nasty fight with Robbo shortly before he was run down. Will Hudson keep his rival’s secret?

Too close for comfort!

Hollyoaks: Upset and feeling ignored because John Paul isn’t returning his calls, Danny decides to get his revenge by flirting with Ste, unaware that Ste is his son. The two hit it off and head for Ste’s place to get romantic. But before things get physical, Danny finds the cards he’d been sending Ste over the years and realizes that his would be trick is his child. Danny races out, leaving Ste to wonder why Danny ran out on him. Danny later finds out that John Paul had lost his phone, which is why he didn’t respond to Danny’s calls. The two kiss and make up.

The next day, Ste confronts Danny about what happened and John Paul overhears that Ste was with his fella. Things get ugly when Ste antagonizes John Paul and JP punches Ste in the face and storms out. Danny tries to explain what happened but when it’s obvious he’s leaving something out, John Paul wonders if he and Danny can stay in a relationship with secrets. In other news, Ste has his day in court over killing his mother and Nancy is desperate for John Paul to help her, but will he be able to see through Sienna’s lies?

Bye Vargas! *sob*

Days of Our Lives: Sonny’s club reopens and he and Will celebrate the renovated business with all of Salem. But things quickly go south when violence breaks out thanks to Will’s bad girl cousin Teresa, who is on a date with Vargas. Chad is injured in the ensuing brawl, leaving Cam worried because of Chad’s medical condition. Elsewhere, Sami is offered a plea bargain at a reduced sentence, but it could cost her more than she’s willing to pay. As for poor Vargas, after the fight at the club, he finds himself back behind bars (and sadly, goodbye to Sean Douglas).

Joscha lashes out at Can..

All That Matters: Joscha continues to deceive Melanie about his sexuality, but he’s finding it harder and harder to avoid being intimate with her. When Manu’s sister issues a public statement about her brother’s suicide, it’s intimated that he and Joscha were lovers. When Can teases Joscha about Manu, Joscha lashes out and he and Can fight. Joscha continues to deny the truth, but all this makes it obvious to Katja that Joscha is gay. Katja encourages Joscha to come out and be honest, insisting he’ll be happier once he’s can be himself. But Joscha fears his soccer career will be over if he comes out and resolves to continue the deception.

And Also This Week

Jonathan gets terrible news

Winners and Losers: Jonathan is shocked when his attacker dies.

The Haves and The Have Nots: Jeffery makes a move on Wyatt.

EastEnders : Danny is annoyed to be forced to work with Michael.

People of the Valley: Iolo is surprised by who drops by to see Gethin..

That’s it for another edition of Langford on Soaps. See you next time!