Langford’s Picks and Pans
All That Matters (Germany)
Someone vandalized Kai’s car because they didn’t like that he was gay and Kai made it clear to the team that he wasn’t going to be bullied or scared away. Joscha learned that Timo was the one behind the homophobic behavior, but was afraid to come forward because he didn’t want anyone to think he was gay. When Raquel heard about it, she encouraged her husband to do the right thing. Joscha, while not ratting out Timo, informed the team that he supported Kai and the bullying had to stop. Later, the team had to travel for their first tournament and Joscha and Kai were forced to go together. But as things heated up romantically between them, Kai’s car broke down and Joscha had to travel with the rest of the team.
I’m very glad that Kai refused to let himself be bullied by bigots, but I do think he should have called the police. Then again, I have the feeling Kai knew that Joscha had seen who did it and was trying to protect him. And why is the team hassling Kai and not Deniz? Everybody knows Deniz is bisexual and he’s rather open about it. But no one is picking on him? It just seems…. convenient for the story, I think.
I continue to love Raquel and Joscha together. They make terrific friends and are so good for each other. When Raquel sweetly tells Joscha to do the right thing so she can be proud of him, I heart those moments. I think she can do much, much better than that idiot Ingo though. I do think that Joscha and Kai have chemistry, which is nice. However, I want more than just sexual attraction. Why does Joscha like Kai? More importantly, why does Kai like Joscha, who has treated him poorly on several occasions not to mention been violent with him. They really don’t even know each other. Maybe if we could get some getting to know you moments, I could buy more into this pairing.
BTW, whatever happened to Nick? He just sort of vanished and he was supposed to be a big help to the team.
About Can and Katja, the scene where he gave her the necklace was so sweet and romantic. Too bad that it was a fantasy. I never thought I’d see them as a couple, but I really like them and the show is doing a terrific job on their romance.
I know she’s been on for awhile now, but I don’t like this ’new’ Jenny. This one is too hard and can’t play the softer moments as well as the previous girl could.
And thank you show, for the extremely gratuitous and unnecessary shots of Ben’s naked butt. It was really quite … impressive.
Coronation Street (U.K.)
Not a lot to say here as not that much happened, but I’m surprised that Marcus and Maria decided not to have children. I always thought Marcus’ need to have kids was one reason why he ‘fell’ for Maria. My guess is that she finds out she’s pregnant after he starts sleeping with Todd? It’s a plot twist the show won’t be able to resist, I think. In other notes, did we know that Jason’s father was black? Or is that a recent reveal? I’ve been watching for years and had no idea that Jason was bi-racial. Is Julie still here? I’m tired of her whining about her loser boyfriend already. And poor Sean, spending all that money on a guy who couldn’t care less about him. He’s going to have his widdle heart broken, not that I could care.
Days of Our Lives (U.S.)
Unlike a lot of folks, I can’t deem the new Will a success or failure based on a few scenes. It’s far too soon to judge one way or another after one day. I do think it’s going to be an adjustment though as this actor is very different than the previous one. That’s not a bad thing though. I think Will, as a character, could do for some changing. I can’t see the show taking Will in a new direction, but one can always hope. But I really would love for Will and Sonny’s story to be as fun and entertaining and (most important) as soapy as the rest of the show.
What’s with the Charlie’s Angels pose, boys?
I think having Abby and EJ sleep together was a delicious twist, even though I think the show rushed the story. It makes sense though. Abby has always preferred older men and she never much cared if they were coupled with someone else. And EJ and Abby have chemistry, they are hot, hot, hot. It’s a plot point with so many ramifications and layers to play out. We know Sami will find out eventually and there will be hell to pay, but I’m wondering who will find out first? Jennifer? Stefano? Sonny? Should be fun. And of course, you know Abby will be pregnant. Only gay virgins on soaps use rubbers.
The show has finally found a meaty story for Kate Mansi, who is such a good actress who has been wasted for so long. From Brady’s drug problems (isn’t Brady the hottest drug addict ever?) to the burning romance between Nicole and Eric, this show is doing so well. I can even tolerate Jen and Daniel now that they are not boring us silly with their romance. But could JJ stop trying to get them back together? I loved JJ when he was a bad boy. This new version, not so much.
*Thanks to MRFIXIT for the clips!
This coming out story continues to be exceptional. The scene with Linda and Johnny was really nice where she was worried he’d get hurt. The line ‘you just made a bunch of enemies you don’t even know about’ was quite powerful and certainly rang true. And her fears about the men he’d get involved with that would break his heart means she’s not going to be too pleased when Johnny does start dating. And given how Mick has been with Nancy’s love life, I pity the guy Johnny falls for. Still despite what she said to Mick and to Johnny, Linda obviously has not accepted it. She’s just trying to make the peace. That’s very real to me.
And then there’s Johnny who has a lot of issues to work out himself. He’s still having his own struggles and issues about being gay, having told Whitney he wishes he weren’t attracted to men and saying he doesn’t know if he ever wants a relationship with a man. He admits he’s gay, but he’s obviously not happy about it. So, he’s come out to his family, but it looks like the really difficult stuff is yet to come for all of them. This has been a terrific coming out drama that has played all the beats and showed how it affects the entire family and not just the person coming out.
In other notes, I loved it when they were all going out to the gay club and Shirley and Tina suggested Johnny wear a tighter shirt and do something with his hair. And when he asked why they said ‘he really doesn’t get it, does he’? Hilarious. And did Danny really ask the girl he’s dating if she wanted to go to a gay club with him?
Well, there was not much for Finn last week, who mostly was clueless as Val dealt with her HIV drama and put her fears upon Finn, who didn’t understand why she was asking him if he’d been tested for any STD’s. I do think that the HIV story for Val is interesting, though somewhat out of the blue. But given the characters sexual history, such a story for her is not only believable, but relevant as HIV is still out there. I think the best scene was the one between Ian and Val. The acting was very good and I loved when Val asked Ian what HIV has taught him and he replied ‘I should have had safe sex’. Even better was Val saying she hated it when people claimed that serious illnesses made them better people. I’m with her on that one.
I know some fans are upset that she didn’t go ahead and get tested, but to me her reluctance to do so is very believable. Once you know for sure you have to live with it and you can’t take it back. There’s some comfort in not knowing and convincing yourself that everything is going to be just fine. I do think that the show needs to balance the light and dark stories though. They had this drama playing out while another character was losing her baby and was told she could never have children. I think that can be a bit much for a half hour.
As for Finn, I did like the scenes earlier in the week (before the HIV stuff started) where he tried to get fired by coming onto Val, only to have it backfire. And I thought the scenes where Val was checking out his bum as he climbed the ladder were cute. I suspect that he’s going to be the one she confides in about her problem. I don’t, however, want him to simply become a supporting player in Val’s dramas though. It’s fine as the character settles in, but let’s let him branch out into his own stories (and romances) soon.
But, it looks like Val’s son Paul is going to be making his way back to the village given all the talk about the character. That’s great as I always liked Paul. Let’s hope he brings his sexy husband Johnny with him.
Good Times, Bad Times (The Netherlands)
Not much to say here, though I’m very glad they resolved this quickly and I loved that both Menno and Janine had no patience for Lucas’ usual bratty behavior and told him he was being childish in taking his own problems out on Menno (again). Why Menno would subject himself to a lifetime of this is beyond me, but there’d be no story if he didn’t, I guess.
BTW, I hate, hate, hate the show’s freshened theme. Why change what works? Bah.
*Thanks to GTSTfanMARK for the clips!
A lot to discuss this week, so let’s start with my favorite subject: Ste (note the heavy sarcasm)
First off, there was a lot of discussion about Doug leaving Ste the deli with Doug haters bemoaning that the deli was Brendan’s and he had given it to Ste and Ste alone. But that’s not how I remember it. The deli was always Ste and Doug’s business, but when it got into debt, Brendan loaned Ste the money to get them out of it. Then later Ste tricked Brendan into cancelling the debt, basically giving him the money to solve the deli’s problems. But the business itself always belonged to both Ste and Doug. So Doug could certainly leave Ste his half.
What I find funny though is that this week Ste was weeping and crying about how much he missed Doug and loved him, but last week, he was sobbing about missing Brendan. Whatever. But at least Ste got it right when he said he let Doug down. Over and over, in fact. And Ste talked about he and Doug’s dreams for the deli, but hadn’t they closed it indefinitely when they decided to travel the world right before Doug died? So what dreams did they have for a business they shuttered? Yet again Hollyoaks ignores its own story. And they just wrote that a month or so ago. But I liked Ste getting close to his sisters, especially Leela, who I think he has a nice chemistry with.
I thought it was hilarious that even though a child was missing, Nana tried to hook up Ste and John Paul. And Ste actually had to remind JP they were supposed to be looking for the kid when JP asked Ste out. Oh, show, never change. I will admit I like Ste and John Paul as a couple. They’re actually kind of made for each other. For once, a pairing that makes sense. And of course Danny would be jealous about them. But you gotta love a show that has a triangle between a father, a son and the guy they both want. Of course, now that Finn has raped John Paul, that romance has hit a major road block.
But first, let’s get into the events that led up to it…
When John Paul was initially suspended, I didn’t feel sorry for him. Letting a 15-year-old boy stay at your house is not smart. Though Patrick shouldn’t have suspended him without getting the full details first. But I wondered, how many times has JP been suspended for one thing or another since he came back? I can think of at least two separate incidents and he hasn’t even been back a year.
And when Patrick wanted to suspend Finn, what was he suspending him for? If it was the drugs, those weren’t done on school property and Finn wasn’t the one who accused JP of being a pedophile. So why was he being suspended that time? Yes, Finn should not be on school grounds, he should have been expelled months ago, but he hadn’t done anything wrong that time. But what was really ludicrous was Diane asking Patrick to keep Finn in school because they can punish him better than she can. So it’s the school’s job to raise and discipline her kid?
About the robbery, the police have Finn’s tie. There has to be all sorts of forensic evidence all over it. The police should be led right to his door, even without JP going to the police to say anything. But this is Hollyoaks. The show will probably forget that plot point next week.
As for the rape scene and the aftermath, it was all very well acted by both James Sutton and Keith Rice, especially JP going to the police to report the crime and his visit to the crisis center. However, while I understand because of the show’s time slot, they couldn’t be too explicit or graphic, I thought they were too vague and you weren’t really sure what happened and I don’t think that’s what they wanted. And I’m not quite sure if I buy that Sam wouldn’t have pressed JP further on who raped him. I know the ladies at the crisis center did ask, but I dunno, I would think the police would have at least tried harder.
I wish I could believe that Finn will eventually pay for his crime, but on a show where murderers walk the streets I don’t see that happening. I also dread that the show might come up with a ‘twist’ where JP and Finn become romantically involved. Soaps have done it before and this soap has shown complete irresponsibility when it comes to social issues. I pray they’ll resist the urge. For now, I am interested in seeing where this is going, at least until the show finds a way to ruin it. Which they will.
In other stories…
Am I seriously going to believe that Esther would not only agree to be Sinead’s maid of honor, but design her a wedding dress? It wasn’t that long ago that Sinead drove Esther to try and kill herself and because of that Esther’s kidneys have been damaged for the rest of her life. Sinead was never sorry for that and I recall that scene where Esther told Sinead that they’d never be friends and she’d never forgive her for what she did. Not only that, Esther and Sinead haven’t shared scene one for months so it’s not like Sinead was making amends or something. But let’s face it, with Tilly gone now and all the other teenagers dead or left town, there’s no one for Esther to hang out with. Why not the girl who ruined her life? Sigh.
This week was also notable because Jorgie Porter exited her role as Teresa. And thank God. I have always, always despised this character and never understood her appeal. It doesn’t help that the actress was absolutely horrific in the role. Good riddance. I guess the show wants us to feel sorry for Teresa, but they seem to forget she is a cold blooded killer who got away with it for years. So no, for once on this show, a criminal actually paid for their crimes.
Oh well, I loved Patrick and Nolan while they lasted. But you know me, violence between lovers is a no-no. And when Patrick clocked Nolan over the head, there went any need for me to ever see them together. I know the show isn’t done with them and they’ll go back and forth as they purportedly love each other, but for me they are done. Don’t think much of Patrick any more either. One thing I liked about him is that he was a decent guy struggling to retain his humanity despite the evil surroundings. But that’s all shot to hell. He can stay though, especially if he takes his shirt off often. Can’t wait to see what’s in Nolan’s envelope though. Patrick licking Nolan’s wrist was pretty hot.
I figured something would fuel Emily’s need for revenge and it’s sad that she can’t have kids. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here and what form of revenge Emily takes next. But I’m surprised that Victoria left things where she did with that box. I can’t believe she wouldn’t have started a plan to find out who Emily Thorne really is to look for something, anything that she could use as leverage. I do hope Aidan and Emily aren’t on the outs for too long. I really like them together and think he’s perfect for her. My guess is she’ll rescue him from Nico when Nico learns Aidan killed her daddy and they’ll be back on again.
The Haves And The Have Nots (U.S.)
Meh, this show hasn’t changed much. The pace is still painfully slow, with scenes dragging on forever and ever. How many times did Candace tell Jeffery to come into the apartment before he did? And then the second scene between them was even more ponderous. But I do like that Candace has always been supportive of Jeffery, in her own way. She’s the only person who’s been encouraging. However, like Jeffery said, Candace is always calculating and scheming. So, does she have something to gain from helping Jeffery? Guess that remains to be seen.
I thought the scene between Veronica and David was nicely done. Veronica doesn’t sound as horrible as she did last season, but she obviously has a scheme to ‘straighten’ out her son. Uh-oh.
Now that the show is a success and will be around for awhile, I do think they need to beef up the cast a bit. None of the younger set has a viable love interest and they all could use one. And the show really needs to find a purpose for Benny. Last season he spent weeks in jail and now that he’s been run over, he’s going to spend weeks in the hospital. Now the character, frankly, isn’t that interesting, but it’s up to the show to change that. And they can start by not making him a perpetual victim.
Scoops and Spoilers
All That Matters: Joscha can’t stop thinking of Kai and despite the risk, slips off to see him in his room at the hostel and they spend the night together. The next morning, Joscha tells Kai he wants a relationship, but Kai feels it would be too complicated, even though he cares about Joscha. Joscha thinks they should try, even though things would have to be a secret. Later, after Joscha is injured during a workout, he’s ordered to take a few days off. Joscha and Kai decide to use the time to go off and spend a few days away together.
Todd makes his play for Marcus…
Coronation Street: At Todd’s birthday party, Sean gives Todd an expensive shirt and Julie notes that Sean has a thing for Todd. She encourages Sean to go after what he wants. Meanwhile, Todd is going after what he wants and that something is Marcus. Sean encourages Todd to try on his new shirt and Todd takes his shirt off in the middle of the restaurant, making sure Marcus gets an eyeful. Marcus can’t help but appreciate Todd’s buff body. Later, Marcus corners Todd and tries to smooch him, but Eileen interrupts. She’s furious at Todd’s trying to break up Marcus and Maria and makes Todd apologize to Marcus. Marcus accepts the apology, but he can’t forget what nearly happened between him and Todd.
Later when Sean makes it clear he wants more from Todd than friendship, Todd tells Sean he’s not interested in dating anyone, devastating Sean. Meanwhile, Marcus and Maria continue their plans to buy a house, putting a bid on a place they want. But when their bid is denied and they lose their chance at the house, they are upset. A bitter and jealous Todd enjoys watching Marcus and Maria deal with their latest setback.
EastEnders: Johnny goes to a party with Whitney and Lauren where he learns a secret and later there’s problems at the bar that could ruin things for the Carter’s.
Finally! Lucas Jones is back in Port Charles…
General Hospital: Lucas Jones returns to Port Charles after having been away for a number of years. But what brings him back to PC? Could it be that his sister Carly has been kidnapped? Maybe, but since he missed all of Carly’s other calamities, who knows? Meanwhile, Julian has finally found out that he has a secret son. How long will it be before father and son meet? The big question is, who’s going to be more shocked: Lucas that his bio-dad is a mobster or Julian that his long lost son is gay?
Good Times, Bad Times: Menno has a big surprise for Lucas…
Has bad boy Dominic turned over a new leaf?
Holby City: Everyone on the ward is shocked when Dominic, the bad boy doctor who had an affair with the departed Malick, then tried to destroy Malick’s career after Malick rejected him, makes a shocking return to the hospital. Digby, who gave the evidence that sent Dom packing, wonders why he’s back. Dom says he only wants to make amends for the past, but Digby doesn’t believe him and the two doctors are at odds. As the bitterness between them intensifies, will Dom show his true colors?
Hollyoaks: John Paul goes back to school the next day after the rape, where he is taunted by Finn, who tells JP he brought the attack on himself. Things get worse when John Paul learns his grandmother washed his clothes, which were the only evidence of the assault. Elsewhere, Ste attends Sinead’s wedding to Freddie, which as you would expect is a disastrous event.
Nashville: As this show returns from its winter break, the fate of Will Lexington is revealed. Did he survive his suicide attempt? Or will he be another gay character with a fateful meeting with a train?
Iolo’s camping trip goes awry…
People of the Valley: Iolo is upset when Colin invites Kevin on the camping trip. The trip goes badly and Kevin is lost in the woods. Iolo and Colin find him, but Iolo later admits he was tempted just to leave Kevin lost to fend for himself. The question is: why?
The Haves and Have Nots: Jeffrey finds out about Candice and Amanda’s scheme against Amanda’s father, but he’s got bigger problems when he’s implicated in Benny’s hit and run, which also claimed the life of a child.
Will Miska regret keeping Lari’s secret?
Secret Lives: Elias and Miska have been dating for a few weeks, but Elias wants to take things slowly after his long and messy relationship with Lari. When Isabella wonders if Elias is still hung up on Lari and that’s why he’s reluctant to move forward with Miska, Elias says he’s worried that there’s something not right about Miska because he seems too perfect. Meanwhile, Lari is caught stealing pizza, which Miska witnesses. When Miska wonders why Lari would do such a thing, Lari confesses that his life has been pretty miserable without Elias. Miska neglects to tell Elias about his talk with Lari.
That’s it for this edition of Langford On Soaps. Please share your comments on the thoughts and opinions expressed in this week’s column below. See you next week!