Langford on Soaps: War Breaks Out on “Neighbors” and “Haves/Have Nots” Gets Pathetic

Plus, EJ and Will team up on Days, Jamie turns detective on Casualty and John Paul’s mother is brutally attacked on Hollyoaks.

Langford’s Picks and Pans

Neighbours (Australia)

Even though I didn’t like how it started and I still think the show did Chris and Hudson no favors by having the development of their romance take place off screen, I really am growing to like them together and I think they have a very sweet chemistry. Admittedly though, Remy Hii isn’t much of an actor and I find myself wishing he’d take the marbles out of his mouth when he speaks. I just think the story would even be better if Hii would brush up on his acting skills. Yet, I think the actor has a certain charm and I like him and his character despite those deficiencies.

I’m really enjoying the story revolving around the battle between Josh and Hudson and I’m looking forward to the fallout of Brad deciding to coach Hudson. However, why did the reveal of this plot development happen off screen? It would be nice to have seen Hudson’s reaction to Brad’s decision to coach him. And how did Joshua find out? How did Chris react to the news? Again, we should be seeing this story beats, not just hearing about them.

I do agree that Joshua needs to give it a rest in regards to Hudson. His endless whining isn’t attractive. I like that even Brad told him to shut up and focus on his swimming. Too bad Josh isn’t gay and we could have a nice triangle between the three of them as Josh and Hudson’s fighting really hides an underlying attraction. But Neighbours would never go there. Oh well, it would mean no more snoozy, chemistry-free scenes with Josh and Amber, definitely a plus.

My Husbands’ Lover (The Philippines)

I enjoyed this past week’s subbed episodes of My Husband’s Lover, even though there are a couple of things that bothered me. But I continue to be impressed by this marvelously soapy story that puts two men at its center with all the twists and turns that brings them together and tears them apart. As much as I was glad that they finally got together, it’s too bad that we didn’t see anything resembling a romantic/love scene. We only saw Eric and Vincent about to kiss and then later hugging in Eric’s apartment, with the only real inference that they had had sex being that they weren’t fully dressed. It was all rather vague. I did read that love/romantic scenes had been shot (a couple in fact), but the powers that be made the show cut them out as well as any references to them having had sex.

This is as close as Vincent and Eric got before the camera faded to black….

It’s unfortunate and yet I still credit them for being able to get this story on the air to begin with. Maybe the next similar project (and I assume there will be some given the incredible success of this one) will see the lovers being more intimate. But I can’t say it didn’t bother me, especially since we get to see Vincent in a full on love scene with his Lally, which he only did because Eric pushed him to be more romantic with his wife. I wondered if he thought of Eric during his time with his wife, since he had been avoiding having sex with her before this? And I have a feeling, since there’s so much of the story left to be told that Lally will get pregnant as a result of their lovemaking, putting another roadblock between Eric and Vincent’s happiness.

There were few scenes I really liked, such as David ripping into Vincent after Vincent came to tell him about his affair with Eric. I think that David’s real problem was that after hanging around Vincent and his family for years and wanting Vincent, Vincent chose to have an affair with Eric. I suspect that if Vincent had wanted to pick things up with David behind Lally’s back, David would not be so upset. And in that scene where he went to warn Eric off of Vincent, David came off as more of a jealous lover than any concern for Lally and Vincent’s children. I feel for David, it’s sad that he can’t find love and move on.

I also liked Eric’s mother being straight, pardon the pun, about that affair and that eventually Lally will learn the truth and Eric will get dumped again because Vincent will choose his wife. But it’s too bad that mother and son are letting it ruin their relationship and I hope they can fix that sooner rather than later. I also liked the cute scene with Eric’s mother and Eric’s pal Danny, who was bored with hearing about Eric and Vincent and asks if he can install ‘Candy Crush’ on her phone. Hilarious. The ongoing jealousy/conflict with Lally and her sister is intriguing as well. I think the mother plays the two off each other, even if she may not realize it.

My big problem though was Eric and Vincent getting into a fist fight. They can hit each other black and blue, but an on screen kiss is a no-no? Of course! Besides, gay lovers being violent with each other is something I’ve had more than enough of. I guess because when violence enters a relationship, for me it’s over as far as I’m concerned. I know Eric and Vincent will get over it, but as a viewer, it’s hard for me to get past or overlook.

Hollyoaks (U.K.)

So we’re supposed to believe that in the span of a day or two, Ste went from wanting nothing to do with his mother, to inviting her to live in his house, to deciding to help her die? Seriously, show? Hollyoaks has always been a fast paced soap, but this is ridiculous. This is all about hitting plot points, not actually using the characters organically in a story that makes sense. They are simply shoving the characters around from plot device to plot device without anything resembling characterization. It’s fine to be all enraptured by Kieron Richardson’s strong performance as Ste, and he’s pretty good, but I don’t believe this story for a minute. The show simply hasn’t bothered to spend time developing an actual bond between Ste and Pauline to get us the point they have.

For example, why would Ste even ask Pauline to come live with him? That plot point happened off screen, sp who knows? And how exactly is Ste able to afford to do anything to help his mother? The last time I looked, he wasn’t working and was blackmailing Sinead’s clients to make a buck, not that it ever worked in their favor. So where is the money coming from to deal with mom? Sure, she seems to have hospice care, but just her living there would cost something. But I guess we’re not supposed to think about that. Or is this that whole “socialized medicine” thing we here in the States keeping hearing about?

But Ste doesn’t think much either. For someone who has nothing but dumb ideas, his deciding to help his mother die is one of the dumbest. Beyond the lack of emotional continuity and logic, it’s a crime. It’s fine if Pauline doesn’t care about Ste’s future, she’s always been incredibly selfish. She’s only using him to get what she wants. Her actions I buy. Frankly, Ste should have thrown her out after finding out she went out of her way to make sure he’d never have a relationship with his father. That is just downright cruel. But putting that aside, Ste not even considering the legal ramifications of killing his mother is ridiculous. And Doug isn’t helpful, who in the line of the year told Ste that no one would judge him if he killed his mother. When Doug said that, I literally shouted at the TV “except for a jury, dumbass!”

Doug has been so little used and ill-used lately. I just hate that he’s trotted out to tell Ste it’s okay to kill his mother. What kind of right-thinking person would even give that kind of insane advice without at the very least warning them that there would be a price to pay? Of course the show could have used that moment to remind us that Doug’s father is (at least the last time we saw him) supposedly very ill and dying himself to maybe add some depth to that scene. But perhaps they’ve forgotten that with all the other plot threads and story points the show routinely drops and/or ignores. And of course, seeing Doug and Ste together raises the question: why are they still married? The show reminded us of that a few weeks ago, but didn’t address why neither of them have sought to end their union. Again they still don’t.

My fear is the reason they haven’t ended it is that eventually it’ll be used as a plot point to get them back together. And I really dread a reunion between these two, even though they had a lot of fans back when they were first romancing and got together. Too much has happened for me to ever want them together, especially Ste’s awful treatment of Doug which he has never apologized or even been sorry for. I know the show says it’ll never happen, but they also said that Brendan and Ste would never reunite until Brendan changed. So, we know they lie.

But you know the biggest problem with this story? I don’t care about Ste. I’ve never been his biggest fan and he just wore me out during the whole Brendan saga. And after Brendan left and Ste became the world’s worst drug dealer, I wanted him gone. To me he’s a character in need of some serious rehabbing. His tears, his sad-sack face just makes me yawn. I will say this is better than the ‘bad boy’ nonsense the show has been dishing out for the past few months. If we don’t have to watch that mess anymore, I’m grateful.

Let’s move on to Sinead, who I saw way too much of last week. She’s an awful, horrible creature that the show seems desperate to make us like and have sympathy for. The problem is you can’t erase years of repellant, awful behavior in a few weeks, especially when most of her problems she brought on herself because she’s selfish and stupid. But I was pretty much stupefied by the developments in her story, that again the show just leapt from plot point to plot point without any story or emotional logic.

For example, Trent, for weeks, has been terrorizing Sinead, forcing her to get dirt on Ste and/or Trevor. But all of a sudden, in one ‘romantic’ scene, Trent and Sinead are wanting to run off together, with Trevor throwing away his entire life to help out this girl he’s spent so much time tormenting. When he rhapsodizes about how strong Sinead was to deal with all she had been through, did it occur to her that he was the reason why she had to deal with most of that crap? I guess she was too busy leaping into to bed with him, one day after (I think) being raped by Trevor. Yuck. I will say though that I thought Trent was an interesting character (and good looking). Too bad the show killed him off.

The other big story this past week was the nonsense between Vincent and George. The only thing that rings true in this whole story is Vincent’s plight about being afraid of being sent back to Nigeria because he knows he would be killed for being gay. That is very real and relevant, especially in regards to his shame and apprehension about his feelings for George. It’s a believable roadblock for these two to deal with. Unfortunately, there are so many problems with this story that overcomes the few positives.

First of all, Vincent and George have no chemistry. None. Not a whit. Second, there is no reason for these two to be romantically involved. They have nothing in common, no shared interests. They just don’t click in any way, shape or form, which is a shame. I thought George and Ryan were cute together. The show missed a huge opportunity with George and Callum, who had amazing chemistry with each other. And as the show has either ill-used Callum or not used him at all (we haven’t seen Callum in months) it’s even more a shame they never pursued a romance with he and George.

But the major problem I have with this story is George lying to Phoebe. After everything George and Phoebe have been through together, it’s hard for me to believe he would treat her like this. They’ve always been extremely close. It is so out of character for George to be deceitful, especially to Phoebe, and especially about this. Both George and Vincent know that Phoebe loves Vincent and she’s only waiting for him to love her back. For Vincent to string her along and for George to let it happen is cruel and unforgivable. The show says this is a story with no villains, but what Vincent and George are doing is pretty mean to me. Yet for all the speed of light storytelling the show is content to let this one plot point drag out.

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

Jeffrey and Wyatt have been missing for the last few weeks so to be frank, I haven’t been watching. I found the show interesting at first, but eventually the leaden dialogue and lethargic pace got to me. And that continues here, the scene between Wyatt, Jeffrey and Candace when they showed up at her apartment dragged on forever with them repeating the same dialogue over and over. How many times did Jeffrey say ‘let’s go’ and how many times did Wyatt say ‘we’re not leaving’? I lost count.

I was totally not surprised that Wyatt had been sexually abused by a priest, the show has very heavily hinted as much previously. I guess we’re to think that is the cause of his drug abuse, much like his sister’s repeated attempts at suicide? I am curious about the appearance of Wyatt’s out-of-nowhere girlfriend, whom we haven’t heard of or from until this moment. I wonder if there’s a particular reason why she showed up now, other than supposedly reuniting with Wyatt. Something about it made me suspicious.

Being pathetic is not attractive….

By the way, and I know the show isn’t listening, but I could do without Jeffrey fuming with jealousy over Laura being back, rolling his eyes and making bitchy comments. It is not entertaining. Gay men sitting around pining after their straight friends is so yesterday in terms of gay storytelling and I wish shows would do away with that tired old trope. When Jeffrey sniffed Wyatt’s shirt and squeed about how Wyatt listened to him, I think my stomach did a flip or two. That’s just gross. Stop this show, now. It’s really rather pathetic… and insulting.

All That Matters (Germany)

Okay, it’s time for this show to move past this Joscha/Melanie business because I am just so bored. I don’t much like Melanie, but I like Joshca’s using her even less. This sort of story just doesn’t appeal to me. I understand Joscha’s dilemma, but his using her makes the character really unsympathetic to me.

I’ll just be glad when the show/story moves forward so I can enjoy it. His fantasy about Deniz was nice though. I still am not sure if the show is going to pair these two or not. At this point, it doesn’t seem like that is where they are going.

Days of Our Lives (U.S.)

Once you get past Sonny being a jerk to his mother, I thought Days was pretty good last week. I guess the biggest problem I have with Sonny cutting his mother out of his life is that even Will understands why Adrienne did what she did. And Sonny refuses to acknowledge that, as Justin pointed out, he was lying and breaking the law and Adrienne was only trying to protect him. Sonny is so black and white and has such tunnel vision. The show won’t allow him and depth or complexities at all. It really makes for a dull character.

And I disagree that Adrienne enjoyed what she did. If that were the case she would have turned the video tape over without trying to talk to anyone about it. Besides, Sonny is able to forgive Will his multitude of sins, but not his own mother, who has been there for him since birth? He should be ashamed. Hopefully at some point, he’ll see what a douche he’s being and apologize. And I like that she won’t apologize because she knows she’s in the right.

I’m not sure where the show is going with the Brent angle. I’m inclined not to believe that Brent has romantic designs on Sonny. Days is not a subtle soap as they tend to beat you over the head with plot points. If Brent were after Sonny, I would think it would be rather obvious. I honestly think this is more about Will’s insecurities than any scheming by Brent. But I could be wrong. Given that the show told us out of the blue that Brian had been plotting (off screen) to undermine Will and Sonny for months, anything is possible.

I’m glad to see more of Nick. I feel like his storyline has been neglected by the show and its good they are starting to delve into how messed up Nick is because of what’s happened to him. And I enjoyed getting a glimpse of Vargas. It’s a shame the show has pretty much done nothing with this character. He started out with such potential and a lot of chemistry with the ladies he’d had scenes with. I still think he and Hope could be hot together… and she needs a storyline with Bo gone and not coming back anytime soon. Just how much longer is the show going to ignore that?

Scoops and Spoilers

Myra is brutally attacked…

Hollyoaks: Ste struggles to decide whether or not to help his mother take her own life, but will Tony get in the way of his efforts to do as Pauline asks? Meanwhile, the McQueen family are torn apart when Myra is brutally attacked at the flower shop. She’s rushed to the hospital, barely hanging on to life and Paul slips into her room to finish the job. However, Nana interrupts. Then the police show up and Paul is arrested for attacking Myra. Mercedes stands by her husband, however, and gives him an alibi.

Uh oh… EJ has a new scheme….

Days of Our Lives: Will gets a visit from his cousin JJ, who offers support for the problems his family is going through. Later, Will works with EJ and they come up with an idea that could get Sami out of jail. Elsewhere, Adrienne fears that in light of current events, her marriage might be coming to an end. And when Sami and Sonny talk about Adrienne, will it further drive a wedge between Sonny and his mom? In other news, Rafe may not be able to walk again, Chad gets news about his medical condition and the judge orders Bernadi’s body exhumed. Things look up for Sami, but not for long.

All That Matters: Joscha panics when Melanie suspects he might be gay and wants to break it off with him. Desperate to keep his hetero public image, Joscha tells Melanie that he loves her. And Melanie in turn tells Joscha she loves him. Realizing his mistake, Joscha looks for a way out, but now more than ever, she pressures him for sex. Joscha promises it’s finally going to happen, but will be able to go through with it?

And Also This Week

Will Chris and Hudson like what they hear?

Neighbours: The rivalry between Hudson and Josh reaches new heights after Hudson gets a big sponsorship from Paul

Casualty: Jamie looks into the real reason behind a robbery…

People of the Valley: Iolo struggles to help Gethin following Gethin’s being attacked by his father.

Dance Academy: Ollie’s music video stirs up trouble between the students…

EastEnders: In an attempt to upset Michael, Janine sleeps with Danny

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