Langford on Soaps: Which Gay is Leaving “Hollyoaks”?

Plus, it’s wedding bells for Will and Sonny on Days, Iolo gets a D.J. on People of the Valley, sex ed on Secret Lives and Todd and Marcus hit the sheets on Corrie

Langford’s Picks and Pans

Coronation Street (U.K.)

While I had been looking forward to this story when it was first proposed, as it plays out I’m finding it disappointing. The big problems are lack of airtime and poor pacing. When the show takes it up, it’s usually the B or C story of the day, so little time is devoted to it. Then a couple of weeks pass before there’s another round of brief scenes. Then there’s the way it’s being acted. A lot of the character interactions are really underplayed, and I have no idea how any of these people are feeling, especially Marcus.

I’m not sure why Todd is after Marcus. Frankly, he doesn’t even seem to like Marcus all that much. It just seems like he’s out to seduce  the guy because he’s bored and he’s got nothing better to do. The only times we get in any insight into Todd is during his scenes with his mother, who fears that Todd has changed and can see what he’s doing to draw Marcus into his web. Their scenes are actually the most entertaining in the story because the actors really work well together and their snarky mother/son relationship is believable.

Not so believable is Todd and Marcus. First of all, they are both good actors, but they don’t have much chemistry. And if we’re to believe that Marcus is drawn to Todd, it’s not coming across onscreen. Charlie Condou is not acting the role of a man torn between his desire for Todd and his love for Maria and the family he’s built with her. In fact, on screen, Marcus is truly invested in his life with Maria. Todd is just this guy who he has a casual, harmless flirtation with.

We’re supposed to think this is a build up to a blazing hot affair, but it’s been more fizzle than sizzle. Too bad because I think Bruno Langley has real sex appeal and is great as the scheming ToddI love the idea of a gay bad boy out to be a home wrecker. I just don’t think the writing is helping in his role as seducer.

Days of Our Lives (U.S.)

I read every week how folks don’t like Guy Wilson as Will, which is not a surprising reaction towards a new actor taking on an iconic role. I thought Chandler Massey was fine in the role, but I believed then and I believe now that just about any soap role can be recast. And I think GW is doing a good job. He’s a different Will, older and more serious and mature and that’s fine given that Will is a father and all. And I think that Will and Sonny have more chemistry now than they did before.

As for the proposal episode, it was fine, I guess. I personally didn’t find it romantic or moving or emotional or anything. It’s nice that we can have a gay couple getting married on a soap opera though. We certainly have come far since Luke and Noah first kissed on As the World Turns seven years ago. But the fact that I had a ‘meh’ reaction to all this groundbreaking storytelling makes me wonder if it’s me … or the show.

Still, while I like Guy Wilson as Will, I’ll admit he doesn’t have that same chemistry with EJ that Chandler Massey did. I guess it’s just as well.

I realize that women on soaps fall in love with and marry men who rape them, try and kill them and do all sorts of horrible things to them. And now we have gay lovers doing the same thing with the men in their lives. I’ve seen it on every soap, including this one, I’ve ever watched. Heck, Sami is engaged to her rapist and a man she shot in the head. But it doesn’t mean I like it. So I think Gabi believing Nick has changed to be truly ridiculous.

At least in most cases– and in the case of Sami and EJ– it took a long time for them to get to the point where they could work through the past and reunite. But that’s not the case with Nick and Gabi. Therefore her believing his ’change’ a scant few weeks after he tried to rape her seems truly idioticEither we’re supposed to believe that Gabi is the dumbest person on Earth — or it’s just some really contrived and stupid writing. I’m leaning towards the latter.

I did like how Nick just dropped in casual conversation that Kate and Sami tried to kill him. Nick manipulating everyone and turning the girls against each other is fun to watch. He’s really a terrific bad guy. And Blake Berris is clearly enjoying the scenes.

If I took a shot every time folks referred to Nick as “Nick Fallon”, I’d be drunk before the first commercial break. Marlena did it three times in the same scene. LOL!

Oh and, “Sonny and Will: A Love Story Told In Pictures?” TheBacklot beat you to it, DOOL!  And, given the recast, weren’t there only about two pictures in the show’s big ass album? But I did love the bit about Maurice. I enjoyed the book, and the movie is one of my favorite gay-themed films of all time. Rupert Graves and Hugh Grant? Yum. Now, where is my copy of that flick….?

*Thanks to MRFIXIT for the clips!

EastEnders (U.K.)

I think a lot of people are not going to be happy when Johnny finds a boyfriend and not just his mother. The look on Whitney’s face when she thought, for a moment, that Johnny was asking her out on a date and then later, how she was jealous that Johnny was being so close to Lucy in the wake of her split with Johnny tells me Whitney will take it very hard when that time comes

As for Danny, it’s a shame that he was written out. He had the potential to be a great villain, willing to use sex with men or women to get what he wanted. And he certainly was hot. I think he was a fool though, taking the risk of chasing after Johnny so brazenly. But then part of Danny’s character is that he never thought he’d actually get caught. I do think though that he was right about Johnny in that he’s unsure of himself, even if he might have finally admitted that he was gay.

Emmerdale (U.K.)

The show hasn’t used Finn much lately, save as background for Val and Eric’s HIV storyline, though they do promise a love interest in the offing. My feeling is still that it’s Robbie and having seen some upcoming spoilers I’m even more sure of that. As I’ve said before, I’m not excited at that prospect, but for now, I want to talk about a couple of things that did happen last week, though it’s really not so much about Finn.

We had some scenes between James and Chas, where they talked about the fact that they both had gay sons, Finn and Aaron respectively. Chas had just gotten back from France visiting Aaron and was telling James about her trip. I found their discussion strange because it’s as if the show has forgotten that the reason why Aaron is living in France is because he’s on the run for the attempted murder of his uncle Cain, a crime that Aaron’s best friend Adam committed. Adam had wanted Cain dead because Cain’s affair with his mother, which Adam believed led to the death of his father.

Longtime readers know I hated that storyline because there’s no way that Aaron’s family would have let him take the rap for a crime he did not commit, nor would Adam, who was Aaron’s best pal, have let him. And everyone in town knew that Chas was going to see Aaron and as far as they know, Aaron is an attempted murderer on the lam. How strange she would be so open about her trip if that were the case. Of course the irony is that Cain now lives with Adam and is about to marry Adam’s mother, which Adam doesn’t seem to have a problem with. This all just illustrates how dumb that story was then and how the show seems to pretend it never even happened. To be fair, I haven’t watched the show much since Aaron left, so maybe something has changed in regards to that story. If it has, someone let me know.

The silliest bit was Chas suggesting it was a shame that Aaron and Finn couldn’t date. It made me wonder if Chas even knew her son. I can’t imagine Aaron and Finn being interested in each other, even if they lived in the same town. Aaron would think Finn was a snotty little twerp and Aaron would remind Finn too much of the farmer brothers he doesn’t want to be anything like. Then again, if Finn saw Aaron without a shirt, that might change his line of thinking. LOL….

James thinks the idea of Aaron and Finn dating is funny. So do I…

I also want to talk about the show’s HIV storyline. I think it was an interesting idea for the show to have one of their older characters faced with the fact that they could be HIV positive as they could depict that the threat is still out there and that it can strike anyone. But the execution hasn’t been that great. Val’s decision to destroy her marriage rather than be honest with her husband is something that Val would do. However, the story completely went off the rails by having Diane and Pollard sleep together.

I know the show did it to create drama that Pollard could have unknowingly infected Diane because of their one night stand, but I don’t believe for one minute that Diane would sleep with her sister’s husband. It is so contrived and so out of character for her to do such a thing. And while Pollard is a complete jerk, I don’t believe even he would go so far as to have sex with his wife’s sister. It’s a big false note in the story and ruins everything for me.

General Hospital (U.S.)

Poor Lucas. It was so sad seeing him being rejected by Brad. I think Brad will regret his decision though. Felix’s obsession with nosing his way into other folks business will come between them like it has in the past. I did like the scenes between Julian and Alexis and I like that Julian is not some raging homophobe demanding his son change, but is willing and wants to work on things and himself so he can be a part of his son’s life. I also enjoyed the scenes between Ava and Alexis, not only because they were bitchy and fun, but we found out that while Ava has many flaws, homophobia isn’t one of them. But given that she’s sleeping with a teenager, who is she to judge?

The later scenes with Lucas and Julian were nice as well and some really good acting by William DeVry and Ryan Carnes. And it was funny that while Alexis claimed she didn’t want Julian pursuing her, she was disappointed when he said he’d come to talk about Lucas. And I loved her telling Julian that it wouldn’t bother her at all if her daughter Molly turned out to be a lesbian.

It was nice to see Lucas interacting with his mother and with Carly and his cousins Michael and Morgan. But I just can’t deal with this show’s continued effort to sell me Carly and Franco as a couple. The show wants us to forget Franco’s past by having him rescue Michael, who he set up to be raped and saving Carly from his mother, who wanted to kill Carly as revenge for Franco stabbing her and burying her in a shallow grave. I dunno, if Franco had called the police on his mother instead of trying to murder her, perhaps Carly would have never been kidnapped and wouldn’t have needed saving. Or perhaps that’s just me. But it’s like I always say, you can’t have characters do heinous horrible acts and expect viewers to forget just because you want them to.

As for the baby saga, I’ve never cared for this regime’s obsession with baby stories. We got plenty of those on OLTL when they were over there. But I feel for Britt possibly losing the baby she’s been raising and being dumped by Nik when he learns the truth. I know she’s the villain in this story, but you know me, I always love the bad girl. You know what I don’t love? Spencer. I have very little appreciation for mouthy children. The little boy who plays Spencer can act though. Doesn’t mean I want to see so much of him, however.

Hollyoaks (U.K.)

Time has not changed one thing. We haven’t seen this storyline on screen since December and the Vincent/George storyline is still terrible and Vincent and George are still a chemistry-free and hard to buy couple. And now that Vincent is out and he and George are free to be together, how long is this mess of a storyline going to drag on. Thankfully, according to the spoilers, not long. But let’s focus on this week, now shall we?

Phoebe’s testimony was beautifully written and well acted, maybe the highlight of this whole dumb storyline. But if the issue was proving that Vincent is gay, did the show forget that Vincent actually went to a gay reparative camp to straighten himself out? I would think telling the court that and bringing forward the man who recruited Vincent and using that testimony would prove Vincent’s struggle with his sexuality. Oh well, using actual history, crazy idea, huh?


But Vincent dumping George, then George going out and getting a man to bring home only for Vincent to be there waiting to surprise him to get back together was classic soap. The look on Vincent’s face was priceless. I’m glad Vincent didn’t pout about it for too long and he and George worked things out because frankly, Vincent only had himself to blame. After all, he did dump George and claimed he never loved him.

I did like Ziggy’s attempts to cheer George up after Vincent dumped him, even if he only did it to avoid Ruby. Ziggy trying to show George how to get men was fun to watch. Frankly, though a guy who looks like Ziggy might have to use those lines on women, but with men, I suspect he wouldn’t have to try so hard.

Nana is 82? She doesn’t look so bad for a woman of those years. I did think her outburst in court was hilarious, especially her comments about the judge thinking Vincent was ‘a black man trying to con the system’.

So Carmel and Sonny’s first kiss was at Jim’s gravesite. The body was hardly buried and she was moving on. Even for this show, that’s fast.

I see Hollyoaks has brought on one of dead Paul’s sons and the show actually found an actor who looks a lot like Paul. Of course the last time we saw Paul’s kids they were children, but this one has grown up about 15 years it seems. That’s SORAS for you. He’s cute of course and probably as insane as his father was. And Mercedes sleeping with him minutes after meeting him while flashing back to being with his dad? That’s gross even for her. But telling Alex the baby died so he wouldn’t get tested and potentially find out the truth about just might be one of the most depraved, heinous things she’s ever done.

People of the Valley (Wales)

I’m not sure what to think of the scenes with Iolo and DJ. I haven’t been watching lately, but I do like to see if there’s anything going on with Iolo from time to time and I happened to catch the Valentines’ episode where Iolo and DJ met. At face value and judging by watching years of gay storytelling it’s going to turn out that DJ, who tries way too hard with women, is a closet case and he and Iolo will get romantically involved. Otherwise, what would be the point of Iolo thinking DJ was gay and DJ freaking out when he found out that Iolo was and making a bolt for the door? Not to mention that the show is hinting that DJ has a secret he doesn’t his father to know. Then again, all this might not mean anything. And to be honest, I hope it doesn’t.

Iolo has been down the road before, twice. First there was Scott, who kissed Iolo, then stalked him for weeks threatening him to forget the kiss and ultimately become obsessed with and raped Iolo’s brother Macs. Then there was Alun, who was old enough to be Iolo’s father, closeted and married with two kids. He and Iolo did get romantically involved, and Alun even left his wife for Iolo, but in the end, it didn’t work out because Alun turned out to be a control freak. Personally, I think saddling Iolo with another closet case is not only lazy storytelling, and Iolo deserves better. So as much as I would love for this long neglected character to get a storyline, I’d rather this wasn’t it.

Secret Lives (Finland)

I must’ve laughed myself silly during the scene when Oliver walked in on Elias and Miska having sex. The kid’s line delivery was perfect. Out of the mouths of babes, indeed. And while we couldn’t see exactly what the boys were doing, with all the kissing and moaning we heard, it was clear there was something going on. And well, we did see Miska on top of Elias before the kid walked in so I guess we can draw our own conclusions. Speaking of which, I thought the sex scene with Elias and Lari at the reparative therapy clinic was pretty steamy, but this one was better. For an “underage teenager,” Elias sure gets a lot of action.

I think though Elias was being unfair to his father, who BTW, is even hotter when he’s pissed off. I don’t think he has a problem with Elias being gay or his having his boyfriend over, but any parent would be upset at their child seeing someone having sex. It wasn’t about Elias being gay, I don’t think, despite what Elias accused him of. Besides, I think it was Elias’ fault it happened. When you live with other people, even if they are not at home, lock the door when you don’t want to be interrupted which in the end, his father asked him to do.

I’m really growing tolike Miska (who certainly likes his shirts tight) and he and Elias together. It was nice to see them enjoying each other without the specter of Elias’ loser ex. For this week anyway.

Thanks to MISSFINLANDIA for the clips!

The Haves and Have Nots (U.S.)

Boy, this show moves slowly. Didn’t Veronica ask Jeffery to meet her for lunch two weeks ago and he still hasn’t gone? I did like the idea of Candace going with Jeffery to stir things up. That would have made it a lot more fun. But the big question is: does Hanna know that Wyatt caused the accident or not? The show is teasing she knows something about the accident, but isn’t sure she’s right so she hasn’t said anything. Meanwhile, the Cryer’s are convinced she’s keeping quiet in preparation for a lawsuit. But wouldn’t she have called the police and turned Wyatt in if she really knew anything or even suspected?

And Jim’s way of handling things by telling Hanna that she didn’t hear what she thought she heard the night of the accident is one the dumbest scenes I’ve witnessed on this show (and there have been a lot of dumb scenes). If Hanna didn’t know anything before, she would have after that. And I’m really confused by Hanna’s refusal to accept Kathryn’s help of better medical care for Benny. Is it because, like Jim said, Hanna thinks they are trying to buy her silence or is it something else?

As for Jeffrey, he is the world’s worst therapist if he can’t see that Amanda is insane. People just don’t joke about murdering their families. And would a judge really grant an emergency hearing to take someone off life support? After all, it’s not like time is of the essence, right?

A lot of this show’s stories run on the premise that people don’t say the obvious and either talk around a subject for weeks without getting to the point or just don’t say anything when a logical, reasonable person would. And that makes for a lot of ponderous, bad scenes.

This Week’s Spoilers

Things heat up between Todd and Marcus…

Coronation Street: Marcus and Maria want to know why Todd purposefully ruined their Valentine’s Day evening by claiming that Liam had a nightmare and needed his mother when there was clearly nothing wrong with the boy. Todd, of course, is able to lie his way out of it and even manages to get Marcus to feel sorry for him. Later, Todd manipulates Marcus into going out for a drink alone and Todd ‘accidentally’ leaves his phone behind. Ever the schemer, Todd admits to Sean that he’s in love with someone, knowing that eventually the news will get to Marcus, which it does.

On the pretense of returning Todd’s phone, Marcus drops by the Grimshaw house and wants to know who Todd is supposedly in love with. Todd refuses to say, but Marcus can no longer resist Todd. The two kiss and wind up in bed. Meanwhile, Maria is looking for her boyfriend, as they were supposed to be looking at house to move into. Back at the Grimshaws’, Marcus is ashamed and regretful about sleeping with Todd and runs into Eileen on his way out. Eileen wants to know what’s going on with Todd, but a self-satisfied Todd refuses to say. And when Marcus finally goes home, Maria demands to know where he’s been.

Days of our Lives: Sonny is furious over Gabi’s turnaround regarding Nick…

Will Brad and Lucas’ first kiss be their last?

General Hospital: Felix prepares a romantic dinner for Brad, but after he finds out about Brad’s role in the Britt’s baby saga, it puts the brakes on romance. Things get worse when Felix finds out about Lucas. Brad explains that he and Lucas are just friends, but will Felix believe that? Meanwhile, upset at what he thinks is the end of what he and Brad could have, Lucas commiserates with his cousin Morgan about broken hearts. And Morgan gives Lucas the lowdown on his mobster daddy Julian. Also, Felix and Liz’s plan to take down Britt might work now that Dante knows he’s the father of Britt’s child. But when Brad’s role in the dirty dealings is revealed, how will that affect things with Felix — and with Lucas?

Will John Paul save his rapist?

Hollyoaks: Finally out to be free to be with George, Vincent gets a job offer that will take him to London. George and Vincent make plans to go together, but when those fall through, the two of them say a tearful goodbye. Elsewhere, John Paul finally goes to see a counselor to deal with his rape where he admits his life is spinning out of control. Later, Patrick tells JP he wants he and Danny to take Finn, Robbie and some of the other students on an overnight trip. During the trip, Finn is critically injured, putting John Paul in the position of saving the life of his rapist or letting him die.

Secret Lives: Miska and Elias grow closer, but the secret of Miska helping homeless Lari hangs between them. When Sebastian finds out Miska is still involved with helping Lari, he pressures Miska to tell Elias what is going on. Miska knows what that could mean for his relationship with Elias, but will he take the risk?

The Edge of Heaven: The debut of the British series features a recently dumped young man who is forced to move in with his typically crazy family, which includes his two gay uncles, Gary and Gary.

The Haves and Have Nots: Candace takes Jeffery out to a gay bar and tries to hook him up with a man..

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!