LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS
Perhaps it’s just me, but Robbie and Will haven’t been dating all that long and I don’t think that much time has passed in terms of the show, so it seems kind of fast for them to be moving in together. And unless I missed something, they haven’t even told each other they’re in love — which would be rather soon for that too, in my opinion. Besides, I’m not sold on them as a couple. I don’t think they have much chemistry and I’m not sure why they are together to begin with. But I really like both characters separately, and at least the show seems committed to the gay storyline. They get plenty of airtime and are written well, which is more than I can say for a lot of other shows with gay storylines and characters.
It was interesting to learn that Will is actually out at work and everyone knows he’s gay when they had previously hinted that wasn’t the situation. I’m so glad that Will isn’t the closeted cop. One, it shows that the show isn’t repeating the same story they told years ago with Eddie and it also makes Will a stronger character by being true to himself despite the problems it might cause him. And I thought it was a nice touch that Will has a bigger problem with his sexuality in terms of how it affects his job than his co-workers do. It’s not that he’s ashamed or bothered by being gay, but that he’s determined to prove something: that his being gay doesn’t matter, and it’s causing him to make foolish mistakes.
His boss’ problem with Will is not that he’s gay, but he’s inexperienced, making solving cases harder. How nice to not have the same old homophobic nonsense that most shows would fall back on. River City may be flawed in many ways, but most of the time, it’s been progressive with its gay storytelling.
Days of Our Lives
Oddly enough I don’t have a lot to say about Will coming out to his parents, mostly because it played pretty much like I thought it would. Lucas had his issues, but was supportive and Sami made it all about herself. It was breathtaking how many times she used the word ‘me’ or ‘I’ while dealing with her son coming out, but that’s Sami for you. It’s quite a feat for Sami to be so self-absorbed and narcissistic, but still remain a sympathetic and likable character. And that’s a credit to the actress, Allison Sweeney, because most of the time the writing isn’t helping her. Or anyone else for that matter.
Sami was shocked Will was gay, mostly because it didn’t involve the word ‘me’
For the most part, this reveal fell a little flat for me. And I think it’s because the show did a number of ‘shocking’ reveals over the past week without really giving anyone a chance to react to that before revealing something else. All the whiler not really playing out the dramatic complications of any of it. For example, Sami reeled off all the terrible things she’d learned about EJ over the past week, and yet, she really didn’t get to react to any of it because that would get in the way of the story they were trying to tell.
For a show that moves so slowly it’s amazing they didn’t let some of these surprises play out and have an effect before going on to something else. The actors were fine given the weak material, but when we should be seeing some exceptional performances, everyone was just ’okay.’ I don’t think the show gave them the time to really work these scenes like they should have, hamstringing them when it should be letting them shine. My point is this should have been a golden moment for Days, the actors and everyone involved in the story. But it was all just more than a little dull.
The one thing I have to give Neighbours’ writers credit for is that when they choose to write the Chris and Aiden storyline and give it the kind of airtime they give to their other stories, they actually do a good job and things have been more realistic than I would have expected from this show.
The situation between Chris and Aiden was quite real and I can see both sides of the situation and why both guys acted the way they did. Chris’ continuing to lie to Aiden, and to everyone else, about his relationship with Aiden might have been self-destructive, but even as we could see he was ruining his relationship, it was understandable why he would behave the way he did, just as it’s understandable that Aiden would break things off with Chris now before the relationship got serious.
The fact of the matter is, and there’s no way getting around it, Chris has the propensity to lie rather than deal with a situation. Maybe I’m being negative, but I don’t think most people change their behavior. So if Chris is lying about this, what else will he lie about? Hopefully Chris will grow and mature and learn from this and handle himself better and more honestly in his next relationship.
I am concerned though about what’s next for Chris. It was a foregone conclusion that things with Aiden would come to an end primarily because Bob Morely, the actor who plays Aiden only had a short term contract with the show. And one of my biggest complaints about this storyline was that Aiden and Chris spent far too much time being a backdrop to their friends’ storylines and romances.
Here’s hoping Chris has a new boyfriend to upset him soon…
I’m just afraid that now that it’s over and Chris doesn’t have a love interest or anything resembling a storyline, he’ll spend all his time counseling his friends over their problems and romances. I do hope the show utilizes Chris for more than just that. Though frankly, given their track record, it’s unlikely that they will. I just hope that it isn’t too long before he gets a new love interest. And that the new story is written better than Chris and Aiden’s were.
Well, we knew it wasn’t going to end well for Mane once he got it in his head that Tom might be gay when it was obvious that he wasn’t. I’m still puzzled as to what it was that would convince Mane that he might have a shot with Tom and I think it’s a major failing by the writers for not doing a better job with that angle of the story. And well, I don’t really blame Tom for his reaction in regards to learning Mane was gay. After all, like he said, he doesn’t have a lot of friends and he let Mane get close to him only to find out that Mane had other intentions. No, Mane wasn’t being malicious or anything, but he wasn’t exactly being honest with Tom either. I’m sure they’ll work it out in the end and all will be well.
Over all though, while I realize this storyline is groundbreaking for this show, it’s all rather boring to me. And it’s not because I haven’t seen it a thousand times before. I’ve watched a few coming out dramas that despite their predictability and lack of originality were quite well done and compelling. This just isn’t one of them. There’s no zip, no spark, no compelling characters or meaty writing to get me through the clichéd drama. And if you’re going to tell a story that’s been told a million times, there should be a least that to hold on to.
*THANKS TO HCMOON FOR THE CLIPS!
So, the real reason why Brendan has kept Joel around for these past few months was because he saw him as the son he didn’t get the chance to raise, and that despite his pretending otherwise, Brendan actually needs and wants to have people in his life to care about and to care about him. That makes sense, emotionally and psychologically, and clearly the show is attempting to give Brendan some depth and heart. I think that’s great as it makes Brendan a more fleshed out and real character. Personally though, I don’t want to lose the sociopathic bad ass in the process. That’s one of the reasons I love the character so much. It’s a delicate balancing act for the writers and I hope they’ll able to make Brendan a bit more human, but not lose the dark side and insane quirks that makes him so compelling to watch.
I think the show has done a lousy job with this angle of the storyline. It would have been nice if they had of actually shown Brendan and Joel developing this bond, but I think most of it has happened off screen and we’re really only hearing about it for the first time. Most of their scenes have shown them playing silly games without much rhyme or reason behind it. Now we’re seeing the reason, but it just makes me think, like most Hollyoaks storylines, that the writers just make it up as they go along. They claim to have put real thought behind the stories, but its times like this that make me wonder.
So Joel is like a son to Brendan? Okay…..
I also wish the show would stop writing one storyline heavily for a week and then have the characters disappear. They did it with Ste and Doug, who have been MIA for a few weeks now and Callum and George seem to have vanished. And I suspect that now that this plot arc is over and Walker has left town, at least for the moment, Brendan and company will take a few weeks off. It’s really poor storytelling and makes it nearly impossible for any story to have momentum or traction or impact if it spends weeks off screen.
Speaking of Walker, I thought he was a compelling character and I can’t wait to find out what happened between he and Brendan in jail, though as Hollyoaks is terrible with reveals and climaxes, I’m already fearful it’ll turn out to be much ado about nothing. I do think that Walker and Brendan and the actors who play them have an intense sexual chemistry, and it makes you wonder what their relationship in jail really was.
However, I doubt if they were lovers as Brendan prefers men he can control and manipulate and Walker doesn’t fall in that category. But mostly it shows that Brendan (and Scanlan) is at his best when he has a strong male character to play opposite against. Here’s hoping Walker will be back and soon.
Walker is a welcome addition to Brendan’s storyline…
One last thing, I want to make my position clear on the Brendan, Ste and Doug storyline, mostly for those who are writing me and writing about me not ‘rooting’ for their favorite. As I have said many times before, I don’t root for couples. Not only that, I find the endless fangirling over couples to be boring and tiresome. I do not prefer Brendan and Ste over Ste and Doug or visa versa. I like Ste and Doug and I think they make a cute couple. But whether they get together or not I could care less. I don’t care what happens as long as it makes for a good storyline.
As for Brendan and Ste, I recognize they have great chemistry, but I am adamantly opposed to a reunion. It’s not because I think Doug is better for Ste, but I can never, ever get past Brendan’s repeated abuse of Ste. I simply cannot see past it and because of that their chemistry or how ‘hot’ they are matters little to me. I think Ste going back to his abuser is a bad message to send to viewers, many of whom may be in abusive relationships in their own lives. That is my sole and only reason for being against a reunion between this couple.
Hot it was, but I never want to see this again…
Honestly, it puzzles me that viewers would want anyone to return to a relationship that was abusive and may be again simply because the couple has ‘chemistry’. Or a relationship where one party has all the power and the other is a possession more than an equal partner because their kisses are ‘hot’. It says a lot about how they really feel about a character. In fact, it speaks volumes. Let me be more frank. I realize that to most fans of this couple they could care less about Ste, but it’s all about whether Brendan gets what he wants no matter how he gets it. I love Brendan, but I care about Ste as well. Perhaps for me, that’s the difference.
SCOOPS AND SPOILERS
Will a man’s from Dan’s past be his future?
Holby City– While Dan might have admitted to his ex-girlfriend Chrissie about his attraction to men, he is still keeping the fact that he’s gay a secret. But that could all change when a man from Dan’s past, Simon, comes to take a job at the hospital as a nurse. Despite himself, Dan is drawn to Simon and is more than jealous when he sees sparks flying between Malick and Simon. But when Simon asks Dan out so they can catch up, Dan’s fears get the best of him and he turns Simon down. Dan could regret his actions when he learns that Malick and Simon have gone out on the town together.
Coronation Street – Marcus decides to help his BFF Maria get a boyfriend and succeeds at setting her up with sexy Aiden. Maria and Aiden have a nice time on their date, but when things turn romantic, Maria is upset to learn that Aiden is gay and interested in getting to know Marcus better. Oops! Elsewhere, Sean has trouble living up to the legacy he was bequeathed and Stella tells him that Betty would be ashamed at how he’s handling the making of her hot pots. Tired of Stella’s criticism, Sean decides to take the recipe to a rival business. But will he come to regret such a selfish act?
Days of Our Lives – Will runs into Gabi and gives her the news about coming out to his family. Gabi thinks that’s great, but she’s on some strange quest to find power and figures if Will can get her a job working for EJ, she can get some. Will lets her know that’s not happening so Gabi returns to her quest to break up Chad and Melanie, thinking if she can’t work for a DiMera she might as well date one. Smart girl!
Elsewhere, Sami gets Kate’s advice on how to deal with Will being gay, but will Sami listen? Will does get support from EJ, who promises he’ll help Will as his coming out process continues. Nice from a guy you shot in the back. And because EJ is being so magnanimous, Will tells EJ he’s been working for Stefano all this time and Stefano had ordered Will to make sure Rafe found out about EJ and Sami’s grief sex on the sofa.
AND ALSO THIS WEEK…
People of the Valley– Tired of keeping her secrets, Iolo cuts Ffion out of his life…
River City –With his love life in order, Robbie tries to find BFF Hayley a boyfriend…
EastEnders – Ben worries the stress of his killer secret is getting to Ian while Christian gives Roxy advice on her love life…
Hotel Caesar – Mane comes out of the closet…
Good Times, Bad Times – A mysterious package could have a profound effect on Lucas…
Things started with such promise for Dangerous Relationships’ Alejandro and Diego…
It started with such promise only to be a resounding failure both creatively and in the ratings. And now it’s making an early exit. Dangerous Relationships, the Telemundo telenovela, comes to a close next week after 90 episodes. The show was originally slated for about 130 episodes.
When DR began, it was touted as a groundbreaking drama that was going to take some risks with its storytelling, providing it’s audiences with steamy provocative tales of romance and social issue storylines revolving around homosexuality and racism. But when the ratings failed to respond, producers revamped the show, divesting itself of most of the edgy stories that it had wanted to get attention with and morphing into a standard telenovela of sex, drugs and violence.
The result was an unfocused mess and over the past month, ratings fell even lower than before the retooling. Now the network is cutting its losses and the show will end next week. The show’s gay characters, teens Alejandro and Diego, remained with the series, mostly in the background, and one can only imagine how things will end for them, it they get any sort of resolution at all.
It’s a shame that the show suffered such a undignified end, but in this writer’s opinion, the writers shot themselves in the foot — not only veering from their original plans for the show, but with the ill-advised decision to lay the show’s revamped future at the feet of its unlikeable and unpalatable central couple, Mauricio and Miranda. Telenovelas are about romance, but you have to like the duo. And Miranda, a near 30-ish teacher who has an affair with and gets pregnant by her teenage student, is a hard sell as a main love story.
The concern from this columnist, however, is that the network might not be inclined to include gays and gay storytelling in future telenovelas, seeing DR’s gay storyline as one reason for its failure, even if the show clearly went further downhill after the gay plot (along with most others that were not about the main couple) were backburnered. But as the network has a gay character in a prominent role in one of its other current soaps, Maid In Manhattan, perhaps there’s nothing to worry about and the network will continue featuring and spotlighting them on their shows.
Let’s hope so.
Say goodbye to Holby City’s closeted doc….
UK medical drama Holby City loses one of its gays when Adam Astill, who plays closeted doctor Dan Hamilton, leaves the medical series. The actor has already filmed his final storyline, which will revolve around Dan and his romance with gay nurse Simon Marshall, a man from Dan’s collegiate past. That storyline will begin this week when Simon, played by Paul Nicholls, takes a job at the hospital and is reunited with Dan.
Astill gives some insight on Dan and Simon’s relationship back on college and how Simon’s return affects him.
“There was certainly something between them, they were good friends and that turned into something a lot stronger and deeper, but even back then Dan wasn’t ready to come out and admit to whatever homosexual feelings he might have had.” Astill told TV Times. “It’s a mixture of emotions because he hasn’t really admitted to himself that he’s gay and when Simon arrives it suddenly brings back a lot of feelings.”
Nicholls, also speaking with TV Times, talks about his characters’ view of things.
“Simon fell in love with Dan, whether anything physical happened we don’t know, but he did fall for him and he has always been the one that got away ever since.” Nicholls reveals. “Simon quickly sees that Dan has not changed one iota and he’s still completely denying that side of him. That annoys him because Dan is ignoring who he is and it puts him off him, but then one night he asks him out for a drink, and Simon says yes and then things start to happen.”
Dan’s father will also play a role in this story as he and Dan’s relationship will be affected by Dan’s coming out. Astill is pleased with how his character was written out of the series.
“We get to see Dan Hamilton the happiest we have ever seen him.” Astill said. “He is a lot more comfortable in his own skin and a lot more relaxed and hopefully a more interesting and likeable person because of it.”
Astill will last air in July.
Is Hollyoaks in danger of being cancelled?
It happens every once in awhile, rumors of UK soap Hollyoaks facing the axe, especially when the show is suffering creatively and in the ratings like it is now. It wasn’t that long ago that the show had the best ratings it’s had in years along with solid storytelling. But a new regime caused the show to lose focus and the ratings have taken a hit as a result. Still, Jay Hunt, the head of Channel 4, the network which airs the teen soap, says there’s nothing to worry about and that the soap isn’t in danger. Though, she does admit it has seen better days.
“Having run one and had similar issues with EastEnders, it is always true with soaps you have ups and downs. I would agree with you at the moment, Hollyoaks isn’t on its best form. At the end of last year, it was on stonking form and we had a great start to 2012. But continuing dramas have highs and lows, one slightly dud storyline can dip the viewing figures. That’s how it goes and I’m pretty relaxed with that.” Hunt said at a recent Channel 4 corporate event. “I think Hollyoaks is a really important part of Channel 4. It is an important part of our schedule. It is just part of the ebb and flow of a continuing drama.”
Spend your nights with Brendan Brady…
One thing that is for certain, if you want to get some attention and raise Hollyoaks’ ratings, just give gay gangster Brendan Brady, played by Emmett Scanlan, a juicy storyline. And Hollyoaks is just about to do that. Not only will Brendan be in the middle of a major story come fall, he will also be a big player in this year’s Hollyoaks Later,a week long nighttime version of the show that pushes the envelope in terms of provocative material. Channel 4 feels Brendan is a perfect character to spotlight in such a venue.
“This series of Hollyoaks Later represents the next turn of the wheel for the brand and promises a glossier, more grown-up feel.” said Marianne Buckland, commissioning editor for Channel 4.
“By their very nature, the lateness of Laters allows us to be that little bit more risky and with Brendan Brady at the helm – a character so suited to a post-watershed stint – this year is more dark and dangerous than ever.”
And before Brendan and Ste fans ask, Ste Hay, Brendan’s ex-lover, will not be appearing in the series.
Is Neighbours Aiden on his way back to Chris?
Last week, Aussie soap Neighbours brought the gay romance of teen mechanic Chris Pappas and male nurse Aiden Foster to a close when Aiden broke up with Chris after Chris lied to him one too many times. But is Aiden about to return to the show and perhaps to Chris? Readers might recall we reported a few weeks ago that Bob Morely, who plays Aiden, was working on a new film, but that project has come to an end. The show recently tweeted that Morely was back on the set of the show, prompting talk that he’s filming once again. However, no official word on when or if we’ll see Aiden back on our screens again. But when we have news, we’ll let you know.
Will Brian be the one to bring together Will and Sonny on Days?
And finally, we told you a few weeks ago about the casting of Brant Daughtery, who will play a key role in Days of Our Lives’ gay storyline and now we’ve got a bit more info on what’s ahead. Daughtery will play Brian, a friend of Sonny’s, though there’s buzz that Brian and Sonny might be more than just pals. Could Brian be the catalyst that sets off the long awaited romance between Will and Sonny? Fans can find out on Monday, July 2nd when Brian makes his first appearance.
That’s a wrap for this edition of Langford on Soaps. Next week, we’ll have all the news on the shocking reunion between Brendan and Ste on Hollyoaks. Are these two really getting back together… or it someone playing mind games? See you next time!