LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS
Good Times, Bad Times
I get where the show is going with this. They are setting it up for Lucas to finally move on with his life after Edwin’s death and eventually find a new love. But it seems like these scenes should have played out months ago, given that Edwin died early this year. Oh well, at least it’s finally happening. I’d like to see Lucas in a new relationship — though judging by the spoilers I’ve seen about Lucas’ possible new romance, maybe I might want Lucas to grieve a little bit longer. But we’ll discuss that in a future column. For now, let’s stick with the events of this week’s show.
I think, for me, the highlight — even if I think the story arc is flawed — were the relationships between the characters. The banter between Lucas and Janine over his very active love life showed how their relationship has grown and developed over the years. I thought it was hilarious how she basically called her son a slut in the middle of a crowded bar with his latest conquest leering at Lucas only a few feet away. And Noud has always been one of my favorites because he is one of the most adorable characters on this show so it was nice to see him. His friendship with Lucas is always fun to watch.
And back to the story, the tickets from Edwin was a nice cliffhanger to end things on, even if it’s utterly predictable how this is all going to play out.
People of the Valley
I have missed this show. It was, and still is one of the best written soaps out there. Scott’s return has been extremely well done so far. I love the twist that he returned engaged to Macs’ ex-girlfriend. It’s pretty clear that Scott’s motivations for coming back aren’t really about Izzy or his desire to move on with her. There is no way he accidentally bumped into her in Greece and they fell in love and decided to move back to the village. The sinister smile on his face and the odd looks he gets at times show this character is sociopathic and very dangerous. He clearly came back to cause more trouble for Macs and his family and I’m anxious to see what happens.
I was surprised that Scott didn’t deny that the sexual encounter took place, but instead explained that he and Macs had a secret affair because both of them were exploring their feelings for other men and that Scott realized he was bisexual. Scott was even clever enough to remind Iolo that Iolo had told Scott to figure out what he wanted sexually following their kiss way back when. It was a direction the show took that I didn’t expect and a nice touch.
However, while I understand Macs desire to put it behind him and not let it affect him even with Scott back in town, I would think someone would want to thrash Scott within an inch of his life. I expected Sion and Iolo to go after Scott, guns blazing. Or perhaps that’s for the future because there’s no way that Scott can continue to stay in this town after what he’s done and he certainly won’t leave quietly. I’m just wondering if we’ll ultimately have a murder mystery on our hands with a lot of suspects.
This storyline is shaping up to be a real disappointment for me. I was hoping to see Dan and Simon rekindle or at least finally act upon feelings they had for each other in college but never had the chance to explore. Okay, maybe that’s what they are doing, but we’re really not seeing much of the relationship as it grows and develops or why these two are picking up with each other after all these years. What does Simon see in Dan? What is it about Simon that makes Dan give in to the gay feelings he’s suppressed for so long? Exactly what was their relationship in college?
Yes, I understand this is a medical drama so the focus won’t be on their relationship. It just seems like there is so much missing from this storyline, mostly because it’s developing off screen. This is such a big moment in Dan’s life, something the show has been building to since the character was revealed as gay that you’d think it would merit more attention. Plus, I don’t see the point of making a big deal about Simon and Dan being college friends if that history wasn’t going to be more of a factor in the current story.
I wish the show wasn’t telling this story. I know it’s an important topic and it addresses an issue that we don’t see often on TV, but I just can’t help but think that Will is doomed as a character. It’s a shame because I’ve really liked him up until this point. Unlike other shows I could mention (yes, I mean you Hollyoaks), I don’t think that this abusive relationship is going to be portrayed in a positive light. Unless the show comes up with some twists and turns that keep Will on the canvas and maintains the integrity and seriousness of the storyline, I think Will won’t stay on the show. So I’ll just hope the writers are invested in this character.
Despite my dismay at the story’s direction, I did like a few things such as the proposal scene between Will and Robbie. Even though I knew that things would end badly, it was sweet and funny and even a little romantic. I also liked how everyone, except Deek, celebrated Robbie and Will’s engagement. Two men getting married wasn’t something odd, or an issue to be explored, but just life in the village. But then this show has always been a little progressive in gay storytelling, even if we don’t see a lot of affection between its male couples.
Days of Our Lives
I have to be honest, I had a real problem with Will letting himself be arrested and fingerprinted rather than come forward right away to say where he was. Putting his family through such worry when he could have cleared himself with only a few words was hard to accept. It’s just more of this show’s silly, pointless angst that we’ve had with this gay storyline. I mean, most of the people that mattered knew Will was gay anyway and he probably could have avoided being publicly outed if he’d said where he was that night straightaway.
Though I have to say that I remember where Will was when Stefano was shot and he was running around town with a gun looking like a drowned rat, not clubbing with Neil. Did he go to the bar looking like that? And why didn’t Neil go to Will and offer to be his alibi, reminding him they were together that night? It just seemed unreal that Neil would go the police first and not Will. Also, I think having EJ go from being Will’s blackmailer to his advisor and voice of reason is ridiculous and hard to believe. Will should have had that conversation with Sonny, not EJ, especially since they went back to their games of blackmailer and victim in the next episode.
Just more of Days’ bad storytelling and character inconsistency. And this show deserved the Emmy for Outstanding Writing?
It’s no secret that I love Brendan Brady. He is truly a unique and engaging character. He is at turns hilarious, frightening, dangerous and even a little sexy. But he has never been pathetic — until now. I don’t like the direction the show is taking this character in, not one bit. His ongoing harassment of Ste and Doug is neither engaging nor funny to watch. His stalking of Ste, watching his every move — including buying his building so he can come and go as he pleases — is what stalkers do, not romantic suitors. Doug telling Brendan off was the highlight of the show because everything he told Brendan was right. And clearly Brendan knew it, given his non-reaction. Though he was already planning his revenge since he’d wrapped up the deal to buy the building Ste lives in.
But like I said, this is not entertaining. It’s creepy and it’s sad. And it further ruins a character the show has done much damage to already. I’d like to see Brendan move away from this relationship and let Ste and Doug be. There are so many better things and other stories that he could be involved in other than this. And I have to wonder if fans of Ste and Brendan really think that Ste and Brendan will be reunited at some point. Do they actually think Ste, as he is written now, would ever go back to a man who not only beat him, but stalked and terrorized him after the relationship was over? Moreover should just a relationship be encouraged?
As for other aspects of the show, I see the show is trying to make Ally interesting by tying him into Brendan and Walker’s storyline. But the character is so dull and so underwritten I don’t see how it can help. And I loved the stories with Riley, the various women in his life and Doug’s attempt to help him get on the right track with the right woman. Personally, I liked him with Lynsey, but I don’t think that’s how it’s going to play out. Ah well!
SCOOPS AND SPOILERS
Marcus is stunned by Aiden’s come on…
Coronation Street – Sean is jealous over Marcus spending so much time with his co-worker Aiden. So to smooth over his boyfriend’s ruffled features, Marcus suggests a romantic dinner for the two of them. Sean happily accepts. Meanwhile, Aiden comes out to his family and when it doesn’t go well, Marcus is there console him. When the situation places Aiden as a third party at Sean and Marcus’ date, Sean makes it clear Aiden is not welcome. Marcus is furious by Sean’s selfishness and jealousy and the couple argues. Marcus walks out on Sean and goes out on the town with Aiden.
During their pub crawl, Aiden puts the moves on Marcus and lets him know he wants to be more than friends. Marcus is shocked by Aiden’s come on and leaves, winding up spending the night on Maria’s sofa. Later, Sean tries to make amends, but a furious Marcus says they’ll talk later and goes to work. Certain that Marcus spent the night in Aiden’s bed, Sean goes to the hospital where Aiden and Marcus work and verbally attacks Aiden, accusing him going after his man in front of anyone who’ll listen, including Marcus’ boss. Marcus is reprimanded for bringing his personal problems into the office.
Back at home, Sean begs Marcus to forgive him, but Marcus wonders if they should be together since Sean clearly does not trust him. Sean wants to go back to the way things were, but Marcus realizes he’s not happy with that as he wants a family and Sean does not. And that might be the thing that finally undoes the relationship.
Will Scott finally pay for what he’s done?
People of the Valley – Macs continues to struggle with Scott’s ongoing presence in town. But his father Sion is determined to find a way to get Scott to leave the village forever and comes up with an idea. Meanwhile, Gaynor tells Izzy that she believes Macs was raped, despite Scott’s insistence that it was consensual and clues her daughter in on how tormented Macs was last year and that he even confessed in court that he had been sexually violated. Still, Izzy refuses to believe it. Scott pays Macs a visit and says he wants to put the past behind them. Things get quickly heated between the two men and a fist fight breaks out.
When Izzy demands to know what’s going on, Scott has no choice but to tell her the truth and that he did rape Macs. Scott tries to defend himself, saying he was conflicted about his sexuality and things just got out of hand, but Izzy isn’t listening and tells Scott she’s done with him. Later, Sion puts his plan to get Scott to leave town in motion. But will it work?
Hollyoaks — Brendon continues to harass Doug and Ste after buying the building where they live and Amy is furious when she hears the news. But what can they do to get rid of Brendan? Meanwhile, Walker is afraid that his dark history might come spilling out and warns Ally to keep quiet about how they know each other. Ally agrees, but they are unaware that Lynsey has overheard their conversation and she’s determined to find out what’s going on. Later, Brendan receives two surprising visits. One from Mitzeee, who has gotten herself in trouble with the law and needs Brendan’s help and the other from an enemy in Brendan’s past who is out for revenge.
Will Dan lose Simon?
Holby City – Dan continues to struggle with his sexuality as his relationship with Simon progresses. But his father’s presence in the hospital makes a touchy situation even more worse. First he displays some homophobic opinions and then he makes a charge against Simon after they have words following Dan’s father’s mistreatment of a nurse. Dan is reluctant to intercede, but Simon warns him if he lets his father continue to run his life, he’s going to destroy all the progress he’s made, including their relationship.
Sonny admits he has feelings for Will…
Days of Our Lives – News of Will’s sexuality makes the press and Will is upset that he’s been publicly outed. Still though, he spends most of his time trying to find dirt on EJ with which to blackmail him. When Lucas and Sami find out that EJ is still blackmailing Will into working for him, they are furious. Sami confronts EJ, but after she realizes he’s lost in mourning over the recent death of his sister, she leaves him be. Will wonders why EJ ever got involved with someone like Sami. EJ doesn’t answer, hiding that he still has feelings for her.
Speaking of feelings, Sonny has it bad for Will. When Sonny learns Will is trying to dig up some dirt on EJ, he warns Will he’s only looking for trouble trying to outsmart a DiMera. Will is certain he can handle EJ. Later, Sonny has a talk with Lucas about Will and Lucas picks up on the fact that Sonny is interested in his son. Sonny admits his feelings, but says that he and Will aren’t at the right place or in the right time to be anything more than friends.
AND ALSO THIS WEEK…
Good Times, Bad Times – Lucas’ stunning gift from Edwin leads to unexpected results…
River City – Will gets new evidence to nail Sean for murder…
Chandler Massey wins the award for Outstanding Younger Actor…
In news that was no surprise (at least to this columnist), Days star Chandler Massey, who plays gay teen Will Horton, won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor. Massey played one of daytime’s most high profile roles in daytime as Salem’s first gay teen in just about the only storyline for Days that worked in the past year. It’s no secret that this has been a flawed year creatively for the show and ratings fell to their lowest, which led to the firing of co-headwriters Marlene McPherson and Darrell Thomas. The two had only held their jobs for a year before being let go.
But in a twist worthy of any soap, Days won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Daytime Drama as the work that got the duo fired, netted the show the award. Making it even more interesting was that Days has not won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing since the 70’s. But more than anything, it says that the writing on the other shows must be in bad shape if the industry considers Days’ the best. No wonder the genre is on its last legs.
As we previously told you, Welsh soap People of the Valley is currently revisiting it’s male rape storyline with the shocking return of Scott Lewis, who raped Macs White last year before leaving town. Scott returned last week, bringing with him a fiancée in the form of Izzy (Macs’ ex-girlfriend) and bad memories that Macs thought he’d finally put away. But why has Scott returned nearly a year after raping Macs? Alex Harries, who plays Scott, says his character wants to make amends and be forgiven for his crimes.
“He wanted to come back. I think that Scott wants to do penance and be punished for what he did to Macs.” Harries explained to the S4C website. “Also, when Scott left the first time, he had some sort of fixation with Macs. He was also fighting with his sexuality. I think, in coming back to Cwmderi, that he wants to know how he’ll feel when he sees Macs again.”
But no matter how Scott feels, Macs is clear that he wants Scott gone and this week the two men get into a brutal fight that leaves Scott unconscious. In the aftermath, Izzy learns the truth about her sexually conflicted fiancé and leaves him. But what about Scott? Will he stick around the village or leave again? Harries isn’t sure about his character’s future.
“It’s been nice being back with the cast and to come back for such a strong story. It would have been disappointing to come back with no good reason.” Harries said. “It’s up to the authors of course, but I enjoy playing the part and it’s nice to be playing a character who isn’t straight forward. Who knows what the writers will do with him in the future.”
What stories will the new regime come up with for Lucas?
And finally this week, there’s some big changes over at Dutch soap Good Times, Bad Times Executive Producer Kenneth Bos is leaving the soap and the show’s current headwriter Rohan Gottschalk will be taking over. Bos is moving on to bigger and better projects, as a creative producer at Endemol Drama and will be coming up with new dramatic series at the company. No word yet on how these changes will affect GTBT creatively, but with a new regime at the helm, there will undoubtedly be some.
That’s a wrap for this edition of Langford on Soaps. See you next time!