LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS
I liked the idea of the guys getting together for Riley’s memorial service, even if Doug and Riley’s friendship was very contrived and never really utilized that often. If I recall correctly, Riley was close friends with Ethan and Noah and Doug was the drug dealing lowlife who moved into Noah’s apartment. Doug and Riley’s close bond was an off camera creation of the writer, so their supposed friendship never rang true to me. Still I enjoyed the scenes, even if they were bad manipulations of the plot at best.
But even more contrived was Ally being invited to the memorial. Ally and Riley were not friends and I don’t think they ever had much to do with each other. There was no reason for him to be there other than to stir things up with Ste, when there were other ways to accomplish that. And naturally, I didn’t like what followed either.
Doug calling Ste’s mom makes little sense to me. Not since Ste doesn’t get along with his mother because in Doug’s defense, he didn’t know that so I don’t blame him for trying to help. The problem is that I would think Doug would call Amy and the kids first. They are why Ste is so upset and bothered so they would be who Doug would notify. They’re not that far away so getting them up for a quick visit would be the logical thing to do.
Of course, this was all a ridiculous setup for the show to let us know that Ste is still, in part, the violent thug he used to be, complete with shoving his boyfriend around.
I don’t like this story arc at all. If the show wants to tell us Ste hasn’t changed and destroy what’s left of the character they’ve worked so hard to ruin over the past few months, then okay. But how about some build up? Ste’s going off the rails literally happened overnight, making it totally and utterly implausible.
At least Ste felt bad about what he did, but him questioning why he did what he did and so on and so forth ignores the fact that Ste dealt with his past long ago. Or did the show forget that Ste went to counseling and anger management in dealing with his issues? Personally, why Ste did it actually matters little. I think Doug needs to pack his things and walk. I guess I’m just one of those people who believes there are no second chances when it comes to physical abuse.
Of course, this was all done for the same reason most things are done on this show these days, to boost Brendan’s character. And I tell you, I want off Brendan’s misery train. Everything is about how he suffers, how he hurts, how he can’t forgive himself for the past. The question is, what exactly is Brendan unable to forgive himself for? The drug dealing, beating up all his previous boyfriends, murdering Danny, murdering his grandmother, his role in Riley’s death? I know one thing for sure, a few chats with a wise priest does not make up for all that, no matter how much the show wants me to tell it does.
And I don’t like Doug going to the police about Brendan. It’s not that Brendan doesn’t deserve jail time for what he’s done, it’s the “why” behind the show doing it. They want to vilify Doug and make Brendan the sympathetic figure. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Brendan, even if he might be guilty of whatever Doug gets evidence of. And well, someone has to be the bad guy in this story to reunite Brendan and Ste, rather than show Brendan actually going through true growth and change and repenting over his numerous sins.
One last thing, and this might be an odd thing for me to say, but I thought the scene between Ste and Brendan where they discussed their past was absolutely terrific. The writing was spot on and there were things that needed to be said between this couple that finally were. And the chemistry between Emmett Scanlan and Keiron Richardson was electric as always. As much as I like Doug and I think PJ Brennan and Richardson are sweet together and Ste and Doug mesh very well, it simply can’t compare to what Ste and Brendan have. They are quite frankly, magic.
But I cannot and will not ever endorse someone going back to their abuser. It’s as simple as that. It’s a bad message to send to viewers. And I’m appalled and disappointed that this show clearly has every intention of doing just that.
Well, I’m glad Lari finally broke up with his girlfriend, but I do think it’s sad that she’s been led to believe it’s because of her. Seeing the poor thing hurt herself and hate herself because she feels her boyfriend dumped her because she wasn’t pretty enough or too fat is heartbreaking, but it’s also realistic. Let’s just hope the truth comes out before it’s too late. And Lari gets a bit of my sympathy this week for doing the right thing in regards to his now ex and it’s pretty clear he’s smitten with Elias and wants to be together with him.
It’s pretty obvious it’s only a matter of time before Lari comes out now that he’s dumped Ida. Though I suspect, as always, it’ll be exposed in the worst way possible. In truth, I’ve always only had a mild interest in this show, mostly because it took so long to get from plot point to plot point and it tends to be rather repetitive. But it’s interesting now that there’s some actual story movement.
Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but I just can’t imagine watching a scenario in which a secretly gay teenage boy is being encouraged to have sex with an adult woman in order to secure a business deal here in the States. I just have the feeling that sort of storyline wouldn’t play over here. And overall the whole thing was just rather odd to me. It a far cry from Måne’s last storyline revolving around his very sweet romance with Stellan.
I know more than a few people were offended by this twist, but I don’t think it means anything in regards to Måne’s sexuality in that he’s going straight or something. In fact, I thought it was more about how being in the closet is costing him his self respect and integrity. If he were out, none of this would have happened and I think that’s the lesson Måne will learn from this.
I guess the real question is if I found any of this entertaining and I have to admit that I really didn’t. Watching the very child-like Måne making out with an adult woman was more creepy to me than anything else. Hopefully this is the last of this strange plot arc and the show moves onto something else.
Winners and Losers
Awww! I usually don’t have much of an appreciation for cute, but I loved the scenes with Jonathan and Rhys. I knew that once Jonathan started planning the wedding, he and Rhys would somehow find themselves getting married or at least engaged. Rhys’s proposal was really sweet and funny and warm, just like the couple themselves. My favorite part was how after Rhys proposed, the camera panned to see the entire park watching, waiting for Jonathan’s answer. It was a terrific moment and probably one of my favorites for this couple. I do agree it’s probably far too soon for them to be getting married and who knows if they’ll actually make it down the aisle, but this continues to be a show I really enjoy and a couple that I want to see more of.
Days of Our Lives
Days actually was quite good this past week, with some nice writing and some good acting (except for a notable exception that I’ll get into in a bit). But as usual, Days ruined what could have been a stellar week with some poor characterization. Oddly enough, I think the best writing was done regarding Nick and his ‘love the sinner, but hate the sin’ belief regarding Will and Sonny.
I think Nick is like a lot of people who are uncomfortable or uneasy about gay people, but don’t necessarily hate them. His stance is very realistic, probably one that many of us can relate to. And unlike a lot of viewers, I don’t think it makes Nick a bad person, it just makes him human and it’ll be interesting to see how this plot arc develops as it plays out. Nick might come around and he might not. Both outcomes would be realistic. But not so interesting is the relationship between Nick and Gabi, which is absolutely painful to watch.
Blake Berris and Camila Banus are decent performers who somehow bring out the worst in each other. Their relationship is so unbelievable, and not just because they don’t click. I mean, are we supposed to buy they are in love after only knowing each other a few weeks? The relationship is clearly forced and only being done to fit the plot. And I just thought it was odd that Gabi would hear Nick’s homophobic feelings on people she’s rather close to, but then leap into bed with him. You think it might give her pause.
Moving on to Will and Sonny, I think my favorite part of the entire week was the terrified look on Will’s face when Lucas started knocking on Sonny’s door. Classic. I did like the ensuing chat between Lucas and Sonny, if only because Sonny didn’t back down or apologize for what was going on. It’s just too bad that Bryan Datillo has been reduced to being the bigoted father, which is clearly why the show keeps him around these days. If he didn’t disapprove of Sonny and Will he’d otherwise have nothing else to do.
I have to say though that I found that final scene between Will and Sonny to be hard to believe, because I didn’t buy that either of them would react like they did in regards to what was going on. It just didn’t ring true to me that Will would want to instantly leap into bed with Sonny after all that he’d heard. It seemed to me that it would be the last thing he would do.
In fact, I thought the scene would have played much better if Will dropped by and Sonny wanted to pick up where they left off, prompting Will’s fears that Sonny only wants sex. That would have made much more sense to me.
I also didn’t buy that Sonny would just throw Will out like he did. It really seemed rather out of character. Sonny has been extraordinarily patient regarding Will, too patient in my opinion. And given his history in always listening to Will and working things out, it just seemed odd to me that Sonny would lose his cool like that and throw Will out. The Sonny I’ve watched for the past year would be concerned about talking to Will and easing his fears, not playing into them and refusing to listen.
I admit to being delighted that we at least got a hint that Sonny has a sexual past and hasn’t been sitting around waiting for Will for the past year or so. Sonny is a good-looking guy, naturally he’d have gentleman callers over at his place. But, I think it’s a shame that Sonny and Brian hadn’t slept together. I think Will having to deal with that would have added some very realistic tension to the scene. However, I don’t think Sonny’s previous lovers are really any of Will’s business. If Sonny wants to volunteer that information, fine. Otherwise, I don’t think Sonny should have to provide a list of his previous lovers and boyfriends.
It’s too bad we probably have seen the last of Danny. I really think he could have made an interesting long term character for the show. He reminds me somewhat of Hollyoaks’ Brendan in that he’s a delicious mix of villainy, danger and sex appeal. Everybody knows I like the bad boys and Danny was a good one, with Gary Lucy being terrific in the part.
I really enjoyed the scene between he and Syed at the apartment, where Danny was threatening Syed and much as he nearly seduced him. Even more interesting was that it was obvious that Syed was still attracted to Danny, even though he had the power to destroy his life. The scene between Christian and Danny was well done as well, with Danny scoring all kinds of points in regards to Christian and Syed’s relationship, at least in part.
See, one of the things that has bothered me about this entire story arc was how Christian suddenly became this tired old queen desperate to hang on to his much younger boyfriend. Christian has never been that and never been written that way until now. It’s realistic and it’s plausible, yes, but it’s not true to the characters as we’ve known them up to this point. That’s why it bothers me so much to see Christian ignore all the lies and deceit and infidelities committed by Syed in order to hang onto him.
I mean, it was annoying enough to watch Christian shrug off the fact that Danny and Syed kissed when he found about it on their wedding day, but to have him ignore that it was really a lie and they had sex really bugged me.
First, I was wondering when this actually happened. I seem to recall an episode when Syed didn’t come home one night and he lied about where he was. But the show never even hinted that he was with Danny. And I wonder why. Why didn’t the show let the audience know how far things went between Danny and Syed when it happened?
It would be more dramatic to have the secret hanging over Syed’s head, waiting for the proverbial penny to drop, rather than having been ‘surprised’ by it like we were. Besides, I think it would have added more intensity and dramatic heft to the story if we’d known just how far things went between those two.
Still though, it really bothers me that we’re left with Christian basically begging Syed to love him and stay in the marriage when we should have Syed begging Christian to forgive his long list of lies and deceptions. I just don’t like seeing Christian humiliate himself like that. And if I’m honest, I don’t think Syed is worth it. Over the long years of this storyline, with all the problems Syed has caused for Christian, I never have.
But I did enjoy seeing the Masood men team up to intimidate Danny. That was funny and there’s such chemistry between the actors. The show really has a find in A.J., though I’m not sure they know what to do with the character and Tamwar’s reactions to his families’ insanity is always a treat. And I was glad to see Mas step up for Syed, even if he’s angry at him. But I don’t blame Mas for not forgiving Syed. He really doesn’t deserve any kindness his family shows him.
SCOOPS AND SPOILERS
Will Doug regret lying to Ste?
Hollyoaks — As Doug and Ste’s wedding approaches, Doug continues his plan to work with the police to put Brendan in jail. But with Brendan out of town, the plan is put on hold, at least for the moment. Brendan is spending time with Father Des, trying to work through his issues. While there, he makes friends with Daisy, a young girl dying of kidney disease. Brendan is able to tell the child some his problems (I assume he’ll leave out the bit about his murdering his grandmother). She, like all terminal children, has some sage advice for Brendan and tells him that if he was able to fall in love with Ste, he can’t be all bad (pardon me while I hurl).
More suffering for poor, poor Brendan…
Brendan heads back to the village and pays Cheryl a visit. But she doesn’t have time for Brendan, she’s much too busy helping to organize Ste and Doug’s wedding. Brendan is devastated to see that the wedding is right around the corner, just when he was ready to admit and deal with the fact that he still loved Ste. But when Doug finds out that Brendan is back in town, Doug wonders if he should put his plan back in action and remove Brendan from his and Ste’s life permanently.
Don’t you want a piece of the Rock?
Hotel Cæsar — There’s a new guy in town, Rock Young, and he’s creating a stir for Måne. But Måne, for now, is the last thing on Rock’s mind. Rock, who is a popular actor, is in town to see Vanessa, who made a sex tape of him. Angry that Rock cheated on her mere hours after they were together, Vanessa threatens to release the tape to the world and ruin Rock’s career. But Rock threatens he’ll do anything to get the tape back. However, it seems that Vanessa no longer has the memory stick containing the tape and Måne somehow has gotten ahold of it.
When Måne watches it, he sees why Rock is so anxious to get it back. On the tape, Rock is having sex with another man. Måne finds himself turned on by the tapes and begins having erotic sex dreams about he and the older man. So when Måne comes face to face with the daddy of his fantasies, will they turn into reality? Or will reality be a lot uglier than Måne could ever imagine?
Christian leaves Syed…
EastEnders— Feeling he needs time away, Christian decides to move out and asks Lucy if he can stay with the Beales for while. Lucy is willing to let Christian move in, but encourages Christian to talk to Syed. Christian goes home to do just that and Syed begs Christian to come back to him. But when Syed is unable to tell Christian if he loves him or not, Christian realizes he can no longer stay. Later, Syed goes looking for Christian, afraid he’s left town, but Roxy warns him to just leave Christian alone until he figures out what he wants.
Syed goes home and upon hearing a knock at the door, he hopes it’s Christian, but is shocked to see that it’s Amira. She stuns Syed with the news that she’s getting married. Not only that, she wants to take the baby to live with her and her eventual husband in nearby Birmingham. Syed decides to let Amira do so and plans to give her full custody of the child, figuring she can give Yasmin a better life than he can. Amira advises Syed to discuss it with Christian first. Syed goes to Christian, telling him he wants them to be a family again.
Will Syed’s ex-wife give him good advice about his husband?
But when Christian starts to think he’ll ever be enough for Syed, Syed decides it’s best to let Amira have the baby. Later, Christian softens toward Syed and agrees to have dinner with him. When Christian reminisces about how much he misses being with Syed and Yasmin, Syed drops the bomb that he let Amira take the baby. Syed asks Christian to forgive him, but Christian is angry and tells Syed that he’s a cheat and a liar. Syed finally admit that he loves Christian and wants a life with him. But, is it too late?
T has advice about Will and Sonny’s relationship…
Days of Our Lives — Will and Sonny aren’t talking, both of them angry and upset about the fight they had last week. When Gabi (who is thrilled about her life since she and Nick are so happy and in love) hears what happened, she encourages Will to talk to Sonny and patch things up. Meanwhile, T, who’s own love life is going well because of his new lady Audrey, hears about Sonny and Will’s fight, he pushes Sonny to work things out with his best friend. With both Gabi and T badgering the gay duo to talk to each other, Will and Sonny agree to do just that.
Coronation Street — Maria is jealous when she sees Marcus and Aiden enjoying a romantic breakfast together and her jealousy turns to alarm when Marcus tells her Aiden is moving to London for a new job and he wants Marcus to join him. Afraid that Marcus might move away, Maria secretly tells Aiden that Marcus doesn’t want to leave the Street. Aiden lets Maria know he won’t take the job and throws the letter with the offer away. Feeling guilty, Maria confides in Audrey that she’s fallen in love with Marcus and tells her about their kiss. Audrey is shocked, but reminds Maria that both she and Marcus are in relationships with other people.
Maria gets the letter out of the trash and makes sure Marcus sees it. Marcus wants to know why Aiden didn’t tell him about it and Aiden admits he was afraid Marcus wouldn’t want to leave with him, based on his talk with Maria. Upset, Marcus asks Maria why she is interfering in his relationship with Aiden. Maria admits she doesn’t want Marcus to leave town and kisses him passionately. Marcus responds and they wind up in bed together.
No more kisses for Marcus and Aiden…
The next morning, Marcus can’t believe what he’s done and he and Maria wind up in a huge fight. Sean witnesses the scene and wants to know what happened. Marcus tells Sean about Aiden’s job offer out of town and that he doesn’t know if he wants to go. Sean advises Marcus to follow his heart. Meanwhile, Maria has clued Audrey in on the latest events and she also tells Maria to follow her heart. Maria is shocked when Marcus announces he’s moving away with Aiden.
Maria begs Marcus not to leave town, and confesses her love for him, but Marcus tells Maria that he’s gay and in a relationship would never work between them. But when Marcus prepares for a getaway weekend with Aiden, he realizes he can’t go through with it and breaks up with his boyfriend. Aiden demands to know if there is someone else, asking if Marcus still loves Sean. Marcus lies and says he does. When Aiden later bumps into Sean, he tells a delighted Sean that Marcus wants him back. Meanwhile, however, Marcus is reconnecting with Maria and the two of them admit they are in love.
Will Robbie and Will make it down the aisle?
River City — It’s the day before Will and Robbie’s wedding, but Robbie can’t be happy because Edward is pressuring Robbie to take his pay-off and dump Will at the altar. When Hayley arrives with her husband Tom and announces she’s pregnant, Robbie can’t help but join in on his BFF’s excitement. Still, Edward is still after Robbie about calling off the wedding and rather than tell Will, Robbie drinks too much and makes a fool of himself. Will begins to think that Edward is behind Robbie’s behavior and is upset that Robbie won’t talk to him. But, Edward continues to prey on Robbie’s doubts, leaving him to wonder if maybe he and Will should get married.
What is John Paul’s hot new storyline?
We previously told you about James Sutton’s impending return to Hollyoaks as John Paul McQueen, but we haven’t told you much about the story that brings John Paul back to the show, mostly because the show has kept the plotline tightly under-wraps. But some details are starting to leak out. Peter Price, a UK radio talk show host, recently interviewed Sutton and dropped some hints about what’s ahead.
“The role as John Paul is gritty, emotional, sympathetic, controversial with lots of snogging. “ Price told Liverpool Echo” The storyline that he is coming back with has never been used in a soap.”
Of course, Price declined to elaborate further.
“What happens is…” Price teased. “Sorry it’s more than my life’s worth to break a secret!”
So what is the story that is going to break new ground on the always groundbreaking Hollyoaks? Fans speculate that John Paul has turned to male prostitution.
Guess we’ll find out for sure around Christmas when Sutton returns to the show.
This week brings the much talked about wedding of Robbie and Will on Scottish drama River City. Despite all their problems, most notably Will’s repeated domestic abuse of Robbie and Will’s father’s attempt to bribe Robbie into calling off the wedding, the couple make it down the aisle. Gary Lamont, the openly gay actor who plays Robbie, says he was nervous about the show breaking new ground with their first civil union between two men, but was glad the show did it, especially with same sex marriage becoming a contentious issue in Scotland.
“I was nervous going into it, reading it in the script. We have never tackled a gay wedding. It’s a big thing.” Lamont told The Daily Record. “It is putting it in people’s minds. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, just as long as it is open for discussion. Times have changed and we have to change with them.”
However, fans wonder how Robbie can go through with the wedding, given Will’s physical abuse of him.
“Public reaction has been amazing. I get people saying to me, ‘When are you going to hit him back?’ I get old grannies saying, ‘He’s not a nice man’. They love Robbie – it’s lovely.” Lamont said.
Will and Robbie’s marriage is just the beginning for them…
Scott Ryan Vickers, who portrays Robbie’s abusive spouse, has played gay before, in last season’s comedy/drama Sirens as well as another drama, also feels that telling this story is important.
“It’s great. I’m absolutely loving it. As an actor you want the big story lines so I couldn’t be more lucky. I’ve been playing Will for over six months, so it’s been a bit of a whirlwind with the domestic violence and now this.” Vickers told The Scottish News “But I absolutely agree with civil partnerships, otherwise I can imagine it would be quite a difficult character to play. It’s important in the 21st century that we get that message across that it’s more than normal to be gay.”
Vickers is happy on the show and plans to stay for as long as they will have him. He adds that for fans who are wondering about the domestic abuse storyline, it won’t be going away and the show will revisit it.
“It looks like Will is really getting involved and I’m very happy to stay. I’ll be here for a while, if not for a long period of time.” Vickers said. “Without giving too much away, Will still has some demons to face as far as the violence goes. We definitely haven’t seen the last of that story line.”
Will kisses lead to babies for Marcus and Maria?
This week, Coronation Street’s gay nurse Marcus Dent has sex with his BFF Maria Connor and they express their love for one another. But will their romance soon leads to a baby? UK newspaper The Mirrorpublished a story last week saying that Marcus and Maria would find themselves expecting a baby come the new year. However, both ITV, which produces Corrie and Charlie Condou, who plays Marcus, deny the report.
But could there be a reason why Marcus and Maria won’t be having a baby? With a new producer soon to be taking over the show, former executive producer of Emmerdale, Stuart Blackburn, The Sunreports that that Blackburn will get rid of ten of the show’s current characters and Condou will be one of them.
“Executives have a hit list and want to cut the cast by ten,” a show insider told The Sun. “It is partly down to cost cutting, but partly a feeling that some characters have run their course.”
The newspaper reports that the actors due to be fired will exit once their current stories have played out. The show, however, insists that no decisions have been made and won’t be until Blackburn takes over in January.
Will Charlie Condou soon be looking for work?
So for now, Marcus and Maria’s romance will continue to unfold. And while the romance has been popular with a lot of fans, Condou admits he’s gotten negative attention from the gay community over the storyline. But Condou feels gay viewers shouldn’t rush to judgment and that there’s a long way to go as the story plays out.
“…I was assured that the producers wanted to look at what happens when a gay man develops feelings for a woman. They didn’t want to take the coward’s way out and say he was bisexual and they didn’t want him to become straight. They just wanted to look at what happens when a gay man falls in love with a woman.” Condou told The Daily Record. “Of all people, the gay community should know better than to judge people on who they want to sleep with. Everyone should be allowed to fall in love with who they want to fall in love with.”
Will Bilal be back for more Good Times, Bad Times?
And finally this week, might Good Times, Bad Times Lucas get his Muslim boyfriend Bilal back? Unable to come out of the closet despite his love for Lucas, Bilal chose to leave town a few months ago, breaking both of the men’s hearts. But while fans might have assumed this would be the last we’d see of Bilal, perhaps not.
Sinan Eroglu, who plays Bilal, tweeted this last week:
“I can’t say a lot about GTBT… What I can say is that Bilal is definitely not dead… So… Exciting!”
Does this mean Bilal will be returning? Stay tuned….
And that’s a wrap for this edition of Langford on Soaps. See you next time!