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Possibly The Worst Soap Pair
What the hell was the April 6th show about?! Jessica suddenly blows her top at Antonio over temporarily moving back to Llanfair to assist her heart-ailing mom?! This makes about as much sense as Paul turning into Reverend Joey, helping the poor and sick.
Nu Jessica has given me amnesia about Antonio.
Seriously. I’ll be sitting there half-asleep when Antonio suddenly bursts into a tirade about finding a missing Jess – who’d moments before been held hostage by Haver – and I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out why he gives a damn. Then, doh! Oh yeah, Antonio and Jess are an item.
Lately, the “DOH!s” have been coming fast and furious.
It’s like ‘Tonio is a brand new character I’m just now getting to know.
Why, the other day, he made me laugh by gingerly tiptoeing around Llanfair, muttering “I don’t think so,” to himself about a 17th century original print hardcover, nearly tripping over what he thought was a priceless vase on an end table, and generally acting like it’s uncomfortable for him to be in such luxurious surroundings.
He later told Jess the very same thing, and I went, “Huh?” until it dawned on me that the old Antonio used to have a huge chip on his shoulder about the upper class and strong minority issues.
That was, before he met Bree Williamson’s Jessica Buchanan and her dilution factor.
Honestly, I don’t understand why he would ever be attracted to this kewpie doll with a Barbie doll fashion sense after the likes of Kelly tangled with him not so long ago, or the heartfelt talks with firebrand equal Tea Delgado. It’s as if Nu Jess has turned him into an average white guy off the street—who’s all about her and nothing else, no Hispanic family or former gangster ties, no nothing to tie him into anything I’d remembered of his powerful debut and presence back in the ‘90s.
All he ever does now is play sidekick to sudden best friend Michael and pine after Jess, with the requisite baby jokes scattered in to assuage the actor’s wishes (this hardly counts as a legitimate story of a single dad trying to survive on a cop’s salary with a baby to take care of).
His past, his hopes and dreams, his basic character have been wiped clean, to accommodate ... what?, the sexy image of him posing provocatively with OLTL’s ingénue darling—who is still continually inserted into almost every other scene, regardless of connection and context.
Antonio and Jessica, as a soap couple, do not have a story of their own either. Not really. They have their marks, their plot points, their scheduled “conflicts,” and their ever-vacuous poses, but a story involving full use of character development, character history, character interaction to inform such development and history (and not just cooing to each other in the middle of nowhere)? Nope.
TPTB [The Powers That Be] cannot simply treat this couple as a contemporary Ken and Barbie, with ever-changing scenery and the latest cutting-edge looks designed to appeal to the youth demographic, and call it a story.
That’s what they’re doing if you think about it.
Take the other week as Jessica decides to agree with Kevin’s plan, and move back in to Llanfair to take care of their mother Viki—who’s suffering from an increasingly threatening heart condition (the real story). Everything’s fine and dandy, Antonio’s doing this cop thing, his daughter Jamie’s got a little bug, he’s gotta tend to that, Jessica’s dutifully worried about her mom, then—
BAM! They launch into a lover’s spat over... I don’t even know exactly. One minute, they’re quietly discussing Jessica’s plans to move, she brings up the option of him moving with her for a short while, he declines (which, if I’m not mistaken, they went over already in a previous episode, but I never got to see Antonio’s tense reaction, just heard about it secondhand from Jessica) nicely, and then she blows up.
Jessica pouts, sulks and yammers about Antonio’s penchant for reverse-snobbery... just because she’s a Buchanan and rich, that’s why he doesn’t wanna move in with her?!
WTF? was written all over Kamar de los Reyes’ face, as Antonio calmly tried to reassure Jessica that that hadn’t been the problem. He didn’t know what the problem had been, however, but who cares.
In the next series of excruciatingly boring scenes, they’re back to lovey-dovey, hunky-dory, kissy-kissy again. No explanations. No follow-through. No actual conflict, other than that scheduled hissy fit from Jess.
Amidst the rumors out and about that de los Reyes has had enough of playing a Barbie doll and Williamson can’t stand her current leading man anyway, isn’t it high time the two split up amicably, ASAP?
Then, they’d each be free to pursue real relationships that forge, foster and grow – like relationships used to on this show before TPTB used it to gauge ratings instead of entertain audiences – Antonio with Kelly, Jessica off to London forever.
Nobody would notice their sudden split. Nobody notices them now.
GRAPHICS BY SCOTT BILSTAD