August 17, 2003
I am chagrined and bewildered.

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

I loved that sentence as soon as it came out of Jon Stewart’s mouth. Loved it, in part, because it sums up how I feel about OLTL these days. This Cynic is feeling chagrined, bewildered and rarely pleased these days. (note: but when OLTL pleases me, it really, really pleases me.)

I am bewildered by Bo’s behavior. And feel that Gabrielle is justifiably chagrined.

While not the brightest cop in the world, Bo is not a stupid man. How could he possibly think that Gabby would not be threatened by Nora, his ex-wife-mother-of-his-son-extraordinary-dance-partner?

And if Bo is considering including Gabby in his life via matrimony why does he exclude her from activities with Matthew?

Speaking of Gabrielle, I am bewildered by why such a good actress is being wasted lurking in the background making “mewmew” noises while watching Bo with Nora.

I know she has this plan to use Max to make Bo jealous. Doesn’t that seem lame? How much more fun would it be to have Gabby wake up one morning (alone once again) and declare,” Bloody Hell, I am tired of being good all the time. Bo isn’t worth the scrapings from my boots and if he doesn’t see that, it’s his loss.” Energized by this realization, Gabby sets out to stir things up in Llanview.

I am bewildered by Jess.

I liked nuJess when she first arrived in town. I believed a more womanly, more mature Jessica would open up storyline possibilities previously not options for the character. What happened to that promise of a more mature Jessica? This Jess is a self-pity party in heels. A not very bright self-pity party in heels. Natalie bounces back from almost having her Grandfather literally cut her heart out. Nobody even mentions that anymore. Yet the entire population of Llanview frets that Jess might still be fragile from the realization that her DNA isn’t quite up to snuff. I was very happy to drop “Jessi- brat” from this column. Please don’t force me to start using “Jessi-pout.”

I am pleased that RJ finally had sex.

The only thing that would have pleased me more would have been if RJ had been having sex with me!

Joey both bewilders and chagrins me.

The de-evolution of Joey bewilders me greatly. Historically Joey has been a great character. A sensitive boy with a sense of humor who grew up to be a sensitive man with a sense of humor. A young man who had Dorian and Kelly (back when Kelly was interesting) fall in love with him. Joey was a man with a passionate soul. There is no passion in this Joey. (Having the hots for Jen does not pass for passion in my book.) And there is clearly no fire in his soul for being an Episcopal priest. Joey treats the ministry like it is an after-school club and Andrew is the cranky faculty advisor.

I was bewildered by Kevin, but now am somewhat, dare I say it, pleased?

Being pleased with Kevin is not to be confused with liking Kevin. Kevin is not a nice person. Frankly he hasn’t been a nice person since he broke up with Rachel. But he does appear smart enough to be Viki’s and Joe’s son. And conniving enough to be Asa’s grandson. And he has yet to hold a pity party for himself.

I am bewildered by Kelly.

Kelly was a very interesting, energetic character when she left town. I don’t know if it was marriage to Kevin or the humidity in Texas, but something certainly drained the life out of her while she was gone.

I am pleased by Asa.

Either Asa is mellowing with age or I am. For the first time, I am truly happy when he is onscreen. And I am very grateful to him for making Flash, né e Sara, palatable. (She could have been palatable a lot sooner had TPTB a) not made her liar and b) put her in scenes with characters we already cared about. And no, nuJoey does not count since he was/is a nucharacter.)

I am chagrined and bewildered by Roxy.

Bringing Roxy and her portrayer Ilene Kirsten to OLTL was one of the few great things Gary Tomlin did. Roxy came on as the alcoholic mother from Hell. She was a drunk and a con. Softened slightly by involving her with Max. In meeting her mother, Roxy suddenly became more complex. In that one moment, it dawned on Roxy that her hateful words had hurt Natalie as much as Roxy’s mother’s words had hurt her. And that maybe Roxy could change her life. That was going to be good stuff with a good actress to play it out. Suddenly Max and Roxy were history, with Roxy being relegated to comic relief. What a waste of both the character and the actress.

I remain bewildered by Carlotta.

In relatively quick time she went from character to caricature. A good thing for Adrianna that the Magdelena Asylums are closed. Perhaps if RJ had had sex with Carlotta, all would be right in her world once again.

I am bewildered by Dorian’s return.

Mostly that I am not more thrilled by it. We still don’t know how she hooked up with Mitch in the first place. “I know I tried to rape your daughter and you killed me, but I can buy you a kir?” She came back hating Viki. And while her scenes with River are fun, Dorian is hardly the nanny type. I had been hoping for a story about Dorian and will remain teetering on the chagrin bridge until she gets one.

I am pleased by Rex.

Let’s face it, at least Rex works for a living. It’s not like he lived off of Jen’s money, he invested it. I have to admit, it was sweet when he asked Roxy to dance. And Rex may be a con artist, but he is not a hypocrite. Who knows what he is up to with Lindsey, but it if keeps her from falling back into blaming Nora for everything, I am not going to complain (at least not in this week’s column).And at least Rex admits he has voices in his head.

And props to Jean Paul Lavosier. He has managed to keep Rex consistently Rex as he changed from gay high school student, to backburner, to nightclub manager. No small feat for a new actor.

I am chagrined by Al and Marcie. (SPOILER/RUMOR ALERT)

Not by the characters or actors, per se, but by what TPTB have planned for them. The harassment of Marcie is going to continue and get more harrowing by the minute. And if the rumors are true, once that ends, Al dies. TPTB that be saying that Al leaving OLTL is “storyline” dictated. I love how they say it as if the storylines come down from the skies engraved on stone tablets. As if TPTB themselves don’t make up the stories. Al and Marcie both came into their own through this couple. Al is tied, if not biologically, at least emotionally to the Buchanans and the Lords. And dammit, they are the only happy couple in Llanview. (No, Joey and Jen do not count, as least not to this Cynic.)

And what is ABC teaching young women? Over on AMC, Bianca, the lone daytime leading lesbian, seems doomed to one tragedy after another. And here on OLTL, the one young woman who looks different is not only about to be humiliated and injured, but the love of her life is going to die.

I guess ABC is teaching that being different and being true to who you are, is a bad, bad idea.

I am pleased how they introduced Riley.

Which is to say slowly. Yes, we knew he was destined for something big since he appeared in the opening credits. We would see a little Riley here. A little Riley there. And we did not know Daniel Coulson was his father. We got to used to seeing them onscreen separately before they were on our screens together. I am not promising to love Riley in the long run, but I am willing to give him a chance. See how nice I can be when a new character is not shoved in my face everyday?

I remain bewildered by Jen.

Bewildered by why she is still on my screen every day. Yes, her acting has gotten better, but that was never really my complaint about her. It’s that her character is not that interesting. And if I am going to have to see her everyday at least put her back with Rex, with whom she has some chemistry.

I am chagrined about Rae.

How did the world’s worst therapist, albeit best fraud, get to practice therapy again? And why did Hank hire her to work with the LPD? I don’t usually feel sympathy for Antonio but the poor guy does not stand a chance with Rae as his shrink.

I am bewildered by Cris and Natalie.

Cris was once the hot sweet young hero. Now I keep wishing some one would wake him up for scenes. And Natalie was once smart and savvy. But riddle me this, what kind of smart, savvy woman sends her fiancé to NYC to buy wedding accoutrements BY HIMSELF?

I am bewildered and chagrined by the Gannons.

Hank has all but disappeared. Keri began her Llanview run as an interesting young woman. Then she became boringly self-righteous. And now she has become psychotic. Sigh. And as for RJ. Well he has a love life and his ongoing feud (now fueled by Keri) with Antonio. But how much airtime does RJ get compared, to say, Jen? Why do I feel like TPTB think they are doing us a big favor by giving the Gannons any airtime at all? Instead of bringing more Coulsons to town, why not expand the Gannon clan? Bring Rachel back. Surely Hank and RJ must have some cousins who could re-locate to Llanview? If you want more teenagers, have Hank fall in love with a woman who already has some.

I am bewildered by Walker, if he is in fact Todd.

Let me start by saying Trevor St John is doing a good job imitating RH playing Todd. Such a good job that he probably could have created his very own character and made him compelling.

I accept that I am the lone voice in the wilderness crying out “I don’t miss Todd. And I think Blair can do better without Todd!” A cynic’s life can be a lonely life indeed.

The thing that pleases me most is that EOS is three years old this month. And that for three years you have been reading what I have to say and been kind enough to let me know what you think, too.

Thank you for your continued support of EOS. A very special thanks to Katrina for inviting me to join in this adventure.

I am looking forward to where the future takes EOS and all of us, too.

A Cynic Soaps Up - AMC - August 4, 2003

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AMC Spoilers and Commentary by Kate Brown

OLTL Archives For A Cynic Soaps Up

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