Even the characters don’t want to spend any time with each other. Can you blame the audience?

It’s become such a chore to watch this show, you guys. I mean, even when they manage too sneak in a few moments of non-complete misery, it’s still pretty damn bleak.

Oh, look!  Robin filming home movies with Patrick and Emma… because she thinks she’s about to die and is planning on skipping town without telling them immediately after Christmas is over. And hey, Sam and Jason are having a quiet holiday together as newlyweds… in their apartment empty of decorations because they’ve both been too busy dealing with her rape and possibly impregnation by a serial killer. Um, Merry Christmas?

And, of course: Dante and Lulu got married! In a nearly empty church! Because even though these are two of the most well-connected characters on the canvas… well:

LULU: I’m just wondering why it has to be tonight. Why can’t it be New Year’s eve or, like Valentine’s Day?
DANTE: Because we’re here, now, in the most amazing city in the world at Christmas time. What is better than that?

Oh, I don’t know… maybe having your family and friends in attendance? Then again, considering how unpleasant most of their friends and family currently are, who can really blame them for deciding to ditch the whole lot of them?

OH, WAIT. I CAN.

I mean, what the hell? This should have been a huge umbrella event! I don’t care how spread out and horrible Maxie, Carly, and the Spencers are right now. I still want them at Lulu’s damn wedding. Would it have killed them to have her at least mention wanting her mother at her side? Or how about her favorite step-monster? (How could Tracy not warrant as much of an invite as Olivia at this point?)

And Lord knows how little use I have for Sonny or Michael right now, but they are Dante’s family. (Not to mention that after spending months being sexiled from the apartment and acting as their unofficial relationship counselor, I think Michael really deserved a place in the wedding. I’d have much rather watched that than Chad Duell snotting over Abby all week.) Then there’s Kate, as  Lulu’s former boss and Olivia’s cousin… Hell, Spinelli and Jason ought to have been there for Lulu’s sake, along with Elizabeth and the boys (how cute would Cam have been as a ring bearer?) I just don’t get it. Such a great opportunity for all these people to interact in an organic way! (I mean, if they were looking for a reason to have Kate and Sonny start talking again, running into each other at a family wedding makes more sense than anything we’ve gotten so far.)

But I’m sure there are really good reasons for all these absences. I mean, I can obviously understand how the writers wouldn’t want to waste Jonathan Jackson’s last appearance on something as trivial as his only sister’s wedding to one of his only friends. Not when there are Irish graveyards he could be hanging out in all by himself!

LUCKY: I was so hard on my dad. Every time he would leave, there was a part of me that would want to blame him and judge him and… now I’m doing that to you. See the thing is, Aiden, you don’t leave because it’s easy. You leave because you have to.

Gee, it must be nice to have the luxury of dumping your kids off with their clearly mentally troubled mother (isn’t “faking” a mental breakdown kind of a sign that you’re not really faking it as much as you thought?) to go off on a vision quest to find yourself whenever you feel like it. But I guess it’s okay, because it’s not like he wants to go — and on Christmas Eve, no less. He just has to! There’s a gun to his head and everything. It’s certainly not because this is the easy way for him to avoid having to deal with a difficult situation. Don’t be ridiculous.

Seriously, when did this show become such an apologist for deadbeat fathers? Fuck you, Lucky. You don’t have to date Elizabeth. You don’t even have to forgive her. But you do have to stick around. I don’t care how hard it is. Or how awkward. This is the deal you made when you agreed to be a parent to those boys. So, pull on your big boy underoos and start acting like a goddamn adult again. (God, I really hope Ron Carlivati can fix this mess somehow…)

<a name=”maxie”>Then</a> there’s Maxie, who was clearly put to better use butting her nose into Elizabeth’s business than standing by her best friend’s side on her wedding day:

MAXIE: She used Lucky’s guilt to trap him! […] At least I’m honest! I don’t have to act like a victim to get what I want.

Yes, Maxie! You’re certainly known for your… honesty? What? I think I’ll just let Elizabeth’s always reliable bitchface speak for me here:

I’m sorry, but I cannot listen to Maxie (Maxie!), of all people, railing about the injustice of someone else trying to use lies, guilt and manipulation to “trap” Lucky. Girl, puh-lease. You convinced him to prostitute himself to you in order to feed his drug addiction! Then you faked a pregnancy while he was in rehab to try and keep him from going back to his actually pregnant wife (yes, I know that wasn’t really his baby either — but Maxie didn’t know that at the time).

Also? Elizabeth has still never, ever once in her life done a single thing to Maxie other than not be totally okay with Maxie having an affair with her husband. So this ridiculous hatred Maxie has harbored for her for years always comes across as vindictive, cruel and kind of unhinged. And it really doesn’t help my hate when NuMaxie smugs it up like this on top of her heinous dialog:

Hey, Maxie? Elizabeth may have been a crazy beast lately, but at least she didn’t recently make a deal with a mobster to have a woman murdered to cover a crime she doesn’t even know for sure her boyfriend even committed. (And which probably shouldn’t even be considered a crime at all, given the circumstances — sure am glad the PCPD is spending all their resources on this instead of finding Dante’s shooter, or Siobhan’s killer, or the person responsible for all those drug thefts, or the guy beating up all those strippers! But that’s a rant for another day.)

HATE!

Meanwhile, Sonny was too busy counseling Jason on his anger management problems to attend his first born’s wedding. (Yes, you read that right. No, I’m not really done laughing about it either.)

And wonder of all wonders, it wasn’t actually a terrible talk? I mean, Sonny legitimately seemed to care about Jason, which is more than I can say for 95% of their interactions in  recent memory. But this exchange really cracked me up, and not in a good way:

SONNY: Look, I know you’ve been through a lot, right? But all you gotta do is look at me… [insert patented Maurice Bernard pregnant pause]
ME: … to know that you should avoid following in my footsteps at all costs?
SONNY: … I’m still standing.

Right. That is totally the lesson you should take from Sonny’s life. Effing hell, I hate this show.

But hey, at least we still have One Life to Live, right? Right? (Shut up, if I start thinking about how there’s less than a month left of my soap zen place, I really will start to cry.)

Here, have some of Sam Manning’s WEE FACE reacting to Todd’s Santa in their living room…

… and the twins finding their parents in the clinch…

… and Rex and Gigi — who I swear I could not normally care less about, but who TOTALLY GOT ME on Friday — reunited at last…

Happy holidays, Llanview. You are my favorite soap place, still.

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9 thoughts on “Even the characters don’t want to spend any time with each other. Can you blame the audience?

  1. Even JMB and DZ were really surprised that the wedding wasn’t a big event. JMB said in her twitter chat Sunday before last that they were very suddenly told that Dante and Lulu were getting married. I liked it alright, because on this crappy show you have to take what you can get, but it is a totally mystery as to why they rushed this wedding.

  2. Well I left this in the wrong place OOPs but will leave it here too.

    Love reading your stuff. fabulous again as always. I will admit I really liked the Lante wedding and the fact that it was just about them. I thought they looked beautiful; the setting and vows were moving and given the dysfunction of Lulu’s family; I kind of liked the way they had Dantes huge, crazy and obviously close family embrace her.

    Yeah Maxie lecturing anyone about being dishonest and manipulative is ludicrous. I have never understood her OTT hatred of Liz either. She was the one who pursued Liz’s husband, fed his addiction, lied about a pregnancy and then a miscarriage to try and hang onto him; besides Maxie is the biggest user on the show and the very next episode she was in rare form first agreeing to spend Christmas with Spinelli (because as she said she had nothing better to do) getting him to arrange a big expensive spread for her and then immediately dumping him the minute Matt called.

    • Yeah, I was harsh on the wedding because it disappointed me, but the ceremony itself wasn’t bad. Just… a wasted opportunity.

      Maxie… is awful right now. I really need Kirsten Storms to come back.

  3. This show. THIS SHOW. This gosh-darn FREAKING show. (Only my rather goody-two-shoes policy against expletives is preventing me from using stronger language there.)

    I commented a few posts back here that I was done with this show, and that is true. But I still get sucked in sometimes, because, y’know! I watched this show for over a decade (not that impressive by soap standards, I know, but that’s still a long time!). I’m nostalgic. So every now and then, I think “Okay, I’ll watch just this ONE episode. There’s nothing else on. How bad could it be?” Or I read a spoiler and think “Hmmm, maybe I DO want to watch that”.

    But I am WRONG. So wrong. Every SINGLE time, the show manages to prove to me that having even the teensiest bit of faith that it might manage to produce something non-horrible is misplaced.

    Take Lucky’s exit. I went and watched those scenes on YouTube. I mean, I’m a big fan of Liz and Lucky! (Which is a testament to how amazing their original love story was – that and JJ/BH’s acting talent – because goodness knows the show certainly hasn’t given me any reason to love them in RECENT years.) JJ was probably my favorite actor on the entire show, among a cast of supremely talented actors! I felt like I sort of HAD to, you know?

    WRONG. I owed it to myself as a Lucky fan NOT to watch those scenes, so that I would not be forced to suffer through the complete and utter character destruction of one of the most beloved and iconic legacy characters in soap opera history.

    I just… I don’t even know where to begin. Oh, wait, yes I do. Remember that time when Lucky said that being a father was the most important thing in the world to him, and the only thing that really mattered was loving his kids and being there for them? Because I do:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ld1pp-_Rz4

    I know all most people remember about this scene (if they remember it at all) is Claire babbling on about her biological clock, but I always loved that speech Lucky gives about being a dad. Because THAT is who Lucky Spencer is, boys and girls. He LOVED being a father. Not in a theoretical “I love these boys but that isn’t going to stop me from picking up and abandoning them to go to Ireland” kind of way, but in the real, devoted, day-in-and-day-out kind of way. And I’m not going to forget that just because the writers tell me to. Then again, I’m also not going to forget the look on Luke’s face when Laura told him she was pregnant with Lucky. Or the first time he held baby Lulu. I know you’ve already written about this, but I just cannot stop RANTING because these Spencer family history rewrites make me want to scream.

    Like, how they keep comparing Lucky/Liz to Luke/Laura, with this whole “She’s going to go insane trying to keep him shackled to a family he doesn’t want” thing? Not only is it not accurate with regards to Liz and Lucky, IT ALSO ISN’T ACCURATE WITH REGARDS TO LUKE AND LAURA. Luke didn’t hate having a family! Laura didn’t go insane because she wanted a family! In fact, considering how often soap characters have mental breakdowns, I think it’s amazing that the show has suddenly decided that Laura’s is her defining characteristic, while conveniently forgetting the ACTUAL reason she had a breakdown in the first place.

    And now they are trying to pin this nonsense on Liz and Lucky. Well, sorry, writers, but I’m not buying what you’re selling. Liz and Lucky have been apart PLENTY of times without her going insane or pulling crazy and manipulative stunts to get him back. And Lucky has ALWAYS stuck around for his kids, whether he was with Liz or not. Elizabeth never had to beg or persuade him to be part of the family, because that family was something he wanted just as much as she did.

    And Lante’s wedding? I didn’t even bother watching it, because COME ON. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lulu & Dante and I’m happy they’re married, but REALLY? This should have been a big, happy, glamorous soap wedding with all the Spencers (and Corinthos-es) coming together. It should have gone on for multiple episodes, and focused on the family relationships and the friendships as well as the couple getting married. Does Garin Wolf have something against weddings? First we had Jason and Sam’s “unconventional” wedding, which I was willing to go along with because at least there WAS a scene with the families and everyone even if it wasn’t technically the actual wedding, and now this? It just seems so weird to have TWO major couples, both comprised of legacy characters connected to core families, get married in one year and have BOTH of them decide to tie the knot with no family present (except Olivia and some Bensonhurt Randoms in Lante’s case).

    I would go on, about how much I hate that they’re killing Robin off, and about how everything even remotely complex or likable about Maxie’s character has been eradicated ever since Jen Lilley took over the role (I’m not blaming her. At least, not completely) but this rant has gone on long enough.

    UGH. Just UGH.

    • Sam and Jason’s wedding made sense from a character point of view. Dante and Lulu’s didn’t at all. I do wonder if it’s partly a financial thing? Big wedding’s are probably more expensive…

      Everything about the way they’re treating the Liz/Laura thing makes me so angry, I can’t even rant about it anymore. Flames! Flames on the side of my face!

      • It’s definitely a financial thing, in part. Soaps just don’t have the money for the kinds of weddings they used to have. But, you know, it CAN be done! OLTL seems to manage pretty nice weddings, with most of the people who should be there, once or twice a year at least. FV’s budget-fu can’t come soon enough!

      • I agree — which isn’t meant to be a criticism of Jen Lilley; she’s done a pretty good job for someone thrust into a bunch of stories with a fairly ridiculous character to begin with and some really obnoxious writing. But I do think KS has a certain way about her that sometimes mitigates Maxie’s unpleasantness and Lilley just can’t manage that.

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