Thursday, September 13, 2007

As The World Turns: There's Romance in the Air

I am so excited right about now. This serial is underway of having one of the first gay love stories with two men to ever air on daytime television.

Now, that is not to say that this storyline hasn’t had its fair share of bumps and bruises. There have been several things that have irked me, some of them really annoyed me, some of them, not too bothersome, and some, excellent. Let me make a list of pros and cons.

PROS:


  • Luke is being played by gifted young actor Van Hansis - I’m not going to compare him to Jake Weary since I have not seen any of his episodes yet, and it’d be unfair to place any bias. But I do like Van a lot.
  • The other actors involved in his storyline are also good
  • Luke masquerading as Jade’s boyfriend to hide the truth from his parents - Okay, not a GOOD thing to do by any means, but it was well played out.
  • Luke’s coming out to his friend Will Munson - A top-notch scene of someone so afraid to tell his friend the truth about himself, he does it, and everything goes fine. Will took it great, like any friend should. He even advised Luke to come out to his mom and dad!
  • Luke’s coming out to his parents - This was a really good scene. Though one of my favorite scenes regarding Luke’s parents finding out his sexuality ahead of time was before this, when Holden was enacting two scenes in his mind about confronting Luke about this. In the barn, he had two scenes. One where he asked Luke if he was gay, and the other one being Luke telling him himself. Though sadly, Lily doesn't take it as well in the beginning.
  • The drama that ensued during Lily’s reaction - His biological father Damian visiting, creepy ass Ross Kreeger and his “straight-camp”, Lily and Luke’s fight that lead to her tragic fall down the stairs, while she was pregnant, mind you. Again, I wouldn’t wish this stuff on anyone, but VERY well played out. Great drama.
  • Luke and Lucinda’s WONDERFUL few scenes together - She should really be used more in this storyline, in my humble opinion. Lucinda has a really good way of cheering Luke up when he needs it. And I love Elizabeth Hubbard.
  • Luke’s coming out to Kevin - Of course, Kevin was a complete jerk to Luke after he came out to him, calling him names like “freak” and “faggot” but after saving his life at Raven Lake it seemed like Kevin learned his lesson. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to last long during his recent brief comeback. But this happens in real life, too. All the time. Every single day. Someone who is gay or bisexual wants to come out to their best friends, acquaintances and family members. They do so. And it doesn’t go as well as planned. The friend who you thought was your friend unfortunately isn’t the supportive and understanding friend you thought he or she would be. It happens all too often. When Kevin’s character came back for one day on ATWT after the prom nearly a year later, he was civil with Luke. They had an OK conversation. But the strong friendship they seemed to have before really looked to have dramatically weakened after Luke came out.
  • Luke’s friendship with Maddie - I prefer Maddie and Luke being friends A LOT more than him being friendly with Jade.
  • Noah and Luke - There is a con or two, but I’ll post them in the appropriate section. The good parts of this is that I definitely do think that Jake and Van have some awesome chemistry. And it’s good to know they know each other much more than before. And when Luke said he was done with Noah, Noah asked Luke if they could be friends. I thought the writers would screw this up and he’d be like “yeah, okay” but instead he pointed out they were never really friends to begin with.
  • What’s currently going on with Luke, Noah, and Maddie - There are some positive elements going on here as far as how I’m receiving this storyline. One thing being, Noah’s denial. Jake does a pretty good job at displaying the classic sadly-all-too-familiar case of the closeted teen. He knows he’s gay, and he’d rather be with Luke, but he so wants to please his homophobe of a father, his only family. As I mentioned above, masquerading a girlfriend to help hide your true self is not a good thing and is something I don’t recommend (and it‘s also something I swore to myself I would never do). But it happens in real life. Noah feels that if he were to lose his faux-relationship with Maddie, he’d lose any respect he gained from his dad. And Maddie’s being drug into something she really does not deserve. Especially after the rape and Raven Lake drama last summer, and her ex-boyfriend Casey‘s incarceration.
  • Noah’s dad in regards to his son - Okay. I’ll just put it out there right now. Noah’s dad Winston is an ASSHOLE. Plain and simple. He’s a total jerk who does not respect his son’s feelings and his homophobia and selective morality is nauseating. It’s NOT okay for Noah to be gay, but it IS okay for Noah and Maddie to have premarital relations and move in together, and he can (technically) pay for their furnishings?? Is he serious?? And if he is responsible for murdering Cheri, well, then, let me say, having a gay son will be the LEAST of this man’s problems. But this is in the PRO section simply because, sadly, in real life, stuff like this does happen. Homophobic and unaccepting parent finds out their child is gay. Homophobic and unaccepting parent freaks out. Homophobic and unaccepting parent gives child an ultimatum, or worse. This is a real scenario that occurs everyday, so it’s nice to have realism in this storyline. Even if it’s not all too nice. That part is well done, even though I hate Colonel Winston Mayer and how he behaves. It’s sad how he treats Noah. Being strict and wanting the best for your child is one thing, but Winston is just a complete ass. It’s the point though. We’re supposed to hate him. So yeah, I’ll give them praise for this. Though I’m still mixed about his possible involvement in Cheri’s murder.

CONS:

  • Lack of screen time - This is seriously annoying, especially last summer after Luke came out to Kevin. That was IT. For months, buddy was GONE and the storyline came to a screeching halt. There was so much more that could have been done with this. We could have seen Luke deal with his coming out at school with more of his peers reacting. We could have seen Kevin deal more with Luke’s revelation, after all, they were best friends. And what bothered me even more was that Luke could have been used more than he was during other family scenarios too, and he wasn‘t. There was also a major lack of air-time during the beginning of Luke and Noah’s time on the show together. There could have been much more dialogue and interaction between the two of them than what was actually seen. The show is suffering right now of a major lack of balance.
  • The beginning of Luke and Noah’s relationship - There was a problem here in the start. Noah and Luke’s first day together. What happened was that Luke was supposed to be annoyed with Noah showing up late at WOAK for the first day. This did happen, and this made a bit of sense. But lack of substance seemed to follow for a while afterwards. I think they should have made a bit more of a friendship after a while together, after they seemed to get along more at WOAK. This would have helped out a bit more. Also Luke’s scene where he says “I’m falling for the wrong guy” to Jade came a bit too early. This should have been said AFTER the towel scene or AFTER their kiss. They did try to rectify this by having a couple more scenes of them talking and getting to know each other better, both of which took place before the towel encounter and the kiss, so I’ll praise them for fixing this. The scenes afterwards made more sense. However, this problem wouldn’t have existed in the first place had they done this more correctly in the beginning.
  • Not many scenes with Will and Luke together in the past year - I know, I know. We’ve had way, way, WAY too much Will and Gwen lately. But on the flip side, Will is Luke’s friend and they’ve hardly shared any scenes together after Luke came out to him. And the majority of any of these can be done without Gwen (who revolves around most of the W/G related stories recently anyway).
  • No mention of coming out to his brother Aaron - This was a major gaff from the writing staff. His brother Aaron returns to Oakdale after several years, and they hardly share any scenes together in the beginning (This is another problem with the writing to me; there’s not as much character interaction from other people not in the immediate storylines as there should. I mean some of them are FAMILY members for heaven‘s sake, and this is supposed to be a family-heavy soap and these kinds of scenes don‘t happen as much as they can), the first scene they share, it seems 100% clear and obvious that Luke is not out to Aaron. Then the next scene they have together, it’s like bad editing, as the exact opposite mood took place. Out of the blue it seemed, Luke was out to Aaron. No coming out scene was done. We don’t know what happened. We don’t know how Aaron found out. We don’t know if Luke told him himself, or if Holden or Lily did. And it didn’t have to be this huge deal either. It could have been a more casual “‘I’m gay.’ ‘Oh.’” I mean, don’t get me wrong, the scene in which Luke was out to Aaron and they were talking about Noah was commendable, but it was like they went from step A to step C.


There are folks who sit here and say “oh, you just want to see this because the people are gay.” You know what, yeah I won’t deny that I started watching the show again because I heard Luke was coming out of the closet, and I did want to see how this was going. Sue me. And I watched the show in the 1990’s off and on so I wasn’t too unfamiliar with some of the cast. I was thinking also “Oh, Holden and Lily, and Lucinda, I remember them! And oh, there’s Carly!” And I figured, “this was done so well, why don’t I re-explore the soap genre, to see what I missed. After all, it had been at least 4 years since I watched a soap on a regular basis. Guiding Light, another show I hadn’t seen in a long time would be next at 3 PM, so I started watching it to see what was going on, and I soon started watching daily, and as of now I‘ve watched almost every show for over a year. More characters I remembered from past viewings. “Josh and Reva, wow, I remember them, too!” Then after that, I started watching more of the other two CBS soaps Though I admit, I’m not as hooked on Y&R and B&B as much as I am with the other two, though I do watch from time to time. And I love classic TV, so I had to see if SOAPnet was airing any classic soaps, and I found out that they were airing Ryan’s Hope and Another World. I picked RH to check out first, and it took some time, but I wound up loving it (more on RH later), and same with AW, and I was mad as hell when SOAPnet took it off. The Cass/Kathleen/Frankie triangle was REALLY starting to heat up, as well as the “Who shot Jake?” storyline and the whole scenario with John, Sharlene, and psycho bitch Taylor Benson. When I heard Stefano DiMera was coming back to Days of our Lives, I figured I just HAD to check the show out again. This was another soap I watched during the late ’90’s and early 2000’s. Some days are good, and good as in some REALLY feel like good old-fashioned soap story telling, some days are so-so. Now I’m trying to get into Port Charles. And it’s so much easier to do so, now that it’s back on 5 days a week. I’ve been downloading old soap episodes from the internet to enjoy the early years of the genre. It’s official. Thanks to Luke’s coming out storyline, it helped me get back into soap operas, and I’ve been trying to catch up on what I missed. So to people who give me grief for this, don’t even start with me. I don’t want to hear it. And if other people watch for this reason, there's nothing wrong with it.


And for all the ├╝ber-conservatives and religious people whining and moaning about the supposed lack of morality that exists in this storyline, where was the outrage when Will had an affair with Jade? When Eve stabbed all those teens to death? When Carly went off with Simon and left her three kids and Jack behind? When Emily was a prostitute? When Casey broke in and stole from his own grandmother’s club? When Adam tried to rape Gwen; not once, but twice? When Allison came back to Oakdale and it was found out that she had a drug addiction, and was also a porn star? Where was the moral outrage when the sex tape of she and Dusty doin’ the nasty found its way on the Internet for all of the town to see? Seriously. If people want to talk about moral outrage, particularly on daytime soaps, they need to go way back. I’d post more examples, but I don’t have the time. Immorality is pretty much a regular way of life on a soap opera. If they could sit through all that and more without batting an eyelash, how does watching two guys kiss for a few seconds have them feel like the world is coming to an end, that all hell has broken loose? I don’t get it. As John Stossel of ABC News would say, "Give me a break!"

No comments: