Thursday, November 29, 2007

ATWT: Wanna Dance?

Summary and analysis for November 29.

We open with Noah helping Luke with his leg exercises. Noah cracks a joke but Luke doesn’t respond. As Noah asks what’s bugging him, Luke flashes back to he and Holden’s conversation about Noah not using the phrase “I love you” from Monday. Noah tells him Luke can say anything to him without scaring him off. Noah then says the exercises aren’t challenging enough and maybe they should take things public.

We cut to Luke and Noah visiting Old Town and Luke remarks he hasn’t been there since he fell out of his chair; but Halloween is a much nicer way to refer to it. Noah’s friends from Halloween, Ben and Gabe, walk up and invite Luke and Noah to a “fake ID” party at Yo’s. Noah introduces Luke to Ben and Gabe as his “friend,” much to Luke’s disappointment and annoyance. Luke is surprised that Noah apparently did not want to go along and notes that Noah has trouble saying the word “boyfriend” in public. This fact is proven when two strangers walk in front of them and he barely says it out of a whisper. Luke asks him if his friends at school know if he’s gay and Noah replies that he does not know, but he’s not trying to hide them.

Back at the farm, Noah tells Luke that he doesn’t want to take back saying that he loved him at the police station. Noah leaves as Holden comes in the room. Holden advises that Luke still should be a bit more patient when it comes to Noah.

Apparently Noah decided to go to the party after all. A girl named Stacy wants to ask Noah to dance, and he blurts out “I’m gay.” Stacy introduces herself and doesn’t care that Noah’s gay, she just wants to have a little dance. Noah then runs into Dusty at the counter and he’s glad Noah’s not drinking. Later on Noah sees Dusty and Lily together and as he leaves, at the door he’s approached by Luke and Holden. Stacy comes out and Noah is ready to leave. As she leaves, cut to Luke with a big old question mark on his face. But don’t worry for long; in about 15 seconds everything is cleared up. Luke and Noah have a good chuckle after Noah says he outed himself to Stacy immediately. But still, why does Noah not want to go back inside? And then Luke is informed that Lily is in there with Dusty, and they kissed. Now Luke knows the reason why he didn’t want to go back in there. Thankfully NOT because he wants to hide their relationship. Lily and Dusty are now outside with everyone else and Luke wants to know what’s up. Lily doesn’t want to talk about it because he already knows what’s going on. Back at the farm Luke says that he’s mad that this whole thing is destroying the family, and he’s also upset that she wasn’t honest with him about why she left on Thanksgiving.

I have to say I was really rather impressed with what went on today. Of course, I’m always happy to see Luke and Noah happy. This is a drama, which means that it won’t last for very long. It’s also nice to see that Noah’s becoming more acceptable of his sexuality; it seems evident it’s getting easier and easier after his hysterical “I’m gay” declaration to one-time character Stacy. And I was glad to see Luke and Noah have the talk they did about him being out at school and the discussion of the word “boyfriend.” And I was glad to see Luke confront Lily and be involved in a little bit of family drama, even for a while. The episode ITSELF I give an A. But herein lies the problem… this is AGAIN a direct 180 from two days ago. Noah obviously had problems with saying words like “boyfriend”, and being open about the fact that he’s in a relationship. But today is a different story. I’m more than happy to see happier scenes and even humor between the two of them, and I love the idea that Noah's being more courageous and proud of himself. But the lack of continuity and bi-polar writing is very annoying. There’s no reason for next week to come and Noah to be back in his shell again. That would make no sense at all; just like it didn’t make sense on Monday after what went down at the police station. I also didn't care for the fact that Noah apparently leaves after the final party scene with no goodbye.

The reason why Holden as a husband gets on my nerves constantly is because for months he’s been treating her like complete garbage and pulling the “moral majority” card. At some points it seemed like Lily couldn’t win with this man. If she were honest about something, in some cases she’d undeservedly get the third degree. If she weren’t, she’d get the same thing. It truly, truly angered me when he had the gall to blame Lily for Luke’s being hurt even though he knows that she wasn’t responsible. And then him blaming her for not saying anything about Carly HERSELF manipulating Jack and them almost marrying. I honestly feel that if she did tell, he’d probably go off and tell her to mind her own damn business. Then he finally dumps her and has divorce papers drawn up and still wants to play the moral card when she’s with Dusty. He dumped HER. If he didn’t want her to go off and be with someone else, he should have never pushed her away to start with and said it was over. Now if Holden's upset about the fact that Lily lied to the kids, then I can actually understand that. But I don't get how someone can push her away like he did and then have the audacity to get huffy when it turns out that she's now with someone else.

Luke on the other hand, as well as the other kids in all this are completely innocent; they don’t deserve to be lied to by Lily. It seems to me that Lily wants Holden back but she also thinks that he doesn't want her anymore. To me honestly though the kids have it worse. Luke, Faith, Natalie and Ethan haven’t done anything to make her leave. Of course it’s their business that Lily is with Dusty. Everyone except Ethan is old enough to understand and process this information. Kids aren't stupid. They know what it means when it's said that Lily's going to be off with Dusty. This is impacting her family as a whole. And someone’s deluding themselves if they say that actions like this are fair on the kids. Don't send your kids false hope if you know that even for the time being it's not likely that you and your husband/wife aren't getting back together.

ATWT: The "L" Word

Summary and analysis for Monday, November 26.

Lily is in bed in Dusty’s hotel room at the Lakeview as he orders breakfast after sleeping together. Lily feels like an outsider. She wanted to spend time with Faith and Natalie but they had other things to do.

At the Snyder house, Noah stops by to bring Luke his Lit assignment, but he can‘t stay long. Luke apologizes for how the family behaved on Thanksgiving (referring to Jack and Brad’s fighting, Lily leaving, etc.). Noah says don’t worry about it and this is rather tame compared to past Thanksgivings. Luke asks him to stay and offers leftover turkey but Noah becomes distant acting and leaves rather quickly. Holden comes in and wonders what’s bugging Luke. Luke thinks that he scared Noah by saying that he loved him. It’s gotten so awkward and uncomfortable. It’s possible that he doesn’t know what to say or needs more time and Luke’s scared that he trashed it all with his big mouth. Holden reassures him by saying that even though he may have trouble saying the words, he does prove that he loves him back by actions. He calls Luke his boyfriend, he goes out of his way to see Luke even though he may not be in the mood to see him. These are definitely signs of something. And it’s true. I know I’d personally rather have someone do it by actions instead of blurting out the L word when they don’t mean it or if they're not quite ready to say it.

Luke thinks that if Holden can fix things between he and Noah, it’s possible that he can fix things between himself and Lily; but Holden insists it’s too late for that. Luke puts out the fact that Lily goes out of her way to come to the farm and visit. So that should mean something. Lily drops by after this; with Luke saying “Mom! How nice of you to COME OUT OF YOUR WAY and visit.” Lily reiterates that even if she and Holden aren’t together, they are still a family. No matter where they all live. Luke says that walking out of the middle of Thanksgiving dinner gives a different impression. Faith thinks it seems to have something to do with Dusty (of course, she’s right). Luke insists it’d be easier if she spent more time with the kids. Lily doesn’t think that’s a good idea because of Holden. Lily says as far as the Lakeview goes, she has to work there sometimes, and that should be understood. After Luke leaves the room, Holden walks in and wonders if she and Dusty being together at the Lakeview is “work.”

Noah runs into Dusty at Al’s Diner. He thanks him again for what happened and how he didn’t blame him for his father’s actions. Dusty says that if Winston’s not proud of him for who he is, that’s his problem. Noah says he’s going to school and he’s hanging out, he wonders what else that can he do. Dusty replies for him to be himself. Dusty’s being nice to him because he’s calling it like he sees it. He needs all the friends he can get these days.

The only reason why I was really disappointed was because there was no explanation initially as to why Noah’s being so distant. It seemed like there was a scene missing. Last week Luke and Noah were together at the Snyder house for Thanksgiving (Noah even got to cut the squash!), and they were so happy. They even held hands at the end! After an eventful last Tuesday with Noah defending Luke’s and his honor, and the heartwarming scenes where they were all sweet with each other the following Wednesday, it just didn’t seem to make sense for one of them to be so distant all of a sudden, at least not without any kind of explanation. An explanation that could be done with an additional scene or two beforehand. I mean, I thought Noah had trouble introducing Luke as his boyfriend in front of the Major last week because he was in the army, which kind of made sense. Again, I can’t stress this enough, if there are rewrites or changes that need to be done, at least have them make sense! Please! Is that too much to ask?! Or at least make sure the continuity is right.

One thing I’m really loving though is Holden and Luke’s relationship. Holden has really gotten on my nerves lately with his holier-than-thou attitude during most of the Lily/Dusty drama, particularly around the time Luke got hurt. But when Luke is with Holden and they have discussions, the man just cannot fail. As a father, he’s one of the best characters I’ve seen in daytime. I’m sure there are many people out there besides myself who wishes that they could have a father like that, regardless if you’re gay or straight. We were so close though. So close until he had the conversation with Lily at the end. Arrrgh! So close to one full day of likable Holden again! So close I could taste it! He dumped her! Again I reiterate that HE dumped HER!

I think that Dusty being Noah’s mentor is a good effort, though I was really hoping that Noah would talk more about his relationship with Luke. I feel it would have been better that way.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

TPIR: How Drew's Doing

I realized that I did an entry back in October about The Price Is Right's 36th season premiere, but I also just noticed I never really gave much of a later review for how I think Drew is doing so far on the show.

I’ve enjoyed a lot of Drew’s other work over the years. For one, The Drew Carey Show, and secondly, Whose Line Is It Anyway. When I first heard that he was going to be the new host of Price, I really wasn’t as skeptical as I was when other host’s names popped up across forums. Drew’s name was never one that made me go “ehh… Drew would be good on the show IF--.” I’ll elaborate.

Todd Newton -- I was a Todd Newton supporter initially, but I'm kind of glad he didn't get picked the more I think about it. I liked him on Hollywood Showdown, but his job on Whammy!: The All-New Press Your Luck was an entirely different story. To me he was way too hyper, and WAY too loud, just like the revival itself was, and acted like the stereotypical game show host which I could not stand. Hollywood Showdown was different; I thought he was good on there. The volume was just right. It was like night and day. So in other words, “Todd Newton would be perfect IF he didn’t act like the stereotypical game show host.”

John O’Hurley -- John O'Hurley would be perfect IF he didn't start some annoying thing like jump at the losing horns like he did with the Feud 'try again' buzzer last season.” I think he’s capable of being a good host, and I enjoy him more than Richard Karn and without a single doubt more than Louie Anderson, but I’m so glad to see that jumping went away. I can see him developing traditions on this show that I find unfavorable.

This never occurred with Drew. And when I saw him on The Power of 10 and not leaving Whose Line out of my mind, I was convinced that he’d make a good game show host.

And I’ve been loving him on the show more and more everyday. For one, I like how he says “Hi, how are you doing, welcome to the show,” etc. to the contestants when it’s Item Up For Bids time. I also really like how happy he is on the show and how he uses his own sense of humor. And there are the phrases too. Some of them being “Shazam” for Double Prices, “Making friends, are we?” for someone bidding one dollar higher than the last person, and my personal favorite, “Alakazam!” during Half-Off. As I mentioned in the past, I love how he's not pretty much close to shouting at the contestants to hurry up every few minutes. I'm not saying that with Bob, the show was never fun, but I do find that there’s such an abundance of joy on the show now. To me, more than before than in the past several years. I always make an effort to try to at least watch if I can’t tape as often as possible.

Of course Drew’s making some mistakes or will make a few more in the near future. One of the biggest reasons I love a lot of the game show hosts that I do is because of the fact that they simply weren’t perfect, knew they weren’t perfect, and didn’t try to be. And anyone who’s ever watched the show before Drew came along (especially in the last 5 or so years) would know that Bob was never perfect all the time on this show either. And then there’s the fact that Drew has had about 80 pricing games to work with in his start. When Price was first revived in 1972, by the end of the taping of week one, there were only five, that’s right, FIVE pricing games, which consisted of the following: Any Number, Double Prices, Grocery Game, Bullseye (I), and Bonus Game. So I think it’s only fair that I give Drew the chance to learn a few pricing games at a time.

There is one thing that really frustrates me though. I’m pretty much more than willing to accept other people’s opinions about why they don’t like Drew himself as a host even if I don‘t agree with them, but there’s one thing I simply do not understand. I don’t get how some people say they don’t like Drew and they just seem to blame the man for everything. It’s not Drew’s fault that the contestants are obnoxious. It’s not Drew’s fault that you don’t like the new version of the theme music. It’s not Drew’s fault that you don’t like the new camera angles for the “come on down” portion of the show. And it’s not Drew’s fault that you don’t like the new set. Other people are responsible for making those changes. If you dislike Drew as a host, then you don’t like his “Alakazam’s” during Half-Off, his banter with Rich, his laugh, or his handling of the contestants, or anything that Drew does. If you don’t like the man on this show, I honestly think that some folks should at least try to be fair and at least blame him for something that HE does.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

GSN’s Viewer’s Choice Marathon: Review

The game show fans voted daily early in November, and this is what we got: classic goodness!

The marathon itself was as follows:
9:00 am - Family Feud (“September” answer episode, 1980)
9:30 am - Tattletales (CBS Soap episode featuring Meg Ryan, 1982)
10:00 am - Super Password (Tournament of Champions finale, 1985)
10:30 am - Card Sharks (One five-figure money cards win, 1986)
11:00 am - Match Game (“Cuckoo, Friend, and Ollie,” 1979)
11:30 am - Trivia Trap (Fact or fiction/agree or disagree format, 1984)
12:00 pm - Password Plus (Tom Kennedy and Elaine Joyce, 1979)
12:30 pm - Press Your Luck (Veronica, who‘s no longer a mortician, 1984)
1:00 pm - Password (Second tournament of champions, 1967)
1:30 pm - Card Sharks (Two five-figure money card wins, 1979)
2:00 pm - Wheel of Fortune (Last day before the Jackpot space debuted, 1996)
2:30 pm - Let’s Make a Deal (Last Hilton show, and last episode of the series, 1977)
3:00 pm - Hot Potato (Accountants vs. Car Saleswomen, 1984)
3:30 pm - Match Game PM (Big money win, 1975)
4:00 pm - Treasure Hunt (Contestant faints, 1974)
4:30 pm - Jackpot! (Super Jackpot! Win, 1989)
5:00 pm - Bullseye (Big Bonus Island win, 1981)
5:30 pm - The Joker’s Wild (Hal and his lucky suit, 1978)
6:00 pm - Tic Tac Dough (An early episode with Thom McKee, 1980)
6:30 pm - The $100,000 Pyramid ($100,000 Tournament win, 1987)

I really enjoyed this marathon. I'd say the big favorites were Bullseye, Hot Potato, Wheel of Fortune, Tattletales, Password, both Card Sharks episodes, Treasure Hunt, and Jackpot. They really picked good episodes for the most part.

I always thought both Hot Potato and Bullseye were good before the celebrities came. One of the things that made Hot Potato unique was the fact that they had three people on each team who had the same careers. Of course, this factor was gone when the stars came. And while the idea of seeing Marla Gibbs and Harvey Korman playing Bullseye is kind of fun, at the same time it also suffered that the game was much slower, and some days Bonus Island was not even played. Let’s also not forget the fact that celebrities would play on these shows for the remainders of their run. I can take a good week or so, or have a few weeks out of the year with all-star fun like the various Passwords have done, but the idea of it being all day everyday is a major turn-off. I’d have thought Barry & Enright would have learned their lesson after the demise of Bullseye.

While I was hoping that hoping a more vintage episode of Wheel of Fortune would air instead of something kind of recent, I thought it was still enjoyable. I loved seeing one of the contestants come from behind so well after landing on Lose-A-Turn. To me it’s always a bit awkward seeing episodes from the late ‘90’s with the older wheel with no backdrops, the egg crate score displays still there, and eventually all this with the electronic puzzle board. And I was never a fan of the 1995-97 variation of “Changing Keys.” However, I will take the mid-late ‘90’s era any day over what’s on now. Wheel of Fortune first-run today I can enjoy every once in a while, but I don't have the "got to watch every night" feeling with this show anymore. It’s gotten way more extravagant than it should. Part of the reason why I enjoy most of the older eras of the show so much is because of the simplicity. And the reason why I say that the ‘90’s era is still somewhat enjoyable is because even though changes were made, the show still had that level of simplicity.

I had no idea off-hand that the CBS version of Password ever did a tournament of any kind, so I was pleasantly surprised to see an episode of this. And from Television City in Hollywood, no doubt.

Being a soap fan (and mostly a classic one at that), Tattletales was fun for me. And it was nice seeing Meg Ryan. I’ve been waiting to see an episode from this week for a long time.

Then you have the big money wins on both episodes of Card Sharks. Five-figure money card wins on this show are always a blast, especially on the Perry version because they didn’t happen as often as they did on the 1980’s versions. Intense moments like this show how great of a host Jim Perry is, and even though I’m not the biggest fan of Bob Eubanks on Card Sharks, he could be enjoyable for me on his version from time to time and he can handle suspense and tension very well. Both on this show and Trivia Trap.

Treasure Hunt was just awesome. This series showed us how great Geoff was as a host. Geoff is another emcee that is great at building suspense. And then there’s the fact that he had to memorize at least two dozen skits for the show. Just when you think a game is over, it’s not. Never think “that’s it, that’s all she got” with this show, because at least ninety percent of the time you’ll be wrong.

Jackpot! is my second favorite Bob Stewart show after Pyramid, so it was nice seeing another episode of that. I’m a bigger fan of the ‘70’s era, but the ‘80’s version was fun in itself. I enjoy Geoff Edwards on this show much more than Mike Darrow. This series shows how fun riddles can be and it’s a show that Camouflage could have learned from. That was a show that had some of the most difficult riddles and plays on words I’ve ever seen. It’s too bad the syndication company for Jackpot! went bankrupt. We could have gotten another year of this show at least. It’s something I’d love to see on the weekend schedule sometime.

While I was kind of hoping that we’d see something from a different season of $100,000 Pyramid or better yet $25,000 Pyramid or something from the ‘70’s era, they did pick a good episode and big money wins are always great to see.

The only real disappointment I had was with the episode of Trivia Trap that aired. I’m not a fan of the fact or fiction/agree or disagree main game. While the $1,000 Trivia Race and the bonus round were still there, for me it just didn’t feel the same anymore. At least there was a $10,000 win during the bonus, so that helped out a bit.

One other nitpick: Why was the Price Is Right logo on during the commercial bumpers? That show wasn’t even on the ballot, and most fans know that GSN can no longer air it. Not even under a special circumstance like this one. And sadly, this includes any version; even the Cullen version that aired on NBC and ABC.

Seeing this event really has me wishing we could see Jackpot!, Hot Potato, or another season and/or era of Pyramid on the weekend schedule sometime.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

ATWT: Bye-bye, Daddie (and this time, don't come back)!

Summary and analysis for November 20, 2007.

Luke doesn’t think he felt anything but Noah disagrees and says giving up is pathetic. He also says that he doesn’t want a terminally depressed boyfriend. Note the word, “boyfriend.” The mood becomes so much better with that word. Luke didn’t know where things stood, but it’s obvious that things are better than originally thought. Noah gets a call from Dallas at Oakdale P.D. Noah is informed that his father’s being transferred to prison and that he might want to stop by and say goodbye. Noah wants nothing to do with him but Luke thinks otherwise. Noah mentions that anything would have been better than growing up with him. Luke tells him to go there, look him in the eye, and say to him that he can’t hurt him anymore.

Noah arrives on the interrogation room with Winston, who is handcuffed to the table in an orange jump suit. Winston is STILL implying about Luke being the deviant who’s trying to make Noah as sick as he is. Back at Fairwinds, Holden and Lily get a call from Luke who says he needs help. Holden is on his way and Lily leaves with him. And in comes Luke as Winston‘s continuing. “Don’t waste your life on some perverted trash like this,” yadda, yadda, yadda, blazĂ© blah. “What he does is a sin!” Luke points out whether or not sin was thought out when he tried to kill him. “THAT IS ENOUGH! NOAH AND I ARE TOGETHER AND YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT!” Winston then says that he won’t have a pervert like him lecture him on morality. Noah tells him to stop calling Luke names. Then we have Daddie replying with “He has you under some kind of spell.” (Okay, so, what, Luke’s a warlock now?) Now enraged and in tears, Luke stands up in his chair and says “I LOVE YOUR SON! AND WE’RE NOT AFRAID TO LET THE WORLD SEE THAT! THIS IS RIGHT, ME AND NOAH TOGETHER, AND YOU, LOCKED UP IN A PRISON WHERE YOU BELONG!” Winston reaches for Luke and Noah pushes him back and in walks Dallas to restrain him, and Holden and Lily walk in.

Luke realizes that he was so angry while confronting the Colonel, he didn’t realize that he was standing up. Holden offers to take Luke back home, but Noah says he wants to do it. On the way out of the interrogation room, they run into an old friend of the Mayer family, Major Gerard McLane. Noah introduces Luke, but nervously, not as his boyfriend. McLane knew Noah and Winston long ago and heard the news about Winston, and Noah wonders why anyone from the military would show up after everything that‘s happened in the past several months. After all, Col. Winston Mayer is a murderer, and his son is gay. So he wouldn’t think anyone there related there would show up. Maj. McLane says that his father served with great courage and that he was a hero, but not anymore. He also mentions that what he did to Noah and Luke was unforgivable and that there’s nothing wrong with Noah being who he is, and he wanted to Noah to understand that. The army is there to help… (insert by Luke) as long as he doesn’t want to join up. McLane mentions that we never know, things could change. Noah has never felt less alone in his life.

As Winston Mayer is finally being hauled away from Oakdale P.D. and over to the big house, Noah‘s got some more things to say. Oh, Noah’s not done yet. Daddie’s shut him up for too long and he’s going to hear him now. He blamed himself for all the horrible things the Colonel did because he thought he was just covering for his mistakes. But then he realized that he and his mother were just being human. And we have Winston cutting in saying “Human, is that what they call it these days?” (Cue the eye roll). Noah feels sorry for Winston because he’ll never know what love is. Noah’s informs his father that he’ll be making his own decisions and doing what he wants to do, and there’s not a damn thing Daddie can do about it. You go, boy!

Now let’s see. We have Noah, who’s with someone who truly loves him for who he is, and he‘s got supportive people on his side. He’s finally leading the life he wants to lead and he’s going to pursue his own goals as well. And we have Winston, who’s in an orange jump suit ready to be hauled away for a LONG time, and while he’s talking to Luke and Noah he’s freakin’ handcuffed to a table. Who’s leading a worse life? I’ll leave it up to you to see who’s going down the right and wrong paths. It’s just too much of a gimme. And yay, hand holding when Luke comes in the room. And more hand holding and later on. Wow! And of course, I was cheering Noah and Luke on loudly as they both told Daddie Dearest off. Noah has really changed for the better. He’s got such a backbone now. He would have never stood up to Daddie three months ago.

I was really impressed and surprised with the part with Maj. McLane. While I was definitely sure that he’d be more humane than Winston, I really wasn’t expecting him to also say there’s nothing wrong with Noah being gay and having a boyfriend as well. The military may have their Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, but this is another instance that shows that not everyone who works there is behind it and agrees with it. While Col. Mayer may have done astounding work during his service, the crimes he committed and the lives he wrecked in the process pretty much erase any positive thing he‘s ever done. I know some people were upset that Winston’s character would give the army a horrible name. But it seems they made sure that that would not wind up happening in the end. The writers get major kudos from me on that.

This is what I was talking about before that was lacking previously. The emotion and the feelings were all there, one hundred percent of the time. Both acting AND dialogue wise. Van and Jake did an outstanding job. They can act out The Yellow Pages and make it work. Like I’ve mentioned before, even if the writing for a certain scene or day isn’t great, I feel they still do a good job delivering. And Daniel-Hugh Kelly, wow, you’re still making me hate Winston Mayer and making me wanting to throw things at the TV, so I know you did your job, too. And I just love that I complained so much about lack of affection the last week, and here we are now with hand holding like crazy. Today was a good day for me, at least as far as this storyline went.

ATWT: Charlene’s Package for Noah

(I wrote this as well as the other most recent ATWT article earlier but due to a family emergency, I was unable to post)

Here’s a summary and analysis for the episode that aired on November 15.

As we start, Holden and Lily arrive at the Snyder farm to tell Luke, Faith, and Natalie that they are getting a divorce (again). Lily insists that they’ll still be together as a family, but Faith doesn’t buy it, wants to stay with Holden and Luke at the farm, thinking that Lily will just go off to be with Dusty, and then she leaves in frustration.

Noah arrives at the police station where we also have Dallas (now played by a new actor) and desperate out-of-work lawyer Bonnie. A package has come for him, apparently from his mother, Charlene (a.k.a. Cheri) which contains some of her personal effects. Bonnie tells Noah that if he needs any help with the estate, to let her know. It turns out the package was sent by Ruth Mason from Memphis, Tennessee. Ruth was Charlene’s only sister. Noah says he doesn’t want the box, but with a little encouragement from Dallas, he takes it. Dallas insisted that if he doesn’t take the package, it’s like his father gets his way, which is true. The box could tell a lot about his mother. Dallas tells him not to open it alone, and do it with a friend.

Back at the farm, Noah runs into Holden with the box and Holden tells him that he needs a friend. Noah opens the box with Luke and we first find a little wooden statue that Charlene took to remember him by. Then there are a bunch of letters that were unopened that Charlene sent to him, that were apparently sent back by dear ol’ Dad (ugh, the swine!!). One of the letters from her states that Winston ruined her life and not to let him ruin his, and to believe in himself and never let him feel ashamed for being who he is. She also says that she never should have let him take Noah away; and that he should have been with two loving parents who didn’t judge him. She’s sorry she wasn’t there. Noah doesn’t understand why she could become a prostitute and that the letters make her sound decent. And that he’ll never forgive his dad for this. Luke says that maybe he should meet with his aunt, but Noah doesn’t believe that will do anything. Noah doesn’t want to talk about it anymore; and Luke doesn’t want to talk about his parents splitting up. Noah suggests that they do something physical instead. Cut to Luke’s classic facial expression as he says “like what?.” Of course, he meant physical therapy. As he helps Luke move his legs, by the end of the exercise, Luke says that his legs are sore. Noah wonders if that was just a figure of speech or can Luke actually feel his legs.

To be honest, I was mostly rather disappointed with the day’s scenes for several reasons, particularly at the farm. First of all, someone needs to inform Holden that Luke and Noah are more than just friends, they’re in a relationship now. Secondly, the scenes with Noah reading the letter and going through the package seemed rather rushed. The letter written by Charlene was rather sweet and that was well done and very emotional, but I was honestly expecting more from the writers when it came to the scene as a whole. Then at the end during Luke’s exercise routine, to me there should have been more of a celebration. I mean, for God’s sake, Luke can FINALLY FEEL HIS LEGS. Why no cheering? Why no kissing? Why no hugging? Not even a measly little high-five?! Where was the hand holding (or something) after Noah read his late mother’s letter? Come on! The powers that be really need to write more affectionate bits in. I’m not asking for too much. A simple hug or a kiss is all I want. They have no reason to be afraid now. They kissed twice and had a freaking towel fight -- shirtless and dripping wet. We’ve already seen some of the hottest stuff between them so far. While there were some lamebrain “EWW, G3T DOZE QU33R B0iS 0FF MY TEEVEEEEE!” reactions by the ’phobes, the response overall was mostly positive and they got a lot of praise. Van himself has said that he’s only gotten a few negative letters compared to the many positive ones. Van and Jake have no problem doing scenes like this. Their first kiss made major news; it was all over Soap Opera Digest and magazines like it. It was also covered on Entertainment Tonight the day before it aired. It was watched by hundreds of thousands of people on YouTube. There should be no reason at all why there would be any doubt when it comes to this department. It was definitely a huge milestone for daytime. I was literally counting down in excitement until the first kiss between them actually happened (ask almost any close friend I instant message with and they’ll confirm this). And the second time I had near the same excitement. But it shouldn’t be a big deal anymore. Again, like a number of other Luke/Noah fans, I don’t ask for much. A peck on the cheek or on the lips, and hugging is all that I really want.

While I did enjoy some of the scenes from this whole paralysis storyline, for the most part I was rather let down. Reason being, for one, while the action scenes I thought were well done by the actors, we never got an official cause of Luke’s paralysis. We don’t know if the Colonel shot him and then he fell down weird, or if he just had a bad fall in the struggle. Then we have the problem of it being so rushed. To be honest, it was a combination of it being rushed and them not being on enough, if that makes sense… I’ll explain. In October and November, we were pretty much back to them only being on once or twice per week (mostly once), which means that it took so long to see them compared to other characters, and when we did see them, a lot of the scenes, like the one I summarized, were rather rushed. If they were going to have a bunch of rewrites, changes, or what have you, they were better off just making Luke hurt pretty badly, but not paralyzed. Let’s say, instead of being paralyzed, how about he breaks his leg or foot instead. Not that I want our good buddy Luke hurt in any way, but that could have been played out as much more believable, especially if they were going to be on so little. And when they do go away for a week, often it’s at the WORST possible time. You don’t leave the audience at a bigger than normal cliffhanger and then have them wait between three days to a week to get it resolved. And when I say I want to see them more, they don’t have to be on every single day of the week. Two to three times per week, tops, will satisfy this fan. It doesn’t have to be all day, everyday. And my biggest complaint of all -- NOT ENOUGH LUCINDA. Seriously. They are so close, and she was barely there in the hospital and didn’t visit him at the Snyder farm ONCE. There could have been great scenes with she and Noah when he was still in the closet. Come on, writers, work on that.

There was one thing I did love though besides ‘s letter. The way Luke looked at Noah when he read ’s letter. And Luke’s face when Noah said “Let’s do something physical” -- PRICELESS. The chemistry between Jake and Van never disappoints me and the acting doesn’t either. They make Noah and Luke together believable and even if the writing in a scene or two disappoints me, the acting pretty much never will.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

As The World Turns: If at first you don't succeed...

Here’s a summary for Nuke episodes of As The World Turns, both for the weeks of October 31 and November 7 and 8. It seems as though we’re back to only once or twice a week. Ugh.

On the week of Halloween, Noah visits wheelchair-bound Luke at the Snyder farm, Luke is frustrated that he’s in the shape he’s in and that he can’t even do simple things for himself. For instance, he broke a glass and he was furious that he couldn’t clean it up. Despite all the frustration, Noah is doing his best to be there for him. He tries to help him get his mind off of things, for instance, getting him to close his eyes and imagine his favorite Halloween moment, no matter how lame it seems, and in the process, he‘s helping him exercise his legs. Noah suggests that they go in town to celebrate Halloween. They meet there, with Lily wheeling Luke there, but he sends her away because he doesn’t want to be seen being wheeled in by his mom; she understands, and runs into Dusty. Noah and Luke find a table, and Luke wants to get out of his chair and sit at one, and while he tries to get up, he falls. Looks like our brave trooper forgot to put the brake on. And Noah’s facial expression is of sheer horror. When Noah tries to help him, very scornfully he snaps “Don’t touch me!” Noah is crushed and Dusty is seen from behind and they go off and talk. I have to admit, it’s really nice seeing Dusty as the mentor. Luke is now back at the farm again with Lily. She tells him that Noah is just worried and that his reaction was understandable. Heck, he was just embarrassed is all and that Noah will probably know that if he says so. She tells him to call Noah. Luke knows he was wrong to yell at Noah and he thinks that he hates him for it. Noah comes back and Luke is still upset. Luke’s now upset because Noah’s not really telling him how he feels. And when Noah does (about how scared he was during the fall), Luke says that it’s not working and asks him to leave. Wow, didn’t expect a break-up. How interesting though. Now Luke thinks that after an unfortunate moment that Noah doesn’t want to be with him. My, how the tables have turned.

On the week of November 7th and 8th, Luke is frustrated that his physical therapy is not working out for him so far and he wants to give up, and he doesn‘t want to talk about it either. Luke thinks that Noah just pities him and nothing more. But with the help of Lily and Holden, Noah is brought back to the farm. Holden and Lily spar a bit, but Lily insists that they work together. When they find Noah, he’s afraid that Luke wouldn’t want to see him. Go, Lily. She’s not leaving until they talk to him. But Noah realizes that Luke must be worse off than him. When Noah sees Luke again, they talk and Noah says that maybe he needs someone who doesn’t want to fake anything. It’s not pity. Noah couldn’t get him out of his head in the beginning because of what a good guy he was, not because he can walk. Noah also tells him how much he helped him realize and deal with everything in the past and to be a man about it all, and now it’s time for Luke to do the same.

It was tough watching them have another rough period, but at the same time, angst is one of the best things about watching a soap couple. Jake and Van show how good they can act in a conflict scene. To be honest, I was a bit peeved initially by what sparked this whole argument, but looking back at the episodes to analyze them, I’m a bit more understanding of things. Luke is not just putting on a pretty face and just smiling his way through it all; it’s really getting hard and he has to deal with it.

Dialogue-wise, I was impressed with Noah’s speech about why he loves Luke. He still thinks that he’s strong. He appreciates and respects him for how honest he is, not because he’s a man with full use of his own two legs. Luke is living proof of how things can change for the better, despite the obstacles that come their way.

There’s one thing that I’m not getting now. It’s not established clearly where Noah is living. At first I thought he was probably staying at Fairwinds with Dusty’s help, or something like that, but it doesn’t seem that way. When he’s not at the Snyder farm, he’s at a park bench. That is not good. Hopefully he’s not living in a truck.

Interesting things coming soon, today looks to be a really good day for our couple, and next week, Daniel Hugh-Kelly will be returning and Luke will confront the Colonel. As much as I had fun praising Kelly’s acting and bashing the character, I do admit this part of the story still would have been better if he didn’t go on a wild murderous rampage, but, I’m sure the next time we see this fellow, he’ll be in jail where he belongs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


As I’m sure you know by now, the WGA writers’ strike is underway, and I honestly do not know how to feel on this completely. Especially since I am an aspiring writer. This affects pretty much almost everything. This has so many negative results to it, it’s not even funny. Even if you’re a soap or late night talk show fan. I never realized how much things will change until I realized that so many series are affected by this. In a nutshell, the writers want residuals from the shows they participate in; their DVD and Internet download sales.

Late night shows (i.e. The Late Show, The Tonight Show) as of last night are already in reruns.

Later on down the line, soaps could be replaced with sports coverage. Something the genre truly does not need to help redeem itself and get some of its fans back. They say that they have enough scripts to go through January.

Scrubs may not get a proper finale. I admit I don’t watch that show every week and I am not a huge fan, but at the same time it is just wrong for a show to have no real closure after being on the air for seven seasons. That is just completely wrong. Nothing more in the television industry ticks me off more than the idea of a show lasting years and years, and it just vanishes off the airwaves with no true end. The fans don’t deserve that.

It’s been a known fact that networks could decide after awhile that instead of just airing reruns, we could be seeing more reality shows since our favorites are now in hiatus. I hate this idea. And heaven knows I am sick of reality shows. To be frank, I’ll be damned before I start watching reality-filled blocks where my favorite prime time shows should be. That genre has just gotten old. I will watch old VHS tapes and DVDs any day of the week instead.

Though the conflicted feelings lie here: as a consumer, I am appalled at some of the current regular prices of DVD sets, and that is pretty much why my TV on DVD collection is rather low. It is all because of price. I would buy more in a much regular and faster pace in a heartbeat if I could afford to do it often. And whenever I buy something, it is when it’s an extreme bargain. For example, this past weekend I saw season 1 of The Golden Girls at Target for only $19.99, so I took advantage of that deal. A huge part of me fears that if the writers get paid more, this could cause the price of DVD's to become even higher. Then there’s another part of me thinking, “Meh, if they do get it, it won’t be so bad. Big companies like Viacom and Sony should be able to afford to give the writers the raises they want without having the consumer be screwed over in the end. After all, actors have gotten raises over the years and the DVD costs didn‘t skyrocket.” And fans deserve to have their favorite series on DVD without having to shovel out too much money. I also think, if I do become successful in the industry and work for a show that’s been on for years... in the end that it becomes canceled and I am able to find other work, I could need the residuals to help me out. I can definitely see the concern with that.

This has really made me think in the past couple of days.