Tricks, treats and Dorian’s big, gay wedding

I was watching As the World Turns today, and I kept flipping over to One Life to Live during the commercials to get hits like a crack addict needing a fix. And, well, I missed a lot, so I rewatched the big, gay wedding tonight (I love that absolutely everybody, in Llanview and offscreen, is calling it that).

Téa implying the awesome Ross Rayburn is dangerous (gee, we know where this is going) and the Mannings as the Fantastic Four aside (Todd, I know Reed Richards, and you, sir, are no Reed Richards), I was really entertained. So much character-based work, so many gems in terms of dialogue. And, no, I’m not just talking about Kyle and Fish. Other aspects were really wonderful as well. The pair-up of David and Destiny and their quest to rescue Matthew is genius. Tuc Watkins brings the best out in young Shenell Edmonds; they’re hilarious together and the bond really allows David to show his gentle side. Having David reflect on his relationship with Dorian (while flying coach — gasp!) as Dorian did much the same amidst the cacophony of the mass wedding was perfect. Then there is the power pairing of Bo and Nora. Robert S. Woods and Hillary B. Smith are still magic together. How great was Nora trying to rationalize their kisses while Bo called her “Red,” and ultimately confessed he still loves her? (I confess, I may have gotten a little weak-kneed, Mr. Woods. Well played.)

Even the teens, who I have no real investment in, in were fabulous. Unlike their PSA-style discussion of Big Gay Issues of a few days ago, their scenes today were sweet and organic. I cracked up when Markko and Cole awkwardly announced they love each other and then a beaming Langston and Starr joined them.

Langston: I’ve always wanted to be Mrs. Starr Manning.
Starr: Oh, honey, you didn’t tell me you were taking my name!

And, yes, now is when I talk about Fish. I thought his fit  a few weeks back with Ross in the Llanview PD squad room was eyebrow-raising, but his outburst today beats all. Sure it may have been a tad bit over-the-top, but Fish has about 25 years of repressing these emotions to make up for. And they all came pouring forth as he outed himself to everyone and blasted the protesters for their bigotry. Scott Evans sold it so well. A beautiful companion to Fish’s tirade was Kyle in the background, Brett Claywell’s face speaking volumes, as he restlessly played with the rabbit’s foot Roxy had given him for luck.

It was an hour full of big moments and little moments…all of which added up to one really effective episode.

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9 thoughts on “Tricks, treats and Dorian’s big, gay wedding

  1. I agree with you, I loved everything else about today’s show. Hell, this entire week was awesome soapy goodness (minus all of the Tea/TAWD/Blair crap).

    I know that folks have issues with Shenell (I was one of them), but I’ve grown to like her as Destiny. Why shouldn’t this young and budding actress continue to grow and develop on the show, in the storylines that she’s involved in?

    There are tons of other newbie actresses/actors, who are way older than she and they’re not anymore talented that she is, they’re just older and probably hotter and prettier.

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    • My soap week in general is better if I ignore the existence of Todd’s storyline. In my imaginary world, Téa and Blair are dating Elijah and Ross and they’re a generally awesome foursome. Todd who? :)

      Shenell is learning and growing in leaps and bounds, much like other young actors before her. I think the disadvantage comes in with Eddie and Kristen Alderson having been there for YEARS, you know? They were so much younger when they started that I think there’s some impatience from viewers that others in their age group aren’t as at ease. Meanwhile, I’m already ridiculously protective of Destiny and annoyed that Danielle may be stealing her man! LOL!

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      • I think that Danielle might probably end up becoming Destiny’s best gal pal, while also dealing with her own feelings towards Matthew.

        That little actress DOES have fabulous hair and she looks like she could be the offspring of TAWD and Tea.

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      • Kelley Missal does look like Florencia Lozano and Trevor St. John! I just think Danielle being Todd and Téa’s child is SO unnecessary.

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  2. Hi Mala,

    First off, hope you had a great Halloween!

    Thanks for remembering Oliver’s freakout at the LPD a few weeks back when he apprehended Ross and had a shouting match of sorts with Elijah, which took me (and, evidently, the entire precinct) by surprise as well. That Oliver can be the drama queen when the occasion arises, that’s for sure.

    I know I joked with you about Oliver’s Angel Square outburst as Oliver’s “Karen Wolek moment” and, of course, it’s hard to top Judith Light’s performance, which is one of the “top moments” in all of daytime television history. Having said that, Scott Evans really must have drawn from somewhere deep in his personal experience because his pleas toward and anger at the anti-gay marriage protesters (led by the hilarious and huge LGBT supporter, Jackie Hoffman, who was clearly playing a character so unlike herself) were a tad too hard-hitting. It seemed as if Scott was using Oliver to have a catharsis of sorts, and the results were remarkable for the Oliver character and how his words and actions affected everyone who witnessed him.

    And Kyle’s face said it all. Sure, Nick pulled a bait and switch on him when Nick announced that the marriages would be legal (though that’s a big boo-boo for me because in order to do that, Dorian would first need to win the election, direct the county clerk to issue a license and at that future time, at which point Kyle could reject Nick’s proposal because the mass weddings were unlicensed marriages in the first place and I don’t licenses issued after a wedding has taken place can be given nunc pro tunc validity – but that’s a minor quibble) but Brett telegraphed clearly where Kyle’s heart lies. And as much as I like Nick, he’s not the one Kyle’s heart is beating for. Kudos also to Ilene Kristen’s Roxy for being a true (and, well, the only) friend to Kyle.

    I too enjoyed the teens, for a change, as well as Tuc Watkins’s magic because I was able to tolerate the Destiny character due to David’s ability to relate to someone who, at least in soapland, could be his grandchild. It was also a pleasure to reminisce along with Dorian and David as both reflected on their relationship.

    I remain optimistic that ABC will realize what a treasure it has in ONE LIFE TO LIVE, that it begin giving this show the support it so deserves and that it be treated and respected like its sister soaps on the alphabet network. As you said several issues of SOW ago, OLTL is the de facto crown jewel of ABC’s soap lineup.

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  3. Mala, I started watching OLTL again based on your raves about it, and have not regretted it one bit! (Well, with the caveat that I completely ignore the Bermuda Triangle known as T/B/T.)

    One thing that I really loved about Oliver’s meltdown is that it seemed to come from an organic place, rather than simply being a reaction to his soulmate marrying someone else. Last-minute wedding interruptions are a dime a dozen in the soap world, and when I found out that Oliver would have his big meltdown at Nick and Kyle’s nuptials, I worried. I suspected that it might take place at the “Speak now or forever hold your peace” moment, with Oliver acting in desperation to appease Kyle. Kyle didn’t exactly offer an ultimatum during their scenes on Tuesday, but he was a bit passive-aggressive asking Oliver “Do YOU want to marry me?” He told Oliver he wasn’t trying to rush him, but I feared that his description of the kind of man he needs at this point in his life would artificially induce Oliver to make a choice he was not ready for. I love that Oliver ultimately made his declaration in order to stand up for his own sense of justice and his own personal truth. It was something that he believed wholeheartedly, and the outburst was fueled by his own need to express it. The fact that his declaration surpassed anything Kyle could have imagined in his wildest dreams was just a happy side effect, which I don’t think even occurred to Fish until he calmed down and had a chance to consider what he had done.

    Scott Evans and Brett Claywell delivered performances that were both outstanding and unique in their own ways. The raw edge in Scott’s voice as Oliver spat “Do not pity me! Pity yourselves!” back at the protesters revealed the anger that’s been boiling inside him (probably for years, as you pointed out). And while Fish finally found his voice, it was Brett Claywell’s nonverbals that were equally powerful and poignant. The crooked smile that swept across his face as Oliver proclaimed “I’m not afraid anymore!” was so tender and hopeful that it made my heart ache.

    Even though it requires some suspension of disbelief (hey, what doesn’t on a soap?), I love pretty much everything about the way the big gay wedding is playing out. Dorian and David’s longing and fear juxtaposed with Kyle and Fish’s is a very interesting parallel for the show to draw. I’m enjoying that angle. I also love seeing Cris and Layla show up to support Fish in his hour of need, as well as Roxy standing by her good friend Kyle (although I wish he had more friends on the canvas). Even the teens are an enjoyable addition to the festivities. I particularly like seeing Shane Morasco express interest and excitement over the chance to witness such a groundbreaking event. His “Well, duh” reaction to Roxy trying to explain about two guys kissing caught me by surprise last week, but I do think it’s an increasingly common reaction among today’s youth. It’s refreshing to see many of these issues dealt with so frankly in the context of daytime television, and I’m loving every minute of it!

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    • I’m so glad you gave OLTL a shot, Arista! I ignore the Bermuda Triangle, too, and there are other parts of the show that aren’t perfect, but it’s still incredibly watchable and has so much going for it.

      I agree that Fish’s tirade came from an organic place, though I wish we’d seen just a LITTLE more from the protesters to push him over the edge. I mean, I don’t know about anyone else, but “pervs on parade!” was hilariously mild. (And should probably be a band name…) And I’m happy it wasn’t about trying to stop Kyle and Nick’s wedding and really *was* about claiming his identity and sharing his respect and pride for all the people gathered in Angel Square. That said, I wouldn’t have minded a “speak now” meltdown either, because it would’ve been such a heterosexual soap wedding thing to do.

      Luckily, OLTL pulled that with today’s episode, and I love how they juxtaposed Kyle and Fish’s reunion with Dorian plowing ahead and marrying someone she doesn’t love.

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      • Mala, I’m a new viewer to OLTL and I’m still amazed at how good it is each and every day. And just when I think it can’t get better, it tops itself.

        I don’t think I’ve seen such a beautiful moment as Kyle’s speech to Oliver in a long, long time. I get choked up just thinking about it. This show has struck gold with Kyle and Oliver and I can’t wait to see where they go next.

        Even though I’m so upset with Bo and Nora for what they are doing to Matthew, I think their scenes today were wonderful where they admitted their love.

        I’m liking the Matthew/Danielle scenes too.

        But I’m having a hard time with Todd being so hurt and betrayed given his history. And having Tea weep and be all teary over him makes me ill. Does she REALLY think he’s going to love her more after learning about her lies? I just don’t see that happening.

        And the Sean/Rachel/Greg stuff is just boring. Rachel needs to be out of this storyline, Greg needs to be recast and Sean a new love interest.

        Overall though it was a good show. I’m really looking forward to the dark turn the show is about to take. It looks like it’s going to be great.

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      • I’m glad to see more people giving the show a shot, Anthony, especially since there is more to tune into than just Kyle and Fish. I love them, and they’re being written beautifully so far but I’m invested in Bo and Nora and David and Dorian, too.

        Kyle tearfully admitting he’s always loved Oliver was wonderful and poignant and I loved Oliver saying, “I do,” given the wedding setting. And that aerial kiss shot might seriously be my favorite visual on soaps in weeks.

        I like the Greg/Shaun/Rachel triangle a sight better than the Todd/Tea/Blair one, that’s for sure. Because at least the people in the first one are likable! Not thrilling TV, perhaps, but likable! And it frustrates me that we have two guys like Ross and Elijah, who are clearly better alternatives to Todd, playing second fiddle.

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