I really love As the World Turns right now. A sentiment I should save for my work blog? Probably. But exuberance waits for no man, dammit! Tempus fugit!
The show is in top form (except in the diversity department, but talking about like that is like talking in a vacuum…”in space, no one can hear you scream”). The Carly/Jack/Janet/Dusty/Parker/Liberty tale is a heartfelt one of six people trying to make the best of things — and six actors doing amazing work. The blooming reunion of Carjack — complete with Jack trying to be the hero but hurting everyone in the process (that is SO Jack) and Carly struggling with sainthood versus, well, being Carly — is the linchpin. I’ve said it before, but Michael Park and Maura West can move story forward without even speaking! Janet and Dusty have won me over, because they make each other laugh and there’s an earnest quality to their interaction. I know where Janet’s coming from, even if I don’t particularly like some of her choices. Julie Pinson is totally selling Janet’s Liberty First mentality. And speaking of Liberty, I honestly never thought that I’d be this invested in her and Parker. I’m not a huge fan of teen stories and the introductory rebellion and teen marriage was such a “zzzzzz” for me. This past year changed all of that. Mick Hazen and Meredith Hagner have been luminous, human and so achingly funny and their characters are often the most mature in Oakdale.
Sure, the Mick/Stenbeck storyline was ten shades of weird — and gross, to boot — but Tom Pelphrey was great, proving he can step outside the confines of GL’s Jonathan. He sparked with Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara) and worked well with Roger Howarth (Paul), Kelley Menighan Hensley (Emily), and Marnie Schulenburg (Alison). And it was no less bizarre a story than the Rick Decker poisoning/virus arc of a few years ago or James Stenbeck’s most recent return, where we learned Henry is his son. Plus, how can I fault a storyline that gives us a ton of Ryan, Hughes and Stewart face time?
I love Holden and Molly; they’re probably my favorite couple right now. Holden’s such a fuddy-duddy (I mean that fondly!) and I love what impulsive, snarky Molly brings out in him. The polar opposites really balance each other out, and Jon Hensley and Lesli Kay are fabulous together. I know that, theoretically, I should be rooting for a Lilden reunion by the end of the series, but I actually hope Lily finds someone brand-new, not connected to her past…or, hey, this is a new one for soaps: ends as a successful, independent, single woman. Let’s get her back at WorldWide, involve her in her kids’ problems, and have her tell all the controlling guys in her life to stick it where the sun don’t shine.
Or she could hire Reid to do that for her, since he’s so good at telling it like it is. I love that the acerbic doc is involved with multiple characters and providing a bridge between them. Since Reid doesn’t exist in a bubble, we have access to Noah/Luke, Katie and Henry and Dr. Bob and Kim. And the more Dr. Bob we see, the better. Don Hastings is a jewel and the daytime landscape will be sorely lacking in richness without him and Kathryn Hays. And, lest we forget, Henry and Katie’s story also involves Barbara and Paul, and occasional Snyder interaction for Katie, so it all comes back around in a circle.
See, that’s what I love the most about ATWT: It feels like a bunch of regular people going about their lives. People who run into each other in Old Town and know each other’s relatives and have awkward interaction with their exes or rivals. Sure, crazy, soapy stuff happens, but outside the presumed death and the brainwashing, I frequently feel like I’m sitting at Emma’s kitchen table, just watching family members deal with their day.
That I won’t be hanging out at the Snyder farm, or the Lakeview, come September is something I’m not ready to face!