Blogging From The Beacon.
Thoughts on the week of February 2-6.
After Doris began exploiting the lesbian issue for media coverage, Olivia blew up at her. It looks like she really does have feelings for Natalia after all. Exactly what they are isn't entirely clear but she did turn down a man this week because of it so I'll take that as a hint. For her part, Nat is pushing herself pretty hard into Frank's arms, which is uncharacteristic of her and seems like a sign she's running away from her feelings. So far, Nat and Olivia are turning into the most convincing love story since... um, Cyrus and himself?
Although I know some viewers find the possibility of a lesbian romance budding between two characters who have long been portrayed as hetero hard to swallow, I can tell you, from the lesbian couples I know, that their situation is quite commonplace. That's not why it's convincing though. It's convincing because Chappell and Leccia are two talented actresses who have just been waiting for something better to sink their teeth into. This time the writers have actually given this time to develop a properly nuanced relationship. It's common enough that two characters vie for something, hate each other at first, get played as opposites and end up in an affair. That's actually a cliché on the show. It usually comes off contrived and, worse, dull (just think of Cyrus and Marina) because it has been done so much it's lost most of the power it could have. But this time there is ambiguity and controversy in the matter and that makes it work the way soap plots are supposed to work.
Meanwhile, two other soap story mainstays aren't working quite as well – the return of the wounded son and the return of the reformed villain. Edmund and Shayne got together, opened up and talked about Lara and decided to build a hospital together. Everyone in the Lewis clan backed off a little but Dinah is staying involved with the two of them. Since she and Edmund have long been the scourges of Springfield, having them team up like this has some potential. I just hope the 'reformed' Edmund soon breaks down and goes back to his true nature. I really want this to work, but, so far, I'm not so sure. Perhaps now that he and Shayne have a bond, the family will start to force things to unravel.