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Blogging From The Beacon.

Thoughts on the week of August 24-28.

We're down to the final three weeks of the show and things have become very eventful. Maybe I'm alone in feeling this, but the fact that the show is drawing to a close seems to drain some of the dramatic tension out of things as they unfold. There was a lot of charm and tenderness on the show this past week, but there was also the sense that things were just being filled in, as though the final picture was drawn and random details were just being dropped in before time runs out.

Mallet left, which was a bit sudden, though not unexpected given the way he's been treating Marina over the past couple of months. I don't think that many other people were all that surprised, or all that sad, about the breakup of one of the show's most unpopular pairings. Over the past few months, I've actually grown to find them interesting. They were used as comic fodder for most of their time on the show, but misery and stress really agreed with them and gave them a more believable emotional angst than anyone else had. They radiated frustration, which, while not particularly pleasant, allowed both actors some of the best work they've done on the show. Anyway, he left because he can't be a father to Henry while Shayne is around. This leaves Shayne and Marina to get involved.

Marina has other things to worry about as well. It turns out that her ex-boyfriend, Cyrus, was also her uncle's brother. Even if this doesn't make him a blood relative to her or Harley, it's still uncomfortably close. Ever since Cyrus came to town, people have wondered what his relationship to the place really was, even he's wondered about it. Now the mystery attraction has been revealed, although it wasn't explained in the most explicit way. There was a lot of vagueness and there are numerous unanswered questions about how, exactly, he can really be Jenna's son and Grady can be his adopted brother.

Incoherencies aside, it's another interesting example of one of the problems the show has had. It's hard to bring on characters who aren't related to people, which means that romances turn out to be pseudo incestuous. It wasn't always like that. Soaps used to bring in entire families, sometimes pushing old ones, and their fans, out. But as the audiences for soaps have dwindled, alienating who is left is too risky and the bed-hopping between a few tangentially related people becomes inevitable. When Reva slept with two generations of a family, it was supposed to be shocking and even a bit trashy. When Cyrus sleeps with a woman and her aunt, who he's not exactly related to, it's because there are two few people to go around.

Sometimes it works the way it's supposed to though. Take Olivia. After relationships with Alan, and two of his sons, she fell for the dead son's wife after taking his heart. Last week, she did her best to avoid the lady she loves but Nat seems to have been watching General Hospital and stole the idea to give her a romantic meal on a rooftop. It fizzled. Olivia spent most of the week hanging out, sharing some more nice little scenes with Josh. They teamed up to help Billy and Vanessa push ahead to their engagement. By the end of the week they were ready to start planning their wedding day. Billy and Vanessa are cute, though I would have sooner seen her with Matt. As much as I enjoy them, the timing unfortunately makes it feel like they are just tying up loose ends more than anything else.

Also last week, Blake and Frank continued to unknowingly flirt through an online dating service. It's cute too. Holly dropped by, very briefly, for what barely constituted a cameo appearance. It was nice to see her, even if it was a bit pointless. Other interesting bits were Jonathan trying to snap his mother out of her funk, and providing a rather bizarre imitation of his half-brother, and Rafe spontaneously deciding to join the army. While I find that believable for his character, that doesn't excuse the way it came out, but I guess that's inevitable for one of the most sketchily written characters on the show.

Last night was the Daytime Emmys. Jeff Branson (Shayne Lewis) took home an award, sharing it with GL alum Vincent Irrizary. I can't argue with giving Jeff an award, he's great, but the tribute to the show's history was a different matter altogether. Frankly, it hurt my feelings. It was a collection of virtually random clips thrown together and lasted maybe a minute, revealing virtually nothing about the show's rich history. Betty White's preamble contained more jokes about her age than statements about the show. The cast joining on stage for a standing ovation was brief and under-rehearsed. Of course, the Emmys were different this year. None of the networks who actually make the shows wanted them, even though it's essentially a publicity event. What does that say about the future? What does the fact that she show that started soaps and has been the longest running show in TV history getting such a shoddy commemoration say? I'm not sure I can spell out what it says in polite company. I know that Daytime is dying, but can't it at least have an Irish wake?

Anyway, those were my thoughts about last week. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below and remember that this is all in fun.

- Matt Purvis