As The World Turns Weekly Blog!
Thoughts on the week of June 1-5.
I must admit that, until recently, I wasn’t the most regular watcher of As The World Turns. Like fellow CBS soap, Y&R, it’s a series which I have watched off and on for years, but never quite been able to devote myself to watching every day. So it’s with some nervousness that I take up this post. I’ve always felt that it takes a certain level of devotion to get under the surface of a soap. You really have to allow yourself to sink into its own particular little world and that takes time more than anything. So, if my observations seem a bit superficial, they probably are, but hopefully that will change in time.
The week concentrated on three plotlines, each with a distinct mood and style.
The death of Adam had its positive and negative aspects. The way that they set it up was great. Margo receiving a mysterious package from Afghanistan while Casey and his friends were joking around until the news came. There was a great specificity to the way that the characters were speaking earlier in the week. When they don’t have much to do, they have great personality and it shows in the way the scenes are written. When tragedy strikes, however, things really change. The general sense of disbelief and disconnectedness of the event was fascinating and believable. The death registered as something incredibly alien, something which didn’t really happen and it didn’t seem entirely plausible. After that, things got a little less convincing. Having Corporal Riley show up the way he did at the funeral seemed forced. He didn’t register as much of a person either, more like a cardboard cut-out with a running tape recorder. There was something almost nightmarishly weird about his post-memorial interactions with Margo while they talked about milk and cookies. I understand that it was supposed to make her look bereft and confused, but it was just odd and hollow. Then again, maybe that’s what they were going for. Maybe, considering her difficult relationship with Adam, it made more sense to play it that way.
In a completely different mood, and on what sometimes feels like a different show, Brad was running around town trying to convince Gina to let him adopt her baby. Katie misinterpreted this and assumed he was having an affair. She went to Vienna, they flipped out in unison and decided to run away. Even Henry got in on it, promptly showing up on Brad's doorstep to sock him in the mouth. Brad explained the situation, they tracked the women down and all was explained. But this comic plot quickly shifted. While shooting "Oakdale Now," Katie collapsed and was rushed to the hospital it turns out that she and the baby will be fine, but she has to stay in bed. That means that Vienna will be taking her place on the show. Henry immediately began getting jealous. One of the things that I find interesting about the relationship between these four characters is that they live, very much, in their own little world. So much so that its practically color coded into each of their scenes (black and blue for Katie and Brad, red and black for Henry and Vienna). But in addition to all of that, there's a very specific humor that passes between them. Vienna and Henry both tried their best to be benevolent this week, but it's not clear, for Henry especially, that this will last.
The rest of the week was consumed by Paul and Rosanna trying to elude Dusty and Bonnie. Although I don't really care that much about this story, there is something intriguing about the way they are playing it out. Maybe it's because they spent most of the week in a rather random little tourist trap town which was disturbingly reminiscent of where I grew up. Rosanna did everything she could to help Paul out. He wanted to shield her from prosecution but she wouldn't leave. He wanted to run off to Canada, the favored mid-economy escape destination on Daytime. She tried to be his conscience. He sent her off.
After walking the streets and complaining about the lack of fried food, Bonnie got mysteriously ill and Dusty put her to bed. They shared a grudging and gruff sexual tension (tension, not chemistry) but he seems to be more interested in finding the baby. They randomly bumped into Rosanna and dragged her back to town. Paul bargained with Meg to bring the baby back and escape prison. The entire story played a bit unevenly, at least partially because of the leap between studio and location shooting, and also because of the way that the dialog is written, alternating between terse question and answer format and more casual dialog. This worked against the plot developing the tension it needed and the reunion of Meg with child didn't feel like a climax to anything.
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