As The World Turns Weekly Blog
As The Word Turns.
Thoughts on the week of November 16-20.
It was a consistent week. Even though the manic pace of the plots can be a bit overwhelming, there was a successful balance of moods that kept things from falling apart.
Mysterious Mick. Mick was back to make his pitch for Barbara. We still don’t know anything about him, but he certainly ratcheted up the creepy factor pretty quick. He made a pass at Babs, which may have just been salesmanship, but it got her back up. He also made a pass at Ali. Adding to the charm was the fact that his face was caked in blood at the time. Mick seems prone to nose bleeds, in spite of running around with a miracle cure-all, and refuses to see a doctor about them, which suggests that he could have some kind of neurological problem. He does have enough brains to scowl derisively at Casey though.
Mad Meg. Meg was in the closet to witness Lily asking Damian to move in with her and play house. Meg’s face as she listened to them was utterly hilarious. It was actually a completely fascinating scene that played like a blackly humorous bedroom farce. Even the background music referenced the sex comedies of the 40s and the theme of “Basic Instinct.” Watching her make Damian squirm at the hospital was also a delight. Even if Meg is acting desperate, it’s a vengeful, in control, kind of desperation, and that’s a lot more attractive than what she’s been up to lately. All the same, why Meg is like this is kind of bewildering. I know that Meg was never the most stable of people, but it really wasn’t until Paul lost his personality and then it spontaneously came back reformed that she fell so much for Damian. Previous to that, she was far more reluctant, she was more obsessed with Eliza, and he was doing all of the chasing. I’m really curious to see if this snap ever gets explained.
The Nuke explosion. After a tiff, fireworks went off in Noah‘s face and the filmmaker was blinded. He was angry at Luke for his role in getting Mason dismissed and messing up his project. To make amends, Damian decided he should adopt him so they can make his medical decisions. The irony is being lathered on so thick in this storyline that it’s almost impossible not to think of it as a comedy, even if an unintentional one. I always feel bad talking about Nuke plots. I want to like them, but things always go wrong. Now, of course, Mason was a bit sleazy, but I could forgive that easily if it made this story interesting. Unfortunately, it was blown too quickly. Why couldn’t Noah have actually had an affair, or at least been tempted? Isn’t he human? The only time he was ever an interesting character was when he was sleeping with Maddie and longing for Luke. They could have played on that so easily. Instead, they’re playing on another part of the Nuke mythos – the nursing back to health of the wounded lover who wants to be alone. Why is nursing people back to health so often relied upon as a source of sexual/romantic stimulus? I have a pretty good idea of what a shrink would say about it, but I shouldn’t go there. Complicating things a little more, Noah is now part of the most rapid adoption case in history. Could Noah being adopted into the Grimaldi clan actually save him from being so deathly dull? Being a Grimaldi has always saved Luke from the blandness of the Snyder family, so maybe there is still hope for him.
The Ghost theme continued. Henry was called to testify and one of Manzo’s goons tried to stop him. The ghost of Brad scared him off and brought Henry to Katie to try and help her out. Watching Henry and Brad sing to the baby was cute. The cheesy synth music in the scene with the psychic was also a nice touch, but I’m still not quite sold on this story. It’s getting better though. Margo chatting with Katie certainly helped flesh it out a little more. One of highlights of the week was, however, Dusty, who managed to be rather adorable in his own way as he reached out to help Teri with the Manzo mess. There are hints that he will be getting involved in a triangle of sorts with the Ciccone sister and they seem to be laying the groundwork for it.
Vodka and chocolate. Craig tracked Carly down, fearing that she might be drinking again. She was tempted but resisted and ate chocolate instead. Then she teased Craig with temptation but he resisted and went home to Rosanna at Carly's bidding. So far, Rosanna has been left highly subdued, even if she's asked Craig to marry her, but, hopefully, that will soon change. Carly and Craig's scenes in the motel were wonderful. When they are together, the full complexity of each character is allowed to come through. Every word they say to each other is calculated. It's a competitive relationship where every shift counts. She's completely torturing him and Craig almost seems to like it. It's so unlike her relationship with Jack, which has less complexity, just nostalgia and habit, sort of like her relationship with booze.
Jack's emotional bender. He seems drunk on misery. All week he's looked like he's had a few too many. Carly has been stalking him around as they searched for Simon. They bumped into Molly first but quickly moved along. He continued pushing Janet away and Carly refused to budge from his side. Does she know she's making things worse? I'm just not that interested in Carly and Jack together. It's a lazy pairing at this point. Maybe after attempting to bring all of Katie's failed relationships back to life, he'll realize that trying to replay the past is a dead end.
On the other hand... It was good to see Molly again. She's much the same, if older and even less wise. Oakdale really needs more characters like her. I'm willing to overlook the fact that her return plot involving the congressman was absurdly rushed through just because she's already added a lot of vivacity in a few short days. Even watching her with Holden can make him seem charming again. Simon only popped in for the final two seconds so there's not much to say about him.
But all of the returns have a darker and more troubling side. Even if they are being integrated, somewhat less than organically, into what's already going on, there's still something troubling about them. It's common practice to bring back old characters around sweeps or when ratings are in steep decline. However, there's been virtually no evidence to suggest that this practice boosts ratings. On the contrary, it seems to help them plummet, almost as though viewers can smell blood and get out of the way. While it may give a nostalgia high to established viewers, it does nothing to bring in what the show really needs, which is a generation of new viewers. In fact, with the exception of Nuke, for years As The World Turns has demonstrated an apparent disinterest in actually attracting new viewers. New characters are tersely introduced and expended with and established characters are written without explication, merely with the assumption that all is already known about them. That in itself is an abnormal way of writing for Daytime, one which gives the impression that that they are closed for fresh business.
Anyway, that was my babbling for the week. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below and remember that this is all in fun. Feel free to check out next week's preview right here.
Have a happy weekend everybody!