We like to joke about how As the World Turns is a schizophrenic show but today it really did seem as if ATWT had at long last rounded the bend to multiple personality syndrome or, as fans of One Life to Live know it all too well, dissociative identity disorder.
BAD DADDY #1
On one hand, we had a series of terrific scenes between Luke (Van Hansis) & Brian (Laurence Lau). The Gay Snyder finally had a heart to heart with his step grandfather about The Kiss. Not only did Brian finally admit to kissing Luke after weeks of trying to convince Luke that he'd misinterpreted what had happened, Brian even went so far as to admit that he found Luke attractive. "Who wouldn't?," added Grandpa Down Low.
These scenes were sensitively written, well acted, very nicely paced and rang true to life. There are many gay and bisexual men who are not comfortable with labels and Brian, whose usually inscrutable facade cracked just a little, revealed hints of the pain and anguish he's lived with as a gay man not accustomed to the freedom of being "out" that, from his perspective, has come to Luke comparatively easy. In this context, many of Brian's actions and past statements come into sharper focus and we can see why he has been hard on Luke. Ok, I couldn't resist. Lau let his eyes communicate his pain and modulated his voice with just enough pitch to express his internal discomfort as he opened up to Luke.
Scene partner Hansis had the tougher job of communicating Luke's grudging empathy for Brian's plight juxtaposed against concern for Lucinda's happiness. The actor had to sell the unbelievable idea that Luke would "keep quiet" to protect Lucinda from the knowledge that her new husband made a pass at him (and found him attractive, who wouldn't?) but Hansis did so rather effectively. Of course, this suggests that Luke is also attracted to Brian and I am not entirely opposed to the idea, yet there are three glaring problems so far:
The first is this story should be a three-day-a-week front burner A story instead of a two-day-a-week B story. This tale is pretty ground breaking when you think about it and there is emotional baggage and fireworks potential for all of the characters involved, especially if Luke and Brian were to have a full out affair. Second, the rooting value for Luke & Noah (Jake Silbermann) is undermined because they have not had sex. At this point it is safe to say Luke & Noah are glorified friends without benefits and the lack of sex between them is making it harder and harder (couldn't resist again) to view them as a bona fide couple as time goes on. Finally and more specifically, Noah inexplicably has been relegated to "talk-to" status (so far) in a story where he could grow some cajones and be as up in Brian's grill as much as Janet and Carly were in each other's faces over Jack. Noah is almost an afterthought in this tale and his near total exclusion just doesn't make sense. (continued)