When As the World Turns Gets It Right



As the World Turns gets little critical love these days, at least from me. Executive producer Chris Goutman and head writer Jean Passanante are roundly criticized for revolving door castings that last between three to six weeks per actor while a number of popular veterans remain stranded on the sidelines, nine month story lines compressed into 45 minutes of screen time, and obviously declining production values due to draconian budget cuts not of their making or within their control. Watching ATWT lately has been as often a test of endurance as much as one of patience. Unfortunately, many viewers have been able to pass neither challenge as the show's declining Nielsen ratings attest.

Nonetheless, I am careful to try to give credit where credit is due and today's episode did something very smart for the first time in a long time: human emotions took center stage. The writers shoved janky plot mechanics aside and instead focused on characters trying to relate to each other through adverse circumstances. Yes, ATWT's usual maddening problem of compressing events that should have played out over days and weeks into a single show managed to compromise a bit of my enjoyment, but I have to say I thought as a whole they hit it out of the park today.

First, kudos to Ellen Dolan as Margo. There is a reason why Daytime Confidential's Mike Jubinville has chosen Ms. Dolan two weeks in a row as one of his Performers of the Week and today's scenes illustrated exactly why. Dolan communicated Margo's almost irrational yet totally understandable desire to protect Adam/Riley (Tom Degnan) while trying to maintain her relationship with an increasingly (and, again, understandably) hostile Casey (Billy Magnussen), while at the same time trying to convince him to not blow Riley/Adam's secret. Ms. Dolan's work was the pitch-perfect mix of a mother's determination and barely-under-the-surface desperation to hold on to her tenuously reunited family at any cost, including her own integrity.

In my opinion, Magnussen has kept Casey sympathetic regardless of his distasteful behavior because Casey's arguments about the unfair burdens he's been saddled with (going to jail for Adam's past deeds and now keeping his brother's true identity a secret from everyone he knows, including his father) are legitimate. Today, instead of being written as the volcanic hothead, Casey was driven further toward a certain level of bitterness that only makes sense for the character under the circumstances.

I also very much liked that the mechanics of how Hunter came to be born was less in the forefront than it has been the last couple of days. Instead, today's show focused on him and Allison trying to find a way to relate to each other as brother & sister. I thought both Evan Alex Cole and Marnie Schulenburg (who usually gets a lot of grief in these here parts) were excellent at conveying their awkwardness in trying to find a way to be a family and dealing with the pre-sibling revelation sexual tension between them. In many ways, their pseudo-incestuous connection reminds me of another brother & sister with deep sexual attraction, Brian & Paige Madison whom older viewers might remember from The Edge of Night in the early 1980's. As an added bonus, I loved how Allison stood up for herself and refused to be mistreated by the bitter Casey and basically told him he could get to stepping!

As for Carly's intervention, the word that comes easily to mind is 'Bravo!"(continued)


Comments

ghaddict's picture
Member since:
26 June 2008
Last activity:
5 weeks 1 day

ITA JBJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Today's episode was amazing on all fronts....the intervention scenes were heartbreaking....particularly between Carly and Jack....the look on her face when she realised that she had been doing to Parker what her father had done to her was just heart wrenching......

the saddest part about this is that Maura West is gone for a few months and there really isn't any reason for me to tune in while she's away....

Member since:
10 July 2008
Last activity:
2 years 27 weeks

Geat Piece JB!!! I loved it. They acual used history today!!!

THEBEST's picture
Member since:
12 February 2008
Last activity:
6 min 22 sec

It's just the quiet before the storm. Of course things will get better just before DK comes and drops the globe in a vat of acid.

Member since:
21 May 2009
Last activity:
3 years 39 weeks

I took ATWT off my DVR for about a month for reasons that have been gone into by many others. I started watching again when Col. Mayer came back because I have loved the actor since his "Ryan's Hope" days and I didn't want to miss one second of Lynn Herring's turn as Henry's mother.

I was transfixed by Maura West's performance today and I've always been a fan of Mick Hazen's -- he reminds me of a young Paul McCartney in his "cutest" Beatle days.

I was captivated by the Madisons on "The Edge of Night" and have been a huge fan of Margaret Colin's ever since her debut as Paige. I adored her as the original Margo Hughes, slinking around with James Stenbeck behind Barbara's back.

season1217's picture
Member since:
23 July 2008
Last activity:
31 weeks 5 days

Of course things will get better just before DK comes and drops the globe in a vat of acid.

ROTFL!

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
6 days 12 hours

Ellen Wheeler is coming to ATWT to save the show before Sept 2010.

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
6 days 12 hours

Maura West deserves a pay raise after all the crap the writers is coming up for her.

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
6 days 12 hours

When Ellen Wheeler comes to ATWT, she is going to hook up Hunter and Alison together. She loves incest.

Luke Kerr's picture
Member since:
16 August 2007
Last activity:
17 hours 18 min

Maura West deserves to be on Y&R lol

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
6 days 12 hours

Luke, read my mind. But if Maura wEst is going to move to LA, who should she play? Diane Jenkins, Jack exwife and father of her son.

Member since:
9 September 2008
Last activity:
2 years 46 weeks

Problem with ATWT is they do this every year. Last summer they were good for 3-4 weeks and then poof, 11 months of crap. July comes around and all of the sudden they use characters that the audience cares about, actors who can make their sub-par crap rise above the everyday mundane, and then come August ATWT will be right back where it started before July, smelling and looking like the backside of a horses ass!

CGat's picture
Member since:
23 July 2008
Last activity:
44 weeks 1 day

Naw, if anyone plays Diane Jenkins, it definitely needs to be GL's Liz Keifer (Blake). She would be killer in that role! Or even Orlagh Cassidy (Doris). She's crazy enough.

curacaoman's picture
Member since:
10 February 2009
Last activity:
9 hours 31 min

I would have loved to actually SEE Carly go thru rehab and deal with her demons. Too bad this is the maternity leave storyline..........

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
6 days 12 hours

Carly is going to come back all sober and nothing happen to her like and it will not be mention ever again.

jsg03jd's picture
Member since:
14 February 2008
Last activity:
42 min 37 sec

Almost all the actors on AS THE WORLD TURNS are solid, and in today's episode, I was reminded why ATWT easily has THE BEST ENSEMBLE in daytime. Maura West's bravura performance upped the game for everyone in the intervention scenes: Jon Lindstrom, Michael Park, Cady McClain, Mick Hazen and Julie Pinson all turned in pitch perfect performances. This ought to be the episode TIIC should submit for Emmy consideration. If only today's episode were typical and not the outliar of all the episodes ATWT produces... I completely agree: when ATWT gets it right, it does "it" excellently and brilliantly.

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
6 days 12 hours

Get rid of Paul and Meg and Dusty, and the show would be good for the year. These three are the weak link on ATWT.

CGat's picture
Member since:
23 July 2008
Last activity:
44 weeks 1 day

jsg03jd: Hold up! ATWT does have a great ensemble, but I have got to day. GL one ups them in the Casting department. Something about them P&G Soaps. Great cast, Shitty storylines. Is there a common denominator here? Oh yeah, there is. These are show's with legacies of decades, and they are dying because of bat shit idiots like Chris Goutman and Ellen Wheeler. Damn.

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
6 days 12 hours

And TeleNext and P&G don't want to be in the business so they are purposely tanking they shows.

Member since:
7 June 2008
Last activity:
3 years 32 weeks

I too was very impressed with Tuesday's show. It is way past time that Julie Pinson's acting chops were recognized! Her range is insurmountable! Please, somebody--anybody--give this wonderful actress some meat to chew!

Member since:
18 July 2009
Last activity:
4 years 40 weeks

New here and realize most people probably can't stand 'them', but I love the characters of Dusty and Bonnie (although, I wish I knew what was going with Chauntee Schuler's 'wig'?). They have really good chemistry,or at least that's what it seems like to me, and I've been wondering for a while now, what exactly it will take for Grayson McCouch (also wish they'd let Dusty move on with his life, put Meg behind him for good, and bring in a woman who could 'clean his life up' and perhaps give him a child as well.) to finally get that elusive 'People's Choice' award?

The other actors are just as good as the two that I've mentioned here, and I see the actor who played Todd on 'One Life To Live', seems to be up to his same old tricks and just as dirty as ever. Dusty should leave him alone and let him finally sink himself once and for all.

Member since:
17 July 2009
Last activity:
4 years 39 weeks

cant wait for Lynn Hrring!

inspiron's picture
Member since:
21 February 2009
Last activity:
42 weeks 9 hours

Paul James Barbara and Emily storyline is going to be great-I've noticed this site has ignored it of course. LOL

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
6 days 12 hours

James can get rid of Meg for us, LMAO.