As The World Turns: Damn Good Soap Opera!




It's official, As The World Turns is BACK! I just caught up on last week's episodes and to borrrow from the Gossip Girl viral media campaign, OMFG.  It is been so long since I've been glued to my seat by a rich, complex, character-driven helping of heaping good daytime drama.

Carly and Holden: An Affair to Remember

The explosive climax (te he he) of Carly and Holden's affair spun off several believable story threads featuring characters we know and love like Brad and Katie, Jack and Janet, Luke, Noah, Parker and Janet. Who knew soaps still knew how to do umbrella stories that don't involve serial killers, explosions or memories on a disk?

Giving props where props are due

There are so many people to give kudos to for these amazing episodes that it's hard to know where to begin. Maura West is arguably the best actress on her network as she continues to prove day in and day out.

Over the past 10 years it has been her stellar, earthy take on the complicated Hurrican Carly that has kept me watching this show even through the most contrived of situations and plotty debacles. This week I believe my investment is once again paying off.

West's chemistry with Jon Hensley as Holden is a shocking but welcome surprise. Who knew these two would strike a match so hot it would threaten to burn down Snyder farm? I need a dip in family pond everytime they are onscreen together. Or at the very least some of Emma's good, old-fashioned ice tea. Extra lemons please!

The underrated Noelle Beck also shined in these episodes, and I'm not just talking about her unbelievable good looks. It would be easy for an actress as ravishing as Beck to sit back and rely on her aesthetics-many in this industry have built their careers doing just that-but Beck refrains. This actress fiercly dives right in exploring Lily's pain in a believable and relatable way.

As much as I adored Martha Byrne in the role, I refuse to make Beck bear the weight of backstage politics that had nothing to do with her. As the man said, the show must go on and I'm enjoying Beck's showing as Lily immensely!

The scenes at the hospital where Holden and Carly's loved ones began learning about their secret rendevous were subtle, real and volatile all at the same time.

Luke, who is contemplating sex with Noah, learning about his "perfect" father's not-so-perfect indiscretion provided the character and his portrayer Van Hansis with the chance to bring Luke from shy, sensitive boy to ferocious man protecting his mother all in a few scenes.

Hansis could have easily played these scenes for histrionics, but he didn't, instead the theater-vetted actor gave Luke a somber, even tough edge.  I can't wait to see how this effects his relationship with Noah!

Jack's reaction, while equally well acted by Michael Park, was less exciting since it was basically same script, different day. Jack, who ping-ponged back between Carly and Julia and Carly and Katie and Carly and the other Julia, once again had the unmitigated audacity to sit in judgement of Carly for "sleeping with his best friend and cousin" as he stands their with Juicy Janet scratches all down his back. Did Jack forget Janet once swapped DNA with his brother? This Carjacker is so close to sending back his G-Man and the Fashionista fanny pack it isn't even funny!

Speaking of Janet, I have to give a shout out to Julie Pinson for turning out one of the most realistic single mom performances in the history of daytime. The way she conveyed Janet attempting to refrain herself from once again popping that mouthy Liberty in, well, the mouth, makes her eligible for my Performer of the Week.  I don't condone violence, but that Liberty would definitely benefit from a good buggy whip, or perhaps reform school. And how organic and refreshingly unpreachy was Janet's decision to take Lib to a visit with they gyno?

I also have to give props to Liberty's pops (I made a rhyme!). Austin Peck was so believable giving Parker the angry dad speech that I was almost afraid for the kid!

"You're gonna be singing soprano if you don't stay.away.from.Liberty."

Passanante and Goutman we have a problem

You might have noticed I've refrained from talking about the other major storyline on the soap. The aftermath of Sofie's murder. Sigh, Sofie, a character we could give two bowel movements about, is dead, in order to prop up story for Paul and Meg a couple we could, well...you get the picture.

This story's only saving grace is that it provides much-appreciated screentime for vets like Ellen Dolan (Margo), Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara), Marie Masters (Susan) and Eileen Fulton (Lisa). And doesn't Fulton look doggone AMAZING? I don't know if she's had work done or not, but she looks FAB-U-LICIOUS. Note to Hollyweird and Gotham actresses, if you are gonna get work done, check the doc's references for the love of viewers at home with HDTV!

Casey and Emily: Dirty, Sexy, Explosive

I can't mention this week's stellar ATWT episodes without talking about Casey and Emily. Here's to another well-crafted, sexy, explosive storyline, deeply rooted in history, connected to the vets with high stakes and good acting. Kelley Menighan-Hensley has also been a fave since the day I followed Jake, Vicky, Cass and Lila to Oakdale, so I love seeing her being utilized. I am SO glad they paired Billy Magnussen's hot-yet-sensitive Casey with the sexsational Emily as opposed to her wet blanket little sister/donated egglet Allison (Marnie Schulenburg). Paging Jessica Dunphy!

It appears the recent renaissance of time slot competitor One Life to Live has caused ATWT to seriously step up it's game and this soap fan couldn't be happier!



Comments

Member since:
31 March 2008
Last activity:
2 years 12 weeks

I am a diehard ATWT fan, it is the soap i have known and loved for many years and i am loving every second! I hated sofie so her being gone was fantastic! I love Paul & Meg and are so glad they are together, (though i didnt think that when Craig was still on the show, Meg & Craig where a great couple, but they ruined that) Casey & Emily is by far one of the best pairings on daytime right now, they have such great chemisty. Noelle Beck, was amazing and i finally started enjoying her as Lily this week when she screamed at Holden! Now if only ATWT can go back to 3rd place, where it was last fall for a while.

Member since:
13 February 2008
Last activity:
4 years 24 weeks

WIth Mendorra and Tarty happening on OLTL, now is a good time to switch back to ATWT.

THEBEST's picture
Member since:
12 February 2008
Last activity:
3 hours 30 min

ATWT is getting it's groove back, and I couldn't be happier. I watched Friday's episode twice! I think think the Paul & Meg story will get better next week. Mrs. Ryan gets a cap in that ass. YAY!!!!

***///Living In The World Of Soaps Since 1985\\\***

Mark's picture
Member since:
27 January 2008
Last activity:
2 years 25 weeks

Great blog entry! The only thing I don't agree with is your comment about Alison/Marnie. I'm loving her in the role. She's one of my favorite characters now, while she never was with Jessica Dunphy in the role.

I'm really enjoying ATWT. The only weak parts for me are Paul/Meg (but great to see CZP!) and Parker/Liberty. I really don't care about them, especially Liberty. I was surprised that I'm liking Janet now, because when she started I couldn't stand her. I loved her scene with Luke and Noah on friday's episode.

Member since:
21 January 2008
Last activity:
5 years 30 weeks

Yes, and Colleen Pinter was right when she said Doug Marland would be proud. How fabulous is a soap that isn't relying only on violence. I'm not a hater on murder mysteries and even the mob, but it's amazing to watch a week of riveting soap that looks like this. Maybe it's because I have a history with ATWT, but I'd give it a slight edge over OLTL for last week.

Dinah's picture
Member since:
14 December 2007
Last activity:
1 week 15 hours

Dinah

I don't like Carly with Holden because they don't look like the actor's are enjoyed it because I read that both West and Hensley don't want this at all and know I don't...

ghaddict's picture
Member since:
26 June 2008
Last activity:
4 weeks 2 days

OMG....I'm also loving ATWT...It's so awesome....I agree with everthing you said except that I don't think the Meg and Paul storyline is THAT bad and I really like Allison...
I also didn't particularly like Luke's reaction as well....I would have much rather him be really shocked and confused than have that total look of disgust on his face when he was talking to Holden...it really put me off...then again he is just being a Snyder and they are all REALLY judgemental....

Mark's picture
Member since:
27 January 2008
Last activity:
2 years 25 weeks

@ ghaddict: Luke's reaction made sense to me. Like Luke said, he looked up to Holden so when something like this happens, it's only logical he would react this way. Holden was all about honesty last year. And for Holden to sleep with his wife's best friend and still pretending to want to work out things with Lily... If I were Luke I would be disgusted with Holden too. Maybe Snyders are sometimes too judgemental, but I don't think Luke was in this situation. Holden should've thought about what this would do not only to Lily and Luke, but also Faith and Natalie (I think Ethan is too young to understand). What I always try to do is to think what I would do if I was that character. If my father cheated on my mother with her best friend I would be totally disgusted and really angry at him.

I think this is an interesting story development. Holden and Luke have always been great as father and son. Van and Jon have great chemistry together. I'm looking forward to see different kinds of scenes between them.

ghaddict's picture
Member since:
26 June 2008
Last activity:
4 weeks 2 days

You make a good point MarkDutchViewer and I understand what you are saying but there something about the disgust on Luke's face that really put me off....I think I would have much easier accepted outright anger from Luke that Holden did something so stupid and inconsiderate....My father also wasn't the most faithful person in the world (although he stayed away from best friends...lol) but I don't think I ever looked at him like that....
I also think this is one big plot point that was foreshadowed when Luke was sooooo worried about how Holden was reacting to him receiving the inheritance from Damien...
I don't know if I explained myself properly but Luke's reaction just bothered me...but i DO understand why it was done....

Mark's picture
Member since:
27 January 2008
Last activity:
2 years 25 weeks

I think we may see anger from Luke next week. There's a "Luke has harsh words for Carly and Holden" spoiler. I'm really looking forward to it. I've always wanted to see Luke interacting with Carly. I think Van and Maura would work great together. And I just know Jon and Van will be great.

But it is interesting how we all see things different.

Member since:
27 November 2007
Last activity:
2 years 48 weeks

The casting people at AS THE WORLD TURNS really need to find a really good actresses to play recasted Lucy and Maddie because of the gril characters they were just all crazy or they are evil as hell how many evil characters from history they bring back and make them totally different characters out of know where like Adam Hughes as rapeist ,Show us way the characters are doing a 180 personaltily change from who they really.

Member since:
8 May 2008
Last activity:
15 hours 3 min

I believe that Carly is going to be the scapegoat for this affair she is having and everyone is going to blame her instead of both of them because Carly has done crazy stunts before and its likely that she is not going to recover from this ordeal. I don't think it makes sense to hook them up when Holden hated Carly. I think fans like their unlikely friendship, but to blatant hook them up for no reason is having fans in a tiff. It is a plot point to ruin a friendship, even if it is a new person playing the role. I don't think Carly is going to have much friends left after this.

siomonstuart2003

Member since:
22 January 2008
Last activity:
6 hours 36 min

I dont think it was a plot point at all. It made perfect sense storywise. They were two people at a crossroads, searching for something, someone. It was unlikely, out of the blue, but undeniable, just like a lot of affairs in real life.

Member since:
19 November 2007
Last activity:
4 years 10 weeks

I just finished reviewing this week's episodes of ATWT . . . and, Ive got to say . . . I'm so glad I listened to the CBS/DAYS podcast this weekend. Wow, I have been missing out on . . . hate to disagree with Luke . . . the best soap on daytime. OLTL is AWESOME, but ATWT is RIVETING! Just have to say, if Maura West does not submit Friday's episode as one of her eps for Best Actress next year then something is terribly amiss at the Circle K . . . just AMAZING. I'm so glad that ATWT is BACK!

Member since:
22 January 2008
Last activity:
6 hours 36 min

OLTL is AWESOME, but ATWT is RIVETING!
***
I couldn't agree more! As The World Turns is the best soap in daytime right now!

AnthonyL's picture
Member since:
6 January 2008
Last activity:
4 years 4 weeks

Well, I'm enjoying the show, but there are too many stories I don't like to make me say I love it or watch everyday. Paul/Meg are a draining, boring couple to watch and I have no interest in Parker/Liberty at all. Unfortunately, they are both front burner, while hot characters/couples like Em/Casey and Luke/Noah get one or two days a week, which hurts my overall enjoyment of the show.