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!