Chando Sticking Around for a Hunter/Maddie Love Match on ATWT?

Uber polite soap hunk Evan Alex Cole (Hunter) probably got tired of me pestering him on the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys about when he was going to get a love interest who wasn't related to him on As The World Turns. To satisfy my lust for story scoop, Cole offered up a juicy tidbit about some upcoming chemistry testing with Alexandra Chando (Maddie)!

"Alex and I are going to be working together quite a bit, so we'll see where that goes," he teased. "Hallelujah, some love for the only Stewart man in town!"

As the World Turns: Finally Getting It Together

Perhaps someone passed along my Open Letter to Christopher Goutman. Perhaps Barbara Bloom took a good look at the plummeting ratings and decided that everyone should not lighten up after all. Perhaps head writer Jean Passanante took an extended vacation to Buenos Aires. Whatever has been happening over the last few weeks, let me step out on a limb and utter the words that many fans thought might not ever be said again or even believe: As the World Turns is, at long last, improving.

I fully expect the comments section to be full of invective and angry fist shaking about how ATWT is still "the worst soap on the air," how the vets are misused, and how the "Vortex of Suck" continues to, well, suck. In addition, the now well-documented list of the show's biggest defects remain stubbornly in place: warp-speed storytelling and the soul sucking semi-episodic structure continue to test the rapidly waning patience of the show's dwindling audience.

Having said that, it bears repeating that fans are a stubborn breed. We will praise shows, actors and performances we like, but we are quick to make our displeasure known when we feel things are not up to speed and falling apart. Once the latter narrative has been established it is very hard to turn the tide of opinion, even when a show starts to address its critics and make changes. Therefore, though the longstanding criticisms of ATWT are still valid, I think it is time to once again give credit where credit is due.

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.

Will ATWT’s Emily Find Computer Love?

Is seasoned cougar Emily Stewart (Kelley Menighan Hensley) about to scratch another young cub on As The World Turns? It sure looks that way. Marietta, Georgia-bred Evan Alex Cole (ATL in da house!) will debut on this Thursday's episode as Hunter, a new IT specialist Emily hires at The IntruderWe Love Soaps' Roger Newcomb got the scoop from the newcomer on his new character's interaction with Oakdale's version of Mrs. Robinson.
We Love Soaps: Tell me about the character of Hunter. He's a computer geek that Emily hires to work at The Intruder?

Evan Alex Cole: I feel like we kind of know this sort of person. Everyone knows the guy who spends way too much time behind the computer, and the variety of social quirks that sort of thing can generate. I think that's pretty tangible. In the storyline, Hunter gets promoted from the IT Department at The Intruder. Because of the economic climate, the paper could go under. Lucinda introduces me to Emily, my co-editor and then... "