March 1, 2010By Marc Wilkofsky Posted: Mar 1, 2010
Excitement, suspense, surprises and even a little romance. All of that could be found for weeks during this year's winter Olympics, but now that all the medals have been awarded, we can still find it all in the daytime world (especially the romance). There are several storylines and aspects of today's soaps that are making me cheer from the sidelines. Here are just a few of the numerous things I'm glad to see on daytime.
1. Ashley and Neil's pairing on YOUNG AND RESTLESS is a romantic breath of fresh air, and the show is believably taking their connection slow, and making it more of a pleasant, easygoing courtship between two characters who have crossed paths for years. His taking her side against Adam adds intrigue to that storyline.
2. ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Rex and Gigi discussing the truth about Stacy's baby has been gradually bringing them back together. Whatever turn their relationship may take, I have always preferred their pairing to Gigi and Schuyler...but I know Schuyler doesn't, so his trying to re-prove himself to her should be interesting.
3. Now that the talented Zack Conroy (ex-James, GUIDING LIGHT) has joined BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL as Aggie's brother Oliver and has had scenes with Rick Hearst (her cousin Whip; ex-Alan-Michael, GL), all the show needs is to cast Grant Aleksander, Marcy Rylan, Ron Raines or Marj Dusay (ex-Phillip, ex-Lizzie, ex-Alan and ex-Alex) for a former Spaulding trifecta.
4. GENERAL HOSPITAL's lively new opening — featuring the actors' names — has brought more respect to its stalwart stars. It would be a plus if all the character names (such as Mac's) could be made out by the average eye, but this change, which follows the Bell soaps' lead, is an encouraging step for "soapenings."
5. Going back to Y&R...that's what Diane did for a couple of days, in the form of the engaging Susan Walters. While I was glad to see her briefly shake up — and add a touch of nostalgia to — Genoa City, I was most heartened by Jack reuniting with his son Kyle, which ended the long-running "Where's Kyle?" question.
Every now and then, to go with daytime's fine fiction, I need a dose of reality on my tube, and there's more than enough of that these days, including THE BACHELOR: ON THE WINGS OF LOVE, which has offered an entertaining, soapy season. I know many people watch THE BACHELOR for their weekly serving of train wreck — and controversies were certainly supplied in this season — but I was simply looking for real romance, particularly a courtship that actually worked. Tonight's the two-hour finale (with AFTER THE FINAL ROSE keeping viewers pulled in for a third hour), and although charming Ali was my early pick for Jake's best match, I'm definitely on Team Tenley. Jake gave her the first impression rose soon after all the ladies met him, and they make a fun, warm, closely connected couple. Yes, watching strong-willed women find new ways to ask the pilot for a kiss or "one-on-one time" sometimes gets repetitive, but seeing Jake grow teary when he asks a parent for their daughter's hand in marriage — as he did with Tenley's dad, Robert — is honestly touching. Plus, I'm one of those people who is hard-pressed to discern exactly what Jake sees in Vienna, Tenley's sole competitor tonight. There's a can't-miss bonus: Sometime during the finale, in which Jake reveals his big choice, ABC will uncover the DANCING WITH THE STARS contestants for the 10th season.
Then, on Tuesday evening (March 2), THE BIGGEST LOSER: COUPLES returns to NBC from the reality series' Olympics-created hiatus. It's been amazing to see the contestants push themselves to look and feel better, and not only change their lives, but in many cases, keep their lives, which have been threatened by weight-related problems. Alison Sweeney (Sami, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) has been an excellent host, as always, sympathizing with the contestants and putting just enough intensity into the announcement of each latest twist. Aside from the occasionally ridiculous two-hour length of each episode, LOSER and BACHELOR have quite a bit in common, including the major emotional moments and each contestant's considerable drive to succeed. For now, I'm hoping Cheryl — who shares my favorite team with her son Daris — succeeds in the torch-balancing challenge against Darrell, as the loser goes home. Hold on, Cheryl!