Why do stories with characters the audience knows resonate more? Check out what Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey has to say about what’s happening across the daytime dial.
Stories based on core characters are so much better than those with newbies. History is storyline money!
Y&R has leaned on newcomers lately to stir the pot. First it was Ashland Locke, who came in from nowhere to turn the Abbotts upside down with his vapid wife and sudden kid for Kyle. He married Victoria, died and disappeared from all stories. Then it was Jeremy Stark with his vague threats against Diane and cockamamie scheme to “kill” Phyllis, who turned around and killed him.
Framing Diane for Phyllis’s “murder” did give us entertaining scenes, like her enemies mourning her at her funeral while a disguised Phyllis looked on, but the catalyst for it all was an unlikable stranger.
Post-Stark, the pendulum swung towards characters we know and love. Jack’s boo-hooing aside, valuable humor was mined from Diane being so universally hated that no lawyer would take her case. When Jack begged Michael to represent her, Victor and Nikki swooped in with veiled threats.
Nikki: “You can’t take Diane as a client, you work for Victor. Don’t you have any common decency?”
Victor: “Am I not keeping you busy enough?”
Their bullying had the opposite effect and Michael took the case, setting up interesting conflict between him and the Newmans. Also interesting is how Phyllis’s “murder” galvanized her daughter, Summer, into becoming a mini-Red, right down to a jailhouse visit to taunt her mother-in-law.
Summer (to Diane): “Don’t worry about Kyle. He’s lived most of his life without you.”
Ouch. Creating drama for the stagnant Summer and Kyle is a great takeaway, as is watching Phyllis dig herself out of this hole. And Diane finally being punished for framing half the town for her death is fitting karma even though we know she’s innocent — this time.
Now let’s get back to the messy Newman drama of Victor finding out Nick’s new squeeze is carrying his brother, Adam’s, baby and what The Mustache plans to do about it.
Victor: “I don’t get any of this.”
That’s the fun of it!
Bo and Hope’s road back to each other has been fun, too, complicated by a dude named Harris, who we last saw on DAYS in 1988 (talk about a throwback). Hope thinks Bo is dead so she’s smooching Harris in Greek restaurants, but then Harris searched Victor’s childhood home and ran into … Bo.
Harris: “Mind if I take a look around?”
Bo (pulling a gun): “I would mind.”
Because Bo is a victim of my least-favorite storyline (brainwashing — what, you forgot?) he encouraged Harris to date Hope and told him to keep mum.
Bo: “She’s all yours.”
Harris: “I’m supposed to let Hope believe her husband is dead?”
Bo: “From my point of view, that husband is dead.”
Harris agreed, lying to Hope that his search came up empty. As roadblocks go, a war hero we first met 35 years ago is pretty good, but DAYS needs to display more confidence in this story for it to work. Showing flashbacks of the Bo/Harris convo at the end of the same episode it aired in tells me they’re trying too hard. We’re soap fans. We can recall what aired 20 minutes ago. Trust us!
Our memories can be an Achilles’ heel when a show forgets its history. B&B’s 9,000th episode was a beautiful tribute to Steffy Forrester, showcasing most of her husbands (sorry, Wyatt!) and the love of her family.
Ridge: “Our beautiful, independent daughter.”
Taylor: “As parents, we just want our kids to be safe and happy.”
Their walk down memory lane included Steffy’s first day of kindergarten, her idyllic childhood, and what a great job they did raising her … wait. What happened to Steffy’s twin, Phoebe, who was killed in a car crash and died in Ridge’s arms? Did they keep her safe and happy? Anyone who’s ever lost a child would never forget them on their birthday, and the slideshow Ridge made for Steffy without Phoebe means he purposely cut his dead daughter out of the photos.
That said, I loved the spark between Liam and Steffy in the episode. If Hope’s lust for Thomas leads to those exes spending more time together to shake up Steffy and Finn, count me in.
Liam: “There’s no one like Steffy Forrester.”
On the same day B&B erased a core Forrester, GH mentioned both Morgan Corinthos and Jason Morgan in the run-up to Michael and Willow’s wedding. I guess the dying Willow figured since Obrecht and her bone marrow had been kidnapped onto Victor’s ship she might as well plan a wedding for the next day.
Brook Lynn: “We need you!”
Maxie: “Do you think it’s too late to get monogrammed napkins from Portugal?”
Yes, but you could probably get some from Venezuela since half the town is there searching for Victor.
Felicia: “Holly! For someone who was barbecued in a house fire you look amazing.”
Holly: “The ultimate chemical peel.”
The Bobbsey Twins located Holly’s kidnapped son, Ethan, and then set their sights on finding Luke’s killer, aided by his prodigal widow, Tracy. Give GH credit for mining their history when a short-term character is needed to jumpstart story (Holly, Tracy, Aunt Stella) instead of bringing in a stranger. For core characters, you don’t get better than an umbrella tale packed with 40 years of OGs.
Victor is behind Luke’s killing and the recent kidnappings, all in service of his demented plan to unleash a pathogen to reduce the world’s population. Enter his first captive, Laura, to guide stowaway Trina around the communications room on The Haunted Star.
Trina: “I don’t know what the equipment does.”
Curtis (to Laura): “But you do.”
Laura: “That ship was my wedding gift.”
In 1981! Now that’s money.
Hey. It’s only my opinion.