‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life to Live’ Reunite Their Best Couples

Watch A Preview of Josh Duhamel’s Return to All My Children

Josh Duhamel returns to “All My Children” on Thursday, August 4 when his presumed dead character, Leo DuPres reunites with the love of his life, Greenlee (Rebecca Budig). Leo’s reappearance after eight years appears to be connected to his world-renowned cardiologist brother, David’s (Vincent Irizarry) experimental program, code named Orpheus, to save people who have been declared dead. Greenlee herself was rescued by David over a year ago. Tuesday, David hinted to Greenlee that Leo could be alive and persuaded her to accompany him to a mysterious location.

ABC has released a brief clip of Duhamel’s appearance:

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This sure does not look like a dream sequence. Greenlee is stunned to see an unconscious Leo, who sure looks like the latest of David’s reanimated medical miracles. When Leo opened his eyes and called her “Greens” my GreenLeo loving heart started beating faster. In twenty-five seconds, Budig and Duhamel prove that they still have combustible chemistry. In fact, I dare say that not only is Duhamel the best romantic partner that Budig has ever had, Budig is the best love interest that Duhamel has ever had. Sorry Katherine Heigl,Life As We Know It” would have worked better with Budig. Theirs is the sort of acting partnership that usually only comes along once in a career.

If Leo is indeed alive, I do not see how AMC can end its ABC run with Greenlee still happily partnered with Ryan (Cameron Mathison). They are a strange anomaly: a so-called supercouple that nobody — at least if on-line fans are representative of the audience as a whole — seems to like. Yet writing regime after writing regime has paired them out of what is either a misguided belief that they are meant to be together or network mandates.  AMC’s writers, who had no idea that the show was going to move from the internet when they scripted Duhamel’s return, have the opportunity to right a great storytelling wrong. Will they still do that, given that there is zero possibility that Duhamel will return to the show? I sure hope so. Both Mathison and Budig, should they choose to stay with the show when it returns to the internet, have the potential to have great romantic storylines as long as they are not paired with each other. I have my fingers crossed that this bold plot twist might actually happen because…

Esta Terblanche is Returning to ‘All My Children’

At the same time that Leo and Greenlee were being hilarious and sexy together, Ryan was having his own great romance with Gillian. When she died tragically, her heart was donated to the ailing Laura. Now Soaps In Depth is reporting that Esta Terblanche will be back as Gillian for several episodes. On the one hand, Hell yeah! Ryan and Gillian will be reunited! I will actually like Ryan again! On the other hand, her organs were donated. Unless she is appearing as a ghost, or in Ryan’s dreams, not even David’s super healing powers can have saved her.  Are viewers willing to buy that David gave Gillian an artificial heart that has been beating for nearly a decade? Honestly, if there is a remotely soap-plausible explanation that will let Ryan and Gillian reunite, I am willing to take the ride. If AMC leaves ABC with all of the couples that the audience loves together, even if it’s in some “Lost” style alternate reality, I am on board.

Todd-apalooza Is The Greatest Show On Earth

Monday’s episode of “One Life to Live” was one of the best episodes of television this year. Yes, I am including primetime, late night, cable and YouTube. It was that good. The scenes where Original Gangsta Todd (Roger Howarth) finally made his presence known to his family could have been written a thousand different ways. I was concerned that after months of build up, I would feel let down. Instead, the show managed to surpass my expectations. Instead of focusing on what had happened eight years ago when Todd 2.0 (Trevor St. John) came to town, the focus was on the emotions of everyone who was involved.

Howarth’s performance made it clear that he was the real Todd Manning. He was giddy to finally be talking to Blair (Kassie DePaiva), the woman he loved, and his daughter Starr (Kristen Alderson). Sure, he was furious enough at Todd 2.0 to point a gun at him, but he was motivated by love, not hate.  There were so many quotable lines and subtle, evocative details that I suspect quite a few viewers will be watching multiple times.

There was Todd’s opening declaration: “I’m Todd Manning, and I’m home.”

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If OLTL were a movie, that line would be in the preview. I loved that both Blair and Tea (Florencia Lozano) were wearing white gowns that looked like wedding dresses. Both women have married both Todds. It was clear that RHTodd only had eyes for Blair. He told her, “The only thing I know for sure is that you kept me alive. What kept me going for eight years was the idea of coming home to you and to Starr, to Jack.” I swooned, along with Blair. She knew in her heart, even if her brain was filled with logical doubts, that the man with the scar was the real deal.

DePaiva has such great chemistry with every man on OLTL, including St. John, that I had forgotten how much hotter she was with Howarth than anyone else. When he held up the photo from their wedding and told her that he overheard her talking about how happy she was that day. Then, to my surprise, he pulled Blair into the most passionate kiss I have seen on soaps in years.

His line afterward was perfect: “I dare you to forget me. I dare you.”

Alderson gave her best performance ever, as she too realized that she was on Team RHTodd. It was so touching that her initial response was to touch Todd’s famous scar. He told her,”You tell them shorty. Come on. You tell them that I am your father.”  Starr used to be the only person who truly understood Todd and vice versa. One of the brilliant things about this ret con is that it makes all of the inconsistent, often flat out bad writing for Todd over the past few years make sense. The real Todd would not have been as so pathologically opposed to Starr’s relationship with Cole that he would have allowed it to drive a wedge between them. Todd was always a villain, but over the past couple years he often seemed like a sociopath.

The real Todd would not have chosen Tea over Blair. They had a fascinating dysfunctional relationship, but he never truly loved her. He could barely bring himself to touch her. Lozano did a great silent acting job as she realized that the man who has such a passionate relationship with her now is not actually Todd. She is truly loved, but by an imposter. St.JohnTodd, who insisted that the other Todd was a lunatic, tacitly acknowledged the truth to Tea when he told her, “I’m your husband. I’m Dani’s father. I’m the man who’s always loved you.” All of those things are true — though I am waiting to see how the writers manage to explain why his DNA was a match for Dani — he just is not Todd.  It made sense that Jack (Andrew Trischetta) is also Team TSJ because he is too young to remember the other Todd. Plus, he shares Todd #2’s lack of conscience.

This episode accomplished so much without unraveling any of the mystery about why RHTodd was held captive or who TSJTodd actually is. It was, despite the plot-driven nature of the overall storyline, entirely character based. It was enthralling. My one complaint was that the story was not featured at all in Tuesday’s episode. That was an epic let down. It better be back on Wednesday. I want my Todd TV.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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