Watch DOOL’s Will Leap Out of the Closet
I was skeptical that “Days of Our Lives” would allow its gay characters Will (Chandler Massey) and Sonny (Freddie Smith) to have a love life that was comparable to those of the straight characters. I’m thrilled to be wrong. Thursday, Will planted a scorching kiss on a guy he had just met. It was the hottest scene on DOOL since Sami (Alison Sweeney) and E.J.’s (James Scott) grief sex. It was a full on make-out session, complete with the requisite soap staple: kissing while pressed against a wall.
It was also shockingly realistic. Will, after confiding in Sonny that he witnessed Sami and E.J.’s grief sex, felt unburdened. So he accompanied Sonny to a party full of hot gay jocks. He played beer pong with one, Neil, drunkenly flirted with his friends, then went in for the big kiss that kept going after the commercial break. This is the way college students, gay or straight, actually hook up. There’s a lot more casual sex than true romance. Soaps rarely reflect that. This may be the best coming out storyline in television history. Kudos to DOOL for keeping it real, and sexy.
Ron Carlivati’s Excellent First Week “General Hospital”
Greetings Soap Messiah. We expect you to save the world in seven days. Yes, new headwriter Ron Carlivati’s work began airing on “General Hospital” on Tuesday. Turning around GH is nearly as difficult task as fixing the global economic crisis. There is no way that the show will be transformed into the glory that was the final weeks of “One Life to Live” overnight. Nonetheless, with the soap’s future in more jeopardy than it has been since Gloria Monty was famously given thirteen weeks to save the show in the 1970s, expectations are high. People want the nearly unwatchable show to be as great as it was when Claire Labine was writing it, and they want it to happen now.
In just three days, the show has made dramatic (pun intended) improvements. I hated the way Robin (Kimberly McCullough) died. Not only was her death from a medical lab explosion implausible, it was rushed. (And it may be a “death” since Robin was conveniently pronounced dead instantly, and her body was covered with a tarp before anyone could see it.) A character who has been on the show for over two decades deserved a full exit storyline. McCullough revealed to the Daily Beast that she expected to be on the show for another two months. But, as often was the case with OLTL, a bad plot twist led to great fall out. Thursday’s episode was spectacular, as news of Robin’s death spread. I knew that Finola Hughes (Anna) and Jason Thompson (Patrick) would break my heart, but it was John J. York (Mac), who brought tears to my eyes. Mac was the one person who was always there for Robin, her true parent. Seeing him fall apart made me fall apart.
The scenes were written with attention to history. They hit all of the little notes that the show has been missing. Patrick wondering about the composition of Robin’s wedding ring, which did not melt during the explosion, was the sort of weird thought that people have when they are in shock after a tragedy. Unlike Jake’s death, Robin’s death has actual consequences. Patrick refused to give Sam (Kelly Monaco) the medication that Robin created to save Jason, because he blamed Jason for his death. As loopy as his argument was, when he said that Jason would only end up hurting people and probably die young anyway thanks to his mobster ways, I could see his point. Sam could not have been more obnoxious, as she demanded that Jason be saved so their unborn child would not grow up without a fire. Hey, Sam, Patrick’s daughter is going to grow up without a mother. Give the man some space.
While Patrick was calling out the off-camera Jason, Mac was letting Sonny (Maurice Benard) have it. It was a low blow to say that Robin’s entire life would have turned out differently if she had never met Sonny or Stone, but it’s true. That Robin would have never developed HIV, would not have dated Jason, might not have become a doctor. Though Sonny is regularly blasted by other characters, this time he did not get the last word. Benard reminded me that he is a great actor when given the right material. Sonny is going to channel his emotions in all the wrong ways, going after the Zacharras, who he wrongly believes shot him.
Then there was the other side of Carlivati, who loves camp and crazy people. Though there was plenty of foreshadowing over the past couple weeks that Kate (Kelly Sullivan) has multiple personalities, it was still a huge shock to see her wandering around in a bloody wedding dress at the end of the episode. Sullivan is no Erika Slezak, or even Bree Williamson. My preferred storyline for her version of Kate would involve her abruptly leaving town, never to be mentioned again. But if she’s going to stick around, crazy Kate looks like she will be a lot more entertaining than the Kate who indulged Sonny’s self-pity about his childhood. For the first time in six months, I am looking forward to GH — and the veteran characters and OLTL transplants have yet to arrive.