Langford on Soaps: Brendan or Doug? Who Should Ste Choose on “Hollyoaks”?

LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS

Neighbours

Neighbors garnered a lot of talk last week because of the show’s first gay kiss and how it was handled. Many thought it was great that it was treated like no big deal in that Chris and Aiden were making out just like many of the other couples at the party had. But some viewers were upset that the kiss was in the background and not the center of the scene, which you would expect given that it was the first gay kiss for the show. While I commend Neighbors for how they handled the kiss, which was quite passionate and not awkward like many kisses between two straight actors can be, it’s symptomatic of the overall problem with this storyline. Like Chris and Aiden’s kiss, too much of the action is happening in the background.

Aiden and Chris’ kiss should have been in the foreground, just not this kiss…

For example, the show is patting itself on the back for not making a big deal about this kiss, but it should have made a big deal about Chris and Aiden’s first kiss, not because they are gay, but because they are a couple falling in love, just like they would any other romantic couple on this show. But Chris and Aiden started kissing and sleeping together off screen, and we only heard about it after the fact in a casual, off-handed manner. It’s nice that the show is being so matter of fact about Chris and Aiden having a sex life, but other couples aren’t treated with such a distant approach.

As I’ve said before, everyone else’s romances are detailed from moment to moment while Chris and Aiden continue to hit all the milestones and have all their major turning points when we’re not looking.

Yet another a relationship crisis solved in minutes…

Chris and Aiden can’t even have a disagreement that lasts longer than a commercial break. All of their fights and disagreements are handled quickly and cleanly. No fuss, no muss. In contrast, Summer and Andrew are having a long and protracted break up where we see all the angst and turmoil on screen. And this leads to another issue I have: Chris and Aiden spend far too much time wrapped up in and discussing the lives and romantic problems of their straight pals. There are a lot of issues that come with being a new couple, especially when one of them is as newly out and young as Chris. It would be nice if the show would explore those issues. Maybe then all their grandstanding about having a gay couple on the show might not seem like a bunch of platitudes.

Days of Our Lives

I realize that a lot of fans were excited about this past week’s episode. I’ve seen the comments and chatter on the message boards. And while these scenes were nicely acted by Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey, the writing itself just fell flat for me. It was just so full of clichés and had an ‘Afterschool Special’ feel to it that came across as unreal. I found myself not really interested in what Will and Sonny were saying because I’ve seen it so many times. The truth is, I was just anxious for them it get it over with so we could move on to the next beat in the story.

I also was annoyed that the show made it clear in the writing that we wouldn’t be seeing Sonny for awhile. He’ll show up in another few weeks if we’re lucky. After all, Sonny only exists to act as Will’s advisor or gay guru. Other than that, the show has no use for this talented actor and engaging character. And that’s just plain sad. As for the much discussed hug between Will and Sonny, it was nice enough, but I didn’t find it particularly meaningful. Nor did I think there were any sparks flying between the characters. But then, Sonny and Will’s chemistry, at least as a romantic couple, is still something I’ve yet to see.

I’m also quite concerned about the future of this storyline and these characters. With all the backstage changes and the show’s refocusing (again), I just have this feeling that the gays will be lost in the shuffle, especially Sonny. To be honest, I think the show is going to write him out altogether, especially since his character has been so marginalized and ill used. I think they’ll keep Will around, but only as a supporting character to the other stories. And while this is a strong feeling I have, and nothing more than that, I hope I’ll be proven wrong and the show’s new regime will find interesting stuff for their gays to do that will go beyond coming out and all the ‘seen it before’ drama surrounding that. And hopefully we’ll see it more than once every few weeks.

 

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