Langford on Soaps: Which Gay is Leaving “Hollyoaks”?

soaps

Plus, it’s wedding bells for Will and Sonny on Days, Iolo gets a D.J. on People of the Valley, sex ed on Secret Lives and Todd and Marcus hit the sheets on Corrie

Langford’s Picks and Pans

Coronation Street (U.K.)

While I had been looking forward to this story when it was first proposed, as it plays out I’m finding it disappointing. The big problems are lack of airtime and poor pacing. When the show takes it up, it’s usually the B or C story of the day, so little time is devoted to it. Then a couple of weeks pass before there’s another round of brief scenes. Then there’s the way it’s being acted. A lot of the character interactions are really underplayed, and I have no idea how any of these people are feeling, especially Marcus.

I’m not sure why Todd is after Marcus. Frankly, he doesn’t even seem to like Marcus all that much. It just seems like he’s out to seduce  the guy because he’s bored and he’s got nothing better to do. The only times we get in any insight into Todd is during his scenes with his mother, who fears that Todd has changed and can see what he’s doing to draw Marcus into his web. Their scenes are actually the most entertaining in the story because the actors really work well together and their snarky mother/son relationship is believable.

Not so believable is Todd and Marcus. First of all, they are both good actors, but they don’t have much chemistry. And if we’re to believe that Marcus is drawn to Todd, it’s not coming across onscreen. Charlie Condou is not acting the role of a man torn between his desire for Todd and his love for Maria and the family he’s built with her. In fact, on screen, Marcus is truly invested in his life with Maria. Todd is just this guy who he has a casual, harmless flirtation with.

We’re supposed to think this is a build up to a blazing hot affair, but it’s been more fizzle than sizzle. Too bad because I think Bruno Langley has real sex appeal and is great as the scheming ToddI love the idea of a gay bad boy out to be a home wrecker. I just don’t think the writing is helping in his role as seducer.

Days of Our Lives (U.S.)

I read every week how folks don’t like Guy Wilson as Will, which is not a surprising reaction towards a new actor taking on an iconic role. I thought Chandler Massey was fine in the role, but I believed then and I believe now that just about any soap role can be recast. And I think GW is doing a good job. He’s a different Will, older and more serious and mature and that’s fine given that Will is a father and all. And I think that Will and Sonny have more chemistry now than they did before.

As for the proposal episode, it was fine, I guess. I personally didn’t find it romantic or moving or emotional or anything. It’s nice that we can have a gay couple getting married on a soap opera though. We certainly have come far since Luke and Noah first kissed on As the World Turns seven years ago. But the fact that I had a ‘meh’ reaction to all this groundbreaking storytelling makes me wonder if it’s me … or the show.

Still, while I like Guy Wilson as Will, I’ll admit he doesn’t have that same chemistry with EJ that Chandler Massey did. I guess it’s just as well.

I realize that women on soaps fall in love with and marry men who rape them, try and kill them and do all sorts of horrible things to them. And now we have gay lovers doing the same thing with the men in their lives. I’ve seen it on every soap, including this one, I’ve ever watched. Heck, Sami is engaged to her rapist and a man she shot in the head. But it doesn’t mean I like it. So I think Gabi believing Nick has changed to be truly ridiculous.

At least in most cases– and in the case of Sami and EJ– it took a long time for them to get to the point where they could work through the past and reunite. But that’s not the case with Nick and Gabi. Therefore her believing his ‘change’ a scant few weeks after he tried to rape her seems truly idioticEither we’re supposed to believe that Gabi is the dumbest person on Earth — or it’s just some really contrived and stupid writing. I’m leaning towards the latter.

I did like how Nick just dropped in casual conversation that Kate and Sami tried to kill him. Nick manipulating everyone and turning the girls against each other is fun to watch. He’s really a terrific bad guy. And Blake Berris is clearly enjoying the scenes.

If I took a shot every time folks referred to Nick as “Nick Fallon”, I’d be drunk before the first commercial break. Marlena did it three times in the same scene. LOL!

Oh and, “Sonny and Will: A Love Story Told In Pictures?” TheBacklot beat you to it, DOOL!  And, given the recast, weren’t there only about two pictures in the show’s big ass album? But I did love the bit about Maurice. I enjoyed the book, and the movie is one of my favorite gay-themed films of all time. Rupert Graves and Hugh Grant? Yum. Now, where is my copy of that flick….?

*Thanks to MRFIXIT for the clips!

EastEnders (U.K.)

I think a lot of people are not going to be happy when Johnny finds a boyfriend and not just his mother. The look on Whitney’s face when she thought, for a moment, that Johnny was asking her out on a date and then later, how she was jealous that Johnny was being so close to Lucy in the wake of her split with Johnny tells me Whitney will take it very hard when that time comes

As for Danny, it’s a shame that he was written out. He had the potential to be a great villain, willing to use sex with men or women to get what he wanted. And he certainly was hot. I think he was a fool though, taking the risk of chasing after Johnny so brazenly. But then part of Danny’s character is that he never thought he’d actually get caught. I do think though that he was right about Johnny in that he’s unsure of himself, even if he might have finally admitted that he was gay.

Emmerdale (U.K.)

The show hasn’t used Finn much lately, save as background for Val and Eric’s HIV storyline, though they do promise a love interest in the offing. My feeling is still that it’s Robbie and having seen some upcoming spoilers I’m even more sure of that. As I’ve said before, I’m not excited at that prospect, but for now, I want to talk about a couple of things that did happen last week, though it’s really not so much about Finn.

We had some scenes between James and Chas, where they talked about the fact that they both had gay sons, Finn and Aaron respectively. Chas had just gotten back from France visiting Aaron and was telling James about her trip. I found their discussion strange because it’s as if the show has forgotten that the reason why Aaron is living in France is because he’s on the run for the attempted murder of his uncle Cain, a crime that Aaron’s best friend Adam committed. Adam had wanted Cain dead because Cain’s affair with his mother, which Adam believed led to the death of his father.

Longtime readers know I hated that storyline because there’s no way that Aaron’s family would have let him take the rap for a crime he did not commit, nor would Adam, who was Aaron’s best pal, have let him. And everyone in town knew that Chas was going to see Aaron and as far as they know, Aaron is an attempted murderer on the lam. How strange she would be so open about her trip if that were the case. Of course the irony is that Cain now lives with Adam and is about to marry Adam’s mother, which Adam doesn’t seem to have a problem with. This all just illustrates how dumb that story was then and how the show seems to pretend it never even happened. To be fair, I haven’t watched the show much since Aaron left, so maybe something has changed in regards to that story. If it has, someone let me know.

The silliest bit was Chas suggesting it was a shame that Aaron and Finn couldn’t date. It made me wonder if Chas even knew her son. I can’t imagine Aaron and Finn being interested in each other, even if they lived in the same town. Aaron would think Finn was a snotty little twerp and Aaron would remind Finn too much of the farmer brothers he doesn’t want to be anything like. Then again, if Finn saw Aaron without a shirt, that might change his line of thinking. LOL….

James thinks the idea of Aaron and Finn dating is funny. So do I…

I also want to talk about the show’s HIV storyline. I think it was an interesting idea for the show to have one of their older characters faced with the fact that they could be HIV positive as they could depict that the threat is still out there and that it can strike anyone. But the execution hasn’t been that great. Val’s decision to destroy her marriage rather than be honest with her husband is something that Val would do. However, the story completely went off the rails by having Diane and Pollard sleep together.

I know the show did it to create drama that Pollard could have unknowingly infected Diane because of their one night stand, but I don’t believe for one minute that Diane would sleep with her sister’s husband. It is so contrived and so out of character for her to do such a thing. And while Pollard is a complete jerk, I don’t believe even he would go so far as to have sex with his wife’s sister. It’s a big false note in the story and ruins everything for me.

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