Deep Soap: The Doctor Is In

by | April 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM | Deep Soap

Lab Rats

It’s all about biology.  My current favorite and least favorite daytime plots both hinge on the results of medical tests.  The Young & The Restless‘ revelation that Jill is not Katherine’s daughter is old school, get out the popcorn and tell all your friends, soap opera.  It upends multiple relationships on the show.  Not only does it renew the Jill/Katherine rivalry, it means that Cane is no longer Katherine’s grandson, Cordelia is not her great grandchild, and Billy and Mac’s love is no longer taboo.  (Too bad they never considered moving to pro-cousin lovin’ Springfield.)  I appreciate the structure of this storytelling.  The Katherine/Marge storyline was more than just a showcase for Jeanne Cooper.  There actually was a payoff. That’s an increasingly rare occurrence in daytime.  We also got to see a delicious (pun intended) cake fight between Katherine and Jill.  I bet that scene was a lot of fun to shoot and a historically accurate way to relaunch a feud that has included multiple cat fights.

I would like more of an explanation for the prior DNA tests that indicated Jill and Katherine were related.  It is also a little annoying that Billy suddenly started missing Mac right before his wedding after months of apparently not giving her a second thought.  I am not sure whether this entirely recast former supercouple will recapture the magic of David Tom and Ashley Bashioum.  But I am excited about the birth of the Chloe/Mac rivalry, AKA Katherine-Jill 2.0.  I’m confident it will be fierce.  Chloe has a lifetime of reasons to resent heiress Mac, in addition to their very different personalities.

In contrast, One Life To Live’s “Stacy uses her nephew’s cancer to improve her sex life” storyline has the potential to take down the whole show.  It isn’t just sleazy.  It commits one of the unforgivable soap sins: it’s illogical within its own fictional universe.  For those who have been lucky enough to avoid it, Stacy is obsessed with her sister’s fiancee because she had a crush on him in high school.  Even though she’s dated plenty of guys since, including the sexy Schuyler, she’s still hung up on a guy she last saw when she had braces and glasses.  A guy who she never dated.  So, Stacy is a soap crazy.  I can live with that.  What I can’t live with is everyone else’s idiotic behavior.  Stacy is colluding with Roxie to pretend that she, not Rex’s comatose father, is a compatible bone marrow donor for Shane.   She told her sister Gigi that she’ll only save her son if she breaks up with Rex.  The solution is obvious: Gigi tells Rex what Stacy is doing.  The two stage a break up.  Shane gets his bone marrow.  Then they ride Stacy out of town on a rail and get on with their lives.  The show attempted to address this Grand Canyon sized plot hole by having Brody suggest Gigi use earth logic.  Her lame answer was that she was afraid the first bone marrow transplant wouldn’t work and she’d need Stacy again.  Oh, come on.  The other flaw in this plan: even if Rex breaks up with Gigi, why would he start dating Stacy?  He already hates her for drugging and attempting to seduce him.  His presumable gratitude to her for saving his son would not translate into sudden lust.

If ABC was determined to do this storyline (I refuse to believe this was an idea headwriter Ron Carlivati came up with on his own), they should have at least made it logical.  Stacy should have made her demand to both Gigi and Rex then ordered him to serve as her man-whore.  That seems to be what she wants anyway.  It would be a trashy Indecent Proposal rip off that would still render Stacy inviable as a longterm character, but it would be somewhat logical.  Unfortunately, it seems like the only solution to the Stacy conundrum is to send Llanview’s latest serial killer after her.  It would be a justifiable homicide.

Melrose Is The Place Again

I had little interest in the CW’s upcoming Melrose Place reboot.  90210 is no Beverly Hills, 90210.  So my expectations were low.  The annoucement that Ashlee Simpson was joining the cast convinced me that I had no need to watch. Fortunately, the new Melrose is also bringing back my two favorite characters: Sydney (Laura Leighton) and Michael (Thomas Calabro.)   I’ve always imagined that Michael was the inspiration for All My Children’s David Hayward.  The endearingly sleazy doctor was twisted fun.  Sydney was his scheming soulmate.  Leighton and Calabro deserved to become every bit as successful as MP alums Marcia Cross and Kristin Davis.  I am thrilled that they’re getting another chance to strut their stuff.  I hope they’ll have far more to do than the o.g. West Beverly gang does on 90210.  One problem: the last time we saw Sydney she was rather dead.  But if anyone could reanimate her it would be Michael.