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"Reflections by Jill" - A Weekly Commentary on One Life to Live
April 22, 2002
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There are a few characters that impressed me last week and I think they deserve special mention.  As I’ve talked about before, in the world of plot driven soaps that we live in today, there are always surprises because from one minute to the next, we never know if we’re going to get the characters we expect to see, or some alien characters from a soap on Mars or Venus. This week’s column is dedicated to those few characters that surprised me, impressed me, and ones that never ceases to amaze me. 

In the category of “Putting it all out there and risking your life”….we have….

Natalie – Boy, she sure didn’t pull any punches when she told all, did she? I thought that in some way she’d hold just enough back to try and make herself look a little bit less guilty of trying to ruin everyone’s life…but she didn’t and I was so surprised. I gave her credit for risking her friendship with Cristian by telling him what she did to he and Jen. I gave her a lot of credit for confessing to Seth what she did to he and Jessica. It had to be so hard for her to face Seth and admit that she wanted him back so much she was willing to do all those terrible things that would hurt him in the process and make her look so pathetic…but she did it. At the time she was confessing all her bad deeds, it didn’t even really occur to me how severely she would incur the wrath of her partner in crime…Al “Of course I can’t walk” Buchanan. Al is at the end of his rope and about to snap and I wonder just how far he will go in retaliating against Natalie. She did use him, abuse him and toss him to the wolves…that’s for sure…and when I consider who was worse…Natalie for blackmailing Al and preying on his vulnerability where Jen is concerned, or Al for being stupid enough to go along with her…I still have to say Natalie was definitely worse. Together, what those two did was disgusting and they both deserve to pay for what they did. Natalie is more than lucky that Seth didn’t tell Jessica what she did.

I also believe that Natalie was going to confess what she did to Viki, but there is another can or worms that has opened up in the sorry life of Natalie Buchanan. It had to be heartbreaking to hear the words, “I hate my daughter” coming out of Viki’s mouth and no matter how much Ben tried to tell Natalie she misunderstood, she still knows and believes what she heard to be true. After the life she’s had, I thought it was very sad for her to have to hear that. All in all, confessing to what she’s done, even after feeling like she’s lost her newest and best ally, her mother, was tremendous for Natalie.


By the way, my jury is still out on NuSeth…we sure haven’t seen enough yet to form an opinion…but I hope he does well.


Don’t faint now, Todd fans…LOL…but I have something nice to say about your boy this week. Yes, I still think he’s a raving lunatic…and no, I don’t see him ever being forgiven for continuing to perpetuate the dead baby story…but I have to say that being responsible for his own family has matured him…well, maybe a little bit.

After I got through laughing at the comedy between Todd and Nigel last Friday (actually I still laugh thinking about those two), I have to say that Todd’s introspection while he sat on the plane with time to think was very touching. I loved the conversation he had with Nigel (after he gave him permission to speak again) where Todd asked Nigel if he believed in divine intervention…seriously wondering if Nigel believed that someone upstairs might be paying him back for all his dirty deeds by making his children sick. And after being pushed around and insulted by Todd, how sweet Nigel was to try to be so reassuring that his baby being ill was not payback for what he’s done in the past…it’s just something that happens in life. I felt that just the fact that Todd would even wonder such a thing was unbelievable. I would never think that Todd would even consider that there was someone “upstairs” who kept count of all the bad things he’s done. You shocked me Todd!!!! His sister, Viki, being his conscience has never stopped him before. I think a little fear of God looks great on Todd.  What do you think? He is still a long way from doing what Natalie did and confessing to deceiving Blair in the worst way. He’s still out to save Jack, while saving his own skin at the same time, but I think we saw that side of him again that I like the best…the vulnerable side. We don’t see it nearly enough.

Hey, do you think Todd will run into Allison Perkins now that he’s bagged Alex with her plane ticket? I feel some comedy on the way….yippee!

Everyone should be hoping for the end of the Viki/Niki storyline, because until it’s over, I will not stop complaining about it. I have heard so much debate about this storyline on the net. Tons of people are worried about Ben being hurt. An equal amount of people are worried about Viki. I’m kind of in the middle on this one. I see no reason to put Ben and Viki through this silly business, and although there have been some very funny “Niki” moments that I have definitely laughed at, when the whole storyline comes together, it’s not meant to be a funny story. Niki is up to no good and yes, I do hate that Ben will be hurt, but I dread the time when this is all over and pray that the writers don’t have Viki wringing her hand doing that “You deserve better than this. You don’t deserve to be saddled with someone like me who could have done that to you.” If Viki does the guilt trip and decides to help herself on her own, it will be a repeat of the time when she and Ben were apart, dealing with terrible problems without each other and I will hate it. It will be 100 steps back for this couple and I hope it doesn’t happen that way. Lazy writing makes me think it could definitely happen that way, but I am hoping for a decent and quick resolution to this nonsense.

I know that my praise for the following character might be met with a bit of criticism…or more than a bit, but I write it as I see it and last week I was more than impressed with….

Sam – Now I don’t need to hear that Larry is not Kale. We all know he’s not Kale. I surely know he’s not Kale, since I followed Kale from Another World to OLTL and adored his portrayal of Sam. I have, however, given Larry Lau a fair chance and in many ways, he has not disappointed me.  His portrayal of Sam last week was sincere, heartfelt, touching and although he is not Kale, for me he doesn’t need to be. He is Sam. He is Sam and he loves his kids, he loves his family and his scenes with all of them last week, in my opinion, were a pleasure to watch. The more time that Larry spends in scenes with Mark Derwin, the more I can accept and enjoy the relationship between these two as on-screen brothers. Larry seems to be more comfortable these days with being Ben’s brother Sam and Mark, who I think makes everyone shine in his scenes, seems to be doing the “brother” thing with Larry quite well. I found the conversation between Sam and Ben about Nora to be totally believable and I could feel Sam’s pain and Ben’s as well, for not being able to help his brother.

Sam’s scenes with little Matthew are adorable and although he hasn’t spent much time in scenes with Jen, they have done very well together also. I liked the fact that he could talk to Jen and tell her that she didn’t have to go through with the wedding when she still loved Cristian.

And let’s talk about Sam and Nora. I don’t know about you, but it wrenched my heart out the other day when Sam found Nora and Troy laughing and enjoying dinner together. Sam has never done anything but love Nora and look what he’s gotten for it. I don’t know why I think this, but I really believe that Sam and Nora are going to be together one day.  It won’t be soon. Nora doesn’t deserve him right now. She needs to find out what drives her these days…it sure isn’t common sense. But one day, I hope in the not to distant future, we will see Sam finally have the family he loves…Matthew and Nora. My heart broke for Sam last Friday. Sam deserves to be happy and have what he wants and he’s one of those characters I can always count on to be who I believe he is. I really want to say you heard it here first. I’d also like to be able to say “I told you so” when Troy turns out to be Colin…LOL! What? You don’t think it could happen? Stay tuned!!!!

And now, to the lovely lady that I’ve left alone for a while. This woman impresses me for one reason…she tough as nails in any situation and she lives by the words to that famous song, “Don’t go changin’ to try and please me.”

You know I have to talk about….

Lindsay – We all know that my joy was overflowing when Lindsay went to jail. What I didn’t expect was that she’d still be so…so….Lindsay…behind bars. I cannot believe that with the thought of 28 years of hell ahead of her, and with all that charming company she’s got in prison, that she can still be such a little hard-ass! (Can I say that?) She’s only about ¼ the size of Mama Tillie and yet she shows no fear. Talk about being impressed….Linz girl…you are rockin’ behind those bars! Lindsay never disappoints me. She’s always the same, no matter what. She won’t show it even if she is terrified and even after being knocked around on the floor she can only think of her lifelong dream which never changes…REVENGE…Troy, Sam, Nora…I’d watch my back if I were any of you! 

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. And let me just say this…as much as I dislike the teen storylines (they’re not even teens – what do we call them?)…I was soooo glad to finally have that non-wedding over between Jen and Al. I think I might have seen a tiny spark of the Jen and Cris I remember when she first came on the show…no? I hope the storylines for the young people improve from here. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if during the live week of shows in May all the young people tossed their scripts and came up with a storyline we could all sit through? What a concept! And as for the live week…oh I can’t wait….and I’m hoping all the pranksters, practical jokers and my favorite ad-libbers are out in full force. 

See ya next week......
Jill Berry


AutumnViv writes: “I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your weekly commentary. I especially enjoyed reading the fan luncheon commentary. I plan on going next year. Sounds like it was a blast...love the pictures of the stars. I have a question...you have listed the stars that attended, but Tonja Walker (Alex) is not on the list. Was she there? If she was could you share how she is in person?  Did she share scoop on her up coming story? I LOL today when Alex's janitor hubby came looking for her. TW is amazing... she has a great flair for comedy.”
Dear AutumnViv:  Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed my Luncheon Saga. I totally agree with you that Tonja Walker is hysterical and I love her stints on the show, but unfortunately she was not at the luncheon. I would have loved to meet and talk to her for a few minutes.  I would have asked her about that tasteful gift Asa left her in his will…remember? I’m sure she’d have had some choice and funny comments about those garments.


Todd writes: “I saw a country video last night with your favorite One Life to Live doctor, Ben Davidson a/k/a Mark Derwin. It was a Reba McEntire video and he was playing a doctor. The name of the video was "And Still".

Dear Todd:  Have I told you lately that I love you? LOL  How sweet of you to write me about Reba’s video…and how astute of you to remember who my favorite OLTL doctor is! Although I am just a moderate fan of country music, there are a few singers and groups that I really like. Reba is one…Lone Star is another. Would it surprise you to know that a couple of years ago a fellow Ben and Blondie fan sent me a tape of the “And Still” video and it would mortify me to admit to how many times I’ve watched it? Mark Derwin…with a ton of hair, with a little hair, younger, older…as they say, IT’S ALL GOOD!  I thank you so much Todd for thinking of me.

Angel writes: “Ach!! You are so very correct this week! The amount that the characters on this show have changed is huge and I personally can't stand it! I was watching this afternoon and couldn't believe what a jerk Al was being and how awful Niki is! Niki used to be funny, now she's just rude, Ben used to be smart, now he's just acting more and more like Dave (no clue what's going on!!) and please don't get me started on Jessica! The stupid stick has been going around Llanview long enough! It's time we got our beloved characters back, starting with Ben and Viki because the last thing this show needs is to lose the best couple they've ever had!! IMHO!!!”

Dear Angel: Let’s hope that Ben finds the smart stick…and soon! Where Ben is concerned, Niki’s idea of fun and our idea of fun are two very different things. As far as Ben and Viki being the best couple the show has ever had, no arguments here friend.

Shirley writes: “I was at the fan club luncheon! It was my first time too!  I sat next to Dawn who won the hat! She also won a back stage tour. If I had only one wish, that would be my wish, a back stage tour!  I was disappointed, that Robert Woods (Bo) was not there. He is truly my man.  I thought the lines were long, and the wait in the morning was long. You could bid on items in 1/2 an hour. Catherine  (Lindsay) was the best. She came to us in line and talked and signed autographs and took pictures.  She is much prettier in person. I hope to attend next year. I met a lot of nice and some weird people. Did you see that guy with blond hair and 10 or more bracelets on carrying around his pink CD player? Earlier in the morning he was laying on the floor sleeping? Does anyone know who he was?” 

Dear Shirley:  I, too, was sorry that Robert S. Woods did not show up for the luncheon. He’s my second favorite OLTL guy. The luncheon sure was a lot of fun and yes, the lines sure were long. I’m not an autograph seeker, so I didn’t stand in line, but I did get a good look at Catherine Hickland backstage and yes, she is very beautiful in person…and she doesn’t have Lindsay’s “hard” expression on her face…lol. Shucks Shirley, I missed he guy with the pink CD player and all the bracelets…do you think it might have been Ben or Bo in disguise checking up to see if we were having fun?  Oh, and as far as my friend Dawn is concerned, the closest I got to that Dave hat was her modeling it for me. I did hear that she also won the studio tour and I agree that it’s a great prize. Lots of my friends have won those at luncheons and charity events and they have the greatest time when they go to the studio. Maybe next year, huh? Oh and if you’re listening Dawn, I am saving my money for next year…I wasn’t prepared for you to spend 5 years worth of your salary on raffle tickets to get those great prizes…lol…but next year……..!!!!!!!

 © Copyright by Katherine Thurston, 2002


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