NOTE TO READERS:
I am saddened to announce the loss of one of my fan site's dearest members and a loyal reader, Sheyna Ramone. She passed away earlier this week, and those of us who were blessed with the privilege of her humor and her sweet spirit, her words of encouragement and support in our personal lives definitely feel the tragedy of her absence. All of you readers hold a very special place in my heart, as you made this humble column something pretty big and special. Even more so, those readers who have joined the Facebook site know that we have all become a cyber-family. Sheyna always found time to put a smile on your face no matter how bad a day you were having, and when a joke just didn't cut it, she was the strongest shoulder anyone could have.
As of today, all of my commentaries will be dedicated to her memory until the show goes off the air. She commanded me, in every opportunity she got, to keep up the laughter and the straight talk in my columns. So here's to you, Sheyna!
Ho, ho, ho! Season's Greetings from the Sarcastic One!
This week has been filled with targets galore. I have heard from quite a few of you who agree that this week has kept the Survival Kit trips active, but we also have to acknowledge the network stocking- stuffers the writers have given us. I'm sassy, not unfair. Without further delay, all aboard!
Holiday with The Mannings: Lumps of Coal and Some Stocking-stuffers
There's good news and bad news in this saga, readers. Allow me to dispel ourselves of the unpleasantries first.
WHAT THE HELL ARE THE WRITERS DOING WITH TODD???
The entire storyline has been absolutely nauseating since the writers goofed up and made him the unfitting killer in the first place. Todd has been acting like a complete fool since the big “revelation” of Victor's killer came into play, and the snowball effect of head-banging disasters that followed certainly hasn't helped to distract us from our frustrations. We veteran viewers are quite familiar with the character profile of Todd Manning. He was a dark, troubled, ruthless character when he came to town. But there was also a period when he some of those rigid dark edges were successfully softened by selected people. Viki, Starr and Blair were shifting mechanisms in his dark nature, and while there many self-inflicted barriers between him and Blair, she was always special to him. What the writers have also failed to inject in this storyline is the fact that while there were still some parts of Todd that resisted and disregarded Blair, he was ALWAYS putty for Starr.
Todd's behavior lately has gone seemingly unnoticed by those who KNOW him. I excuse Tea for her initial oversights. Her radar was off because of grief and an unexpected pregnancy. Blair's intuition has always been guided and shaded by her need to be “loved” or partnered up with someone, but there is no excuse for Starr's direct line to Todd's psyche to be sidelined. Yes, I get that she's just so elated to have her daddy back that she's probably just tapping into the goodness he's shown since his return...
Um...BALONEY! I say baloney because her senses have been quite sharp in her observations regarding Todd's attempts to sway Blair's attentions with holiday festivities. She was quite tuned in to the scheme beneath the delivery of La Broulet's Christmas tree, (Jack-bot in tow and all), but she hasn't noticed his edginess every time Victor is mentioned? And let's not forget that Starr didn't skip a beat when she reminded her father that she “knows him too well” to believe that he'll keep his distance from Blair and wait patiently until she makes up her mind to come to Todd. None of this adds up, and with just a few weeks left in the network airing of this show, the least we could have been afforded as a viewers' severance package was that the final scenes MAKE SENSE!
On the festive side of this storyline disaster, there was the bonus of Todd turning the tables on his spawn, Jack. I don't think there are any truly fitting words out there that can accurately express how elated I was to hear Todd demand that the word “Scarface” be eliminated from the little cyborg's vocabulary.
(Thank you, writers. I don't think I could have stomached hearing Jack say “SCARFACE” one more time!)
I did say that Todd is a better match for Jack's nonsense than Victor was, but I retract my statement. Todd lost more than just a few merits when he stopped thinking like a father and gave in to the need to gain Jack's love at any cost. He knew that Jack started the fire at The Sun, (in addition to discovering that his son played a part in cruel bullying and a woman's death), and instead of making Jack do the right thing for ONCE in the little mannequin's life, he follows in Victor's footsteps and buys him another exemption from accountability for yet another crime! I enjoyed the part of Todd stopping Jack's pomposity with his blackmail, but it would have been a major improvement to see him force Jack to go to the precinct and admit his actions. The fact that Todd owns The Sun gives him the option of refusing to press charges, so Todd's need to kiss up to his son would have been satisfied without Jack getting off the hook. Jack needed probation or something, and Todd would have had the prefect excuse to keep the little worm under wraps. Instead, he pays off the star witness with a high position job, and yet another human being was coerced into risking their right to freedom to save the Thing called Jack. What will happen to this imbecilic assistant if the police should decide to investigate the fire further and discover that she lied in her statement? She'll be in jail, or on probation, her character tainted with a flaw for JACK MANNING! UGH!
And then there's his scheming with Blair
. Under any other circumstances, I would find this adorably romantic. But since Todd is Victor's “killer”, and he made Tomas
disappear under shady circumstances, we veterans will never know what it would be like for Todd and Blair
to have a relationship without their signature tumultuous foundation. They always wind up back together, because they are soul mates, pure and simple, but they always have some self-inflicted harm that they have to get through first. This, writers, was just a senseless and stupid thing to do, since The Mannings have come a long way from the super-crazy clan they once were. Blair and Tea
have made wonderful extended parents to each other's children, become sisterly friends to each other, a great alliance against Victor whenever he went off on his typical Lord-manic tirades, and a great support network for the family period. We have watched the children grow from adorable toddlers, to bratty, troubled teens, and then we watched as Starr matured into a young lady that has more charm and sensibility than all of the adults in the family, while Dani has the most peace-making wisdom. The manic overtones were dramatically isolated to the two older males of the family, and with the exception of Jack the Borg, the women were able to keep Victor's nonsense in check. Now, Todd has some ugly little secrets that WILL have to come out sometime, and when Blair finds out there will be yet another unnecessary period of anger and betrayal, then begging for forgiveness, and a rift between Tea and Blair, Starr
will be crushed, Danielle
will be confused and hurt again, Sam will be hurt..AGAIN, and forget about any type of reform for Jack. The storyline has caused some small but damaging regressions in the development of this family, including turning Tea into a screeching mess that has blurted out some unacceptable things to her child about Todd. No matter what Tea feels about Todd, telling Dani that Todd is not her father is unacceptable. Fortunately, Dani has more grace than her adult counterparts and reached out to her father anyway. It's time for the storylines to project some class already.
Buchanan Mayhem: Pt. 1-Love On The Rocks
Well it's about time that the writers put the Wentworths out to pasture! Jeez! Clint finally woke up back in his time and put his mid-life crisis to rest. Kimberly
..puhleeze! Kimberly didn't fit anywhere in Llanview, not even as a villain. To put her as a Buchanan was far too nauseating, but to have Clint
take her back, even for a brief period, would have been psychotic. It was refreshingly entertaining to watch Viki
and Clint act like silly teens while they were getting to the bottom of their feelings, but the outcome was a great reward to us viewers. I found the interaction between Charlie and Viki to be very classy, and while his time with Echo had soured me on his character at one point, I'd say he has redeemed himself in full with his advice to Viki about Clint, and his apologies for hurting her. It was a poignant scene and I wish there was more time for another worthy writer to expand on more like this one.