It’s a Mystery! – OLTL

monitorsby TedinLA

It’s no mystery why this column got delayed but that’s where the answers stop! This week I’ll be rounding up all the mysteries of Llanview large and small, sharing my thoughts on this week’s shows and introducing a new feature in the column, so if you’re ready, let’s get started!

Before we get into mysteries though I just need to get something off my chest about some  fans and their reactions to last week’s news who have really started to get to me. I’m not talking about those of you that have commented here on The Banner News, from what I’ve read you thankfully don’t fit this mold, but its something I’ve read elsewhere on the site and around the internet. It baffles me that people are so paranoid as to see a conspiracy in every move. I get that people are skittish, but it seems that for people that say they love these shows they are SO FAST to threaten to leave at anything they don’t like. Ask yourself this – what does Prospect Park have to gain by tanking the show? They have invested MILLIONS of dollars to bring them back to life, so every move they make is only to ensure that the shows can get a foothold, get stronger, gain viewers and live on for years to come. If you think otherwise, you’re acting on emotion and fear rather than logic and facts. They are sailing in uncharted waters, we need to let them find the strongest tailwinds.

The Many Mysteries of Llanview

I’ll try to sum up what we know, throw out some guesses and ask some questions. If you think you have answers, you know where the comments are by now…

The Cameras

cam2We have a partial answer to this one – Todd has the cameras (which I guessed last week – I have NO inside knowledge beyond released episode recaps). But did he install them? Or did the people that summoned him to town pre-arrange this. Has he been watching everyone back home while he was in Port Charles? While one aspect of this mystery was revealed, there are many layers left to uncover. I for one think it is now directly linked to the next mystery of…

The Tattoos

TattooWe know of at least three people that have the tattoo. Victor, the henchman he killed that Bo has found, and the henchman he saw at the coffee shop. My hope is that this group is somehow tied in with a resurrected Irene Manning. Wouldn’t it make sense that she didn’t die in the same way Victor didn’t? Mainly I want Barbara Rhoades back because she is amazing and we had way too little time with her. What do we know for sure? Allison Perkins is involved in some way, so if we assume that Mitch is really dead, she is a free agent now. If it wasn’t Irene’s group, who would want Victor and why? And did he escape or did they let him go? And why was Todd told to take care of killing Victor. Could there be two groups involved? One that kept Victor alive and safe from the other that wanted him dead? Or is it just one group who wants him dead now that he’s escaped – but if they just plain wanted him dead, why did they keep him alive in captivity? And is it even really Victor? He was acting real different…

The “Girlfriend”

mattpcMy first guess that “Michelle” is Destiny is not correct I am now pretty sure of. Unless they were deliberately trying to mislead us by showing them on the phone then cutting to Des and Nora. The Toronto area code on the phone could be meaningful, but you can order an area code for a cell phone when you aren’t in that area. There are really only two ways I see this going, Matt is getting catfished by someone who is not what she appears, or the girl is legit and will appear at some point (I’m sure she’d appear at some point anyway). For now I’m going to rule out it’s a guy but they could be doing Mantai Teo, and he’s got some girl to do the phone voice or is a good actor. If “Michelle” isn’t tied somehow to Llanview though I wonder where is this story going? Is it only there to provide a block to Matt/Dani? I’m more interested in seeing why this story is being told than the actual facts of it I think.

The Drugs

DaniScreamThis is very backburnered right now. It seemed early on that there might be “drug ring” story developing between what Dani was taking and where was she getting it, to the shady folks at Shelter who might be supplying. This would be a good arc story to tie those characters plus Bo and the police in, but I think that may be a long term story that the writers set up and are now simmering while they focus on other things on the front burners. Maybe the drug ring is tied in to the tattoo people? Maybe there is no story here…

Any mysteries I missed? Everything else happening on the show didn’t seem to fit that tag to me, so for now we’ll go onto the show notes.

Show Notes – Chapter 4

5-21-13, Part One

~ Why is Clint so in a hurry to get married?

dorian~ Looks like Dorian’s plan is in full swing. I don’t miss the weeks of taunting and coded messages that would have happened before.

~ Oh, Shelter, you are the weakest link. And sorry but do people really go out to a club and get dressed up, and THEN go to their night job? Or did we really just need to get Des into that scene.

~ I’m finding it amusing how much of the shows are revolving around the business of making and drinking coffee. Maybe it stands out more to me since I don’t drink it, but coffee is like the new orange juice on this show.

~ Shelter + David’s Reality Show = double weak. It’s fun to have them bring up history stuff like Chipmunk Tattoo, but a little goes a long way. Tuc Watkins at least makes it just bearable, but it just makes me want to see him in a GOOD story.

~ I love Viki but she is fooling herself if she thinks she can get by without firing anyone from The Banner. It’s not the Bailey Building and Loan, though they are making Clint into Mr. Potter.

~ I’m enjoying the Matt/Jeff/Dani scenes more than I thought I would. They’re just the right blend of humor and story.

ramanat~ I want to see lots more of Rama/Nat as frenemies

~ Would Tea really rat out Victor in order to get him locked up for his own “safety”?

~ Is it just me or is Natalie more imagining this as a date and Cutter is more thinking about dessert.

toddbruise~ I love the way Todd revealed his bruise to Viki (pic)

~ Clint and Viki are constantly fighting – maybe they shouldn’t be getting hitched.

~ Pretty much every episode has a Friday-worthy cliffhanger now. Reveal of Todd with the cams and the contents of the letter he got in the first show. But who wants Victor dead?

5-23-13, Part Two

~ I know there’s a great nasty joke in Dani burning her toast but it hasn’t come to me yet.

~ More evidence that Viki is more concerned with the personal lives of her staff than actually running the paper. She only just realized that Destiny works overnight? I think there’s a better way to write that scene where Viki doesn’t seem to have just found out.

aussie~ I think we need to see more of the Aussie bloke. Yes please.

~ Really enjoying Nat/Cutter’s scene and chemistry in the coffee shop scene.

~ For all the speed of the show, the Todd/Jack stuff is STILL stuck in neutral. It’s the same scene over and over – please let something HAPPEN.

~ Bo and Nora are cute with Drew. Once again everyone is united in the belief that Matthew “needs” to get involved with Drew. Can’t at least one character be on his side? It’s so lopsided.

~ In the reaction to Matt getting the electric bill, Dani was acting just like Tea – that’s some great acting. watch that again and imagine Tea.

vikipissed~ Why is Viki being so stubborn? I wasn’t really old enough to remember the days when she and Clint worked side-by-side at The Banner, but there has to be enough in that history that she’d be listening to him more. We’ve got to get some balance with these two that is positive and not always yelling at one another.

~ Dani should just suggest they shower together… you know, to save the hot water…

~ Matt’s chat with Canada girl is pretty lame.

~ Blair is finally starting to soften to Todd a bit. Will this spill over into other areas?

~ Clint/Jeff was good, and I think they are right. Kind of dumb of Clint not to stay in the shadows and just let Jeff deliver his ideas so that Viki might actually LISTEN.

~ I wish Todd would tell Jack the reason that he got so mad with Victor – because he was leaving the kids again. That might carry some weight, since they are mad for the same reason!

~ I hope Matt didn’t buy that  ridiculous bug thing and just decided to let it go. Though why did he leave his laptop when going to work?

~ It’s so irritating that Des won’t take any help from anyone. Sometime it takes more strength to accept help when you need it than to just be stubborn and stoic.

natcall~ So Nat is complaining about not having heard from John in “forever”. That is not continuity – While OLTL was off Nat was the one that shut John out and waged legal wars to keep him from Liam so it’s bullshit that she would be “sad” that John hasn’t called her. And odd that she would react that way to him calling now.

~ Glad we have previews back now. Get ready for Snoop (animal) next week!

Quiz Time!

In a new feature this week, I’m going to give you a trivia question and the reader who gets the answer correct in the comments first will get to tell me one topic to write about next week! Some rules: there may be more than one answer, but you have to guess the one I mean, and only one guess per person. If it’s fun, maybe we’ll do it regular-like…

Question: What OTHER famous soap in TV history ran two episodes a week at the start of its run?

If nobody gets the answer by Monday, I’ll give it up in the comments. Until then, I remain…

-Ted in LA

23 Responses to It’s a Mystery! – OLTL

  1. Chris says:

    Ted, one of the other mysteries you left out is how Alex Olanov (or someone else) got Cutter out of that Kentucky prison, and came back to Llanview to be hired by Blair to manage and promote her new nightclub Shelter. How come the show never explained right away how Cutter got out of prison and was hired by Blair to work at her new club? And I still think that Cutter is involved in the drug trafficking ring at Shelter, even though you don’t want him to be, because you don’t want the character to end up in prison again!
    And what is your thoughts on today’s announcement by AMC and OLTL creator Agnes Nixon that she now has hired new head writers for both shows and now hired new ones for both AMC and OLTL, Ted? How will this affect the writing of the storylines on both shows now with its new head writers?

    • Chris says:

      I meant in my first part of my sentence about the news of the new head writers that Agnes Nixon has now fired the head writers for both shows, and now hired new ones for both AMC and OLTL. Sorry about the typo, Ted!

    • Ted says:

      Your comment was the first I saw about the writing changes when I got to work. A lot can happen during a commute I guess!

      I’ve gone and read the statement (in which Agnes only talks about AMC not OLTL changes) and some various commentary and I think this is going part and parcel with the other changes being made.

      The KEY thing to remember is when they pulled the trigger on these reboots they had NO TIME to do it. Everything was rush rush rush. build sets, hire staff, gather cast, make distribution deals, and so everything done in every way was done in speed and it worked and it came together. Now that they’ve had a few months to settle in, produce shows, edit them, get reactions from the viewers and make these adjustments to keep the shows going strong, they are doing so. That’s why we went to 2 a week, that’s why these new head writers are coming in. I don’t know if it was a disagreement on the long term story or if they felt that the rush had burned out the old writers – and as someone who has written to deadlines (not just this column) I can tell you that you can get fried out from that. It sounds like the writers were going nuts trying to get this stuff ready in time, the writing staffs are WAY smaller than ABC had so you’re doing almost the same with a lot less and you’re going to get fried. I don’t know that we’ll know the real story behind things but it’s plausible. The new schedule and writers should be able to pick up that baton and keep things going.

      I don’t consider how Cutter got out of jail a mystery of the show becuase the show is ignoring it. It’s a mystery in the sense of something we don’t know yet but there is no indication that the show is going to tell that story. I don’t think it’s anything beyond the fact that PP wanted Cutter and decided that he was just going to be there. I think I said when we talked about this before that I don’t know if Cutter is involved or not and they’ve so dropped the drug story I almost didn’t even include that lol.

      • Chris says:

        Josh Kelly did say in an interview that’s on this website saying that the show will explain how Cutter got out of prison, but he just doesn’t know when, but why do you think the show is ignoring that fact, and the show won’t tell how Cutter got out of prison? Is it because of the recent change in head writers now? It doesn’t make sense that the show would begin with Cutter now back in Llanview managing and promoting Blair’s new nightclub! And the drug storyline hasn’t been dropped because one of the spoiler for one of the future episodes in a few weeks says that “Bo finds out something shocking about Dani’s drug overdose at Shelter’s premiere”.

        • Ted says:

          Yes, I had forgotten that he said that. It’s certainly a future story though and not on the canvas at this moment.

          I try to avoid spoilers and future plotlines when possible as I mentioned in the column. I find I like to write about the show as a viewer and not as if I know for sure where things are going, as this is an opinion column and not just facts and news.

          So in terms of current story, what we’re seeing now the drug story certainly has been dropped, but as you note it will be coming off the backburner down the road.

          • Chris says:

            BREAKING NEWS: PP has now cast three new cast members as new characters on OLTL: Ron Raines (ex-Alan Spaulding, GL) will play Carl Petersen, the businessman who’s the mysterious benefactor of Jeffrey Wright, Paolo Seganti (ex-Damian Grimaldi, ATWT) will play Arturo Bandini, a wealthy member of a family who is influential in the art world, Marnie Schulenberg (ex-Alison Snyder, ATWT) will play Jo Sullivan, a producer for David’s new reality show, Alice Callahan (Gossip Girl), will play Jack’s summer school teacher Katie, and Amber Skye Noles (who’s brother Tyler Noles played C.J. Roberts back in the 90′s on OLTL) will play Matthew’s online girlfriend Michelle. The characters Arturo, Katie, and Michelle will all debut on the show on June 27th, Jo will debut on July 23rd, and Carl will debut on August 20th. Thoughts on these casting announcements, Ted?

  2. Ted says:

    I’ll start a new thread to talk about the new people. I never watched ATWT so I have no idea about these actors, though it’s good that some new characters are being worked in. I can’t really judge until we see them, but I do hope this means we might see some old favorites from our show return for a visit as well.

  3. Chloe says:

    Who else would be on Matthew’s side besides other jerks like him? I just think this is out of character for him. I completely understand why he freaked out when he first came out of the coma, and why he was resistant until the birth. But for a child of Bo and Nora (and Sam for a few years), who are so loving, to regard his child as a nothing makes no sense. It’s not like he has to marry the girl or even live with her. And it’s not like he’d have to work hard to pay child support. Let’s not forget that Destiny was his best friend. How could he treat her like dirt? If she’d had the baby with someone else, I bet anything that Matthew would be first in line helping Destiny out and playing with Drew. I can’t root for a romance for a deadbeat like Matthew.

    • Ted says:

      I think most people probably feel as you do Chloe, but I remember how Destiny was all set to get the abortion she should have had when Nora stuck her nose in things and pleaded with her to keep the baby since Matthew was in the coma at the time.

      The other thing people seem to forget is that the last 2 years of the show Matthew was anything but a sweet little boy. Starting with the paralysis, fighting for the surgery, then his battles with Nate over Dani, he was basically a complete jerk, and that’s his character these days so all of this fits – and he really had zero say in Drew’s birth, that’s all on Nora, so for that reason I do give him a bit of a pass on his reaction. If he knew all along and acted like this that would be different.

      Of course at some point he will come around, but it can’t be right away or there’s no story!

  4. Lauren says:

    Ted, I so appreciate your positive attitude regarding some of the behind the scenes stuff with PP. I’ve been really disheartened to see some of the fan response online- I trust that PP wants this to work and 2 episodes a week, new writers, whatever- we’re still better off than we were in January 2012.

    I agree the tattoo and camera mysteries are linked. I’m excited to see how they develop but concerned about how that will play out given the limited availability of the 2 major players in the story.

    I think Michelle is legit given recent casting news but I would have much rather had your idea of Destiny catfishing him (although how would she have time?). I envision Michelle as first a roadblock to Matt/Dani and eventually a psycho who kidnaps one or some combo of Dani/Des/Drew. Speaking of Drew, the new one is adorable but Matthew looks even worse now ignoring this adorable, chatty moppet for like 2-3 years. We need a scene of just Matt, Des & Drew to get what the actual dynamic is here, instead of everyone just telling us how terrible he is. We also need the Nat of 10 years ago who refused to leave Llanfair because it was her birthright to tell her new BFF Des that Drew is an heir and all this struggling is madness.

    Loved how that Nat/Cutter chemistry was in full force this week. Like the Viki/Clint drama over the Banner but that they’re also concerned about Jack, Matt/Des/Drew and Natalie’s issues. None of the stories are islanded and I so commend the writers for building a real sense of community and family. Since the new HWs have just been promoted up, I think it will continue.

    • Ted says:

      Lauren, I’m just glad that the people reading and commenting here seem to be very sane, intelligent, and level headed. Some of the other things I read in comments just make my head spin and perhaps it’s just a mark of the high level of people this show attracts ;)

      I’m very interested to see what’s planned with the Michelle character, as you say now that we know she’s been cast.

      I’d love to see Nat have something happen to shake her out of her vanilla rut, we could use some good scheming.

      • Chris says:

        In a interview on this site she did with Josh Kelly (Cutter), Melissa Archer (Natalie) said that Natalie’s relationship with Cutter will definitely bring out the old bad girl out of her, so if anyone can revert Natalie to her naughty ways, it will be Cutter to do so in an instant!

  5. Joe Rockefeller says:

    Trivia Answer is Peyton Place! :D As for OLTL I am LOVING Matthew!!! Also love him with Dani! And Jeffrey is a great addition to the three! Nora scenes have all benn great and she has never been one of my favorites! Can we also have Tina visit ASAP!

    • Ted says:

      We have a winner! Joe – I was wondering if anyone was even going to guess! Write to me at ted@soaptownusa.com with your request for a topic so everyone else can be surprised on Friday!

      I really agree with you about Nora. I loved her but the last few years she would make me SO crazy – starting with the surgery refusals and then especially with convincing Destiny to keep the baby. When she meddles and gets self righteous, I really get pissed at Nora, but this time around I’ve just loved her.

      Tina is always fun, I can think of a few people we’d like to see back…

  6. Melissa Steed says:

    Great column and insights into the various mysteries that we have running right now. I personally thing that the tattoo black ops story line is an umbrella story line and all of the other mysteries on the show will fall under it.

    When news broke out that we would only have two shows my main concern was that the pacing of the story lines would be affected, but the pacing felt just right this week. I love that we’re getting daily cliffhangers instead of weekly ones. I love how these shows have tr

    • Melissa Steed says:

      I meant to write that I love how these shows have come together so far and I hope that Prospect Park keeps up the great work.

    • Ted says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you were right about that Melissa! I know we are all 100% behind PP and want the shows to do as well as possible!

  7. Ted says:

    Just an update to everyone, the new column will be up this weekend sometime – someone hit my car and the last few days have been dealing with that!

    Joe – I never heard from you about what you wanted me to write about so you have until tonight to let me know :)

  8. Lisa says:

    I have about 25 of these episodes to catch up on. I’m really not liking it too well. Doesn’t bother me at all that it is being cut back to two shows a week. Serves them right for shoving all these newbies and under-25-year-old kids down our throats.

    • Ted says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I’m assuming you are counting both shows, because there have only been 16 episodes of OLTL so far :)

      I also wonder if your comments are referring also to AMC, because on OLTL, there is only one new character and three new actors, everyone else is not a “newbie”. Also, of all the contract players, only 5 are characters under 25 (Jack, Matt, Des, Jeffrey and Dani) Everyone else is 30 or older, and there’s really only one storyline (the roommates) that is all younger characters. I don’t see how you can honestly claim that OLTL is shoving younger characters down your throat at this point. AMC on the other hand…

  9. Kevin says:

    That’s the problem: Jack, NuMatthew, NuDestiny, Jeffrey and Dani are getting about 75% of the air-time.

    • Ted says:

      Hardly. If there are say 3-4 stories going on in an episode, they would be the center of one and maybe appear in another. It always amazes me how math fails people when they don’t like something.

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