Christmas cheer

Maybe it’s the Christmas spirit. Maybe it’s that Steve and Kayla are happy, and I’m looking forward to Greg’s return. Maybe I’m just beaten down at this point. Whatever it is, I don’t think the show is any better, but I’ve been enjoying it more.

Depth, consistency, characterization, slow burn romance … we’ll never get these things with Dena, but occasionally she will hit on a soap plot that has a interlocking geometry to it that is satisfying. The first babyswitch story was like that, and this new one is starting to shape up and cohere a little bit.

I always wanted to like the story, because it’s the one that Eric will probably be involved in, and I’m still hoping Eric will somehow turn out to be the father.  But I also appreciate how much the show is focusing on Chloe and Nicole’s friendship. Female friendships aren’t often the focus on soaps, so this is refreshing.

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Some of the dialogue today was genuinely cute and clever, like when Chloe said ruefully she hoped this time she could have her baby in a hospital, and when Nicole reassured her that she’s done this before, delivering Grace is what started her on her fabulous babyswitching career.

I actually teared up a little when Nicole held her baby. I’m delighted that the baby is a girl, and I’m even more delighted that Nicole didn’t name the baby Danielle, or Danipalooza, or whatever.

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Now that I feel more (cautiously) hopeful that Deimos and Nicole aren’t going to be the rooting couple, I’ve even been enjoying Deimos again. His blase attitude with Brady regarding Phillip was kind of amusing: “yeah, I kidnapped Phillip and drugged him, what?” I could get on board with this characterization of Deimos: he genuinely cares for (some) people, but if you’re not one of those people, he’ll squash you like a bug if it helps him reach his goals.

Still, it’s annoying that no one calls him on it for more than a minute or two, so I really enjoyed Phillip’s parting rant, which also included Victor (another character who never gets called on anything).

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Phillip’s sendoff was actually good. It was a little abrupt, but his scenes with Chloe, the Kiriakises, and Kate actually hit some emotional beats. I really liked John Paul Lavoisier. I love Jay Kenneth Johnson, but John Paul fit well in the role. I can’t figure out why they got rid of him just when they finally got him away from Belle and gave him something more interesting to do. (And yet we keep Dario and Deimos …) I suspect the departure of Jen Lilley had something to do with it — Brady is at loose ends now, and I think they might try pairing him with Chloe. But they definitely left the door wide open for Phillip’s return, and if Jay Kenneth Johnson isn’t interested, I would welcome John Paul back with open arms.

Screencaps Joanie

Are you happy now?

Well, that was pretty damn amazing.

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I loved that she gave him a key to her house, I loved that he proposed (though I think she’s going to say no — or “not yet”), and of course I loved that they did it. (Hee! I feel like a teenbopper again.) But, in the end, what I appreciate most is their conversation. How incredible was the dialogue? And most of all, how much did Stephen and Mary Beth take that dialogue and run with it?

When Steve said, “Do you know how much I love you?” and Kayla got such a vulnerable look, and shook her head — that set the tone for the whole scene. She’s starting to believe he loves her, but she still doesn’t trust it to last. She doesn’t think she can count on it, yet.

I liked that Steve actually asked about how she was during their time apart, and acknowledged he hasn’t asked her enough. I also liked that Kayla was reluctant to admit how much she missed him, and she put on a brave front. It was really smart to use her forays into internet dating, which we saw on the show, to give Steve a moment of jealousy. It’s not nearly as much as I want, but it was something. Hope’s had three men in love with her, but at least Kayla got Silent Bob!

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My heart broke for her when she finally said it was a lie that she wasn’t pining. And that was the only man for her and always has been.  I loved her rueful laugh: “Are you happy now?” And his response: “Am I happy?” The expression on his face!

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No joke, it makes me want to cry, feeling that Josh Griffith (I’m not giving Dena any credit here, sorry) actually gets these characters — especially Kayla, who hasn’t been written well in decades.

(And God, I hope Steve is telling the truth about there not being a woman while they were apart! Or at the very least, it wasn’t Ava!)

In other news, we saw the new Phillip today. I’ve been reading pessimistic predictions for months about John Paul Lavoisier, but I thought he did fine — and he definitely has the right look. (Get a haircut, though.) He was an asshole, but we need a young asshole on the show, and I think a foil for Brady is a great idea (what’s the over/under on Phillip trying to seduce Theresa?).  And of course his interest in this serum will connect his story to Hope and her search for Bo’s captors. So all in all, I’m feeling good about all of this.