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Last week As the World Turns illustrated perfectly soap opera as the tattered macramé wall hanging I discussed last week.

Memorial Day in Oakdale used to mean Bob raising the flag before the Hughes' family picnic. This year, no picnic, and while a couple of vets, Lisa and Barbara (who were involved in the Paul-Rosanna-Meg-Damien thing about which the less said the better), were seen, Susan didn't make to her daughter Allison's graduation celebration. Apparently, two vets per episode is ATWT's limit - even on Memorial Day.

But the big news was the return of Ed Fry's Larry McDermott. Although, sad to say, his return lacked any semblance of anticipation. Emily's assistant, Hunter, about whom we know little, and care less, took it upon himself to invite Larry to Allison's soiree, tiny affair that it was, what with her mother not able to make it. Of course, since Allison inexplicably goes by Stewart, not McDermott, I did wonder how Hunter, who's new to Oakdale, knew her father's name. But I chalked that up to his being some kind of Internet whiz kid.

But it was the speed. Hunter tells Emily he called Larry. Emily responds in high dungeon. Emily, Allison and Casey are having dinner. Hunter arrives and skulks at the bar before being invited to join the celebration. Allison gasps, which in the soaps of old, would have been the final scene. Of course, in the soaps of old, we wouldn't have been told that Hunter had called him. Larry approaches the table. Allison is pissed off. And...

Come Tuesday, Allison and Larry faced off. The Paul and Rosanna saga continues sans Barbara and Lisa. Their absence (see 2nd paragraph above) explains Susan's tardy arrival for dinner, which commences with her and Larry yelling at each other for a bit. Allison leaves with Casey. Larry runs into Hunter at Java, and learns that Emily's with Casey. Larry shows up at the Hughes' and apologizes to Allison, who accepts his apology and rather lame explanation, and then sleeps with Casey (which seemed to be the whole point of this exercise). Larry visits Susan at the hospital and they share a moment. Several weeks' - months or even years in days of old - worth of story crammed into a single exposition-filled episode.

Wednesday, the Meg-Damien drama continued, with the addition of Lily, Luke and Noah. The rest of the show dealt with Carly-Parker-Craig-Jack-Janet. Zero overlap among any of the stories thus far this week.

Thursday: a perfect illustration of the disconnected pod-like storytelling that has characterized ATWT of late. Katie talked to Brad; Henry talked to Brad; Vienna and Katie talked after Katie found out she was pregnant (another case of soap opera sterility magically reversed); Katie talked to Brad again; ditto, Henry and Vienna. Parker, Craig, Jack, Janet continue to address Carly's drinking. Liberty wanted an expensive prom dress and she and Parker talked about the prom. Since the on-going Katie-Brad-Henry-Vienna saga is discussed only among the four of them, and, is the only thing they discussed, there's no way a newish viewer would know that Brad and Jack are brothers and Brad is Liberty's father. Or that Katie and Craig are siblings. Henry and Vienna are on the own, which limits potential stories for them, although Henry and Bob had a nice moment a couple of weeks back. Paul and Meg had the day off.

Friday: Bonnie-Dusty-Meg-Damien discuss Meg's video, which is seen by Edna, the co-op lady, who asks to watch Eliza. Rosanna and Paul bond over picking vegetables; and with a rare nod to accuracy, they're picking asparagus, which is actually in season. Carly meets her AA sponsor in a bar. Craig talks to Parker about Carly's situation. Parker confronts Carly in the bar. Craig and Carly talk about their next great thing - vitamin water. Edna contacts Meg about returning Eliza. Damien takes care of a feverish Meg. Carly and Parker talk about her drinking. Paul and Rosanna confront Edna. Paul takes back Eliza. Bonnie and Dusty go to rescue Eliza, and fight; Bonnie's car won't start. Paul and Rosanna watch Meg's video - a couple of nice moments there. Craig brings cookies for Parker and Carly.

No sign of Larry in next week's preview; that was a short stay. As for the lovebirds, no afterglow for Allison and Casey. Of course, exactly how much time actually passed in Oakdale last week is not at all clear, but presumably, they've gotten out of bed, taken a shower and changed the sheets - off screen.

The two-word summery of the week: perfunctory exposition.

© 2009 Lynn Liccardo

Limited Licensing: I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the Creative Commons Attribution license, granting distribution of my copyrighted work without making changes, with mandatory attribution to Lynn Liccardo and for non-commercial purposes only. Lynn Liccardo

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Oh, what a waste...

When I saw Ed Fry was coming back, my first thought was: "Wow, he got old!" My second thought was it was great to see him back. However, I'm not surprised that TBTB took a promising oppotunity and ruined it. Sigh.

No Bob putting up the flag? Double sigh.

Jennifer Gibbons, Red Room