A Decent Proposal

It always gets a lot more difficult for me to update this blog when the show is generally working. Sure, I can gush, but that gets repetitive quickly, so I just wind up watching and waiting for something idiotic to happen or someone to wear an offensive outfit. (Don’t worry — it’s never a long wait.) And since the two major plots at the moment are in fairly good shape — even though we spent an inordinate amount of time last week on Xander’s new job as the Kiriakis gardener, in what I can only assume is an attempt to ride out Paul Telfer’s contract cycle in a budget-conscious manner — I’ve been a little strapped for material.

This Chad/Abigail/Ben triangle is working in ways that continue to surprise me. If you had asked me back when Ben installed that tracker on Abigail’s phone, I’d have bet all my DiMera Enterprises stock that Ben was about to take a hard left turn into Crazyville. But they’ve done an impressive job making him less-than-saintly without just turning him Nucking Futs. He’s getting possessive, and yeah, he was a dick when he announced the engagement to Chad, but I understand it, and it’s coming from a place besides Random Soap Opera Psychosis. Of course Ben wants to believe that he can have a family and a stable life, given his background; it makes total sense that he’s clinging to this relationship even though the signs are there that it ain’t perfect.

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I was equally impressed that he didn’t manipulate Abigail into agreeing to marry him. We all knew she was going to make a decision about which guy to be with based upon whose hellspawn it turned out was festering in her uterus, a.k.a. The Land That Birth Control Forgot, but they actually played up the appealing parts of their relationship in that conversation before she gave him her answer. Abigail said yes because she genuinely believes being with Ben is the right choice for her and her child, and with him, she’ll have a life that she could never have with Chad.

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It was also a wise, if obvious, counterpoint to have the scenes of Abigail telling Ben she’s pregnant against Chad’s verbal duel with Stefano. Why should she be with Ben? Because Chad’s father is never, ever going to let them have any damn peace. Billy Flynn continues to do very strong work, and I 100% buy his longing for Abigail even though I’ve never really understood the relationship between the two characters beforehand. The comparisons to EJ and Sami’s dysfunction actually work for me, too, because they add some context to what each person is thinking and feeling.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check in on my most reliable source of blogging material: Nicole’s wardrobe and hairstyling.

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19 Comments on “A Decent Proposal”

  1. fluffysmom Says:

    I’m enjoying Billy Flynn’s portrayal of Chad. I still don’t like Ben but at least he’s finally doing something. I like seeing Abigail’s emotions as she struggles with her surprise pregnancy and the unexpected marriage proposal.

    • mykleraus Says:

      It’s actually compelling. And yeah, now that we’re not just being told we should like Ben because he’s pretty and not a complete criminal, I at least find him watchable. He’s clearly struggling, even if the characterization isn’t that deep.

  2. underyourwing Says:

    i love billy….there is something about him…..i am still major MEH on the benno, tho……as for the pitri dish of dimerea spawn developing in abigail…….well, we know this leaves the door open for all kinds of frolic and fun to come.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Ben is just a meh character. I think the story is finally acknowledging that — he’s basically an obstacle and nothing else at this point. I can’t imagine he’ll be on a year from now.

  3. Gavin Says:

    The writers sure were taking a risk throwing the word manure around so often this past week.

  4. otherweb1 Says:

    I’m way digging Chabbeyben and have great hope that I’ll soon start to get invested in everyone … the scene where Brady overheard Theresa talking to Caroline at the hospital definitely has me optimistic! They really need to kick things up a notch though with Ben. Grant it he is just a means to the Chabigail end, but still, why bore us to death with yet another throw away B-list character who’s only function is to create an obstacle for the supercouple? Give him some more substance, some more motivation, more individuality, etc. I actually think Rob could pull it off if given the proper script. Grant it it’s probably in his contract that under no circumstances can he upstage Kate and Billy or their SL, but I think more people would watch and be invested in the show if we had a solid A-string cast all the way through, and keep it to just A-list and C-list (Rory, T, Bev) etc., and do away with the B-list idea … Ben, Rafe, Lucas, etc.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Ben’s role in this sort of reminds me of Emilio in the original Jack/Jen romance. There’s no way Abigail is winding up with him long-term. I think they’ve done an okay job of fleshing him out lately, but the character is and always has been blah. I don’t think Rob is BAD, but he’s not been capable of adding dimensions that aren’t in the script.

  5. Carol Says:

    who is the Real Father of Abigail’s baby
    I do not get to watch soap often

  6. Dan Says:

    I’ve been behind a bit.

    The Ben-Abby-Chad story is solid for the reasons you’ve listed. I can root for most of the characters in the story despite the fact that they have all done dishonest things. Hopefully, when Camilla Banus returns, she will slip into this storyline as the logical fourth wheel. I think Banus might be able to bring out a bit more from Wilson. This isn’t an insult to Mansi, but rather the nature of the Ben-Abby story. Ben and Abby were rushed in order to maximize the fallout of Abby and E.J.’s affair. There should have been more push-pull in the beginning, which there was in the original outline for the story. Originally, Abby and Ben were to clash over Ben’s possible involvement in the drug trade as well as Ben’s ties to J.J.; they were involved in a musical partnership (Ben #1 was a singer). Instead, we got a quick Ben / Abby pairing devoid of conflict until the bomb dropped about E.J., which was a non-bomb in this story because the affair had long been over.

    Again, this story would have been enhanced by bringing someon on as Bill Horton. The undercurrent to the Clyde Weston story is this need for legitimacy in society. None of the writers have played this up. I think having Bill around would have done this especially if they played a Jordan-Bill friendship/quasi-romance. Also, I would have bonded Clyde and Maggie in a bizarre friendship, Maggie knowing Clyde is dangerous but also seeing the softer and sensitive side.

    Of course, I also would have made a bigger deal about the hospital donation with Jennifer being forced to work with Kate on a party for the wing (Clyde’s stipulation for the donation) and Bill and Clyde conflcit. Also, I would have had Bill learn about Jordan’s abuse at the hands of Clyde and remind Kate of what happened with Curtis. And, when the Victor/Stefano double cross happened, I would have had Kate turn to Bill. Also, imagine if Kate and Bill started having an affair just as Eve decided to drug Jennifer into believing she was crazy like Laura.

    Sorry, too much fan fiction there.

    Great blog entry. The only thing I really want to add is Tefler has said his story was altered because of Freddie Smith’s car accident this past fall. I wonder what would have happened otherwise.

    • mykleraus Says:

      You always have such great ideas for deepening what they’re trying to do onscreen without just spinning off into total fantasy-land. A lot of that stuff would have been a hell of a lot more compelling than what we have. It really is a shame we don’t have Bill. He’d fit right in with Maggie, Victor, Kate, Marlena, etc.

      I didn’t see that comment of Telfer’s. Interesting. I have no idea when Freddie’s accident/legal troubles affected filming. I wonder that the heck that means!

    • fluffysmom Says:

      This sounds like a really good fan fic Dan.

      I’m curious about the changed storyline for Xander. I feel like there was a lot of missed opportunity with his character.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I’m really curious as to what they intended. It’s like he showed up, was almost instantly deranged, and is now just lingering around.

      • otherweb1 Says:

        I’ve been operating under the assumption that since the instantly-Shakespearean-deranged SL was such a joke, that the new writers have righted the Xander ship and are trying to give us a real character and SL.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I have no idea what the plan is. He last airs in less than two weeks. I’m sure there’s another homicide attempt coming…


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