I always root for the underdog. Sometimes, I root for the bad guy (or girl), too, which is exactly what I did all the way through The Talented Mr. Ripley -- the book, not the movie -- but suddenly, I'm rooting for the stalkers.
Last week on One Life to Live, when Schuyler held Gigi at gun point and tried to force her to have sex with him on the floor of Viki's cabin, I winced. When Rex and Bo burst in, and he aimed the glock at Rex, fired, and shot Bo instead, my heart leapt out of my chest. But on Friday's show when they led him away, in handcuffs, to Statesville Prison, I felt a twinge of sadness.
Yes, Schuyler made some very bad choices. Last November, he made a complete transformation, in the space of a few episodes, from the only smart guy on the show to the dumbest one. But in the end, everything he did, he did for love. For love of Gigi. For love of the baby he thought was his. For L-O-V-E. I enjoy watching a good soap villain, but it's hard to think of them as all-around baddies when inside them burns the flame of love.
Ok, I'm going a little bit overboard here, but then again, these outrageous soap opera storylines don't exactly inspire sane reactions.
Then there is Annie on 90210 and her drug-peddling boyfriend Jasper. (Why can't I meet a guy with a cool name like that?) She wants to break up with him, but he's blackmailing her -- he's the only one who knows that she killed his uncle in a hit-and-run accident -- to get her to stay with him. He's creepy for sure, but there's something sexy in his desperation, in the way he would go there to keep the girl.
I know, I'm kind of sick. And I probably could use a dose of healthy love in my own love life. But until that comes along, let me enjoy my TV fantasyland with sick, tortured romantic anti-heroes.