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The Lovers of Llanview
A Look at Couple Fan Sites
By Soapstruck
5/29/04

Love is in bloom all over Llanview, so what better time to take a look at some of the current Llanview couples and websites their fans have dedicated to them? I approached this by knowing how hard it was going to be to include every couple in every stage of uniting and dividing. I first screened out all couples where both the actor and actress weren't currently on the show: say goodbye to Troy/Lindsay and Ben/Blondie. Next I looked for couples who actually had websites I could actually find: say goodbye to RJ/Evangeline (sigh) and Kevin/Kelly. Finally, I filtered out couples who are in their very early stages like Jeley (Jen-Riley) and Starr and Travis although both have sites. And finally, I was unable to get information on either of the Bo-Nora sites I visited. In my next go around at this, I'm hoping to include Bo-Nora and other new couples.

So we're looking at these couples: D and D (David and Dorian), JAVA (Jessica and Antonio), Jolie (John and Natalie also dubbed McNat by some), Marcal (Marcie and Al/Michael), and Todd and Blair.

David and Dorian are one of Llanview's oldest and newest couples. When David Vickers strutted back into town, I was thinking….hmmm….Kelly? Roxie? My personal choice Lindsay was only a brief blip on the radar screen. But then things settled down to Dorian and I thought EXACTLY. This go-around for David and Dorian promises to be a lot more exciting than the last one. And in talking to other couple fans, David and Dorian seem to be the couple that fans like most after their own personal favorites. Take a stroll through D is for maintained by Digwriter. This is a beautiful site which opened January 8th of this year and currently has 38 members. Digwriter says that several things inspired her to open this site. She maintains a successful GH site and she wanted to honor the only OLTL couple she'd enjoyed over an extended period of time. “I love that they're different. There is nothing cookie cutter about this couple, even beyond the difference in age. It seems to be something intangible really. In D&D I see a sort of kinship. It's almost as if their relationship is organic. On top of that, I just love them. They're witty and fun, whereas so many other couples are about nothing but angst.”

Digwriter says that the biggest struggle for David and Dorian is having the writers find them as interesting as their fans do. According to Digwriter, the storyline that has most upset D & D fans is “more the threat of a storyline. There's always been the possibility that David could really be after Dorian for only her money. On top of that there's the “Kelly” issue. By contrast, fans have been most pleased with the storyline when David discovered he had feelings for Dorian; the Christmas episode when D & D exchanged gifts was cited as a particular favorite.

She's a golden girl; he's passion and intensity, meet JAVA (Jessica and Antonio) a couple with a very devoted following with 260 members belonging to their message board. Liz currently maintains the site for a friend. First there's the question of the name. Liz says they got the nickname by asking fans of the board to come up with a name-one suggested JAVA (JessicaAntonioVegA) and it stuck. This site has been open since April 26, 2003. Liz says the site was started because, “It was becoming obvious that the more Jessica and Antonio had scenes together, the bigger the fanbase grew. There wasn't a place for fans to meet so the Java board was born.”

Fans feel the biggest struggle for JAVA has been “when Mitch was still alive and he was making Jessica feel guilty for blinding him. After he kidnapped her, Jessica didn't want Antonio in her life anymore.” They have been most upset by Keri's return from the grave and the subsequent stalking followed by her death and Antonio being blamed for it. The fans most enjoyed the scenes where Jessica and Antonio made love for the first time at the quarry.

In another part of Llanview, we have Jessica's sister Natalie and her current love interest John. The nickname for these two is "Jolie," which combines their first names and—coincidentally—is the French word for "pretty." This is a relatively new board-opening on February 4, 2004. The Jolie Destiny board currently, the ever-growing site, has 16 members and is updated by Keri and Lieren. This is a really fun site to visit not only for fans of Jolie but fans in general. They maintain a Jolie hit list for characters who interfere in the romance and a John's food-tasters list for those who provide lesser interference. Additionally, there is a dictionary of nicknames for various characters as well as Jolie emoticons.

According to Keri, “A lot of people saw the potential for John and Natalie back when Michael Easton first joined the show in October.” A yahoo list was started and as John and Natalie's friendship grew and they began having great scenes in January, several on the list decided to start a website.

The biggest struggle for Jolie per Keri is that “Both John and Natalie are trying to cope with the loss of a loved one. For John, he has been grieving the death of his fiancée for 5 years. Natalie lost her husband, Cristian, last fall. Cris' death initially had the greater impact, because Nat blamed John for the events that led to Cris' death. It took time for John to get through to Natalie, and for their friendship to develop. Now their relationship is being tested by John's lingering grief over Caitlyn's death. Natalie is ready to pursue a romantic relationship with John, but it's taking him more time to work through his feelings.”

Jolie's fans have been most upset about the arrival of Kathryn and Natalie's involvement with both Paul and John. “Many fans are also frustrated that John is still holding on to Caitlyn's memory after 5 years, and that Kathryn seems to be adding to his grief by her frequent references to Caitlyn,” said Keri.

As far as what Jolie fans would like to see more of, Keri expounds: “I'd have to say our most recent favorite is the episode of Wednesday, May 12. It gave Jolie fans something they've been longing for--to see John be the one to initiate a kiss. It was a turning point for him in finally acting on his feelings for Natalie, which he had been trying to stifle for months. The episode also gave us tenderness (on the train ride, with the shy glances and smiles before John put his arm around Natalie) and passion (kissing in the hotel hallway.) Overall though, what seems to be primary reason so many people have fallen for Jolie is the gradual evolution of their relationship. Initially, they had a "business" relationship as John worked with Natalie on the pool circuit. After Cris's death and the reveal of John as an undercover FBI agent, Natalie's anger towards John fractured their relationship. John kept reaching out to her and gradually Natalie began to accept his friendship. Through the Music Box Killer storyline, their friendship was cemented. As they became closer, Natalie realized her romantic feelings for John and began to make it clear that she wanted to pursue a relationship with him. Now it seems that John is beginning to be able to acknowledge his feelings and to act on them.”

Over at the Diner of Love fans gather to celebrate all things Marcal. The gold standard of fan sites, the Diner celebrates the pairing of Marcie Walsh and Al Holden whose spirit now is embodied in Michael McBain. The Diner was opened March 6, 2003, by Tessarae and her co-manager Ladyday. Currently there are 237 members. According to Ladyday, the Marcal name was both a spoof of melded couple names and the name of a paper products company, a fact that came in handy during some campaigning on behalf of the couple.

Tessarae fell in love with the “IDEA of them as a couple long before they officially became a couple. From their very first scene together outside Dr. Conklin's office I saw sparks. Of course, initially it was like two pieces of flint rubbing together but I did so enjoy the snapping and the snark. Kathy Brier and Nathaniel Marston played Marcie and Al as pitch perfect antagonists. The idea of them as a romantic couple evolved slowly, every time I saw them together I enjoyed them more than the previous time. One day I found myself thinking that it would be great if the two of them ended up liking each other. I quickly came to really love the idea of these two seemingly mismatched people finding love with each other against all odds. Ever one to root for the underdog I was totally in their corner. “

Although The Diner is lovingly maintained with a beautiful layout, it is Tessarae's first real experience with creating a substantial website and originally started on a relatively small scale. Marcal's popularity caused an expansion of the Diner and a message board, the Corner Booth, was added for fans to share in their enthusiasm for this couple.

Regarding Marcal's biggest struggle as a couple, Ladyday answered with a resounding, “His DEATH!” Added Tessarae., “To this day, I do not understand the decision by TPTB to kill off the character of Al Holden. It made no sense in September 2003 and as far as I'm concerned it still makes no sense. It was a cruel, painful and unwarranted decision. Of course, now that Al's soul is in Michael and he and Marcie are together, I see the Marcal love story as continuing."”

Fans have been most upset by the “Heaven Can Wait,” storyline where Al returns to Marcie via Michael McBain, a doctor totally lacking in people skills. Al has to make Marcie see his soul in Michael to remain with Marcie. The catch to this was that as soon as Marcie realized Al's soul was in Michael, Al's memories disappeared, as did Marcie's awareness that Al's soul now inhabited Michael.

Marcal fans were most enthusiastic about the scenes where Marcie helped Al overcome his drug addiction. “We were all dumbfounded and caught off guard by the depth of those scenes,” said Tessarae.

The final couple website I visited is Spark to a Flame, a site for the fans of Todd and Blair, Llanview's longest running and most married couple. Created by Aipar, the site officially opened September 8, 2000. This site does not maintain memberships but was recommended highly by all Todd and Blair fans I spoke with.

Aipar became a fan of Todd and Blair, “that night in the park when they created their infamous "most pathetic" contest. Both T&B were town outcasts, lonely and desperate for love. In the end they discovered that their hearts desire were each other. I wanted to build a site that represented what Todd and Blair have always meant to me and each other: friendship, passion, love and family.”

According to Aipar, Todd and Blair's biggest struggle has always been trust. “Their entire relationship has been one long struggle to trust each other.”

A recent storyline has most upset this fan base: Blair accusing Todd of rape. “It was an ugly and disturbing story that nearly destroyed them as a couple forever,” said Aipar.

By contrast, Todd and Blair fans most enjoyed the first year of the couple. “Many T & Bers will always love the first year that T & B fell in love and got married. T & B were pure magic,” explains Aipar.

In conclusion, I'd like to hear your opinions on the following:

All-time favorite OLTL couple:
Current favorite:
Worst Couple:
Funniest Couple:
Couple with Best Love Scenes:
Fantasy Couple:
Most Over-Exposed Couple:
Couple You Like but Keep Secret:
Couple You'd Most Like to Break Up:
Couple Most Back-Burnered:
Most Upsetting Couple Break-Up:

Send me your answers and comments at soapstruck@hotmail.com. And if anyone's listening, my fantasy couple would be Shannon and Rex. I'd love to see Rex be interested in someone other than Jen or her mother even if he had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming. And I'd enjoy seeing her protective male cousins reacting to having him in Shannon's life as well as Marcie and Natalie's reactions. And frankly, I think it would create a better and more natural source of conflict between John and Natalie than the Paul and Kathryn show.

For a future column, I'm going to take a look at all the recasts appearing in Llanview over the last couple of years. I'd love to hear your thoughts on which ones worked, and which ones didn't and why. You can write me at soapstruck@hotmail.com.

The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The TV MegaSite or its other volunteers.

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