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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doin' It and Doin' It... and Doin' It Well

When I was a kid, I remember distinctly the first time Jack and Jennifer had sex on DOOL.

I remember the years of build-up, the work done on Jack's character to get him from guilt-wracked marital rapist to insecure lost man-child, and finally to leading man. I remember Jennifer fighting her feelings, trying to convince herself she was better off with Emilio Ramirez, until being kidnapped by Jack on her wedding day, whisked off... only to fall asleep before hearing Jack's confession of love. I remember the time taken to reform Jack, and the time taken to make sure Jennifer was no longer a baby-faced, wide-eyed teen - but a tough, sarcastic, witty, caring young adult. And I remember them still not crossing that line, until after one fateful shipwreck, and that cave...

The headlines on Soap Opera Digest, Soap Opera Magazine, Soaps Opera Weekly proclaimed it to the heavens: JACK AND JEN FINALLY MAKE LOVE! And on that day, as millions of fans watched, an entire episode was built around Jack - the man who brutally raped his wife years earlier on-camera, and Jen - Days' version of America's Sweetheart, barely out of her teens... finally made love. In a cave. (With Jen's diaphragm somehow surviving the shipwreck, of course)

Why this walk down memory lane?

Because yesterday, the Nuke fans finally got what they've waited years for. Noah and Luke finally lost their virginity! And it was... not mentioned to the press. And it was... after another one of their Oldtown fights over commitment and their relationship - the same fight I've seen a few times this year through various storylines. And I'm not sure Luke or Noah have grown or evolved in any kind of way since they first met a year and a half ago. Noah's been in and out of the proverbial closet as many times as... well, Brian, the step-grandfather who proved to be the latest obstacle of the week in their relationship. (In fact, I'm hard-pressed to find much of a difference at all between the characters of Brian and Noah, other than thirty years.) They've faced shame, psychos, prejudice... and then, uh... more prejudice and another psycho, and another dash of shame thrown on top. Apparently in Oakdale, homosexuals have three great foils: shame, psychos and prejudice.

Noah and Luke, as daytime's first gay male on-screen couple from a core family (the first gay couple, of course, goes back to Hank Eliot and his lover on ATWT under Doug Marland), represent the first time in years a show has been committed to telling a "long-term love story". This is their way of skirting around standards and practices... they're not "testing the waters with the censors", but rather they're "taking their time, like any great soap love story". It's a fantastic spin on words, but unfortunately, ATWT plows through every other story like they're in a race with the other soaps to see who can fit the most storylines in one year, so I don't really understand why anyone thinks they want to take their time with Nuke, and this isn't (in fact) a struggle with the censors. But let's say, for the sake of argument, that they wanted to wait a year and a half before the boys finally sealed the deal. (And before I go on, let me add that I'm not trying to change anyone's minds. This is just my personal opinion about yesterday's show, but the great thing about television is that it means different things to different people. What I love, you might hate. And what I don't love, you might rejoice at. Doesn't mean one is right and one is wrong. So no need to tell me "I'm wrong", but opinion in regards to art is never about who's right and who's wrong.)

I brought up Jack and Jen before because in their year of waiting, work was spent on getting the characters to where they needed to be in order to take that controversial step. Jack HAD to be, even in just the audience's eyes, forgiven for what he did to Kayla. And Jennifer HAD to be viewed as a woman, not everybody's teen daughter, after her popular teen romance with Frankie. So the writers worked really hard to take what was, on paper, such an improbable couple, and make them the couple you cleared your schedule for.

So based on that super-couple theory, Luke and Noah each needed to have their own steps taken. Luke's journey involved - I don't know. Possibly learning not to make everything about gay activism? And Noah's journey involved getting over a domineering father who tried to kill them, and... well, his possible bisexuality, I guess, although even that's a grey area.

And so once these two character finally faced down their... uh... demons, they finally jumped in the sack/shower on yesterday's air show after... well, a fight. The same fight they've been having for weeks, mind you.

I went to the Nuke boards yesterday, just to get a feel for what the Internet fans were thinking. And they were rejoicing to the heavens. And God bless 'em, they have every right to be rejoicing. They've been campaigning for this hard for years now. It's a small step for two B-characters on a soap, but it's giant leap for disenchanted gay television-viewing men all over the world, who finally feel like America and ATWT have joined the ranks of Hollyoaks as a soap that finally represents their struggle, their joys, their passions, their loves. And for that, I applaud their efforts, I raise a glass to the script-writers who worked their magic to try and make this work, and I give a standing ovation to the advertisers for letting it make it to air.

But what do these characters want? Jack Devereaux wanted to overcome his demons and feel worthy. Jennifer Horton wanted people to see her as somebody other than "Squirt". Whereas in Oakdale, Luke wanted... love? (Who doesn't?) And Noah wanted... I'm still not exactly sure what Noah wanted. He still feels like a plot point to me, after all this time. Losing their virginity was born out of an argument, but it was an argument I've seen so many times over the last year (always in the same set), that when I started to watch the episode last night I half-wondered if I was watching an old repeat on my DVR by accident.

And now what? We send Lau's Brian off into the sunset in a week or two, and hang on until the next external plot point shows up to drive a wedge between them. (Paging Paolo Seganti...)

Lest my vinegary subtext turn everyone against me, I assure you I couldn't be happier that the event finally happened. But after P&G's insistence that this was their "old-fashioned soap love story", I can't help but compare it to other old-fashioned soap love stories where the men battled personal issues to finally consummate their relationship after much hand-wringing. The Nuke fans held their own and campaigned for this in all the mainstream publications. The show gave them what they wanted, slyly and with zero fanfare, hoping not to anger off the conservatives aligned with their show. Anyone who reads my blog knows I campaigned for Nuke just as hard - I published the phone numbers, and gave to the charity, and hoped against hope to see something ground-breaking and beautiful and wonderful and phenomenal happen when Luke and Noah finally consummated their love for each other. Because I've always been in their corner.

But for this viewer, there is no sitting back on his couch, feeling like I've just been on a wildly romantic journey, like those many years ago in a watery cave.

Instead, it just feels like a hollow victory.


We Love Soaps said...

Tom, I don't think you have given enough thought to the hisotric significance of the hottest gay male sex scene ever seen on network television. Just as Luke and Noah kissing has become a regular occurrence (have you read the stories on the boards where people say they were uncomfortable seeing two guys kissing but now they're not), this is a huge event for gay men on TV, one I've wait more than a couple of years for. Try a lifetime.

How you can call it a hollow victory is befuddling.

Noah is a broken character. His father was a serial murderer and he never knew his mother. He never said "I love you" growing up. He has learned over the course of the past year how to say that, how to be comfortable being an out gay man. He has made HUGE steps. He grabbed Luke and kissed him in Old Town yesterday. He has come SO far in a relatively small amount of time.

Luke has learned and keeps learning that he has to grow up. That his actions have consequences. Jack Deveraux (a rapist) was a grown man. These are two 19 year old boys who have a lot of growing up to do. That's why the comparison doesn't hold water for me. The coming out process can be so difficult, especially for someone like Noah. Having a comparison to that and a RAPIST learning to cope with his life is just wrong.

I have personally enjoyed watching the coming out process of both these guys. I had nothing like this growing to watch on TV or in movies. If you ever listen to "The Nuke Fancast" there is a weekly segment on How Nuke Changed My Life. Some of those stories are just incredible and shows the powerful impact a soap can make.

So I really think you've underestimated the impact of the storyline and the significance of yesterday.

In terms of the long-term stories on ATWT, they all stink. It's not a Nuke-specific issue, it's an ATWT problem. But I think in general these two characters are more true to who they are than most. Noah is a director and the whole election story started because Luke was trying to help Noah get a film shown at a gay film festival at Oakdale U. There could definitely be SO much more fleshing out of Noah for sure. But I see his greatest value as a different coming out story to Luke's who had a family accept him (for the most part). Seeing Noah grab Luke in his arms in a public place like yesterday then take him home to make love is just such a huge step for the character.

I know you offered praise, but I think more is due. Critics and fans like to point out what soaps do wrong mostly, but I feel like ALL of us should be shouting praises from the rooftops when they take a chance, make a difference and do something right. Otherwise, why would they even bother in the future? This is a case where they did something right.

dkellergrl said...

The sexually frustrated pink elephant aka NUKE have finally done the deed.


Now, they're going to be involved in some "funny and lighthearted" murder mystery in the upcoming month, which is great. We'll get to see them being intregrated and involved with a storyline that doesn't have anything to do about the status of their relationship. Hopefully, during that time, we'll get to see more character development for Noah. Then in the future, we can see Noah and Luke doing what every other couple in Oakdale does: fall in love with another person and not remain faithful to their "true love"/"true north".

I don't want Noah, Luke and their NUKEDOM to be written as something that is 'so sacred' that can't be 'messed up' like every other straight character and their pairings have been since soap operas were created. I want it to be messy and screwed up and EPIC, so that in the end, when they are the "ENDGAME", it will be worth all of the trials and tribulations that have happened in their time on the show.

I really hope TPTB are willing to "go there" for Noah, Luke and their pairing.

jakelover said...

Well for me it's a victory. I've been watching soaps since I was 10 years old. I'm now in my early thirties and I never thought I'd see this on daytime. We had making out in public, we had passionate kissing, hands rubbing all over each other, locking the doors... They have been through so much and to see Noah's wall break down in Olde Town and just they way he feverishly kissed Luke was beautiful to me. Of course I would have liked to see more but for me it's a victory. We still live in America so for ATWT to show what they did was an accomplishment. I've been waiting for over a year for my favorite couple to finally take the next step so I'm going to be happy for now.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say it Van and Jake have done an amazing job considering some of the crap that TPTB have written.

This is a great moment in Daytime history. It was steamy and sexy, not as hot and naked as a straight couple's first time would have been, but I digress. Their sex scene reminded me of Hollyoaks. I have been saying all along that if ATWT was gonna write a love scene it was gonna be very similar to a John Paul and Craig scene (Hollyoaks). Which by me is fine, it is a baby step and the fact that P & G took that step is a GREAT thing!

Yesterday's episode and the Nuke story in general has been: messy, rocky, romantic, unrealistic, funny/witty, charming, stupid, triangles... It has been a crazy mix of things but Hollow is not one of them. TPTB could have followed all the stereotypes out there and made a sugarcoated gay couple, but they didn't. And now I can see that I can see that they have been trying their best to show that love is love. ATWT did that by letting the boys duke it out as all couples do, throwing them in love triangles, family issues, school troubles...etc.

Not everyone gets things perfect on the first shot, but it is the fact that the shot was fired that counts.

Mark said...

I think in terms of physicality it was a victory. I never expected a 5-minute love montage set to some Peabo Bryson slow jam. We actually saw them in the bedroom, we saw them post-coital, and there was actual kissing and no cuts to mistletoe. But damn was the writing bad. I haven't watched ATWT in a while precisely because of this kind of storytelling. We got about four days worth of story condensed into about 12 minutes of screentime. That's a crappy way to treat any set of characters, gay or straight. The love scenes were fine, it was the rest of it that was awful.

That Old Town confrontation should have played out at least over several acts. Instead we got a couple lines of yelling and then kissing. I don't watch soaps for sex scenes, I watch them for dialogue. I watch for characters and nuance and the catharsis that comes from knowing these people for years if not decades. None of that was there. Lucinda and Luke (a relationship I am far more invested in that Luke and Noah because it's been around a lot longer) reconciled in about a page. That could have been weeks of story, building to a tearful confrontation where grandmother and grandson finally hash out their issues and come to a heartwarming reconcilliation. But no, instead La Walsh spent her limited time playing couples counselor and brushing all of the issues under the rug. Now, if the story was about how everyone was sweeping issues under the rug and we knew they wouldn't stay under there forever, then it would give us something to anticipate, something to worry about, something to wait for. But soap viewers are savvy enough to know when a story thread is being dropped, never to be mentioned again (ATWT watchers have ample experience here). So it's clear the Brian story is over and was, essentially, meaningless. (Though I am sure he'll come back with a machete or something for the psychotic break every recurring character on this show is legally required to have).

Yes, two boys kissed. Yes, two boys took an implied shower together. Both of those things are awesome and a step forward. Now, tell me a real story with depth and length and we can talk about real victories.

At least I can take comfort in knowing that the gay characters get treated just as crappily as the rest of the characters on this show.

Michael Khan said...

Thank you, Mark, for expressing exactly how I felt about yesterday, in ways so much better than mine.

Anonymous said...

Ah, starting this with Jack and Jenn was a sly trick Mr. Casiello. They are my weakness. LOL

Now my thoughts on Nuke. They are a horrid couple. No chemistry, one half can't act worth a lick, and Jean's ADD and repetitive writing doesn't do them any favors. Also, I'm a little peeved they didn't stick with Karl Girolamo's Kevin, a much better character and actor. Now they had much hotter chemistry. But this isn't just about my wet dreams LOL

Though I can see where some praise is due to the fact that they even had them have sex at all. So props to that, but it just seemed so non-chalant.

Luke and Noah fight for the millionth time. Then Luke asks, c'mon fuck me, and he finally complies. The End! Not very romantic. No, not at all.

George said...

Thanks for the thoughtful blog, Tom. I don't agree with all of it, but the points were well made and well taken.

Personally, I think the characters have grown. I think Luke did learn from some of what he's gone through the past few months. But it's a he'll forget all of that soon enough if it'll help the plot. And I don't think Noah's struggled with his sexuality at any point since he and Luke became boyfriends in Oct. of '07.

I think you're right that ATWT's argument that they were telling a classic slow soap romance is pure PR BS...they were nervous and cautious...but understandably so.

Do I wish this episode clearly focused on THIS event? Absolutely. Peg and Dosie should fall off the face of the earth on a normal day...but yesterday especially. But I also think in the world we live in, this option made sense and helps build the foundation for what can come next...not just for Nuke but for LGBT characters and people in the years to come in media.

Anonymous said...

I was a huge Jack and Jennifer fan in the 90's, and I remember well the build-up to their first time after post-Cruise of Deception. I loved every minute of it, although I remember feeling short-changed by their love scene because it was too short (like Nuke's).

I agree where you are coming from about character development, especially in regards to Noah. He has been sorely shortchanged in that department, especially through this election story. Do we still know why he broke up with Luke initially? The mysterious Kevin reason that was never fleshed out? Noah speaking to Ally, Casey, or Dusty (a golden opportunity for the show to have a mentor for Noah), about his feelings would've gone a long way to flesh out his character. Why the show didn't chose to do this, but instead, leave him only as an angsy plot point is beyond me.

Also, the pacing of this show is bordering on ridiculous. Take the NYE episode for example, when Noah planned a special first time night for Luke. Half of the episode was devoted to a half-naked Casey and Alison rolling around in bed tyring to decide if they wanted to have sex, and the other half felt like condensed soup in a can---Nuke meeting up at Metro, Noah leaving with Maddie, Luke getting jealous (what a sham--at least have Luke get mad over Noah flirting with a guy), the infamous Lion kiss, the punch, and the aftermouth. Whew. That should've been played out over three days at least. The show is sacrificing good storytelling because CG or whoemever thinks ATWT has gone primetime and they have to wrap everything up in one episode.

But I will say that Nuke sex was long overdue. Yes, I would've liked more, but, honestly, it was bordering on absurdity that two college age, hormonal men wouldn't have done the dirty all over town by now even if they were fighting like cats and dogs. I did like the conversations/arguments leading up to the sex over the two or three days---at least they laid some issues on table (Luke's cheating with Brian, Noah always running away). But more needs to be done with character development and storyline. I do see the Nuke sex as a victory, however small. Two men with even implied lovemaking is something we wouldn't have seen five years ago. And Jake and Van have so much chemistry, they make me believe in Nuke every time.

Just one more thing--I don't know why everyone still says Noah is bisexual. He has outright said he is gay. Let's believe him.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed with how it happened. Not sure if for the same reasons you are. I do see developmente in Noah's character, and I see the sex scene as a payoff for that development. But it was rushed. Terribly rushed. And that has been one of the major problems with ATWT, with all its storylines and characters.

But the writer/once-director in me isn't satisfied. I felt the storytelling in this episode was mishandled. (I'm not blaming the writers here. I know from experience that it's usually impossible to look at the final product and tell what went wrong and who's to blame.) The pacing was so awkward. I love Casey and Jade and Alison to pieces, but I was screaming at the screen in frustration because I DID NOT want to know about their issues while Luke and Noah were about to have sex.

And the wait was so long, and for what? We saw more skin before, back when the boys went for a swim in the Snyder Pond, a lifetime ago. What did we get now that we didn't get before? I feel the only thing that made this historical was the verbal confirmation that, yes, they made love. (So it's not "blink and you'll miss it", but "sneeze and you'll miss it.)

For me, the problem is simple. After such a long wait, the scene itself and the episode surrounding it had to be, you know, worth the wait. Not just a "finally, they had sex, so that issue is out of the way, moving on". The episode in its entirety had to be conceived and produced and finalised as One Of The Best Episodes Ever Done In The Entire History Of The Show. And it really wasn't. It'll be unforgettable because of statistics ("first time a gay male couple had sex in a daytime soap"), not because the episode was historical, if you get what I mean.

But, yeah. They had sex. That's great.

jxj37 said...

I can't call it a hollow victory either. I'm hoping that ATWT will show more intimacy and keep having the young men (as well as can be expected with 19yo's) build/discuss their relationship. But yikes, I'm hard pressed to think of any NETWORK TV (not movie or cable) gay relationship with more depth or has been depicted any more 'explicitly'.

I also disagree with notion that the characters have not grown. Noah has gone from a closeted man afraid to come out to a 'mo that doesn't mind dancing/kissing his mate in public and helps with the college Gay/Lesbian film festival. I don't recall him going in and out of the closet since his final break from Maddie, unless you call hiding from the Feds over Ameera going into the closet, and I don't.

Should there have been a bigger buildup - of course, I agree completely, but ATWT seems to suck at this without discrimination. I too hope that they flesh out the whole Nuke relationship and feature it more often, but feel like the commentary here goes too far in its indictment.

Silly queen that I am, I was swept up in the urgency communicated by Van/Jake, and while I wanted more post-coital sweet talking, I deeply appreciated the caresses and tender words that we got.

Lastly, I guess I don't necessarily feel like characters have to get through terrible obstacles to earn sex, but these boys have certainly been more than I had to go through to get some (Ha!). Maybe that's progress!!

By the way, thanks very much for being in Nuke's corner over these many months; it sure can be a thankless job, but I think it paid off handsomely this time.

Anonymous said...

I don't really get how Brian and Noah are the same. Noah hasn't been "in and out of the closet". He came out to everyone after he broke up with Maddie. Then he had the sham marriage to Ameera. That's it.

I think you were stretching too hard to try to make a point, and it really undercut most of the rest of your post for me.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any chemistry between the actors. I'd love to see Luke with someone else. His story with Brian was much hotter than anything with Noah.

But, kudos to ATWT for going this far with the storyline.

Rich said...

i'll take this as a small Victroy. Noah is Gay and he said it to Stacy at Yo's went he seen Lily and Dusty there. they need to invest more in to Noah's life and past.

the wirters and the EP need to slow the whole show down.

a baby step to hopefully more in the future..

Lee Meyer said...

Noah should be the jumping off point for a whole world of romance in Luke's life. Why should he be soul-mates with his first boyfriend? Get out there, party, make friends! Hell, date Brian!

Point is: Noah sucks.

Bonobochick said...

We Love Soaps said a lot of how I feel about what happened with Noah/Luke and why it wasn't a hollow victory.

I don't think comparing Jack/Jennifer - two adults, one a divorced, reformed rapist to boot - to Noah/Luke, two young, gay adults in their first real relationship, is using a level field. I watched DOOL during that courtship and I remember sex on the island but J/J's story was a MUCH different journey than N/L's has been. I am surprised you would try to compare the two as if they were near equals in character & storyline composition. They're vastly different.

I do agree that ATWT rushes through their stories too quickly. That's a big proglem that needs to be fixed cause it's hurting the show.

Also, Noah hasn't been in and out of the closet. Once he came out, he didn't go back in. The thing with Ameera is Noah lied to keep her in the USA but he was point blank with her when he married her and when she tried to seduce him that he wasn't attracted to women & he was in love with Luke. Noah's not like Luke is regarding his sexuality but he's not gone jumping in and out of the closet either.

Leela said...

I was a huge huge huge huge huge fan of Jack and Jen. I thought the story was beautifully written.

I've written my own thoughts on the matter:

MelissaS said...

As I read the comments, I keep thinking of the show's Tivo title for that day: Alison sees Casey with Jade (or something like that). Yeah, nothing else happened that day.

I felt like it was a hollow victory, although I understand that other forces are at play that prevent a love scene between two men on daytime.

The larger problems to me is 1) the rushed pacing of daytime has been a problem for couples for a long time and 2) daytime used to lead the industry in dealing with issues with an indepth, cutting edge manner. Sadly, this is no longer.

Van Dore said...

I have been watching ATWT since before Hank was brought on. When Hank came out to Iva, I remember feeling so happy to have someone like me in Oakdale. But I also remember that we never got to see Charles' face (Charles was the name of his partner). We saw Charles' parents a lot. We saw Hank talk to Iva and Barbara about Charles. But we only saw the back of Charles' head once in a while. To see two people like me allowed to have love and sex on ATWT is a HUGE step forward, and something I have waited for for 20 years of ATWT-watching.

Rory said...

I just wish it had been more of an event. For the simple reason that after a certain point-Noah and Luke not having had sex began it's own story. (The lack of affection is more of a bad production)

It seems so many people have been like, they're 19 so they should be going at it like bunnies. (Which might be true in the real world) But in the soap world-Luke is a legacy child who we've grown up with. his first time should be special, it should be built up, it should be magical...

I'm not talking about vasine lens or slow jams and candles. The emotional stakes should have been set and the show did start down that path with the set up for NYE and Noah's letter. It gave me hope that they would make it into something more than just--lets get it on.

Because that is how it felt to me... Like one day they just woke up and were now!

I wanted something more--not physical displays or hearts and flowers but for the two characters to really have there hearts on their sleeve going into it...

That's how it was so many of my favorite couples--earned relationships and heartfelt intimacy. They may have earned their relationship but that first time for Luke was not heartfelt at alll...

They just seemed like tow guys giddy to fuck. That's not what I wanted for either of those characters

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed, too. I mean, it's nice Luke and Noah FINALLY got to have sex, something that should have happened in 2007. Note to TIIC: when gay men fret about being gay, sex isn't usually the issue. Post-coital guilt is an issue. Being unable to commit is an issue. Post-coital self-hatred is an issue. Sex, if you're either Noah or Luke, is plentiful. They should have been fucking each other's brains out for nearly two years (or at least dealing with the fallout of post-coital guilt and shame).

I can't feel grateful for this kind of storytelling. I hope they get it right next time. The only problem is that the way daytime is going, there isn't going to be a next time.

See all you gay guys on the daytime drama bus -- the back of the bus, naturally.

Anonymous said...

" Noah should be the jumping off point for a whole world of romance in Luke's life. Why should he be soul-mates with his first boyfriend? Get out there, party, make friends! Hell, date Brian!"

Since those stories will also likely involve a strong lack of focus on love life, and since ATWT won't want to commit to solid portrayals of gay characters, people will have the same complaints.

I just wish that we were even in a place in our media or in America where this could be seen as some big disappointment. There's really nothing else out there. No one who even took the relatively small risk ATWT took. And instead of being happy about that and working for more, we're supposed to be upset because this wasn't on the level of a supercouple from 20 years ago?

It's just self-defeating.

Christina. said...

I haven't watch a soap in ages. The lack of care for character development just frustrated me. It's all plot plot plot. Bleh. Thanks for the reminders about Jack and Jennifer. That truly was a great year in soap storytelling.

Damon L. Jacobs said...

Great post, Tom, see what a lil' controversy can generate?

I don't think anyone who actually watched DAYS from 1989-1990 would think that you are literally comparing Nuke to a rapist. If you watched during that year then you know the evolution of Jack/Jen was a slow, fascinating, complex, and suspenseful process.

Suspenseful? Yes, not becuase of bombs or car crashes (those came later), but because seeing these two characters slowly transform and realize they're love for each other made for some can't-miss soap.

I'm thrilled about Nuke, not because I think it was a well told story, but because I think it will open the gates to more realistic gay storylines. I perceive Nuke as means to an end, instead of an end onto itself. If ATWT can get away with portraying gay sex, maybe OLTL will kick it up a notch and give us something really out there, in your face, man-on-man action. Stranger things have happened in daytime.

Oakdalian said...

Tom, YOU WERE RIGHT. (You too, Amello, Mark and others.)
Sometimes, it just needs to be said, because some things are merely a measure of right and wrong. It's indeed a hollow victory, with a capital H. Praise is the LAST thing ATWT is worthy of. Notice the dialogue of the episode, about how much Nuke's wait was worth it. Who said they agreed to "wait" in the first place? That conversation never happened. Only in THIS episode were we made to think that their intimacy was postponed because of Noah's conflicted feelings. Bull. For months we knew there was no way the couple would get touchy-feely because of Ameera, Winston, army enlistment, election tampering, Emma's fornication rules, cameras that pan up during mistletoe kisses and any other crap I forgot. NEVER was it established that Noah's upbringing kept them from getting laid over a year into their relationship. Coupled with the lack of promotion, ATWT has given these 2 a raw deal. Given the voracious (and completely unjustified) fan appetite for them, you'd think there never was and never will be anything other than Luke & Noah where ATWT is concerned. Yet there wasn't a single hint that this momentous occasion would come to pass. Even the network wouldn't give us a heads up. So what is being celebrated here? The fact that someone threw a rancid bone to Oakdale's token gays?