Soap Opera Digest, September 9, 2002
Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
It's easy to call Avaya one of those stories that you either "get or "don't get," but in the increasingly wacky soap world, it's almost insulting to imply that not enjoying attempts at satire is the same as not being clever enough to understand them. This usually isn't a dilemma for those who watch ATWT, a show with a rep for being grounded. That the writers are playing in-jokes and poking fun at themselves in one corner of the canvas while the rest of the characters exist in a fairly realistic world was a risk.
It's hard to say whether it paid off because viewers - including those in this office - are divided. But you have to applaud ATWT for going for a laugh: giving Simon (of all people!) a double and letting Paul Leyden loose with that hilariously revolting personality; teaming Katie, Lucinda, Henry and Rose to wildly neurotic and high-strung effect; building a convoluted story around a shiny rock and its (apparently crucial) I.D. papers. Being ATWT, though, a little romantic sincerity was slipped in via the sweet longing between the separated Katie and Simon. We loved touching moments such as the energetic joy Katie received from a dream of her hubby, his look of utter relief upon hearing that she wasn't fooled by the look-alike and their charged reunion.
In the end, we got it: Avanya was silly, unrealistic and kinda pointless - and some of us really liked it.
Behind the Scene: Storm Front