Posts Tagged ‘Young and the Restless’
Most of you have heard or read, by now, that U.S. soaps are one step closer to being a part of our American past. I have been saying for some time that I wish that the powers that be (TPTB) at the networks would either fix daytime or kill it off, but that anything in between is unfair to fans, and a clear disrespect for the genre. I am not celebrating the loss of All My Children and One Life To Live. In fact, it saddens me for two reasons. The first is that I believe that both shows were a damned sight better than General Hospital and were far more ‘history rich’ in their current forms than GH. The second is that I believe that both shows could have lasted years longer if ABC had the courage to infuse the genre with new writers and executive producers/energetic writers and executive producers who would have respected the genre’s history, but not become bogged down in the repetitive storyline telling, and the lack of attention to detail that drove fans away.
AMC and OLTL were the ‘class acts’ of daytime, and to lose these two shows won’t improve the chances of the remaining shows to survive by picking up their audiences. The loss of these two shows will only serve to illuminate how much weaker the plots and plot devices of the remaining shows are.
The Young and the Restless: The actress replacing Drucilla (whose name I’m not even motivated to look up) once gave an interview stating that most Drucilla fans were fans of the show first, not of the character. Uh… ok. She also stated that she wasn’t hired to create a character to replace Dru… and how’s that workin’ for ya? Where is the character she plays now? In Dru’s old storyline… pregnant, by one of the Winters brothers and she’s not exactly sure which. Adam, who burned a fetus in a damned fireplace, never giving its mother the chance to grieve its loss is a romantic hero, involved with a woman whose child he stole. Go. AWAY!
The Bold and the Beautiful: Where to begin? There are so many problems with this show that between it and DOOL, that either could be the next to go (yeah, even over GH)! I wish Bell’s ‘bad girls’ weren’t so one-dimensional, like Steffy and her faux ’good girl’ mother, Taylor- who is as much a daytime bitch as ever there was one. Both Steffy and Taylor highlight the weakness of Bell’s writing for bad girl characters. I miss the real bad girls, women with a method to their madness and whose actions were explained through their backstory (pain, unhappiness, abuse, abandonment). You always knew that their desperate actions were about fighting back in the only way they knew how and it left you hating them and loving them at the same time. Steffy is just a selfish, pampered, snotty little girl who thinks life owes it to her to give her whatever she wants – even after having such a privileged life and a father who sacrificed his happiness for hers.
Her constant attempt to draw a distinction between herself and the ‘human trash from the valley’ makes her as useless as her grandmother. Most soap bad girls didn’t offer the social class argument for their superiority and since social class is the only type of class Steffy has – any argument she makes in her favor is moot. She is everything she despises in others… the ultimate hypocrite.
Steffy’s character lacks depth and a backstory gives definition to her character.
Days Of Our Lives: Rape is NOT SEXY! EJ? NOT SEXY! I don’t care how attractive EJ’s portrayer James Scott is. JS is not EJ, and EJ is a rapist with no redeeming qualities. His sole mission in life it to own and manipulate the woman he raped, to control her life and to continue to impregnate her through violence and/or deceit. I gave up on this show a very long time ago. DOOL, and EJ as a character, are better suited to a soap titled, “The Land that Time Forgot”. The titled references a book, screenplay, and several movies. Why not a soap? Women are smarter, better educated, focused on informing themselves and their daughters and sons about sexual assault – yet, sexual assault is still the foundation for romance and ‘good times’ on Days of our Lives. Not. good.
General Hospital: Need I say more? Nice guys really DO finish last. OLTL and AMC focused on family ties, the ups and downs of relationships, and in the end the mob boys and weak guest appearances win out. Sorry, James Franco fans, I thought GH’s artist Franco sucked and that the actor treated the character as a caricature. His vision of what a soap character was supposed to be left me cringing and I was shocked that TPTB backstage allowed it to happen.
Daytime writers and executives of the four remaining shows have to become more protective of the genre. They have to remember daytime’s illustrious history and send the remaining four shows out as a bright flame, and not sending it up as a weak puff of smoke. They owe the fans no less.
Oddly enough, I was a daytime fan who, when this blog began as a column for Darcy Fourier’s ”The Soapscope” website, watched more daytime than primetime television. My primetime viewership was nearly non-existent. When I became disenchanted with daytime, I switched to primetime viewership almost exclusively. Even still, I will miss soaps for lots of reasons, but primarily for their history in total. I can’t say that I will soaps in their current incarnation, I hated and still hate most of what’s airing in daytime. I will miss daytime for what it was, and for the missed opportunity to make it something great, again. I’m not interesting in more daytime talk, more scripted reality, or more game shows and can’t imagine their appeal over even the worst of daytime dramas, much less the best of it. To the Cast and Crew at All My Children and One Life to Live, thank you for the decades of memories. You are irreplaceable and you will be missed.
The one who got away turned into two… and then two turned into three… and then three … You get the picture. OLTLers will most likely feel nostalgic at the sight of Renee Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline Williamson). REG’s Evangeline was one of the most unique new (female) characters in recent OLTL history, not to mention in recent soap history. She.Had.A.BRAIN! Not only did she have a brain, folks, she wasn’t afraid to use it!
Part of me wants to give credit to the writers for making sure that the character was as strong as she was and that they hadn’t decided to shove Evangeline into the deepest darkest corners of crazyland – where they eventually relegate all female characters. We were fortunate that there were no huge psychological breakdowns for this character after failed romances. She didn’t go on drinking binges, no drug use, she didn’t lurk in shady places trying to keep a watchful eye on ‘rivals’ – in desperation to hold on to a man. What makes all of that even bigger news for a One Life character? She dated John ”Sanity Killer” McBain, folks! She survived their relationship and remained healthy. Who could forget this moment between sisters Evangeline and Layla once it was clear to Evangeline that John was going to betray her:
The sane woman’s anthem when love goes wrong!
Whatever happened, no matter the writing, Goldsberry gave Evangeline a rare sense of dignity and strength for a female character in modern daytime. My best guess is that the writers got it – REG was a very different actress all together. She had the elegance and comportment of a more seasoned actress. Writing that may have been translated onscreen as shrill, needy, and whining by another young actress was treated as an opportunity to turn Evangeline into her own heroine – no need for rescue. The partnership between the writers and the actress gave OLTL fans like myself joy in watching one of the most memorable characters in daytime. If only the powers that be had been able to convince the actress to stay. Despite her unfortunate dalliance with John, and her flirtation with the mad-as-a-hatter Todd Manning (which I loved while he was still in the process of reforming and becoming a better person), it was Evangeline’s last relationship – with the lovely Cristian Vega that sealed Evangeline’s fate as a winner in life, but loser at love. Cristian walked away once he realized that there was more between Evangeline and Todd than she was able to admit, even to herself.
Rather than kill the character off when REG vacated the role, the writers decided to have the character succumb to a coma. While it preserved their right to bring her back (and I appreciate that), it’s awful thinking that the character remains there and life in Llanview goes on without her. I wish they’d thought to let her move on to another city, start a successful law practice and allow Layla to occasionally mention who well her sister is doing in her new life.
Sadly, I’m concerned that Layla Williamson will soon suffer the fate of her big sister. She’ll disappear from Llanview history with barely a second thought from those who knew or loved her. Overkill? Do you remember Rachel Gannon? Probably not. She was so rarely featured before the writers decided to dump the legacy character, yet again (and yet FORD remains). The Williamson family is relatively new. I have little hope for the rarely seen Layla – who is now dating Cristian Vega. While you would think that would be the perfect time for writers to wake Van up from her coma (even if they could only convince REG toreturn for a few eps to usher Van off to a new life), such is not the case with OLTL. The writers instead have Teen Tessica Buchanan, who can’t remember her life beyond the age of 17 returning to high school as a student (yeah right) and stalking ‘Mr. Vega’. Where is Layla while all of this is happening? Who the hell knows?
The more things change, the more they stay the same, One Life. One Life fans may remember Valarie Pettiford ( Sheila Price Gannon) for delivering a rousing rendition of ‘Dancing in the Streets’ at Megan’s funeral. Where is she now? Doing just fine without OLTL, thank you very much! She was one of the co-stars of the show ‘Half and Half‘ and ocntinues performing on Broadway and has her own Cabaret act:
Van, Layla, Sheila, Rika (Sheila’s younger sister), and the few very women of color before them. What a waste, OLTL.
As the World Turns
Smart women and the law? They seem to go hand in hand in daytime. OLTL’s Van Williamson and Nora Buchanan, GH’s Alexis Davis and Federal Prosecutor Claire Walsh, ATWT’s Margo Hughes and Jessica Griffin, all of whom helped make it ‘safe’ for women to be smart. Tamara Tunie’s Jessica was a no frills – no bullshit character who wasn’t exactly shy about telling Oakdale residents where to go and how to get there… of course, she did it in the most elegant way possible. TT’s Jessica Griffin McKeachnie brought as much to her show as REG’s did to OLTL later. Jessica was a beloved character who was respected by her onscreen peers -, and then the inevitable happened. Jessica found out where she really fit in the grand scheme of Oakdale life. Her ‘interracial’ romance with Duncan McKeachnie led to both heartbreaking and uplifting moments for the character.
She’d feared that her tough as nails, and somewhat conservative friend and client Lucinda Walsh would never approve of her relationship with Duncan. Lady Lu, CEO extraordinaire would have to protect her business interests from ‘scandal’, right? Jessica knew that the only person she and Duncan could share the news of their growing relationship with was their beloved friend and supporter, Lisa Hughes. Lisa was a woman of the world. She’d done something most women would never have thought of doing in her time – she’d left a husband and child and sought love elsewhere. She’d dated and loved brothers. She was a hellion in her youth and didn’t care who approved of her choices. So imagine Jessica’s surprise when she learned that Lucinda was the one to give the happy couple her blessing and Lisa was the person who disapproved.
Jessica found even greater strength and a stronger voice when she grew tired of defending her love for Duncan and their desire to be together. She remained a relatively strong character until the writers decided to SORAS’ young Bonnie into an adult woman. Bonnie brought many changes into Jess’ life, most of them lousy, including having Jessica watch her daugther grow closeto the man she knew raped her mother, and being accidentally shot by her daughter. When ATWT’s jumps the shark, it chums the waters, first. Where is Jessica? Around… somewhere… I hope.
The Young and the Restless
I’ve covered the topic of Victoria Rowell’s Drucilla Winters being absent from screen in several blog entries, most recently (HERE and HERE). I still can’t get over what insanity leads the YnR’s PLTB refusal to bring Dru back to screen. No matter how many times TPTB insists there’s no room for Drucilla onscreen, each new weak and snooze producing character they bring to screen in her place says otherwise.
Even worse than the above? The talented Latina American, American Indian, Asian American, and other actresseses who ever never give the chance to appear onscreen. It saddens me to realize that as networks are steadily shuttering soaps from the daytime schedule, Executive Producers and other execs don’t appear to be moved to change their practices before all soaps are eventually cleared from the schedule. There has be some growth when you think of where daytime started and where it is now, but how much growth? What will be the legacy of daytime and minority characters when all is said and done?
The REG you’ve never seen on OLTL. Goldsberry in RENT:
First the good stuff. I don’t know why it’s never dawned on me before, but why or WHY hasn’t DAYS – which happens to be in striking distance of the BnB in the ratings, taken advantage of the colossal blunder made by the BnB’s sister soap, the YnR? Why hasn’t DAYS hired Victoria Rowell as a new character? YnR’s PLTB (Powerless That Be) are determined to not bring Rowell back to daytime in a role she made iconic. Why not hire Ms. Rowell for DAYS and tie her to honest Abe Carver. His image has been a little ‘too clean’ for a soap character. I don’t want him to become a bad guy, or learn that he was ever a ‘bad’ man. It might be worthwhile to find out that Abe was once a conflicted man. He was in love with a woman with a shady past and did things he’d never expected to do. Maybe Abe demands perfection in Lexie because he’s loved a woman who’s driven him down the wrong path before and is afraid to go there again.
TPTB won’t hire her because of money? I know, I know… but I could name a number of characters – starting with the teens, the show could “clear house” with in order to afford bringing Rowell on board. It just might surprise you to know that James Scott’s Ej Dimera is not on the list! We’ll need him around for at least a while longer.
Imagine that Brandon returns and wants his father to meet a woman he’s fallen in love with – a woman he wants to marry. It turns out that she’s
1. a cougar and
2 – a woman from Abe’s past.
She knew Abe when he wasn’t so sainted- chasing down crooked cops and busting drug rings! She’s someone who knows where Abe buried the bodies (so to speak) and is someone against whom Abe’s defenses are weak. His attraction to her is chemical, undeniable, and a threat to his marriage and to his standing in the community. Let’s not mention the fact that a relationship with this woman would be toxic to the relationship Abe shares with his son, Brandon. It took a lot for Abe to get beyond Lexie’s affair with Brandon, could Abe make the mistake of falling into bed, again, with this woman? The woman his son loves? Lexie has spent most of their marriage cheating on Abe and awaiting his forgiveness – now she’ll have to worry about whether Abe will be the one to next break their marriage vows and if she would be able to forgive him. Ultimately he would remain faithful, though we would find out that he has a lot more to lose than his marriage by having this woman present.
Not being able to destroy the Carver marriage, being dumped by Brandon – who moves on with Arianna Hernandez, VR’s character would of course form an alliance with DAYS other uber-evil villain, EJ Dimera. Both characters are matched as equally deadly manipulators. EJ relies on her expertise but always makes sure she knows that their partnership is predicated on her commitment to stay away from Abe, Lexie, and Theo… but can she do it? EJ, torn between his friendship with, love for, and growing reliance on this woman and his love for his family. The town of Salem would never be the same again!
Speaking of Soap Families
Parasites come in all shapes, sizes, and genders. The three major categories of dysfunctional soap family members include the non-criminal philanderer, the non criminal self-pitying liar, and the criminal take-by-force loser.
Every (soap) family has that one philandering dolt who makes you feel dirty just by shaking his hand – which is a bad move since you never know where that hand has been. You just know that it’s been a lot of places you’d never go. On the BnB? That would be Eric “naked on the ledge” Forrester. Eric’s treatment of women is, and always has been, rather shabby. He’s been cheered on as a romantic hero, but he’s neither romantic, nor a hero as far as I’m concerned. I think fans are finally beginning to see Eric as the lowly worm he truly is. Is he only more clearly viewed as a Lothario because he has yet to change his behaviors? A man his age, who still can’t be faithful to a faithful wife is far from appealing. His actions include:
1. Declaring his love for his son’s former fiancee moments after leaving his wife of decades. Let’s face facts, lesser men would have left Stephanie about an hour after she gave birth – after finding out that the kid she gave birth to was healthy. It would have been hard to blame him for wanting to be a single dad rather than chain himself to a hate-filled harpy like Stephanie. She’s not exactly ‘lovable’, except in rare occasions and for Eric that has typically meant whenever someone younger and warmer was available. The problem is that he DID chain himself to her. So his inability to live up to his commitment leaves you weary. The man comes and goes like a rock star on tour – and Stephanie Douglas is his most fervent groupie.
2. When Brooke dumped him for Ridge, Eric moved on to psychotic Sheila Carter, and after a while on to taylor – who was dumped by the same son who left Brooke earlier, and any other half-wit who would have him. Each time Stephanie grabbed on to his coattails and begged for crumbs… and he gave them to her.
3. He returned to Stephanie only to end up cheating on her just before their wedding. He cheated with a woman who was like a daughter to her, Lauren Fenmore.
4. He tried returning to Brooke. Later returning to Stephanie when that fell through.
5. He later married Brooke’s sister, Donna Logan, but only after cheating on Stephanie (who was in hiding after facilitating Brooke’s sexual assault). What lousy circumstances under which Eric took Donna Logan to bed. It was mere weeks after finding that that Donna was sleeping with his youngest son in order to use him to tear the Forrester family apart. A heart-broken Thorne dumped Donna at the altar – Eric slept with her.
6. After all of the above, I never grew to like Donna and Eric, but it was clear that she really did love the artful dodger. It was Donna who fought the Forresters to keep Eric on life support when they were ready to pull the plug. It was Stephanie who gave Eric a knee to the groin in front of their adult children. It was Donna who went along with a plan to regain the company for Eric even if it meant betraying the trust of baby sister Katie… It was Stephanie who was at fault for helping the Forresters lose the company in the first place. Eric is returning to Stephanie… a woman who tried to destroy his life’s work and tried to turn his children against him.
Whatever unfortunate thing happens to him is all he deserves and more. By the way, it’s pretty awful when clips for your show fits the theme song to a slapstick comedy. BRAVO to the genius backstage who put this together! (At least you have a sense of humor about the show you’re producing):
OLTL writers must look at the BnB’s Eric with a sense of awe. The Power(less) That Be must love the guy, because it’s the road I see John McBain taking for as long as the show is on the air. Loving that man is a no-win proposition for any OLTL woman. Johnny McBain loves no woman as much as he loves the idea of living in misery… the women he ‘loves’ just end up along for the ride.
Both men should make room for the YnR’s Victor, who treats women as useless if they’re not grabbing pom poms and cheering on his self-indulgent tendencies. They may as well be packaged in tissues boxes. Victor uses one, and tosses her aside as he grabs the next.
All three aregoing to find themselves riding in a crowded car if they have to make room for GH’s loathsome Sonny Corinthos and Sonny’s enormous ego. I hope that car has a big trunk! It will have to carry the emotionally and spiritual dead bodies of the women Sonny has loved, maltreated, discarded, disrupted, and left as empty hollow shells.
The Self-Pitying Liar
The BnB leads the way again. Two words: taylor hayes… ok, two more: Stephanie Forrester… WAIT, two more: Steffy Forrester (Marone) – That’s three, right? Steffy has proven herself as taylor’s daughter, Stephanie’s granddaughter. I’ve never seen writers utterly destroy three female characters by writing them as utterly obsessed with another character – one Brooke Logan. I could show you a million clips of these women plotting (taylor and stephanie before steffy came along) and if you watched the show’s factual history, you would be shocked to hear them constantly whining about the ‘pain’ Brooke has cost them. Before Stephanie facilitated the rape of Brooke Logan, she tried to convince Brooke to take her life, and even gave her the gun to do it with… oh yes, that’s right… Brooke is the threat to the Forresters. Does Steffy has any idea how awful her mother and grandmother are? Does she care? She’s lied more since she became daytime’s lead self-pitying liar than any other character has in a decade!
The Take-by-Force loser
Oh come on, DAYS FANS, you knew it was coming! The scurge that is EJ so perfectly fits this category. I love that Will has no use for the man who violated his mother. Sami’s oldest child so clearly understands what kind of man EJ is and wants him GONE. Good boy, Will. It would be a HUGE mistake, for a show that’s doing so well, to try to sell the audience on the notion that Will wants to eventually become buds with the man who raped his mother and produced one child – and manipulated and violated his mother to produce another. I know that Sami feels ‘trapped’ in some way because she’s had two children with EJ , but she really needs to let them visit with him at his place. EJ’s presence is a constant reminder of what he’s done to young Will’s mother and I can’t believe any caring parent would let that happen.
Sorry PLTB, YOU wrote the story. YOU have to live with it.
Given Will’s obvious (and rightful) dislike of EJ, I wonder what role he will play in this storyline. If the man who raped your mother keeps trying to insinuate himself into her life and won’t stay away… what would you do? Hopefully Will might have some role in exposing EJ’s lies. It would give him some feeling of being able to avenge his mother’s rape and keeping his siblings safe from their vile father.
It’s not often that I actually praise a soap in its entirety. OLTL is good, and I enjoy more of the show than I dislike of it… but it’s not GREAT. Which soap is, in my opinion? Hands down, Days of Our Lives has to be the best overall soap in daytime! It’s such a great soap that the things I hate about it are the things you’re SUPPOSED to hate about a soap or about the show’s characters. What makes DAYS such a great soap? Two words: consistency and BALANCE!
What can drive you crazy about some soaps (YnR, BnB, and GH) is that they lack balance. On the Bell soaps especially, the soap winds blow in only one direction. Either most characters are happy, or they’re all miserable. Bell soaps are tragic drama… minus the drama. Can you think of a week in which BnB spoilers didn’t suggests that a ‘couple would be torn apart’? Can you think of a week, on the BnB especially, in which characters weren’t uttering dialogue that is deeply inconsistent from the week before? How does Thorne Forrester shift from being tired of always being thought of as a last place loser in his family, to applauding having his ex-sister-in-law/former fiancee becoming a quarter owner in his FAMILY’S company? The YnR? Between the cancer storyline, the switched identities, Ashley having yet another breakdown, and the dead-for-live baby swap, watching the YnR could counteract the strongest prescribed anti-depressant. GH? There’s hope for the show… just very little of it. GH may as well have been taped in a dark studio, with night vision cameras. Given how heavy the show is, the change in lighting couldn’t possibly hurt. For these three soaps, it’s the same stuff, different day.
One Life to Live, All My Children and As The World Turns are shows that have balance, but lack consistency. The storylines change too quickly and by the time you become use to the direction of a storyline, it changes gear – in some cases that’s a good thing. I don’t know how many more months of Dorian knuckling under to Mitch Lawrence’s demands I could stand. Another week of JPL’s ‘Rex’ trying to emote as a ‘troubled and angry’ man and I really would have needed stitches from laughing. What was the point of introducing Allison Perkins? On ATWT, the ‘spare tissue’ pregnancy Janet suggested and was then shot down almost immediately? EH! (and who doesn’t already know that Janet will end up pregnant, anyway?) There’s a lot going on with the three shows above, but it’s almost as if the writers are overwhelmed and aren’t keeping track of who said what, and when.
While DAYS held on far too long to the ‘Sydnapping’ storyline, overall, the fact that the show has been consistent and balanced allowed fans, like myself, who were tired of the storyline to focus on something else. Knowing, last month, that the storyline would continue a while longer, I began tuning it out and focusing on other big onscreen news. I don’t know what it is about ‘Daniel’ and ‘Melanie’, but I think it’s sheer genius to pair them together as father and daughter (and yes, I’ve been reminded that she once flirted with him when neither knew they were related). Something about his presence in her life finishes Mel’s character profile out nicely. She’s been two characters in one during her tenure at DAYS. There is the manipulating and selfish Mel, and then there is the vulnerable and melancholy Mel. In some ways he softens Mel, but she does the same for him. Shawn Christian (as Daniel) hit his stride perfectly in the hospital visitation scenes, after finding out that Melanie was his child. His eyes were soft and a bit weepy, his tone of voice was relaxed, and it was easy to believe that he was in awe of the young woman in front of him, one he’d only recently found carried his genes in her DNA. That he was the doctor who operated on her and saved her life made the scene all the more meaningful. Melanie looked vulnerable and frail and in need of someone to protect her. He looked ready for the job. Priceless.
And if it must be mentioned…
The kidnapping storyline is done, sorta’. Anna will finally wise up and realize that EJ is capable of using and abusing anyone, until he no longer needs them, and she’s included in that number. When he’s done with you, you’re on your own. Too bad for EJ (but great for fans) that Anna isn’t a willing victim. For those of you who don’t know (spoiler alert, stop reading here… I warned ya’!), it’s Anna who will make sure that Nicole is freed of all charges and allowed to resume her life in Salem. Ej, you schmuck! You had it coming. So the question is, with Nicole’s return, how does EJ get busted for the kidnapping of his infant daughter?
1. Rafe, hottie hot hot, to the rescue? Rafe figures it all out and makes sure Sami knows what a low life EJ is? Sami tends to forget that fact of life when she allows EJ to play on her desperation.
2. Nicole is redeemed, to a degree, by joining forces with Brady and they bring the news to Sami and Rafe? Sorry Arianne Hernandez, with Nicole’s return, I’m hoping your DAYS are numbered… Phillip will probably be free soon – give him a call.
3. A dark horse candidate emerges. Stefano learns from Anna – who is by now hiding out in a bunker and out of Dimera reach, about EJ’s dastardly plan. He realizes that his son was willing to hurt him in among the worst ways possible and decides to deal with EJ his own way…by throwing him to the wolves!
I’m partial to the third option. I’d love to see Stefano strip Ej of his money and power. DAYS’ writers have been relatively creative in their storytelling. What could they do with a powerless EJ, who no longer has the ability to manipulate and/or offend the women of Salem? The writers could continue to move EJ on to the next storyline but in the end what good would it do if Ej isn’t completely deconstructed and rebuilt? He’s currently an (evil) freakshow! What would life look like from the other side, a man without resources at the mercy of the power brokers? Nothing could give him greater insight into what his negative influence has been over others than having him fend for himself against the next ‘Ej Dimera’. His deconstruction could also lead him to find real love for the first time, a woman he doesn’t have to force to have sex with him.
Other DAYS questions:
Can Chloe and Daniel survive his strong-willed adult daughter? Chloe isn’t too much older than Melanie and she may not think his penchant for younger women is so cute now that she can’t date him (and excuse me… EWWWW!) At some point, Melanie will most likely forgive Carly for allowing Lawrence to give her away and leave her at the mercy of her adoptive father. When she does, will she want to see her parents together and fulfill a childhood fantasy of having a mother and father who love her and are part of a complete and loving family?
Will the writers break up Phillip and Melanie for Nathan and Melanie, or will Melanie begin to realize that she does love Phillip. I’m on Team Nathan, but I do think it would be a more interesting storyline to have Phillip be a ‘good guy’ who genuinely loves Mel and wants to save his marriage to her without resorting to going to his ‘dark place’ to make it happen. The best triangles keep you rooting for everyone involved.
With Hope defending Bo and asserting that he is (professionally) an ethical man, will Bo begin to realize that he may be professionally ethical but that he’s lacking personally? For most of their adult lives, Hope has been defending their marriage against each of Bo’s new ‘great loves’ and any children that are born or resurface as a result. He has yet to have to do the same because she has centered her life around him. Is there some point in his life when he realizes that he’s taken more from his marriage than he’s ever given to Hope?
I could do this all day with Days of Our Lives. Each storyline offered is one that poetnitally generates an entirely new group of storylines. Days writers thank you for the use of both veterans balanced against the introduction of newbies. My only criticism… Abe… Lexie… MORE please! DAYS is the only show consistently posting large gains in viewership over the year before. Daytime writers… watch… learn… emulate!
The Young and the Restless: Melody Thomas Scott
Melody Thomas Scott has found herself a new gig! She will start in a new online production, The Republic:
Melody plays Martha Alden, a working mother who evolves into a core-of-steel activist fighting against new laws imposed on her family. Singer plays her devoted husband Frank, a civil engineer who, blindsided by the new laws and losses, learns to adapt and thrive in this brave new world.
Good luck to MTS and the best of wishes for a successful run of this drama!
As The World Turns: Cady McClain
If you had any doubt that Cady McClain was fabulous, before, this should clear things up! She goes down in my book as one of my favorite celebs, EVER! Read the full interview posted at Soap Central
It’s not that I don’t support daytime. Sometimes I just get frustrated when there are opportunities and people just don’t want to hear it. People don’t want to hear the truth. And the person who speaks what I see as my truth, certainly, often takes a hit for it.
Why is it that people like Ms. McClain are never in charge of daytime? Seemingly, the only people hired in executive roles are those who throw on the cheerleading outfits, the blinders, and who keep cheering on one crapload of bad storytelling after another. I have to wonder if people who are as critical as McClain and others could have turned this genre around while there was still time. Fans have been speaking truth to daytime for a LONG time… and no one listens. The ratings fall… and no one listens. The actors speak out… and no one listens. I’m gonna’ miss daytime when it goes!
The SON commnunity has been having a wonderful discussion about diversity stemming from Christel Khalil’s interview. I thought I would post some ‘final thoughts’ (HA!) about the matter:
YnR writers aren’t writing ‘color blind’ storylines, in my opinion. I would love to believe that CK’s Lily is the perfect example of ‘post racial’ storyline telling. It would make sense if it were true of all storylines regarding all characters. As it stands, only Lily is the ‘integrated character’… and for what reason? To what end? Not in the history of daytime has any non-minority character shared screen time almost exclusively with minority characters, to the exclusion of all other non-minority characters. That’s not ‘integration’. That’s not ‘color blind’ storytelling. I think it’s a travesty and it sells the audience short to think we wouldn’t notice.
Bear with me as I do something I rarely do in this blog, at least, and that’s comment on my perceptions of an actor’s talent. I find the writers pushing CK’s Lily to the exclusion of almost all other multicultural characters especially troubling because, in my opinion, I find CK’s performances LIFELESS! I honest to goodness don’t know how anyone avoids holding a mirror to her face to check for breathing whenever she’s not speaking. Her inflections feel wrong in pretty much every scene and I think her acting choices leave A LOT to be desired. I think CK’s Lily sucks the breath out of every scene she’s in. Any male paired with her becomes the same walking sleeping pill she is.
Kristoff St. John probably whizzes away more talent after a stiff drink than CK will ever have – pardon the coarse expression. Victoria Rowell could sleepwalk and do a better job. Yet, neither actor is around to do a darned thing, with the exception of KSJ’s far too infrequent appearances, because the writers seem to believe that their ‘diversity standard’ is set by Lily and that the diversity the Winters family once provided is no longer needed.
The Winters as a family was beloved and embraced by fans because they were authentic in representing the spectrum of life that most families have, including African-American family- Bless Bill Bell for knowing that and giving us:
- Neil, straight-laced high achieving all around good guy. He is sometimes a little too impressed with the sound of his own voice and his own magnificence, but he means well.
- Dru, reformed from her bad girl days, criminal record, rejected child acting out. She was a screwed up child who became an extraordinary woman. I could EASILY cut away three or more characters from YnR to have her back… EASILY. She was worth every one of them PLUS!
- Olivia, another high achieving privileged first born. Olivia was a bit of a judgmental prig and the thought that Liv and Neil would have eventually gotten together was enough to make me shudder. They would have been daytime’s first African-American stuporcouple.
- Malcolm, wild child, playboy/sexgod/work in progress and still a man with a good heart. I never knew whether to root for him to be redeemed or for him to continue on in his naughty naughty ways!
- Mamie, loving and devoted aunt, not a lot of money or education, but she’s gives all the right things. She takes in the unwanted, unloved Dru and helps her turn her life around. When the writers focused on her relationship with Dru and Liv, she was the middle class version of ‘Auntie Mame‘.
- Nate, a good guy who had a rough start in life but turned everything around. Nate had ‘rootability’ from the beginning, in my book. He had to be Dru’s hero, and I’m glad that he was. Each of us probably knows a RL ‘Nate’, a man who took back his life and ‘made good’.
- I’m still wishing for ‘Little Nate’s’ return. I wonder what he would make of his family, now.
- And now Devon rounds out the family (not sure if he was Bill Bell’s creation or not, but I’m glad he’s on board). College student, survivor, a little screwed up, but he completes the family.
Nate Sr. has died, Malcolm is off in the world, and I have no idea where Mamie is (forgot). Devon and Neil are occasionally seen.
Everyone else? Traded in and we’re left with LILY.
What a slap!
Regarding MarkH’s insightful question of whether Dru’s presence made Olivia’s introduction possible? Was Olivia more acceptable because of Dru?
Dru wasn’t the ‘default standard’, for me. I loved the way the two sisters complemented one another. I wouldn’t have wanted EITHER woman, alone. Liv, the accomplished doctor, who was still a little too ‘sorority girl’ (along with Ashley – they were so sappy sweet together, I developed cavities when they were on screen together). Then there was Dru, the street kid.
Dru was never ‘good enough’ for her mother. Her mother never wanted to have another child after the perfect LIV and didn’t so much as notice that her daughter couldn’t read. Liv was the heir, Dru was the spare. It’s such a classic ‘family’ story (not just “African-American” story) and it was wonderful to see these two sisters play off of one another, genuinely loving one another but being divided by the strife their mother created.
Minorities/underrepresented groups so rarely get to have the balanced portrayals that non-minority groups do that we’re caught struggling with our feelings about the few characters who are supposed to represent us. Drucilla alone feels like a cruel joke – daytime writers once again indulging their fantasies about who black women are. Olivia alone feels somewhat like a different kind of repudiation of culture (much like Lily). Bill Bell was master enough to appreciate that and I think he really understood that in both simple and complex ways that the current YnR writers are ignorant of, or seem to be.
OLTL writers ” got it” and provided balance with the ‘good sib’ and the ‘troubled sib’. It’s how they wrote: Nate and RJ Gannon, and Cristian and Antonio (as well as Vicki and Todd, and Natalie and Jessica).
There’s a quiet revolution taking place in daytime and I love being part of it – if only as a viewer. Daytime writers have been slowly kicking up the bitch goddess factor..
DAYS offers the ever deceptive and self sabotaging Nicole Walker Dimera. You can read more about her in previous S&F blogs.
The YnR offers Phyllis Newman – maneater and also a master of the self-inflicted wound. In her effort to manipulate her husband into staying with her, her attacks on his wronged ex-wife will most likely result in his return to said ex-wife Sharon Newman Abbott.
OLTL’s Tea Delgado just helped free Todd, who recently violated his former rape victim. That storyline I could do without. It’s enough to make me want to revoke her bitch goddess status. She is, however, using that bit of tasteless work as cover for going after a different target – another potentially innocent woman who is the victim of a questionable man. Oh Tea. While I don’t like her behavior, it’s been a while since we’ve seen such a powerful and devious woman in daytime. We typically get one or the other.
ATWT’s Carly Tenney is getting back into fighting form. Instead of crying about Jack Snyder moving on, she’s handing his ass back to him on a platter when he attacks her. Watching her stick it to the self-righteous prig this past week was the best gift the writers could have given Carly fans like myself.
GH’s Natalia Livingston is coming back as an angry maniplator instead of the sainted Emily Quartermaine at a time when GH has lost all of it’s truly bad ‘bad girls’ (and still I cry – Emily always put me in the mood to chew glass.). I reserve the right to believe that NL’s return could be interesting and Emily free.
So far, not a whiner in the bunch: just tough smart and dangerous women. If only we could make them sisters on the same soap, the BnB perhaps…and make Pam Douglas their tough-as-nails mother…you know, since her tumor was removed and she’s no longer psychotic. Sorta’
Daytime is the worst boyfriend – EVER. It’s not husband material and never will be. It will never mature to the point that you could even begin to consider a lifetime commitment to it. So…why am I so completely in love with daytime right now? I can give you eight reasons which collectively make sense but each seem to be a little far-fetched in redefining daytime, on their own.
As I stated in an earlier blog, short of the YnR – no one show has it all together. If I could create a brand new soap, I would pull my favorite plots from each soap and offer the following:
1. All My Children. I’m torn. Reese’s secret? Jesse and Angie sharing their home with dying Rebecca (love the writers for this one and as gut wrenching as this storyline is, I want them to save her!). I’d even take David falling in love with <GULP!!!!!> Krystal – and I like Krystal about as much as I’d enjoy contracting malaria. That’s a huge compliment to the AMC writers. I’d take David and Krystal even if I have to hear them uttering my least favorite four letter word over and over again: Babe!
2. One Life to Live. I don’t want to, because it’s sheer manipulation, but I’m diggin’ J/B/Tessica and Brody. Vulnerable, frail, and brutally honest and accepting of one another, there are no head games – yet. Oh…and they’re smokin’ hot together. How much should we bet that Brody finds out about Chloe before Jessica does and fights to protect her from losing ‘her’ little girl (oh if only it was Jessica’s baby!)
3. General Hospital. The Maxie/Mac/Robin scenes were so unusual for GH. No one was killed. No explosions. No melodramatic calls for revenge. Seeing this family together in the Scorpio home reminded me of the old GH. I remembered veteran characters I once loved and favorite moments. The scenes had an honesty and purity about them that I’ve come to miss about GH. I wanted to see Robert and Anna there with them.
GH has no love for legacy characters and storylines, it seems, but bless TPTB for having love for legacy sets. It’s the only part of the show I once loved that still remains. The Webbers, the Jones Brother, Lucy Coe, and the many others who’ve called that set ‘home’… how I miss them all.
4. Young and the Restless. Anything to do with Chloe works for me! I’m not thrilled about her new found deep and abiding love for Billy Abbott after all of this (she balances Cane out far better than Lily ever could). I’d love to see Cane and Chloe make it work, but hey, I can roll with the punches on this one. Brotherly conflict of biblical proportions… Cane (sic) and “Abel” and Chloe. Well played, writers!
I’m also VERY exciting about watching Phyllis get dumped… don’t tease me too much writers. It’s been a hard two years or so, watching the red menace and boy blunder rewrite the shows history each time they proclaimed their ‘love’.
5. The Bold And the Beautiful. I just posted about the stellar performances of Ronn Moss and Jacqueline MacInnes Woods a blog or two ago. Let me add Kyle Lowder to the list. As much as I despise Rick, Lowder came as close to making me feel some sympathy for the character as I ever have.
It’s always sad when legacy characters are killed, but unlike the blunder of killing off Darla and doing nothing useful with the storyline, the writers are playing this one for all it’s worth, and then some! It’s impressive, at least so far.
6. As The World Turns. What the heck happened to the Brian/Lucinda/Luke/Noah storyline? Writers, get back on it! You have an absolutely unique storyline in daytime. For ONCE, a set of daytime writers can claim to do something NEVER done before in daytime and they’re wasting time trying to pimp out Jack and Janet’s faux love story. Puh, LEEZE people. We get it, Carly is the kicking post, always has been, always will be. How many more times can you tell that story and expect us to care? When you’re holding on to platinum, let go of the gold plated. Get back to telling this jaw dropper! The Grabby Grandpa has a kick to the pants coming and I want a front row seat!
7. Guiding Light. Love them, hate them, love them, hate them, love them… <sigh> My love for Josh and Reva is almost as twisted as their onscreen relationship. In two minutes on screen together this couple can do what takes most other couples in daytime months to do, make us believe in them in the love they share (and spend far too much time denying). Josh and Reva would make the cut in my new soap. I use to believe that ‘star-crossed’ referred to stars in the same galaxy, at least. Not so with Josh and Reva. To be together, they have to cross time, and space, and their varying levels of insanity. I can’t help wanting more of them.
8. Days of Our Lives. Another tough choice. Sami and Rafe? I love them and I don’t know why. I want Sami and Lucas, but it’s a sure bet that the writers don’t. Rafe comes as close to sharing real moments with Sami as any other man since Lucas. On the far opposite end of the spectrum is my absolute adoration of Nicole, but disgust at her treatment of Brady. At some point, these two WILL end up together. The writers can’t take Sami and Lucas away and not give us Brady and Nicole.
Reconstituted daytime? My create-a-soap format would have history, family, honor, betrayal, anger, lust, love, creativity, and so much more, all from ONE show. Imagine that!
Blast from the past: As much as GH has worked to try to destroy the new L&L storyline (competing with the Luke and Laura legacy) to push a mind numbing Liz and Jason pairing, they can’t make us forget that Lucky was there in Liz’s darkest time, he was there for her best moments. They can’t make fans forget that she did the same for him. This clip is hard to watch, but it’s only a small part of what I remember about the bond this couple forged. The aftermath of Liz Webber’s rape:
The Bold and the Beautiful
Clearly there are new writers on board. There HAVE to be! How else can you explain the highly emotional grief scenes following Phoebe’s death!?!? It’ s been a long time since I’ve cried over BnB scenes because they were so highly emotional. Usually if I’m crying over a BnB scene, it’s because of the self-pity I feel knowing I haven’t been able to break my BnB viewing habit.
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood was pitch perfect and completely sold me as the soul shattered twin sister unable to fathom living the rest of her life without her other half. Together with Ronn Moss ‘Steffy’ and ‘Ridge’ broke my heart opening the bag containing Phoebe’s personal effects and gingerly removing each time… a shoe, a bag, a hair clip, on their own -each with seeming no real value, now invaluable because of the fact that Phoebe wore them in her last moments.
I shuddered when I saw the door to the hospital morgue. I waited for the gratuitous and exploitive “bloodied and battered” Phoebe images. I was wrong. The writers handled those scenes with a sensitivity rarely seen on this show. They’ve done us proud. For the record, if there is a new team at bat, HIRE THEM… they’re good. If it really is the same writing team, what the hell? Why aren’t we getting this level of writing more often? I don’t even need it daily, just more frequently than we’ve been treated to the past… say… 6 or 7 years!
Young and the Restless
I’m sorry. I think I’m losing my hearing. I thought I heard Lauren express shock at Gloria’s self-centered behavior and her willingness to allow an innocent party to be blamed for something they hadn’t done. I was shocked that SHE was shocked. Two words: Ashley Abbott… Two more: Face Cream.
Are the writers confused? Is there another character named Gloria living in fictional Genoa City? There has to be, because otherwise the writers could never have written those lines. Instead, they would have had Lauren tell Gloria that it’s time she STOPPED allowing others to pay for her lies and her selfishness.
Apparently Kay Chancellor isn’t the only GC resident with a look-a-like, and not the only one suffering from memory loss.
BTW, Phyllis, seriously? It’s not like this is the FIRST marriage you’ve broken up, what’s up with that plan to split Jack and Sharon? What would make her think that Sharon would immediately run to Brad? If Sharon is getting close with Nick, again, and she becomes a free woman, wouldn’t it make sense that she’d have to keep an eye on her wandering, philandering husband? Great going there, big red. Phyllis is just a little rusty at manipulating others.
One Life to Live
Oh sure… kill off Nash, bring back Tess, add new alter for Jessica, and then hook her up with the ‘new Nash’. In this case, I think the writers think WE’RE new. Can Jessica please have a love life that doesn’t revolve around alternate personalities and psychiatric care? Please? I’ll admit, I love Jess/Tess/Bess and Brody, I just wish the writers hadn’t used the same plot line they used to pull Tessica and Nash together.
I can only assume that it’s tacit admission that getting rid of Jess and Nash was a FOOLISH move, especially for a storyline that had enormous potential ending with a whimper and not a bang. The revenge storyline became diluted and distracting when it got in the way of other, less compelling, storylines. Natalie and Jared replacing Jessica and Nash as the show’s hot young couple felt like a pipe dream from the beginning.Nared-Jatalie (whatever couple name they’ve earned) are a chemistry challenged couple that makes ‘romance’ feel like a four letter word -and not fun dirty four letter words, either.
I don’t understand the writers’ fascination with Natalie and Jared as a couple and I also don’t understand the sudden forgiveness for their actions. It was Jessica who was angry, and felt betrayed. Jessica watched her husband die. Jessica held him in his last moments. Jessica had to tell him about a child he’d never get to hold. I don’t want Jessica to hate her sister the rest of her life, but the idea that she’s now beyond what’s happened, and that it’s ok that Natalie and Jared are caring for her children just seems odd. At the very least, what should make Jessica’s recovery so difficult is being conflicted, both feeling guilty that Tess took things so far -but still feeling betrayed and feeling angry about their role in Nash’s death, and their role in her family’s financial difficulties in losing BE. To have Natalie and Jared back in good stead just feels hollow and rings false.
Thank goodness I have Gigi/Rex/Shane to take my mind off of the rest of it. I love that Shane still loves his hero father, Brody, while being willing to slowly get to know his biological father, Rex. I think it’s realistic for Shane to be confused and still love the man he’s thought of as his father his entire life. I love that he’s a sensitive and loving child. I love that Rex is patient, and respects Shane’s feelings. I’m actually looking forward to more of this little family.
Days of Our Lives
Oh, I should have known. Nicole Walker Dimera (emphasis on Dimera)! What have you done? WHY, writers, WHY? She loves Brady so much, to think that she would try to send him back to his addiction to protect her pregnancy lie? That’s far too vicious, even for Nicole. How could I have fooled myself into thinking the writers would make the character capable of anything else? Oh well… I’m in for the long and the short of it. Nicole will have to face whatever she has coming. It will be well deserved. If she succeeds in the long run, move me to the ‘love to hate’ column for a while. Eventually I’ll find a way to forgive N.W.D. for her dastardly actions… I’m so weak. The writers always get me when it comes to this character.
As The World Turns
Oh dear. I’ll bet you thought that Carly would be vindicated! I’ll bet you thought that the magnificent Snarly had Janet and her demon seed dead to rights, right? HA! What are you, NEW? This is As The World Turns. Everyone turns on Carly, including her own children.
Parker forged Carly’s signature, Liberty encouraged it, and it was ‘all good’ because their criminal activity was only about making someone else happy, namely Janet. Sure, Janet is more deserving than most people. It’s ok for her to want a 5k wedding gown, marrying a man with three children, making a cop’s salary. Seriously? That she never looked at the price tag is no excuse, in some ways, it’s WORSE that she didn’t look. Did she really believe that an upscale boutique would have cheap gowns?
Parker has to humiliate his mother in front of Janet and Liberty. Great. He forged the signature on his trust fund check to make Liberty happy… and that’s Carly’s fault. They were willing to continue lying about it until they were caught… and that’s Carly’s fault, too; she’s just an evil angry jealous bitch out to stop their happiness (uh, huh, despite the fact that she AGREED to let her jackass ex- take out a second mortgage on their house to pay for his wedding to another woman). This is the man who attacks Carly for the kind of mother she is, NEVER thanking her for raising a child HE brought into their marriage (JJ) after initially abandoning her and their other children, for JJ and his mother, batshit crazy Julia2.
I’m ready to give up on As The World Turns. It’s not JUST the Kick the Carly storylines that are doing it for me. The KTC storylines are symptomatic of a larger problem- the overall lack of balance on this show. I think I’ve had my fill. Someone contact me when the ‘Kick the Jackass’ storylines start (Jack-Janet, take your pick!)
Just a word of caution, writers… viewers who are raising, or have raised, children are NOT entertained by a smart-assed obnoxious kid like Parker. It’s tiring of having the show held hostage by the writers’ interpretation of teenaged hormones gone awry. Liberty-Parker sex scenes, groping, lusting, crying, conspiring, and now attacking Carly for having LEGITIMATE concerns. Get a clue, folks. Surely JJ is missing his brother, by now. It’s time to send Parker and Liberty away to school.
You have to be totally insane to not know that Michelle Stafford’s Phyllis is smokin’ hot, with a body just made for sinnin’. Trust me, if I had a body like that, I’d wear lingerie all day long, even to the office. Oh, no, I don’t mean just under my suits, I mean INSTEAD of a suit.
That statement is probably just scary enough to cause you to question exactly what is it I do for a living… Is wearing lingerie to work going a little too far? Yes, you’re right. It is – but I’d sure be tempted. Fine, I’d still wear lingerie 24 hours a day, but it would be under my suits!
What I don’t get about seduction scenes is who wrote the rules for them? Daytime isn’t the only guilty drama. Was there some writers’ guild meeting where someone decided that any time there’s a seduction scene that women have to be near nude, but men must remain fully dressed? Where is MY eye candy? Why was Phyllis down to her black dental floss lingerie, but Nick Newman was still fully dressed? Don’t actresses end up with clothing burns during these scenes? Not only are the guys fully dressed, they end up rubbing against their undressed love interests.
Last week’s seduction scenes with the BnB’s Brooke and Ridge Forrester were pretty much the same. She was dressed in red hot lingerie while Ridge was fully dressed during their seduction scenes. To the BnB writers’ credit, Brooke forced Ridge to remove his clothing, piece by piece. It was cute, it was sexy, and very playful (uh, and it made the E! Channel’s Talk Soup, as most BnB scenes seem to do). We need more scenes like that, not just in daytime but across the board. You’ll see what I’m talking about roughly 4 minutes and 5 seconds into the clip:
I think it’s appalling that women are objectified while male characters remain fully in control. It speaks to the implicit view writers have about female characters. It’s hardly an accident that in almost any film or television show in which this occurs, women are the significantly weaker partner in the relationship. My preference? Women in control who objectify male characters. Turnabout is fair play, after all.
Last? I did enjoy one line in the Nick-Phyllis scenes above all others. Phyllis commented that when she decided to seduce her husband, she wanted to make sure to do it right… BADA BING! As soon as she said it, my immediate response was, ‘At least you know you’re doing it ‘all wrong’ when you’re seducing someone else’s husband’… oh, ok, BAD BAD BAD… but hey, she’s Phyllis and I couldn’t help it.
Don’t get me wrong, I always fluctuate between loving Phyllis (mainly with Jack) and loving-to-hate Phyllis. I have a feeling I’ll be loving Phyllis soon. She’s just done more to ensure the reunion of Nick and Sharon than anything either would have been able to do on their own. What would make Phyllis think that working to split Sharon and Jack up would be a good thing? Nick is already making a point of seeking Sharon out whenever he can… now he’ll be consoling/comforting a single woman. Consoling/comforting in daytime? The act almost always means that the two people involved will end up in bed together — which, I’m sure means that Sharon will be in skimpy lingerie while Nick, fully dressed, gawks before groping.
I have to admit my admiration for women like Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, Bold and the Beautiful), Michelle Stafford and Sharon Case (Phyllis and Sharon, Young and the Restless) – I have to take my hat off to you, ladies. I can’t imagine the courage it takes to wear the ‘seduction gear’ you wear onscreen, year after year. They’re absolutely beautiful and ageless… now, ladies, help a sister out and talk to the writers about making sure your male onscreen counterparts are showing the same courage you do!