If you have a mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, friend, cousin, or neighbor you love

PLEASE watch this video:

I am right there with Jonathan Katz.  Violence against women is a men’s issue.  Violence against children is about the adults.  Violence against minorities is a majority issue. Violence against the LBGTQAI community is about the straight community.   We are all in this together.  We can stop the violence.

The Following: Flesh and Blood

Ryan HardyHere as the questions, I believe, the writers want us to ask:

1.  Theo Noble, as we know him for now, is a lethal, methodical, killer.  Did he intentionally leave his children alive?  Why wouldn’t he have administered a fatal dose to them? He dosed his wife and then slit her wrists.  Does he plan to come back for his children, later?

2.  He mentioned others.  Are there other children out there or simply more dead wives?  He is the ultimate narcissist, so it would make sense that he couldn’t kill those he considers to be part of him. The wives are just the vessels. I will admit that given the scenes, I dobelieve Cindy came closest to being an object of “love” for him. As much as he loved inflicting pain, he did not want her to suffer.  The scarier thought is whether any his other potential children are little Nobles-in-training.

3.  The following.  We only the following was about Joe Caroll because of the first two seasons.  It’s been about Strauss the entire time, seemingly.  Strauss has his students, what about his mentor?  Does he also have psychopathic “brothers and sisters”?  Will any of them make an appearance?

4.  Early retirement?  Is Gina the next agent marked for death in the series?  She walked away but it is too late for her to do so?  Last night’s episode was her first big near miss.

5.  Nancy and Bob.  I see the need for a plot to tie Theo from something in his personal life to his prior crimes, but the murder of Nancy and Bob seemed out of place and too sloppy for someone as meticulous as Theo.  Will we later find out it was intentional, that he knew he had to ditch his family, anyway?  He knew immediately how the FBI connected the two crime together.  Is he tryinThe Followingg to draw Ryan, in particular, in?

6. Theo thought of Strauss as his father, not just his mentor. The others thought of him as more of their mentor.  Where is Theo’s father?  How does he play into all of this?  There is clearly a messed up family story coming about this guy. Ryan reminded Theo that the FBI has his picture.  I can’t wait to find out where this is all going and how the writers explain where he came from.

In the second season, the writers turned Joe into a bumbling joke of a messianic villain and Strauss was headed that way.  Michael Ealy’s Theo doesn’t need followers or adoration.  He feels like the deadly villain Joe was supposed to be. Whether he is around next is immaterial, for me.  He has saved this series this season.  I like the lone wolf vibe we’re getting now. I am waiting with bated breath to see how Theo either meets his end, or lives to fight another day.

General Hospital – Shattering the “soap ceiling”

GH Port Charles EveningNot a soap fan? Then you have probably been conditioned to view the genre as the product of melodramatic plots made even sillier by scene chewing acting.  If you watched daytime in its lean years (or lean decades), you wouldn’t be too far from wrong.  I say that as a soap fan who still hangs her head in shame while recalling some of daytime’s very worst efforts.

If you are unfortunate enough to have never watched a soap but somehow managed to catch yesterday’s General Hospital (#GeneralHospital #GH), what you witnessed was daytime breaking the “soap ceiling”.  The Luke’s Childhood reveal isn’t a “daytime plot”.  It’s prime time, big screen, the theater,  or all of the above.  It was so well crafted and so beautifully executed that the writers have set an impossibly high standard for any genre that wants to use this same storyline to a similar effect. It also sets an incredibly high standard for the show, beyond this storyline.  Where can you go after this reveal? I don’t know but if this storyline is the evidence for where daytime is headed, in general, and GH in particular, I am a happy viewer

Rarely have soap writers been as successful as  and crew in reminding us that soaps are about drama, not melodrama.  They are about human emotions and experiences, not special effects and outlandish plots.  When soaps are at their best, they make you forget that you are suspending disbelief and instead leave you feeling as if you are surreptitiously watching people you know.  You have become the nosy neighbor, peeking through your neighbors windows and learning far more than you ever believed was possible.  You have learned more than you want to know, and still less than you should.  It is the latter feeling that keeps you coming back.

General Hospital’s writers took all of daytime – past, present and future, along for a master class, yesterday.  Tony Geary, as Luke Spencer, breathed life into a powerfully written script that made fictional Luke’s pain as real as any emotion the viewer has felt. In one beautifully crafted episode which was supported by more than a year of plot twists and turns, we understood more about Luke Spencer than we’ve been able to understand in decades of viewing him in action. Fans only thought they knew Luke Spencer.  The Shakespearean act of Luke accidentally killing his mother, and intentionally killing his father on the same night, laid bare his soul:


Was it the boy who accidentally killed his helpless mother who:

— seemed unable to love his children in the way they needed to be loved? Luke has always taken a back seat to their daily care and was, at best, emotionally distant from his children.  Yet, he was also the first one on the scene when they were in danger.  He loved his children, but always seemed fearful of being too close to them. He was more friend than father. Was he afraid that a deeply emotional engagement would flip the switch and turn him into his father? Tim warned Luke that he would one day see his father’s face staring back at him in the mirror.  He warned Luke that they were the same person.  The horror!

— could not embrace Carly, long after Bobbie had forgiven her?   Is it that Carly reminded him too much of the mother he loved?  Was Carly’s behavior an affront to Lena’s memory, or had he wished that Lena was strong, like Carly, and able to fight back against a tyrant like Tim? Did Carly’s behavior make him wonder if his mother would be there with him, had she not been so afraid of her worthless husband?

— faulted Laura for  her “weakness” in the presence of the Cassadines?  Better than anyone else, Luke knew what it meant for a woman to be rendered powerless by a monster far less evil than the Cassadine clan.  Was he angry at Laura for fearing him (as Lena feared Tim) and not being able / willing to tell him the truth about Nikolas?  Did it remind him that he was, at least once in their shared history, the monster Tim said he would become?

Tim ScreamingWas it the boy who intentionally killed his abusive father that led Luke to:

— begin his relationship with Laura in a way that was nothing short of abusive and violent, resulting in him raping her?

— become an anti-hero who could never truly commit to standing on one side of the law because the circumstances of his parents’ deaths made it clear that he was neither hero nor villain? Luke has always had one foot on the right side of the law with the other far beyond the boundary.

— tolerate the likes of Sonny and other dark souls because he, at an unconscious level, knew his soul was darkened by this secret, as well?

— avoid romantic relationships all together?  How could Luke truly commit to any woman without the specter of the family’s abuse tainting every moment of happiness?  His relationship with Tracy has been the most serious relationship he has experienced since Laura.  Is it the thought of being in a committed relationship too much for him?  Was his happiness with Tracy the catalyst in triggering the D.I.D?

I am looking forward the writers addressing the impact of Luke’s secrets on how has lived his life.  This one episode, decades in the making, more than a year in revealing, and 60 minutes in playing out, as moved me in a way I have rarely been moved by any soap.  Today, this soap fan is hanging her head high!

All I want from the writers is MORE!  Please!

Stormy Sunset Over Greenwich Pier


That is an incredible photo.

Originally posted on Don Charisma:

It’s the pier used to catch a boat in Greenwich, London, on a rather cloudy cold moody evening. Sunset London style !

Enjoy :D

DonCharisma.com-logo-4 Our fantastic photos are available to buy at Photos.DonCharisma.com . For our blog readers we’re currently offering a 15% promotional discount – use code dc1406 at checkout.
Taken in Greenwich, London © Don Charisma

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General Hospital: What’s not to love about this show?

MichaelQ Sonny CarlyClearly, becoming a Quartermaine has made Michael SMARTER!  He has seen through Lord Larry in record time, dumped his duplicitous parents, and stopped accepting excuses from everyone who keeps claiming they want to love and protect him – while plotting to keep him in the dark about the “fundamental truth of his life”.  Sonny killed his father and was aided and abetted by  his mother. Taking a life is such an inhuman act, even on soaps.  To have it treated as a minor altercation was mind blowing, so I’m glad that the writers have finally stopped treating the violence on the show as commonplace and trivial.  Watching Michael turn his back on his parents was a thing of beauty (and I say this as someone who LONG ago supported Sonny and Carly protecting Michael from AJ).  Sonny and Carly were never innocents, and AJ was never all bad, but there was a point at which they were able to be parents and deserved to love Michael without the constant threat of losing him… then came the kidnappings, and presumed deaths, and the violence that was so outrageous it lead to Michael falling into a coma after a bullet meant for Sonny landed in his brain. That was followed up by Michael’s enforcer dreams, Michael taking a life, a prison sentence,  and sexual violation.  It became impossible for me to see how they could ever be considered anything other than an unmitigated disaster in that kid’s life.

If we were having this conversation out loud, you might be tempted to tell me that:  Franco was responsible for Michael’s rape (or more like Franco’s associate).  Faith Rosco kidnapped Michael.  Claudia was responsible for Michael’s coma and for the fact that he ended up taking her life.  Yeah, got all of that… and yet all of it is tied to the fact that these were people gunning for his father, aimed at hurting his father and mother, and Michael became “collateral damage” along the way.  At no point was Sonny ever allowed by the writers to show growth and put his family before lifestyle… yes, he tried to break free and couldn’t because of the power vacuum it created and the additional risk to his children… got it… the writers could have had Sonny leave his family and watch over them from a distance.  They didn’t.  In Sonny Corinthos they created a character who is loathsome, selfish, vain, and hateful despite his dimples (shame on Lucy and FCarly Is Arrestedelicia).  By the time he got around to daily threatening to kill a pregnant Ava once her child was born, he was done, in my book.

It felt good to watch AJ ‘s son walk away from the dark, unsalvageable, things his parents became. Carly faulted Franco for Michael’s rape… and then fell in love with him… and then threw the rape of her son in his face when he exposed her as a cheat and liar.  Was Michael’s pain never in her mind before that?  Every time that man touched her did she not feel sick thinking of what happened to her son?  Was Michael’s rape a weapon she was waiting to use any time they had a disagreement?  Franco becomes angry that she didn’t do the dishes so she tells him she’s still mad he was responsible for her son’s rape?  I’m guessing it would have also been a useful argument in getting him to mow the lawn, take down the Christmas tree, do laundry, etc.

Michael’s emotional upset at watching her get close to Franco was never the tipping point?  Carly’s “love” for Franco, and willingness to marry him, was more about protecting Sonny than making sure Michael did not have to re-live one of the worst times in his short life – and there have been so many awful times for that child.  She even allowed her son to be the best man at their failed wedding.  What kind of mother does that?  She continues to say that Franco blew her family apart, not Sonny’s depraved act of killing AJ.  It was Franco, not the fact that she lied and put herself between her son and the truth for Sonny’s sake.  Nope.  It’s all Franco.  Useless.  Carly’s lack of insight into the damage she’s caused to others is frightening.  It was entertaining when she was young.  It’s migraine inducing as she ages.  Ages is supposed to bring wisdom.  Instead, it only seems to bring gag inducing helpings of stupidity and cruelty for Carly.  She becomes more selfish in time, not less.

In a soap-to-soap mashup?  I would expect a “worst mother/daughter/sister” of the year face off between GH’s Carly, BnB’s Brooke Logan, and DAYS’ Sami Brady.  I think the title would be a fight to the finish between Brooke and Carly, or at least a tie.

Sonny is BookedOddly enough, only Sonny seems to be experiencing any true remorse.  Carly is still raging at the world and trying to force her son to love her and respect her again (a right I think she’s given up by protecting Sonny when even she should have been disgusted with him).  Sonny is willing to suffer the consequences of his betrayal of AJ’s son, the child he made a promise to love and protect, long ago, finally realizing that he allowed his hatred for AJ, disguised as love for Connie, mattered more than every day he ever spent raising and nurturing Michael.  At least the writers have allowed Sonny to show some insight into his behavior.  I don’t think they will ever allow Carly to grow up and learn that her actions have consequences.  I no longer care if they do.  I will simply cherish the moments of seeing handcuffs slapped on Carly and having her spend some time behind bars.  While I see zero hope for Carly, I do see hope for Sonny (if the constantly swirling rumors of Maurice Benard’s leaving aren’t true).  I don’t want Sonny in Michael’s life again, but I would love for the writers to take this opportunity to reinvent Sonny.  Let him be someone completely different from the man he has been all these years.  Benard is such a gifted actor with so many more stories he could help tell, I hope that happens, for the sake of the show and its fans.

What I love most?

There is one more Quartermaine in the world of Port Chuckles, and after losing Alan, Lila, Edward, and Tracy, I am happy to see Michael back in the fold.  What’s that?  Tracy hasn’t passed away?  She may as well be gone, given her repeated betrayal of her family and her willingness to put them all at risk for the sake of “love” for a man she clearly doesn’t know well enough to realize that something is wrong and that the man she married couldn’t stand her touch.  Even Liz and Sam are picking up the “NuJase is OldJase” vibes.  Eh, I’ll save all of that for another blog, another time.  Maybe I’ll be able to soon blog about the return of Jason Quartermaine, one day soon!

The Walking Dead Returns: Season 5 Episode 1

… Producer Gale Ann Hurd said that our questions would be answered.  I just wish the questions were different.  Answer 1.  The Terminans are cannibals. … Read the rest here:  All About The Tea: No Sanctuary

The Strain – The Third Rail Comments

EphEvery piece of film or literature that has a villain needs a hero (or at least an anti-hero) as a counter.  Last night’s episode of “The Strain”, The Third Rail, left me feeling that we, the schmucks in-between these two central characters, are doomed if Eph is our hero. Ephraim Goodweather is not a flawed hero.  He is just flawed, and each week, I find myself rooting for Pennywise “The Master” to take him out… and take Nora with him (thanks @pheonixatdusk, for the clown reference!).  If Eph is our hero, I am afraid that The Strain’s version of humanity is either without hope, our about to suffer a huge credibility crisis if Eph leads them all to salvation.  With each passing week, it feels more and more as if Vasiliy, Gus, Dutch, Abe and the #VigilanteVamps are meant to save humanity from the growing viral threat and save Eph from himself.  By saving Eph, hopefully they will liberate Nora from the stupidity of loving a man who treats her as a mirror for his enormous ego.

Like most central male characters, Eph is a bundle of contradictions, ones that cannot be explained by the simple notion that he is a man in the midst of emotional conflict – as far as I’m concerned.  He takes his associate / mistress to help him find his missing ex-wife, and proceeds to have sex with her in his wife’s house while a crisis of epic proportions is taking shape outside in the streets.  He deeply loves and cares for his son, but places him at risk to leave him in the care of a woman with dementia who cannot care for herself and was difficult for other adults to control.  Is it the writers’ indication that Eph is willing to risk his precious son’s life in order to be the hero?  Are we to understand that he doesn’t trust the others to make it without him?  How could they survive or do their job, without his guidance, right?  Yet, in the last episode we find that instead of saving the group, he needed to be saved when his own desires got in the way and put the lives of the others at risk.

TheEyeballIs Nora too dim around/enamored by this man to understand that almost all of his actions have put her life at risk?  Does she not understand that when given the choice between his need for Kelly and his relationship with her, she has lost every single time?  I don’t know if it the writers intend for us to dislike these two and their utterly selfish and narcissistic behavior, but if it is? Dead on!  I find them both contemptible.  Eph is written as a man who “loves” Kelly – in the way a only narcissist can.  He loves her when he’s not busy punishing her for the shortcoming of not allowing him to ride roughshod over her life (interpret that to mean that Kelly has standards and he doesn’t get to play god with her).  Pay attention Nora.  Eph does not seem to like be held accountable for his actions.

In a scene that was meant to show us his compassionate side, he discusses with “the mirror” the sense of conflict he feels.  If they were in a remote village during a viral outbreak, they wouldn’t kill everyone off to save the others.  They would find the cause, cure the ill, and leave as many people in tact as possible.  TVgod help us when Eph meets the #VigilanteVamps. He will be convinced he is 100 percent correct.  Are we to buy that he thinks this walking talking virus is the same thing?  What seems more likely?  That he believes it or that he is wankering on – making this event all about him?  To me, as he is written, it seems more likely that a man with a God complex cannot conceive of not being able to lead a team to cure others who are ill and that he is capable of fixing all things.  It explains his rush to rescue Kelly despite the improbability that she was either alive, in that cave, or that he could save her on his own, given the sheer number of vamps they’d already passed in other corridors.

The Strain Nora EphIt is his God complex that leads him to mock Vasiliy’s attempt to create a UV weapon, and his need to throw his advice in a way that demeaned Vasiliy and his efforts. Of course, Eph was the the only functioning brain in the room.  He is grateful for Abraham’s support, I believe, but not especially big on the idea of seeing Abraham as the leader of their ragtag band.  It is the same arrogance that would make it difficult for Kelly to take him seriously as anything other than a ranting tool, looking to prove the rest of the world wrong and himself the god of all things.  If the writers really want to redeem this guy, have him reflect on why no one was willing to take his counsel (not his ex-wife, not the judge in his custody case, not the team leaders of the CDC, no one).  Then let him acknowledge the contributions of the others.  If the writers want to redeem Nora, wipe the reflective shine off of her and let her stop following behind Eph as if she was given to him like a puppy at Christmas.  Give her a little of Dutch’s kick-ass edge.

My last thoughts on the show are about just how much I’ve enjoyed watching it.  Now that I know the books that precedes the show exist, I refuse to read them.  I typically hate watching movies based on books because I fear the mythical/legendary bean counter execs who, from offices on the magical top floor, come up with ideas to make movie-versions of good books “more profitable” and simultaneously unrecognizable.  Since I have never read the books I can enjoy the show for what it is, for me, an alternate version of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Ephraim = an unlikable, though not completely off-base version of Rick Grimes.

Zach = a battle tested but too young to know he doesn’t know it all, Carl Grimes.

Kelly = Lori. You knew she wouldn’t last, no matter how much she was needed to balance Eph/Rick.  What man can be a hero without a dead wife/girlfriend, mother of his child, to avenge?

Nora = She a little bit like Carol (who was in love/love with Rick in the graphic novel, though not the show).  I only hope the analogy carries through and she leaves the whimpering Nora behind and becomes stronger.  I have a feeling that Mama Martinez will become Nora/Carol’s “.Sophia”

AbThe Strain Guse = Abe – strong, fearless, and leading an army to knock the undead back into their graves.  It took me a while to realize that David Bradley is the sane actor from the Harry Potter series!  From Argus Filch to Abraham Setrakian. Impressive

Dutch = another Michionne, wielding technology like a sword.

Vasiliy = Daryl Dixon. You don’t know why you love him, but you can’t help it.  Whatever he is and whatever secrets he keeps, they’re better left unsaid.

Gus = No equal.  In the Vamp Apocalypse I want this guy at my side.  He’s tough like Vasiliy, thinks quickly like Abe, he has the integrity and loyalty Eph lacks… and on the shallow side, he’s amazingly hot. This is when casting goes terribly terribly right!  Thank you, casting directors.

I probably won’t be able to comment on each week’s episodes, but when I am able to comment, I hope to see you back here.  If not, join me over at www.allaboutthetea.com! A great site with great commentary on reality tv and celeb news!

Hey, until then, could someone ask the writers where Neeva and the Luss children are?  The #VigilanteVamps let them go and we’ve heard nothing since.  Are they joining the fight? Maybe the Luss kids and Zach can keep an eye on Mrs. Martinez since none of the adults want to monitor her.

Charles Keating has passed away

Image: Charles Keating, All rights to this image are retained by the original owner

The Daily Mail is reporting that daytime, primetime, theater stage, and the big screen actor, Mr “Charles Keating, star of Another World and All My Children has died aged 72 after battling cancer.”

If a person can be measured by the joy not just to those they love as well as complete strangers, Mr. Keating will be remembered fondly.  Another World was my first soap love and I remember Mr. Keating signing on as the devastatingly charming Carl Hutchins.

After the inconceivable loss of Douglass Watson (Mac Cory), it seemed highly unlikely that any actor could create a character would be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with Victoria Wyndham’s Rachel Cory and make fans care about him.  We had yet to be introduced to Mr. Keating. He was an actor with great wit and charm, and it was always a pleasure to watch his work.

My condolences to his family, and to all who knew and loved him.

What has happened to controversy in daytime?

I began thinking, about whether there are any truly unique storylines in daytime.  Every storyline billed as “Never Before Done” has been a bitter disappointment. They were either storylines in which writers ripped off their own work – playing out earlier told storylines with different characters,  storylines that truly were unique but never have been attempted (all of #Passions, or #GL’s Clone Reva), or storylines that offered some other thinly veiled variation on a theme.

The only storyline I could think of that is unique (and not one that I’m applauding) is the storyline involving the #boldandbeautiful’s Brooke.  She has had affairs with two sons-in-law and a brother-in-law, having children with all three men: with Son-in-law Nick there was a child inadvertently carried by Taylor Hayes – who was married to Nick and accidentally artificially inseminated using Brooke’s egg; an egg that was supposed to be donated to science.  The son-in-law Deacon affair produced Hope Logan, while Deacon was still married to Brooke’s rarely mentioned daughter, Bridget.  The affair with brother-in-law ¢Bill Spencer – who was married to her sister, Katie, resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage.   The writers appear to be gearing up for a storyline in which Brooke’s former son-in-law, Deacon Sharpe, finds himself competing against her former brother-in-law, ¢Bill Spencer, for her affections. The only truly original plot in daytime  is also one of its seediest… pun intended.

I prefer to think of it as the lust triangle from soap hell. Thanks to the ever wonderful Katie Logan (portrayed by Heather Tom) and Ridge Forrester (now played by Thorsten Kaye) working together to expose  the perennially sleazy ¢Bill Spencer for the lying fraud he is, I realize how much I miss REAL controversy in daytime.   Whatever happened to the days when scandalous storylines weren’t always about sexual impropriety?  I’ve had enough of #BoldandBeautiful’s Brooke and her various in-law affairs.  I was never able to tolerate #Days Sami cheating with Ej – the man the writers admitted was her rapist.  Their relationship is a sadly outmoded “victim-perp” romance and #Days writers should have none better.   As brilliant as #GH’s Maura West is in the role of Ava, I am exhausted by storylines about women who are unsure of the paternity of  their children, most especially when those men are related.  I have had it with men like #GH’s Sonny, or now defunct #SunsetBeach’s Cole who have slept with and/or impregnated mothers and daughters, as well as half the town around them.

Do you know what kinds of controversial and awe producing storylines I miss?

  • Realistic and useful return from dead plots – #AllMyChildren’s Nina Cortlandt was led to believe her mother  died in childbirth.  Yet, years later, Daisy Cortlandt shows up, reclaims her family, and becomes a pillar of the community despite her reportedly scandalous past.  What a joy it was to watch Daisy operate in stealth mode, trying to figure out if she was friend or foe, as she reconnected with Nina while avoiding the watchful Sauronesque angry eye of Palmer Cortlandt, Nina’s father.
  • Shady corporate take overs were some of my favorites (and not those that are resolved with fashion show takedowns, #BoldandBeautiful).  Remember when Lucinda welcomed Connor and Evan into the fold, not knowing who they really were, at first, and having no clue that they were back to reclaim the Walsh family fortune?  HA!  What about Lucy “helping” Barbara Ryan by buying the “Simply Barbara” clothing line, to have money for Paul as Babs went on trial for the murder (HA!) of James Stenbeck?  Barbara is cleared, later, and has to start a new fashion label when her “friend” Lucinda refuses to sell back the company.  No annual competing fashion shows.
  • Remember #AnotherWorld’s Mac Cory fighting for his corporate life, only to find out that the mastermind behind the attempted takeover of his empire was his own daughter, Iris?  Heartbreak as it was the end of her relationship with her father.  Mac Cory, due to Douglass Watson’s death, was soon gone on screen as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLNnnCgPhm0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UkgaeETUPs

  • If you’ve forgotten that #AsTheWorldTurns’ Kim Hughes was once terrorized by an unknown stalker, how can you call yourself a soap fan?  The greatest twist ever?  The stalker was seemingly innocent, highly successful and beloved  Douglas Cummings, fiance of her stepdaughter, Frannie Hughes.  Even now, when I hear “Someone to Watch Over Me”, a part of me begins thinking about this storyline.

  • #GuidingLight’s Sonni/Solita/Sonni storyline.  Sonni Carrera, a brilliant psychiatrist meets and falls in love with Josh Lewis (and who didn’t fall for Josh?).  Sadly, it was a ruse.  She and lover Will Jeffries were plotting to steal the Lewis fortune.  The twist?  Sonni was not Sonni, but her “evil”, wild child twin sister, Solita.   Solita was Will’s mistress and muse.  Solita had long been buried when Solita stole her identity.  Double twist?  Solita wasn’t Solita after all. She was the real Sonni Carrera, who had a psychotic break after her sister’s death and created a Solita persona.  I could have died for soap joy.

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Guiding Light writers were chock full of twist heavy, jaw dropping, edge of your seat storylines – ones that weren’t purely about sexual scandal: — Annie, in her desperation to hang on to husband Josh Lewis, carried a dead fetus, until she could set Reva Shayne Lewis up for pushing her down the stairs “killing” their baby. — Beth revealing she had been the victim of sexual abuse by Bradley Raines and her fight to become strong enough to turn him in and reclaim her sense of safety. You’re beginning to get my point, right?  Someone (or a group of people) in daytime have decided that not only does “sex sells” but that sexual impropriety is all daytime has to offer, any more. I want more.  I want those cleverly drawn, nearly impossible to think of on you own, scandals that daytime once offered.  I want family betrayals that take place with clothes on, both feet on the floor – no bumping uglies, folks. I want to look at new characters and wonder if they are friend or foe, and if my fave characters have something to worry about. I want daytime writers to give me romance and intrigue, and stop making sex feel like a weapon. I miss daytime for what it was.  I’m not willing to accept it for the limited thing is has become.

General Hospital: To every point there is a counterpoint!

It’s no secret that I think General Hospital is blowing the rest of daytime out of the water!  I said so here –> Why You Should Be Watching General Hospital.  I received a very interesting counterpoint from writer, Ilona Saari.  (More about Ilona at the end of this post).  I thought the response was so interesting that I’d like to share it with you.  It’s a different kind of GH love letter:

I only wish I thought the show was as good as you do. But I’m glad to see it from you prospective. Granted, it is far superior to the Pratt/Guza Penthouse 4 years, but when Guza took back the reigns, it began to get better w/ humor (Diane was created), wonderful returns of old characters (Robin) and wonderful pairings (Scrubs) – his problem as a writer was that he would come up w/ great story ideas and beginnings, then develop ADD and not be able to follow thru… Wolf, the strike scab, was just a plain disaster… Then Ron and Frank came, and at first they did wonders and I loved the integration of the OLTL characters.

But, alas, that didn’t last as OLTL-ABC and Frank/Ron became embattled in copyright garbage and egos. The show suffered as Ron hadn’t a clue had to deal w/ it all storywise, so it was dealt w/ badly. The lst return of the Nurse’s Ball was an unmitigated disaster w/ a cheezy set that looked like the ball was being held in a church basement to the embarrassment of Richard Simmons.

Then when the OLTL mess was over, Ron decides to bring back Roger as Franco. God Lord, that was an insane creative choice. This wonderful actor could have been anyone… a new Q, a Cassadine, a Webber or Spencer even a white Ward… but nooooo. The brain tumor explanation was just plain lazy writing. And Carly would never, ever be w/ Franco after what happened to Michael.

Letting Jax go, the last white knight really (except for Patrick) was a huge mistake – Carly and Jax could have grown into the Rachel/Mac of AW of GH… They were a mature, sexy, dynamic couple, imo. Carly was softened, but not made soft, by her love for Jax.

Bringing Nik back, however, was a smart move and his love affair w/ Britt (and her redemption) has been the best thing about GH since the show fell back into disrepair during last year’s Nurse’s Ball.

The Cassadine/Obrecht/Faison/Duke/Anna stuff was was too cartoonish and has fallen totally flat for me as a writer – Masks, masks everywhere. I’m sorry – once was enough – then again w/ Anna and Obrecht? Oy. And now what – again w/ fLuke – I hope not. But this fLuke storyline is just cringe-worthy tho I’m sure TG is having a ball. If he’s really Bill Eckart or Damian Smith, as rumor has it, neither would be jonzing after Kiki or be so creepy a sexual predator… If it’s Damian – did he have his face made like Luke if he survived the fire? Is it yet another mask? I don’t care. I FF thru all TG’s scene and have never done so before – ever. I just want Ron to stop writing Tracy as an old, lonely woman who will believe anything to keep Luke – and just end this miserable story. Tracy and Luke are dynamite together — this story is just an embarrassment to all involved. But at least I got to see Ned. I wish Frank would bite the bullet and bring back Ned. I don’t want the Qs to vanish — they are our look into John Cheever country, always have been, and I love that family – but all recent head writers of the show seem to want to demolish them… and now Ron is building up a new “core” mob family w/ the Jeromes.

I won’t even go into Obrecht and how I also find her existence at the head of the hospital one of the laziest pieces of writing Ron has done.

I do love Julian and Ava, tho — again for many, many reasons and I love that Julian is Sam and Lucas’ father – fun. I hated the courtship w/ Alexis tho where she was flirty like a teenage virgin. What a waste of Alexis. Tho now that they’re together, I like their chemistry. I just hope the writing becomes more interesting on how these two will work.

I am also thrilled that Ric’s back, tho his relationship w/ Liz never cut it with me. His courtship and marriage to Alexis til Guza ruined Ric did. Their bantering and love was GH’s version of Tracy/Hepburn and I loved them together. That said, I do not want a Nik/Liz rerun – I want Nik and Britt to find their way back to each other — they are very hot together.

I did think Jordan was undercover from the beginning, but I do like her addition to the show as long as Ron is not setting her up to replace Anna because he wants to get rid of Finola.

Levi is another embarrassment. Obrecht and Donna Mills being sisters,, etc., etc. Say what??? Trying to make another instant family w/ Nathan and Britt and Obrecht at the expense of who?

The show is bloated w/ characters and no one was more mistreated than Sean Kanan — Ron so botched his return and decided to throw AJ under the bus much the way Guza did after AJ had become such a fascinating “Sidney Carton” character well on his way to redemption. The killing of AJ was a disappointment and only serves to give MB more angst moments and a shot at an Emmy. But then to let the story just dangle somewhere in space for weeks, again – sloppy, lazy writing.

Ron does that a lot. He starts a story and then you’re left for weeks til it becomes part of the canvas again. He doesn’t seem to know how to write the three story arc traditional in soaps in a weekly fashion, so if a viewer doesn’t like one story, s/he gets a bit of the ones s/he does like on a weekly basis.

Sabrina and Patrick are a mess as a storyline… and her character has been shoved down our throat for too long – she’s a dolt and a bore and she’s dragged the character of Patrick down w/ her. And Carrrrrrlos. Don’t get me started.

Thank God Maxie’s back! Our own Carole Lombard — is Nathan her Clark? He might be. he has the look. And I love the way he looks at her.

Duke, OTOH, is a yawn. Anna has no chemistry w/ him anymore. Robert should have been the one to stay at GH, not Duke. And Robert in this disaster of a fLuke story, might have saved it.

Well, if you’ve read this far – I will end on an ‘up’ note. I still love GH — and do think the show’s better now than a few years ago — and I think it’s getting better again from all the mistakes Ron made last year… and I agree about the diversity — It’s been seamless and I love that. It’s about time.


Ilona Saari  is a former speechwriter, deputy press secretary, and is the author of the political thriller Freeze Frame, available on Amazon.  FYI, you Foodies out there, our author also writes her own blog featuring the most amazing recipes and travel adventures you’ll find anywhere!  Read more at “My Dinners with Richard“.  It’s more than worth your time – I believe you’ll thank me for it!

While Ilona and I  may not agree 100%,  I love having such a well seasoned, meaty, opinion to give me something  to think about.   I’d like to thank my talented friend for keeping my feet on the ground, because I do love GH enough to put my blinders on and keep lowing it “as is”.  Complacency kills in any creative field.

Shhhh… don’t tell her, but I still think that this show is the best in daytime.


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