Contracts: Read the fine print.

Guiding Light

Is there some secret clause in Gina Tognoni’s contract that requires her character to be paired with every angry young male character in Peapack-Springfield?

If there is, maybe her agent will fine tooth comb the next contract and take that sucker out.

A close friendship with Remy, lust with Jon Randall, lust (causing a sense of disgust and revulsion from fans) when paired with Grady Foley, and now Shayne Lewis.  Me thinks this is a variation on a theme… STOP… stop now!  It’s only a shock to me that she hasn’t been paired with Alan – the ‘mature’ version of her crush on pathologically bad boys (excluding Remy from that group).

What does this mean for Shayne?  If he’s paired with Dinah, the writers are setting the guy up to head down a dark dark path.  If that’s the case, let’s hope the ride there is fun.  It would be a pity because Shayne came back a heroic figure.  I’d hate to see him dragged down a dark path for Dinah’s sake.

With Tognoni’s bankable ability to play a romantic lead, I’m hoping it’s more the case that Shayne is back to pull Dinah out of the dark abyss she’s fallen into since Bill has rejected her attempts to make him the center of her universe.  I’d love to see a romantic pairing that has nothing to do with anger or pathology.  Shayne hasn’t turned Dinah in, yet.  Maybe he’s still in ‘hero’ mode and wants to save her – mostly from herself.
General Hospital

Marriage is a contract and, sadly, bumbling villain Claudia Zacchara hasn’t read the fine print on her contract, either – forced marriage or not.   OH, so close – Claudia, you were SO CLOSE to holding your own!  What can you expect, she did marry Sonny Corinthos and under the stewardship of the current writing team, no woman can be smart, for long – most especially no woman who is involved with Sonny.  She immediately realized that the man was using her, with his false and sudden displays  of affection.  She voiced her concerns.  She reasoned out the source of him new found love for her.  She knew something was wrong… and then she caved.  Oh well.  It was fun to see a smart woman on screen,  the five minutes it lasted!

I will give the other mob moll, Elizabeth Webber, credit for joining the ‘wake up and get a clue’ club – at least for now.  Some time ago I posted that I doubted that Liz would put the safety of her children before her ‘love’ for Jason.  We’d been down that road with her before when she told Jason the safety of her children would always come first and that she had to protect them – only to have her back off of that pledge in order to run wild with mobster boy.

I was touched by Lucky’s generosity, rather than anger, toward her.   There’s a part of me that wants L&L back together.  If it happens, there is almost certainly going to be a host of scenes and dialogue that will always make it clear that Lucky is only a substitute for Elizabeth’s true love.  That would annoy me beyond measure.  Lucky, son of Luke, deserves better.

It was torturous to watch him play second fiddle while the writers destroyed him in every way possible to make Jason look like more of a hero than Lucky could ever hope to imagine.  They used every ham-fisted trick in the book:  Lucky developed a drug problem – Jason was excused from doing business with drug dealers, Lucky had an affair – Jason was the pristine celibate mobster-monk, Lucky couldn’t shoot straight to kill a mobster 2 feet in front of him – Jason was there to save the day, Lucky was just a ‘cop’ – Mobster boy was the town’s secret superhero… thanks for nothing, writers.  Sell it somewhere else.

GH is in sore need of TRUE heroes, like Lucky Spencer, Anna Devane, Robert Scorpio, and Mac Scorpio, again.  They need to untie the hands of anti-hero Luke Spencer.  The writers also need to relegate the dark forces back into the shadows where they belong.  GH reached it’s hey days without the dark knights, they can do it again.  We have the hall of injustice:  The “Russian mob”, Jason, Sonny and the Zacharras… where is the league of superheroes, GH?  You’re in sore need of balance!

Daytime Comings and Goings

General Hospital

Ever keen to display their decision-making prowess, TPTB at GH have decided to bring Natalia Livingston back in a new role – speculation being that NotEmily will be a long lost twin sister. Uh…short stunt returns for Genie Francis/Laura… back from the dead (sorta) for NotEmily. GEEZ!

All My Children

AMC is planning a heart transplant storyline for Kendall Hart Slater. Will the donor be big brother Josh or frenemy Greenlee Smythe? Assuming Josh is the donor this storyline is not unlike the BnB storyline with Storm Logan comitting suicide in order to donate his heart to his sister Katie.

Hopefully the AMC writers will handle the storyline better. The BnB writers transformed the gut wrenching plot into a storyline about lust when recent recpient Katie had sex with her niece’s future husband, manwhore Nick Marone.

Maybe there’s something to be said about having sex with a man who won’t blow out your brand new, freshly implanted heart. What can be said, can’t be good.

As for AMC, I REALly hope Kendall gets the REAL Greenlee’s heart. The character wore out her welcome with me the first time she married Ryan Lavery to spite Kendall. Greens isn’t slated to leave the show until Spring but there’s nothing to stop her from spending the rest of her time on canvas as a ghost comforting Kendall and Jack.

As The World Turns

I’ve always loved Damiangodofall men so I’m glad to have him back. The writers have a lot of work to do to repair the character and surely they’re invested enough to do it.

I can see Damian coming back as the perfect foil against Craig who will probably want Luke’s money, next. Craig has a penchant for taking on the Walsh/Grimaldi-Snyder crowd. Is it a mere coincidence that Craig returned after Lucinda’s cancer did? Lily and Holden are too busy saving their perpetually troubled marriage to help Luke or Lucinda..

And be careful grabby grandpa Brian! Big pappa is back in town and I hope he’s a Noah fan!

Could ATWTs Brian be bisexual?

There’s a great fan debate taking place on the official ATWT board about the matter. I was initially disgusted by Lucinda Walsh’s involvement in this storyline. Daytime writers seem to have a deep passion for humiliating women at midlife, in regard to romantic storylines. Midlife women are always desperate fools for love who just can’t see how unappealing they are to their partners (see BnB’s Eric and Stephanie).

I don’t trust the WT writers to have thought this one out completely- Lu and Luke’s involvement is most likely about simple sensationalism. Yet this plot has the potential to play to the show’s history with regard to Lucinda.. Ultimately she may be the perfect person for Brian to have turned to.

She was the person who welcomed Jessica and Duncan’s love as a blessing. She embraced their marriage and the birth of Bonnie. She’s treated all human behavior as it should be treated, with love. Ok, she had a hard time accepting Holden – but he proved her RIGHT!!

After a period of time of rightful pain and anger at Brian’s betrayal, she may be the one who helps Brian learn to be proud and accepting of who he is. Brian may truly love Lucinda even if his guilt prevents him from sleeping with her. He may truly love Luke even if his marriage to Lu makes it impossible for them to be together. (AHEM!!!! And let’s not forget Luke’s love for Noah)

Until Brian can undergo some sort of self-exploration, he’ll never be able to love anyone including himself. What irony if Lu is the one to get him there.

This is a much richer and complex storyline than I’d imagined. Let’s hope the writers do something amazing with it no matter where else they take this storyline.

By the way, with so many characters coming back, wouldn’t this be a perfect time for John Dixon to come back. Lu could use a shoulder to cry on. She my need some who’ll listen as she puts this all in perspective. And she deserves a man who truly loves her and only her.

HOT DAMN!!!! Stuff to love about GL!

What is it?…The tiki hut hospital decor that’s getting far too much airtime? Ah, no. Two words – Justin Deas (or his alter ego ”Buzz Cooper” if you prefer.) Buzz to Beth about her affair with his son, Coop:

That boy has a mind like Aristotle and writes like Homer…are you going to take that away from him, too?

JD’s Buzz Cooper is about the finest character GL has to offer. His performance yesterday makes you wonder why the writers are so reluctant to do more with this character.

As for the Buzz scenes we have been treated to the last few days, the dialogue was great, the delivery was perfect, and Buzz’s involvement has given this storyline the depth it’s been lacking. Why is it that Buzz has to be the one to remind Beth of the risk to Coop? Beth has become the most selfish person in Springfield and the writers have finally given fans a voice through Buzz. Perfection.

I had to check the channel to make sure I was still watching GL when Buzz warned Coop that men like Alan don’t go to prison but that people like them did. . He added that if Coop was going to pleasure Alan’s woman – let him know an hour before, so that he can kill Alan before Alan kills him.

Remy and Mel

I’ve come to realize that I’ve been rooting for Remy and Christina just to see more of Remy, but there are other reasons to celebrate this couple….we’ve seen more of Mel, too.

Their sibling chemistry rates with that of Alan and Alex and Dinah and Bill. Remy and Mel just happen to be the most wholesome of the sib pairings.

Ah, Christina, all bets are off now that Ava has come back. Count me in as part of team Rava!

The Lewis Clan

Reva, Josh, and Shayne… how could we not have the Lewis family back together? I only wish the writers knew how to introduce a male character without making him so angry (Jon, Rafe, Grady….) Once Shayne is beyond the ”angry young male syndrome” I can’t wait to see more of the Lewis clan.

The BnB Bailout Plan

Short on family? Missing a husband? Let Donna Logan lend you hers. Hell! Even when he’s already yours, she’ll lend him to you. Yes! Yes! We’re back to Donna ‘loaning’ Eric out for the holidays. I know you saw her lend him out just this last Christmas holiday season. but why deprive the writers from establishing their own holiday traditions? While they’re at it, why not throw in a scene of Donna and Eric stealing candy from babies? Keeping tradition in mind….make that candy a candy cane.

Despite the fact that the Forrester family is dealing with Phoebe’s death – Eric the honeybear is dealing with his zipper, which is always flying half mast. For Pity’s sake, everyone is still wearing their funeral attire and Eric is out the door to sex up his chippie. What a man.

As much as I despise Stephanie, I find this storyline completely and utterly distasteful. That Eric continues to be called human is an abuse of the word.

Afterthought

Referring to the blog written just before this one…If I’m right and the Jacks brothers are the modern day Scorpio brothers…does that mean that Sonny is the decidedly more pathological version of Luke Spencer? Sonny lost his anti-hero status long ago while Luke maintains his.

Back to the analogy…good guy Robert (Jax) sat back helpless as the woman he loved – Holly (Carly) flirted back and forth between the two men.

AH! So Carly is the new Holly? Blasphemy? Should I just excuse myself and go to bed without dinner? Before yelling at me…think it over. Maybe everything old really is new again.

I’m doing the best I can to make sense out of the GH Im now seeing

Guess what? This is NOT a blog about Todd Manning!

Who knew?  Yes, it is indeed possible to get through a week and not devote an entire blog to how much I hate the Todd-Marty storyline on OLTL.  I’ve got bigger fish to fry.  It’s not something that annoys me, exactly,  it’s just something that has me curious.  I’ve watched soaps for decades, and for the life of me I can’t remember if Police Officers were always written to be as dumb as a box of hair as the current crop of daytime cops…so much so that I’m confusing the various “Po po’s”  from different day-shows.

Have you had the odd sensation of realizing that you’re thinking about a GL storyline involving Frank Cooper, but the image of Mac Scorpio is in your mind?  They’re so alike, in some ways.  Dark hair, good looking, similar build, and as-dumb-as-dirt when it comes to solving crimes and protecting the citizenry of their respective towns.

Frank is just jonesing to bust Bill Lewis for the kidnapping of Lizzie Spaulding.  What do they do there in the land of knotting pine wood paneling and faux stone Springfield?  Inhale glue?   Frank’s FIRST clue that Alan was somehow involved, even if not initially, should have been the point at which he expressed support for Lizzie AND for Bill Lewis.  The last time Alan truly supported Lizzie was when she was a babe in arms, and even then she was more of a tool to manipulate both his son, Phillip, and his then daughter-in-law/now wife-lover, Beth.  When has he ever supported or believed in Bill?  Why would he start now?

Ok, I’ll say it.  Frank has always been a good guy, so maybe it’s just hard for him to put himself in the shoes of a criminal mastermind.  Maybe it’s just hard for him to believe that anyone, including Alan Spaulding, would protect the person who actually kidnapped his granddaughter, just to frame an innocent man.   The only problem is that Frank has lived in Springfield his entire life.  Why would he put ANYTHING past Alan?  We’ll know that the writers view Frank as something more than a plot point to move the ‘more important’ plot points around when he’s allowed to

1 – Actually arrest someone who is guilty of a crime.

2 – Collect enough evidence to make it stick in court.

3- Stops arresting innocent persons and harassing them.

I live for the day… Babe in woods?  Sure, I’ll let it work as an excuse for  Frank Cooper.  I’ll accept that he’s all ‘Mr. Cooper goes to Peapack’, but what about Mac Scorpio?  What excuse can be made for stripping away his spine and his white and grey matter?  Ah the tragedy of the ever revolving door of daytime writers. It’s claimed our Mac, at long last.

The man is MAC-FRICKIN-SCORPIO, folks!  Do the writers not know who this man is (or was)?  Mac was a bad boy, a criminal, from way back.  He’s was a mercenary’s mercenary.  He is the man the writers had HOPED to recreate in Jerry Jacks.  The Jacks brothers, I have always assumed, were the modern day Scorpio brothers, only less successfully so.  Jax Jacks and Robert Scorpio:  successful, heroic, worldly, extensive travelers, both men favoring situational morals and ethics, but by-and-large honest men.  Their brothers?  The complete opposite.

Mac lied, stole, and cheated with the best of them.  There wasn’t a woman he wanted that he didn’t go after (married or not, and that included any woman married to or interested in his own brother).  Mac evolved into the great big teddy bear we see before us today.  Jerry started evolving during Julian Stone’s tenure, but the writers decided to have him revert back to type and then upped the “ick factor” with nuJerry, and Sebastian Roche did a marvelous job with the script he was give.  Watching SR in action, there were times when I almost wished the writers would let Mac revert back to type as well, within reason.

Why haven’t the writers made better use of his Mac’s past to make him every bit as devious and confrontational as Port Chuckles’ lollipop gangsters? (Uh, though the lollipop mob is stepping up the Sopranos worthy violence and cringe worthy behavior).  Why hasn’t Mac contacted some of the criminal pals he once worked with and turned them into confidential informants?

Does becoming honest make you stupid?  Brain death occurs once you forget how to scheme and connive?  Why, writers?

…and why, soapgods, am I tormented by my memories of storylines that were once coherent and exciting? What made bad guys fun to watch, once upon a time, is that they were SMART, their storylines were smart, their schemes weren’t telegraphed and acted out with the equivalent of subtitles.  Now, in order to make the bad guys seem brilliant, daytime writers have made everyone else dumber.

To DOOL’s Bo, Hope, and Roman Brady, and OLTL’s Bo Buchanan, I salute you (or salute your writers via you).  Sure, I even salute OLTL’s John McBain, too.  None of you are as bad off as most of your daytime colleagues, and let’s hope you never get there.

To GH’s Mac, and GL’s Frank, good luck.  You never had a chance.

Either he’s crazy, or I am (OLTL)

I’m still smarting from Todd’s dialogue, last week.  Was it bravado?  A game played for Nora’s  benefit?  Did he mean it? What’s the deal?  No matter the motive, my stomach is still turning!  The writers have allowed Todd to jump from the frying pan, into the fire.  As much as I once loved the semi-reformed and mostly repentant Todd Manning, it’s clear to me that he must go… NOW!

It’s not enough that he raped her when she was younger and then tormented and tortured her for months after.

It’s not enough that he sexually violated her, again, while letting anyone who loved her and could have come to her rescue believe she was dead.

His lordship wants the “ungrateful” Marty Saybroooke paraded before his jail cell to allow him to proclaim his love for her.  I lost my dinner hearing that one.  To be sure, I could stand to lose a little weight, but not like this!!!!

He’s done for. This has taken it all one (more) step too far. Either he’s going  insane or the writers are showing us Todd’s devious and deliberate plan to create a ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’ plea.

If TPTB believe that Todd ending up at St. Ann’s with TeBessica and Brody is enough, they’re sadly mistaken. Todd learns about Bess and the baby switch and gives grandkiddo back to Starr and Cole? Not enough.  Todd losing his mind and waking up hating himself as much as I hate this storyline?  Not enough!

It’s time for Todd to go. Carlivati and crew have destroyed this character and there’s no good way of getting him back. Todd is now an irredeemably pathological shell of his former self.   The very least anyone backstage can do to right this situation is make a few phone calls and make sure the illustrious Trevor St. John lands on his feet as a new character on another ABC soap.  Soapgod knows that the poor man probably wants out of this character, by now.

While Todd is dead (at least to me), I don’t want to see the actor out of work, but to not have Todd pay for the willful, SECOND, rape of Marty would be a slap in the face of fans and assault survivors everywhere. It would make a mockery of sexual assault and the survivors who’ve worked hard to reclaim their dignity.

Todd at St. Ann’s would be enough to put the OLTL writers at the top of my permanent hit list – oh, I know! They’re quaking in their boots at the thought that I’m pissed off at them. I don’t think they have to worry about me, however,  I think they’ll have to worry more about the fans they’ll probably lose more quickly than daytime is already shedding its audience, if they make this story one about ‘crazy, angry, vengeful Marty’ and ‘poor misunderstood, beaten puppy Todd’.

The writers would never push the envelope that far, would they?  I dunno.  I couldn’t help but wonder when Marty started faulting herself for being a ‘bad person’ after talking with Fr. Carpenter.  He stopped her from berating herself, but the dialogue between them  felt like another of the writers’ infamous lead balloons.  Did they throw it out there, waiting to see how far they could float that damned thing?

Hopefully, Marty won’t become ‘victim worthy’ to try to save Todd.  That soap trend is dead too (or so soap fans hoped).   Remember when rape happened to ‘bad girls’, in daytime,  and it was so traumatic that they became ‘good girls’?  Some redemption plan, there.  We lived through that meme with the first Todd-Marty rape.  The writers can never again take us back to it.  No siree, no way, no how.

Click the Rainn Logo to learn more about surviving sexual assault, and to find resources in your area, including statistics about rape survivors and the aftermath of sexual assault; including the fact that 2/3rds of rapists are known to their victims.

No, seriously, it’s not me – it’s YOU

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:

What HE said!

MarkH has been writing the most amazing commentary about the decline of the daytime ratings.  If you have been reading, get your happy little self over there, NOW and check it out… it’s good.    That’s right… GO… NOW!   Here’s the link:  MarkH

When you’re done, there, head over to Marlena De Lacroix’s site to read Damon Jacobs’ fantastic interview with Ilene Kristen!  It’s a MUST read for soap fans! Yup, that’s right… click HERE to get THERE!  It just reminds me of how much I miss Ryan’s Hope.  Kudos to One Life to Live writers for making Roxy such a vital part of the Rex/Gigi/Shane storyline.  The on air time is well deserved.