4 words: Monkeys. Typewriters. Locked Rooms

You know the old writers’ insult, “Monkeys banging on typewriters could do a better job!” Imagine if you not only handed a room full of monkeys a set of typewriters (uh, keyboards), but you then locked them in. Well… that’s ONE way to force them to concentrate on completing your scripts, but watch out! Locking them in a room might add insult to injury and monkeys are pretty vengeful. They also have a pretty wicked sense of humor. Make sure you READ the scripts before you film and then air them for long suffering fans.

One Life to Live

Bitchy Marty, Bitchy Tea, Bitchy TeBessica… ‘effin.love.them.all.

Jessica apologizing and groveling at Natalie’s feet? No thanks. I felt sympathy for Nat “the outsider” for about 10 minutes. I’m over it. She’s still sleeping with the man who cost her sister’s husband his life. An accident? Sure… after months of deceiving him and destroying everything he’d built for his family. I’m hoping Tess and Bess have teamed up to finish taking Nat and Jared down – without plotting anyone’s death, by the way. Abject misery is enough for me, thanks. Tea taking guff from Blair? I don’t think so. Tea and Blair live different realities. Tea is a badass by nature. She’s shown tremendous growth and change and I love how spunky she is. Blair? Badass, on occasion, doormat more often than not. The woman slept with Spencer Truman just after Todd, the ‘great love’ of her life, was sentenced to execution. Despite every reasonable warning to the contrary, she made Truman a part of her children’s lives. My money is on Tea. Marty Saybrooke being left alone with Janet Ketring/Lee Halpern? Seriously, were the monkeys also STONED when they banged out that moment? Writers, keep an eye on the script monkeys, they’re making you look bad!

It’s annoying enough that Bo and Nora’s situational ethics drag every other living Llanview resident through the muck, but Bo and Tahlia leaving JK/LH alone with an angry and self-destructive Marty? The woman tried to force Todd to commit suicide for what he did to her (with JK/LH’s help). So they let her confront JK/LH, alone, wearing a coat which could very well have contained a weapon, and carrying an uzi sized purse? They actually LEFT the motel? I have to say, violence isn’t my thing, but I got a chuckle out of JK/LH cracking a vase over Talia’s head and taking off. Too bad Bo didn’t get one of those, as well! You’d think JK/LH was a witness for the defense  for as careless as they’ve been about her safety.  It must be nice to be pals with people like Bo and Nora. They use their offices to go after people you don’t like if you’re a friend, no matter how flimsy the evidence, nor the cost to the good folks of Llanview.

Oh, and locked-away-typewriter-banging monkeys? Less smug from Antonio and Nora, please. They’re on the side of RIGHT, and they leave me wanting to see Tea wipe the smug off of their faces – unless that’s what you wanted and then I feel played (well done). If I’m wrongfully faulting you and it’s the choices made by the actors, please speak to the director and ask him to handle it.

The Bold and The Beautiful

Bridget is a designer now? You magnificent vengeful monkeys, you! You really did get the last laugh, didn’t you? I wish I could laugh with you, but I can’t. It hurts. Did you have to pay the writers back at the viewers’ expense? An accelerated undergrad preMed program, supposed ‘years’ of study in medical school. Internships, Residency, saving lives, bringing babies into the world, bringing her aunt Katie back from the dead, saving her brother from jail following Phoebe’s death… and Bridget wants to give it all up to start designing for the company that just ripped off her father’s and brother’s newest collection. Bridget… giving up medicine for THAT!

She’s doodled haute couture  gowns for years and was just too afraid to tell anyone?  Her work is even better than life-long designer Clarke Garrison… stuff she sketched when not practicing medicine 23/6 and no one knew?  Uh, because despite the fact that EVERY one of her adult sibs, her nieces and nephew, and BOTH of her parents work in the fashion industry, she was too afraid to tell them she has a passion for fashion? Ok, works in your universe, but typewriter-banging-monkeys, if the writers don’t feed you, refuse to type out scripts on an empty stomach. It makes you a little loopy.

This wouldn’t hurt so bad if it weren’t a follow up to the “fabulous Paminis”… Pam Douglas, insta-designer with a CROCHET technique so secret that only Pam can churn out the one of a kind hot yarn bikinis… So what is Bridget’s Auntie Pam kicking out? 20 a day in the Forrester sweatshop? Monkeys, explain yourselves! Is there something in the air at FC that makes anyone who passes through the hallowed halls a genius in the design world (all except Clarke it seems)?

Guiding Light

Alan wanting revenge against a cheating Beth? I get that. For once in his life, Alan is as devoted as he’s ever has been to a woman, maybe the most faithful he’s ever been. (Beth hasn’t been faithful to anyone since she was a teen) She  gives birth to his child, while still raising his grandchildren and making him part of their lives.  Then she cheats on him. He now knows that he’s met his match in Beth.  No one loves Alan as much as he loves himself.  Ditto on Beth. He’s sleeping with his mirror image and it’s driving him mad, life is a cruel mistress, Alan.

I WANT Alan to make Beth miserable, and not for his sake, but because Beth is supremely selfish and sucks as a person. BUT…Alan grabbing the letter opener, TWICE (something TPTB aired when the scenes picked up with a third and fourth time during the next day’s episode, too)? Good mercy. Giving the audience the impression that he would just as soon plunge the opener into her heart because his heart was broken? YIKES!

I don’t remember Alan being violent with women, especially not to the point of contemplating a brutal death for one. He likes owning and controlling women, but he likes owning and controlling everyone. He usually shows more finesse. The old Alan would have had Coop arrested on some trumped up charge, claimed ‘Company’ for himself – leaving Buzz penniless, and set Beth up to think she was going crazy again just to get custody of Peyton. He would have done it all before lunch!  He actually would have kept Buzz on at the restaurant he stole from him and had Buzz SERVE him lunch. Alan is psychotic, but he’s no thug.

Monkeys, you owe the GL writers an apology for what you’ve done to their beloved Alan Spaulding. Shame on you.

All My Children

Zach. Killing Josh. Fathering Gabrielle. Eye-boinking with Reese. Expecting Kendall to understand. Vicious little typewriter-banging-monkeys… You’ve outdone yourselves. I actually like the potential fallout from this one. No criticism, here. This is all soapy goodness. AMC was lucky to have you on staff when you wrote that part of the plot. Kendall, forgive Binks, Reese, and Zach. PRICELESS!

While you’re at it, write that script where David Hayward is loving and unselfish, Adam Chandler has sworn off manipulating the people he loves, Erica Kane gives up designer clothes and all other perks of fine living, and JR Chandler stays sober! See how silly it all seems that anyone would expect forgiveness from Kendall? Whatever she does to them, they’ve got it coming. Maybe Zach should keep a picture of his happy parts in a safe location. The doctors will need it when they’re working on the reattachment and reconstruction!

I can’t give you a pass on Amanda’s pregnancy, however. Does anyone remember the last daytime pregnancy where the mother knew who her child’s father was (Binks excluded, of course) and there was no scandal around the pregnancy? (Whoops, Binks back in!) Why another contested paternity? It’s not like there’s been a shortage of them.

Then again, you’ve been writing for Annie and she’s freakin’ wonderful, so it all evens out in the wash!

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Motherhood makes me soft and gooey…

On the surface, DAYS’ Nicole Walker Dimera and GH’s Robin Scorpio Drake have nothing in common. Nicole is a lying deceiving backstabbing manipulator… soapgod love her. What would we do without her? Robin Scorpio Drake is an accomplished physician who has dedicated herself to saving lives.

Nicole? Insecure, distrustful, and femme fatale able to make grown men shake with fear in her presence.

Robin? Quiet, meek, disarming in other ways, but she’s no femme fatale. She’s more the romantic heroine type.

So what do they have in common beneath the surface? Something about both women makes fans weep puddles. Both are daytime mothers who have far more love and compassion than most characters are allowed to express, even when they are in their darkest moments.

Nicole Walker Dimera

There are times when I want the writers to ease up on the ‘femme fatale with a heart of gold’ twist on this character. It can wear on you. It’s almost impossible to believe that Nicole has so much anger and hatred for Sami Brady when they’re so alike in so many ways. You’d think they would be best friends, tearing Salem apart, instead of arch enemies. Then there are times when being a femme fatale, with or without a heart of gold, works for her.

The writers fooled me for just a brief while. I thought they’d skip having Nicole take Sami’s baby to replace her own deceased child. How many times have we seen that storyline play out in daytime? Faked pregnancy, stolen child, countdown to discovery. She already found a child to replace her own, after all, why would she need Sami’s. That she ended up in the same clinic at the same time that Sami was giving birth was a kick in the creative heart. Nicole did exactly what so many of you were sure she would do – set herself up to take Sami’s child.

If that’s all there was to this storyline, I’d already have pulled DAYS out of my recording line up. I haven’t because the writers have done something extraordinary. They’ve opened a vulnerable side to Nicole that will eventually make us feel all the sadder for her, and even more hatred for EJ, when her scheme is found out. She didn’t fake a high risk pregnancy after her miscarriage just to hang on to EJ. She did it to stop him from feeling the grief she felt when their baby died. She couldn’t stand the thought of him having to live with the intolerable pain she experienced.

Given the hatred she has for Sami, Nicole couldn’t bring herself to wish death on Sami and EJ’s daughter. She stood over her and prayed for her as the doctor worked to revive her just minutes after her birth. She couldn’t stand the thought of EJ losing that child, too. No one has loved that man, as much as Nicole has – not even his own father. That she puts his happiness ahead of her own is both an improvement, and a setback for Nicole. Other than her brother Brandon, Nicole has been written as a woman incapable of putting anyone else’s feelings first. It was just never in her nature. She’s fought to survive the hardships life has thrown at her (a psychopathic father who kept her drugged so that she would shoot porn videos, allowing HIM to profit). I’m waiting for her to be punished by being dumped by Ej, even though her actions were motived by her love for him. EJ is obsessed with Sami, the woman he raped and has now twice impregnated. He’ll see Nicole’s faked pregnancy as the big issue that has to be addressed, not the fact that Sami’s plan was to give the daughter he knew nothing about up for adoption.

Despite her harsh, brash exterior, Nicole is ultimately one of daytime’s most sympathetic heroines.

That’s what the two women have in common. Robin Scorpio Drake is also one of the most sympathetic heroines in daytime!

Robin Scorpio Drake

I was a fan of young Robin, the wonderfully adorable child who was full of smiles and sunshine. Anna, Robert, and Robin were the perfect daytime family. By the time her relationship with Jason Morgan was in full swing, she’d lost me. For me, the relationship with Jason was a abject rejection of who the character had been to that point in her life, and the writers’ rejection of her heritage as the daughter of daytime’s greatest super spies. (At this point you’re probably thinking about Anna and Duke, and Robert and Holly – but even those storylines were redemptive in nature and not about accepting the lifestyles of Duke and Holly).

Something in her relationship with Jason made her too motherly for such a young character. She was too busy defending and protecting him. There was no character development for Robin and the character fell apart. The cute kid with the big smile became a lightening rod for fans, seemingly turning off as many fans as she delighted. She’d become clingy, needy, and self-righteous. She’d lived her life in a bubble and that bubble was shrinking, having only enough room for her, and Jason.

The writers seemed to realize the problem. Robin hadn’t changed when she returned to help Jason, by saving Sam. Newbie Patrick Drake voiced the criticisms of the fans – Robin’s shrill meddling and discounting the lives of the ‘imperfect’ (read as ‘anyone who is not Robin Scorpio) drove commitment phobe Patrick mad. Patrick taught Robin that love didn’t mean controlling everyone, and everything around her. He taught her that love and desperation to hold on to a partner were mutually exclusive. Robin’s relationship with Patrick was true love, and the most meaningful relationship she’d had in her young life.

I’ve wondered if the positive feelings I have about Robin were more about her relationship with Patrick, if she could stand up in a storyline about just her and not about Scrubs. The postpartum depression storyline has answered that question for me, with a resounding YES!

This storyline was MADE for Kim McCullough’s Robin. It plays to all of her strengths. The excessive desperation Robin felt when trying to hold on to Jason during the ‘Carly-Michael’ period was uncomfortable to watch. The quiet desperation Robin feels when dealing with Emma is painful, too, but for different reasons. Robin loves Emma more than she loves her own life. She dreamed of being the perfect mother to her – even when she contemplated being a single parent. She wants nothing more than that child’s happiness and now can’t bring herself to believe that she can make Emma happy in any way.

What amazes me most is how much more subtle Kim McCullough is as an actress. Gone are Robin’s exasperated sighs and eye rolls. In their place is just the right look, or a tensing of her body to display her fear and anxiety. Her reliance on nonverbal communication is the hallmark of all great actors. I love actors who can communicate with an audience without saying a word. The audience could hear Emma crying through the monitor Robin left on top of the table. Robin looked at the monitor with terror in her eyes – it was heartbreaking. You could almost hear her wondering what she would do to ‘fail’ Emma, this time. You could feel the misery that made her reluctant to answer Emma’s call.

Not only did I want to hug the poor child, I couldn’t believe that the writers haven’t thought to have Anna and Robert around to try to help her. I want to see the heartbreak in their eyes, knowing neither of them was around long enough help her gain the confidence she needs to help herself and Emma. Neither has raised a child from infancy to adulthood. I want that Scorpio family moment I wrote about earlier where their past comes back to haunt them. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Maxie and Robin bond as cousins (especially as a counter to the Lulu-Carly relationship), but there’s something missing without Anna and Robert. Even still, KM carries this story beautifully. This is the year that I think viewers can drop the phrase ‘former child actor’ in association with her name. There’s nothing childlike about her performances. It’s some of her best work, yet!

The Scorpio clan pic was found at the Faces of GH website.

Create Your Own Soap

A lovely poster on the SoapOperaNetwork’s message boards posted a ‘create your own soap’ thread. The only instruction? You’re not limited by the format/structure daytime uses now. WOWZA! Great idea. So many of us are unhappy with the current storylines offered in daytime (and repeatedly offered) that we want something different. Daytime is clinging to a dead model, in my opinion and has focused on all the wrong changes to bring fans back/or keep them around (GL’s disastrous Peapack shoot, for example).
Below is my attempt at setting up a new soap, storylines we don’t (or won’t get) in daytime:
Setting: Colorado! Why? Big cities that feel like small towns, 4 seasons (and I think there’s something romantic about the rockies as a backdrop). The mountains work as an additional character the same way NYC became a fifth character in Sex and the City. States like Colorado allow you any sort of lifestyle you’d want: urban and chic, rural and hearty, ranch/farm style living.

Multicultural/multi-ethnic cast. One Life to Live comes closest to a truly multicultural cast and achieving the ‘feel’ I’d like in a soap.

There should be varying levels of income (I think what sucks about daytime is that everyone has to be ‘rich’ and that those how aren’t eventually become rich or scheme to become rich, or spend a LOT of time hanging out with the fabulously wealthy as if that could happen – because there’s nothing rich folk like more than hanging out with people who don’t have money. Don’t you read ‘People’?).

No more treating race, orientation, religion, etc like ‘novelty’ storylines. The cast would be fully integrated in that sense. I think the ‘old’ model of ‘easing in’ populations is killing daytime and fails to appeal to larger audiences who are far more sophisticated than daytime EPs/execs believe.

Cast/plots would include:

The darker characters/storylines

— an educated self-made CEO who is a ‘pariah’ in her family (an outsider to her family not because she’s educated but because she’s ashamed of her working class roots and unable to admit it to herself). The storyline is centered around a 21st century ‘passing’ when she reinvents herself and brings with her into her new life the one person who could/would blow her new life out of the water – someone she brings with her not by her own choice. Hey, I didn’t say NO rich characters, just that they can’t all be rich.

— a young man (late 20s/early 30s) on the edge who has been hidng a secret that’s been tearing him apart. He not only witnessed his father’s death, he knows who did it and helped cover up the accidental death – obviously for someone he loves. The details of his father’s unsolved murder make it unlikely that anyone would believe it was an accident. He’s in his first potentially serious relationship and his deal with the devil comes back to haunt him.

— an unconventional HIV storyline. An older woman whose unfaithful husband contracts the disease. What would happen if this woman unknowingly ended up in a support group for women with AIDS/HIV with her husband’s mistress and neither knew who the other was, at first?

Daytime treats sex as romance, and often without consequence. The only consequence characters have faced is to either end up pregnant and not know which man fathered the child, or from the male perspective, to be named one of a couple/several possible fathers; or to end up pregnant.

It’s hard to imagine that in more than 20 years of public focus on AIDS/HIV that only two shows have dealt with issues of AIDS/HIV for longer than several weeks (General Hospital, which offered the Nurses Ball as an annual AIDS/HIV fundraiser, and All My Children) . ATWT’s Margo was sexually assaulted by a perp she as trying to arrest during a robbery and spent several weeks/months worrying that she’d contracted HIV from the assailant when he tested positive. She didn’t, of course.

I imagine the character in my soap battling with forgiving her husband; befriending, hating, and then working on forgiving the mistress who knew about her life with her family and slept with her husband anyway; dealing with HIV, and becoming an advocate for other women living with the condition. My soap would treat her condition as chronic, as General Hospital has done with Robin Scorpio, or with AMC’s Cindy Parker, wife of Stuart Chandler, before she died. (Trivia buffs, it might interest you to know that Cindy Parker was played by GL’s current EP, Ellen Wheeler!)

— a former (ad exec? autoworker? high school teacher?) who lost everything because of a drug addiction, lived on the streets for a while – gets clean – ends up working as live in help for a wealthy family. He’s dazzled by the big life and the big secrets of the glitterati, never becoming one of them. He knows more than he should because he sits in the shadows listening. He’s not ‘one of them’ so they’re not especially careful about what they say in his presence. He serves as a surrogate father to the family’s young heir when he realizes the kid is being physically abused by the father. No one believes either of them about the abuse. He can’t prove the abuse, but he can prove the father has engaged in other illegal activities. He blackmails him to get him to leave the child alone, keeping his job to stay close and keep an eye on the father. He keeps up his battle to keep the child safe, but the fear and anxiety cause him to battle relapsing in the process.

The lighter storylines:

— one ‘coming of age storyline’

— A little comedy (would love a David Vickers-esque character)

— A least one pair of star-crossed lovers

What I wouldn’t add:

— weak needy whining women. They need not apply. Men who cheat don’t get to be called ‘great husbands’ or ‘loving and caring’ later (see: BnB’s Nick Marone how bailed on his grieving wife for her mother a day after his child was buried… they both see what a ‘good man’ he is… bull)

— love triangles – done to death. When couples break up, let it be for real problems, not because of a third partner.

— Who’s the daddy? storylines, as pregnant women are fighting to keep others from learning the truth.

— Misattributed paternities (geez, how many times can soap characters raise children and later find out the children aren’t theirs?

— No pseudo-incest stuff – you don’t get to date your niece just because you find out there’s no bio link later in life.

Rules

— more drama, less camp. Daytime has become a bad parody of itself.

— more romance, less “hello, let’s have sex”. The Bold and the Beautiful is a classic example of wham-bam relationships! Rick fell for his niece, Steffy, days after her sister’s death – an accident he was involved in.

— I’d want more mystery and intrigue, less psychoses passing as real life.
When you think about it, what would would you change it? How would you write daytime differently?

DAYS – post John and Marlena

Somehow I thought the first non-John and Marlena day would be different. Nope, nothing.  Nothing’s changed – the sets are the same; the dialogue is the same; characters are still lying, cheating, and scheming; the sun still shines in Salem; Stefano is still an evil bastard; Sami is still “real” pregnant; Nicole is still fake pregnant… and yet everything’s changed. 

I had a love – hate relationship with John and Marlena, even though they were the heart of the show (along with Bo and Hope, Patch and Kayla, and other core families).   Their  love storyline had it all: romance, realism, surrealism, making up, breaking up, making up again – it was all there.  I hated the possession storyline.  Roman Brady becoming John Black didn’t thrill me either.  Drake Hogestyn’s  ‘John’ was first a Brady, then a man with no identity, an Alamain, and finally a Dimera.  Fans needed to wear a  neckbrace to keep up with the changes in John’s backstory as those changes went whizzing  by.  None of the worst of the John and Marlena storylines, however, came close to outweighing what was good about them. They are and always will be legendary.

It’s possible that DAYS will find the ‘new’ John and Marlena, on the cheap, but will it matter?  The ‘new’ and presumably cheaper John and Marlena won’t be able to provide the show the one thing fans are unwavering in wanting – a link to history.  Their relationship ended the era of the Roman-Marlena relationship that it intially gave rebirth to.  They introduced new legacy characters (including Belle Black, whose relationship with Shawn Brady was legendary in it’s own way).  They helped keep tradition, being part of the Brady-Horton clan. For decades, their marriage was at times as real as anyone else’s.  How do you replace that?  How do you appropriately celebrate their relationship with the fans (and their onscreen  relationship with one another) if you’re foolish enough to think you can replace them?  The uber genius minds at Serial Drama addressed the cheesy send off the couple,  barely, received from Corday and crew.  

Sad, huh?  I wouldn’t be surprised if we later find out TPTB didn’t want to spend the cash paying staff writers to write a more fitting goodbye for the couple.  Four words for you: monkeys, typewriters, locked room.  Makes sense to me!

On Monday, the first John and Marlena free day, the first day we knew they wouldn’t walk on set again, I wondered how the summary writers would describe their last day… behold:

John recovers his memories, but may remain nothing but a physical vegetable from the neck down. Marlena decides that cannot happen. Time being of the essence, Marlena takes charge and decides to go with John to Europe for treatment. John and Marlena share heartfelt goodbyes with Brady, Roman, and Kayla. Even Stefano shows up, and is upset when he is given the cold shoulder. Before leaving, John and Marlena are married once again in an emotional impromptu ceremony.

Let’s hope the summary writers are interns and not staff writers, or we’re doomed!  I thought about how symbolic their last onscreen days were and  wondered if the writers weren’t Freudian slipping all over their own manuscript.   John’s ‘physical vegetable’ state is symbolic of the writers’ own.  He is unable to move and is in need of rehab, as they have bee unable to move DAYS away from the ratings dive it’s been in for years – oh yes, I  also think there’s a strong need for rehab in the writers room.  Might I suggest a creative writing workshop?  Or two?  Or three?  Or…?  Once strong, virile, able to withstand any attack, John was weakened and in need of life support.  Uh huh.. .CHECK!  Ditto on the show.  John remembered when he woke up from his ordeal.  He remembered the glorious times that he shared with Marlena.

That’s where the analogy breaks down a bit.  I have a hard time believing that TPTB can remember how important their history was and still let them go.

As with John and Marlena leaving everything behind, their social support network, the family members who would embrace and love them; the writers and TPTB are leaving behind its offscreen family:  Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn, and the viewers who are now experiencing a gaping hole in what was once a strong family network.   For as much as I love most of the Days’ cast, there are at least a half dozen actors/characters I would get rid of before I got rid of John and Marlena. 

 I’m convinced that what’s helped keep the Young and the Restless and The Bold and The Beautiful at the top of the soap genre for nearly two decades is the commitment both serials have shown to their veterans.  Those of us who watch know that those shows ‘feel’ the same in many ways, today,  as the day we started watching them (though the YnR, I think, is risking its status as it continues to add so many newbies – I’m still impressed at the slower integration of newbies by the YnR than by shows like Days Of Our Lives).

Daytime is not drawing in the younger, “hipper” viewers daytime execs and advertisers seem to crave.  It’s time for them to face reality and work with what they have.  To do so would mean to stop killing off and getting rid of veteran characters who have name and face recognition in favor of the pretty-but-pointless.  Stop assuming that we want the ‘new’ John and Marlena, when love or hate them, we’re not done with the John and Marlena we already have.

There’s seemingly no hope for saving soaps.  To get rid of long loved characters at this stage of the game seems senseless.  If you must send off fan favorites to make room for more muck and dread, give our beloveds the proper send off they deserve so that we can think of them fondly, and lovingly, and have fewer negative feelings about the fan loss you’ve engineered. 

It would be nice to see them back on screen, soon.  Whether or not that happens, Thank you, Diedre Hall for giving life to Marlena Evans.  Thank you, Drake Hogestyn, for giving life to John Black  OH! And for the occasional shirtless scene.  I’m still shallow!  I hope to see both again, soon, if not on Days, somewhere in daytime or primetime.  What a loss to the genre they helped keep profitable for so many years.

OLTL, sometimes you SUCK!

There’s so  much I love about this show (see below).  Then there’s the Todd/Marty rape-is-romance storyline.  Why the writers won’t just cut their losses and drop the Manning pursuit  is beyond me.  Are they sending Todd to prison or is  this another exercise in futility?

 What can they do that will make up for the creepiness of having Todd sleep with Marty while she was amnesic and couldn’t remember the earlier rape or the months of torture and threats after?  He was NOT a repentant rapist at that time, to be sure. He was actually quite vicious in the way he followed her around town, grabbing her, threatening to hurt her again, threatening to hurt anyone who tried to protect her.   

OLTL writers, you are NOT going to make me feel sorry for Todd by having Antonio behave like a prick and falsely accuse him of the attempted rape of  Lee Halpern/Janet Ketring.   New Todd rules?  When he does rape someone, he goes free.  When he doesn’t rape a woman, he ends up in court or being harassed by the police.  You’ve sunk to a new low. 

By the way, why are Talia and Tonio allowed to work together?  Come on, writers, we all remember that Bo has had to reprimand Tonio more than once, now he’s letting Tonio work  with the person who is most likely to let him have a free reign?  Clearly the man needs a partner who reminds him that being a cop is not about nursing his grudges or trying to be a superhero.  Any guesses as to whether one of Antonio’s stupid moves helps Todd go free, again?

 Why couldn’t the writers just leave Todd’s redemption alone?

David, Dorian, and enlightenment!

Oh Dorian!  Could David be setting you up?  Is it possible that he already knows he’s a Buchanan heir?   Will David have the last laugh by taking control of the Buchanan fortune and leaving Dorian penniless?  She did everything she could to make him miserable the last time around.  She kept HIM penniless and powerless.  Wouldn’t that be a fantastic twist?   I buy David’s transformation about as much as I’d buy  Roxy as the president of the local Mensa chapter, soapgod love ‘er! 

Dear Melissa Archer.

You’re a great beauty, a marvelous actor, and probably one of the most fan-friendly celebs  around.  So what’s going on backstage?  The hair department loves you – obviously.  The wardrobe department?  Not so much.  Whatever you’ve done to offend them (walked off with the last bottled water, accidently crushed a car bumper, forgot to invite wardrobe to your last big party)… don’t do it again!    When everyone goes home for the night, steal that goshawfulmakesmyeyesbleed blue sweater and burn it.  While you’re at it, grab “Tea’s” grey coat,  “TessBessica’s” institutional chic lounge wear, “Brody’s” gray t-shirt and sweats, John’s black shirts/pants/socks/shoes/belts/coats/t-shirts/ and burn those too.

Wait, maybe you haven’t offended the wardrobe department, maybe ABC should pony up the cash and pay for a shopping spree!

GH Characters and Couples I’m learning to love again!

Carly Corinthos Jacks.  The moment Sarah Joy Brown stepped foot on stage, I became a Caroline “Carly” Benson-Roberts (…Quartermaine Corinthos Jacks)”  fan.  Carly is a character who is so good, she practically writes herself – and by “good” I mean good at driving people crazy with her half-baked schemes. 

I absolutely adore Laura Wright in the role and not just because I would crawl into a deathmatch cage to have hair as gorgeous  as hers.  I’ve been madly impressed with her interpretation of Carly.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been as happy with the writers’ re-invention of the character since Wright took the role.  It started off well enough, but then the writers transformed a relatively self-reliant, strong, vibrant character and into a highly co-dependent, whining, meddling pain in the ass.  HEARTBREAK!  So what’s to like?

The writers are reinventing Carly once again – for the better.  She’s taken a huge step forward and has decided to put her marriage before the mob.  Jax’s quixotic attempts to rescue princesses who aren’t exactly looking to escape from the clapsed arms of Port Chuckles’ dark knights has been painful to watch. I’d given up hope that the man could ever find true love.   To have Carly choose him gave me  a glimpse of the old Carly.  It’s about time some woman realized that Jax was the much better alternative to a life of gunshots and death threats – hard to believe it’s taken so long. 

Choosing Jax hasn’t been her only shining moment.  To have her reach out to Robin shows both Carly’s depth and vulnerability, traits the writers have ignored for far too long.  Wright and McCullough were amazing, bringing great sensitivity and a delightful sense of history to their scenes, addressing Robin’s post partum depression.  (Click HERE and you’ll see why I think it makes perfect sense that these two women can now become friends).  Theirs will be an uneasy truce, if the writers bother to take them that far.  Can’t you see Carly and Robin as great ‘frenemies’?  Imagine them as daytime’s  answer to Ouiser and Clariee!

Jason Morgan.  I wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ to describe what I feel for him.  I do find Jason a TAD more watchable right now.  We’ve seen Jason sacrifice himself for the women he loves – but only when he’s personally involved and presumably getting something out of the deal.  His willingness to fight for Spinelli’s freedom is impressive.  The writers created a character so stoic and removed from any emotional response that he was transformed from the living-giving Jason Quartermaine, to the life-taking Jason M. 

What’s next?  Who the hell knows?  This is GH!  What I would like to see, besides getting Jason away from Liz and finding out that the Jake isn’t his, is to have Jason Q. return.  Jsaon Quartermaine, in the realm of daytime at least, could have a medical breakthrough.  He could wake up one day, reliving every kill Jason Morgan ever made.  Since Jason Quartermaine never indulged the same, weak, moral equivalencies that Jason Morgan does, he wouldn’t view JM’s kills as ‘righteous’.  After a brief psychological breakdown, Jason Quartermaine could walk back into his family’s home, pick up where he left off, and become a new man again. He could return to the hospital, post medical school, and join the medical staff at GH.  That would be a far better tribute to Alan than having his ghost show up every other month.  Another option is having him put his new business skills to use at thelegitimate though sometimes shady at ELQ.

By the way, I was wrong, I said that I couldn’t get worked up over yet another GH disaster storyline.  The commercials have me hooked.  Of course, it was disappointing to see Jason MORGAN there, calling shots and taking control yet again.  BASTA!  Enough already.  Let’s hope the doctors are the centerpiece heroes in this storyline about a MEDICAL crisis.

Johnny Zacchara.  For the son of a psychotic mob boss, and a man who was anxious to take the reigns of power from his father, Johnny is an OK guy!   I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Johnny/Lulu relationship – though I did enjoy the care he gave Lulu when they were on the run for Logan’s murder.  Brandon Barash (Johnny’s portrayer) has it all but the writers have made little use of it. 

Johnny has spent most of his tenure on GH playing a stoic, stale version of Jason Morgan.  He’s so much better than that!  Watching the guy remake himself has been provided fans with  a fascinating character study.  Johnny, as he’s written, has never had to think about what he would or could become.  There was never a choice.  Yet, he has become the hope of that  segment of the audience that has always wanted to see Sonny and Jason walk away from mob life for good and figure out what kind of people they are.  Johnny has shown a grit and the courage that the scary big bads haven’t shown so far.  He’d rather mop floors than run drugs?  He’d rather clean tables than prostitute women or kill rivals?  FINALLY!

If we’re lucky the writers are treating him as someone who wants this change for his own sake and not just for Lulu.  Johnny has to be the mob-boy-turned-human-being who makes it.  I’m rooting for him (and for the writers to continue to make him a unique character. 

Liz and Lucky

Fine, that’s not a picture of Liz and Lucky, it’s a gratuitious shot of Maxie and Spinelli (Maxelli).  GH has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to it’s younger couples. Couples at midlife? Not so lucky. In GH’s younger set there’s Robin and Patrick, Sonny and Claudia (for now), Jax and Carly (for now), Lulu and Johnny (for now), Jason longing for Liz and vice versa (for now), Lucky and Sam (for now), Maxie and Spinelli (sorta’).

Clearly, the only confidence I have is in the Scrubs pairing. Sonny and Claudia’s marriage is running on borrowed time, as are Lulu and Johnny given his connection to Claudia’s soon to be ill fortune!  Rumors/Spoilers suggest that Kate Howard will get to have the last laugh and find one of Jerry Jax’s magical DVDs.  Once Claudia falls, Johnny can’t be far behind – hopefully this won’t be the end of the Zacharra sibs.  I have a feeling they’ll find out that their hired gun wasn’t responsible for Michael’s shooting after all, but that their father sent someone who was responsible.

Of the above mentioned couples, the couples that are seemingly headed for the land of ‘couple swapping’ is that of  Liason (Liz and Jason) and LuSam (Lucky and Sam).  They’re headed back to their original pairings as it SHOULD be.

Lucky and Liz  together bring out the best in each other, when they’re good. Jason and Liz together bring out the worst in one another.  They also bring out the worst in those around them. To make Jason and Liz work the people around them have to be trashed to hell.  It appears to be the writers’ only trick to make Liz sympathetic (instead of desperate, clingy, and careless with her children’s lives) or to make Jason seem a better man when with her – when in reality nothing ‘s changed about him..

–Carly had to betray Jason and sleep with Sonny – something she would NEVER have done, just to give Jason cause to turn to Liz.   Carly’s love (or obsession, you choose) for Jason was so great that she risked jail time and death just to be near him.  No matter how much she loved Sonny later, it was easy to see that Carly still regretted that the one thing she couldn’t give her son, Michael, was Jason’s DNA.  Her great regret was that his brother A.J. was his father.   Sex with Sonny?  Completely out of character for Carly.  It was, however, the beginning of his turning to Liz for help during his dark times.  It was also the beginning of the writers stealing back Lucky’s hard earned place as a true GH hero.

— Heroic Lucky had to become a drug user and cheat (discussed HERE). Out of character for Lucky who was one of the truest of true hearts this show’s ever produced.

— Sam developed a vicious form of babymania and had Liz’s child kidnapped just to hurt her.  Given the scenes of Sam with her own brother before he died, and her feelings about her own pregnancy, family was always her first priority.  It was simply by watching the ‘great love’ of  Jason and Liz that she quickly become capable of risking harm to a child.  Sure.  Anything to make Liason more sympathetic… only NOT.

When you have to work that hard to put a couple together:

1 – you’re tearing apart a great cast, dumping on your show’s history, and chasing off viewers.

2 – there’s nothing worth having with the couple you’re foisting on the audience. There’s a reason there was such a negative reaction to Jason and Liz.  There’s just far too much emotional manipulation of the audience rather than an emotional connection between the characters.  I will be more than happy to see Liason go.

I’d like the writers to restore the LnL2 history.  I’d like to see Liz try to figure out what her attraction to Jason has been when he’s so unlike anything she’s ever wanted for herself and her children – yes, despite the fact that both of her sons have biological fathers with criminal histories. 

I don’t want to see Lucky beg for her love or try to win her back.  If she can forgive Jason’s murderous tendencies, she owed Lucky more than walking away from their marriage when he was ill.  The writers need to take Liz on a journey of deep exploration, and let her try to win HIS love and trust back.  St. Liz passed another man’s child off as his when he was ill, she really doesn’t have a lot of room to judge the man for his past.

Yet another dire warning about the end of daytime:

Thanks to Listen2Me2, from the Official BnB message board for sharing this article. A comment from a CBS exec about the Guiding Light:

In September 2007, NBC moved another soap, “Passions,” to DirecTV before shutting down the program altogether. Insiders at “Days,” a daytime staple since 1965, say they won’t be surprised if the sands in their show’s hourglass run out too.

A similar fate awaits CBS’ “Guiding Light,” which debuted on radio in 1937 before becoming the longest-running drama in TV history. “That show isn’t even treading water,” says a network exec. “It’s sunk below the waves.”

An even more ominous sign for the industry: For the first time, the Daytime Emmys — designed specifically to promote daytime soaps — won’t even be broadcast. Major networks deemed the fees too excessive for a show that draws abysmal ratings. Even the cable channel Soapnet isn’t airing it.

I really want the show to make it. I hate a lot of what’s going on in daytime, but I don’t want to lose another daytime show, PERIOD. In fact, there are at least four or five other shows I’d love to see come back on air in addition to those we already have (that list grows every time I remember yet another canceled show).
  • I think “Generations’ would do well, given the current climate.
  • Another World
  • Ryan’s Hope
  • Texas…
OH! Then there’s
  • Search for Tomorrow
  • Edge of Night
  • Sunset Beach
NO to Passions, even still.

Another interesting point was raised in this article:

In recent years, market leader “Y&R” has seen its audience shrink precipitously, to an average of 5 million total viewers in 2008. In the old days, soaps were generational — your grandmother got your mother hooked, and she, in turn, got you hooked.

How many times have fans made THIS argument about why daytime writers needed to focus on the established characters and stop killing off the veteran characters we love? Once soaps starting taking that slippery slope of bringing in the pretty, but pointless, characters, fans who may have continued watching daytime appear to be less inclined to do so – and they certainly weren’t bringing their daugthers and sons/granddaughters and grandsons with them to watch daytime’s decline in creativity and overall production values.
Just a reminder: MarkH makes a convincing case that it’s not just awful storylines that are responsible for a daytime… but they sure don’t help!