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!

Advertisements

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.