Defending My Maxelli love

I’m stunned (STUNNED I TELL YA’) when I read that there are fans who don’t like Maxelli (Maxie and Spinelli).  I’m not so shocked about fans not liking Spinelli, alone, I think he’s been too closely linked to the mob boys and they breed contempt in many a GH fan.  Winifred would never have lasted for the same reason – being too closely linked to Sonny and Jason. (Honestly, how could the writers have believed that fans would applaud a character who begins as an honest federal agent, but begins viewing her own government as “the evil” enemy because of  a fascination with Spinelli that also made her prey to Sonny’s magical impregnating dimples, or Jason’s icy-but-honest–except-when-he’s-taking-a-life blank stares?  I pretty much wanted her dead about a day after she arrived – figuratively speaking, of course.

What makes Maxelli so worthwhile as a couple is that they are the unexpected.  GH writers have lost their ability to tell the unexpected storyline and I can only believe that Maxelli works by not by design, but by accident.  I can only imagine that the positive fan response to Maxelli caught TPTB offguard or they would still be pushing a Maxie and Johnny.   Matt and Maxi wouldn’t work for the same reason – too predictable.  QUICK, which GH storyline below did you NOT see coming:

  • Carly’s pregnancy with Jax is high risk.  Can the man just have a child?  Sonny’s impregnated half the town, mothers living or dead.
  • Kristina is a terror, and Alexis is clueless.  It’s been so long since the writers have allowed Alexis to have a clue.
  • Michael is a sociopath in the making and wants to follow in Sonny and Jason’s footsteps.  Yeah, yeah, Sonny’s comeuppance for taking advantage of vulnerable Jason… how about jail time as comeuppance, and not the innocence of the Quartermaine heir? 
  • Jason has been involved in a shoot out.  Anyone keeping track of how many shootouts he’s been in?  Aren’t we averaging at least two a year onscreen?
  • Sonny is seemingly torn between two women (though he’d never seem to give Olivia much of a second thought before, now that she’s with Johnny Sonny is jealous.  Maybe the unexpected is that there aren’t THREE women fighting over him? 
  • Nik is as dumb as a post and has fallen in love at the drop of a hat.  He doesn’t realize that Remily is running a game.  I remember a time when Nik wasn’t as dumb as a post.  <sigh>  We need more Nik-Alexis scenes in which they keep each other clued in to the lives around them.  Nik has ignored Alexis’ warnings, DeadEm’s warnings, etc, etc, etc… Nik should start to realize that it’s only because of Alexis, and originally Helena, that he managed to not be taken for every penny he’s worth.
  • Ethan and Remily are connected.  Two cons who show up in PC at about the same time it Traci was the only truly suspicious one?  Two ‘long losts’?  What’s happened to the smart characters?  What’s happened to writers who respected smart viewers?

I don’t just like/love Maxelli, I NEED them.  Otherwise, GH is just more of the same crap, different year.  Maxelli is not.  This is another GH couple in which the weaknesses of one character is compensated for  by the strengths of the other (GH’s Scrubs being the other).  Spinelli is probably the most life-experience challenged character GH has ever created.   He’s clueless about anything without a mother board or internet connection

[at the wedding of Lucky Spencer and Elizabeth Webber, March 23, 2007]
Priest: Why do you think these two should not be joined?
[Seeing that Lulu is about to object to the marriage, Spinelli quickly jumps in.]
Spinelli [stumbling] : Marriage is out-dated. It’s a primitive remnant of a pre-computer age. Y’know, like, ‘With this ring until death do us part’? I mean, they’re arcane, archaic phrases with no real meaning. I mean, are they internet-compatible? I mean, y’know you could still be using dial-up, and she could be a high-speed chick. Are their servers in-synch??
Lesley Webber: Who are you?
Lulu Spencer [reluctantly] : He’s my boyfriend.
Spinelli [plesantly surprised] : Really?
Lucky Spencer: Grandma, what’d you put in the punch?

 

Doesn't this picture just say it all? The only thing missing is Sonny's halo and the rest of the angels bowing before him. - All images are courtesy of ABC Daytime

He trusts far too easily and is prey to his fantasies about the lives of others; which then makes sense of his over-the-top hero worship of the likes of Sonny and Jason.   He identifies with them and their cohorts in the way a child identifies with outlandish childhood creatures, images from mythology… c’mon Carly ‘the Valkyrie’?  Stone Cold?  The Blonde one?  Unhinged one?  Sir?  His nicknames for Port Chuckles citizens reads like a comic book.

What Maxie gives to Spinelli is the benefit of her edginess.  She’s jaded and as such she helps Spinelli see the world through more skeptical eyes.  Maxie’s job isn’t to remove his innocent wonder, it’s to allow him to continue to express it, and to learn how to protect himself against the world.  Spinelli’s role is to make the world a less threatening place for Maxie.  She doesn’t have to plot and scheme to protect herself from those ‘out to get her’.  Spinelli allows Maxie to take a step down from her delusions and fears.  He makes her happy without asking her to ‘prove’ her joy through sex, or complete adoration.  That makes him different from any other man she’s known.  He just wants her to be who she is without the fear and anxiety dragging her down.

What about GH’s other couples?

While I’m not happy that SCRUBS is wasted on Matt Hunter, who I have ZERO interest in, their current storyline makes a hell of a lot more sense and is far easier to watch than the PPD storyline.  Oddly enough, the writers are allowing GH’s gold standard couple to become involved in storylines that require INTELLECT… In the case of “The Death of the Mayor’s Mistress”, two highly educated people who care about something other than what happens to the lollipop mob?  Count me IN!  This feels like ‘old GH’, with a good bit of intrigue and possible danger.  The Scrubs are splitting their time between home with Emma, work at GH, and solving this case to protect Matt.   The writers totally screwed the audience on the PPD storyline.  This is a nice start in making it up to fans.  It’s the storyline they should have told after the Scrubs honeymoon, a storyline that continued to play off their wit, charm, intellect, and sexiness as a couple.

Johnny and Olivia?  So far, there’s no depth, but that’s not what the couple is about.  They’re a guilty pleasure and I accept them as such.

Diane and Max?  Ditto. 

Carly and Jax?  Some days I believe that the writers intend for them to make it.  Other times it feels as if the writers intend for Jax to be Sonny’s ‘placeholder’.  I’m dying to see more scenes of this couple that don’t including Michael, Sonny, or Jason, and not even the mention of them.  When the hell will Jax get back to being a corporate raider with his new partner, his wife.

Rebecca and Nik?  I can’t tune them out fast enough.  I’m waiting for technology that allows you to not only skip commercials, but skip scenes featuring specific characters.  In my world, it’s as if they never existed.   My world is a happy place.

Advertisements

Grading The Guiding Light

Today’s GL is giving fans EXACTLY what they’ve deserved all along, intergenerational story telling that makes you want to tune in for more:

  • The matriarchs of the Lewis/Spaulding-Raines clans getting together to pull off the ‘wedding of the century’.  Bill Lewis and Elizabeth “Raines” Spaulding are getting married in 21 days… We know, because almost everyone on screen repeats that there were only 21 days left.  The gathering of the matriarchs would have been PERFECT, if the following hadn’t happened:  Vanessa, Alexandra, Beth, and Lillian plan the wedding of the century in Peapack/Springfield’s equivalent of a 7/11.  I was distracted by the display of batteries  and other point of sale merchandise on the checkout counter behind the cafeteria seats they were sitting in.    What lousy product placement!  It only made me think of making sure I had enough fresh batteries to FF through most of what’s airing on daytime right now.  I also kept thinking about the beloved but bratty Vanessa Chamberlain and  the stuffy and sophisticated  Alex Spaulding who wouldn’t have been caught dead in a convenience store cafeteria.  Even still, I was so grateful to see the four women on screen again that I decided I didn’t care too much about the product placement.  A-
  • Loved the glee-some foursome barging  into Bill and Lizzie’s budget priced hotel room/suite  and interrupting the happy couple who had to push back the covers to see who’d invaded their love nest.  For the love of cheese, wouldn’t you just die if your grandmother and mother walked in while you were naked with your significant other?  It would be even worse if they treated you as if you were simply having a play date with your little  friend and told you to get dressed so they could get started on getting your wedding planned.  A-
  • Phillip/Alan/No-longer-adorable-James.  Oh Alan!  How could he have missed out on even the most BASIC tenet found in parenting books?   Love your children and praise them when they do well.  Ignore the misbehavior as much as you can.   Alan simply LOVES Phillip now that Phillip has engaged in the felonious act of bribing a judge.  He loves James even more, since James was indicted for running a Ponzi scheme.  Nothing like encouraging your children and grandchildren to be the best they can be!  B+
  • Billy threatening to make James ‘sleep with the fishes’if he does anything else to hurt Bill or Lizzie, and then having James run to Alan to tell him about the threat because he thinks it’s ‘funny’.   Those two scenes made me hope that there was enough time left for the writers to do one of two things:  Split Spaulding-Lewis, making them TWO companies as they should have been all along, and let the corporate wars begin.  I’ve missed the  corporate infighting and would love to see things end, if they must, with the Spauldings and Lewises continuing their friendly war.  If not?  My second option is to have Lizzie join the Spaulding Clan, along with Phillip, and have them make Alan and James powerless and miserable… for now at least.  B+
  • Billy… Billy… Billy… how lovely that he alone saw the overwhelmed look on Lizzie’s face and tried to have the glee-some foursome let Lizzie decide on how to plan her own wedding.  Billy has always been a bear (sometimes cuddly, sometimes grizzly).  It was so sweet.  The problem is that he should have known!  They shot him down so fast poor Billy’s head started spinning.  A (hell, it’s Billy!)
  • Did anyone know that Alex has always had the fantasy of running off to Vegas and getting married by an Elvis impersonator?  WOW!   Cyrus was a close to a Vegas wedding as Alex was going to get.  More importantly?  Forget point one… I can easily see Vegas Alex hanging out in a convenience store planning a wedding. B-
  • Billy and Vanessa?   ’nuff said!  If the writers give us the ‘beach wedding’  for the couple that Vanessa mentioned, along with Reva and Josh, Olivia and Natalia, Beth and Phillip, Buzz and Lillian, Blake and Frankie,  Mel and Rick… well, I promise to not refer to them as the writing team that sent GL to its early death… OR I’ll at least I’ll promise to TRY to not refer to them that way.  A
  • Alan shooting basketball with James?  Uh, SURE!  It’s as conceivable as my vegetarian sister downing a double cheeseburger.  So contrived… but i enjoyed it anyway.  B.
  • Phillip turning to Ed for medical help?  I’m actually shocked that the writers chose such an organic storyline to bring Ed back to town.  I don’t know how the rest of the storyline will play out.  B+
  • Reva and Marina growing closer.  I’m enjoying the developing friendship between Marina and Reva.  They’re mothers of young infants and have long respected one another – Marina as Shayne’s ex-girlfriend and now Marina is the mother of Shayne’s child.  I’ve been trying to figure out if the writers are setting Marina up to be the target of Reva’s ire when she finds out that her son and Marina have hidden the fact that Marina unknowningly adopted Shayne’s believed dead child.  I’ve gotta admit, I want to know more!  B+

By and large, there are still so many things wrong with GL that there’s not enough room to list them all.  The individual pieces work, but as a continuous thread there’s something faulty about the show. I’m torn between thinking that I won’t even miss this show when it’s gone, to still being angry that it’s over.   What about you?

Ratings Comments June 8 -12

Looking at the current ratings, my only thought was that I’ve been shocked that the ratings haven’t been LOWER, for all soaps (ok, maybe except the YnR).  I’m finding most of daytime either boring or unwatchable and wondered how many others have as well.  I’ve been filing my time with reruns of prime time shows, or gardening, more of the latter, less of the former.  The full ratings report is posted at SON but here are my thoughts:

1. Y&R 3.4/11 (-.1/-.1) <—- ties low (Last time: November 10-14, 2008)

It’s a dark show, but still watchable, and as long as it doesn’t get too much darker, I can’t see any sudden huge drops for the YnR.  I bet someone a while ago that ‘Mary Jane’ was indeed Patti Williams.  How bad does Victor SUCK?  I love him, hate him, love to hate him. The man who is so protective of his family (as long as they haven’t pissed him off) is using Paul’s psychologically troubled sister to go after Jack Abbott?

Victor is such an asshat!

2. B&B 2.2/7 (-.2/-.4) <—– new low (Previous low: 2.4/8 for June 1-5, 2009)

Stephanie/Ridge/Taylor are TOXIC!  Ridge’s pill addiction, Steph leaving him alone while he’s drugged, and now the pill-bang between Ridge and Taylor – one that leaves Ridge with unbearable guilt.  This storyline just leaves me with an unbearable desire to watch something else…

I’ll celebrate the wedding between Bridget and Nick (it’s GREAT to have Ashley Jones back on screen again.  CONGRATS on the success of True Blood AJ – the season opening ratings were higher THIS season than for last!)

The Jackie and Owen relationship?  It may as well be dead.  It started off well enough, until Jackie blackmailed Owen into staying with her and now it seems that Owen is manipulating her to get to her money.  Owen was never a well defined character.  He started out sleazy, became an instant hero, and is back to potentially being a sleaze again.  No thanks.

3. DAYS 2.1/7 (+.1/+.2)

Arianne Zucker still drives this show for me, but I can’t see that happening too much longer.  No matter what “Nicole” does to prove her love, EJ will find a way to return back to his normal state – a stooge for Sami.  I still can’t stomach the idea that Sami has children with the man who sexually assaulted her and that they have ‘feelings’ for each other.

I was thinking of watching DAYS for a while. I just remembered why watching prime time reruns would be less aggravating.

4. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)

Scrubs shower scene?  VERY Funny and VERY SEXY.  If only GH writers wrote more of that.  If that scene has any impact on next week’s ratings, GH is in good shape.  The problem is that you’ll have to FF past Remily/Ethan/Rick/Sonny/Sonny threatening Claudia/Jason Threatening Claudia/FrankenMichael/FrankenMichael screaming at Carly/Pot-smoking Christina (who appears to be more of a girlfriend than sister to Michael… it’s skeeving me out).  While FFing, stop long enough to catch Maxie and Spinelli scenes.  They just keep getting CUTER!  Love them.  OH…and Tracy is getting her brain back, even if temporarily.  She’s figured out that there’s bad news a-comin’ in the form of Remily and Ethan and she’s not letting up off of them.

5. AMC 1.8/6 (same/-.2) <—- ties low (Last time: June 1-5, 2009)

Is that show still on air?

5. OLTL 1.8/6 (-.1/-.3) <—- ties low (Last time: May 25-29, 2009)

I want to be able to watch long enough to cheer on Sean and Rachel… but I’d have to watch the rest of OLTL.  … and I can’t go for that, noooo, no can do!  – Just a little Hall and Oates for you.  Psssst… don’t tell anyone, but I did secretly like the positive pregnancy test for Marcy.  Anything that ends obsessive Babymania for daytime women rocks in MY book.

7. ATWT 1.6/5 (-.1/-.3) <—- new low (Previous low: 1.7/6 for June 1-5, 2009)

UNWATCHABLE!

8. GL 1.3/4 (-.1/-.3) <—— new low (Previous low: 1.4/4 for June 1-5, 2009)

makes.zero.sense. Why are the writers determined to annoy me? Where’s the Liv who doesn’t care WHAT people think of her or her love life? Couldn’t the writers have come up with some other way to cover JL’s  (Natalia) maternity leave? Otalia has decided that they need to spend some time apart to prove to others they really are in love, that their relationship isn’t about having both loved Gus and missing him since his death.

They have to “break up” and stay apart to prove it’s not desperation and sadness pulling them together?  W.T.F?  Where is the tough as nails Olivia who didn’t give a damn what others thought?  So if they come back together in a couple of months, what’s changed?  This storyline was so brilliantly told as it moved along.  Now?  Somewhere, a high school ‘creative writing’ class is getting a hell of a lot of practice writing a network soap… at least it feels that way.

The writers should have been working on the break up plan for Jeffeva, instead! I have to wonder if ‘hero hubby’ returns and sees Josh and Reva getting close and ends up taking off again. The Hero Hubby plan has been laughable from the beginning.  Josh left his OWN footprints (and trace evidence from his pants, hands, etc) in the same field where he planted Jefferies footprints… the plan went downhill from there!

Remy and his father. The Diamonds.  The 35K  (34+) repayment for a loan that ‘saved’ the family home.  This is a family that is supposed to be wealthy.  Is that the best the writers could do?  Not $350,000.00?  Not $1.350,000.00?  <sigh>

BethAnn Bonner who is a wonderful actress in a cartoon role linked to Cyrus – and just WHY was it necessary for Cyrus to return?

I think that the 1.3 is a generous rating, given the storylines and the scenery.  Has CBS cheaped out on GL?  The indoor scenery is getting uglier.  They’ve already killed the show, can’t CBS loosen up the purse strings and send this show out in style?

Respect it’s history!

Pass the Dutchie from the left hand side…

This generation

Rules the nation

With version

Music happen to be the food of love

Sounds to really make you rub and scrub

Chorus:

I say

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side

It a gonna burn, give me music make me jump and prance

It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance

It was a cool and lovely breezy afternoon

(How does it feel when you’ve got no food ?)

You could feel it ’cause it was the month of June

(How does it feel when you’ve got no food ?)

So I left my gate and went out for a walk

(How does it feel when you’ve got no food ?)

As I pass the dreadlocks’ camp I heard them say

(How does it feel when you’ve got no food ?)

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side

Musical Youth

As The World Turns

When it rains, it POURS!  If you’ve been reading me long enough, you know that I’ve been whining about OLTL’s decision to kill off the fabulous Nash Brennan (played by the even MORE fabulous Forbes March).   I’ll whine no more… I’ll just be spending more time watching As The World Turns since TPTB there have had the good graces to cast Forbes in a new role!  YAY!  He’ll play Luke and Noah’s college professor who happens to also be openly gay.  As if it was my birthday, the soapgods of ATWT have also cast Lynn Herring (GH, ex-Lucy Coe) as Henry Coleman’s  mother… DOUBLE YAY!  If she’s anything like Henry before his transformation, or the rest of his family, someone will need to say a prayer for Vienna!  There’s fresh hell headed her way and she’s never experienced anything like it.

Days of Our Lives

Sami/EJ… can’t speak.  Sickened.

Hate.This.Storyline.  Hate Ejami…

One Life to Live

I just saw the most incredible commercial for ABC soaps… it’s an ad for ‘2 Young Mothers’  AMC’s Amanda – a woman in her mid to late 20s, and OLTL’s Starr Manning (Roughly 16 – 17 years old).  Both storylines are about mothers who were supposed to give their children up for adoption.  Both mothers have changed their minds.  They want to keep their babies.

What happens in the upper suites over at ABC?  Does anyone with more authority than deciding who to hire in the mail room get to see the ads for ABC daytime before they air?  Given the fact that ABC had an astoundingly bad week, during the last ratings period:

Bad Week for ABC (originally posted at S.O.N.)

Ratings for the week of May 25-29, 2009

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 4,994,000 (+120,000/+48,000)
2. B&B 3,366,000 (-3,000/-341,000)
3. DAYS 2,663,000 (+136,000/-4,000)
4. ATWT 2,480,000 (+86,000/-126,000)
5. GH 2,454,000 (-96,000/-330,000)
6. AMC 2,430,000 (-88,000/-283,000)
7. OLTL 2,402,000 (-158,000/-299,000)
8. GL 2,022,000 (+71,000/-271,000)

HH
1. Y&R 3.6/12 (+.1/same)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (-.1/-.3) <——- ties low rating
3. DAYS 2.0/7 (+.1/same)
4. ATWT 1.9/6 (+.1/same)
4. AMC 1.9/6 (same/-.2)
4. GH 1.9/6 (-.1/-.3)
7. OLTL 1.8/6 (-.1/-.3) <—— ties low rating
8. GL 1.5/5 (same/-.1)

what would make ANYONE think that a commercial featuring Amanda and Starr would excite soap fans who aren’t currently watching?  Amanda?  Eh… I’ll admit, I have SOME interest in what will happen if she keeps her baby and nutty Dr. Dave decides that he should be allowed to raise at least ONE of his children from infancy.  I just have ZERO interest in Starr and Cole (who are, as we’re told “STARR AND COLE” – as if that has meaning.  When I see ‘Starr and Cole’, I see a ruined Todd Manning who was destroyed to pimp a crap teen summer romance).    I don’t care to see Starr raising a baby. I don’t care to see Starr and Cole reunite.  I don’t care to see them struggle with the difficulty of being teen parents.    For goodness sake’s folks, if you’re going to go forward on this storyline, don’t flippin’ advertise it.

Guiding Light

I understand that Rafe has to adjust to life outside of prison, but YEOW!   Rafe is not only having a hard time adjusting, he’s actually beginning to behave almost as if he’d rather return to prison.   With so little time left for GL (Sept. 18 is the final ep), it’s hard to believe that the writers are looking at spending that much more time on Rafe’s return in order to create unnecessary drama for Otalia.

I’m torn between: 1 – appreciating the grittiness of the prison release storyline, 2 – being annoyed that Rafe won’t get the typical ‘Spaulding’ treatment after creating a crime; in what world would Alan actually listen to Natalia when she tells him that she doesn’t want him helping Rafe?  He doesn’t listen to Phillip or Beth! Why would her give a damn that Natalia wants him out of Rafe’s life!??!; 3 -feeling  disturbed by the fact that the Rafe storyline is getting more attention than the Otalia love story.  Wouldn’t it be better to have Otalia together, living as a family and working to save Rafe from himself and from Alan?  So little time writers… GET A FREAKIN’ MOVE ON!

General Hospital

Shhhhhhh… no one tell the GH writers.  SOMEONE slipped up and the writers are starting to inadvertently focus on romance.  Can you believe it?  That Patrick is so understanding of Robin’s PPD and that he’s supporting her should warm my heart but it doesn’t.  OK, it does, but not the way you think.  It’s to be expected, right?  You have your husband’s baby and he realizes the sacrifice you made for him, for yourself, for your family.  I’m just grateful that the writers veered away from Liz and Patrick flirtation and realized that there are many people out there who love and support their spouses in their worst moments without turning to someone else.

I love that Patrick is a good husband.

Do you know what I love MOST about this reunion?  It’s that Patrick doesn’t think that it’s his role to ‘forgive’ Robin.  I love that he stands back and watches Robin undergo a this period of self-exploration.  He watches as Robin finally realizes what everyone else has been telling her all along.  She’s been so driven, and so obsessed with perfection that it fed her inability to bond with Emma when Emma needed her so desperately.  Robin would rather have not tried, than to have tried with Emma and failed.  I love that Patrick and Robin don’t feel the need to ‘shape’ the other into a better person. They’ve learned to love one another as they are.

Patrick has accepted Robin as is and when she was ready to change, he was still there.  She allowed him to be who he was, when he was a playboy on the loose.  She realized that she couldn’t change him and accepted him as he was.  She was still there, ready to be with him, when he decided to change of his own accord.  She waited for him to become the man he needed to be.

Then there’s Carly and Jax.  They’re the Ken and Barbie version of Patrick and Robin.  There’s been a little more arm-twisting and ‘molding/shaping’ with CarJax than there has been with Scrubs, but it’s all worked somehow.  I love that Jax accepts about Carly what drives others crazy about her;  she has a tendency to obsess on those she loves and cares for.  They become the center of her focus.  Jax realizes that she’ll fight as hard for their family as she has for anyone else.  He finally gets that about her.  Jax is such a patient, kind, and loving man that he and Patrick  stand out as Princes among the daytime frogs!  Robin and Carly are lucky women.  Patrick and Jax are even luckier men.

Add Elizabeth’s fighting Luke for Lucky’s sake, and I’m in GH fan heaven!  THREE good men, Three good women, THREE great relationships… and this is GH!?!??

Pass the  Dutchie, baby!

Where does that phrase come from?  Some of you may remember the UK youth group that sang the song.  The origin of the title was always in question.  Some believed it was a reference to what is the equivalent of a ‘bong party’ (which makes sense of its use for AMC/OLTL/GL… but later it was determined that the origins linked to the notion of a communal experience (passing a dish, eating together as a group/a family)… as in the case of ATWT/GL…

Daytime Traditions I Miss

Guiding Light:  The Bauer 4th of July celebrations.   There was always some secret on the verge of being told to the Bauer and friends crowd – which was typically all of Springfield.  There were always two characters trying to avoid making eye contact so that no ohine would know they’d been together. Someone hiding behind the covered trellises hiding from or spying on someone in the crowd.  There was the salacious part of the 4th celebrations, but even MORE than that, there were the Bauers and the people who loved them.  Springfield seemed peaceful, and lovingly ‘normal’, despite the secrets, if only for a day.  Fans still miss Maureen, but to have Papa “Doc” Ed, Michelle, Rick, and their respective spouses and children back for this one last July 4th celebration would be wonderful.

As The World Turns:  The Memorial Day picnics.  See ‘Bauer 4th of July’ celebration and read Lynn Liccardo’s treatment of the topic by clicking HERE

The Bold and the Beautiful:  I miss the rival fashion shows.  Forrester had a show and Spectra countered. Spectra held a show and Forrester countered.  Now?  There’s JackieM’s (whose success is in large part due to stolen designs from Forrester) and ????….NOTHING.  Rather than a lot of scandalous pseudo-incestuous lovin’ and some great fun thanks to fashion showdowns, we’re stuck with just a lot of pseudo incestuous lovin’.

General Hospital:  The Nurses Ball.  Given the way the ball started -with Stone’s death and Robin revealing her HIV status, what a wonderful tribute it would be to those who are living with AIDS/HIV to have Robin come back as MC as a symbol of someone with the disease living an enriched life.  Hope is NOT lost!  Robin was a teen when she contracted the disease.  Today, she’s a physician, a loving mother and wife, and a pillar of her community. 

     I also loved that in the past, the cast came together and the actors we loved were allowed to step out of the comfort zone of the characters they played to give us just a bit of themselves, as well.  (Shallow alert:  WHAT could top the Lucy Coe costume changes as entertainment? Terrific.)

Days of Our Lives:  Sean and Caroline, Marlena and John.  I don’t care what the holiday/event is, something seems to be ‘missing’ with DOOL.   As long as Sean and Caroline/Marlena and John are gone, it’s not the real DAYS.

GL: Have you seen this soap character?

Name:  Rafael Rivera (a.k.a. Rafe)

Parents: Natalia Rivera, Gus Aitorro-Spaulding (a.k.a. Nicky, a.k.a.  Nicholas Augustino)

Age:  Approximately 18

Romantic liaisons:  Daisy Cooper (a.k.a. Susan LeMay)

Occupation:  None, currently considering a career in law enforcement.

Other romantic or familial connections:  Rafe is currently uninvolved with anyone, romantically.  Unfortunately, his extended family is currently uninvolved with him.

This kid is a SPAULDING.  You’d never know it because none of the Spauldings bother to speak his name – he doesn’t get to help plan Lizzie’s wedding to Bill.  None of his extended family visited him while he was incarcerated.  There’s no evidence that anyone knows that he’s been released – Well, based on the eps I’ve been watching.  GL IS putting me to sleep these days.  There’s no evidence that anyone cares what’s happened to him, other than his mother, Olivia Spencer, and Frank Cooper.

In the time Rafe was incarcerated, Alan Spaulding has voiced his ‘concern’ for his granddaughter, Emma; has tried to control and manipulate his granddaughter, Lizzie, to stop her from becoming romantically involved with Bill Lewis;  he’s appealed to his grandson, James, to be a ‘family first’ sort of man in order to win favor with him (Alan’s true objective is to butter James up in the hopes of getting closer to Beth – James’ mother).

Not one word – that I’ve heard, has been uttered about Rafe’s care.  He still has diabetes and has not received the best possible care given his financial situation.  What sort of care is he getting now? Does anyone know because it was a plot point with Alan before.  It seems to not matter at all now.  Can’t we have a scene with Rafe running into ‘grandpa Alan’ at Cedar’s?

Given the fact that Alan has lost Beth for good, and was previously obsessed with Natalia,you would THINK that  Alan might try to move in and muscle Olivia out of Natalia’s life – what a battle that could have been!  Instead?  Rafe may as well be dead to Alan.  This glaring oversight is made WORSE by the fact that rather than incorporate the only diversity there has been in the Spaulding family lately, the writers have decided to rely on aimless plot devices that have Rafe deciding that he wants to be a police officer.

When you shoot the town’s District Attorney and then flee the country, joining  the Springfield PD’s finest is hardly a realistic occupational aspiration.  Why isn’t Alan trying to woo Rafe over to the Spaulding side of the family?  He likes to pit his children and grandchildren against one another.  Rafe was falling under the evil spell Alan was casting before he was incarcerated.  He was seduced by the fancy sports car, the big house, the pockets full of money… you name it!   Wouldn’t he have an even greater appetite for success, now?

Wouldn’t Rafe be the perfect foil for James?   I could even <gulp> try to tolerate Daisy if the dueling cousins ended up at odds in part because of her, and not just Alan’s manipulations.  That Daisy has moved on to yet another person who was ‘out to get him’ might cause Rafe a bit of conflict in deciding what kind of response he’d want to make.  He respects Frank and thinks of him as a father, of sorts, but may feel a loyalty to his own grandfather and want to make the lives of the Cooper family miserable.

Once Rafe tires of Alan’s manipulations, James could play ‘favored grandson’ and Rafe would end up on the receiving end of all of Alan’s material substitutions for love.  It would have been the recasting of Phillip  and Alan-Michael in a new generation.  Rafe could pull off the Phillip role,  James as Alan-Michael.  I could see  Rafe growing a conscience and eventually turning on Alan to protect Frank and  the Coopers.  That would be enough for Alan to switch his loyalties and support to James.  Rafe would have to turn to someone else in the family for help.  Phillip?  Beth?  Lizzie?  Bill Lewis?

I’m very disappointed that the writers continue to treat Rafe as the ‘disadvantaged youth’ from the wrong side of the tracks, unworthy of recognition by the Spauldings.   What a missed opportunity, but  then GL has been far too full of those, these past few years.