Shut up! Stuff I like about daytime!

One Life To Live

So much to dislike, but here’s where I’m lovin’ these days:

1.  That Matthew and Destiny are REAL TEENS… no pretense of ‘adulthood’  and then shoving them down the audience’s throat as with Starr and Cole.  I’m really enjoying them, especially Matthew.  I love that he so easily channels his inner Asa (soapgod love the kid)!   His Asa imitation?  Priceless.  Blackmailing his parents (or attempting to) so that they’d sign the documents allowing his surgery?  Pure-Asa-priceless.

It’s been so good to ‘see’ Asa again as Phil Carey’s pictures are prominently displayed on set.  A bittersweet reminder of our Phil Carey and Clint Ritchie, both lost in such a brief period of time.

2.  Stacy!  She’s a grade-A jackass, but anything is better than watching Gigi accept responsibility for Rex having sex with Stacy!   Sorry, but when Rex wankered on about his broken heart and how it lead him to sleep with Stacy, I waited for Gigi to say to him that he couldn’t have been too broken-hearted to have had sex with Stacy.  Of course, that didn’t happen.  Gigi ate her misery, took responsibility, and forgave Rex… even for the lie about not sleeping with Stacy.  What crap.  If he could understand his own fear of losing Gigi then he could understand her fear in losing Shane because of Stacy’s actions. “I slept with your sister, but it was YOUR fault“… the ultimate insult.  The only enjoyment I got out of Rex and Gigi scenes was watching Stacy plot against them.  Maybe the writers should have them pay better attention to Stacy’s comments about the lack of trust and commitment in their relationship.

Stacy is a deluded jerk, but she’s becoming a pretty funny deluded jerk.  Now that she’s not hanging an innocent child’s life in the balance to get what she wants?  I say BRING IT ON!  Were you, too, surprised that the writers didn’t have Stacy tumble down the iron staircase/firescape?  Loose floppy hospital gown?  CHECK!  High heels?  CHECK!  Grabbing-shoving sessions with angry partners?  CHECK!  All the ‘stupidity’ factors were there.  No tumble causing a miscarriage – unless I missed it in the brief time I took to take my carrot cake out of the oven.

So, is it the writers commitment to telling a different type of storyline?  A commitment to staying away from the predictable – other than the unsurprising pregnancy itself?  If so? Fabulous.  I hope the child IS Rex’s and that she carries to term.  There’s still one other ‘been-there-done-that’ option if the baby is his and survives… Stacy dies and then Gigi and Rex raise her kid… hope not.  Stacy is quickly becoming a character worth keeping.

3.  The room full of sunflowers at the Buchanan cabin.  Sunflowers are my  signature flower, so I loved seeing them.  What can I say?

The Guiding Light

Shayne and Dinah. Lizzie and Bill – for as little as we see of them now.  Lillian and Buzz.  Phillip. Done.

Days of Our Lives

1.  It wasn’t meant  to be played for big camp (or at least, I don’t think) but Rafe and Sami’s scenes have been side-splitting hilarious!  The look on Rafe’s face as Sami recalled the details of her relatively short adult  life were crazy funny.  When I was on death row…. I caught them having an affair…. Then I shot him where no man wants to be shot… Honestly, what man wouldn’t have run for the hills after that?

Not so funny – as Sami recounted her earlier rape, her later references to her various interactions with EJ made me cringe.  How does she not see herself as having been raped a second time, this time by EJ?  Shame on you, writers.

2.  Kate and Victor.  I want to feel sorry for Chloe and Daniel, I DO.  Kate and Victor just make it so much easier to not feel a thing for them, especially with Chloe.  Without a doubt, Chloe is Kate’s victim, as is Daniel.  The idea that Kate has the right to poison Chloe and frame Daniel because they rejected her, and her son is ludicrous – and a tad bit embarrassing that it’s what Kate’s reduced herself to. She’s a beautiful, intelligent, and successful woman.  Is she really that desperate for ONE man that she’d poison his ‘great love’ instead of moving on?

Moral outrage aside? Kate is my guilty pleasure.  I’m just afraid that she’s been painted into a corner.  She and Victor tend to display their sociopathic tendencies where Chloe is concerned and the fact that neither is sorry that she’s in a coma and are in fact keeping a hopeful “death watch” is boatloads of creepy.   Where can the writers go from here with the character?  How can she NOT do jail time?  My guess is that Chloe will wake up, realize what happened, collect the evidence, and blackmail Kate into being whatever sort of meat puppet she wants her to be… Chloe’s torment will be, the writers will want us to believe, worse than Kate serving jail time.

3. Phillip’s “Tears for Fears’ haircut… Enough said…

General Hospital

1.  As much as Edward drove me crazy in the past trying to control his children, their offspring, and the offspring of the offspring, I have to admit I love watching him repeatedly open a can of whoop ass all over Sonny and throw him out of the Q manse!  So few people have been permitted to stand up to Sonny that it’s been nice watching Edward take him on, and not cower or cry after.

2.  Mac and Maxelli/Spinmax/whatever name you give them… I got just a tiny bit tickled by Maxie being so caught up by the shiny ring that she forgot what she wanted to say mid conversation. Typical Maxie.  More than that I love the writers for allowing Maxi to realize how important is it for her to have Mac’s blessing.   I love that the writers allowed Maxi to think about the tragedy that had been her parents’ marriage – remembering the pledges of love that her mother and biological father made, but couldn’t or wouldn’t keep.

She, like Robin before her, is able to trust and love another person, and commit herself to another person because of Mac – his guidance, his love, his stability.  Mac is the best dad GH has to offer – which then makes it hard to understand why there’s so much focus on Sonny, GH’s worst father! Does anyone else wonder if this show wouldn’t be more accurately named: “Battle of Sonny’s Babies’ Mommas”?

  • Carly
  • Olivia
  • Claudia
  • Alexis

What’s left, other than to bring Brenda back with her own bundle of Sonny’s joy?

Back to Maxelli… are we taking odds on whether there’s an actual marriage?  How long will it last?  Will there be baby Maxelli’s?  Will Mac lure Spinelli away from the mob boys and have him use his talents for good?  Let’s hope!

As The World Turns

Lily and Damian Part 2?  Noelle Beck long ago won me over as ‘Lily’, so to have her version of Lily and Damian reunite would be welcome news to my sore eyes!  I know that Holden and Lily are the ATWT signature couple, but I wouldn’t mind taking a break from them for the next five or six years — assuming ATWT has that long, we can hope!  There was always something magical about Lily and Damian, something neither character was able to share with any other person.

I wonder if a reunion between the two would be enough to bring the real Meg back… the plotting, scheming, and angry Meg we once knew.  I think Marie Wilson would have a blast taking “Meggie” Snyder back to her roots!

Jon and Kate: ‘There Will Be Blood’!

As I mentioned before, some of the best ‘soap’ moments are found outside the daytime soap genre.  Sadly, when they’re found in real life settings, they’re just not entertaining.  I thought Jon and Kate Plus 8 was over!  Done!  Finito!   I just found out this morning that the show is definitely coming back.  What is the point of that?  I have serious concerns about what will happen with those children.  Not only have their entire lives been played out on screen, , but now they won’t even be allowed to adjust to their parents divorce in privacy?  They won’t be able to grieve and cry without millions watching them?  Their pain is played out as part of some intrusive voyeuristic fantasy?   We’ll get to see them spend some weekends with daddy (but hopefully not with his gal pals – seriously, Jon?  A reported party girl and an ex-tabloid reporter?  Nice.)  

What’s next for the Gosselin offspring?  Will we get to watch them in counseling sessions?  Will a sympathetic camera operator be filmed ‘spontaneously’ <wink> putting the camera down to console a crying child? 

What would make TLC’s entertainment volcano gods happy?  A human sacrifice?  Eight human sacrifices?   One of the children picks up a bottle of booze?  FAN-FREAKIN’-TASTIC!  Then JK8 can be cross promoted with A&E’s Intervention as “the family’ sits around and one by one confronts the booze swilling child (and don’t forget to cross promote with the liquor company, TLC – show the bottle’s label, baby!).    That’s Klass!

OH!  I know, what if one of the one of the twins, starts failing at school and picking fights?  (Twice the fun if one fails school and the other picks fights!)  I’ll bet that if one of those kids walked through the door with a shiner, clutching a tabloid cover of daddy and one of daddy’s new ‘friends’ , it would cause a joyous meltdown somewhere in the executive suites.  Imagine the camera, panning on the black eye with a tear slowly running down the face.  It’s  not necessary to show the entire face or the kid, we don’t care which one it is, do we?  From the eye, the camera slowly pans down to the tabloid cover and freezes – said tabloid is, of course, given the opportunity to contribute to the cost of producing the episode, or run the risk of having its page  blurred during the episode and only alluded to.  Sheer ART!

“There Will Be Blood” is a great movie title, but sadly it’s starting to feel as though the title would be better applied to this show.   Of course there are other alternate titles for this show:

“Did Kate in Time Raise Nine?”  (Given Jon Gosselin’s reported behavior post his break up.  I completely understand Kate’s pre-break up behavior, now.  Can you imagine if she started dating someone from the medical team who worked on Jon’s hair plugs, or dated another man named Jon?).

“Help, I’m a Minor, Get Me Outta’ Here!” (Or do we only worry about rescuing B, nay, C list celebs?)

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T” (for the right of children to grow up without cameras in their faces day and night, respect for them as people.  Going out on a limb here, but for as much as I’ve seen the show, I’ve got no love for Kate Gosselin but even she deserves more respect that she’s been afforded by her babies’ daddy in my book.  Geez, dude!)

“Why the HELL is anyone still watching?”  Watching the coverage of the return of JK8 (on the morning NEWS, no less) leaves me wondering.  Does anyone care about the welfare of children, any more?  Have we taken our notions about the resiliency of children too far?  Have we begun to expect them to ‘bounce back’ from anything we throw at them?  Are children whose parents appear to be screwed up less deserving of protection from voyeuristic adults than other children?  The children’s aunt and uncle  (Jodi and Kevin Kreider) are fighting to find a way to protect them from the commodification that has become their ‘lives’.  I wish them well. 

Whatever happens during the return of this show, I won’t be there to see it.  Now.. if only the morning news would follow suit.

Dear Daytime Writers, Producers, Directors, and others…

This is not yet another blog about the ‘death of daytime’.  There are plenty of those – though I would never say that there could ever be ”too many’ if the goal of the ‘daytime death’ writers is to get you to see what a mockery you’re making of the genre.  The “daytime death” writers are writers who are hopeful that you’ll stop talking about the ‘know-nothing’ soap fans  you seem to believe deserve only 1-  ridicule for their opinions and  2- your ‘enlightened’ view of daytime.  They seem to hope that you’ll finally start  listening to us.  What they don’t realize is the fact that  you haven’t listened to us all along means that you probably won’t listen at this late stage of the game.  Why you aren’t listening is a mystery.   It’s a question I’ve asked both directly and indirectly in various blog  entries (not that you read them).  I think I finally understand why you’ve refused to give us what we  wanted, when you could have done so long before you hit the point of no return in the ratings.

It would mean that you would have to admit that you were wrong, that you didn’t know us better than we know ourselves.  Your choice was to embrace falling ratings as long as you were able to present your vision of daytime.   Like any bad ‘marriage’, things weren’t going to get  better as long as only on  ‘side’ was compromising.   We, the fans, were always willing to compromise and bend, until you broke us – see GH’s Scrubs’ PPD storyline, the Mob Storyline, and Liz and Jason as example..

We are now at a bitter end and as much as most of daytime often sucks, it will still be a bitter end  for many of us who love the genre, just not what it became.  It’s a tragedy that the shows you’re now offering will probably be better remembered than the glorious daytime history you ran away from. To TPTB specifically at The Guiding Light, the untimely death of the show was announced on April 1st. (so, someone up at the executive suites has a wicked sense of humor.  I would have accepted a real interest in saving daytime, instead) That means that there were probably around 3 to 4 weeks of the show filmed and in the can, ready to air,  That means that by May-June the writers should have been able to turn the show around rather than give fans a steady diet of doom and gloom that the show has become before it ends.  While I have nothing good to say about the Bold and Beautiful as it currently airs, what I can say that’s relatively positive is that BnB writers know how to ditch a ratings dropping storyline in a matter of weeks (See Brooke and Nick pairings 1, 2, 3 and nearly 4).  It’s unclear to me how you who run GL haven’t managed to make us feel good about what’s left of the show.

To all of you -powers that be, in general, I hope to appeal to you from a different perspective.  Daytime is dying, and it’s not completely your fault.  The market is changing, the population is changing, our options for entertainment have changed.  You didn’t necessarily ‘kill’ daytime.  You just assisted in its early death.   You refused to accept the changes and refused to  allow daytime to ‘grow up’.  Not appealing?  I didn’t think so, but here’s what might appeal to you:

Whether or not you’re thinking about it this way, what happens at the end of your shows means that you’re working on two fronts. 1 – You’re determining your legacy in daytime, and  2 – You’re auditioning for your future jobs.   The gods of prime time may or may not watch daytime.  I can only believe that they’ll be highly skeptical of hiring daytime writers, producers, and directors based on your current work.  Your legacy appears to be an unwillingness to do whatever you have to in order to right the ship… you prefer to continue forward on a dangerous course and sink the ship.  The gods of prime time might even pay attention to what fans have to say about how you handled the shows they loved for decades, understanding that those fans are unlikely to follow you to new projects.   Prime time shows don’t typically last beyond 5 – 6 seasons.  There is an eventual and much quicker ‘end’ for those shows than there is for daytime.  What will you do to prime time fans if you continue screwing over fans who’ve followed your daytime shows for decades?  What do you have to offer prime time overall? Where will YOUR vision of storytelling fit in with prime time? Which prime time shows:

1. … bring characters back from ‘the dead’ so many times that it’s not even worth holding a funeral, mourning a death,  or issuing a death certificate?  Yes, it’s one of those events that’s written off as a ‘typical daytime storyline’.  When the ‘back from the dead’ storylines made sense, fans could tolerate them.  Now?  They’re offered without thought about the impact they have on the current set of storylines.  They’re offered despite the fact that they make a mockery of storylines fans have seen ‘in full’… what character comes back from the dead after nearly a week in an OPEN casket, and having been kissed good-bye by relatives?  No funny smells?  Ya’ couldn’t tell you were kissing a wax dummy in a wig?  Great, BnB.  Not much better GL, DAYS, OLTL, GH, and all other shows on air.

2.  …frequently use misattributed paternity (or maternity) with almost every pregnancy?  The alternate problem pregnancy storylines include:  Man/woman sleeps with the wrong person – some villain who reveals her/himself too late and a pregnancy happens.  YAWN!  Where do you see that happening repeatedly on any prime time show? (All soaps)

3.  … use the ‘buried alive’ storyline to teach a character a lesson?  Any time you see the ‘buried alive’ storyline in prime time, the buried victim is just that, a VICTIM, not a busybody know-it-all who has to be taught a lesson.  The perpetrator is considered PSYCHOTIC since burying a person alive is considered a PSYCHOTIC behavior.  In daytime?  He (and the perp is more often a ‘he’ than ‘she’) is considered ‘misunderstood’.  He’s defended by the people who love him, and he never serves jail time.  I just don’ t see you being hired on CSI – any franchise, Law and Order – any franchise, Criminal Minds, etc, etc, etc…  Shame on you DAYS for using this storyline multiple times.

4.  … feature mothers and daughters (or fathers and sons for that matter) sharing the same love interests, both being in love with the same man and both carrying children for the same man?  Prime time tends to treat that sort of behavior as pathological, or at least pseudo-incestuous.  The BnB stands out as daytime’s most incestuous daytime show.

5.   …use rape to ‘redeem’ women thought of as ‘bad girls’?  Which prime time shows offer rape as romance?   The storylines you often tell aren’t about where couples ‘end up’ in prime time.  They’re about where couples ‘start out’.  There’s an assault (date rape or otherwise), the assault is investigated, a suspect is arrested, there is a trial.  The end.   For you in daytime?  Where do your rape survivor-rape perpetrator end up?  The woman realizes that the man who assaulted her isn’t all that bad (whether he drugs her, holds a gun on her, threatens the people she loves, etc).  He only raped her because he couldn’t control his passion for her.  In fact, it’s not even rape.  It was just a bad night… so you have them marry, and have children, and pretend the assault never happen. (All are guilty).

Were “rape-as-romance” storylines  around in the ‘glorious days’ of daytime?  Yes.

Were sexist, racist, orientationist storylines around as well?  Yes.

The difference between now and then?  We didn’t know better then, we do NOW, and you’re refusing to change.  Daytime must be a pretty insular world where nothing has to change, characters aren’t required to grow, and no one ever has to learn from a mistake, crimes are just about people having a little fun or “behaving badly” so what’s the sense in punishing anyone?

Good luck selling your staple storylines to prime time big wigs who want to know what you have to offer them.  Good luck trying to convince them that even if you haven’t been able to come up with an imaginative storyline in the (x) years you’ve worked in daytime, you can do just for them.  Good luck trying to convince them that you understand the current prime time audience when you can’t even figure out what to do to keep the relatively forgiving and loyal daytime audience happy.

Good Luck.

Most of all?  Good luck convincing them that you won’t screw their fans over in the end as so many of you are doing now with daytime audiences.  Daytime soaps once honored fans and their shows’ histories as they concluded.  It was important to let the fans know that the writers, directors, producers and other powers-that-be had done the best they could, and wanted fans to remember the show fondly now that it would no longer air.

Good luck.  You’ll need it.

If you were headwriter…BnB

While I don’t watch the show, any more, there is a fascinating question about what fans would/could do with the BnB if given a chance.  That post can be found at the House of BRidge (you’ll have to register to read).  What would I find interesting?  What would bring me back to the show?  Nothing that will ever happen, so it doesn’t hurt to post a wish list, does it?  Here goes:

1. Nick and Taylor run off together. They’re killed in a boating accident (and are really and most sincerely dead this time – sorry if you’re a fan of either, but it’s on my wish list).  The affair that leads to their dramatic end starts when Nick feels bad for Taylor as  she finally realizes that her life with Ridge was only ever about him not being able to be with Brooke.  He ‘comforts’ her in the only way he knows how.  They continue their affair for a series of months while Bridget is working like a fiend to make JackieM’s a success.  By the time run off, Bridget is only aware of their affair because of a letter Nick leaves behind.  She’s reading it as Nick and Taylor hit an unexpected violent storm.  While Bridget is reading the words, ‘we realize that our love is the love of a lifetime’, we flash on a scene of Nick and Taylor, face-to-face, holding on to one another as the ship sinks.

2. In her grief, Jackie leaves Owen. He ends up with Bridget – someone he’d been growing close to all along.  Owen finds out about Nick’s affair shortly after it starts and is unable to tell Bridget without hurting her, so he keeps his secret and continues befriend her, growing close to her to be there when she does learn the truth.  Now that she is raising HER child, alone  (it turns out Jack is not Brooke’s son with Nick) they end up together and BrOwen is fabulously happy dating and getting to know each other. Jackie is able to accept BrOwen because she realizes her love for Owen was really just about loneliness. They continue to keep JackieM’s going, with Whip’s help.

3. Stephanie, grieving over Taylor, can’t sleep as she keeps remembering the affair they had that they told no one about. Being unable to recover from the loss of Taylor, Stephanie throws herself into the same part of the ocean where Nick and Taylor died.  She’s also really and most sincerely dead. Good riddance.  Sadly, while I think Susan Flannery rocks the daytime world with her passionate portrayal of Stephanie Forrester, Stephanie has become the biggest waste of daytime air imaginable. It’s finally time for Stephanie to take her one note and hit the open trails… or sinking ship…  I’m not picky, as long as she’s gone for good.

4. Eric consoles Jackie (without having sex with her) and they end up together as a couple. Eric realizes that for the first time in his life, he’s truly happy.

5. Thorne turns into a ‘JR Ewing’ type of character. Felicia is his trouble-making twin. They want control of FC but Brooke and Ridge are standing in their way.   It doesn’t stop them from twisting and torturing the truth to make it say what they want it to… they’ll lie, steal, and betray anyone they have to in order to ‘win’… including one another, more on that later.

6. BRidge (Brooke and Ridge) runs FC with Thorne and Felicia and puts up a united front against them, while taking on the new Jackie M. Since Eric has retired, he sits out the fight between his wife and his children.  They spend their days trying to keep the company afloat while fending off constant attacks from Thorne and Felicia… they don’t know who else to trust, but they know they can always trust one another.

7. Whip and Felicia end up as a couple. They have a passionate affair and she turns on Thorne to help Whip and JackieM. There will be blood, folks!  Thorne knows were Felicia has buried the bodies, so to speak.  She knows where he’s buried his bodies… they are keeping a huge secret and an uneasy peace that could sink the both of them.  They take their focus off of attacking BRidge to save their own asses from one another.

8. Katie, Bill, Steffy, Thomas, Rick, and Donna are all gone – whether they leave together, or all in different directions makes no difference to me.

9. RJ and Hope are mischievous teens (not psychotic wankers like Steffy and Thomas). They are occasionally working at FC, with Allie and Dominic (Dino). Allie is completely unlike Thorne. She’s more a cross between Darla and her brilliant and kind stepmom (to be cast). She gives her father hell for what he and aunt Felicia keep doing to the family by trying to constantly take over FC.  Dominic is a chip off the old block.  He and cousin RJ have an unprecendented rivalry.    They are the future of FC, or so they think.  They are so busy in their senseless war that they don’t see Allie and Hope taking over in their places.

10. Marcus’ father turns out to be a missing Baker son, Charlie’s brother. Marcus’ presence brings on a whole new core family. Marcus sticks around, lives with Aunt Brooke and Uncle Ridge to help his grandmother and grandfather when he’s not working at FC. His new family, the Bakers, end up in a ‘war’ of sorts with the Forrester-Logan family to ‘win’ over Marcus. Did I mention that Marcus’ father is FILTHY RICH!?!?! Cast him well, and Donna could stick around to be with him… theirs would be a love-hate relationship after what she did to him.

11. Marcus finds love with someone new.  He also doesn’t know how to feel about his Uncle Charlie being interested in his cousin BRidget. She’s recovered from Nick’s desertion and death, she’s happy with Owen… and along comes hottie Charlie! WOOHOO Budge!  Marcus wants to support his uncle, and support and protect his cousin…  It’s supporting his uncle that causes conflict with Owen.

The new class of  BnB  ‘villains’?:

Whip (who is part con man, part hard nosed business man).

Felicia – who is a barracuda

Thorne – again, barracuda

Ive long grown  sick of the bed-hopping that replaces romance.  Let couples be happy and face other challenges instead.  How would YOU change the BnB?  Can it be saved?

All image copyrights are retained by their original owners.

The Guiding Light and Prozac

With two months left:

  • Phillip is terminally ill.
  • Remy and Christina have to get each other drunk to want to admit to remarrying.
  • Natalia is on the run leaving Liv heartbroken
  • Reva is caterwauling about Jeffrey’s death with poor Josh right there.
  • Marina is a new mom and potentially a murderer.
  • GL’s ‘young adults’ make me want to chew glass.
  • Mindy is mostly M.I.A.
  • and
  • Peapack is as depressing in the summer as it is in the fall, winter, and spring.  (No offense Peapack residents.  I have no doubt that the show chooses the least attractive places to film because of costs.  I’ve heard that Peapack is far more beautiful than is shown on GL).

TPTB are determined to make sure we don’t miss the show when it goes.  Well played! Two months to go and most of what they offer us is gloom and doom.   So little time left, so much to do to turn this show around to let it live up to its great legacy.

The first thing we do? OLTL?

Copyright ABC (2008)

Let’s rid ourselves of all of the bad editors!  (if you don’t mind the turn of phrase).Most of what took place on OLTL this past week pleasantly surprised me.   Even my well worn remote would like to take this moment to thank the writers for relief.  It pretty much had the week off with One Life, since I don’t remember hitting FF once this week.  The only big shocker for me this past week  were several pretty lousy editing choices, one in particular.  I’ll get to that in a moment.

Soap-heaven help me, I still like John and Marty.  The only thing that’s harder to take than a dark and brooding John McBain is John McBain in love.  ‘Happy’ John and ‘Brooding’ John are pretty much one in the same.  It’s just at times tough to watch a man who SHOULD be filled with joy behave like a man whose problems could all be solved with the help of  a good laxative.  Wardrobe, could you PLEASE at least put on a brightly colored shirt under his dark suit jacket and dark coat, to go along with his dark pants and dark shoes so that we know the difference between Brooding John and Joyous John?  Thanks!

John’s reaction to Marty as she flashed back on her the manipulated-rape sex with Todd was a reminder that there are soap writers who still realize that it’s so much easier for fans to root for good men – we get so few of them in daytime.  Many of us still love men who are sensitive to the needs of others, rather than focus on themselves  and their own pain.  LOVED that moment when John reminded Marty that he was always willing to wait for her – she’s worth it.  LOVED that the writers didn’t follow that scene up with John immediately running to someone else to flirt with or have sex with while Marty was working on her recovery.

Copyright ABC (2009)

The only thing that made the scene even remotely awkward was watching Blair seduce Todd at the same time Marty had difficulty being touched by John because of Todd’s assault of her.  If the writers wanted to make some of us squeamish about Todd and Blair, job well done.  Otherwise?  Bad editing job on this one.  It made Todd and Blair seem completely disconnected from the world around them, belligerently insular.  They seemed to not care about how much damage had been done to others in their time apart.

Blair, who was disgusted by Todd’s treatment of Marty, seems to have absolutely no qualms about his actions, now.  She was disgusted enough before to want to keep his children from him.  Now?  She can’t keep her hands off of him.

I would much rather have had long soulful talks between the two rather than strip scenes and “shame-filled” sex. The problem with the writing for the once magnificent Todd and Blair is that that the writers don’t seem invested in having them break the inch deep-mile wide pattern they’ve established as part of their courtship.   OLTL writers have seem to always bank on the hard work of Kassie DePaiva and Trevor St. John in winning back fans to the ‘Todd and Blair corner to bring romance back to the show.  I think they’ll have to reconsider, this time.  Too much damage has been done and an instant reunion most likely won’t give them the bump they’re looking for.  How instant is instant in their case?  Todd/Blair reunions can be summarized by the following dialogue:

“You hurt me” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter).

“I’m sorry” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

“Stay away from me” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

“You don’t mean that” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

They have sex… AND SCENE!

Where is the discussion about what they want and why they want it?  What about some insight into why they dragged Marty and John into their psychodrama?  How about some part humorous/part dramatic couples counseling for them?   What about real consideration about Tea’s feelings?  It’s bad enough that Todd cheated on Tea after she put everything on the line for him, her life included, but he then lied and said that it meant nothing that he’d had sex with Blair.  If it wasn’t a lie that having sex with Blair meant nothing to him?  It makes his actions even worse.  The writers rubbed salt in fans’ wounds by having Todd coldly state to Blair that he was leaving her to go after Tea ‘because she’s worth it’.

Hells bells, people, you know that despite Tea’s fault, I’m a fan of the goddess of grand bitchery but for TODD to state who is ‘worthy’ and who isn’t?  Well that just burns my grits.  I would have loved watching Blair  get up off the chaise lounge and slap Todd back to his infancy (which would finally allow his external state match his internal state)!   Marty, Tea, Blair, his sister Viki, and even his own daughter, Starr… just how many women in Llanview are going to end up emotionally scarred thanks to this guy?  Taking Todd down the dark road for the sake of pimping “Starr and Cole” is a decision that still haunts this show.  The writers haven’t been able to find their ‘Todd mojo’ and get anything right with this character since then.

Despite the detour and bad editing, I enjoy Marty and John.

What else was there to love?

Copyright ABC (2009)
Copyright ABC (2009)

1.  Greg turned out to not be a big a jerk as he originally seemed.  I liked that he experienced pangs of guilt about running out on Destiny and realizing that he’d hurt her with his actions.  I still don’t like the guy enough to have Rachel walk away from Shaun and fall into Dr. Dork’s waiting arms.  I just like the idea of Shawn and Greg working out their differences for their sister’s sake.

Lovin’ the OLTL writers for giving us this little family.  It’s so unconventional and I can’t wait to see where they go next.  Don’t make me eat those words, writers.

2.  I uh… liked Destiny last week.  If you’re shocked, imagine how I feel.   I’m starting to see what the casting directors saw in this kid when they cast her.   She’s growing in the role and learning to convey a vulnerability that’s refreshing in a teen character, given the rash of adult-themed storylines daytime writers have been pushing for young characters, lately.   It will be interesting to see where the friendship between Destiny and Matthew goes.

3.  I uh… liked Starr last week.    Still in shock here!  The discussion between Starr, Cole, and Jessica was so rational and thoughtful, I have to classify it as the high point of my soap watching week!  Alderson held her own in scenes with Buddy and Williamson.   Scene chewing is not her thing so this emotionally low-key scene felt genuine and believable.  I have to admit that the discussion between Jess and Cole sparked my interest most.  Er, NO, I don’t want to see them as a couple.  I’m giving kudos to the writers for creating such a layered scene.  Both made the connection that they were both ‘in recovery’ and made poor choices because of an inordinate amount of pain, but that they both needed to take responsibility for their own actions.  Both Jess and Cole realized that they had to forgive others as they needed to be forgiven.  For a brief and shining moment, I felt that I could honestly tell my friends who don’t know that I watch soaps about the show … well done, writers, well done!  It was good enough for prime time… 😉  Ouch?

4.  Wish I could give a crap about the Stacy storyline, but I don’t.  I don’t even care who Rex’s father is any more… just.not.interested!

While Starr moved one step closer to being a ‘real mom’, Gigi took a step back for me.  (Wait, I’m getting to it… there’s something I like about this storyline, hang on)… It was odd to watch her encourage Shane’s hatred of  Aunt Stacy no matter how much of a low life Stacy has been.

I had to wonder if there wasn’t a unconscious attempt to warn fans about the perils of being a young mother – since it appears that they’re avoiding that ‘lesson’  of young parenthood with Starr and Cole.   Gigi applauding Shane’s comic book character (skanky Stacy?  Sleazy Stacy?)  REEKED of an immature mother dragging her child into her baby’s daddy drama.  A mature mother would have told Shane that his feelings of anger are appropriate, but that it’s also appropriate to feel sorry for Stacy for what she’s become and to hold out hope for her.   The Gigi-Shane scenes skeeved me out a bit, I gotta’ admit.

SO, here’s what I loved

A –  That the ‘secret’ is finally out in the open.  I was tired of this storyline about a month before it began (damn you spoilers!)

B – That there’s a possibility of a Schuyler-Gigi pairing – the actors have an amazing onscreen chemistry.  Rex and Gigi have been terminally cute.  Schuyler and Gigi have the potential to be hot!.  Having Rex sleep with Stacy and lie about it after treating Gigi like such dirt for so long makes Rex and Gigi a dead pairing for me, for now.  No matter how many things didn’t add up, Rex refused to believe the truth and painted the Scarlett ‘A’ on Gigi’s chest – clearly tempted to use her own blood to do so.  Let Big Rex, and little Rex, sit on the sidelines and watch Gigi happy with someone else for a while.

5 –  I’ve never been much of a Bo and Nora fan… but they’re reeling me in.  Poor Clint… Sorry guy, I think I want to see a Bo and Nora reunion.  Clint and Nora seem to have been killing time for a while now.  Send Clint home to Viki (sorry Charlie!)

HELP SUPPORT RAINN!!!!!!!!!! (Daytime spoiler content)

You don’t know what RAINN is?  Click the logo to the right to find out.  As soap fans, we’ve just watched  OLTL badly handle a decade long rape storyline – in which a victim was again assaulted by her rapist – but due to memory loss she was convinced that the second sexual encounter was ‘love’.   Even more, she was humiliated in court for the assault.

DAYS toys with the ‘love’ story of Sami and EJ, though their initial sexual enounter took place because of coercion and his threats against her loved ones OH,  and the  use of  a weapon.  Sami is now the mother of two of his children and she and EJ are on the ‘on again – off again’ merry-go-round and the initial coercion is treated as if it never took place.  She is even supported by the former love of her life – the man whose life was threatened if she didn’t sleep with EJ.

Now?  Rumors/spumors/spoilers suggest that the YnR has penned a ‘coercion’ involving Deacon and Amber.  In order to ‘save’ Daniel, Amber will “have to” sleep with Deacon.  This comes on the heels of sister soap The Bold and Beautiful using Bill Spencer to blackmail Donna into sleeping with him in order to save her husband, Eric, from losing his company (and thank goodness it didn’t happen).  It comes on the heels of sister show, The BnB, having Taylor sleep with Ridge, while claiming not to know that he’d taken pills on top of being drunk.

For survivors, and those who work diligently to support them, these type of storylines are NOT ‘entertainment’.  At worse, they show a complete and utter disregard for the real life horror of rape and sexual abuse.  They make ‘sport’ of the sort of behavior that hardworking individuals are trying to eradicate and seem to ask fans to ‘lighten up’, accept that ‘it’s not real’, or ask  ‘what’s the problem?’.  The problem is that outside of the dying, anachronistic, and sometimes backwards soap genre,  rape and sexual abuse are very real problems.  They’re no more ‘funny’ or ‘entertaining’ than racism, or physical assault, or any other social ill.

Soap fans, check out the message left by Chelsea in the “OLTL – Rape is not just  a word” blog:

Hi norrthpier!

My name is Chelsea and I am on the Development team at RAINN. I came across your blog because you’ve mentioned RAINN in some of your writing. I wanted to contact you to thank you for your support and commitment to ending sexual assault.

I wanted to share with you an exciting opportunity to help victims of sexual assault. I’m not sure if you’re familiar, but on July 25, there will be a National Day of Blogs. Participants will agree to blog for up to 24 hours to benefit their favorite charity. The objective of the event is to raise both funds and awareness for a cause that is important to you.

If you’re interested, please visit for more information or feel free to email me with questions. If you chose to participate, I will be available to help you secure sponsors.

Thank you so much, norrthpier, for your support! I look forward to hearing back from you soon.



I hope you can help support RAINN.  Help spread the word on soap message boards.  Seek help from other soap fans who are tired of soaps clinging to the ‘rape-as-love’ storylines that should have long died out.


Out on a limb with Otalia and The Guiding Light

As much as it pains me to say it, I may be done with Otalia.  I don’t know if that’s what the writers want and I’m just being a great big sucker for giving it to them.  Maybe I’m just tired of most of daytime and this current Otalia storyline is hitting my hot buttons.  Once Jessica Leccia returns from maternity leave and I see Otalia back onscreen together, it’s possible that all will be forgiven, and that I will be back to rooting for them.  For now?  Not so much.

GL writers seem to be completely unable to tell a compelling storyline.  Is  it the writers?  The executive producer blocking the way to good storyline telling?  The CBS Execs?  The way JessicaL’s Natalia was temporarily written out for maternity leave sucks – deeply sucks – sucks so bad that it makes ATWT’s writing out Carly Tenney to cover Maura West’s maternity leave look brilliant.  What does THAT tell you? Clearly, the problems with Natalia’s decision to abandon Olivia once she realizes she’s pregnant with Frank’s baby is indicative of the problems GL has been experiencing under Wheeler’s guidance.   First, who DIDN’T know that this would turn into another Susan/Ross/Carol (Friends) storyline?  Who DIDN’T know the writers would force an ‘eternal’ triangle and ‘forced family’ with Frank/Natalia/Olivia, rather than let Otalia just be happy together?  Second, this storyline takes me back to what I didn’t like about Natalia when she was first introduced.  She was introduced as a weak, whiny, mealy-mouthed character, desperate for love.  She stood in the shadows, afraid, insecure, making one bad decision after another that everyone around her had to pay for as she whined ‘poor me’.  Our Lady of Perpetual Pain.  Sheeeeee’s back!

I enjoyed the strength Natalia developed over time.  I loved that she’d started growing up and making decisions that improved her life and brought her happiness.   While I think all individuals should become the people they need to be BEFORE entering relationships, sometimes relationships can help change you for the better and that was the gift that Otalia gave one another.

Now?  Watching Olivia hit the road to track down the woman who dashed her hope for happiness and abandoned her just as Liv gained the strength to face the world made me despise Natalia, and the crap offered as entertainment to GL fans.   Listening to Liv cry, watching her scream out in vain for Natalia to come back made me realize that the writers used the Otalia relationship to weaken both characters.   Not only did the old Natalia return, she dragged Liv down to her level.

How lovely would it have been for Liv and Natalia to have been filmed BEFORE JL’s pregnancy to air while she was away?  How lovely it would have been for Liv and Nat to decide to leave town together, for a while.  Frank could be conflicted on what it means to now be a part of this family and want Natalia to take all the time she needed to clear her head.  He, Rafe,  and Liv could have occasionally made the trip to visit Natalia  – maybe with Rafe staying with Natalia to get use to the idea of his mother having another child and to help her and become reacquainted with her again.  Slowly, they would have accepted their lives as they are and become a modern American family.  Taping the scenes ahead of time would have meant no lost scenes for Otalia, or ending this madness with Frank on the outside/no on the inside/no on the outside/whatever. We could have finally had an end to the angry Rafe-monster… but the concept of lost time is one the GL writers and EP are all too familiar with.

More is the pity because now I say… BRING ON DORIS AND OLIVIA!  Who’s afraid of the big bad Wolfe?  Natalia should be!

Ratings and why CBS should reconsider

Despite the suckage that is GL these days, I STILL think the wrong thing to do is cancel this  show!

Courtesy of Soap Opera Network:

Ratings for the week June 22-26, 2009

1. Y&R 3.5/11 (+.1/-.1)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (same/-.2)
3. DAYS 2.1/6 (+.1/+.2)
4. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/-.2) <—— ties low (Last time: 1.8/6 for June 15-19, 2009)
5. AMC 1.7/5 (-.1/-.2) <——– new low (Previous low: 1.8/6 for June 15-19, 2009)
5. GH 1.7/5 (-.1/-.4) <——— new low (Previous low: 1.8/5 for June 15-19, 2009)
7. ATWT 1.6/5 (same/-.3) <—— ties low (Last time: 1.6/5 for June 15-19, 2009)
8. GL 1.4/4 (+.1/-.1)

ABC soaps are falling like a ROCK! It’s not as if GL is doing so poorly in the ratings, in comparison.


HIRE better writers. Several of the current writers would do just fine but new leadership is definitely needed and Ms. Wheeler just doesn’t do it for me.

Maybe there’s a way to get ATWT and GL on soapnet (long shot I know). Lifetime might not be interested in producing GL, but would the network be open to airing syndicated eps if CBS continued to produce and air the show?  Could there be a partnership that eased the financial burden for CBS?

Ride this thing out and let GL stick around with the rest of daytime.  I only say that because I’m still sure that ATWT and GL still have room for improvement, in the right hands.

Why I’ll always love Eric Braeden!

In case you’ve missed it, TV Guide’s Michael Logan interviews the ONE,  the ONLY, the IRREPLACEABLE  Melody Thomas Scott.  Despite battling ironclad  non-disclosure clauses, daytime’s consummate professional tries his damnedest to elicit a response to this interesting tidbit:

I heard that Eric Braeden [Victor] called CBS chief Les Moonves to complain about the way you were being treated in this contract situation, and that Moonves stepped in and made magic happen. True?

[Long pause, followed by a sigh] Where’d you hear that? [Laughs]

Nice try, Michael Logan, nice try!  The entire interview is eye-opening and more than worth the time it would take to read it.  As I’ve heard, Mr. Braeden has always been referred to as an ‘actor’s actor’.  His legend, true or not, has been that he’s fought for his colleagues backstage when he felt that they were treated unfairly.  He has never been shy about commenting on what he thinks of the TPTB when they make lousy decisions that could affect the fans, and the long term health of the show or the genre.

I can only imagine how much different daytime would have been if those of Eric Braeden’s caliber were permitted to run daytime.  His respect for fans, the show and  its history, as well as his colleagues makes him daytime’s brightest star, in my book.

He and Melody Thomas Scott have been a large part of the YnR’s success as daytime’s perennial fan favorite and it’s hard for me to imagine that anyone would allow themselves to forget the contributions of both.  What’s up with the (arrogance? delusional state?  ignorance?) that permits TPTB to believe that their brand is strong because of the writing ONLY, or that actors really are interchangeable commodities.  Nah… fans won’t care.  They don’t notice things like that.  NOPE!  Fans are just WAITING for TPTB to higher one more non-Actor model, and teenaged kid looking for the coolest extended summer job EVER!  Yup, that’s what we want.  That’s why we’re tuning in in droves. We’d never notice if they just killed Nikki off, or replaced her with a 20 something long lost daughter.

While I have not always been a Victor-Nikki fan, I have always been a fan of EB and MTS.  I respect both enough to know that they’ve given the YnR it’s most enduring signature couple through the hard work they bring to the set every day (even when the writing wasn’t worth talking about – or at least not worth talking about without the inclusion of a list of expletives long enough to make a trucker blush).  Thank goodness they’ll both be around for at least a while longer.

The gods of daytime may not know how important they are to us, and it would be a shame for them to find out too late, when the ratings tank and fans are gone for good.

On another note, here’s a great read from Telewatcher!  Writers, working the “Gotcha” moment in place of the “That was Amazing moment”?  What a shame because we all deserve better!  I thought of it in context with the news the MTS was both leaving and thankfully returning!