Kim Zimmer, Michael O’Leary, Scott Bryce, Michael Park…

Justin Deas, Orlagh Cassidy, Kurt McKinney, Beth Chamberlain and more.  Where are you going to find them all?  On the online series “Steamboat”.  I know, I know, yet another online series… you’ve got to check this one out.  It’s good (at least I think so).  It’s a mix of a modern day ‘Soap‘ and ‘Soap Dish‘, and will hopefully make it to air:

Good Times, Happy Times…

From The Bold and The Beautiful:

What makes JOWEN work? Daytime has finally gotten it right.  While older men have been seducing and romancing younger women for decades, soaps have treated older women involved with younger men as desperate and emotionally weak women who cling to men who could never really love them.  Older women have served as bedmates and bank accounts to their younger lovers and little else (AMC’s Marian and Tad, ATWT’s Lucinda and Craig, for example).  Jackie Marone is a woman who is vivacious, seductive, and powerful.  She’s also in charge of her emotions and her bank account.  Owen is with her because he loves her, not because she pays for him.  I was most proud of the moment when Jackie realized that not even for Owen was she willing to attempt to become a mother again.  She was well on her way to becoming a grandmother and expected Owen to be the man he said he was when he married her – not someone who’d suddenly developed a passion for parenting.  She held firm to her desire to enjoy life and be the woman she’d always wanted to be and Owen realized that loving her was his only real passion.

What does JOWEN helps me forget? Pretty much all of the rest of the BnB – emasculated Forrester males genuflecting before their bitter ex-wives, the  Forrester family penchant for pimping their young (my 20 something kid can’t come home with spare change in his pocket without explaining where it came from – Steffy brings home a multimillioin dollar company that no one else could win back and everyone celebrates?).  Jowen helps me forget the inconsistency in writing – Stephanie Forrester is now a ‘heroine’ for ‘saving’ the company she gleefully helped Bill Spencer destroy?  JOWEN helps me forget the new lie that the Logans have ‘ruined’ FC when even Steffy bragged about how the company made money hand over fist thanks to the ‘Royalty’ collection beating out the JM’s ‘Indulge’ line.  JOWEN even helps me forget that the writers have been trying to find a place to force Sarah Brown’s “Sandy/Aggie” (Saggie) to fit and are undoing months/years of great work in the process.  In the end, even if Nick doesn’t end up with Sags – everything will have been undone for no reason at all.

From General Hopsital:

What makes Mac and Alexis work? Despite Alexis’ lapse of sanity leading her to sleep with Sonny Corinthos, both Mac and Alexis have both maintained their integrity in the long term.  There’s something so likable about both characters that the combined effect of their presence pushes my happy meter off the charts!  The writers have picked up on whatever the genuine quality is that John J. York and Nancy Lee Grahn lend to their lovelorn, law and order loving characters.  Scenes with Mac and Alexis tend to be a mixture of being sweet and funny.  While the couple doesn’t get nearly the screen time they deserve, they make you grateful for the screen time they’ve been given.  If the writers ever figure out that we need less of the doom and gloom, and more of the ‘heeeeyyyyyy’, this show could be on to something HUGE.  I’m most looking forward to the possiblity of Mac and Alexis bringing their families together -and opening the Scorpio home once again. Kristina and Molly would have a father/stepfather they could respect.  Kristina, especially, shows promise of joining Robin in being the future of soap heroines on a show that desperately needs them.  To have the Scorpio-Drake-Davis clans coming together could just give us the ‘balance’ this show has been lacking.

What does the Mac and Alexis pairing make me forget? Other than Scrubs, Maxelli, and the powerhouse acting of JJ’s Lucky and RH’s Liz… pretty much everything else… the soapgods have been good to me.

From the Days of Our Lives:

What makes Rafe and Sami work? What DOESN’T work about this couple?  I’ve been cautiously optimistic about Rafe and Sami.  I’m an old Lumi fan.  No one knows like a Lumi fan how Sami is capable of throwing real love away for the horror of a relationship with a man like EJ.   Rafe is one of the few men in Sami’s life (Lucas included) who actually loves her and wants nothing in return.  The writers have sold me on the idea that Rafe is the man who would love Sami even if she didn’t love him in return, and would never stop fighting for what’s in her best interest. With a man like EJ, loving her if she didn’t love him in return would mean forcing himself on her.  With a man like Rafe?  It means loving her from afar, protecting her at all costs, and laying his life on the line because the thought of a world without her in it is something he just couldn’t bear. I’m SOLD!  Count me in as a ‘SAFE’ fan!

AS IF that’s all DAYS had to offer:

What makes the Phillip/Melanie/Nathan triangle work? Each potential pairing impacts me as a viewer in different ways.  Why does Phillip even deserve a second chance?  If you made it to 7:40 into the video, you’d hear Phillip say, as part of his vows, that if she’d said that he was going to marry her about a year ago, he would have told her she was crazy… BINGO!  That’s the Phillip I’ve hated while Mel loved him.  That’s the man who always thought he was too good for her and that she was nothing more than a consolation prize whenever he lost ‘the good girl’ (Stephanie).  Mel, in return, admits to loving him from the beginning.  Despite the lopsided relationship they share, this is a couple with HEAT!  They are moths to a flame, and it’s hard not to watch when they’re together.  Mel and Nathan on the other hand?  What a delicious redux of Mel and Nicky.  This time, the smart and ‘geeky’ guy should win.  Melanie and Nathan remind me a great deal of Sami and Rafe.  Nathan is a man who knows Melanie at her core, and loves who she is – warts and all.  This triangle works because it seems possible for Melanie to be happy with either.  In the end, I have to give the edge to Nathan.   I tend to root for the good guy, and heaven knows that in soapdom, the good guy is always the underdog.

What do  Sami and Rafe as well as this triangle help me forget? Bo and Carly.  Carly’s incessant whining.  Hope being destroyed to try to force Bo and Carly. Carly and Daniel (See where this is going?)  That’s about it, though… everything else about DAYS simply ROCKS!

One Life to Live

While I’m generally not a fan of rap, something about Snoop is AMAZING and I love to see most of the cast together enjoying themselves and allowing us to enjoy them, the show, and this performance.

Eastenders Clips

One word?  DAYUM!  I can’t tell if this is over the top or brilliant… I’m leaning toward brilliant.  How gritty and real!

Children do the darndest things!  CRINGE… and delicious!  Family dinners must be a killer with this clan.  The bride is sleeping the the groom’s father and her brother in is love with the groom’ s stepmother.  American daytime, you are LACKING!

Greatest Moments?  You tell me EE fans!

BnB Spoiler – Bridget, and Owen, and Stupidity, OH MY!

Bridget and Owen have illicit sex.  Normally, I’m a fan of illicit sex in daytime, but this event has me asking:   Has the water cooler in the BnB writers’ room been replaced with bong water?  WHO thought THAT was a good idea?  I don’t even want to know how it happens.  Between the melee at Forrester Creations with the emasculated Forrester males shaming what’s left of their malehood, the mess with Nick and Sandy, and now this, the BnB has joined my list of ‘dead-to-me’ daytime serials… General Hospital was at the top of that short list.  Congrats BnB – not that TPTB care, but they’ve just turned General Hospital into Masterpiece Theater in my book!  I can’t believe we’re down to half a dozen soaps.  I’m going to be out of daytime long before it officially ends, at this rate.

Remember the old adage that you can count on two things: death and taxes?  Well, with the BnB, you  sure as hell can’t count on death… Taylor Forrester.  Enough said?  Taxes?  The only ‘taxing’ thing about the BnB is that my patience is taxed.  This show is one big ‘swingers’ party.  The writers must throw character keys into a bowl as a way of deciding which characters get paired together.  There was Rick and Phoebe (his niece by blood until it was revealed, when Rick was an ADULT,  that his brother had a different bio father).  There was Rick and Steffy (Phoebe’s twin, the sister he started fondling weeks after Phoebe’s death – which resulted after a huge fight between the two of them).  Now Bridget is going to sleep with her current father-in-law, former friend.

This AFTER her mother-in-law gave the former physician a chance as a brand new designer.  This AFTER her mother-in-law fought back Bridget’s aunt Katie who’d slept with Nick and relished her role as the ‘other woman’ in Nick and Bridget’s marriage?

Her history of being the show’s doormat leads me to ask:  Is Bridget being used for some other purpose by the writers? If you want to build a TRUE supercouple, there’s a way to do it to allow the couple to win the audience over.  Using them to betray the people who love them isn’t it.  If you want to use a couple to advance the storylines of others, then you do what the writers are doing with BrOwen – at least as we understand it right now.

Why would Bridget and Owen betray Jackie?  She’s been good to both of them.   Are we to believe that Jackie will suddenly and inexplicably throw Owen out of their home and end their marriage?  Will we learn that they’ve been falling apart off camera -another ‘just add water’ moment for BnB writers?  That makes him immediate fair game?  Didn’t we go through this when the writers thought fans would sign on to Bridget sacrificing her marriage to nick for another sickening round of his lusting for and running to her mother?  The worst case scenario is that the sex ‘just happens’, and Owen is still married to Jackie – who thinks her marriage is solid.

If Bridget is being sacrificed, for what purpose?

1.  To make Nick seem like the wounded party so that he can run back to Brooke?   Won’t work.  If Brooke was willing to threaten Sandy/Agnes for interfering in her daughter’s marriage, shouldn’t she be equally disgusted by Nick placing her daughter in the position of feeling like garbage and running to another man?
2.  To make Steffy seem less trashy for trying to use her body to ‘win’ back FC?  Won’t work.   The die is cast.  Steffy betrayed Brooke,  the woman who loved her as a mother would love any daughter – when Steffy’s own mother, Taylor, was  ‘dead’ for the second time.  She treated the Logans as ‘the enemy’ when their only crime was to embrace her and her family.  She called them ‘whores’ and then was willing to sleep with Bill Spencer to win back Forrester Creations.
3.  To make Jackie the victim and launch a Jackie/Rick/taylor triangle?  Won’t work.  taylor can’t win fans no matter what she does.  The character has only been able to create a fanbase of those who hate Brooke as far as I can tell.   Any character how comes on board as a Brooke foe can win over that group and HAS.  There’s no need to sacrifice Bridget to make this triangle happen.
4.  To make Bridget an outcast to make Saggie (Sandy/Agnes) and Nick seem like a viable couple?  Unfortunately, this MAY work.  The writers have marginalized Bridget.  How dare she be upset that the lying surrogate she hired is making moves on her husband and asking him to lie to her!

5.  MAYBE Bridget has to leave Marone after her betrayal comes to light.  She returns to Forrester as a GENUINE Forrester heir  and works to restore her mother and aunts to their rightful place in the company.   This subplot would work as well!  The fact that it would work and make the sex with Owen less of a bad joke  is exactly why I don’t think the writers are going this route… it would require less (alleged) bong water…

Don’t you think it would be truth in advertising for this show to change its name to “Partner Swap: The Bold and Beautiful Edition”?  Are there any storylines on this show that aren’t about sex and betrayal?  Even the corporate intrigue storylines are, in the end, about sex.

The Bold and the Beautiful: daytime porn, and not very good porn, at that.

Ratings Shocker

Thanks to the hardworking folks at Soap Opera Network!  Click the SON link to read the full ratings report:

1. Y&R 3.8/11 (same/+.1)
2. B&B 2.4/7 (same/-.2)
3. DAYS 2.3/7 (+.1/+.3)
4. AMC 2.2/7 (+.2/+.3)
5. GH 2.1/6 (-.1/same)
6. OLTL 2.0/6 (+.2/+.1)
7. ATWT 1.8/5 (same/-.2)

BnB writers’ fixation on making Nick Marone an obtuse goon,  who needs to defend and protect yet another woman other than his wife isn’t paying off.   Their equally tiresome  fixation on the continued attacks against the Logan women by Steffy, Stephanie, and Taylor isn’t paying off, either.  This show is artistically dead.  The only fun you can have with the BnB comes from a bottle:

Take a drink every time Steffy, Steph, or Taylor (the axis of “un-fun” soap evil) refers to herself as a ‘Forrester’ when NONE of them are.  Steffy is a Marone, by birth, using her criteria for who deserves to use the name.

Take a drink every time one of the axis of “un-fun” soap evil pretends that the ‘Logan women’ aren’t also Forresters – even if  two of ‘the Logans’ are MARRIED to Forrester men and Brooke is the mother of Forrester heirs.

Take a drink every time Nick falls plays hero for someone  other than Bridget after swearing his undying loyalty to her.

Take a drink every time Bridget has to be made to look like a scheming screaming shrew… just to try to make Nick’s actions seem ‘just’… yeah, poor Nick.

Take a drink if a Forrester male’s testicles ascends back into his body in the presence of Steffy, Stephanie, and Taylor.  Two drinks are in order if he does it soon after standing up to the axis and swears that it’s the ‘last time’ he’ll let her demean his wife.

Take a drink every time you thought to yourself that it was  better if BnB males just walked around shirtless and said nothing- they’re so damned useless, but at least they’re pretty to look at.

Take a drink every time a marriage is ruined inside of a year… two drinks if it’s ruined inside of six months.

Take a drink if Steffy calls a ‘Logan woman’ a whore… and then offers herself sexually to Bill to try to ‘win back’ her family’s company.

Take a drink every time one of the axis of un-fun soap evil refers to the ‘war’ between the Logans and the Forresters – even though the only people engaging in the one sided war is the ‘axis’.  The Logan women are living their lives, and have managed to get along well with everyone but Steffy, Stephanie, and Taylor.

Take a drink if Taylor stands in the background delivering a  smug grin, like a lap dog, while Stephanie berates the ‘Logan women’.

Take a drink (a double) if the Logan women stand there and take the insults the ex-Forrester coven throws at them and simply look exasperated at being called ‘whores’ yet again.

Take a drink if someone is killed off to create ‘big drama’ on this show.

Take a drink if someone is brought back from the dead to kill the drama on this show.

ANY of the above would result in long term treatment in substance abuse clinic.  ALL of the above together is a surefire way of developing a case of alcohol poisoning!   Friends don’t let friends watch the BnB and drink!

I don’t expect DAYS to take the BnB for long in the ratings, if it does at all.  I will, however, enjoy it while it lasts should it happen.  I think that soaps that are in tune with the audience and that are willing to step outside the box deserve to be recognized.  DAYS is a much better show, artistically, and has a great deal more to offer fans than the  BnB, in my opinion.

General Hospital?  Words fail me.  TPTB are apparently determined to ride the Mob train to the show’s final and bitter end.  Good luck with that.

One Life To Live?  Even when it sucks, it’s better than most of daytime’s top rated shows.  It’s the little show that can’t catch a break!  I’m glad to see the increase in viewers, but I’m still at a loss as to how AMC could possibly top OLTL in the ratings.

Daytime is a very odd genre.  Great shows like DAYS and OLTL are at the top and the bottom of the ratings pile (not that there’s too much difference in the ratings overall).  Artistically flailing shows like the YnR and the BnB are at the very top.  ATWT is hanging on by the seat of its pants and will soon be gone.

We live in curious times, soapfans!

Top Ten Greatest TV Kisses

Apparently no one told AOL Inside TV that Luke was faking it.  His life with Laura only smothered him and he hated being a father.  Oh wait… that happened later!

Daytime drama’s most watched episode featured the marriage of Lucas Lorenzo Spencer to Laura Baldwin Webber in November of 1981. After surviving obstacles ranging from a jealous ex-husband and a mob hit to a mad scientist’s scheme to freeze the world, the couple had more than earned their fairy tale wedding and a happy ending. This being the soaps, though, that happiness wouldn’t last long.

While I’ve never been a huge Luke and Laura fan, I can appreciate the impact this couple has had on General Hospital, specifically, and on daytime as a whole.  Their history may not get much respect on the show, but it’s interesting to see how much fondness remains for one of daytime’s iconic couples.

(Video posted at the above link)

ABC – A Tale of Two Soaps

ABC presents the epic “mother of all daytime soap battles”.  It’s General Hospital vs. General Hospital!  I regret to inform you that at this moment,  General Hospital  is losing!  As with Dickens’  A Tale of Two Cities, when it comes to GH:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

Melodramatic much? On occasion, yes. Yes I am.  Best of times?  When?  Where?

I get where you’re coming from, but bear with me, please.

The best of times, unfortunately, comes in infinitesimally smaller doses than do the worst of times.  The dark mostly swallows the light, and despair too often triumphs over hope… but still, there are moments like these that remind me of the best of GH as it is now, without having to dig into the archives of the GH of the 80s and 90s:

Robin and Patrick’s participation in Karaoke Night was especially poignant for me  because 1 – Even if only for a short time, our SCRUBS get to be the example of a couple that is as close to perfect as any (non mob-related) GH couple can be. I’m sure they’ll have stiff competition when Mac and Alexis finally make it off the ground and when Maxie and Spinelli finally get it right, but right now they add a pretty  glorious shine to this show ; 2 – I miss the Nurses’ Ball and I think this is a small scale way of giving us what the Nurses’ Ball did.  It lets the audience get closer to the show’s  characters.  The karaoke scenes humanize the characters and reminds us that they do more than sneak around with one another’s husbands and wives.  It’s a great compromise almost making up for the absence of the Nurses Ball -very clever; 3 – These sort of scenes give fans the opportunity to appreciate the additional  talents of the show’s actors.  I also appreciate the courage it takes for each of them to step out of their traditional roles.  No criticisms from me!  I thought they were all magnificent.; 4 –  They’re just FUN!  There are so few GH scenes that are FUN.  Most of them are about death, betrayal, hatred, jealousy, adultery, and many other vices.   It’s nice to watch GH and just smile on occasion.

How adorable were Morgan and Molly?  How funny is it  that in that room full of women,  of those who weren’t his children – at least half of them has been in bed with and/or impregnated by Sonny Corinthos?… and by funny I mean ‘pathetic’… That brings us to:

The Worst of Times

Forgive my  opining (nay whining) over the current state of General Hospital, but  I’ve experienced my first true soap heartbreak – one that had nothing to do with the cancellation of a beloved show, that is.   I’ve said, previously, that I’m done with GH, DONE!  KAPUT!  FINISHED!  FINITO!  For the most part that’s been true.  I did watch Liz run to Luke’s to beg Lucky to return to her.  I watched Ethan and Lucky chatting about Liz and enjoyed the flashbacks of a young LL2, even if I did feel as if I’d been kicked in the soft tissue watching the clips of a very young Liz and Lucky declaring their love.   I miss who they were to each other.  I got the writers message to the fans, via Lucky’s dialogue, about seeing people as they are now and not how you use to know them.  Bite me.  I’ll never see LL2 as having ‘moved on’.  They’ll forever be viewed by me as having been destroyed by the writers’ reckless impulses and self-indulgent excesses.

I was annoyed by  the writers use of  Liz’s rape as part of the casual conversation between Lucky and Ethan – the brother Lucky barely knows.  It was both a sacred moment  (to LL2) and profane  moment (on the part of Liz’s attacker) that began their relationship.  It was all reduced to drunken banter and  gossip by two people who could have just as easily been strangers.

Outside of those scenes, I know that I’m not missing much.  Basic daytime storylines in daytime haven’t changed – just the players and the severity of characters’ reactions to events in their lives.  There’s clearly no possibility of missing anything ‘big’ by largely tuning out this show or any other daytime program.  It’s not like there will be major revolutions in daytime storytelling any time soon!  (Get it?  Dickens?  Tale of Two Cities? Revolutions?)

Finally: Belief vs. Incredulity

I thought back to the situation that caused me to want to fully walk away from both General Hospital and the entire genre of daytime.  When Dante refused to tell the police that Sonny shot him, I was stunned.  In that one moment, the writers’ deconstructed a potentially marvelous character and destroyed the beautiful and inspiring backstory they’d created for him. This past year we had a reason to believe that it just might be possible that the writers would bring a true hero back to GH, one in the same vein of Mac Scorpio, Anna Devane, Robert Scorpio, Sean Donnelly, Frisco and Felicia Jones, the entirety of the WSB).  That’s now gone.   I never expected Dante to send Sonny to prison – no one ever has no matter how guilty he was.  I just never expected him to cave to the magic of Sonny’s mojo so quickly.  With a different set of paternal DNA and a uterus, Dante would  have borne Sonny another child by now.

As if ignoring the ‘attempted cop killer’ charge wasn’t enough, Dante commented that he thought Olivia, who’d become pregnant at 15 (rewrite?), slept around so much that she didn’t know WHO his father was. <gasp>  That line left me feeling utter revulsion for the character.  Whatever the case, he was angry at her for not telling him sooner that Sonny was his father.  Sonny “attempted cop killer” Corinthos was also angry at her and blamed Dante’s near death on her decades long lie.

“W-T-F”, I thought.  I’m sure the writers, who must be bored writing the bi-annual “Who’s the Daddy?”) storyline for Sonny and his small village filled with offspring, must have thought they were writing a unique twist on yet another telling of that storyline.  That ‘twist’ reads more like ‘twisted’ and this storyline deserves comparison to other Who’s the Daddy? storylines, when the good guys really were good.

I thought about the clip I’d posted of Robert, Robin, and Anna, in a prior blog:

I know that there are significant differences:

1.  Robin was an adorable child.  Dante is an “angry” adult male (even if his anger truly is righteous).

2. Robert knew early on that Robin was his child.  Sonny didn’t find out until it was ‘too late’.

3.  Robin wasn’t sent to try to destroy Robert.  Dante was.  For whatever reason, some see justifiable anger in Sonny’s attempt to kill Dante, the cop, for doing his job.  It seems plausible to accept the argument that Sonny would never have tried to kill Dante if he’d known that Dante was his son.

If the writers are consistent, I can’t say that I believe that the above assertion is true.  Sonny was more than willing to hurt his own brother when he thought he could justify it, or if he felt the need to save himself over Ric.   Sonny never gave a damn for Ric, the person who shared his DNA.  I can only believe that the writers would have been consistent and gone the ‘Lansing Route’ had they decided to have Dante found out without having Sonny shoot him.  We would have then been treated to ‘dead to me’ scenes between the father and son, with  Dante working like a mad dog to make amends for having the audacity to hate crime and criminals now that he knows he’s genetically linked to a mob boss.

In the end, the issue isn’t really about the difference between Robin and Dante as the long lost children of high profile Port Chuckles citizens.  It’s about the differences between writing teams, and the radically different approaches they’ve taken to trying to get the audience to buy into newly developed families. The GH writing team of the 80s wrote for a real hero and wrote for real emotions.  I can’t tell you what the current writing team writes for.  For it it feels as if they’re writing for a hopelessly lost villain that they continue to want to sell as a hero and writing cheap ploys masquerading as real emotions.  The legacy of the introduction of characters like Anna, Robert, and Robin is that fans still want MORE of their story.  There’s are still stories to be told that have the ability to help fans recall the old GH – when light pushed back the darkness, hope triumphed over despair, and we had everything before us.  I don’t think we can say the same for current storylines.

The Next American Idol? 2010

I’m not much of an AI fan.  I don’t get  thrills from the lousy singers or the off the wall routines (ok, I’m kinda’ lovin’  Pants On The Ground man, but I can’t help it!).  I typically don’t have the patience to watch the field narrow.  SO.  What are the odds that I would catch a current AI contestant on Youtube  while looking for something all together unrelated?  Not only did he grab my attention, but I think Andrew Garcia may be the reason I actually watch a season of AI.

What.A.VOICE.!  With or without this show, I have a feeling that we’re going to all know this guy’s name as well as we know our own – at some point in the near future:

Good Luck, Andrew!