The one who got away…

The one who got away  turned into two… and then two turned into three… and then three …  You get the picture.  OLTLers will most likely feel nostalgic at the sight of Renee Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline Williamson).  REG’s Evangeline was one of the most unique new (female) characters in recent OLTL history, not to mention in recent soap history.   She.Had.A.BRAIN!  Not only did she have a brain, folks, she wasn’t afraid to use it!

Part of me wants to give credit to the writers for making sure that the character was as strong as she was and that they hadn’t decided to shove Evangeline into the deepest darkest corners of crazyland – where they eventually relegate  all female characters.    We were fortunate that there were no huge psychological breakdowns for this character after failed romances.  She didn’t go on drinking binges, no drug use, she didn’t lurk in shady places trying to keep a watchful eye on ‘rivals’ – in desperation to hold on to a man.  What makes all of that even bigger news for a One Life character?  She dated John ”Sanity Killer” McBain, folks!  She survived their relationship and remained healthy.  Who could forget this moment between sisters Evangeline and Layla once it was clear to Evangeline that John was going to betray her:

The sane woman’s anthem when love goes wrong!

Whatever happened, no matter the writing, Goldsberry gave Evangeline a rare sense of dignity and strength for a female character in modern daytime.   My best guess is that the writers got it – REG was a very different actress all together.  She had the elegance and comportment of a more seasoned actress. Writing that may have been translated onscreen as shrill, needy, and whining by another young actress was treated as an opportunity to turn Evangeline into her own heroine – no need for rescue.  The partnership between the writers and the actress gave OLTL fans like myself joy in watching one of the most memorable characters in daytime.  If only the powers that be had been able to convince the actress to stay.  Despite her unfortunate dalliance with John, and her flirtation with the mad-as-a-hatter Todd Manning (which I loved while he was still in the process of reforming and becoming a better person), it was Evangeline’s last relationship – with the  lovely Cristian Vega that sealed Evangeline’s fate as a winner in life, but loser at love.  Cristian walked away once he realized that there was more between Evangeline and Todd than she was able to admit, even to herself.

Rather than kill the character off when REG vacated the role, the writers decided to have the character succumb to a coma.  While it preserved their right to bring her back (and I appreciate that), it’s awful thinking that the character remains there and life in Llanview goes on without her.  I wish they’d thought to let her move on to another city, start a successful law practice and allow Layla to occasionally mention who well her sister is doing in her new life.

Sadly, I’m concerned that Layla Williamson will soon suffer the fate of her big sister.  She’ll disappear from Llanview history with barely a second thought from those who knew or loved her.  Overkill?  Do you remember Rachel Gannon?  Probably not.  She was so rarely featured before the writers decided to dump the legacy character, yet again (and yet FORD remains).  The Williamson family is relatively new.  I have little hope for the rarely seen Layla – who is now dating Cristian Vega.  While you would think that would be the perfect time for writers to wake Van up from her coma (even if they could only convince REG toreturn for a few eps to usher Van off to a new life), such is not the case with OLTL.  The writers instead have Teen Tessica Buchanan, who can’t remember her life beyond the age of 17 returning to high school as a student  (yeah right) and stalking ‘Mr. Vega’.  Where is Layla while all of this is happening?  Who the hell knows?

The more things change, the more they stay the same, One Life.  One Life fans may remember Valarie Pettiford ( Sheila Price Gannon) for delivering a  rousing rendition of ‘Dancing in the Streets’ at Megan’s funeral.  Where is she now?  Doing just fine without OLTL, thank you very much!  She was one of the co-stars of the show ‘Half and Half‘ and ocntinues performing on Broadway and has her own Cabaret act:

Van, Layla, Sheila, Rika (Sheila’s younger sister), and the few very women of color before them.  What a waste, OLTL.

As the World Turns

Smart women and the law?  They seem to go hand in hand in daytime.   OLTL’s Van Williamson and Nora Buchanan, GH’s Alexis Davis and Federal Prosecutor Claire Walsh, ATWT’s Margo Hughes and Jessica Griffin, all of whom helped make it ‘safe’ for women to be smart.  Tamara Tunie’s Jessica was a no frills – no bullshit character who wasn’t exactly shy about telling Oakdale residents where to go and how to get there… of course, she did it in the most elegant way possible.  TT’s Jessica Griffin McKeachnie  brought as much to her show as REG’s did to OLTL later.  Jessica was a beloved character  who was respected by her onscreen peers -, and then the inevitable happened.  Jessica found out where she really  fit in the grand scheme of Oakdale life.  Her ‘interracial’ romance with Duncan McKeachnie led to both heartbreaking and uplifting moments for the character.

She’d feared that her tough as nails, and somewhat conservative friend and client Lucinda Walsh would never approve of her relationship with Duncan.  Lady Lu, CEO extraordinaire would have to protect her business interests from ‘scandal’, right?  Jessica knew that the only person she and Duncan could share the news of their growing relationship with was their beloved friend and supporter, Lisa Hughes.  Lisa was a woman of the world.  She’d done something most women would never have thought of doing in her time – she’d left a husband and child and sought love elsewhere.  She’d dated and loved brothers.  She was a hellion in her youth and didn’t care who approved of her choices.  So imagine Jessica’s surprise when she learned that Lucinda was the one to give the happy couple her blessing and Lisa was the person who disapproved.

Jessica found even greater strength and a stronger voice when she grew tired of defending her love for Duncan and their desire to be together.  She remained a relatively strong character until the writers decided to SORAS’ young Bonnie into an adult woman.   Bonnie brought many changes into Jess’ life, most of them lousy, including having Jessica watch her daugther grow closeto the man she knew raped her mother, and being accidentally shot by her daughter.   When ATWT’s jumps the shark, it chums the waters, first.  Where is Jessica?  Around… somewhere… I hope.

The Young and the Restless

I’ve covered the topic of Victoria Rowell’s Drucilla Winters being absent from screen in several blog entries, most recently (HERE and HERE).  I still can’t get over what insanity leads the YnR’s PLTB refusal to bring Dru back to screen.  No matter how many times TPTB insists there’s no room for Drucilla onscreen, each new weak and snooze producing character they bring to screen in her place says otherwise.

Even worse than the above?  The talented Latina American, American Indian, Asian American, and other actresseses who ever never give the chance to appear onscreen.  It saddens me to realize that as networks are steadily shuttering soaps from the daytime schedule, Executive Producers and other execs don’t appear to be moved to change their practices before all soaps are eventually cleared from the schedule.  There has be some growth when you think of where daytime started and where it is now, but how much growth?  What will be the legacy of daytime and minority characters when all is said and done?

Bonus Clip!

The REG you’ve never seen on OLTL.  Goldsberry in RENT:

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It happens in the best of (soap) families…

First the good stuff. I don’t know why it’s never dawned on me before, but why or WHY hasn’t DAYS – which  happens to be in striking distance of the BnB in the ratings, taken advantage of the colossal blunder  made by the BnB’s sister soap, the YnR?  Why hasn’t DAYS hired Victoria Rowell as a new character?  YnR’s  PLTB (Powerless That Be) are  determined to not bring Rowell back to daytime in a role she made iconic.  Why not hire Ms. Rowell for DAYS and tie her to honest Abe Carver.  His image has been a little ‘too clean’ for a soap character.  I don’t want him to become a bad guy, or learn that he was ever a ‘bad’ man.  It might be worthwhile to find out that Abe was once a conflicted man. He was in love with a woman with a shady past and did things he’d never expected to do.   Maybe Abe demands perfection in Lexie because he’s loved a woman who’s driven him down the wrong path before and is afraid to go there again.

TPTB won’t hire her because of money?  I know, I know… but I could name a number of characters – starting with the teens, the show could “clear house”  with in order to afford bringing Rowell on board.  It just  might surprise you to know that James Scott’s Ej Dimera is not on the list!  We’ll need him around for at least a while longer.

Imagine that Brandon returns and wants his father to meet a woman he’s fallen in love with – a woman he wants to marry.  It turns out that she’s

1.  a cougar and

2 – a woman from Abe’s past.

She knew Abe when he wasn’t so sainted- chasing down crooked cops and busting drug rings!  She’s someone who knows where Abe buried the bodies  (so to speak)  and is someone against whom Abe’s defenses are weak.  His attraction to her is chemical, undeniable, and a threat to his marriage and to his standing in the community.  Let’s not mention the fact that a relationship with this woman would be toxic to the relationship Abe shares with his son, Brandon.  It took a lot for Abe to get beyond Lexie’s affair with Brandon, could Abe make the mistake of falling into bed, again, with this woman?  The woman his son loves?  Lexie has spent most of their marriage cheating on Abe and awaiting his forgiveness – now she’ll have to worry about whether Abe will be the one to next break their marriage vows and if she would be able to forgive him.  Ultimately he would remain faithful, though we would find out that he has a lot more to  lose than his marriage by having this woman present.

Not being able to destroy the Carver marriage, being dumped by Brandon – who moves on with Arianna Hernandez, VR’s character would of course form an alliance with DAYS other uber-evil villain, EJ Dimera.  Both characters are matched as  equally deadly manipulators.  EJ relies on her expertise but always makes sure she knows that their partnership is predicated on her commitment to stay away from Abe, Lexie, and Theo… but can she do it?  EJ, torn between his friendship with, love for, and growing reliance on this woman and his love for his  family.  The town of Salem would never be the same again!

Speaking of  Soap Families

Parasites come in all shapes, sizes, and genders.   The three major categories of dysfunctional soap family members  include the non-criminal philanderer, the non criminal self-pitying liar, and the criminal take-by-force loser.

The Philanderer

Every (soap) family has that one philandering dolt who makes you feel dirty just by shaking his hand – which is a bad move since you never know where that hand has been.  You just know that it’s been a lot of places you’d never go.  On the BnB?  That would be Eric “naked on the ledge” Forrester.  Eric’s treatment of women is, and always has been, rather shabby.  He’s been cheered on as a romantic hero, but he’s neither romantic, nor a hero as far as I’m concerned.  I think fans are finally beginning to see Eric as the lowly worm he truly is.  Is he only more clearly viewed as  a Lothario because he has yet to change his behaviors?  A man his age, who still can’t be faithful to a faithful wife is far from appealing.   His actions include:

1.  Declaring his love for his son’s former fiancee moments after leaving his wife of decades.  Let’s face facts, lesser men would have left Stephanie about an hour after she gave birth – after finding out that the kid she gave birth to was healthy.  It would have been hard to blame him for wanting to be a single dad rather than chain himself to a hate-filled harpy like Stephanie.   She’s not exactly ‘lovable’, except in rare occasions and for Eric that has typically meant whenever someone younger and warmer was available.  The problem is that he DID chain himself to her.  So his inability to live  up to his commitment leaves you weary.  The man comes and goes like a rock star on tour – and Stephanie Douglas is his most fervent groupie.

2.  When Brooke dumped him for Ridge, Eric moved on to psychotic Sheila Carter, and after a while on to taylor – who was dumped by the same son who left Brooke earlier, and any other half-wit who would have him.  Each time Stephanie grabbed on to his coattails and begged for crumbs… and he gave them to her.

3.  He returned to Stephanie only to end up cheating on her just before their wedding. He cheated with a woman who was like a daughter to her, Lauren Fenmore.

4.  He tried returning to Brooke.  Later returning to Stephanie when that fell through.

5.   He later married Brooke’s sister, Donna Logan, but only after cheating on Stephanie (who was in hiding after facilitating Brooke’s sexual assault).  What lousy circumstances under which Eric took Donna Logan to bed.  It was mere weeks after finding that that Donna was sleeping with his youngest son in order to use him to tear the Forrester family apart.  A heart-broken Thorne dumped Donna at the altar – Eric slept with her.

6.  After all of the above, I never grew to like Donna and Eric, but it was clear that she really did love the artful dodger.  It was Donna who fought the Forresters to keep Eric on life support when they were ready to pull the plug.  It was  Stephanie who gave Eric a knee to the groin in front of their adult children.  It was  Donna who went along with a plan to regain the company for Eric even if it meant betraying the trust of baby sister Katie… It was Stephanie who was at fault for helping the Forresters lose the company in the first place.  Eric is returning to Stephanie… a woman who tried to destroy his life’s work and tried to turn his children against him.

Whatever unfortunate thing happens to him is all he deserves and more.  By the way, it’s pretty awful when clips for your show fits the theme song to a slapstick comedy.  BRAVO to the genius backstage who put this together!  (At least you have a sense of humor about the show you’re producing):

OLTL writers must look at the BnB’s Eric with a sense of awe.  The Power(less) That Be  must love the guy, because it’s the road I see John McBain taking for as long as the show is on the air.  Loving that man is a no-win proposition for any OLTL woman.  Johnny McBain loves no woman as much as he loves the idea of living in misery… the women he ‘loves’ just end up along for the ride.

Both men should make room for the YnR’s Victor, who treats women as useless if they’re not grabbing pom poms and cheering on his self-indulgent tendencies.  They may as well be packaged in tissues boxes.  Victor uses one, and tosses her aside as he grabs the next.

All three aregoing to find themselves  riding in a crowded car if they have to make room for GH’s loathsome Sonny Corinthos and Sonny’s enormous ego.  I hope that car has a big trunk!  It will have to carry the emotionally and spiritual dead bodies of the women Sonny has loved, maltreated, discarded, disrupted, and left as empty hollow shells.

The Self-Pitying Liar

The BnB leads the way again.  Two words: taylor hayes… ok, two more: Stephanie Forrester… WAIT, two more:  Steffy Forrester (Marone) – That’s three, right?  Steffy has proven herself as taylor’s daughter, Stephanie’s granddaughter.  I’ve never seen writers utterly destroy three female characters by writing them as utterly obsessed with another character – one Brooke Logan.  I could show you a million clips of these women plotting (taylor and stephanie before steffy came along) and if you watched the show’s factual history, you would be shocked to hear them constantly whining about the ‘pain’ Brooke has cost them.  Before Stephanie facilitated the rape of Brooke Logan, she tried to convince Brooke to take her life, and even gave her the gun to do it with… oh yes, that’s right… Brooke is the threat to the Forresters.  Does Steffy has any idea how awful her mother and grandmother are?  Does she care?  She’s lied more since she became daytime’s lead self-pitying liar than any other character has in a decade!

The Take-by-Force loser

Oh come on, DAYS FANS, you knew it was coming!  The scurge that is EJ so perfectly fits this category.  I love that Will has no use for the man who violated his mother.  Sami’s oldest child so clearly understands what kind of man EJ is and wants him GONE. Good boy, Will.  It would be a HUGE mistake, for a show that’s doing so well, to try to sell the audience on the notion that Will wants to eventually become buds with the man who raped his mother and produced one child – and manipulated and violated his mother to produce another.  I know that Sami feels ‘trapped’ in some way because she’s had two children with EJ , but she really needs to let them visit with him at his place.  EJ’s presence is a constant reminder of what he’s done to young Will’s mother and I can’t believe any caring parent would let that happen.

Sorry PLTB, YOU wrote the story.  YOU have to live with it.

Given Will’s obvious (and rightful) dislike of EJ, I wonder what role he will play in this storyline. If the man who raped your mother keeps trying to insinuate himself into her life and won’t stay away… what would you do?  Hopefully Will might have some role in exposing EJ’s lies. It would give him some feeling of being able to avenge his mother’s rape and keeping his siblings safe from their vile father.

We interrupt the crap Daytime’s PLTB are slinging…

to bring you something that’s actually interesting.  When daytime bores me silly with unoriginal storytelling, I like searching youtube to see how artists are using technology to promote themselves.  These are ‘covers’ of Beyonce’s Halo.  I get the irony… the songs aren’t original, BUT the individual artists’ take on the song are.  Enjoy (oh and BTW:  PLTB in the subject header = PowerLess That Be) :

Is there a right way to parody daytime?

There’s this:

Cheer’s Brighten Bay “The Premier Episode”

From: CheerLaundry | December 15, 2009 | 15,971 views

Subscribers (21)

And then there’s THIS:
“Steamboat” Series – Episode 1
From: SteamboatSeries | February 21, 2010 | 11,409 views
Subscribers (1075)

Your point is??????

My point is this: there’s a right way to parody daytime, and there’s a wrong way. Have you noticed the difference between post dates, number of views, and subscribers? I’m sure that part of the difference between the two is that the executive producers of  ‘Steamboat’ (Michael O’Leary, ex-Rick Bauer, Guiding Light; and Scott Bryce, ex-Craig Montgomery, As The World Turns) were smart in bringing to screen some of daytime’s most beloved actors and placing them in roles that are the polar opposites of the characters they’ve spent most of their lives playing.

The only Brighten Bay character who could potentially make it as a daytime character (albeit it for comic relief) is David, the jilted loutish boyfriend. It’s not just because he’s a seriously hot piece of work. He’s just classic lovable bad boy material for daytime. The role feels comparable to that of OLTL’s Rex, OLTL’s David, or ATWT’s Henry. Every other character, including Elisa Donovan’s Sandy and Cameron Mathison’s, ‘Dr. Dan’,  feel like a mean girl’s version of a soap. It’s a parody that feels more like mocking, than giving a gentle nudging and wink to daytime. It offers stereotypes, but not the intellectual insight into daytime that would make a parody work (oh yes, I used ‘intellectual insight’ and ‘daytime’ in the same sentence, and I’m not taking it back!).

Steamboat, by contrast, has that. It’s clear that the parody gives a loving look at the unseemly backside (and darkside) of producing a daytime soap.  Despite the fact that the show is fictional, it’s not hard to feel as if you’re eavesdropping on a beleaguered cast and crew trying to survive the daytime industry.  The characters are likable in the sense that even in jest they give you the feeling that you’re gaining insight in to the highs and lows of the soap biz. The characters connect with the audience on genuine emotional level.  Steamboat (the most beloved soap) features actors who are like many of its viewers, employees who give their all only to find out that those who benefit from that work have little regard for the people who produce it.  Isn’t that why shows like ‘Undercover Boss’ are a hit?   Steamboat is populated with characters you want to hug, smack, shake, medicate, jail… and love the whole time.

I find myself waiting with bated breath in anticipation for the next installment of Steamboat (I just want to touch iiiiittttttt!  — If you’re watching the series, you know what that means). I only find myself cringing with embarrasment with each installment of Brighten Bay – waiting for the writers, through BB’s character, to remind me what a dolt I am for having invested my time in a ‘silly soap’.

To catch the Steamboat series, as well as Martha Byrne’s ‘Gotham’ and Crystal Chappell’s ‘Venice’, check the links in the sidebar.

BnB: What Brooke and Bridget did to deserve this…

That would be… NOTHING!

How interesting. The Marone (steffy), Hayes (taylor) and Douglas (stephanie) women want the Logans (two of whom are FORRESTERS) out of Forrester Creations.

What Steffy Marone forgot to tell Oliver about her hatred of ‘The Logans’ is:

1. Only ONCE when Ridge dumped her mother did it effect her – the other times took place before she was born.   The first time Ridge left taylor hayes was  when Brooke finally agreed to leave Eric and be with him. They’d gotten together thanks to Stephanie Douglas paying for a forged ‘Dear John’ letter reportedly from Eric to Brooke. taylor got DUMPED in the same room at the same club where Ridge told Brooke he was going to marry Caroline). He dumped taylor after her first return from the dead. He then dumped her again after the second return from the dead.

Even the last time he dumped taylor hayes, steffy wasn’t a little girl with her nose poking the glass watching him go. She was 16? 17? Still painful, yes, but not as painful for her as it was for others, like:

2. Hope, then 5, and RJ, an infant, who DID watch Ridge go when steffy’s mother  came back from the dead for the second time and her grandmother faked a heart attack to force him back together  with her mother.

3. The woman steffy is blackmailing is her aunt – the same aunt who took care of her and her siblings when her mother “died” and who helped them survive losing her. The kids thrived because of Bridget and they, at least then, loved her.  What sad symmetry to have Bridget devote her young life to steffy, Phoebe, and Thomas… and to have lost three children since then.  She gave her all to steffy when she was a child recovering from her mother’s death.  Now the death of her own child has given steffy the means to destroy her life.  Unreal.

4. Steffy forgot to tell Oliver that Brooke is the loving stepmother who raised her and nurtured her -and her siblings, from the time they were children through late adolescence. She raised them to be a good and loving until toxic taylor, their mother, returned.  The children were saddened and confused during that time.  They didn’t want Brooke to leave, but they were happy to have their mother alive and back with the family.  When did the hatred of Brooke and all things Logan, begin?

5. while steffy was lying and whining, she forgot to tell Oliver that Brooke is also her ‘almost’ Mother-in-law. Just over a year ago, steffy wasn’t worried about her mother being ‘abandoned’ by her father. She was Brooke’s biggest fan because Brooke supported her right to make a decision about being with Rick. No tears for her mother, then! She was basically telling her mother to get over herself and stay out of her life.

The writers have contorted the show’s history so much to suit  stephanie, taylor, and steffy that it’s hard to believe that any of the current writing team has been with the show for longer than a year. They have no sense of history when they write this crap. If you have to go that far to sell steffy, taylor, and stephanie in this storyline, the storyline isn’t worth telling and the characters aren’t worth the airtime they’re receiving.

Eden Riegel is moving to YnR… sorry Binks fans!

Meaning AMC wasn’t excited? When the show relocated to LA, where you now live, we just assumed you guys would work out a deal since it was so geographically convenient.
I understand the timing for this is a little odd, what with AMC moving here. And I do love that show! I grew up there and had an amazing experience but I’m an actress. I like playing different characters, especially somebody who’s a D.A. and sexy and conniving. I’m excited to look at those parts of myself and express them through this character. I couldn’t turn it down.

The tidbits get juicier from there!  To read the fully interview with TVGuide’s Michael Logan, click HERE