Grading The Guiding Light

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

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

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

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GL: Have you seen this soap character?

Name:  Rafael Rivera (a.k.a. Rafe)

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

Age:  Approximately 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five reasons to watch GL again

You’ll feel as if you’ve died and gone to ‘old-GL’ heaven if you watched!  Ignore the sets (for now), they’re still a downer, but everything else is kicking into high gear.  What a difference a few weeks makes.  Several weeks ago, I’d written about what’s wrong with GL.  Little could viewers have known that GL would launch the most aggressive plan to revive a soap than we’ve seen from any daytime drama!  While TPTB behind the scenes at Days Of Our Lives are dismantling one of daytime’s longest running serials, the geniuses at Guiding Light are rebuilding (and oh yes, Icalled them genuises – without snarking). 

Five reasons to watch, and in no particular order:

1.  Phillip Spaulding and Melinda Sue Lewis  return.  I listed them together because I can’t help but believe that the two of them will have signifcant screen time together. Returning at the same time couldn’t be a coincidence!

 Phillip, the Spaulding family scion, flexible good guy/bad guy character, all around hot-as-hades heartthrob, what’s not to love?  It’s hard to believe that the writers let him go in the first place, and that he’s been away five years now.  The only two people who’ve ever been able to stop Alan are Phillip and Alex and the writers sadly did away with both.  Bringing Phillip back opens a world of possiblity for GL, but also puts an end to Alan’s reign of terror.

Just in time!  The writers were beginning to create a savage Alan Spaulding, one hardly worth watching as he became a caricature of his former self.  While I’ve had zero sympathy for Beth and Coop’s indulgence in adolescent fantasies about love and life, there’s nothing fun about watching Alan force Beth to give up her burgeoning law career to stay home and mother him AND their daughter.  Soapgod knows it’s time for Beth to do something with her life other than flit from affair to affair.  It was even less enjoyable to watch him comment on the ‘marriage’ they would have, leaving fans to wonder if he was implying that they would have an intimate relationship whether she wanted one or not.  He was a little too excited to describe their ‘honeymoon’, while she stood there in her bridal gown, crying and begging to be set free.

Could Alan even dream of competing with Phillip for Beth’s heart?  Would he want to given how happy he’ll be, at first, to have Phillip return?   Will he even have to compete for Beth with Mindy’s return?  It’s just possible that Phillip will be as disappointed in Beth as he is in Alan?  Mindy’s return may be the beginning of the rekindling of the Beth/Phillip/Mindy triangle, with Beth on the outside, looking in. After all this time, Mindy finally gets the upper hand and no dirty tricks involved?  I’d love it!  Now that Beth is the bitch goddess Mindy had always suspected she was, let the fireworks begin!

(Oh, and by the way, watching Beth reject the use of the name Spaulding was a shocker in light of Phillip’s return – not that she knows that onscreen, but the writers know it so I have to wonder why they’ve decided to have her do it.  She screamed that her name was ‘Raines’, not ‘Spaulding’.  Veteran viewers may remember that Bradley Raines was Beth’s stepfather.  The man raped Beth, and beat her and her mother.  That she would reject the Spaulding name for that of Bradley’s left me stunned.  Hopefully that’s the beginning of a new storyline – one in which a troubled Beth tries to figure out why she’s such a trainwreck. 

2.  Edmund’s Return.  As stated earlier, Edmund has been humanized, and every day he’s on air, the character’s presence tells a new story.  Edmund’s behaviors and connections to others  are even more nuanced this time around. Is he just conning everyone?  Are his emotions genuine?  It’s hard to say.  I’m not especially fond of Dinah and Shayne as a couple even if they’re growing on me, so having Edmund’s daughter, Lara, return wouldn’t be a tragedy.  Lara’s return would do more than break up Shayne and Dinah.  It would give us a chance to see more of Edmund’s growth.  She  seems to be the first person in his life that he would/could love unconditionally and I’m curious about what effect her presence would have on Edmund.  Would he become a good guy?  NOT HARDLY!  My guess is that most of  his new dastardly deeds would be related to protecting his daughter – and possibly spark a Winslow-Lewis war.

3.  The Lewis Clan is BACK!  They’re back in a big way.  I think most fans want the obvious, Josh and Reva – GL’s epic soul mates back together again.  What fans are also getting is the slow rebuilding of the Lewis family all the way around.  Billy and Vanessa are lurking in the shadows, occasionally stepping to the forefront.   Between Reva, Josh, Billy, Vaness, Bill, Shayne, and Dinah (as Bill’s sister), we could end up with a healthy revival of the Lewis-Spaulding wars – adding Edmund to the Spaulding clan for good measure.  It gives us a tortured Bill and Lizzie surviving a pretty tough year only to have to figure out how to continue loving one another while not getting too caught up in their respective family’s war.

4. The writing is just BETTER!  Two words that will make you cringe:  Kidnapping plot.  How ridiculously senseless was it that Bill lost his memory, but it was Lizzie who seemed to forget every detail of the kidnapping and didn’t know if Bill was guilty or not? She spoke with her kidnapper, touched him, saw his dark hair, felt his tears (which should have left DNA of some sort in her clothing),  noticed the difference in the builds between the kidnapper and Bill…but she just wasn’t sure if he was guilty… <sigh>

The writers could have redeemed her by having HER notice Cyrus’ dog tags clanking and realize that the kidnapper made a similar clanking sound.  But hey, that Bill remembered?  I’m good!  I can roll with that.  It’s time SOMEONE remembered something that would end this torture of Bill being falsely accused.  That Bill plans to take Cryus down not realizing that Grady (who is taller than both men) was responsible? I’m good with that too!  That Billy is involved and the father and son are working together? I’ve freakin’ died and gone to old-GL heaven!  I can’t wait! 

5. Romance is BACK on GL!  Reva and Josh’s unintentional romantic glances, Olivia and Natalia’s road to romance, Remy and Christina’s too-cute-for-words marriage of convenience, Rick/Beth/Philip/Mindy potentially heating up, Dinah and Shayne’s oddball relationship, and even Buzz’s dreams of dead wife Jenna was more romantic than much of what’s happened on GL in a long time!

Any of the above points would have made me happy to be a GL viewer, to have them all at once?  What an embarrassment of riches!

GL’s Fearsome Foursome back together?

SOD is reporting the return of Mindy Lewis, as played by fan favorite Krista Tesreau.  YES!  GL fans good fortune just keeps growing!  It’s great to have Melinda Sue Lewis back, but to have her played by the actress originating the role is such a perfect sign of appreciation of GL fans and the fans love for GL history. In an era when veteran actors and characters are let go to make room for the cheaper pretty-but-pointless, this is a HUGE move on the part of GL’s powers that be!

Speaking of history, it will be interesting to see how the writers have Mindy react to the very changed Beth. Friendship between the two women was slow in coming.  Melinda Sue was always convinced that Beth was far from the deer-in-headlights she pretended to be.   She was always faulted for the conflict between the  two (rightfully so), and has generally been viewed as the ‘bad girl’.  Though she was wrong at the time, maybe she’ll be credited for her ability to predict the future Beth Spaulding. 

In the not-so-brief time that she’s been away, Beth Spaulding has become a new person – both figuratively and literally!  Will Mindy gloat about the ‘new Beth’s’ penchant for disaster and self-destruction or  will their friendship pick up where it left off?  Will Mindy be quick to rub Phillip’s nose in the fact that Beth was sleeping with his father and his best friend when he could have used her support most?  What will her relationship with Rick be?  Does her arrival mean more  screen time for Billy and Vanessa?  Will she play good sister against Dinah’s ‘bad sister’ routine and expose Dinah’s role in the kidnapping of Lizzie Spaulding?  Will the Lewises be reunited (Reva and Josh included)?   And more importantly, will the Lewis family finally get a homestead now that their family has increased in number?

GL just keeps hitting all the right notes. That  I’m even able to ask those questions makes me happy for the possiblities that KT’s return brings.

The problem with GL is this…

I am in awe of fans who love daytime to the point of working to save it, despite what writers and EPs have done by way of making the genre unrecognizable.  Fans are holding on to the hope that not only are daytime brass listening to their concerns, but that they’ll actually do something about them.  It’s not just The Guiding Light.  Daytime fans are in the same position no matter which show they watch.  I’ve chosen to focus on The Guiding Light because of long swirling rumors that the show is on the verge of cancellation (rumors that have persistently dogged this show and its fans for a number of years, now).

Below are five things that I believe have been consistently wrong with the show – five things that are easily corrected. 

1.  Get rid of the ‘live from Peapack’ shots.  Daytime is about fantasy, escapism, and about the impossible becoming plausible.  I have no doubt that Peapack has many homes with lush interiors filled with fine furniture, open floor plans, hardwoods, crown moulding, stainless steel appliances, and custom cabinetry.  It makes sense that the show’s budget doesn’t allow for location shoots in those environments.  Instead, the current interiors are shoddy, and frankly – they’re depressing.  I’ve jokingly referred to Springfield as the land of cheap knotty wood paneling and faux stone.  It’s no longer a joke to me.  I’m distracted by the bad decor and dark interiors when trying to focus on the characters and dialogue.  

It’s hard to see a man like Remy Boudreau  living in a cheap apartment.  His living conditions  make sense for a couple like Daisy and Grady, who have a hard time maintaining steady employment.  On any other show, willingly living in the conditions Remy lives in would be a sign of a character in emotional, psychological or financial distress.  We would ask ourselves if Remy was punishing himself as part of a deep depression, or  an unyielding sense of guilt for some perceived wrong.  The type of decor that’s prevalent on GL usually comes with a liquor bottle and bad attitude on any other soap – and on the GL of the past.

If watching someone like Remy (solidly upper middle/upper class) live in such squalid conditions, think about what it means to see the fabulously wealthy Spauldings live in roughly two cramped rooms, or Olivia live in a tiny farmhouse, or the Lewises wandering from place to place because they have no where to live at all – that we’ve seen.  The exception is Bill Lewis, who lives in a tiny hotel room.  From Remy to the Spauldings to the Lewises –  all are living in spaces that are the sizes of what should be their clothes closets.

Guiding Light is the least aesthetically pleasing show in daytime.  Beautiful people, ugly scenery.  If it’s true that the network is saving money by purchasing/renting the current locations, great!  But there’s a trade-off and given the ratings, I have a feeling that other (former) GL fans are having  a hard time looking at the show in it’s current state. 

2.  Make better use of the big moments and pay homage to your the show’s rich history.  There aren’t a lot of ‘big moments’ left on any show, but GL had the perfect opportunity to grab back some of the show’s glory and to reunite it’s signature couple with this one scene:

As Reva lay dying, Josh confessed his heart and soul to her.  They talked about how long and how deeply they’d loved each.  Josh told her that he  couldn’t conceive of a world that she wasn’t a part of (and we pretended not to remember that he’d already lived through a Reva “death” when she drove off a bridge during the course of her postpartum storyline.  We realized that he meant that he’d already had to live in a Reva-less world once before and that he couldn’t stomach the thought of doing it again).

What happened?  Reva came back to him this time too, and Josh moved on without her.  After all of his tears, his pain, and his comments about not wanting to live without her, not only did he move on but he moved on with her sister.  Both Josh and Cassie treated Reva’s survival as an ‘annoyance’; Josh most especially when Reva let him know that she wanted to save their marriage.  Every moment that took place after the ‘death’ scene made a mockery of Josh and Reva’s epic history. It just did not compute that when the writers could have cleared the coast for this legendary couple, they kept them apart.  The writers were so determined to break them up that Reva defied the laws of  nature.  She became pregnant with another man’s baby after twice undergoing menopause.  You figure that one out.  I can’t and wouldn’t want to if I could.

3.  Allow characters to behave as if they live in the same town.  Either that, or stop having them talk about how much they value family.  Why, dear writers, has Beth put more effort into planning a romantic getaway with her boyfriend than into helping her daughter heal after her kidnapping ordeal?

We’ve seen many more scenes of Coop and Beth pawing each other than we have of Beth embracing Lizzie and trying to help her, most especially since Lizzie has become suspicious that her boyfriend, Bill Lewis, potentially played a role in her abduction.  Is Beth aware of the fact that she’s still Lizzie’s mother?   This is a mother and daughter living in the same house and yet they have very little contact. 

Alan is no angel, either.  He was obsessed with Rafe’s medical care when Gus was alive.  He arranged for Rafe to meet with the top physicians in the country and was willing to pay for advanced medical treatment to control his diabetes.  Now?  Natalia is killing herself to get the medicine Rafe needs by paying for it at her own pharmacy and having it sent to the prison (uh, yeah, that would happen in the real world!).  Why haven’t the Spauldings mentioned Rafe and Natalia?   How has Alan managed to avoid running into Natalia given how many of the same places they both visit?

Why hasn’t Alan already pulled enough strings to have Rafe sleeping in a single cell -with silk sheets covering  his pillow top mattress?  That’s only, of course, until Alan could have him sprung from prison.  Alan has recently gone through a trial and faced prison time.  No sympathy for Rafe?  Is Alan only capable of being obsessed with one grandchild at a time?  Is interfering with Lizzie’s love life REALLY more important than keeping Rafe out of prison, or at least safe while he’s behind bars?  It’s hard to care about Alan’s obsession with Lizzie, given his lack of concern about Rafe.  

4.  Recognize that imitation is not always the sincerest form of flattery.  Guiding Light is working on solving one of it’s biggest problem – the shedding of old school characters and replacing them with newer characters who were meant to serve the same function, but somehow fall flat. In the mad dash to win over the 18 – 24s who were never planning a  mass defection to daytime, great characters like Edmund were cut loose to make room for pale imitations like Kane Manera’s Grady Foley.  Manera is a brilliant actor.  His choices are instinctual and highly consistent.  I like the actor, I just hate the writing for him.  Between the writing and the direction, there was never any hope for Manera’s Grady to become a likable character.  Where David Andrew McDonald’s Edmund was far more nuanced, and more choices about the character appeared to be placed in the actor’s hands, Manera’s Grady was more of a caricature of Edmund and every other GL bad boy.

Grady was never allowed a moment to be ‘human’ (as Edmund was).  Grady was never allowed to develop a backstory that would allow us to see him in a more vulnerable light, as Edmund was.  While Edmund acted out as a way of dealing with the pain of being measured against the impossibly perfect Richard; Grady was just one more sociopath in a family of sociopaths.  I’d like to say that I’ll miss Grady when he eventually goes, but I won’t.   There’s nothing likable or root-worthy left when it comes to this character, through no fault of his portrayer.  

5.  Don’t turn strong storylines and characters into ‘gimmicks’.

Watching Olivia and Natalia this past week, I wondered if the writers have thought about where they’d take the two after their current friendship/relationship ends, and eventually it will.  Will they go back to who they were before?  Are they forever changed?   

Is this only a matter of living in the same home and raising Emma together?  What makes their relationship romantic and not sisterly?  Was Olivia’s lifetime of desperation in every relationship before this related to never feeling loved by any of the men she dated/married.  Was she running from herself?  Does Natalia love Olivia because of who she is? Does she love her because she finally has a feeling of family and she’s been so alone since Rafe was imprisoned and the Spauldings pretend she doesn’t exist?

I like the slow development of their friendship/relationship, but if the writers simply throw them together after a kiss, won’t viewers perceive their relationship as a gimmick of some sort?  It’s already feeling gimmicky with Natalia holding Liv’s hands through the ‘My Two Mommies’ presentation and not ‘getting it’ that the teacher and other parents thought they were lesbians.  A ten year old would have picked that up! 

All it took was a teacher making a suggestion and Olivia has developed new feelings for Natalia?  It feels gimmicky that Olivia can’t use the word ‘lesbian’, but is able to plant a kiss on Natalia to illustrate her point – not long after Frank planted an unplanned kiss on her as well. It’s gimmicky – as Beth’s relationship with Alan was.  It’s becoming as gimmicky as Beth’s relationship with Coop is, or Bill’s amnesia that shouldn’t affect what Lizzie remembers about the kidnapping, or Marina and Mallet and their babymania-out-of-nowhere storyline, or…. you get the point.

If this isn’t a show living on borrowed time, it needs to act like it.  Slow down and take the time to work out the big and the small details.  We’re not going anywhere.

CSI: Daytime

Guiding Light

Official GL board readers, part of this blog entry won’t be new to you – I’ve asked you this question already: If Lizzie saw her kidnapper’s black hair, felt his tears (which means his DNA is still in her clothing) and was able to see how tall and lanky the guy was, HOW could she ever believe that Bill Lewis might be guilty? He has nothing in common with the kidnapper. Too bad that Bill is the one with amnesia! This storyline would make far more sense if Lizzie was.

The Young and the Restless

I’m just not getting the Kay Chancellor storyline. I can understand the suspicion that Marge would try to pass herself off as Kay, but wouldn’t Marge already know that? Considering she’d done it before when no one knew Kay had a doppleganger, and she was still found out, why would she try it now?.

Why not just run a DNA test to settle the matter? Surely there’s enough information in Kay’s medical files – a sample somewhere, to solve the matter if Jill or Brock aren’t willing to give up a sample for comparison.

Where is Kay’s big freakin’ ring? Wouldn’t flashing that hot load of pressed coal go a long way in casting doubt that the woman standing before Jill and Nikki is Marge? Wouldn’t there be doubt enough to cause them to investigate further rather than reject Kay?

Will this story turn into Kay’s good daughter (Nikki) recognizing and accepting. her before the bad daughter (Jill)? Are these two women going to set off a rivalry over who loves Kay most? That would be interesting – but the writers are going about setting it up the wrong way.

The gaping holes in both show’s storylines are distracting. It’s a triple sin given the fact that both shows air on the same network as the wildly popular CSI franchise. The lack of attention to detail and the implausibility of the plots makes them hard to watch for anyone not already hanging on to their daytime viewing habit by a thread.

The future of daytime…

According to ATWT Executive Producer, Chris Goutman, daytime fans have lost their appetite for daily serials and may prefer, instead, serials airing 3 days a week.  I don’t know about you, soap fans, but every time I hear a writer, executive producer, or some drone from the top floor of the executive offices speak, their solutions sound more like ‘bottomline’ solutions (what can THEY do to save money).  Rarely do I hear them talk about what fans want.  Even rarer is it that anyone talks about what difference is between daytime even a decade ago and daytime now.  Sure, the storylines are the same, but it’s in the execution of those storylines that daytime writers and producers let us down.

Daytime is no longer written as a long running drama with a rich history writers could continue to mine in order to create coherent cohesive future storylines.  Daytime serials are treated as variety shows.  Each storyline seems to be self contained and unrelated to the past, present, or future.  YnR’s Victor’s vasectomy and GL’s Reva going into early menopause years ago are prime examples!  The writers/EPs have hit ‘reset’ and offered storylines with both characters becoming parents again – leaving the writers to scramble find ways of explaining the huge gaffes in history once fans complained.

Clearly, strong storytelling, impeachable dialogue, well crafted sets, impeccable costuming, and skilled actors are all off the table.  What are we offered instead?  Three days a week of weak storytelling, incoherent dialogue, poorly designed sets, sorrowful costuming, and unskilled actors in the role of long loved favorites.  Sure, I’ll take three days a week of that, instead of five… but then, I’d take ZERO days, instead of five, as well.

Shortcuts are shorter, not better.  Exhibit A… (Thanks, Noel, from the GuidingLightTV board for the link)…

THIS (a clash of titans, powerful women who aren’t afraid of going toe-to-toe – fierce enough competitiors to make you fear them with a single look): 

Has become THIS (capable actresses reduced to scream queens fighting over petty jealousies – using sex rather than their minds and other considerable resources to compete for a man who was using them both): 

THIS (a vengeful, petulant child – who seduces her mother’s fiance in order to ‘make her pay’ and winds up sorry for her betraying her mother even if it’s with a man she loves)

becomes THIS: A mother who falls in-lust-calling-it-love with her daughter’s husbands.  Mom slept with both husbands and had a child with each… you read that right, it didn’t happen ONCE… it happened TWICE:

THIS (a dialogue between a man and the woman he raped, his wife when he raped her – ex wife after the rape) shows that he lives daily with regret for the pain he caused her. It’s a complex story with Roger and Holly remembering the great love they once had a great love that at times draws them together, physically, leaving Holly revulsed after the act.  At other times, the rape and post-rape keeps them apart all together:

Ultimately, Roger and Holly realized that they could never get past the rape.  In the end they separated, permanently.  All of which has been replaced by THIS:

Todd Manning, a man who is taking advantage of his rape victim’s memory loss to get her on his side regarding his daughter’s teen pregnancy (refusing to tell her that her son is the child’s father).  His assault of her was brutal and part of a gang rape HE initiated. Theirs was a VERY brief sexual relationship before she dumped him.  They barely knew one another.  Now he wants his chance to force her to forgive him and see what kind of man he is now… sweet irony:

Sure, chief… taking soaps down to three days a week will make all of the pain go away… that’s right… and I’ve got a bridge to nowhere to sell you, only, it ain’t gonna be cheap!