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.

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Points to ponder – All Soaps

*YnR’s NuMalcolm?  Not workin’.  I’m trying, folks, I really am, but as good as it is to see Darius McCrary on screen again, this was just the wrong role to cast him in. Though… given the choice between keeping him as Malcolm and keeping KC’s Lily, he wins hands down!  Malcolm Winters was an iconic character and unfortunately, McCrary’s interpretation falls flat.  I’ve seen McCrary’s work in other projects (including CBS’s Cold Case) and he’s been very good.  Something about this role just doesn’t seem to translate well for the actor.

* If GH’s “Franco” came to town because he’s totally obsessed with Jason:

1.  Why was it necessary to have Maxie pimped out and risk her relationship with Spinelli?  His focus has been Jason the entire time.  The side story involving Maxie just doesn’t make sense and seems to be an awful waste of a couple (Maxelli) and a character (Franco).  It served no purpose.

2.  How can Jason be considered a ‘good guy’ when his actions capture  the imagination of a ‘psychotic’ killer?  Jason’s murderous exploits have made him an international icon for blood thirsty criminals?  Some hero!

3.  Why didn’t TPTB just name him Franco Guza?  It would make sense of Franco’s obsession with Jason and the Suckpranos.  It would have felt more honest.  It’s art, seemingly, imitating life.

* Why aren’t the BnB”s Logan women allowed to confront sister Katie with her penchant for betraying her family for the love of  her latest squeeze?  Katie is 2 for 2, right now, and I’m getting tired of her whining and moaning about how SHE’S been betrayed.  Put that attitude away Katie, and if you need help figuring out where to put it, just ask!

*  Does anyone else think that ATWT’s Simon and Henry would make a far hotter couple than Luke and Noah?   I’m so tired of the on-again-off-again nature of the Nuke relationship that I’m ready to see ATWT’s PTB replace them, NOW.  Pay attention ATWT’s writers.  OLTL’s writers are separating the men from the boys and writing a real relationship between two characters – who just happen to be gay. Watch and learn… Speaking of OLTL:

* Why the hell did OLTL’s Bo hand Dorian back the only piece of evidence that could convict his niece of stabbing Mitch Laurence?  Was that supposed to be a sign of his honesty and integrity?  It felt more like evidence of his sheer stupidity,  especially since it’s becoming painfully clear to others that Dorian is Mitch’s puppet.

As for Dorian Lord, she is nothing if not devious.  I’m not too thrilled with the image of a helpless Dorian Lord constantly caving in to Mitch’s demands.  At what point does she put her years of mischief-making to use and takes Mitch down?  I’m shocked by the fact that I like seeing Dorian on top, Mayor and chief power broker in Llanview, but I do.  Why have that ruined by having her behave like a skittish child, jumping at the sight of her own shadow?  MORE kick-ass Dorian, LESS kiss-ass Dorian, please.

* Doesn’t anyone else  ever get tired of hearing the BnB’s taylor whine about how Brooke stole her life, and made her miserable?  Even I can agree with her that that situation with Jack was traumatic.  I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted to give birth to the biological child of a woman I hated.    Taylor didn’t sign on to be a surrogate.  She had in vitro in order to have a family with Nick.  The child she carried was supposed to be HER child.  I get it, but the problem with her whining is that Brooke didn’t cause taylor to ‘lose’ her son.  Taylor chose to give him away.  She also chose to continue to try to compete with Brooke for Ridge – even when Ridge  made it CLEAR that it was Brooke he loved.  You can’t ask the woman to stay out of your life, and then constantly throw yourself in the middle of her life and call yourself a victim.

* Why do DAYS writers continue to make my skin crawl by having EJ touch Sami?  Yes, yes… he was only comforting her after she received a call from Sydney’s kidnapper…. it’s just that every time he goes near her, I see him holding her at gunpoint.   I hear him  telling her that the only way to save  Lucas is to let him violate her.  Every touch makes my skin crawl.  Has Sami forgotten how she ended up pregnant with  EJ’s spawn (cutie that she is) and the one before her?  C’mon writers,  give Sami her dignity back and have her tell EJ to keep his gun-toting rapist paws off of her.  Her confused ‘feelings’ are degrading and humiliating to watch, speaking as a woman.

Hey, if the actor involved can admit it was rape (comment below from a James Scott interview),

I would be lying if I said I didn’t worry about my future on the soap. I don’t think they handled the rape very well, and I’ll tell you why. EJ raped Sami, and then afterwards, he’s hanging out in her house — alone with her. It’s irresponsible on so many levels. However, had it been handled well, I think it would have been an interesting story choice. Now the story focus has shifted to her pregnancy and the classic soap story of paternity. Having said that, I chose to believe that EJ is in love with Samantha — he just can’t communicate it.

and TPTB can admit it was rape, it was RAPE.  He forced her to have sex with him to save the life of the man she loved. You can read a decidedly pro EJami Wikipedia entry with Scott’s comments HERE (that is until someone decides to try to delete the comment).

As for DAYS increasingly dwindling ratings fortunes, is it any wonder that the new  focus on Sami and EJ is linked to a rather rapid ratings slide for the show? Good luck selling Ej and Sami as anything other than what they really are:  a victim and her obsessive, stalking, rapist.

* For most of the year (plus), All My Children has been largely unwatchable.   Color me surprised when I got gooey and nostalgic for Hayley and Mateo’s return (more Hayley than Mateo).  Watching Adam soften while talking with Hayley and joke about knowing something about raising  ‘difficult children’ was the most priceless moment of that episode for me – Hayley of the dyed dark punk rock hair, now a mother with a wild child of her own.  I thought about Brian Bodine,  Uncle Pork Chop (Trevor), Natalie down the well, Janet from another Planet, Adam’s dark dark days (which really were different from just his ‘dark’ days), Stuart and Cindy, scheming Arlene Vaughn, the Santos family – even preachy mom and dad, Edmund and Maria, Erica and Dimitri, Bad girl Kendall and sweetheart Del Cooney, The Martin clan, Jeremy, Laurel and her brother Michael, Cliff and Nina,  Palmer and Daisy, The Montgomery Brothers and their feud, Brooke English, Phoebe and  Langley, Chuck and Tara,  Beloved Mona and Myrtle, Ellen and Devon, Mark Dalton, Tom and Sean Cudahy, and so much more… sheesh).  I know that not all of the above mentioned characters were on screen at the same time but just those few moments with Adam and Hayley opened a stream of AMC consciousness  and I felt warm all over.   I miss All my Children – the real All my Children.

* At some point, BnB’s Brooke Logan’s children are going to have to acknowledge (or learn) that there was NO WAR between their mother and Stephanie Douglas.  Stephanie has been on the attack against Brooke almost from the moment she met her.  Brooke has tried in vain to make peace and keep peace.  Brooke does not seek Stephanie out to hurt her or make her miserable as Stephanie has done with her.  Brooke hasn’t made a point of trying t0  publicly expose Stephanie for whatever her wrongdoings are – and there are many.  Brooke hasn’t tried to turn Stephanie’s children against her, as Stephanie has tried to do with Brooke’s children.

To allow Brooke’s children to continue to think of Stephanie as ‘human’ feels like one of the daytime’s biggest lies.  Theirs has been daytime’s biggest farce of a rivalry.  A rivalry would require TWO participants.  It would require balance.  It has neither.  In any other galaxy, Stephanie would be acknowledged as the psychotic villainess -bully she’s always been.  Calling Stephanie a victim of Brooke’s would be the same as calling GH’s Helena Cassadine a victim of Alexis Davis… Hels only slit Alexis’ mother’s throat in front of her when she was a child and threatened her life every single day from that moment on.  The warm and toasty moments between Brooke’s children and the dragon lady leaves me switching channels.  When a crazed bee-yotch hands your mother an unregisted gun, while wearing white gloves, and tries to get her to take her life, she’s not your friend.  She’s not like a mother to you, she’s not human.  When that same woman facilitates your mother’s rape, you’re not suposed to ask her to be a part of your children’s lives.  Come on BnB writers, get a grip.

Whores of the world, UNITE! Women in Daytime, Vol. 2

Women in daytime = whores.  At least, I think they’re the same.  I dunno.  It’s hard for me to figure it all out since I’m just a woman.    Either I’ve been watching too much daytime or it’s the peyote… (just kidding on the last part, though given what some shows are doing to daytime women and viewers as a consequence, a little peyote might make daytime shows go down a little easier).

General Hospital

I’m all about the ‘I told you so’ lately and I want to hand one out to the writers of GH.  I’ve never been impressed with the casting of James Franco in the role of ‘Franco’  and have been horrified by the drooling and self-congratulating  linked to the casting of JF in the role.  The fact that the character was named  Franco was enough to tell me about the lack of creativity  attached his development.  It seemed to be all about stunt casting and the hope that a primetime/big screen actor could save GH from falling ratings.

It feels as if  GH’s PTB were so convinced that negative stereotypes about daytime viewers were real, the stereotype that we’re just a bunch of sex-starved panty-clinching rubes, who lick our screens whenever a hot male actor is featured, that casting JF as ‘Franco’ made sense!  As if we don’t already have enough testosterone filled doom and gloom on screen! (As for that screen licking part, I freely admit that I do think about licking the screen when Jason Thompson’s Patrick is on, but hell, who doesn’t?) The idea that “Franco” would cause us to swoon was as big a fallacy as almost everything else the GH writers have offered us by way of propping the Suckpranos storyline.   I don’t want to see one more character, stunt casting or otherwise, sacrificed on the altar of the mob boys.

  • Give Olivia her brain back.   She was such a strong vibrant character for so long and now she’s a walking-talking mess.   All the daydreaming about Sonny  makes me ill.  If I had to worry about Sonny putting a bullet in my kid’s head because my kid was a cop working to make the world safe?  I wouldn’t be able to daydream about having sex with the guy or daydream about him holding my hand. I wouldn’t even daydream about spitting on the guy if he was on fire!  What’s wrong with this woman?  What’s with her libido?  Sonny rocked her world over two decades ago, bedded and nearly wedded her cousin – swore his eternal love for Kate before the world while barely noticing or remembering Olivia, and she’s still lusting for him?  STOP! IT!
  • Quit making Carly an idiot who treats Jax’s child as Sonny’s future ‘kidnapped bait’ child.  It’s disgusting.  Notice that when Carly was listing off the children who were protected by Sonny’s grace, she included Josslyn, and not Molly?  STOP IT!
  • STOP making Lulu fall for the mob boys and/or supporting them to the point of even trying to convince the police that they really deserve to be set free instead of in prison where they belong.  Stop making her fall for anyone connected, even tangentially, to the mob boys.   Whatever those mob boys have going on below the belt must be some powerful mojo!  And it’s demeaning to us all.
  • Quit making me feel sorry for Rebecca “NotEmily” Shaw by having her actually be the voice of logic and reason before you ship her off.  I really resent you for this one, GH writers.  I’m an avowed ‘Remily’ hater and to leave me cheering for her is one of your worse offenses, yet.  Even still, I grew tired of the “Liz is a slut’ mantra she had going – not that I disagree with the sentiment, just the constant expression of it.  I did enjoy the fact that she continued to remind Liz that her house of cards would soon fold.  The sendoff for Rebecca, the Emily- clone was perfect, by having her make friends with a Zander clone… Chad Brannon was pretty darned delicious looking.  When his clone character drops  Rebecca off in Paris, have him come back!   Patrick’s stalker ex could use a good hook up – then again, so could Matt Drake, who spends far too much time trying to convince Robin that her marriage is in trouble!
  • Maxie, Maxie, Maxie… REALLY?  She’s gives herself to Franco for the sake of getting him to agree to help her out professionally?  Then she tries to pimp out Spinelli to make herself feel better?  She gives relationship advice to Max and Diane about ‘balanced cheating’?    Maxelli, Scrubs Love, and Jax and Carly were the only interesting things GH had going in its favor and the writers are slowly dismantling all three.  Speaking of…
  • For the love of all that’s soap-holy… give me a Scrubs storyline that has nothing to do with old girlfriends crawling out of the woodwork!  Yeah, yeah… Patrick puts it on ’em… they can’t get enough… once you go Patrick, you never go back… Even though I can believe that his arrogant aloof treatment of women made them want him more, I’m getting tired of women who are attracted to him on that basis.  The writers made the courageous decision to make him a happy family man, now I wish they’d make the courageous decision to create family driven storytelling around the Scorpio-Drake clan.  What makes Patrick attractive is that he’s a man who loves his wife and child.  Having him betray them would destroy that.  Leave something that’s still a little pure and  just for us.

I’d love it if the GH powers that be would stop treating women (onscreen) like a bunch of ‘spare parts’ waiting to be traded by GH males, as they’re needed.  Bringing on stellar actors like James Franco can’t  cover the holes in plots, the obsession with the dark  arts of the mob boys, or the weak female characters who aren’t just damaged- they’re damned deranged.  Treating your viewers like sex-starved fiends who’ll gladly buy what you’re selling won’t help either.  I know it’s not just my perspective that GH has lost what made it great… I’ve seen the ratings.  GH is hemorrhaging viewers and the great ‘Franco’ (onscreen Franco) doesn’t deliver a big enough draw to stop it:

Ratings for the week December 7-11, 2009 (when the character Franco’s arrival and work should have made a difference)
HH
1. Y&R 3.7/12 (+.2/same)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (+.1/-.4)
3. DAYS 2.2/7 (+.2/+.1)
4. AMC 2.0/6 (+.1/same)
5. ATWT 1.9/6 (+.1/-.1)
5. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)
7. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/ -.2)

Week of December 14 – 18th)

HH
1. Y&R 3.5/12 (-.2/-.3)
2. B&B 2.3/8 (-.1/-.4)
3. DAYS 2.1/7 (-.1/same)
4. AMC 2.0/7 (same/-.1)
5. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)
6. ATWT 1.8/6 (-.1/-.3)
6. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/-.3)

Week of December 21 – 25
HH
1. Y&R 3.5/11 (same/-.2)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (same/-.3)
3. DAYS 2.0/6 (-.1/-.1)
3. AMC 2.0/6 (same/same)
5. ATWT 1.8/5 (same/-.1)
5. GH 1.8/5 (-.1/-.4)
7. OLTL 1.7/5 (-.1/-.3) <—— ties low rating (Last time: August 31 – September 4, 2009)

Ratings courtesy of Soap Opera Network:  SON

So why am I still watching? I don’t think soap fans like me want too much.  We just want a balance.  How about  2  smart women for every woman who is lobotomized for the sake of the dark storylines?  I’m hoping Scrubs will survive and find a real storyline and that the writers will give us a storyline about them that will engage the audience without either of them cheating, I’ve FINALLY gotten the Mac and Alexis pairing I’ve been pimping for, through 2009  (don’t think I’m not grateful, just realize I’m not fully satisfied.  They’re off to a great start, and I need MORE).  Dare I hope that Mac/Alexis/Robert/Anna/Robin/Patrick  would be able to restore law and order to PC and that they turn the town around and take down the real bad guys?  I’m hoping that smart, funny, and strong-if-not-neurotic, women like Robin and Alexis (and yes, even Diane) will be allowed to lead the way.

One Life to Live

Nora Buchanan.   Nora is the woman who slept with her ex, Sam Rappaport, and passed his child off as her husband Bo’s child.  Even better is the fact that she did it for Bo– whose son was recently killed.  That was the rationalization she gave for betraying her husband, she most saintedly did it FOR his sake – all the while knowing that Sam was deeply in love with her and knowing what the emotionally fallout might be.   Fortunately (or unfortunately)  for all involved, after Bo and Sam’s deep pain, it turns out that Matthew was Bo’s son after all.  Now we have Nora, who’d been warned/pleaded with/begged not to marry Clint because she didn’t really love him, has now left Clint to be with Bo – during a dark time in Clint’s life.

Once again, another ABC male refers to the cheating lying woman who betrayed him as a whore – I can understand Clint’s rage and his willingness to throw Nora’s past in her face.. I just wish I hadn’t already been overwhelmed with the use of the word ‘whore’ from almost every other ABC male before that.  Nora’s reaction was still priceless.  She’s rude and judgmental and has made a habit of telling others why they’re so unworthy of being loved or trusted.   She was stunned that anyone would dare give her the same treatment.  I wasn’t crazy about Clint’s choice of words, but I’m glad that the writers finally allowed someone to point out to Nora what a hypocrite she is.

True to form, Nora didn’t let a little thing like the truth stop her from being who she is.  A full scene later, SHE referred to Kim as ‘that slut’, the ‘whore in her husband’s bed’, a ‘tramp’… uh huh… Sweet irony!  She was talking to Bo, Clint’s brother, the man she’d been having an emotional (almost sexual) relationship with and lying to Clint about it when she said it… YIKES!  Something about the way Bo and Nora are getting together and the pain it’s causing Clint that’s causing me to want to root for Clint and Kim (a couple I’d previously referred to as the reincarnation of Asa and Blair).

Somehow, the writers managed to give Clint and Kim depth.  Kim was fixated on her ‘plan’ to get Clint into bed to help him forget Nora.  She’d treated Clint like a feeble and emotionally dependent ‘old man’ who would be felled by a little bit of a wiggle and giggle.   Kim would have loved Asa – being felled by a wiggle and giggle was more his speed.  Clint had already had her investigated.  He knew about her stripper past, and didn’t care.  He also knew that she thought she was gaming him, and he didn’t care.  He knew that her plan to ‘drink him under the table’ was about taking advantage of him… and he didn’t care because he also knew three other things:

1 – He had the truth on his side and still had the upper hand.

2 – That being involved with the town’s  ‘sainted woman’  isn’t a guarantee that you’ll end up with an honest woman who’ll treat you well.

3 – That Kim isn’t all bad.   Her bark is worse than her bite.  Despite the fact that there is a risk of turning Kim into a ‘hooker with a heart of gold’ stereotype, the writers have so far avoided taking her quite that far.

The storyline seems to be shaping up into one in which the person in need of rescue may be KIM, not Clint.  He’s as intent on using her as she was on using him.   I hope that doesn’t happen, because despite my exhaustion with female-male May-December romances, there’s something about this pairing that I like. Nice touch, writers, on having Kim’s plan fail when she underestimated his ability to hold his liquor.  BRAVO for letting Clint walk away despite Kim’s offer to let him spend the night and having him warn her to quit while she was ahead.  I could root for them as a couple – with Melissa Archer’s Natalie fighting with Kim and making her work to prove her love for Clint.  I could <gulp> just as easily  root for them developing a strong father-daughter relationship (Oedipal, I know) or have them remain as good friends.  Either way, I’m hoping to see far more of Clint and Kim than Bo and Nora.  SON’s  CarlID offered this observation:

It’s interesting to see the fallout of the Bo and Nora reunion. They were a beloved couple many years ago but not only have times changed, many of the people who were in their lives at that time have changed. It’s like, what if you reunite a supercopule and no one cheered? I don’t mean the fans, I mean the characters in their lives. You don’t have a lot of people endlessly going, “You’re fated to be together,” as you do with many other couples on the show. I also think it would be an interesting writing choice if Matthew wasn’t thrilled they were back together and preferred them apart.

I’ll add one other observation about this storyline.  I found Nora’s reaction to seeing Clint with Kim unusual.  Kim was the whore in her husband’s bed?  Why did she care, she was dumping him!?!?! You’d think she’d want Clint to find someone, ANYONE to take the heat off of her betrayal of Clint.  Is it possible that Nora will wake up and realize that her rekindled love for Bo was based on their mutual concern for Matthew and his health issues?  Could Nora wake up and realize that she was happier with Clint than she imagined?  What happens then?  Where does she turn?  Does anyone care?

BTW, folks, is it just me, or did Jerry Ver Dorn make Clint his own with this bend in the storyline?  JVD’s left me breathless!

Tea Delgado/Blair Manning… not whores, they’re just written to allow Todd Manning to treat them as if they are.

Days of Our Lives

Two words:  Carly Manning.  Two more words:  EPIC FAIL.  There are some soap staples I can’t get enough of:  scheming liars who are eventually figuratively  beaten down and forced to eat their own misery.  Bad boys who are only clever by half and outwitted by their victims, victims they eventually fall in love with.  Anything to do with corporate intrigue.  Good old-fashioned romance.  Deep dark family secrets – that have nothing to do with long lost children.

The one plot I’m pretty freaking tired of is the damsel in distress who can’t get enough of the man she left behind and (oh gosh) if only he’d choose her over his wife and family.  He (being the real ‘whore’ in this scenario) decides that he can’t leave her to her own fate and risks losing his wife and child/children, while keeping secrets with the damsel in distress.  It’s not a stretch to believe that daytime writers typically set this storyline up to do one of two things:  try to make us root for our damsel in distress and if that fails, we’re to hate her as a home-wrecking ‘whore’ who broke up a perfectly happy and  loving family.

You’d think that watching her ‘get hers’ would be satisfying – assuming that the lunkhead goes back to his family and treats his wife as his equal partner, and not his potential mistress.   It’s not.   In reality, for fans like me, it only causes us to dislike BOTH partners – the cheating spouse and the idiotic woman who finds his willingness to betray his family a ‘thrill’ and further evidence that she is the object of his desire, not his wife and family. She’s only the next woman to be betrayed when his former victim/spouse becomes the damsel in distress. It’s all less satisfying because he’ll never ‘get his’.  He’ll just become the object of desire for two women – who’ll continue to fight over him until one of them is exhausted or dead.

Isn’t it time for daytime writers to leave iconic couples alone and find new ways to make them relevant to the audience?  Haven’t we seen these storylines play out a million times before?  Viewers exiting daytime in droves isn’t enough evidence that we want something more?  When did daytime become a genre about deconstructing and destroying rather than building something new or building better and higher on the strong foundation already in place?  Where are the powerful female characters who leave us feeling unashamed of being daytime viewers?

If you’ve made it this fair, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve left poor embattled CBS off the list.  Am I sympathetic to the network that’s lost two soaps in two years?  Nope.  I just don’t have the room to continue with CBS’ list of maltreated women in daytime.  This blog would have to be at least three times as long as it is now.  I’m saving that one for a later date.

Suffice it to say, if daytime really is dead -running on fumes,  kicking the bucket, headed for the big one, living on borrowed time… I’d greatly enjoy being able to celebrate women in daytime before it goes.  What do daytime writers have to lose?

OLTL: Tricking and Treating

With still a few tricks up their sleeves, OLTL writers are making the show as entertaining this month, as last month.  WELL DONE!

1.  Shaun finally catches his worthless brother and the ever lying Rachel in the act of kissing in public.  What heartbreak!  I’d hoped that OLTL would follow GH’s lead and offer an unconventional romantic pairing.  GH’s Spinelli and Maxie are clearly mismatched (she the glamazon, he the geek) but they work for whatever reason.  I’d hope that cuddly teddybear Shaun and Princess Rachel would work things out, but not so.  I’m just glad that the writers didn’t spend months keeping the poor guy in the dark while the audience grew increasingly saddened by the deception taking place around him.

I’m still hoping that Rachel realizes that Greg is a pompus windbag and goes back to Shaun (who won’t want her back at that point).  Rachel, however, won’t give up and earns her way back into Shaun’s life.

What about Greg?  Todd is going to end up dumping Blair soon enough.  Why not Greg and Blair?  She loves being involved with difficult and self-aggrandizing men.  Greg would be perfect for her.

2.  Clint and Kim.  YEEHAW!  This is such a replay of Asa and Blair.  Clint reminds me of Asa more and more each day.  The drinking, the insecurity masking as toughness, the desperation masking as other things.   So, who gets to play the NuMax?  Schulyer?  Will Kim realize that she wants poor but honest Schulyer after all (ok, so he’s not exactly ‘NuMax’)?   Will Nora or Viki end up being ‘Renee’ for Clint?  Poor Clint, alone and lonely, in love with his brother’s ex wife, foolish enough to believe that putting  a ring on her finger will make her love him back.  Dude… poor poor Dude.

3.  Daniella and Tea?  PRICELESS!  They have the mother-daughter spark that Blair and Starr lost long ago!  The writers took the teeth away from Starr when they foolishly shoved her into the teen pregnancy storyline.  Starr has been unrecognizable as Todd’s daughter.  She had to become soft and gooey, and a whole lot of foolish, to break out of the role that made Starr such a memorable character.   That doesn’t mean that Ive been waiting to see Starr take on Todd’s psychotic tendencies.  That would be a tragedy as well.   I just wanted her to be shrewd and calculating.  I wanted to see Starr protect herself and not take garbage from anyone.  Starr lost the edge that use to make her such an enjoyable character.  She became a weak and whiny thing, all in the name of  ‘luv’.

What I’m not looking forward to is competing mother-daughter tag teams.  While sibling rivalry makes sense with Todd’s daughters going to war, to have their mothers involved would seem too much like adult women using their daughters to obtain the objects of their affection.  Daniella is the ‘new kid’.  Starr has been able to reject her father and cause him to beg for her for her forgiveness  – even though he was initially right about Cole,  before the writers twisted both Cole and Todd into unrecognizable characters for the sake of ‘drama’.    Will she as easily walk away from her demented father now that she can be ‘replaced’?  Replaced?  Sick?  Yes, I know…  but that’s Todd.

By the way, the casting is brilliant for this storyline.  KA’s Starr has always looked like the child of Blair and Todd.  Kelly Missal’s Daniella, with the  to-die-for-hair,  makes her look like believable as the child of the Hair goddess, Tea.  Daniella’s temper definitely sells her as Manning’s kid.

4.  Talk about continuity!  Most shows have difficulty maintaining continuity on their own shows.  OLTL maintained continuity between two different shows.  Daniel Manache (Tom) was last seen as JJ on As the World Turns.  JJ was sent away to (art?) school by his parents – a boarding school.  Manache turns up as ‘Tom’, Matthew and Daniella’s friend from boarding school.  Sweet irony.

As for Matthew and Daniella the potential couple?  Can you imagine the nightmare it would cause Bo and Nora to have their son involved with Todd and Tea’s kid? To think, it would never have happened had Bo and Nora not forced Matthew out of the country.   Poor Destiny.  It seems that she will be the odd girl out, unless the writers are clever in how they write this budding teen romance which will probably loom large next summer.   While not everyone is a fan of the character of Destiny, I like her (and even like the actress portraying her – Shennell Edmonds).  Edmond’s acting is stiff, and she’s clearly a novice, but she’s improving – and anyone who can have such sweet scenes with Tuc Watkin’s David Vickers is winner in my book.

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!)

OLTL, the good, the bad, and the WTF!?!?!

The Good: Thank you writers for finally wrapping up the ‘Baby Chloe- Hope’ storyline.   It’s been a long time in coming and I was getting sick of it!

The Bad: (With sarcasm):  Thank you writers for the ‘Baby Chloe -Hope’ storyline.

The WTF: (with incredulity and a tad bit of disgust):  Thank you writers for the ‘Baby Chloe -Hope’ storyline.  Of all of the storylines you COULD have told, this is what you saddle us with?

There are some legitimately wonderful reasons to love OLTL, in my book:

1.  It’s not All My Children.  Need I say more?

2. None of the characters are named Michael Corinthos Jr.  How is it is that General Hospital writers have a knack for taking an event that should be considered a blessing and turn it into such an awful AWFUL thing?  Little Michael Corinthos’ awakening was something I felt myself regretting about 10 minutes after the kid opened his eyes.  To the credit of OLTL’s writers, they haven’t managed to make me wish that any of their teen characters would lapse into a coma!  ALTHOUGH… I wouldn’t mind seeing LESS of all of them.

3.  Viki Lord.  Period.  What would this show do without Erika Slezak?  I don’t even want to know!

4.  The triangle between Clint/Nora/Bo will be heating up soon into a quadrangle with mixed partners Clint/Nora/Bo/Lindsey.  I’ve never been a big Bo/Nora fan – primarily because I’m not a Nora fan. I say that knowing that MANY OLTL fans are Bo/Nora fans and for their sake, I sure hope that the show’s writers honors its history and gives the couple back to the audience who loves them.  The question is… what happens to Clint?

Clint/Lindsey? (Can you imagine their couples name?  Clindsey?  Lint?  FUN!)  Since it seems that CH’s Lindsey’s stay is temporary, I have  doubt as to whether the writers would move in that direction.  Too bad, Lindsey was fabulous with both Clint and Bo in the past.  I would be interested in the chemistry between JVD’s Clint and CH’s Lindsey.

Clint, on his own? Angry?  Scheming to break up Bo and Nora?  Where’s the fun in that?  I’d rather see Clint go back to London before having him take on his own brother over a woman he shouldn’t have been with in the first place.  I had a preference for Clint and Nora over Bo and Nora, but to have Clint becoming involved with the love of his brother’s life was a bit much for most of you and in moments of objectivity, I agree.

Clint and Viki?  If you’re going to make me suffer through Bo and Nora, writers, I’ll take Clint and Viki (no worries, anti-Clint/Viki fans… I never get the pairings I like).  I think Clint and Viki/ Bo and Nora have the potential to take fans back to some of the glory days of  OLTL. I have to admit that I’m concerned about the initial awkwardness of the two couples getting together in light of Nora and Clint’s relationship… eh,there’s been worse on this show.

5.  Believe it or not, I think that John and Marty (or the prospect of John and Marty) would be far more interesting than Blair and John – who’ve only managed to put me to sleep.

6.  Jessica and Brody.  Even now, I’m still disappointed that Nash is gone and that Jared survives in his place, BUT, at least TPTB have come as close as they possibly could to Nash, without trying to replace him with a ‘Nash Clone’.  Brody has ‘Nash like’ qualities (hot as sin, a beautiful body, thoughtful, kind, and loving), but have given him a unique personality and core.

So… setting aside that things I actually like, I have to say that the ‘Baby Chloe- Hope’ storyline has the potential to keep me tuning out OLTL (or at least FFing most of whatever episodes I bother recording.

I think the teen pregnancy storyline was the biggest mistake the writers have made so far.  I’m not against the idea of a teen pregnancy storyline.  I’m simply against the teen pregnancy storyline for the chosen characters.  Why?:

  • I hate the back door approach to keeping Todd and Marty connected given their history.  It’s bad enough that he’s violated her twice in a lifetime, but now they’re connected because their children are ‘in love’ and are now parents together.  BULLOX!
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  This is NOT a storyline that plays to Kristen Alderson’s strengths.  She has become the weak link in this storyline. I find KA’s emotional responses to be stilted and unbelievable.
  • Adding the teen pregnancy storyline on top of the drug addiction storyline was a bit much.  The writers have seemingly decided that the juiciest storylines should go to the youngest actors and that the veterans should be stuck with trivial, pointless, boring storylines.  It’s another storyline for which Kristen Alderson seemed completely unprepared and didn’t connect as an actress, in my opinion.  She uttered the dialogue  well enough, but her performances felt like a ‘script reading’ rather than watching someone who was emotionally impacted by a loved one’s drug abuse.
  • Oddly enough, Brandon Buddy has done as well as any actor with significantly more experience.  He’s been a marvel.  The only problem with having handed him this storyline is that he seems far too mature an actor for the role he now plays.  It’s time to SORAS Cole to 18 and find him a cougar (no older than 25, please, not someone too much older).  “Starr and Cole” now feel like little Starr and her much older brother – ICK!!!!!!!!!  By the way, Brandon should be nominated, next year, for the addiction storyline.

KA fans I’m not completely ‘Anti-Starr’.  I think there are a  number of storylines that would be great for the character and would showcase the actress’ abilities well.  The Baby Chloe-Hope storyline just isn’t one of them.

OLTL, you like me, you really LIKE me

It’s like someone woke a sleeping giant!  OLTL is showing big love to its fans once more!  Prior to this lasted set of arcs, this show was on a huge downward shame spiral for some time now.  The storylines stopped making sense, the characters became unlikable – or worse, BORING, and watching OLTL began to feel more like an obligation.  Hey, I could have trashed the show without watching it, but how fair would that have been?

Trash it?  Oh no, I’m here to PRAISE it!  This show has found its mojo and it’s paying off in SPADES.  My biggest gripe with daytime is that so few writers seem to do the unexpected any more.  Most writers’ moves are telegraphed and therefore yawn producing.  OLTL writers seem to be determined to offer viewers the unexpected.  Fans have wondered if David’s conversion was real.  Had he become a better man, or was this yet another Vicker’s scam?  I’ll admit that I was waiting for the scam – when isn’t David pulling a con?  We got our answer. 

THIS time David is for real.  He not only doesn’t want to harm the Buchanans, but the revelation that BO, not Asa is his father has led him to change his mind and being entitled to the Buchanan money.  The old David would have fought tooth and nail for that money and not given Bo a second thought.  David isn’t willing to hurt his family just to become a wealthy man.  He wants to create his own life.  He wants to feel good about who he is and not owe anyone anything.  Of course, it sucks that we learned it as he was on his way out the door (Tuc Watkins why do you keep breaking my heart with each goodbye!?!?!) but we can’t blame the writers for that.

I’d expected Rex  to somehow turn out to be Bo’s son (not Mitch Laurence’s- if the mystery man really is Mitch Laurence).

I never expected Bo to be so callous in learning about David’s paternity (WTH was that?  Having lost one son, you’d think that Bo would have been reluctant to get to know David, but to want to know him anyway.)

I expected David to turn out not to be Asa’s, but instead to be Ned Truman’s son after all.

At the very least, I expected David to stick it to Dorian, who’d waged war against him during his marriage to Addie, by having her give up her fortune and then claiming his and not marrying her.

I’ve been happy to be proven wrong at every turn. The show is far more interesting this way.