General Hospital: What’s not to love about this show?

MichaelQ Sonny CarlyClearly, becoming a Quartermaine has made Michael SMARTER!  He has seen through Lord Larry in record time, dumped his duplicitous parents, and stopped accepting excuses from everyone who keeps claiming they want to love and protect him – while plotting to keep him in the dark about the “fundamental truth of his life”.  Sonny killed his father and was aided and abetted by  his mother. Taking a life is such an inhuman act, even on soaps.  To have it treated as a minor altercation was mind blowing, so I’m glad that the writers have finally stopped treating the violence on the show as commonplace and trivial.  Watching Michael turn his back on his parents was a thing of beauty (and I say this as someone who LONG ago supported Sonny and Carly protecting Michael from AJ).  Sonny and Carly were never innocents, and AJ was never all bad, but there was a point at which they were able to be parents and deserved to love Michael without the constant threat of losing him… then came the kidnappings, and presumed deaths, and the violence that was so outrageous it lead to Michael falling into a coma after a bullet meant for Sonny landed in his brain. That was followed up by Michael’s enforcer dreams, Michael taking a life, a prison sentence,  and sexual violation.  It became impossible for me to see how they could ever be considered anything other than an unmitigated disaster in that kid’s life.

If we were having this conversation out loud, you might be tempted to tell me that:  Franco was responsible for Michael’s rape (or more like Franco’s associate).  Faith Rosco kidnapped Michael.  Claudia was responsible for Michael’s coma and for the fact that he ended up taking her life.  Yeah, got all of that… and yet all of it is tied to the fact that these were people gunning for his father, aimed at hurting his father and mother, and Michael became “collateral damage” along the way.  At no point was Sonny ever allowed by the writers to show growth and put his family before lifestyle… yes, he tried to break free and couldn’t because of the power vacuum it created and the additional risk to his children… got it… the writers could have had Sonny leave his family and watch over them from a distance.  They didn’t.  In Sonny Corinthos they created a character who is loathsome, selfish, vain, and hateful despite his dimples (shame on Lucy and FCarly Is Arrestedelicia).  By the time he got around to daily threatening to kill a pregnant Ava once her child was born, he was done, in my book.

It felt good to watch AJ ‘s son walk away from the dark, unsalvageable, things his parents became. Carly faulted Franco for Michael’s rape… and then fell in love with him… and then threw the rape of her son in his face when he exposed her as a cheat and liar.  Was Michael’s pain never in her mind before that?  Every time that man touched her did she not feel sick thinking of what happened to her son?  Was Michael’s rape a weapon she was waiting to use any time they had a disagreement?  Franco becomes angry that she didn’t do the dishes so she tells him she’s still mad he was responsible for her son’s rape?  I’m guessing it would have also been a useful argument in getting him to mow the lawn, take down the Christmas tree, do laundry, etc.

Michael’s emotional upset at watching her get close to Franco was never the tipping point?  Carly’s “love” for Franco, and willingness to marry him, was more about protecting Sonny than making sure Michael did not have to re-live one of the worst times in his short life – and there have been so many awful times for that child.  She even allowed her son to be the best man at their failed wedding.  What kind of mother does that?  She continues to say that Franco blew her family apart, not Sonny’s depraved act of killing AJ.  It was Franco, not the fact that she lied and put herself between her son and the truth for Sonny’s sake.  Nope.  It’s all Franco.  Useless.  Carly’s lack of insight into the damage she’s caused to others is frightening.  It was entertaining when she was young.  It’s migraine inducing as she ages.  Ages is supposed to bring wisdom.  Instead, it only seems to bring gag inducing helpings of stupidity and cruelty for Carly.  She becomes more selfish in time, not less.

In a soap-to-soap mashup?  I would expect a “worst mother/daughter/sister” of the year face off between GH’s Carly, BnB’s Brooke Logan, and DAYS’ Sami Brady.  I think the title would be a fight to the finish between Brooke and Carly, or at least a tie.

Sonny is BookedOddly enough, only Sonny seems to be experiencing any true remorse.  Carly is still raging at the world and trying to force her son to love her and respect her again (a right I think she’s given up by protecting Sonny when even she should have been disgusted with him).  Sonny is willing to suffer the consequences of his betrayal of AJ’s son, the child he made a promise to love and protect, long ago, finally realizing that he allowed his hatred for AJ, disguised as love for Connie, mattered more than every day he ever spent raising and nurturing Michael.  At least the writers have allowed Sonny to show some insight into his behavior.  I don’t think they will ever allow Carly to grow up and learn that her actions have consequences.  I no longer care if they do.  I will simply cherish the moments of seeing handcuffs slapped on Carly and having her spend some time behind bars.  While I see zero hope for Carly, I do see hope for Sonny (if the constantly swirling rumors of Maurice Benard’s leaving aren’t true).  I don’t want Sonny in Michael’s life again, but I would love for the writers to take this opportunity to reinvent Sonny.  Let him be someone completely different from the man he has been all these years.  Benard is such a gifted actor with so many more stories he could help tell, I hope that happens, for the sake of the show and its fans.

What I love most?

There is one more Quartermaine in the world of Port Chuckles, and after losing Alan, Lila, Edward, and Tracy, I am happy to see Michael back in the fold.  What’s that?  Tracy hasn’t passed away?  She may as well be gone, given her repeated betrayal of her family and her willingness to put them all at risk for the sake of “love” for a man she clearly doesn’t know well enough to realize that something is wrong and that the man she married couldn’t stand her touch.  Even Liz and Sam are picking up the “NuJase is OldJase” vibes.  Eh, I’ll save all of that for another blog, another time.  Maybe I’ll be able to soon blog about the return of Jason Quartermaine, one day soon!

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Two More Soaps are Down/The Guessing Game

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 Most of you have heard or read, by now, that  U.S. soaps are one step closer to being a part of our American past.  I have been saying for some time that I wish that the powers that be (TPTB) at the networks would either fix daytime or kill it off, but that anything in between is unfair to fans, and a clear disrespect for the genre.  I am not celebrating the loss of All My Children and One Life To Live.  In fact, it saddens me for two reasons.  The first is that I believe that both shows were a damned sight better than General Hospital and were far more ‘history rich’ in their current forms than GH.  The second is that I believe that both shows could have lasted years longer if ABC had the courage to infuse the genre with new writers and executive producers/energetic writers and executive producers who would have respected the genre’s history, but not become bogged down in the repetitive storyline telling, and the lack of attention to detail that drove fans away.

AMC and OLTL were the ‘class acts’ of daytime, and to lose these two shows won’t  improve the chances of the remaining shows to survive by picking up their audiences.  The loss of these two shows will only serve to illuminate how much weaker the plots and plot devices of the remaining shows are.

The Young and the Restless:  The actress replacing Drucilla (whose name I’m not even motivated to look up) once gave an interview stating that most Drucilla fans were fans of the show first, not of the character.  Uh… ok.  She also stated that she wasn’t hired to create a character to replace Dru… and how’s that workin’ for ya?  Where is the character she plays now?  In Dru’s old storyline… pregnant, by one of the Winters brothers and she’s not exactly sure which.  Adam, who burned a fetus in a damned fireplace, never giving its mother the chance to grieve its loss is a romantic hero, involved with a woman whose child he stole.  Go. AWAY!

The Bold and the Beautiful Where to begin?  There are so many problems with this show that between it and DOOL, that either could be the next to go (yeah, even over GH)!  I wish Bell’s ‘bad girls’ weren’t so one-dimensional, like Steffy and her faux ‘good girl’ mother, Taylor- who is as much a daytime bitch as ever there was one.  Both Steffy and Taylor highlight the weakness of Bell’s writing for bad girl characters.  I miss the real bad girls, women with a method to their madness and whose actions were explained through their backstory (pain, unhappiness, abuse, abandonment). You always knew that their desperate actions were about fighting back in the only way they knew how and it left you hating them and loving them at the same time. Steffy is just a selfish, pampered, snotty little girl who thinks life owes it to her to give her whatever she wants – even after having such a privileged life and a father who sacrificed his happiness for hers.

Her constant attempt to draw a distinction between herself and the ‘human trash from the valley’ makes her as useless as her grandmother. Most soap bad girls didn’t offer the social class argument for their superiority and since social class is the only type of class Steffy has – any argument she makes in her favor is moot. She is everything she despises in others… the ultimate hypocrite.

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Steffy’s character lacks depth and a backstory gives definition to her character.

She’s just mean, nasty, and whiny-bitchy instead of fun bitchy. It’s this sort of anemic storytelling that’s killed so much of daytime and makes the genre unwatchable.

Days Of Our Lives Rape is NOT SEXY!  EJ? NOT SEXY! I don’t care how attractive EJ’s portrayer James Scott is.  JS is not EJ, and EJ is a rapist with no redeeming qualities.  His sole mission in life it to own and manipulate the woman he raped, to control her life and to continue to impregnate her through violence and/or deceit.   I gave up on this show a very long time ago.  DOOL, and EJ as a character, are better suited to a soap titled, “The Land that Time Forgot”.    The titled references a book, screenplay, and several movies.  Why not a soap?  Women are smarter, better educated, focused on informing themselves and their daughters and sons about sexual assault — yet, sexual assault is still the foundation for romance and ‘good times’ on Days of our Lives.  Not.  good.

General Hospital Need I say more?  Nice guys really DO finish last.  OLTL and AMC focused on family ties, the ups and downs of relationships, and in the end the mob boys and weak guest appearances win out.  Sorry, James Franco fans, I thought GH’s artist Franco sucked and that the actor treated the character as a caricature.  His vision of what a soap character was supposed to be left me cringing and I was shocked that TPTB backstage allowed it to happen.

Daytime writers and executives of the four remaining shows have to become more protective of the genre.  They have to remember daytime’s illustrious history and send the remaining four shows out as a bright flame, and not sending it up as a weak puff of smoke.  They owe the fans no less.

Oddly enough,  I was a daytime fan who, when this blog began as a column for  Darcy Fourier’s “The Soapscope” website, watched more daytime than primetime television.  My primetime viewership was nearly non-existent.   When I became disenchanted with daytime, I switched to primetime viewership almost exclusively.  Even still, I will miss soaps for lots of reasons, but primarily for their history in total.  I can’t say that  I will  soaps in their current incarnation, I hated and still hate most of what’s airing in daytime.  I will miss daytime for what it was, and for the missed opportunity to make it something great, again.  I’m not interesting in more daytime talk, more scripted reality, or more game shows and can’t imagine their appeal over even the worst of daytime dramas, much less the best of it.  To the Cast and Crew at All My Children and One Life to Live, thank you for the decades of memories.  You are irreplaceable and you will be missed.

Nobody Does It Better: Look and Learn

It’s not often that I actually praise a soap in its entirety.  OLTL is good, and I enjoy more of the show than I dislike of it… but it’s not GREAT.  Which soap is, in my opinion?  Hands down,  Days of Our Lives has to be the best overall soap in daytime!  It’s such a great soap that the things I hate about it are the things you’re SUPPOSED to hate about a soap or about the show’s characters.   What makes DAYS such a great soap?  Two words:  consistency and BALANCE!

What can drive you crazy about some soaps (YnR, BnB, and GH) is that they lack balance.  On the Bell soaps especially, the soap winds blow in only one direction.  Either most characters are happy, or they’re all miserable.  Bell soaps are tragic drama… minus the drama.  Can you think of a week in which BnB spoilers didn’t suggests that a ‘couple would be torn apart’?  Can you think of  a week, on the BnB especially, in which characters weren’t uttering dialogue that is deeply inconsistent from the week before?  How does Thorne Forrester shift from being tired of always being thought of as a last place loser in his family, to applauding having his ex-sister-in-law/former fiancee becoming a quarter owner in his FAMILY’S company?  The YnR?  Between the cancer storyline, the switched identities, Ashley having yet another breakdown, and the dead-for-live baby swap, watching the YnR could counteract the strongest prescribed anti-depressant.  GH?  There’s hope for the show… just very little of it.  GH may as well have been taped in a dark studio, with night vision cameras.   Given how heavy the show is, the change in lighting couldn’t possibly hurt.  For these three soaps, it’s the same stuff, different day.

One Life to Live,  All My Children and As The World Turns are shows that have balance, but lack consistency.  The storylines change too quickly and by the time you become use to the direction of a storyline, it changes gear – in some  cases that’s a good thing.  I don’t know how many more months of Dorian knuckling under to Mitch Lawrence’s demands I could stand.  Another week of JPL’s ‘Rex’ trying to emote as a ‘troubled and angry’ man and I really would have needed stitches from laughing.  What was the point of introducing Allison Perkins?  On ATWT, the ‘spare tissue’ pregnancy Janet suggested and was then shot down almost immediately?  EH!  (and who doesn’t already know that Janet will end up pregnant, anyway?)  There’s a lot going on with the three shows above, but it’s almost as if the writers are overwhelmed and aren’t keeping track of who said what, and when.

While DAYS held on far too long to the ‘Sydnapping’ storyline, overall, the fact that the show has been consistent and balanced allowed fans, like myself, who were tired of the storyline to focus on something else.  Knowing, last month, that the storyline would continue a while longer, I began tuning it out and focusing on other big onscreen news.  I don’t know what it is about ‘Daniel’ and ‘Melanie’, but I think it’s sheer genius to pair them together as father and daughter (and yes, I’ve been reminded that she once flirted with him when neither knew they were related).  Something about his presence in her life finishes Mel’s character profile out nicely.  She’s been two characters in one during her tenure at DAYS. There is the manipulating and selfish Mel, and then there is the vulnerable and melancholy Mel.  In some ways he softens Mel, but she does the same for him.  Shawn Christian (as Daniel) hit his stride perfectly in the hospital visitation  scenes, after finding out that Melanie was his child.  His eyes were soft and a bit weepy, his tone of voice was relaxed, and it was easy to believe that he was in awe of the young woman in front of him, one he’d only recently found carried his genes in her DNA.  That he was the doctor who operated on her and saved her life made the scene all the more meaningful.  Melanie  looked vulnerable and frail and in need of someone to protect her.  He looked ready for the job. Priceless.

And if it must be mentioned…

The kidnapping storyline is done, sorta’.  Anna will finally wise up and realize that EJ is capable of using and abusing anyone, until he no longer needs them, and she’s included in that number.  When he’s done with you, you’re on  your own.  Too bad for EJ  (but great for fans) that Anna isn’t a willing victim.  For those of you who don’t know (spoiler alert, stop reading here… I warned ya’!), it’s Anna who will make sure that Nicole is freed of all charges and allowed to resume her life in Salem.  Ej, you schmuck!  You had it coming.  So the question is, with Nicole’s return, how does EJ get busted for the kidnapping of his infant daughter?

1.  Rafe, hottie hot hot, to the rescue?  Rafe figures it all out and makes sure Sami knows what a low life EJ is?  Sami tends to forget that fact of life when she allows EJ to play on her desperation.

2.  Nicole is redeemed, to a degree, by joining forces with Brady and they bring the news to Sami and Rafe?  Sorry Arianne Hernandez, with Nicole’s return, I’m hoping your DAYS are numbered… Phillip will probably be free soon – give him a call.

3.  A dark horse candidate emerges.  Stefano learns from Anna – who is by now hiding out in a bunker and out of Dimera reach, about EJ’s dastardly plan.  He realizes that his son was willing to hurt him in among the worst ways possible and decides to deal with EJ his own way…by throwing him to the wolves!

I’m partial to the third option.  I’d love to see Stefano strip Ej of his money and power.  DAYS’ writers have been relatively creative in their storytelling.  What could they do with a powerless EJ, who no longer has the ability to manipulate and/or offend the women of Salem?  The writers could continue to move EJ on to the next storyline but in the end  what good would it do if Ej isn’t completely deconstructed and rebuilt?  He’s currently an (evil) freakshow!  What would life look like from the other side, a man without resources at the mercy of the power brokers?  Nothing could give him greater insight into what his negative influence has been over others  than having him fend for himself against the next ‘Ej Dimera’.  His deconstruction could also lead him to find real love for the first time, a woman he doesn’t have to force to have sex with him.

Other DAYS questions:

Can Chloe and Daniel survive his strong-willed adult daughter?  Chloe isn’t too much older than Melanie and she may not think his penchant for younger women is so cute now that she can’t date him (and excuse me… EWWWW!)   At some point, Melanie will most likely forgive Carly for allowing Lawrence to give her away and leave her at the mercy of her adoptive father.  When she does, will she want to see her parents together and fulfill a childhood fantasy of having a mother and father who love her and are part of a complete and  loving family?

Will the writers break up Phillip and Melanie for Nathan and Melanie, or will Melanie begin to realize that she does love Phillip.  I’m on Team Nathan, but I do think it would be a more interesting storyline to have Phillip be a ‘good guy’ who genuinely loves Mel and wants to save his marriage to her without resorting to going to his ‘dark place’ to make it happen.  The best triangles keep you rooting for everyone involved.

With Hope defending Bo and asserting that he is (professionally) an ethical man, will Bo begin to realize that he may be professionally ethical but that he’s lacking personally?  For most of their adult lives, Hope has been defending their marriage against each of Bo’s new ‘great loves’ and any children that are born or resurface as a result.    He has yet to have to do the same because she has centered her life around him.  Is there some point in his life when he realizes that he’s taken more from his marriage than he’s ever given to Hope?

I could do this all day with Days of Our Lives.  Each storyline offered is one that poetnitally generates an entirely new group of storylines.  Days writers thank you for the use of both veterans balanced against the introduction of newbies.  My only criticism… Abe… Lexie… MORE please!   DAYS is the only show consistently posting large gains in viewership over the year before.  Daytime writers… watch… learn… emulate!

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.

Double Entendre

I use to write about the ‘cast envy’ some daytime shows seemed to experience. Featuring smaller casts, more of those shows’ characters had to do double duty. The man who was your brother is also your stepdad and at some point in the future, your father-in-law.

With daytime’s reversal of fortune and the decrease in cast sizes, double duty relationships are more prominent, and more distracting, than ever before.

While DAYS’ Chelsea Brady was keeping the peace between Max and Stephanie, I found myself listening only up until the point where she referred to both of them as her best friends. She didn’t want to be put in the middle of their ex-lovers feud. She was additionally angry that Max’s sister implied that there was something going on between her and Max just to make Stephanie jealous.

Does Chelsea know that Max is her uncle and Stephanie’s uncle as well? Are we to assume that the familial bonds of the Brady clan were broken with the brief return of Max’s biological father and the continued presence of his bio sister? Is it now ok for him to continue to date his brother and sister’s children?

The Bold and The Beautiful is the worst ‘double duty’ offender. The situation on DAYS is child’s play by comparison. That Rick Forrester is now involved romantically with the second niece in a twin pair so soon after his first girlfriend/niece has died is especially odious. Rick seemed predatory when he became involved with Phoebe. That her death makes him hot for her twin sister? ICK! Why is it that no one remembers that predatory ‘Uncle Rick’ and his ex-wife use to babysit Phoebe and Steffy?

Why does daytime keep turning dark corners rather than taking the hit and temporarily hiring an actor to play a non-related character for even a brief period of time? Even when the writers correct their errors after not being able to draw viewers into the muck, it’s hard to let go of the storyline induced nausea when the characters remain to remind us of their low points.

No, seriously, it’s not me – it’s YOU

Daytime is the worst boyfriend – EVER. It’s not husband material and never will be.  It will never mature to the point that you could even begin to consider a lifetime commitment to it.  So…why am I so completely in love with daytime right now? I can give you eight reasons which collectively make sense but each seem to be a little far-fetched in redefining daytime, on their own.

As I stated in an earlier blog, short of the YnR – no one show has it all together. If I could create a brand new soap, I would pull my favorite plots from each soap and offer the following:

1. All My Children. I’m torn. Reese’s secret? Jesse and Angie sharing their home with dying Rebecca (love the writers for this one and as gut wrenching as this storyline is, I want them to save her!).  I’d even take David falling in love with <GULP!!!!!>  Krystal – and I like Krystal about as much as I’d enjoy contracting malaria. That’s a huge compliment to the AMC writers.  I’d take David and Krystal even if I have to hear them uttering my least favorite four letter word over and over again:  Babe!

2. One Life to Live. I don’t want to, because it’s sheer manipulation, but I’m diggin’ J/B/Tessica and Brody. Vulnerable, frail, and brutally honest and accepting of one another, there are no head games – yet.  Oh…and they’re smokin’ hot together.  How much should we bet that Brody finds out about Chloe before Jessica does and fights to protect her from losing ‘her’ little girl (oh if only it was Jessica’s baby!)

3. General Hospital. The Maxie/Mac/Robin scenes were so unusual for GH. No one was killed. No explosions. No melodramatic calls for revenge.  Seeing this family together in the Scorpio home reminded me of the old GH.   I remembered veteran characters I once loved and favorite moments. The scenes had an honesty and purity about them that I’ve come to miss about GH.  I wanted to see Robert and Anna there with them.

GH has no love for legacy characters and storylines, it seems, but bless TPTB for having love for legacy sets.  It’s the only part of the show I once loved that still remains.  The Webbers, the Jones Brother, Lucy Coe, and the many others who’ve called that set ‘home’… how I miss them all.

4. Young and the Restless. Anything to do with Chloe works for me! I’m not thrilled about her new found deep and abiding love for Billy Abbott after all of this (she balances Cane out far better than Lily ever could).  I’d love to see Cane and Chloe make it work, but hey, I can roll with the punches on this one.  Brotherly conflict of biblical proportions… Cane (sic) and “Abel” and Chloe.  Well played, writers!

I’m also VERY exciting about watching Phyllis get dumped… don’t tease me too much writers.  It’s been a hard two years or so, watching the red menace and boy blunder rewrite the shows history each time they proclaimed their ‘love’.

5. The Bold And the Beautiful. I just posted about the stellar performances of Ronn Moss and Jacqueline MacInnes Woods a blog or two ago. Let me add Kyle Lowder to the list. As much as I despise Rick, Lowder came as close to making me feel some sympathy for the character as I ever have.

It’s always sad when legacy characters are killed, but unlike the blunder of killing off Darla and doing nothing useful with the storyline, the writers are playing this one for all it’s worth, and then some!  It’s impressive, at least so far.

6. As The World Turns. What the heck happened to the Brian/Lucinda/Luke/Noah storyline?  Writers, get back on it!  You have an absolutely unique storyline in daytime.  For ONCE, a set of daytime writers can claim to do something NEVER done before in daytime and they’re wasting time trying to pimp out Jack and Janet’s faux love story.  Puh, LEEZE people.  We get it, Carly is the kicking post, always has been, always will be.  How many more times can you tell that story and expect us to care?   When you’re holding on to platinum, let go of the gold plated.  Get back to telling this jaw dropper!  The Grabby Grandpa has a kick to the pants coming and I want a front row seat!

7.  Guiding Light.  Love them, hate them, love them, hate them, love them… <sigh>  My love for Josh and Reva is almost as twisted as their onscreen relationship.  In two minutes on screen together this couple can do what takes most other couples in daytime months to do, make us believe in them in the love they share (and spend far too much time denying).  Josh and Reva would make the cut in my new soap.  I use to believe that ‘star-crossed’ referred to stars in the same galaxy, at least.  Not so with Josh and Reva.  To be together, they have to cross time, and space, and their varying levels of insanity.   I can’t help wanting more of them.

8.  Days of Our Lives.  Another tough choice.  Sami and Rafe?  I love them and I don’t know why.  I want Sami and Lucas, but it’s a sure bet that the writers don’t.   Rafe comes as close to sharing real moments with Sami as any other man since Lucas.  On the far opposite end of the spectrum is my absolute adoration of Nicole, but disgust at her treatment of Brady.  At some point, these two WILL end up together.  The writers can’t take Sami and Lucas away and not give us Brady and Nicole.

Reconstituted daytime?  My create-a-soap format would have history, family, honor, betrayal, anger, lust, love, creativity, and so much more, all from ONE show.  Imagine that!

Blast from the past:  As much as GH has worked to try to destroy the new L&L storyline (competing with the Luke and Laura legacy)  to push a mind numbing  Liz and Jason pairing, they can’t make us forget that Lucky was there in Liz’s darkest time, he was there for her best moments.  They can’t make fans forget that she did the same for him.  This clip is hard to watch, but it’s only a small part of what I remember about the bond this couple forged.  The aftermath of Liz Webber’s rape:

What, are you NEW?

The Bold and the Beautiful

Clearly there are new writers on board.  There HAVE to be! How else can you explain the highly emotional grief scenes following Phoebe’s death!?!?  It’ s been a long time since I’ve cried over BnB scenes because they were so highly emotional.  Usually if I’m crying over a BnB scene, it’s because of the self-pity I feel knowing I haven’t been able to break my BnB viewing habit.

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood was pitch perfect and completely sold me as the soul shattered twin sister unable to fathom living the rest of her life without her other half.  Together with Ronn Moss  ‘Steffy’ and ‘Ridge’ broke my heart opening the bag containing Phoebe’s personal effects and gingerly removing each time… a shoe, a bag, a hair clip, on their own -each with seeming no real value, now invaluable because of the fact that Phoebe wore them in her last moments.

I shuddered when I saw the door to the hospital morgue.  I waited for the gratuitous and exploitive “bloodied and battered” Phoebe  images.  I was wrong. The writers handled those scenes with a sensitivity rarely seen on this show. They’ve done us proud.  For the record, if there is a new team at bat, HIRE THEM… they’re good. If it really is the same writing team, what the hell? Why aren’t we getting this level of writing more often? I don’t even need it daily, just more frequently than we’ve been treated to the past… say… 6 or 7 years!

Young and the Restless

I’m sorry.  I think I’m losing my hearing.   I thought I heard Lauren express shock at Gloria’s self-centered behavior and her willingness to allow an innocent party to be blamed for something they hadn’t done.  I was shocked that SHE was shocked. Two words:  Ashley Abbott… Two more: Face Cream.

Are the writers confused?  Is there another character named Gloria living in fictional Genoa City?  There has to be, because otherwise the writers could never have written those lines.  Instead, they would have had Lauren tell Gloria that it’s time she STOPPED allowing others to pay for her lies and her selfishness.

Apparently Kay Chancellor isn’t the only GC resident with a look-a-like, and not the only one suffering from memory loss.

BTW, Phyllis, seriously?  It’s not like this is the FIRST marriage you’ve broken up, what’s up with that plan to split Jack and Sharon? What would make her think that Sharon would immediately run to Brad?  If Sharon is getting close with Nick, again, and she becomes a free woman, wouldn’t it make sense that she’d have to keep an eye on her wandering, philandering husband?  Great going there, big red.  Phyllis is just a little rusty at manipulating others.

One Life to Live

Oh sure… kill off Nash, bring back Tess, add new alter for Jessica, and then hook her up with the ‘new Nash’.  In this case, I think the writers think WE’RE new.  Can Jessica please have a love life that doesn’t revolve around alternate personalities and psychiatric care? Please? I’ll admit, I love Jess/Tess/Bess and Brody, I just wish the writers hadn’t used the same plot line they used to pull Tessica  and Nash together.

I can only assume that it’s tacit admission that getting rid of Jess and Nash was a FOOLISH move, especially for  a storyline that had enormous potential  ending with a whimper and not a bang.  The revenge storyline became diluted and distracting when it got in the way of other, less compelling, storylines.  Natalie and Jared replacing Jessica and Nash as the show’s hot young couple felt like a pipe dream from the beginning.Nared-Jatalie (whatever couple name they’ve earned) are a chemistry challenged couple that makes ‘romance’ feel like a four letter word -and not fun dirty four letter words, either.

I don’t understand the writers’ fascination with Natalie and Jared as a couple and I also don’t understand the sudden forgiveness for their actions.   It was Jessica who was angry, and felt betrayed.  Jessica watched her husband die.  Jessica held him in his last moments.  Jessica had to tell him about a child he’d never get to hold.  I don’t want Jessica to hate her sister the rest of her life, but the idea that she’s now beyond what’s happened, and that it’s ok that Natalie and Jared are caring for her children just seems odd.  At the very least, what should make Jessica’s recovery so difficult is being conflicted, both feeling guilty that Tess took things so far -but still feeling betrayed and feeling angry about their role in Nash’s death, and their role in her family’s financial difficulties in losing BE.  To have Natalie and Jared back in good stead just feels hollow and rings false.

Thank goodness I have Gigi/Rex/Shane to take my mind off of the rest of it. I love that Shane still loves his hero father, Brody, while being willing to slowly get to know his biological father, Rex.  I think it’s realistic for Shane to be confused and still love the man he’s thought of as his father his entire life.  I love that he’s a sensitive and loving child.  I love that Rex is patient, and respects Shane’s feelings.   I’m actually looking forward to more of this little family.

Days of Our Lives

Oh, I should have known.  Nicole Walker Dimera (emphasis on Dimera)! What have you done?   WHY, writers, WHY?  She loves Brady so much, to think that she would try to send him back to his addiction to protect her pregnancy lie?  That’s far too vicious, even for Nicole.   How could I have fooled myself into thinking the writers would make the character capable of anything else?  Oh well… I’m in for the long and the short of it.  Nicole will have to face whatever she has coming.  It will be well deserved.   If she succeeds in the long run, move me to the ‘love to hate’ column for a while.   Eventually I’ll find a way to forgive N.W.D.  for her dastardly actions… I’m so weak.  The writers always get me when it comes to this character.

As The World Turns

Oh dear.  I’ll bet you thought that Carly would be vindicated! I’ll bet you thought that the magnificent Snarly had Janet and her demon seed dead to rights, right?  HA!  What are you, NEW?  This is As The World Turns. Everyone turns on Carly, including her own children.

Parker forged Carly’s  signature, Liberty encouraged it, and it was ‘all good’ because their criminal activity was only about making someone else happy, namely Janet.  Sure, Janet is more deserving than most people.  It’s ok for her to want a 5k wedding gown, marrying a man with three children, making a cop’s salary.   Seriously?  That she never looked at the price tag is no excuse, in some ways, it’s WORSE that she didn’t look.  Did she really believe that an upscale boutique would have cheap gowns?

Parker has to humiliate his mother in front of Janet and Liberty.  Great. He forged the signature on his trust fund check to make Liberty happy… and that’s Carly’s fault.  They were willing to continue lying about it until they were caught… and that’s Carly’s fault, too;  she’s just an evil angry jealous bitch out to stop their happiness (uh, huh, despite the fact that she AGREED to let her jackass ex- take out a second mortgage on their house to pay for his wedding to another woman).  This is the man who attacks Carly for the kind of mother she is, NEVER thanking her for raising a child HE brought into their marriage (JJ)  after initially abandoning her and their other children, for JJ and his mother, batshit crazy Julia2.

I’m ready to give up on As The World Turns.  It’s not JUST the Kick the Carly storylines that are doing it for me.  The KTC storylines are symptomatic of a larger problem- the overall lack of balance on this show.  I think I’ve had my fill.  Someone contact me when the ‘Kick the Jackass’ storylines start (Jack-Janet, take your pick!)

Just  a word of caution, writers… viewers who are raising, or have raised, children are NOT entertained by a smart-assed obnoxious kid like Parker. It’s tiring of having the  show held hostage by the writers’ interpretation of teenaged hormones gone awry.  Liberty-Parker sex scenes, groping, lusting, crying, conspiring, and now attacking Carly for having LEGITIMATE concerns.  Get a clue, folks.  Surely JJ is missing his brother, by now.  It’s time to send Parker and Liberty away to school.