GH: Yeah, because he’s all good… and stuff

First, let me salute GH’s real fathers and all around great men:

Mac Scorpio, who never asked for more than he gave.  In fact, Mac never asked for anything.  It was his great joy to raise three “daughters” to whom he had no legal responsibility.  He didn’t need it.  He was bound by love.  Georgie, Maxie, and Robin would have known a very different (colder and crueler) world without him.  Remember, Mac is an ‘old school’ reformed bad boy.  He only had two things on his mind when he arrived in PC, making money and making mischief – and that usually involved someone’s wife/girlfriend/etc.   Not every character has to be a Mac Scorpio, but it sure would be nice if there were more of them.

Jasper Jacks, see Mac.  Jax’s ‘crime’?  He actually believes that children should grow up in a loving environment with parents they can look up to (or make that SHOULD look up to).   What’s wrong with this guy, right?  He thinks that children raised in a violent world could, at worst, lose their lives, or at least lose the ability to make good choices toward becoming healthy and loving adults.   Our poor Jax wants to give Michael and Morgan the life that neither of their parents is smart enough to want for them.  Jax isn’t an angry or preachy guy.  He’s just a guy who uses commonsense, but whose statements are treated as if they’re irrational.  I don’t want to see Jax changed.  I’d rather the writers realized that he should be the agent for change for characters they’ve relegated to the status of one-note harridans…. Carly.

Lucky Spencer, again, see Mac.  Lucky is another one of those ‘annoying do-gooders’ GH writers create and then punish.  His worst mistake was getting hooked on painkillers, but beyond that Lucky has been a remarkably good guy.  He’s loved and forgiven his ‘soul mate’,  Elizabeth Webber, for lying and cheating and passing off another man’s child as his while she secretly gave ‘their’ son his biological father’s initials.   I know, Lucky cheated with Maxie Jones.  Drug addicted Lucky cheated with Maxie – it was the only way she’d give him the pills she’d stolen for him.  It doesn’t absolve him of being a complete ass, but when I compare that to sober Liz cheated on Lucky, repeatedly, I’m not so angry at the guy.  Through it all, Lucky loved both of Elizabeth’s children as his own and despite the fact that he believes her to be pregnant with his brother’s child, he has not abandoned his children and technically, he hasn’t abandoned her, either.

Dante Falconeri, not much to say, but I’m adding him to the list any way. He has integrity, believes in his life as a law enforcement official, and for now he’s open and honest, and doesn’t cheat.  Now that Brenda (Brender, to some of you) is back, my biggest fear is that a father-son-Brenda triangle will begin marking the end of my viewership of this show.  I’ll enjoy Dante while I can.  As the mother of an adult son, I have to admit that what I love most about him is that he’s a mama’s boy (in the most positive sense of the word).

And then there’s:

Sonny Corinthos That’s it?  Sonny takes away Kristina’s credit cards and that’s all it takes to make her behave and forgive her father for abusing women and making her feel worthless?   Gorgeous life lesson there!   Does this now make Sonny the father of the year?  He nearly blows his psychologically fragile daughter to hell and back, lies about it, and all he has to do is make her live a  month without credit cards and yell at her to make her feel as if SHE is the problem in their relationship.  Tale tucked between her legs, eyes cast downward, (and I think she piddled the floor)  Kristina realizes that she is in fact just a naughty girl who has been disrespectful of her loving father.

You take a kid’s credit cards away if they overspend, or if they are a little mouthy.   Kristina has now nearly cost two separate young men their lives (Ethan and Johnny) by playing games.  She has a habit of falling for older men – whether they want her or not.  She’s dated a young man who was horribly abusive to her and she protected him.  Shouldn’t she be in therapy – where almost every GH woman has been?  Oh, don’t worry, GH males don’t typically need help, they’re good to go.  The one person who really does belong on a therapist’s couch won’t have to go… she’s been cured with a little retail therapy.   Once she gets her credit cards back, she’ll spend her way into happiness.  Besides, in therapy she’ll only learn to blame her father for his anger and aggression toward women and we can’t have that.

Patrick Drake Mancini: Writers, you blew it!  Seriously!  I’m not just making it up as I go along – I leave that to you!   I wanted to feel sorry for the guy, but HOW????  He’s just had sex with his wife… who is HIV positive… after having sex with another woman and not telling her, not giving HER the choice of saying ‘no’ and walking away.   He is, after all, the wronged party, right?  He shouldn’t have to pay for his infidelity because  he was drunk.

Besides, he’s really really sorry, and he loves his life with Robin.. again.  I know, because he said so.  Of course, that’s in stark contrast to his whining and moaning a couple of weeks ago about having his ‘ex girlfriend’ stolen, that the ex didn’t support him by standing with him against Steve Webber, that his life has changed and he doesn’t know how he became the ‘good guy’ – clearly overstating the case.  The fun begins 3:07 in…

Some of you got the Michael Mancini comparison and loved it, others of you thought it was too extreme.  Michael Mancini, from what I can piece together of MP history, didn’t become a major d-bag all at once (and my apologies to d-bags which are actually useful, Patrick is not).  Michael  slowly evolved – primarily putting his own needs first and finding more and more ways to rationalize and justify his betrayals and misdeeds.  Was he ever truly sorry for cheating on his wife with her sister?  Someone who did watch the show long term can tell me.  I wondered about that when watching Patrick and Robin together as Patrick expressed a coded statement of remorse to a clueless Robin.   As  with Lucky and Liz, Patrick stood by Robin when she was ill, I agree… but she was ill… his asshat behavior is all about who Patrick is at his core (the man who loves his life with Robin, no hates it – he’s too confined, no <sigh> loves it now that he realizes he could lose it).  We all know where this is going.  It will be ‘that crazy bitch’s’ fault that he cheated, ultimately.

Patrick Drake Mancini will threaten, and shove, and push, and snarl, and whine… and we are to forgive him, because he didn’t mean to fault his wife for running off to save lives in Africa for a few months, after he dared to give up his beautiful life to  ‘settle’ for her.  It’s not his fault that ‘that crazy bitch’ believed him when he flirted with her about the marvelous sex they once had.  It’s not his fault that he hates Steven Webber for ‘stealing his ex-crazy bitch- girlfriend even as  he has a loving wife and adorable child at home.  On GH, it’s always some ‘crazy bitch’s fault’.

Someone at GH clearly has an English-to-Misogyny-dictionary/playbook and I wish they’d burn that bastard.

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Are ABC’s low ratings well deserved?

Thanks to the folks at SON for posting the ratings, please visit SON for the full ratings report so that you can see where your favorite soaps landed this week and check the daily ratings:

Week of June 14 – 18, 2010.

HH
1. Y&R 3.5/11 (-.1/+.1)
2. B&B 2.2/7 (-.1/-.1)
3. DAYS 1.9/6 (same/-.1)
4. AMC 1.8/6 (same/same)
4. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/same)
6. GH 1.7/5 (-.1/-.1) <- ties low (Last time: July 6-10, 2009)
7. ATWT 1.6/5 (-.1/same) <- ties low (Last time: May 31 – June 4, 2010)

Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.6/10 (same/+.1)
2. GH 1.1/7 (-.1/same) <- ties low (Last time: May 24-28, 2010)
3. DAYS 1.0/7 (same/-.1)
3. OLTL 1.0/6 (same/-.1)
5. AMC 0.9/6 (same/-.1)
5. B&B 0.9/6 (same/-.1) <- ties low (Last time: June 7-11, 2010)
7. ATWT 0.7/5 (same/-.1) <- ties low (Last time: June 7-11, 2010)

Are ABC’s low ratings well deserved?

For AMC?  A teeny bit.  It’s rebounding from a long and painful period in its history.  Given the three ABC soaps,  AMC has the most potential for a return to creative grandeur.  The show has done a much better job of focusing on legacy character and its core (although that’s easier to do when your core is smaller than in the past).   The pacing is good, the storyline telling is stronger, and the show has been more visually appealing lately.  I’m rooting for this show.

For OLTL?  OH HELL YES!  Here’s a word of advice, writers.  I don’t know if you feel that you’ve been sold out by the  ‘house of mouse’ knowing that feeder network Soapnet is going to be shuttered for a ‘Disney Jr.’ channel, but come on!  I can’t tell if your  current storylines are a reaction meant to  save OLTL by creating a new ‘DeGrassi’  (and a far less interesting version at that) to shift over to teen Disney or if you want to thumb your noses at your bosses by mocking their youth entertainment obsession.  If I see Starr, the two new guys that I can’t tell apart unless they’re in scene with their respective Manning sister, Cole, Matthew, Hannah, and anyone else under the age of 21, I’m going to need a bag to catch my lunch on its way back out — sorry, the reference clearly shows that I’m regressing in maturity along with the storylines on OLTL.

GH? Hell yes, and OH HELL YES those ratings are deserved.  Is there anything on GH that isn’t tied to the mob storyline any more?  I roll my eyes so much on the rare occasions I watch that I can’t tell.   Dante has to ‘pay’ for being a good cop and doing the right thing.  Tough as nails Claire is now a mob apologist who sees the difference between criminals like Franco and criminals like Jason/Sonny.   Nikolas is creepy, stalkerish, and trying to force a pregnant Liz to accept his lust-called-love for her.  Every other chance at romance on this show is shuttered in favor or more whining by pampered ill tempered mobsters and the children they’ve ruined.  The one potential for growth and the writers have ruined even that:

Speaking of ruined, I’ve defended Patrick in the past.  He’s the motherless son of an alcoholic father who watched his family slowly fall apart.  To say he has issues is an understatement.  The problem is that Patrick’s ‘jealousy’ over Lisa and Steven, and his constant whining about Robin’s need for helping others is just wearing thin.  Have I lost my passion for Scrubs?  No, I’ve lost my passion for GH because of their treatment of Scrubs.  With clever writing, Lisa could be an interesting double crossing villain, the actress could easily carry it off, and I would have loved watching Robin rip her a new one.  Without clever writing, the character is just annoying.  The idea that Patrick, who has spent every day before Lisa’s arrival telling Robin how much he loves his life and that he wouldn’t trade it for the world, now cries (boo friggin’ hoo) over driving a mini van and being home at night.  He cries to Luke of all people — the man who has betrayed every moment he’s ever spent with a family who loved and idolized him (when GH writers destroy fans’ fond memories of GH couples, they go big!  I feel for you Luke and Laura fans.)

REALLY writers?  REALLY?  We’re supposed to want to see Patrick moon over a woman who feeds him what he wants to hear and sticks a knife in his back when he turns around? We’re supposed to feel for him because his wife and child just aren’t enough?   GH has missed it’s calling.  If the mouse network decides to finally pull the plug and put all of us out of our misery, they could consider shopping this show over at Spike TV – “the network for men”.  This show is such a rancid male fantasy that I can’t believe that women on the show are actually permitted to wear clothing.

The only surprise in GH’s ratings, for me,  is that they’re not lower.

Soapnet/The Holidays/The Death of Daytime

You’ve read a million death of daytime articles already, I’m sure.  They’re painful both because of the sheer number of them and the truth they’ve imparted about why daytime has continued to fall apart.  Most of them weren’t written by the venerable soap press.  The soap press continued to cheer on the inane and asinine storyline telling as ‘innovative’ and ‘original’.   No holding a mirror to the naked emperor for the soap press, no sirree.  Now that it’s been revealed that Soapnet goes off the air in 2012, fans, it seems, have given up hope that the rest of daytime  can be saved, and with good reason, but more on that later.

The one network that was supposed to be fully dedicated to soaps gave up on the genre long ago as it cut back the daytime schedule and boasted about its acquisition of primetime shows.  Now?  Soaps will be replaced with more preschool friendly  programming.   Symbolic, don’t you think?  The juvenile writing plaguing daytime over the last several years has worked wonders in driving away much of the adult audience but did little to attract the ever elusive 12 to 17 year olds TIIC of daytime couldn’t wait to bring on board – the same 12 to 17 year olds who didn’t give a damn about daytime.  Now Disney can give the kids what they really want.

Unfortunately for daytime viewers, the network’s effort to stem to tide of revenue loss may have actually contributed to hastening the death of daytime.   When the writing was bad on your favorite soap, you still had other choices.  You could move on to something else – but that was before the network hacks decided that it was easier to systematically kill off daytime serials than support them and take them back to basics.   When my once favorite  Bold and Beautiful drove me absolutely nuts (as it does now with the whining non-“Forrester” women CONSTANTLY attacking the Logan women), I could always find another soap to watch that didn’t drive me batty.  Now? The writing is so horrendous across the board and there are so few soaps, there is no where to go but cable and watching ‘primetime in the daytime’.  (Which is oddly enough what Soapnet was trying to do, unsuccessfully).  By killing off  ‘lineups’, TPTB of daytime gave fans fewer and fewer reasons to tune in.   Ah, but there were/are other problems:

1 – The soaperatti (on and off screen) is incestuous and keeps claiming that it’s such a ‘specialty’ field that no one outside of daytime can understand it — that’s because they’re so “speshul”, doncha know?  And have I mentioned t they’re special?  Somehow primetime and cable are surviving with infusing new blood and new ideas.  Daytime only, it seems, needs specialists  (because they’re special) and yet those specialists  (who are special) still can’t figure out how to hang on to an audience.   As a result, the same few burned out writers and executive producers are shifted from show to show. You can’t get away from them, as they keep trying to shove the same tired ideas at what they think is a ‘new’ audience every time they ‘quantum leap’ from show to show.

Daytimers typically watch multiple shows, so if you didn’t like a mother and daughter sleeping with the same man and beating each other up on one show, you sure as hell weren’t  going to root for the hack writer and producers to bring that storyline to another show you’re watching. When there were more soaps (and more writers) there were also more ideas. and more places to escape to within the genre.  That’s gone and the soaperatti have nothing left but false self-praise and  careers on a downward slide. Does anyone know if any of the currently unemployed daytime writers have found work on any successful projects?  I’d love to know, dear readers.  I can’t think of any, and  I can’t imagine there are producers out there lining up to grab any of the ‘elite’ in daytime.  That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I just don’t know where they are.  Who’d want to submit an e-portfolio of the worst of daytime as evidence of what you’re capable of offering?

2 – While probably not a popular opinion, I also think a huge problem in daytime is that TIIC are have extended the ideology of the “super special” to hiring actors. The ‘newer’  daytime actors have been  treated as ‘speshul’ too. Instead of relying on tried and true and highly skilled vets, daytime PTB decided that a small group of select newbies were the future of genre. I won’t name names, but I think we can all list at least a half dozen actors who are shifted from show to show along with tired/burned out writers and executive producers.

The problem is that the pretty but pointless actors aren’t skilled enough to add new dimensions to their characters from show to show.  The actors’  mannerisms and inflections are the same.  On top of the same tired storylines, fans were cursed with the same actors, sporting new character names, but providing nothing that differentiated them.  The ‘look’ of each show may differ, but the ‘content’ and ‘feel’ of all soaps is similar. thanks to the small cohort of shifting writers, producers, and actors.  ABC and CBS could blend what’s left of their lineups and I don’t know that fans would notice the difference.  ABC could offer “All My Children born at General Hospital embracing our One Life To Live” and CBS could offer the “Bold and Beautifully Young and Restless”.  NBC, would of course, give us the “Days of Our Lives”.  It’s all they have left to give having killed off so many daytime shows, already.

The warning signs of impending doom have been sounded for years by fans who’ve wanted nothing more than to save the genre.  Unfortunately, it fell on hubristic and intentionally tone deaf ears.  How tone deaf have TIIC been?   Memorial Day would have been a keen opportunity for TIIC to remind soap fans that daytime is still around and  that there’s potential to return to the formula that made the genre work.  What did TPTB of GH offer?

Link that with THIS gem that oringally aired a week after the above clip:

On a day when we honor our war dead, and others who have valiantly served and protected this country, we were ‘treated’ to a repeat of an episode in which the soap world is proven to be turned upside down.  Jason and Spinelli bleat on and on about how heartless cold and unfeeling OFFICER Dante  Falconeri is to turn in his brother for killing a woman.  Dante, of course, has no honor.  Dante is an evil person.  He’s too dense to understand why the mob covered up a woman’s death.  It’s Dante’s fault for not understanding why what would have been a simple self-defense charge, which would have been cleared had  Michael first told the truth, ended up with Michael looking guilty of murder, a cover up, and obstruction.

WHAT?  You would be suspicious of a claim of self-defense if the people involved ‘disposed of’ the body, burned down the cabin where it happened – on a rainy night, no less – to get rid of evidence, and then lied on the stand and to the police for months at a time?  I hear ya’!  It’s just that TIIC don’t hear you.  On a day when many of us are remembering our loved one who gave their lives – GH’s braintrust wants you to watch the mob squad talk about murdering police officers and activating the crooked cops on their payroll to protect the mob heir apparent.  Spinelli has to tell Jason that Dante’s death, officer or not, would have grave impact (no pun intended) on those who love him, and those who serve with him.  Color me stunned, and sickened, and tired, just tired of this dreck.

What could TIIC aired instead, to woo fans back?

Or even this:

But no… black is white, up is down…and we’re tuning out.  Anyone know what’s planned for Disney Junior? My nieces and nephews visit me in the summer. I guess we’ll have something to watch together in 2012.

Sympathy Depleted…Michael Corinthos Jr: Jailbird

I know that scenes like the one below are supposed to make me feel sorry for Michael, and are supposed to lead me to want to see Dante and Lucky do everything they can to free him, but they DON’T.   I’ll tell you why after you watch the clip, if you haven’t already watched the show:

  • Do I think Michael belongs in prison for trying to stop Claudia from running off with his minutes old infant sister after she’d kidnapped his pregnant mother?  No.
  • Do I think he belongs there because he let his father cover up an act of “self-defense”?  No.
  • Do I want him there because his pinhead father told him that he was ‘proud of him’ for taking Claudia’s life?  Would sending Michael to prison be a great way to teach Sonny a lesson? No.  Michael should not be used as a pawn to teach his father a lesson.  In fact, Sonny and Jason should be in prison for obstruction of justice (they burned down a freakin’ cabin and hid Claudia’s body over something that wasn’t even a crime).  While we’re at it, Carly should be in prison with them so that Jax can save that sweet child of his from her mother.

So why the lack of sympathy?  Because in the end, it’s most likely the case that the writers will have Michael learn absolutely ZERO from his prison stint.  This is the kid who wanted to take his father’s place as mob kingpin (as though he would never have to face justice and the possibility of prison at some point in the future).  Michael was so mean and spiteful when thinking that he could be passed over as top boss that the character was insufferable.  His behavior included wanting to see his father kill Dante because Dante was <GASP> an undercover cop and a ‘rat’ who infiltrated his father’s organization.  Even after he found out that Dante was his brother, he lacked sympathy and compassion  for his brother.  He felt that the bullet to his chest, courtesy of their father, was well deserved.

Now he’s in prison with the sort of men his brother works hard to put away to keep society safe. He’s in prison with the sort of people The Quartermaines, and Jax, wanted to protect him from.   They are the sort of men his father does business with on a regular basis.   Welcome to the real (soap) world, Michael Corinthos Jr.  It’s tougher than you thought.

I don’t believe he belongs in prison, but at the same time  I just don’t have any sympathy for him.  If the GH pattern holds, there will be no redemption.  The only thing Michael will learn is to not go to prison unless he takes his fathers’ chief enforcer with him.

I’m resentful that characters who have always  shown a clear preference for truth, honesty, and justice are now just mob puppets.  I’m bored by Michaels’ ‘scared straight‘ prison moments that will lead no where.

Ending on a high note

WTF!?!?!?  Someone remembered the show’s history and is using an old plot point to tell a new story.  Lulu must be far more serious about Dante than she was about Johnny.  I don’t recall Lu ever caring if Johnny knew about her abortion.  I don’t think it even came up, but that was so long ago, I can’t remember.

We are family… I got all my sisters with me…

only, in daytime, if you have all of your sisters with you it could get pretty crowded since daytime males procreate at the same rate that the national debt grows.  It could also get crowded if you had to accommodate your sister’s dual relationship to you:  sister-stepmother, sister-cousin, sister – biological mother, sister – aunt, sister -husband’s ex-wife, sister – father’s ex-wife.  OY!  In spite of twisted, tangled and mangled family trees, and mixed up family relationships, there  has been quite a dramatic change in the focus of daytime writers across the board.  Writers are now telling the story of families, not just individual characters. The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, and One Life to Live have been leading the way.  All I can say is ‘more please’.

General Hospital

Soapgod bless Lulu Spencer.  First she rips  Liz a new one to defend Lucky,  and then rips into Sonny for shooting Dominic/Dante in the same ONE WEEK time frame!  What the hell?  Don’t you people know Christmas is over?  Nevermind.  Keep writing the show like you’ve just seen your first snow of the season.  It’s working for you.

I’m even going to forgive you for being silly enough to think that having women call one another whores takes the sting out of the fact that you’re still writing those lines.  For now.  I get it… it’s not as bad as having the men do it?  Wrong, but we’ll save that for another time.  For the record, I remember Lulu’s flaws.  I remember that she’s made a mess of her own life, and Georgie’s in the past, but what sister – no matter her mistakes, wouldn’t be as angry at Liz and Nikolas as she was?  It’s only too bad that Lulu spared Nikolas as much as she has.

Lulu said pretty much what I wanted her to say to Elizabeth, however.  Saint Elizabeth, the preachy, has betrayed her fiance (the man who has loved her with his whole heart from the time they were teens) and the family they created -with the children he’s loved as his own.  For what?  A man who thinks she’s so dirty that he’ll sleep with her any where, any time, but won’t respect her or his own brother enough to wait for her to walk away freely and cleanly?  S-T-U-P-I-D.  Nikolas treats her like he paid for her (er, and not in that ‘off the corner’ kinda’ way… more in the ‘off the shelf – she’s nothing but a toy’ kinda’ way).

The only sympathy I’ve had for Liz is in hearing Carly try to convince Saint Jaysus that Jake now belongs with him.   Jaysus kills people whose loved ones come gunning for him – or gunning for those he loves.  Liz lies and sleeps around, and destroys the only real family the boys have known.  Yeah, that sucks, but with Liz the kids will stay alive. Are we to believe that Carly TRULY believes that Liz is an unfit mother or does misery just loves company?   The writers should explore whether or not Carly finally realizes that she would feel less guilty if other women were in her shoes, putting their children’s lives at risk by handing them over on a silver platter to the mob boys.  It’s the only thing that makes sense of her dialogue.

BRAVA/O to the writers for giving Kristina  enough intellect for herself and for big brother Michael – she is definitely her mother’s daughter.  The writers are overdoing it on the ‘brain injury’ excuse with the Jr. Suckprano.  Yes, Michael is impulsive and has an explosive anger, but STUPID!?!?  He thinks his father was justified in shooting  a police officer for investigating his illegal behavior?  Only Sonny’s children who’ve spent less time with him have seen the light?  They see their father for the criminal he is?  Why won’t the writers allow the rest of the town to open their eyes – Steven Webber who should have slapped Sonny when he threatened his life if Steven didn’t repair the gaping hole Sonny shot into Dom’s chest, or Olivia and Robin who agreed that it wouldn’t have happened had Olivia told him all along that Dominic was his — you know, because then he wouldn’t have shot Dom at close range and would only have tried to kill someone else’s child, not his own.

How about the sympathy everyone is feeling for Sonny?  If Dominic/Dante wakes up forgiving Sonny and hating his mother, or forgiving Sonny and forgiving his mother – as if she needs it, or forgiving Sonny and wanting his parents together, I’m officially DONE and no amount of SCRUBS love or Mac and Alexis will bring me back, folks.  I’ll become a strictly ‘read and shrug’ GHer.

The Bold and The Beautiful

I’m typically never happy when writers SORAS child characters.  It’s almost always for a pointless storyline that would have been better served with a new, adult, character in a separate role.  I’m still bummed about GL replacing the beloved Rachel Miner with Rebecca Budig’s “Michelle Bauer”.  Michelle was transformed from a sweet and adorable child to a teen who couldn’t wait to lose her virginity.  Michelle’s catchphrase became ‘make love to me <insert the name of the new male lead>”  I can’t say that the same is true for the BnB’s Hope Logan. The transition from child to teen character has been flawless.   The writers are milking this one for what it’s worth and working as many angles on it as they can.

Long term viewers will remember that when taylor returned from the dead… AGAIN… Thomas, Phoebe and Steffy were torn. They loved their stepmother, Brooke, and their younger siblings Hope and RJ.  While all three were saddened at losing their family, Thomas in particular vowed to remain a good big brother.  Ridge, devastated by his choice to give up his family  daydreamed of Hope and RJ calling out for their ‘daddy’ in the home they shared.  Hope, who is Ridge’s daughter by choice and love, though not by blood, has added an interesting dynamic.

Ridge is the only father Hope has ever known. Other than ONCE  (and only ONCE) calling ‘Uncle Nick’ daddy, that name has been almost exclusively reserved for Ridge.  Unfortunately for Hope, she’s also been calling Stephanie ‘Grandma’ since she was a toddler.  Hope has never known her biological father, Deacon Sharpe.   So what does it mean, for Hope, when her daddy is torn between his two daughters?  What does it mean when he doesn’t want to take sides, despite the fact that his daughter Steffy is clearly out of control?

The writers were initially all over the place with this storyline – as if they hadn’t made up their mind about which choices Ridge would make.  While Hope was still calling him ‘daddy’, he’d at one point  referred to her as ‘Brooke’s daughter’ – an awful betrayal of fans who’d watched Ridge embrace Hope as his child and even watched him fight for custody of her when he felt that she was at risk living in Brooke’s home.  We watched Ridge put his mother in her place when she tried to use his children with Brooke to destroy her.  He made sure Brooke could see the children as often as she liked.

Betrayal over (for now, anyway).  All that crap about Hope being Brooke’s daughter is gone.  We see Ridge fight for his girl, work hard to protect her, and remind the world that his family is off limits.  Any attack on them is an attack on him.  The scene of Brooke and Ridge each on cell phones calling all of Hope’s friends while looking for her painted the picture of a mother and father who knows their daughter well, and is close enough with her to know how to track her down if they need her.  I did choke a little when Brooke credited Nick for saving Hope (again).  Doesn’t she remember that Hope nearly died, TWICE thanks to Nick’s neglect?  Don’t worry, writers, we’ll remember for you.  You can’t give a man credit for saving the girl when she nearly drowned because he turned his back on her to fight with another man over Bridget.

Also, bonus points for allowing Steffy to semi- escape the poisoned well her mother created, pitting her at odds with the younger sister she’s always known and loved.  Steffy is  still a loser, having her loserdom encoded in her mitochondrial DNA no less, but she’s learning. I do think it’s odd that the soap fashion press would glom on to Hope’s history and her paternal DNA (despite the fact that it’s been no real secret since she was a child.  Ridge was going to take Deacon’s document signing away his paternity rights to court with him some years ago).

Teen Hope matters that much, but the soap fashion press ignores Steffy dating the man who was her uncle most of her life, after he dated her now  deceased sister and after he bedded her mother who was engaged to him?  Those Hayes women have no luck at all.  Nothing they do, no matter how salacious, gets them any attention.  The story of their lives.  Will steffy and taylor ever have scenes that show them bonding over something other than their obsession with the Logans?????

Days of Our Lives

In no particular order:

EJ sucks for continuing to let little Syd cry in agony, without her mother’s touch.  I can’t believe the writers are dragging this kidnapping (called the ‘Sydnapping’ storyline by fans)  go on for so long.  Each day makes EJ seem move inhuman.

Bo sucks for never being able to move on as a SINGLE man not just a separated man.  What is it about divorce ink that Bo is so deathly afraid of?  Would it really hurt the guy to not have a wife and a girlfriend at the same time?

Lucas always rocks – on screen, off screen, in Salem, far away… it sucks that the writers are taking him from us.

Maggie and Melanie rock and I’m almost saddened by the news that Carly is Mel’s mom.  I’d hate to see the writers push Maggie into the shadows to develop the Mel-Carly relationship.  The only thing I am enjoying about the story, rightnow, is how quickly Viv caught on to the fact that Carly had a secret child and that Viv is such a schemer.    I have to wonder if it’s not Vivian who has something to worry, not Melanie.  I think she may be expecting a kinder-gentler version of Carly in Melanie.  That would be a mistake.  BTW, is it me or is it just a little scary that Viv smiles so gleefully when she remember burying Carly and thinks of it as just reliving  ‘good times’?  Egads.

Daniel and Carly or Daniel and Chloe?   Chloe/Daniel/Carly?  If he ends up with Carly, she’d better watch out, I could see the writers having Daniel repeat the Kate-Chloe fiasco – of sorts and Daniel could end up with Melanie, next.  I can’t imagine which scenario Victor would hate worse.  On second thought?  Bring it on!

One Life to Live

Two words:  JUST WATCH.  There’s not one family angle OLTL doesn’t cover.

Couples in love.  Couples in lust.  Couples in trouble.

Brothers fighting over the same woman.  One of them turning to a woman who is surely bad news – just to ease his pain.

Sisters fighting over the same man. One sister lying about the paternity of her unborn child to hang on to that man.

Sisters united by the father they despise who wants to control them.

A long lost (of sorts) brother and sister united by the unstable, psychologically deranged father who wants to own them.

Husbands and wives separated by addiction.

This show is everything a soap was meant to be in the best soap tradition.  Even when OLTL walks up to the edge and risks going too far, it’s the one soap in daytime that knows how to talk itself back down.

It’s the show with something for everyone.

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?

General Hospital: It’s just a damned soap!

Get over it. or how about?

You know it’s not real, right? or

How can you take something that’s not real so seriously?

Those are the obnoxious comments non soap fans usually throw at soap fans when they show up on message boards to taunt us about our silly love for “dumb assed’ soaps… Then they run back to their favorite gamer/fan boi/fan gurl boards and battle over their fave fictional characters.  It’s also a charge some soap fans use on other soapers to prove that THEY are the ones who watch for enjoyment, while other soap fans are just cracked.

Well, I could have used one of those pseudo-superior pains in the ass yesterday.  I would have been too busy arguing with one of them to watch GH.  And then I wouldn’t have had to question my sanity.  Am I taking this all too seriously?  Is there anything enjoyable about GH’s  ‘Suckpranos’  any more?  If Claudia’s death scenes were supposed to create an atmosphere of  edge-of-your-seat drama?  They were an epic FAIL!  If they were supposed to make me despise Sonny, Carly, Jason, Sam and the rebirth of Michael “MyKill” Corinthos?  They were an epic SUCCESS!

I feel dirty having watched those scenes

I felt dirty watching Carly cuddle with sweet little Josslyn, while MyKill was staring at his hands, stained with Claudia’s blood.  The look he gave her while she did it chilled me.  Did he feel abandoned?  Was  he angry with her?  Did he feel he’d sold his soul for her and ‘Jax’s baby’?

I felt dirty watching everyone treat Jax as if he really was sacrificing Michael to protect his child.  Jax is ALONE.  Even Carly puts his child’s health at risk for the sake of her other children.  Jax isn’t sacrificing Michael, he’s protecting his child – Michael has a city full of mobsters and two highly enmeshed parents to protect him.

I felt dirty watching Jason and Sam talk about covering up Claudia’s death when Michael was clearly  trying to protect his mother against a violent woman and should not have to stand trail for that.  I would rather the writers had taken that route and let Michael deal with his own guilt at having taken a life.

I felt DIRTIEST watching psychotic Sonny tell Michael he ‘did a good thing’ (or words to that effect) by taking Claudia out.  I can’t say that it’s the exact quote, but close enough.  I’m a still a little woozy from scrubbing my brain every time I think of that scene.   A GOOD thing?  So Sonny is now the Martha Stewart of the mob set?  No, it wasn’t a GOOD THING, it’s what Michael felt he had to do to protect his mother from her abductor, and his sister from growing up a captive.  Nothing about it made it a ‘good thing’, since it was Sonny who brought Claudia into his children’s lives.

I felt dirty watching Sonny tell Jason to bury Claudia as close to hell as he could – considering the fact that everyone keeps talking about what a great man and great father he is ( most especially from the mouth of NuLois/Olivia Falconeri, who didn’t bother to let him help her raise her son.  It’s on coincidence that Dante/Dominic is the only one of Sonny’s adult/near-adult children who isn’t a wreck of a person).  His statement was also mind-blowing given the fact that Sonny spoke those words as if he and Jason wouldn’t soon see Claudia in hell.  Wait, I forgot, they’re the good mobsters.

I felt dirty, and angry, watching Max and Milo argue with Jason about whether it was smart to burn the cabin once they disposed of the body.  Milo and Max use to be the comic relief of the show and fans could imagine that they never really got their hands dirty.  Now we know they do, we’re seeing it, and they’re strategizing about which is the best way to dispose of a human being.

I felt dirty watching Carly hold that sweet child, and smile at Jax, as if nothing had happened, as if his newborn child wasn’t just involved in yet another of Sonny’s fiasco-filled escapades.  While I once loved Jax and Carly, I now know that I wouldn’t mind if he took custody of that child and kept Carly away.

I felt dirty remembering rooting against AJ, hoping he NEVER got his hands on Carly and Jason’s (and then Sonny’s) kid.  I remember the sweet cherub Michael had once been, and felt sick believing that the writers felt that there was no choice but to make Michael as screwed up as the people around him, the people who defended all of his actions and wanted others to apologize to the dark Prince Michael.  What was worse is that they’re right!  How many kids like Michael can escape the dark future ahead of them with parents who pave the way and keep the roads clear of stumbling blocks (you know, like morals, decency, integrity, a sense of right and wrong)?

If I’m spinning this into a positive, the writers have also proven that Alexis is right, FINALLY (even if unintentionally).   Kristina and Michael are siblings, but they’re very different people.  Kristina has a chance, if she stays away from her father.  She has a mother who doesn’t believe that sunshine shoots out of Sonny’s private parts.  Her mother doesn’t think the mob life is glamorous, despite the stupidity of having slept with Sonny in the past.  She wants better for her daughter.  I hope the writers allow her to remain consistent in giving her daughter a fighting chance.

If soaps are around in a decade (maybe less), I could imagine Kristina as Port Chuckle’s new D.A.  Having lived with her mother, and stepfather Mac Scorpio,  she’ll have a different view of crime.  She’ll love her brother Michael, but she’ll end up putting him in prison with their father, Sonny and Uncle Jason – as her brother Dominic did years earlier.

Having read that last paragraph, I’ll bet you’re questioning my sanity too, right?  Well, at least I now have company!  I know, I know… it’s just a soap.