The way to a girl’s heart… OLTL/ATWT/GH

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The way to this girl’s heart  is through her favorite soap character… or at least through halfway decent writing!  I was THRILLED, today, to hear Clint and Nora mention something they rarely talk about – their familial past.   It was such an organic moment and so perfect, that I watched it twice.  Given the closeness of Bo and Nora, I’ve never been able to really root for Clint and Nora,  but today I ‘got it’.  I realized what made them special.  There’s a realism with Clint and Nora that most other couples lack.

Some couples have to be heavily in love – hot and steaming just to sell themselves (nice try DAYS’ Ej and Sami – no sale).  Others have to be angry and bitterly fighting to prove their passion (yes, I’m talking about YOU GL’s Bill and Lizzie).  Clint and Nora just have to ‘be’.  When Nora asked Clint if he ever thought about why they were together, if they belong, if they were meant to be – his response floored me.  He said that since she is his ex sister-in-law, some would say they didn’t belong together at all.  I love when soaps acknowledge the ookyness that so many of us are feeling when they have siblings (or mothers-daugthers, fathers-sons) swap partners.

Yeah, I cried a little… ok, I would have under other circumstances, but you get the point.  It was such a sweet ‘us against the world’ moment that no matter what happens with Clint and Nora, I’ll always have that one perfect day with them.

Listen carefully, ATWT’s writers.  THAT’S how you write a mature romance.  This whole thing with Blondie/Jack/Janet just makes me want to pluck my eyes out with Katie’s chopsticks, I tell ya’!  In essence, Jack has reduced his ‘special’ time with Carly  to a good roll in the hay, something he can’t get over or stop wanting.  They have a ‘chemical attraction’ says the mighty Jack(ass)   I thought I was being too harsh on Jack, yesterday.  NOW?  I realize that I’ve given him TOO much credit all along. Carly loves that pinhead with her whole heart.  She wants Jack even when she can’t be with him physically.  My entire gripe about Jack  has been that when he’s in pursuit of another woman, he reduces Carly and his time with her to almost nothing.  Today, he’s outdone himself.

Oh, and who didn’t see the mugging coming a mile away?  Guilt guilt guilt…Jack will work even harder to make Janet happy — while sneaking off for ‘chemistry lessons’ with Carly. Janet doesn’t want to be Jack’s consolation prize, but dear writers, I’m starting to feel as if Janet is OUR consolation prize.  I’d rather see more of a focus on CARLY’s happiness and having her finally have a place where she feels she belongs, with someone who finally and truly loves her.  Janet?  Not so much.  I still just don’t care.

You’ve at least made up for shoving Janet at fans by giving us Henry and Vienna, Katie and Brad.  We even got to see Bob and Kim (even if it was under pretty sad circumstances).  Letting Chris Hughes go?  What are you THINKING, PTB? That dude had ‘walking fantasy’ written all over him (at least, that’s what the sash he’s wearing says when he’s in MY dreams).

Speaking of dreams,  GH left me pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.  Lainey LIVES!  She’s so rarely seen that I’m always thrilled when there are any Lainey sightings on deck.  I still mourn for the loss of Justice Ward when I see her, and wonder why the writers no only ended his short life the way they did, but then treated his relationship with Lainey as ‘no big thing’.  It was so sad to hear her say that she wasn’t really close to Justice, but that she still felt bad about his death.  OUCH!

Oh, and excuse me, but was that REALLY Maxie showing genuine sympathy towards Lulu, and willing to taking on psychopathic papa Zacchara to help Lulu out?  Not only has Kirsten Storms made Maxie HER character with her interpretation of who Maxie Jones-Scorpio is and should be, she’s given the character such a wonderfully sharp edge.  I don’t mind seeing that edge occasionally softened.  Today, I didn’t know who to feel sorrier for, Lulu or Maxie.  Maxie stopped caring about anyone other than herself long ago.  She seemed almost as lost as Lulu.

To see her give a damn about Lulu’s condition, enough to take on old man Zacchara in order to make sure that Lulu could see Johnny, gave me hope for the character. It gave me hope that the writers would continue down the path of creating a multi-layered ingenue fans would come to appreciate for years to come.  Well done, Kirsten, well done!  Oh, and Maxie’s new look, the mini-Kate Howard look, is working for her.

Katie/Connie is going to need Maxie’s adoration by the time Sonny finds out that she lied about his child and has been keeping Olivia’s secret this entire time.  Someone set up the barware, it’s time for Sonny to start smashing things!

How interesting that Katie/Connie places such a high premium on honesty… and has been able to look Sonny in the eye this entire time, knowing the secret she’s kept from him.  I can’t wait! Should we place bets on whether Carly finds out before anyone else and torments Katie/Connie and Olivia?  Are we taking bets on whether the earlier rumors are true and Spinelli is Sonny’s long lost son, after all?

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MAGIC! GL-GH-ATWT-DAYS- AMC

Gudiing Light

Crude?  Yes, and forgive me, but what the hell are the Foley boys packing in their pants? It must be magic! Cyrus supported freeing his pathologically criminal brother – Tammy’s murderer, and Cassie finds herself covering for Cyrus, knowing he’d stolen her neighbor’s stereo.  Oh, wait… ‘swoon’… he broke into her neighbor’s house for HER SAKE!  Yes, she was ‘grateful’/’impressed’ that he did it after she complained about the noise the neighbor made blasting the blessed thing all night long.  She even gives Cyrus a key to her home to come and go!  Her son RJDOES still live with her, right?  OY! There’s dumb, and then there’s Cassie. Another move made FAR too soon.  It’s tough enough to not lose lunch over the Cyrus/Cassie friendship, but that she’s not giving him a key to come and go from her home?  I don’t think so.

As The World Turns

Whatever the Foley boys are packing, the Snyder boys must have it too- only twice as much! For the first time in a LONG time, I didn’t feel sickened watching a Jack Snyder scene.  (The Snyder pants magic must be working on me, and I’ve never slept with a Snyder… oh yeah, they’re just THAT good!)  Jack was so sweet and so caring to Carly that I couldn’t believe it was the same man.  I’m chalking it up to Jack being down on his luck and feeling bad about his role in hiding evidence in Brad’s assault case.  The sure sign Jack is packing ‘magic’?  Carly tells Janet that she (Janet) is ‘good’ for Jack even if he doesn’t yet know it.  Sure, the first wife always happily passes her ex on to a woman whose behavior is equally outrageous and who doesn’t have to suffer the same verbal abuse she did.  Carly playing matchmaker to Jack and Janet?  Toothpicks in the eyes folks, toothpicks in the eyes!  Something I hope to never see again!

What I’d rather remember is that there was a brief and shining moment when I liked Jack – when he seemed human again.  Those moments never last long but they’re golden when they happen.

Days Of Our Lives

Bo-Hope fans have been debating about the promotion to top cop and asking why Hope hasn’t finally been advanced to top cop in the Salem PD.   Good question. For some, the answer is simple.  She doesn’t have the same work history.  I thought about how disturbing it is that the writers have been so inconsistent about Hope and her commitment to her job.  She’s been kidnapped, lost her memory, home raising children, home mourning lost children, you name it – it’s happened.  The oddity is that through most of that, Bo was at her side. He hasn’t exactly been on the job much more than Hope.  Putting my two cents in, I would have loved to have seen Hope rise in ranks.  Salem is going to need a tough top cop to deal with what’s coming…. tease tease tease…

Speaking of teasing… so, Days writers, What the hell?  The Nicole Film Noir episode was one of the BEST episodes of the last year (maybe two) in daytime.  It was funny, dramatic, sweet, and all around high brow storytelling… it was MAGIC (had to throw that in there).  I loved that fact that her Film Noir fantasy kept Philip Kiriakis captive.  He couldn’t tear himself away from her tale of lust, love, betrayal, and M-U-R-D-E-R – neither could I!  Nicole, casting herself in the role of loving and faithful wife, EJ as the smarmy cheating husband, Sami as the squeaking voiced addle-headed man stealer… WOW! 

Fan tribute featuring critical scenes:

Direct link for those who can’t play the above video.  Click HERE

Well done.  Was there anyone who doubted that Sami would come to a tragic end in Nicole’s story?  Loved it.  I wish more daytime writers gave their actors a chance to stretch – step out of their traditional roles. If any soap could earn a “Best Drama” Emmy from so few scenes, Days of Our Lives is the odds on favorite!

What does DAYS have going for it these days? Nicole ‘Snarky’ Walker.  Hers are the only scenes you’ll kick yourself for Fast-Forwarding!  Here is a collection of scenes (past and present).  Zuker’s return has brought with it a strong fresh wind!  Whatever TPTB have paid her?  It’s just not enough.

General Hospital

How cute were Dr. Drake and Dr. Scorpio in their discussion about naming baby Drake-Scorpio/ Scorpio-Drake?  If nothing else on GH works, Robin and Patrick always will (though, I probably shouldn’t have written it down).  I have the worst timing and I usually end up on the wrong side of soap history.  The minute I love it, the writers have grown tired of it and kill what I love.  This time, however, I have to believe that the writers aren’t going to shake apart this family tree.  They’ve done enough by destroying CarJax.  They wouldn’t dare touch Patrick and Robin, and baby Scorpio-Drake, would they?  Oy.

I’m tempted to give up on my theory that Laura is a figment of Lulu’s imagination, especially after yesterday’s meeting between Laura and Lulu, and the doctor.  Something was just a little sketchy there, folks.  I guess we’ll find out what that is later.   Ok, even I can admit that it’s FAR less likely to be the case, now.

All My Children

Bianca returns AND she’s bringing back a girlfriend (No, not Maggie).  For those who haven’t heard, Bianca comes back with friend/love interest ‘Reese’, as played by Tamara Braun (GH, ex-Carly Corinthos #2).  Tamara Freakin’ BRAUN?  What, is it my birthday?  Ms Braun was completely and utterly wasted on Days of Our Lives.  The storyline never fit the character.  Ava’s storyline started out pretty bad, and quickly went downhill from there.

Bianca is always a welcome sight for the sore eyes of AMC fans, who love and miss their faves as much as any other fanbase.  I’m most curious about how the fans will receive Ms. Braun, especially given  her ties to Bianca.  Both women, Eden Riegel and T. Braun, are fearless actresses.  Now what they need are fearless writers to give them a storyline bold enough to pull AMC out of the ratings lower deck… hell, ALL AMC characters need a fearless team of writers to return the show to its former glory… DOUBLE HELL, all of DAYTIME needs fearless writers to get the genre out of the ratings basement.

Why writers? WHY!?!?! GH – ATWT

General Hospital

For a number of reasons, I haven’t been watching much GH (yeah, even if you set aside the writers destroying Carly and Jax, the continued obsession with Sonny and Jason, the putridness of Jason and Liz – I just haven’t had as much interest in GH. Now… if only I could break the habit of watching even occasionally! ) I’m still wondering how the show managed to trick me into actually liking Robin – a character I’ve disliked for so long!  I’m also trying to figure out why Spinelli drives me “less crazy” and why I’m rooting for Spinelli and Maxie.  I love them.

I’ve tuned in enough to wonder what General Hospital writers plans are for Laura’s eventual disappearance.  It seems too easy to simply send her back into a comatose state.  It also seems a bit cruel to do that to fans who love Laura and don’t want to see her go back to that state.  I’ve tried to buy into Laura’s desire to not see her sons because she doesn’t want them to get their hopes up that this time she’s ‘cured’ and that she’ll be home for good. Something just feels false about it. Why wouldn’t Laura want Lulu to have her brothers to comfort and support her if/when she (Laura) goes back under?  Given Lulu’s own fragile mental health, why would she want her to be alone if things go bad, again?

Does anyone else wonder if Laura being awake is a figment of Lulu’s imagination? Considering the fact that the hospital staff is on Nikolas’ payroll, why wouldn’t anyone contact him to let him know that Laura is awake?  Wouldn’t obsessed Scotty make sure the staff notified him of any change?  Do the members of the hospital staff actually ‘see’ Laura or pretend to do so, for Lulu’s sake?  Is that why Laura conveniently disappears whenever someone the family knows shows up (Nikolas, Tracy Q, etc)?   Imaginary Laura would mean that once Lulu is completely well, it won’t be so cruel for her to lose her mother, because she was never truly back.  It was the spirit of Laura Spencer that showed up to support Lulu, and that’s something Lulu could handle.

BTW, Genie Francis, no matter how brief her return, makes it evident that GH can never be the same without her.  Why TPTB are so content to keep letting her go is a mystery to me.  Laura anchors the old GH, the GH fans loved heart and soul, to the new GH.  I’d love for the writers to use the option of having Laura decide to go off on her own adventures for a while, maybe with a plan to track down a permanent cure for her illness – with her family’s blessing and her mother at her side.  They’d stay in touch with her, monitoring her progress and talking with her daily-  in case she needs help.   It’s not ideal, I know, but it’s a darned bit better than letting Luke travel the world and finding love again, while Laura remains tied to a chair, staring off into space for years at a time.  The thought of Laura ‘out there’, happy, living life, serving some greater purpose is far more meaningful to, and respectful of, the love fans have for maintained for the character and Laura’s portrayer, Genie Francis.  When Lulu loses Laura again it will feel as if we’re all losing her.

ATWT

You REALLY don’t have to work that hard to get the audience to dislike certain characters, daytime writers.  Some of you take the line and push it as far as you can take it!  You don’t have to do anything at all to get me to dislike ATWT’s Lily Walsh.  I haven’t liked her since she was a teenaged girl, with few exceptions.

Heather Rattray wasn’t the most popular recast for the character, but I loved her.  Lily had been a whining, sniveling, mewling character before Heather came along – Martha Byrne played her as the spoiled heiress she was.  Heather gave adult Lily an edge.  She was an unapologetic bitch goddess who REFUSED to feel bad for taking what she wanted.  HR gave her the ‘Walsh’ edge.  It was the one and only time I could believe that a whiner like Lily was raised by a cutthroat businessperson like Lucy Walsh.  Sadly, it didn’t last long after the actress left the role.  The writers preferred the ‘spoiled heiress’ approach (and even I missed seeing MB’s face in the role even if I didn’t care for her version of Lily!)

The only other time Lily was even slightly interesting to me was when she married Damian Godofallmen Grimaldi.  True to form, the writers ruined that too.  Lily cheated on Damian with Holden… cheated in the belltower of a CHURCH, no less.  Damian forgave her and Lily and Damian went on to create some of the hottest scenes in ATWT history – during the period of Damian’s recovery.  Sex scenes?  No, Lily and Damian never needed them.  They had a smoldering passion that would have made a sex scene anti-climactic, literally and figuratively.  Slight touches and shared glances were enough to communicate more about the passion they felt, than all of the Holden/Lily sex scenes, combined.

So, what have the writers done to reaffirm anti-Lily fans’ beliefs that the character is more often a waste of space than not? They shove Lily back into ‘revenge sex’ mode.  That woman has had more ‘revenge sex’ than any other daytime (or prime time) character I know.  It’s how she lost her virginity for crying out loud!  She slept with Dusty to teach Holden a lesson.

Imagine that.  Lily has revenge sex for decades, her son can’t get laid by the man he loves.  What a wacked out set of priorities ATWT’s writers have when it comes to telling love stories (Nuke) and lust stories (Holden/Lily/any third partner). 

As much as the character has always annoyed me, it annoys me MORE that viewers are put in the position of faulting Lily for being a careless mother in order to have revenge sex with Mike, after believing that Holden was about to get close with Carly, again.  Seriously, writers?  Incredibly rich women like Lily would  have a staff of nannies on call 24/7.  She wouldn’t have to run off to meet her lover ‘assuming’ someone would show up to take care of them. 

She was so eager to have sex that she was willing to leave a child she nearly lost in the care of a child who’s had a history of emotional difficulties, without knowing that an adult was supervising them until their father arrived?  BULL!  Ethan falling down a hole is just punishment for Lily’s actions?  BULLCRAP! You’re also asking the audience to accept Ethan’s pain as part of Lily’s consequences.

Children are plot devices to YOU, writers, not to the audience – fictional or not.  Yes, yes, Lily’s at fault, and this storyline is awful no matter what the outcome is supposed to be.  Possible outcomes:  A Lilden reunion?  Holden fighting for custody?  Jack, done with Janet AND Carly, running to Lily’s rescue?  Faith going off the deep end?  Lucinda fighting her daughter for custody?  Mike, leaving town out of a sense of guilt?  Whatever the outcome, it wasn’t worth the tactic taken to advance the storyline.  Shame on you, writers.. SHAME!

The other character making the top of my ‘most annoying list’?  Jack Snyder! The devolution of my feelings for Jack moved from: loving the guy, to feeling sorry for him for always throwing love away to save his pride, to becoming tired of his self-righteous prig attitude, and now I’m at the point of simply despising the man most days.  Jack, for all of his talk of honesty and loyalty, has YET to be faithful to any woman he’s loved.  He’s cheated on every woman he’s dated or married.  With Julia1 it was Carly.  With Carly it was Julia2, until he ‘betrayed’ Julia2 and went back to Carly.  With Katie it was Carly.  With Janet, it’s Carly again.  Jack kissing Carly, behind Janet’s back?  No skin off my nose, but there he is sandwiched between Janet and Carly, telling Carly that she was right about him all along.

Jack’s life is so charmed.  Even when he makes mistakes, good things happen to him.  I could only take his position, sitting between the two women, as evidence that soon Carly and Janet would end up in some deathmatch cage – beating the unholy hell out of one another with each believing that SHE was the better woman for Jack.  Jack would sit back, smiling on the inside/feigning outrage on the outside – and telling the world that he was ‘torn’ between the two women.  He always is.  Whenever he cheats, it’s noble.  He’s torn between two women he “loves”.  Any woman who cheats on him?  She’s just loose and/or cheap.  It must be nice to be Jack Snyder.

Even still, it’s time for the writers to beat back Jack’s cartoonish nature and make him a real man, again.  I can only imagine what a relief it would be to see Jack behave like a romantic lead, once more.  If I never hear Jack screaming at a woman, see him scowling at her, watch him tear a woman down into nothingness… it will be too soon.