DAYS, again: Suzanne Rogers is breaking my heart!

I am mesmerized by this storyline.  The death of Mickey Horton is one of the most well crafted storylines I’ve seen any soap offer in some time – at least as it relates to a character’s death.  Some death scenes are gimmicky (as with Ann Douglas dying on a bed on the beach with her daughters at her side, on the Bold and the Beautiful).  Some are not worth mentioning – but when you kill off major characters, they deserve to be remembered well, and you know who you are you guilty soapgods!!!!

Just when you think that Suzanne Rogers has touched on every form and level of grief possible, she amazes you and hits yet another pitch perfect note:

I’ve been drained watching DAYS this week (uh, these last few days – it hasn’t been a week yet).  I almost feel guilty, as if I’m peeking in, uninvited, on a family’s private moment of pain.   Ms.  Roger’s gives Mickey’s death such realism that I can hardly believe that it’s possible for her to lose an Emmy, in any category she chooses to be nominated in.   This last set of episodes are good enough for DAYS to be considered the coming year’s ‘Best Drama’, in my book.  Unfortunately, I don’t get to hand out the Emmys.  Damn!

Despite the brilliance of her work this moment has to be bittersweet for Ms. Rogers.  John Clarke was her acting partner for decades prior to his retirement in 2004.  While Mickey returned, as portrayed by several notable and laudable actors – including General Hospital’s John Ingle, it was never the same.  No one was ever  able to replace Mickey, as the fans knew and loved him.  It had to have been one hell of a task for  Ms.  Rogers to first have to say good bye to  her long time friend, on set, and to then have to voice Maggie saying  good bye to her long time love, on screen.  She’s risen to the challenge admirably!

Watching Maggie’s scenes with Lucas was especially heartbreaking since Bryan Dattilo will soon vacate the role of Lucas Roberts.  Lucas is a Horton, by birth, and given Mickey’s death and Alice’s absence, it  would be redemptive of the writers to allow DAYS fans to watch Maggie, Hope, and Lucas rebuild the Horton clan.  Lucas Roberts Horton.  It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  Without Lucas and the others, it feels like the death of an era.  Given the loss of two soaps in one year, I’d love for daytime’s  soapgods to give us MORE of our core families and core characters on the remaining daytime serials.  Soap fans, I think, need the consistency.  If the old adage is true, let’s hope that ‘every good-bye ain’t gone’, and that Lucas (portrayed by Dattilo) will return soon!  Aunt Maggie needs him!

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Now that the BnB is off my playlist…

wait?  Have I made that threat before?  To take the BnB off my playlist?  I have? Well, OK, I MEAN it this time.  I might, possibly, tune in for the big moments (checking in on the ‘special” days).  I’m still waiting to see how Bridget and Nick play out and if Jack is their child.  Outside of that?  Regular viewership is just not in the cards for me.   I’ve got no use for this show.   It’s taken me 22 years and a lot of lumps, but I get it. (I know… 22 years?  I hear ya’.   Imagine the soapfan shame I’m feeling right now!).  I’ve come to the conclusion that  BnB writers will screw you over rather than entertain you EVERY time – that’s my soapfan story and I’m sticking to it.

What am I watching more of now?  DAYS, of course.  Who knows how much longer that will last because if I’m being perfectly honest, most of daytime is giving me dry heaves.  It’s all ‘too much’:  Too many of the same plots we’ve been watching for decades.  Too many dropped storylines.  Too much focus on teen storylines to win over younger viewers who gave up on the genre years ago… about the time the writers started forcing teen storylines on the audience as frontburner storylines.  Too many love triangles.  Too many back from the dead characters.  Too many nausea-inducing characters being held up as paragons of virtue.

So why DAYS?

1.  Because I can FF a good part of it (and yeah, I’m talking about you EJ, Sami, Sami and EJ).

2.  You’ve gotta sometimes love a show that makes no apologies for what it is and that lets it all ‘hang out’.  There are times when you just need a low down dirty act so vile that you can’t deny what it is, and yet somehow it’s so entertaining that you can’t turn away – not that you want to.

As for  Days of Our Lives, James Reilly is gone – may he Rest In Peace, but someoene backstage still has a wicked WICKED sense of humor and has just written a plot that would have made the man proud.. . Kate, injecting an apple with poison and giving it to Snow White Chloe?  C’mon!  That’s just too precious.   No, DAYS fans, you were NOT lucky enough to have Kate succeed and have Lucas/Daniel/Maggie/a gloating Kate find Chloe in a lump on the floor.

There’s always the next time.  Is the third time the charm?

What’s working in daytime

Mac Scorpio, real man!

Thank you GH writers.  I’ve been jonesing for Mac Scorpio scenes (at least, Mac scenes that didn’t treat him like a bumbling buffoon unable to control mob life in Port Chuckles).  Not only did fans get to see Mac in the best possible light, the writers threw in all sorts of goodies, for veteran viewers:

– Mac and Robin’s connection is undeniably PERFECT.  The relationship Robin has with ‘Uncle Mac’ is as special as the one she has with her parents.  Mac gets her, he understands her in a way that it’s not clear that either Anna or Robert do – which makes sense as he’s been her surrogate father for so many years.  I love that he shows up at the right time and knows what she needs without  her having to say much to him.  The looks between the two characters carried their own dialogue.

– I’ve been calling for the writers to return the Scorpios to prominence – not that they listen to me, folks, but I try!  I’ve wanted Anna and Robert to be there for Robin, as well.  Maybe they will never be there for her, given the writers’ current priorities, but I will give them credit for realizing how much Mac matters.

The look of love and gratitude in Robin’s face said it all, but I loved hearing her tell him what a wonderful man he is.  Mac hasn’t raised biological children of his own, but he’s been more of a father than almost any other man on this show.  I don’t think there’s any other character on this show who has served as a surrogate father to so many children, and accepted the job without bitterness and with taking the charge so seriously.  Mac has never walked away from his girls.  Nothing and no one could drive him away.  All three (Georgie, Maxie, and Robin) were left to him by parents who eventually deserted them for different reasons at different times.  He was there, and that’s all that matters.

– The writers tugged at the heartstrings by bringing up Georgie during those scenes, as well.  That Mac mentioned his lost daughter, a child he’d raised from her earliest days in life, was bittersweet.  That it was because he got to love her and raise her that he was able to help Robin in her time of need was a lovely thread that pulled this family together.  We rarely see Mac so we don’t have to think as much about his grief as we would if he was on screen every day.  I like being able to believe that Mac will get to heal by being able to continue to care for his girls, and now gets to add Emma to the list.

With  broken heart he keeps giving back makes him an ideal man.  Daytime writers have a tendency to make grief-striken characters withdraw from life, or make sick and ridiculous choices shortly after a death occurs (sleeping with someone they shouldn’t and becoming a parent, for instance).  Mac’s grief makes him embrace the children he’s raised even more.  He gives back, without question, and without judgment.  Why can’t we have more MEN like Mac in daytime?

The Guiding Light is shining a little brighter!

I can’t help it!  I still think GL is one of the most aesthetically displeasing shows in daytime, but it just doesn’t matter as much right now!  The writers have done the unthinkable.  They’ve surprised me by making the love of Shayne’s life Edmund’s daughter.  Where the hell did that come from?  The Royal family of San Cristobel is already connected to the Lewis family through Jon Randall, but this?  It’s even better.  There’s something about Edmund and Shayne’s connection over Lara that makes me hope it’s genuine and not just another ploy by Prince Eddie. The connection humanizes Edmund. He’s always been more than a one dimensional villain and the writing for his return has been perfect, so far.  I’ve loved Edmund’s wicked ways in the past – even if I couldn’t bring myself to root for his success.  This storyline has me simply loving Edmund!

The chemistry between Reva and Dinah? Worth it’s weight in gold! I love the potential MIL – DIL fights between them.  Dinah, as Reva’s daughter-in-law?  KARMA, baby!  More likely than not, even if it happens, it’s probably the case that Lara lives – daytime writers NEVER devote that much energy to a dead character we’ve never met, unless they plan to bring them back.

Remy and Christina? Cuter and cuter by the day. They feel like a ‘real’ couple.  I love that she tries to get him to see the best in himself, and that he does the same for her. Finally a couple building each other up instead of tearing each other down.  I hate being this happy about a couple.  It’s always a matter of time before writers ruin good characters and couples in order to ‘add passion and drama’ to their relationship.  What happens next?  A heartbroken Alan tricks Christina into sleeping with him?  She becomes pregnant?  Alan then owns her?  Remy cheats with Lizzie?  Remy and Christina find out they’re related?  I guess we can cross that bridge when we come to it.  For now?  I’m full-tilt giddy and will keep enjoying them!

Mallet and Marina and the baby-crazies? Not feeling it. My only fear is that Dinah is pregnant with Grady’s child and M&M end up raising it through private adoption because they can’t adopt otherwise.  When Grady goes, let’s make sure ALL of Grady goes.  Leave no spawn behind.   (Ok, one more   criticism about their storyline: How silly is it that Mallet would dispose of his ‘hit man gear’ in a Springfield-Peapack pond?  It’s not like the briefcase will be swept down stream and out to the ocean!  It’s a freakin’ pond in PEAPACK (Springfield)

The voice of an angel and pretty as a picture!

So imagine my surprise when Maggie Horton (played by the incomparable Suzanne Rogers) ripped dear Chloe a new one!  What irony!  Sami Brady loved Lucas for all he was worth and mama Kate made it her mission to destroy Sami.  She would have rather have dated her son HERSELF before letting Sami near him.  For Chloe, Kate opened her home, her family, and her heart and Chloe not only cheated on Lucas (who at this point may as well be renamed ‘Lucas the lovable loser’), but she betrayed Kate in the process.  Oh dear! 

While the writers have done a miserable job of honoring its veteran characters and actors, I think it was masterful for Maggie to be the person who confronts Chloe.   Maggie has always been a staunch (non pathological) defender of her family, but she’s not sainted.  Newer fans may not have understood the significance of Maggie’s shameful glance downward when Chloe asked her if she’d ever made a mistake, but veteran viewers got it. Two words:  Neil Curtis.  Maggie not only cheated on her husband, but it was her daugther who caught them in bed together (makes you think of Sami catching Marlena and John, doesn’t it?  Marlena.  John.  Sigh.).

Suzanne Rogers brought the HEAT to confrontation scenes and I enjoyed every minute.  More please!

Damn you Tea!

I DO have integrity, you know?  I just keep blowing it to hell, cheering you on.  Don’t ask me why, but as much as Todd deserves to be punished, I love watching Tea in action.  I still can’t figure out why she’s been working so hard to keep Todd out of prison even going as far as claiming to be Lee Halpern/Janet Ketring’s murderer.  It’s worth staying tuned in to find out!  The minute I saw LH/JK on the floor I thought, ‘Ugh, not again!  Will Todd now go on trial for yet another murder he didn’t commit?”  It never dawned on me that Tea would take the fall for this.  At most I thought she might claim to be with Todd as they walked through the door and found Lee’s body.

So what happens next?  Will Todd lose his hammer once Tea is found out and it turns out that Wes killed LH/JK?  Surely she’ll be disbarred, though hopefully not.  If Wes is the killer, is this the beginning of a killing spree now that he’s flipped?  Is Marty at risk?  Maybe as I continue to tune in, I’ll also get to figure out why Antonio brings out a heavy accent in Tea… and only Antonio… What’s that about?  I hope it continues for as long as he’s around because I love it (it’s a bit like Bess’ alter producing black glasses).

Add to the bag of fun OLTL has become:  Marty commenting that she always trusts the wrong person, and then not picking up on the fact that she should be more careful about trusting Wes?  Fantastic.  There are the matching mother-Son addictions.  Marty swills alcohol like a warrior (uh, more like Wes) and Cole is popping pills.  Marty is too caught up in her own pain to see that something is wrong with her son?  Fine, but when this is over, if she goes back to being a therapist, THAT would be a tragedy.  It’s hard for me to understand Marty sympathizing with Wes, but leaving Cole in the dark, on his own to deal with her back-from-the-dead act, his child’s death, her rejection, and Todd not being forced to pay for any of his crimes… but she can be there for Wes… got it.

Natalie and Jess raining hellfire on one another?  THANK YOU, writers.  Lovin’ it.  Does Nat seriously want to cause Jess to release Tess again?  Eh, it probably won’t happen, but  I almost wish it would.  I think it’s curious that Nat has become another completely self-absorbed person who can’t put herself in someone else’s shoes.  She’s also chosen not to acknowledge her own shady past , a time when she used, lied, and manipulated everyone she could – and she didn’t have an alternate personality to blame her actions on!  I love seeing flashes of a fighting Jessica everytime Nat uses Jess’ children as pawns – shame on Natalie.  It also sucked that given Jared’s involvement in Nash’s death that Natalie would shove her engagement ring in Jessica’s face.  I guess Tess’ attempt to kill them makes Natalie believe they’re ‘even’.  Go figure.

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.