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.

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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.

The Naturals – GH

Kimberly McCullough (Robin) and Jason Thompson (Patrick) are such naturals that they make you forget that they’re acting!  Often actors try to ignore babbling infants or are so distracted by them they break scene.  KM and JT have such a natural chemistry that they seamlessly weave adorable ‘Emma’ into the conversation with ‘Patrick’ and ‘Robin’.

I’d take a boatload of every-day scenes with this soap family than any scene involving fights about mob ties, crazy stalkerish ex-lovers, PPD, and any other storyline the writers keep coming up with to try to split the couple up.  THESE are the money shots.  The moments of reprieve from soap nuttiness that makes us remember why we loved soaps in the first place:

This clip only gets good at the end, when Tracy unleashes fresh hell on Carly.  Before there was whining, crying and shrieking, there was Tracy – and you are outgunned, my dear Carly Corinthos Jacks.  Listening to the Corinthos clan blame their woes on the rest of the world is maddening.  The behavior is sweet, but sad, when coming from four year olds.  It’s certifiable in adults:

Remember when the mobsters were annoying but at least used adult logic?

ABC – A Tale of Two Soaps

ABC presents the epic “mother of all daytime soap battles”.  It’s General Hospital vs. General Hospital!  I regret to inform you that at this moment,  General Hospital  is losing!  As with Dickens’  A Tale of Two Cities, when it comes to GH:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

Melodramatic much? On occasion, yes. Yes I am.  Best of times?  When?  Where?

I get where you’re coming from, but bear with me, please.

The best of times, unfortunately, comes in infinitesimally smaller doses than do the worst of times.  The dark mostly swallows the light, and despair too often triumphs over hope… but still, there are moments like these that remind me of the best of GH as it is now, without having to dig into the archives of the GH of the 80s and 90s:

Robin and Patrick’s participation in Karaoke Night was especially poignant for me  because 1 – Even if only for a short time, our SCRUBS get to be the example of a couple that is as close to perfect as any (non mob-related) GH couple can be. I’m sure they’ll have stiff competition when Mac and Alexis finally make it off the ground and when Maxie and Spinelli finally get it right, but right now they add a pretty  glorious shine to this show ; 2 – I miss the Nurses’ Ball and I think this is a small scale way of giving us what the Nurses’ Ball did.  It lets the audience get closer to the show’s  characters.  The karaoke scenes humanize the characters and reminds us that they do more than sneak around with one another’s husbands and wives.  It’s a great compromise almost making up for the absence of the Nurses Ball -very clever; 3 – These sort of scenes give fans the opportunity to appreciate the additional  talents of the show’s actors.  I also appreciate the courage it takes for each of them to step out of their traditional roles.  No criticisms from me!  I thought they were all magnificent.; 4 –  They’re just FUN!  There are so few GH scenes that are FUN.  Most of them are about death, betrayal, hatred, jealousy, adultery, and many other vices.   It’s nice to watch GH and just smile on occasion.

How adorable were Morgan and Molly?  How funny is it  that in that room full of women,  of those who weren’t his children – at least half of them has been in bed with and/or impregnated by Sonny Corinthos?… and by funny I mean ‘pathetic’… That brings us to:

The Worst of Times

Forgive my  opining (nay whining) over the current state of General Hospital, but  I’ve experienced my first true soap heartbreak – one that had nothing to do with the cancellation of a beloved show, that is.   I’ve said, previously, that I’m done with GH, DONE!  KAPUT!  FINISHED!  FINITO!  For the most part that’s been true.  I did watch Liz run to Luke’s to beg Lucky to return to her.  I watched Ethan and Lucky chatting about Liz and enjoyed the flashbacks of a young LL2, even if I did feel as if I’d been kicked in the soft tissue watching the clips of a very young Liz and Lucky declaring their love.   I miss who they were to each other.  I got the writers message to the fans, via Lucky’s dialogue, about seeing people as they are now and not how you use to know them.  Bite me.  I’ll never see LL2 as having ‘moved on’.  They’ll forever be viewed by me as having been destroyed by the writers’ reckless impulses and self-indulgent excesses.

I was annoyed by  the writers use of  Liz’s rape as part of the casual conversation between Lucky and Ethan – the brother Lucky barely knows.  It was both a sacred moment  (to LL2) and profane  moment (on the part of Liz’s attacker) that began their relationship.  It was all reduced to drunken banter and  gossip by two people who could have just as easily been strangers.

Outside of those scenes, I know that I’m not missing much.  Basic daytime storylines in daytime haven’t changed – just the players and the severity of characters’ reactions to events in their lives.  There’s clearly no possibility of missing anything ‘big’ by largely tuning out this show or any other daytime program.  It’s not like there will be major revolutions in daytime storytelling any time soon!  (Get it?  Dickens?  Tale of Two Cities? Revolutions?)

Finally: Belief vs. Incredulity

I thought back to the situation that caused me to want to fully walk away from both General Hospital and the entire genre of daytime.  When Dante refused to tell the police that Sonny shot him, I was stunned.  In that one moment, the writers’ deconstructed a potentially marvelous character and destroyed the beautiful and inspiring backstory they’d created for him. This past year we had a reason to believe that it just might be possible that the writers would bring a true hero back to GH, one in the same vein of Mac Scorpio, Anna Devane, Robert Scorpio, Sean Donnelly, Frisco and Felicia Jones, the entirety of the WSB).  That’s now gone.   I never expected Dante to send Sonny to prison – no one ever has no matter how guilty he was.  I just never expected him to cave to the magic of Sonny’s mojo so quickly.  With a different set of paternal DNA and a uterus, Dante would  have borne Sonny another child by now.

As if ignoring the ‘attempted cop killer’ charge wasn’t enough, Dante commented that he thought Olivia, who’d become pregnant at 15 (rewrite?), slept around so much that she didn’t know WHO his father was. <gasp>  That line left me feeling utter revulsion for the character.  Whatever the case, he was angry at her for not telling him sooner that Sonny was his father.  Sonny “attempted cop killer” Corinthos was also angry at her and blamed Dante’s near death on her decades long lie.

“W-T-F”, I thought.  I’m sure the writers, who must be bored writing the bi-annual “Who’s the Daddy?”) storyline for Sonny and his small village filled with offspring, must have thought they were writing a unique twist on yet another telling of that storyline.  That ‘twist’ reads more like ‘twisted’ and this storyline deserves comparison to other Who’s the Daddy? storylines, when the good guys really were good.

I thought about the clip I’d posted of Robert, Robin, and Anna, in a prior blog:

I know that there are significant differences:

1.  Robin was an adorable child.  Dante is an “angry” adult male (even if his anger truly is righteous).

2. Robert knew early on that Robin was his child.  Sonny didn’t find out until it was ‘too late’.

3.  Robin wasn’t sent to try to destroy Robert.  Dante was.  For whatever reason, some see justifiable anger in Sonny’s attempt to kill Dante, the cop, for doing his job.  It seems plausible to accept the argument that Sonny would never have tried to kill Dante if he’d known that Dante was his son.

If the writers are consistent, I can’t say that I believe that the above assertion is true.  Sonny was more than willing to hurt his own brother when he thought he could justify it, or if he felt the need to save himself over Ric.   Sonny never gave a damn for Ric, the person who shared his DNA.  I can only believe that the writers would have been consistent and gone the ‘Lansing Route’ had they decided to have Dante found out without having Sonny shoot him.  We would have then been treated to ‘dead to me’ scenes between the father and son, with  Dante working like a mad dog to make amends for having the audacity to hate crime and criminals now that he knows he’s genetically linked to a mob boss.

In the end, the issue isn’t really about the difference between Robin and Dante as the long lost children of high profile Port Chuckles citizens.  It’s about the differences between writing teams, and the radically different approaches they’ve taken to trying to get the audience to buy into newly developed families. The GH writing team of the 80s wrote for a real hero and wrote for real emotions.  I can’t tell you what the current writing team writes for.  For it it feels as if they’re writing for a hopelessly lost villain that they continue to want to sell as a hero and writing cheap ploys masquerading as real emotions.  The legacy of the introduction of characters like Anna, Robert, and Robin is that fans still want MORE of their story.  There’s are still stories to be told that have the ability to help fans recall the old GH – when light pushed back the darkness, hope triumphed over despair, and we had everything before us.  I don’t think we can say the same for current storylines.

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.

GH – Reconciliation

I realize, now, that I was far too dismissive of the big disaster episodes on General Hospital.  While I’m still not crazy about the special effects, or about GH writers ripping themselves off from prior disaster storyline, for as much as scenes like THIS annoyed me:

there were actually quite a few things to like about General Hospital over the last week or two.  When you wipe away the special effects, the mobsters being misplaced,  and take a look at the human interactions, some pretty significant stuff  happened.   (What’s wrong with the above scene? Sonny, standing in the middle of a group of women, all of whom he’s either slept with or impregnated?  Plenty!  I imagine a GH in which two or more women can stand in a room and NEITHER/NONE of them has slept with Sonny -or Jason, for that matter. Eh!  Another time.  That’s not the point of this blog entry).

The good stuff… RECONCILIATION, of sorts:

1.  Tracy and Edward Quartermaine.  I can only guess that their scenes were especially gratifying to veteran GH viewers.  Why?  Edward Quartermaine isn’t exactly what you’d call a warm and loving father. In fact, he’s not exactly the sort of man you’d call ‘father’, if you could help it.  He may be Tracy, Alan,  deceased Bradley Ward, and Jimmy Lee Holt’s  biological father, but that’s been about his only claim to his family. His children and grandchildren have always been property to him, pawns. They were a sign of his great empire, shaped to carry on his legacy, but not  ncessarily people he was capable of showing any sort of measurable love and affection toward.  Even more?

Tracy’s conflicts with Edward have been even more difficult than most father-daughter relationships in daytime.  A father may deny the paternity of his child, in daytime. He may even live his life without knowing he’s had children.  Daughter’s may grow up calling the wrong man papa, but rarely do they attemp to kill their fathers, biological or otherwise.  Tracy has.  She allowed Edward to suffer a heart attack, and as he lay dying – begging her to get his medication, she ignored his pleas.  Luckily, Edward faked the heart attack and was just testing Tracy.  Unlucky for her, she failed.

Sure, they’ve have warm moments since that time:

but nothing comes close to the scenes between the two we’ve witnessed this past week.  Tracy is Edward’s last livng link to his beloved Lila.  Despite everything they’ve been through, they are the last of the Q family in many ways.  Lila is long gone.  Granddaughter Emily passed away shortly after his son, Alan. Bradley is deceased.  Jimmy Lee Holt has moved on.  Grandsons Ned and Dillon are off in the winds, making their fortunes, and living non-Q lives.  What remains is Edward, Tracy, and daughter-in-law Monica.  It’s good to know that when push comes to shove, Edward will stand by his children, and his grandchildren, and all those he loves.  It was touching scene to watch, Edward wanting the daughter who was willing to take his life to survive.

2.  Edward and Carly being civil… another set of touching scenes and quite poignant when you think about their history.

Carly was always certain that the Qs, Edward most especially, were a threat to her son Michael.  She spent every waking moment thinking of how to keep Michael safe from Edward’s clutches and to prevent him from being turned into a Q/Eddie clone as his biological father AJ had willingingly become.

 It’s ironic when you think about it.  Even if he was an Eddie Q clone, he wouldn’t be in a coma, right now, most likely.  He would be safe.  Carly first embraced Edward and welcomed his presence at Michael’s fundraiser.  She later showed him sympathy and concern as he worried and waited to learn the fate of his daughter and his daughter-in-law.

You have to wonder if the writers will ever allow Carly to spend time openly reflecting on how much better off Michael would have been had he been raised by the Qs.  Could she ever become part of their family again?  If AJ returned, in the midst of the hell Carly’s life has become dealing with Sonny and Jason and the dark drama that follows them both, would she be happy to see him?  Is there some part of her that would feel guilty that she hadn’t let him be a bigger part of Michael’s life?  It makes you wonder her unspoken regrets are the reason she’s been so determined to stay with Jax and to have Jax be Morgan’s father/father figure. 

3.  Liz and Lucky.  While Liz and Lucky aren’t officially together, surely they’ll realize that no matter how much has happened between them, they have far too much history to be able to love anyone else as much as they love one another.  What’s always been true about this couple appears to be true, once again They’ve always been able to rely on one another more than they could anyone else – prior to Lucky’s addiction.

For the record, I’ve always liked Lucky and Sam. She gave him back his dignity, to some degree. Sam was able to see him in a way that Liz couldn’t after she’d talked herself into believing that Jason was the immoral (uh moral) majority and a good man who would never harm anyone, herself included, as Lucky had hurt her.  She’s right, Jason is not the unfaithful kind, just murderous and unrepentant – but that’s another story.  If Lucky and Sam were built on something more than rebounding, I’d  want them together for a very long time.  Lucky did as much for Sam as she’s done for him.  They were both able to see the good in one another that their respective partners wrote off. 

Each has sought forgiveness for their betrayals of others.  Each has been horribly judged by those who have no right to judge them (something about glass houses, being without sin, casting first stones, and all that jazz).  Knowing that about  Sam and Lucky makes me wonder why I even want Lucky and Liz to get back together – other than the fact that the heart wants what it wants, and my heart wants the love and history that comes with this couple.  They make me remember a GH I use to enjoy, and it would be great to have a couple together without the mob worship that takes place on this show far too often. Liz and Lucky are ‘family’.  They always have been.

Now, if the writers would only do something about Jake’s paternity.  That kid just CAN’T be Jason’s… Let’s reconcile THAT issue, next.

4.  Luke with his past.  Something about Ethan tells me that Luke will have to face what kind of man he is, and was in his youth, yet again.  At least I hope that’s true, and this time  I want it to be an eye opening day of reckoning.    Ethan is a slick operator, as Luke once was.   I have to wonder how much longer Luke will find Ethan’s antics funny.  Ethan is clearly a liar, manipulator and user.  Like Edward Q, Luke has become a father in name only – which saddens me when you think of the life Luke and Laura created for Lulu and the ‘cowboy’. 

Luke seems to be gravitating toward the young man who reminds him far too much of himself in his younger days.  I would have added his youner and more ‘reckless days’, but he’s still living the reckless part.  While his children were back in PC dealing with the toxic gas scare, where was Luke?  Having only just met Ethan, Luke has already found another reason to ignore the children who needed him, as well as not being there for Tracy.

There’s a part of me that wants Luke to learn the hard way what it’s like to love and trust a man like the self-indulgent Luke Spencer.  I want him to open his heart to his new “son” (symbolic? actual?) only to find himself being tossed aside, used, lied to, and generally ignored.  It would finally give him some idea of the lives his children and the women who’ve loved him  have led.