Ok, BnBers/OLTLers, what the hell?

One Life To Live:  Marty Saybrooke?  I don’t know if it’s possible, but I would love for the writers to use the time they have left to redeem this character.  She was the wild child gone good, who made a wonderful life for herself , survived the death of her soul mate, and raised a child.  First in attempt to prop Todd and whitewash the ‘twice raped’ dynamic between them, then to prop John McBain, and later the John -Natalie relationship, the writers deconstructed Marty into an unrecognizable and unlikable character.  It will be painful watching the show end, having eternally ruined a great character.

I’m not a movie buff who watches only feel-ggod films or only movies with fully resolved endings.  I’ll admit that I have been a soap viewer who loved soaps most when they left the audience with the feeling that all is well in the alternate universe our soap faves live in at the close of their run.  GL’s ending was perfect.  It lovely to think of Josh and Reva (and son) on a trip around the world, the four musketeers filling their days with dinners together and discussing their families, Alex and Fletcher enjoying a life they’d never imaged they could have, Remy and Tina deeply in love, Bill and Lizzie and making things work with Jon and all are peacefully coparenting… you get the picture. 

I hope for something similar for OLTL.  Fans deserve nothing less than a happy Victoria Lord, peace between Vicki and Dorian, Clint gaining back his humanity and reuniting with his family,Marty – whose life has been so violent and tragic finally at peace, and I’ll let you imagine the rest from there.

The Bold and the Beautiful:  In the age of waning budgets for new hires and an attempt to tell complete storylines with as few cast members as possible, I am – to some degree, sympathetic to the limitations of meeting a such a tough balancing act.  I am, however, still stunned by what I saw yesterday (day before?).  The writers REALLY have to think about what they’re doing that makes taylor look either completely unethical moron, and the rest of the citizens of Bell’s fictionalized L.A. look completely unhinged!

Why would Katie agree to therapy with taylor, not only the world’s worst and most idiotic psychiatrist, but a woman who has repeatedly attacked, and supported the attack of, her sister – sisters if you add Donna? I could only love that ridiculous plot if the writers were smart enough to make Katie devious in using taylor, knowing that she and Stephanie would declare war on Bill if he didn’t stay away from steffy.   Sadly, Katie begged Bill not to leave her at the end of the therapy session. I wish the writers had left that part alone, but they just can’t help themselves.  A misogynistic fool being begged by his once strong wife not to leave her.  It wouldn’t have hurt to have allowed Katie was allowed to maintain her standards, writers. 

As for Steffy, the other thorn in the side of the Logan-Spencer marriage, she is either delusional or a pathological liar, given the way the writers are penning her dialogue. She’s better than the Logan’s because she’d never go after a married man? She’d never make a move on him? Wha’????? Bill won’t have her, that’s the only thing that stops her from moving forward. Steffy has put every move she’s known on Bill and he’s rejected her.  Steffy and Stephanie are so one note in their attacks on the Logans. They can’t stand faulting the men in their lives for chasing after Logan women – so they whitewash Forrester male actions to fault Logan women.

That’s the defnition of a weak woman. Steffy was aptly named.

Since I’m catching about one show a month – where is Bridget, readers? Bill telling Katie she should have stayed with Marone if she wanted ‘normal’ was laughable. The man who dumped on her niece for her and for Brooke? I could have sworn Bill made comments that made it clear that he knew that history. That ain’t normal, not even by soap standards — and it’s not like Katie really had a choice to be with Nick. He knew he wanted Bridget – who forgave him for his repeated betrayals. Katie knew it was a matter of time. Who knew that Nick wouldn’t forgive Bridget for her ONE betrayal?

She’s free and he’s headed back to Katie-land?  Far too predictable.

As for the Brooke and Thomas teaser?  Words fail me.  Since I have nothing good to say, I’ll say nothing at all.

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Steamboat Episode 5 – The Ghost of GL?

I was prepared for this.  I knew it was coming, given the cast of this show.  Sooner or later the writers would pair characters on screen who were previously paired on their original soaps.  Such pairings would leave the viewer asking the question:  ‘Is this pairing better now than before?’.  It’s a risk.   The possibility exists that fans will decide that Steamboat’s writers should have left well enough alone and not begged the comparison.  Judge for yourself before I give you my answer to the above question:

I’m a rabid Steamboat fan, and so every seeming inside joke is just a delight for me.  I was not a fan of  The Guiding Light’s “Rick Bauer’ and ‘Beth Spaulding’ (now Steamboat’s Michael and Tabitha).  I disliked the pairing immensely, so  I’m shocked to find myself rooting for Tabitha and Michael on Steamboat.  I know.  I know…Tabitha and Michael aren’t a couple .  In fact, Tabitha is deeply repulsed by the idea of even kissing Michael while in character and filming their show – so why would I want to see them happy and in love as a behind-the-scenes couple?  It’s even odder if you consider the fact that.  Tabitha and Michael are engaging though  exaggerated versions of their GL counterparts.  At the time ‘Beth Spaulding’ began dating ‘Rick Bauer’ (or sleeping with him for kicks and helping him cheat on his loving family), she’d become a cold and cruel shell – a far cry from the Beth Spaulding  fans  first loved.  Her mission was to make herself happy at everyone else’s expense, including Rick, Mel – his wife, and their daughter Leah.

Tabitha’s knee to Michael’s groin was the physical manifestation of Beth’s ‘knee’ to Rick’s  life (aiding him in ruining his marriage, ending the only real happiness he’d had in a very long time).  Beth caused Rick as much pain as Tabitha caused Michael – the only difference was the location of the pain. GL’s Rick, like Steamboat’s Michael, had a history of being cast aside and treated as  second best for so long that the thought of even the slimmest chance to get close to the object of his unspoken affections (Beth) was enough for him to run the risk of being used and discarded.  He’d talked himself into believing there was a shot of  real happiness with Beth even after her horrid personality change.

Michael is an even sadder sad sack character than Rick, tossed aside for the  sake of the pretty boys, secretly lusting for the ‘hot but crazy girl’, and hoping to have his shot at proving he’s worthy of being considered a real leading man.  Despite Tabitha’s warning in the last episode that she’d kill him if he even thought of kissing her in their upcoming love scenes, emboldened by Scott – he went for broke… and was broken.

Given the above comparison, am I suggesting that writer/actor Michael O’ Leary has  become the independent soap equivalent of the former writers of GL?  Are the two seemingly different shows already converging?  HELL NO!  What made Rick and Beth such a horrific pairing is that their relationship flew in the face of GL history and was built on purely selfish instincts – making them a danger to anyone who loved them, and to one another.  Beth was well aware of the unimaginable pain her husband/former father-in-law would inflict on Rick and didn’t care that she was putting him at risk;  Rick, who’d loved her and cared for her since they were  teens.  Rick, who’d always been a heroic good guy became the worst sort of man – a cheating husband who was willing to leave his daughter fatherless for a woman who didn’t love him.

Tabitha and Michael are such new and fresh characters that a pairing between them wouldn’t bring the same sort of baggage as GL’s Beth and Rick.  O’Leary is a competent writer who  knows how to take his characters to the brink and pull them back in just enough time.  It makes you both glad he pulled them back, and makes you wish they were back on that edge, again.  You feel as if you’ve missed something when they don’t go over that cliff, because you want to go with them.  The possibilities  for a Tabitha/Michael pairing are endless.  There’s something about rooting for an underdog like Michael.

The story is repeated countless times in films such as “Taming of the Shrew’, “Kiss Me Kate’, and even ‘Ten Things I Hate About You’ (each film increasingly less sexist by the way).   Tabitha should never be ‘tamed’, just less abusive to Michael.  Everyone else is fair game. The running joke on the show is that he’s not the pretty boy of daytime and everyone feels comfortable reminding him of that.  He is, however, that character female audiences love.  Poor Michael is not the pretty boy, he’s the good man worth a thousand of the pretty boys.  He’s the man female audiences idealize even while being excited by the bad boys.   In the end, we still want the good guy to win.

Speaking of being out on that edge

Who the frack  gets shot at the end, PEOPLE?  I loved Michael and Dirk’s nonchalant response to the gunfire, but I need to know!   My money is on Rhonda.  Is  Tabitha the shooter?  Will she still be holding the smoking gun while wearing a gleeful… snarl?  Will Scott feel liberated by Rhonda’s shooting or angry that he didn’t get to pull the trigger himself?  HEY!   Maybe the victim getting the ‘Tabitha Treatment’  is the  poor hapless  Lactene girl, Candy.  There we have it.   One onscreen ‘too old to be my granddaughter’ character goes down.  Will the Steamboat cast get to keep Candy’s set and dump the Cedars Hospital green screen special?

Daytime Traditions I Miss

Guiding Light:  The Bauer 4th of July celebrations.   There was always some secret on the verge of being told to the Bauer and friends crowd – which was typically all of Springfield.  There were always two characters trying to avoid making eye contact so that no ohine would know they’d been together. Someone hiding behind the covered trellises hiding from or spying on someone in the crowd.  There was the salacious part of the 4th celebrations, but even MORE than that, there were the Bauers and the people who loved them.  Springfield seemed peaceful, and lovingly ‘normal’, despite the secrets, if only for a day.  Fans still miss Maureen, but to have Papa “Doc” Ed, Michelle, Rick, and their respective spouses and children back for this one last July 4th celebration would be wonderful.

As The World Turns:  The Memorial Day picnics.  See ‘Bauer 4th of July’ celebration and read Lynn Liccardo’s treatment of the topic by clicking HERE

The Bold and the Beautiful:  I miss the rival fashion shows.  Forrester had a show and Spectra countered. Spectra held a show and Forrester countered.  Now?  There’s JackieM’s (whose success is in large part due to stolen designs from Forrester) and ????….NOTHING.  Rather than a lot of scandalous pseudo-incestuous lovin’ and some great fun thanks to fashion showdowns, we’re stuck with just a lot of pseudo incestuous lovin’.

General Hospital:  The Nurses Ball.  Given the way the ball started -with Stone’s death and Robin revealing her HIV status, what a wonderful tribute it would be to those who are living with AIDS/HIV to have Robin come back as MC as a symbol of someone with the disease living an enriched life.  Hope is NOT lost!  Robin was a teen when she contracted the disease.  Today, she’s a physician, a loving mother and wife, and a pillar of her community. 

     I also loved that in the past, the cast came together and the actors we loved were allowed to step out of the comfort zone of the characters they played to give us just a bit of themselves, as well.  (Shallow alert:  WHAT could top the Lucy Coe costume changes as entertainment? Terrific.)

Days of Our Lives:  Sean and Caroline, Marlena and John.  I don’t care what the holiday/event is, something seems to be ‘missing’ with DOOL.   As long as Sean and Caroline/Marlena and John are gone, it’s not the real DAYS.

WHY GL soapgods, WHY? (Spoiler included)

Jeffrey/Reva/Josh

According to the Nelson Branco’s Suds Report, it’s highly likely that Jeffrey O’Neill is Edmund Winslow’s killer.   If that’s the case, WHY is Jeffrey willing to let Reva serve a single day in jail rather than turn himself in?  Are we to believe he’s so angry at Reva for protecting Josh and Shayne that he’d willingly heave her there, separated from Colin –  the son she’s barely spent time with since his traumatic birth and her cancer treatments?

If so, the writers have managed to do the impossible.  They’ve lowered my opinion of Jeffrey.  I once thought of him as a much better man than Josh… I  KNOW!  Crazy, huh?  All I can say is that I was experiencing ‘Cassie Winslow Rage’.  The thought that Josh would prefer Cassie to Reva left me a little soapfan loopy, but I’m better now.  Hey, thanks for asking!

While I no longer believe that Jeffrey and Reva belong together, or that they could come close to ever replacing ‘Bud’ and ‘Sister’, the writers have at least continued to try to sell Jeffrey as loving Reva above all others.  If Jeffrey is the killer, that’s all out the window.  He officially loves himself MORE and would only do what he had to to save Reva as long as it costs him nothing.

OH, and for those of you who aren’t GL fans ‘Bud’ is Reva’s loving nickname for Josh.  ‘Sister’ was Hawk Shayne’s nickname for his daughter, Reva.  If you thought Bud was dating his ‘sister’, you just might be a BnB fan!

James/Daisy/Phillip

“James Spaulding” is such a great character, and the actor (Zack Conroy) is PERFECT. He looks and sounds like a young Phillip Spaulding (Grant Aleksander).  If you told he me was related to Grant Aleksander, I’d believe it without batting an eyelash.  Conroy, if this show had more time, would have been able to turn the character into a real heartthrob! In fact, I have no doubt that he still can.

So… WHY have the writers decided to turn James into a ‘Grady clone’ just for Daisy’s sake!??! In the time that’s left, I’m not interested in a half-wit Bonnie and Clyde storyline for these two characters. When Daisy smarted off to Phillip today, she made me long for the highly unstable  Phillip Spaulding who existed several year ago. HE would have known how to deal with her in a way that might not have been exactly legal or moral, but who’s complaining?  Sorry folks, I know this is harsh, but if only Daisy was holding Grady’s hand when he went off that cliff… <sigh> Problem solved!

Natalia/Frank/Olivia (and Rafe)

Did the judge actually tell Natalia that because there was no male role model at home, Rafe couldn’t go home with her? I feel like I’m hallucinating.  What freakin’ calendar year is this!??!  Frank had to agree to be Rafe’s substitute papa just to help get the kid out of jail?  Of all the contrived plots GL has managed to weave into one continuous joke of a show (at times) this was the WORST.

So what’s next?  A triangle with Frank/Natalia/Olivia before Otalia even gets off the ground?  Rafe leaves home and goes to live with Frank out of disgust that his mother is in love with Olivia?  Frank has to being Rafe and Natalia back together?

If you believe in Otalia, you’re going to have to help me out, fellow soapers.  After the judge’s idiotically sexist and outdated comments, I’m losing faith in the writers.  Shame on you, GL writers.  This one stretches the bounds of credibility and is offensive.  Rafe is LEGALLY an adult.  There’s no reason for him to need a ‘male role model’ in the home to be released.

One.step.too.far.

The Boudreau Clan

Wish we could have had MORE of the Boudreau clan.  I love the closeness of this family and they remind me so much of the core families of the past <SOB!>  (They remind me of the Bauers, most especially).  While I’m enjoying papa Boudreau, I know that not all of you are!

From the official GL board:

I loved Montel as Clayton. He brought an immediate and desperately needed intensity and emotionalism to the Boudreaus and clicked with all the other actors playing the family right away. He made Clayton a compelling presence again, something that hasn’t been the case since Richard Biggs last appeared.Montel’s Clayton wouldn’t be going through all this hand-wringing over the ponzi-scheme, he’d track down the truly responsible party, PunkLoserJames, and teach him a lesson no matter how determined Phillip might be to get that snot-nosed punk out of trouble.    RoseVioletDaisy
And there’s this:
I think with Montel, we finally had a “strong,” father figure on the show, the first since Ross (spaztastic Buzz doesnt count, Josh is too hung up stalking Reva and they wont let Billy be anything then a kind of joke character.) You could believe that Montel’s Clayton would say something and people would stop and listen. He was large and in charge…which is nice to see from a middle aged guy on this show, but also a middle aged African-American guy.

It is too bad, with Ed and Ross gone, that Mel and Rick couldnt have reunited and have her family take on some of the aspects of the Bauers,with Clayton being the Mike Bauer no nonsense paterfamilias, and instead of giving Christina of all people a grandmother, make her Mel’s grandma…and we could use the Bauer kitchen again.  Mitch

I can’t say that I disagree with any of the points above. I just wish the writers were consistent in making Clayton a strong and proactive character no matter who’s playing in the role.  I also love the idea of reuniting the Boudreau and Bauer clans. They’re so both touchstone core families.  I wish.

Five reasons to watch GL again

You’ll feel as if you’ve died and gone to ‘old-GL’ heaven if you watched!  Ignore the sets (for now), they’re still a downer, but everything else is kicking into high gear.  What a difference a few weeks makes.  Several weeks ago, I’d written about what’s wrong with GL.  Little could viewers have known that GL would launch the most aggressive plan to revive a soap than we’ve seen from any daytime drama!  While TPTB behind the scenes at Days Of Our Lives are dismantling one of daytime’s longest running serials, the geniuses at Guiding Light are rebuilding (and oh yes, Icalled them genuises – without snarking). 

Five reasons to watch, and in no particular order:

1.  Phillip Spaulding and Melinda Sue Lewis  return.  I listed them together because I can’t help but believe that the two of them will have signifcant screen time together. Returning at the same time couldn’t be a coincidence!

 Phillip, the Spaulding family scion, flexible good guy/bad guy character, all around hot-as-hades heartthrob, what’s not to love?  It’s hard to believe that the writers let him go in the first place, and that he’s been away five years now.  The only two people who’ve ever been able to stop Alan are Phillip and Alex and the writers sadly did away with both.  Bringing Phillip back opens a world of possiblity for GL, but also puts an end to Alan’s reign of terror.

Just in time!  The writers were beginning to create a savage Alan Spaulding, one hardly worth watching as he became a caricature of his former self.  While I’ve had zero sympathy for Beth and Coop’s indulgence in adolescent fantasies about love and life, there’s nothing fun about watching Alan force Beth to give up her burgeoning law career to stay home and mother him AND their daughter.  Soapgod knows it’s time for Beth to do something with her life other than flit from affair to affair.  It was even less enjoyable to watch him comment on the ‘marriage’ they would have, leaving fans to wonder if he was implying that they would have an intimate relationship whether she wanted one or not.  He was a little too excited to describe their ‘honeymoon’, while she stood there in her bridal gown, crying and begging to be set free.

Could Alan even dream of competing with Phillip for Beth’s heart?  Would he want to given how happy he’ll be, at first, to have Phillip return?   Will he even have to compete for Beth with Mindy’s return?  It’s just possible that Phillip will be as disappointed in Beth as he is in Alan?  Mindy’s return may be the beginning of the rekindling of the Beth/Phillip/Mindy triangle, with Beth on the outside, looking in. After all this time, Mindy finally gets the upper hand and no dirty tricks involved?  I’d love it!  Now that Beth is the bitch goddess Mindy had always suspected she was, let the fireworks begin!

(Oh, and by the way, watching Beth reject the use of the name Spaulding was a shocker in light of Phillip’s return – not that she knows that onscreen, but the writers know it so I have to wonder why they’ve decided to have her do it.  She screamed that her name was ‘Raines’, not ‘Spaulding’.  Veteran viewers may remember that Bradley Raines was Beth’s stepfather.  The man raped Beth, and beat her and her mother.  That she would reject the Spaulding name for that of Bradley’s left me stunned.  Hopefully that’s the beginning of a new storyline – one in which a troubled Beth tries to figure out why she’s such a trainwreck. 

2.  Edmund’s Return.  As stated earlier, Edmund has been humanized, and every day he’s on air, the character’s presence tells a new story.  Edmund’s behaviors and connections to others  are even more nuanced this time around. Is he just conning everyone?  Are his emotions genuine?  It’s hard to say.  I’m not especially fond of Dinah and Shayne as a couple even if they’re growing on me, so having Edmund’s daughter, Lara, return wouldn’t be a tragedy.  Lara’s return would do more than break up Shayne and Dinah.  It would give us a chance to see more of Edmund’s growth.  She  seems to be the first person in his life that he would/could love unconditionally and I’m curious about what effect her presence would have on Edmund.  Would he become a good guy?  NOT HARDLY!  My guess is that most of  his new dastardly deeds would be related to protecting his daughter – and possibly spark a Winslow-Lewis war.

3.  The Lewis Clan is BACK!  They’re back in a big way.  I think most fans want the obvious, Josh and Reva – GL’s epic soul mates back together again.  What fans are also getting is the slow rebuilding of the Lewis family all the way around.  Billy and Vanessa are lurking in the shadows, occasionally stepping to the forefront.   Between Reva, Josh, Billy, Vaness, Bill, Shayne, and Dinah (as Bill’s sister), we could end up with a healthy revival of the Lewis-Spaulding wars – adding Edmund to the Spaulding clan for good measure.  It gives us a tortured Bill and Lizzie surviving a pretty tough year only to have to figure out how to continue loving one another while not getting too caught up in their respective family’s war.

4. The writing is just BETTER!  Two words that will make you cringe:  Kidnapping plot.  How ridiculously senseless was it that Bill lost his memory, but it was Lizzie who seemed to forget every detail of the kidnapping and didn’t know if Bill was guilty or not? She spoke with her kidnapper, touched him, saw his dark hair, felt his tears (which should have left DNA of some sort in her clothing),  noticed the difference in the builds between the kidnapper and Bill…but she just wasn’t sure if he was guilty… <sigh>

The writers could have redeemed her by having HER notice Cyrus’ dog tags clanking and realize that the kidnapper made a similar clanking sound.  But hey, that Bill remembered?  I’m good!  I can roll with that.  It’s time SOMEONE remembered something that would end this torture of Bill being falsely accused.  That Bill plans to take Cryus down not realizing that Grady (who is taller than both men) was responsible? I’m good with that too!  That Billy is involved and the father and son are working together? I’ve freakin’ died and gone to old-GL heaven!  I can’t wait! 

5. Romance is BACK on GL!  Reva and Josh’s unintentional romantic glances, Olivia and Natalia’s road to romance, Remy and Christina’s too-cute-for-words marriage of convenience, Rick/Beth/Philip/Mindy potentially heating up, Dinah and Shayne’s oddball relationship, and even Buzz’s dreams of dead wife Jenna was more romantic than much of what’s happened on GL in a long time!

Any of the above points would have made me happy to be a GL viewer, to have them all at once?  What an embarrassment of riches!

GL’s Fearsome Foursome back together?

SOD is reporting the return of Mindy Lewis, as played by fan favorite Krista Tesreau.  YES!  GL fans good fortune just keeps growing!  It’s great to have Melinda Sue Lewis back, but to have her played by the actress originating the role is such a perfect sign of appreciation of GL fans and the fans love for GL history. In an era when veteran actors and characters are let go to make room for the cheaper pretty-but-pointless, this is a HUGE move on the part of GL’s powers that be!

Speaking of history, it will be interesting to see how the writers have Mindy react to the very changed Beth. Friendship between the two women was slow in coming.  Melinda Sue was always convinced that Beth was far from the deer-in-headlights she pretended to be.   She was always faulted for the conflict between the  two (rightfully so), and has generally been viewed as the ‘bad girl’.  Though she was wrong at the time, maybe she’ll be credited for her ability to predict the future Beth Spaulding. 

In the not-so-brief time that she’s been away, Beth Spaulding has become a new person – both figuratively and literally!  Will Mindy gloat about the ‘new Beth’s’ penchant for disaster and self-destruction or  will their friendship pick up where it left off?  Will Mindy be quick to rub Phillip’s nose in the fact that Beth was sleeping with his father and his best friend when he could have used her support most?  What will her relationship with Rick be?  Does her arrival mean more  screen time for Billy and Vanessa?  Will she play good sister against Dinah’s ‘bad sister’ routine and expose Dinah’s role in the kidnapping of Lizzie Spaulding?  Will the Lewises be reunited (Reva and Josh included)?   And more importantly, will the Lewis family finally get a homestead now that their family has increased in number?

GL just keeps hitting all the right notes. That  I’m even able to ask those questions makes me happy for the possiblities that KT’s return brings.