January 31, 2002 
11:45pm

STOP THE INSANITY & RECLAIM YOUR HUMANITY!

Maybe itís the weather.  Itís been pretty cold and I like to be outside.  Maybe itís that I haven't been sleeping well.  Maybe itís hormones.   Maybe it's all the insanity in my inbox.

FIRST rant is about these two hoodlums: 

    
Left is GH Executive Produer, JFP and right is Megan McTavish, GH Head Writer
They have worked on every nonPC ABC soap in one form or another, always with destruction in their wake.

This is a time of great change (we hope) and great turbulence (definitely, with change or not).  We had the NY Post announcing that an ABC source had denied JFPís departure and boasted about their incredible ratings on GH.  Are we to give credit to ANY source that is so in the dark that they brag about GHís ratings?  Pfft.  Obviously, this source has nothing to do with the show, so probably doesnít have a clue whatís going on.  I think Walt the janitor picked up the phone at ABC when the NY Post called.   

Before the ink had dried on the newsprint, Northwest Afternoon in Seattle today announced that JFP is being replaced out by Guza.   

A few things to bear in mind.  One is that ABC lies, as do the magazines.  Itís in their best interest to keep The Viewer intrigued and elicit some kind of reaction, even if itís frustration or rage.  Emotion sells magazines and emotion keeps you riled up about the show.  Think about it.  As boring as the show is right now, the fans would be in serious danger of apathy if the behind the scenes bullshit wasnít going on.  How many times have you seen this printed on a message board, ďIf only the show was as dramatic as the behind the scenes stuff!Ē  In a twisted way, if they have you tied up about Sonny and Carly or Sonny and Alexis AND have you riled about who the EP or HW is going to be, they are definitely keeping you from being bored, at least in their opinion. 

ABC lies.  JFP lies.  Many people have laughingly suggested that the reason JFP stays employed is that she has pictures of execs with sheep and I had to chuckle thinking that for the most  part, WE are the sheep who are going where ever ABC leads us.  ABC issued a statement saying Bob Guza would stay just before he was ousted in the Winter of 2000.  ABC led us to believe that Esta Terblanche was staying.  ABC purposely dragged out the Cameron Mathison negotiations to keep the fans riled up.  ABC constantly manipulates the loyalties of The Viewer with crossovers (no accident that Anna came back to AMC and Raeís story carried through all the soaps.  Wasnít that all just soÖcute?).  Get Kelly Ripa on another ABC show with Regis and bring in the AMC people who werenít watching before.  Bring Skye and Myrtil to Llanview and rope in the AMC viewers!  Hey, GH is failing!  Send Skye and Rae over there so the OLTL viewers will follow.   It's all so...incestuous.

One rumor says that Guza is taking JFPís place as Executive Producer.  Another says heís replacing Megan McTavish as Head Writer.  Yet another says the whole Guza rumor is a red herring to cover for a dream team that is coming in.  Something about all this hoopla makes me wonder if the real story isnít going to come out right around sweeps in February.  Until then, it wonít surprise me if the conflicting stories continue to flow like fine wine. 

Now, for Issue #2:

Since itís been hard to explain in words and get it to stick, Iím going to say it in a more elementary way, with pictures: 

I have said about a million times and I will say one more time: 

REMEMBER THIS? 

YOU ARE GOING TO GET IT AGAIN, SO SETTLE DOWN!!  Well, except that Carly will look like Tamara Braun instead of Sarah Brown.  Heíll throw her against the wall, swipe off the nightstand, put her on the bed and give her chipmunk cheeks again.  Carly and Sonny will get back together.  Sonny and Carly will get back together.  SonCar will be one word again. 

Now, that doesnít mean there wonít be some of this: 

in the meantime.  I'm not saying there will be, I'm saying there could be.  You know the words, kids, sing along!  The writers have said that Sonny and Carly will be working individually for a while, learning lessons on their own, learning about themselves so that they can come back together as a healthier and stronger couple.  That has been said from the very, very beginning.  None of that has changed and whether or not "Sexis is a go" (which I have read so much in the past week that I see the words in my sleep EVEN though we have no real evidence that it's true), Carly and Sonny WILL get back together again.  Period.  Wait it out through a possible, though not likely, Sexis or tune out and come back.  Regardless, (again) Sonny and Carly will get back together again.  Tamara Braun said the real thing in a recent interview when she stated in so many words, Carly cannot be with Sonny until he learns how to forgive.  Hasn't all that's been going on with Sonny been set up to teach him to forgive?  Let him get there, for crying out loud, THEN let them reunite when he can truly forgive her instead of NOW with all this junk between them!  Let him learn it FOR HER!   

As I reported before, Sonny and Carly were all set for a remarriage in February for their anniversary.  The back scene crap with Executive Producers and Head Writers and politics and bullshit has pushed it out some, so itís going to be later than expected.   

There are a few things that bother me about this situation and none of them have to do with whether or not these two nutchases ever find their way back to one another.  To go on the record, I absolutely, positively do not care one way or another what Alexis or Sonny or Carly do, together,  apart or with the LA Raiders.  I used to care.  I loved when Sonny and Carly were falling in love when she was pregnant.  I ached over the scenes where they lost the baby and the aftermath of that.  I loved the scenes where Carly sorted out her feelings about Jason and Sonny.  I even loved when Alexis had her fantasy dream about Sonny that took her by surprise.  Heck, I'm sure every woman who's met Sonny has had a dream really similar to that one.  I'm jaded now, because Iíve heard so many people bitch and gripe and whine about one or the other that it has totally dulled my interest in any outcome that could result.   

I will admit that I find the amount of weight people are giving one couple on one show to be disturbing.  I have heard so much desperation and devastation from the fans that it truly makes me worry.  People are absolutely grief-stricken and anxiety-ridden over whether or not these two characters in this fictional town are going to get back together again or not.  I want to go to each of their houses, open up the drapes, wash the dust off the window, throw open their doors, wash their faces, put them through a deep meditation and prescribe massive Quaalude use.  CALM DOWN, FOLKS.  BREATHE!!   Come back to us!

The panic behind the e-mails I get asking me to (one more friggin time) defend my assertion that they will get back together is staggering.  Oh no!  The people at Soap Zone say itís not going to HAPPEN!!  AAAHHHHH!!!  Oh no!  Alexis is thinking about Sonny!  OH MY GOD!!!  The MAGAZINES (whose goal it is for you to pick the damned thing up and BUY IT not matter what) are saying itís not going to happen!!!  AAHHHH!!!   I WONíT WATCH!!  (pfft, yes you will) WHAT WILL WE DO??  I have so many people sending me the propaganda that has terrified them, with hysteria all over it, defying me to say itís not true.  Up front, I have to confess that I donít really care what anyone else says on Soap Zone or Gedsternís or anywhere else.  That's not a slam on any of them, but simple confidence in my sources.    Itís interesting to read what other sites write, but I have my own sources and those are what I use.  I donít feel a need to have my rumors validated by other sites, so if they contradict me, so be it.  We evidently get info from different sources and thatís not a crime.  Particularly, Iím not interested in having my info correspond with the hatchet jobs that the soap rags do on interviews to incite readers into a riot and, primarily, to sell more magazines.  Letís look at a couple of the articles that caused the most stir.  These are comments made by Nancy Lee Grahn:

Nancy-- Alexis thinks Sonny is still in love with Carly so she doesn't think a relationship with Sonny is feasible, tune in tomorrow, I guess

[OK, so NLG wants us to keep watching and is telling us that Alexis believes Sonny is still in love with Carly.  This is scaryÖwhy?]

Nancy -- "I'm lucky because my fans support me no matter what I do, but Maurice is getting reactions like " I'll kill you if you go with Alexis"

[This is very, very nice.  Very sweet.  Maurice is there DOING HIS JOB, paying his mortgage and making his Lincoln Town Car payment, going to work every day, doing what heís told by his bosses and heís getting death threats because the writers and producer arenít putting him with the female co-star they want.  How freaking crazy and petty IS that?  Not just that the animosity and hatred is focused on the wrong person, but that ANYone would be sent hate mail because of a TV show?  A sensible, assertive letter stating your interest in the show and the desired outcome is one thing, but taking the time to write hate mail and threats, then fold it up, put it in an envelope and mail it to ANYONE over something that isn't even real is, in my opinion, really, well, insane.  Is anyone else seeing how twisted this is?  You think NLG is joking when she makes those comments?  Donít be naÔve.  They are to be taken literally.]

Nancy-- I go on the internet sometimes to see what they have to say ......... most fans are good, very protective, if someone says anything bad about me, 50 people will say How Can you Say that!

Nancy -- Alexis is a mess and I worked hard to get her that way

Nancy - I am not a 20 something mod drift baring chick , so this is all good news for me because I'm working with the hottest Male on the show.

[There is nothing in the full extent of this interview on the part of NLG (who between the interviewer and the star is more likely to have the facts) that indicates that Carly and Sonny will not get together.  This is, of course, not the full interview, only NLG's pertinent remarks.  Throughout the article, she says that her fans are protective, that she loves working with Maurice, that fans should keep watching.  Fans read it and lost their minds because Sonny and Alexis were spoken of as a couple.  The show never made them a coupleÖthe FANS made them a couple with those stupid combined names.  As soon as Sexis was born, Sonny and Alexis were a couple without the show lifting a finger.  The show, in fact, hasnít even put them together as more than friends except in Alexisí head.  Absolutely everything else has happened on the message boards and in the fansí imagination.  All the rest is BAIT to keep The Viewer buying magazines and watching the show.

What does Maurice say about this? 

"All I can say is I'm having a lot of fun with Nancy and it shows.  I'm not in enough scenes with Carly but I'm still playing (Sonny's longing) for Carly, and Tamara's playing it too. Can't I have both? At appearances you have both types of fans.  It's almost split in half. But I still feel the same way I've always felt about this storyline. Sonny loves Alexis as a person but he is not in love with her. There's something inside of him that keeps him longing for Carly and for a family; that hasn't changed. He's having a lot of fun with Alexis and he still loves Carly"  

People went INSANE over this interview and if anything, Maurice reaffirms how much Sonny loves Carly and how, as Sonny has reiterated so many times, Alexis is only his friend.   

Maurice talks about the fans that have written to him about Sonny and Alexis:

"It is different, I get a lot more negative letters now than I have had in the past.  I'm not used to it.  I'm used to being all smooth. Now it's like, 'Don't hate me man, I'm just an actor trying to do my job'.  I do the best with what I've got.  I'm having fun right now, which I hadn't had in awhile.  I think it is a good thing people are taking about this storyline because that obviously means they are watching it.  And I do appreciate the interest." 

Again, he says he loves working with NLG, which was never a secret.  He has also been vocal about how much he loves Tamara Braun and says outright that he needs more scenes with her.  He also asserts the ongoing theme that Alexis is his FRIEND.  I would imagine it would be quite a relief for Sonny to have a female in his life who doesnít complicate it with romance and the expectations that go along with it, not to mention that NLG is a wonderful actress to work with in a scene according to other sources. 

People ate Nancy Lee Grahn alive for daring to say that she wouldnít want to meet the Sonny and Carly fans in a dark alley.  Are they kidding?  She was out of line for saying that?  Why would she NOT feel that way with the hate mail and venomous attacks on the net, which she has said she reads?  Hell, Iíd be afraid to leave MY house (and definitely will be after this column is posted) if I were NLG.   

People are so wound up about this that I canít believe it.  The hysteria and anger and defensiveness that I hear over something that isnít even real  is more than I can comprehend and THIS comes from the man who knows what women want, or THOUGHT he knew.   Now I know I was totally wrong and what soap fans really want (the loud ones, anyway) is to tear their sisters apart on message boards because they have a conflicting opinion, because they dare to want something that doesnít perfectly parallel with everyone else.  They want to eviscerate one another in a public forum to feel superior and to make sure that it's well driven into the ground that THEIR opinion is the RIGHT one and everyone else is dead wrong, as if there could be a right or wrong subjective opinion.  They want to send hate mail and death threats to a man who is just doing his job the way his bosses have told him to do it.  They want to invest extreme energy into fictional lives and worry endlessly about a fictional couple, yet treat the real people in the real world who have real feelings and real problems like real dog shit.  I am ashamed of them for that.  Deeply, deeply ashamed.   I am sickened when yet another person writes to me telling me about some Sexis-Carson war going on with some other message board and some of the brutal, cruel things that are being said as a result.   

No matter what happens to Sonny, Carly or Alexis, whether they all three have a mass orgy or get in the Partridge Family bus and drive off Brenda's cliff into the ocean in a lovers' leap, whether they all join communes in different parts of the world and are never seen again, whether Alexis flings Sonny across the table and scroggs him blind or Carly drags him to Martinique at gunpoint for a remarriage...no matter WHAT happens to this couple or trio, it does NOT give even one of the viewers of the show the right to treat the other viewers in such cruel and vicious ways as I keep seeing.  Who do you people (and you KNOW who are are and who you aren't and I hope the sting of shame is in your cheeks right now) think you ARE that you can rip apart other people because they disagree or want something different that you want?   What if we just hand you folks the torches and pitch forks and you can complete the mob mentality that you seem to adore on these pits of hatred, rage and venom that pass as mailing groups and message boards.  I'm sure there are some baby seals in Alaska that don't agree with you guys on the Sonny-Carly-Alexis issue, so perhaps you should go club the crap out of them.  Real people turn on the computer and start to type.  Real people who live normal lives with pain and heartache and obstacles and disappointments and poverty and alcoholism and child abuse and custody battles are behind those user names you see on the message boards and mailing lists.  The kind word they read there may be the only one they get all day.  But no, instead what could be a place of love and support and fun and a refuge from the world turns in one more battle to be fought and one more enemy to rip to shreds.  The anonymity of the keyboard and a world that *goes away* with the touch of a button brings out the monster hiding in the mildest, most reserved "real life" person and lets them wreak havoc on anyone on the net who happens to *gasp* think that Alexis' dream about Sonny was pretty doggoned hot and that hey, if we were the lawyer who lived across the hall from Sonny, we'd be hot for him too, especially if we were as sexually repressed and devoid of lovin's as Alexis is.  But no, they HATE Alexis for COMING BETWEEN SONNY AND CARLY DAMN HER, DAMN HER TO HELL!  Alrighty then.   

Am I just being hard on the Sonny and Carly people?   Damn right I am.  I get a few hundred letters a day and I read every one.  I have gotten perhaps 5-6 letters from Sexis people and all have been respectful and sane.  The number about 1:200 against the Sonny and Carly people and the "nice" Sonny and Carly letters are just about as rare.  It may be different odds in places other than my inbox, but I'm sure as hell not going to those message boards to find out!  I learned my lesson the hard way on that one.

Ah!  But the sharp reader notes, "But Sage, YOU have a mailing group AND a message board!!  Hypocrite!!"  Oh, ho, ho (wink), but NO!  Everyone on that board and that mailing group knows up front that if ANY of the crap so prevalent on the other boards and mailing groups starts up, if they are not respectful of one another and do not honor the right of others to have their own opinion, they will be the Leader of the Banned.  If it still persists, I will drop the group or board like a bad habit (and a LOT faster).  I will NOT be a party to the abuse going on in the name of self expression and frustration. 

As far as Iím concerned, this couple or triangle or whatever the heck it is has done little more but bring out the worst in people, goosing them to more extreme heights of brutal combat and causing far more tension and panic than the situation deserves.  Am I the only one who sees these people attacking one another like wild dingoes and wants to scream, ďFor God sake, itís a TV show!!  Youíre cutting up other humans over a damned TV show!!Ē  Iíve had a couple of people from the Sonny and Carly side of the fence who have written intelligent letters about why the couple means so much to them, but while I appreciated a well thought out point of view in the beginning, now Iím just sick of hearing about it at all.  Those nice letters are rare and more commonly what I get is the ranting and raving and ďUĒ instead of ďyouĒ and threats to no longer watch the show if there is a triangle.  I say, quit now.  Give up the tension altogether.  Have a feeling, have an opinion, go ďHmm,Ē frown, throw a pillow at the TV but if itís really upsetting you, turn the little knob and be done with the whole thing.  Donít allow yourself to be so shaken up that youíre in a panic or worse, that you are attacking a real person on a mailing list or message board.   

So that is really my problem with the Sonny and Alexis and Carly thing:  The Viewers are getting worked into such a frenzy that they are attacking each other, threatening the actors and living in a world of high drama that has drastically increased the stock value of nitro glycerin.   It is the basic nature of The Soap that couples will come together in an intense way and will break up in an equally intense way.  Itís the way of the soap world.  Sometimes, they will reunite and sometimes they wonít.  In this case, they are going to reunite.  It is a done deal and the Sonny and Carly people who are throwing in the towel are wise to do so if they canít handle the path that reunites the two.  I really, really donít blame them and think itís a good idea.  We can let them know when itís safe to come back.

I promise you, I swear, that whatever I hear, Iíll put into a column right away.  I donít have any more information than I show you right here, so writing and asking will usually yield "I dunno."  I wonít hold out on you, ever.  If I hear anything, it will be on this page immediately.   Feel free to post questions on the message board to see if anyone else knows anything, but if I know it, it will be here.

Please keep in mind that whatever is reported is subject to change and we, as columnists, can only report what we hear.  The one thing I do know is that Sonny and Carly, after all is said and done, will get back together for at least as long as any soap couple is together.   

By the way, what is up with Luckyís hair and the permanent erection it seems to have and why the heck do Nikís teeth suddenly seem too big for his mouth?

There.  Now wasn't that tremendously more fun than all this oh so serious and freaky intense Sonny-Carly-Alexis talk!  If you come out of that tight little closet and open yourself to the OTHER stories on the canvas, there is sooo much we can diss and rag on about!  Can't we have fun again? (Yes, we can and we ARE on the Sage message board and mailing list!)  Really, would the world cave in if everyone just decided not to participate in the venom and panic over this and just relaxed and watched the show for a change?  If you look at it objectively, all indicators point to a reunion.  Can't you imagine the scene where Sonny tries to be with Alexis to finally get over Carly and SHE ends up showing him how much he loves Carly, then, in a moving scene, getting him to go to her and kiss and make up?  How very, very soap is that?  How very, very Alexis is that?  Free your mind and the reunion will follow! 

I still love you, but the words 'darling' or 'loveys' just isn't flowing from me after the interchanges I read that a couple of readers sent me.  Maybe tomorrow it will be warmer or my hormones will be adjusted or I'll be better rested (it's almost midnight, so maybe not that last part).  *sigh*  Start throwing the rotted fruit and vegetables.  I need the compost pile.

Love,

PS:  Normal, lovely people, please know I'm not talking about you in this rant.