April 9, 2004
For years now, I've been saying that all of the ABC soaps look alike to me, in that they are flailing and struggling and laboring through stories that are of little interest to the viewer and only seem to serve to further the agendas of honchos who are mired in their own prepubescent fantasies to the exclusion of attempting any passing swat toward honoring the real heart of the genre or even anything close to romance.
Now, I am being forced to eat those words as all of my soaps actually DO look exactly alike. They all look like this:
Mind you, if I turn ON the TV, they all still look alike, just like this:
... snow and white noise with not even the slightest little shadow of movement. A week ago last Monday, I moved so far up into the boonies that I can't even get fuzzy local channels. That leaves me with (counting today) two solid weeks of no TV, no soaps, no entertainment...just unpacking endlessly.
By the grace of God, I will NEVER move again.
So for all of my big talk about how if it were not for Eye on Soaps, I would not watch the soaps, I now know that I was utterly full of shit. Of course I would. I miss them like crazy.
You have no idea how challenging it is to run a soap site when you can't watch soaps. I read the (wonderful) columns of my talented staff and realize I've never seen the scenes they are discussing. I want to write my Spoiler Commentary columns, which I really miss doing, and I don't have a clue what I'm talking about.
This left me at a disadvantage for this week's column, so I've decided to just write my own scripts for the shows and with any luck, it's what will have transpired in these two weeks while I'm gone.
Check your two weeks of soap experience at the door. You are now entering:
ABC Soaps, Written by: Katrina Rasbold
After leaving the hospital on Jackson's arm, Erica wails to him that she absolutely could not understand why Bianca didn't want to see her! If she could hold audience with that little gutter snipe, Maggie and that Eurotrash lesbian, Lena, why not her own MOTHER?"
"I don't know," Jackson says. "Maybe it's because you can't seem to think of anyone other than yourself. Absolutely your every thought, every action, every word moves automatically through a filter of Erica and how YOU will be affected. You don't have the capacity for even one selfless act and honestly, we're all getting sick of supporting you in that offensively self-obsessed behavior. We have decided that you should die old, (which you already are, even though your extensive nipping and tucking belies it) lonely and if Ryan and I have our way, penniless.
"Why I never..."
"And you never will," Jackson continues. All this time, he's been walking her to a room at the Pine Cone Inn where all of her nearest and dearest have gathered for a Selfish Bitch Intervention or "SBI" as they shall now be called in the soaps. He ties her to a chair and forces her to listen as nearly the entire town relates stories of how Erica's self-centered behavior has negatively impacted their lives. Total strangers who have been affected are also present and share their stories. Bianca is beamed in via satellite to give her testimony. Mona shows up in ghost form and begs her daughter to stop hanging out at her grave, expecting her eternal absolution and preventing her from ever having a moment of her much earned eternal rest. Chris Stamp spends an ethereal 2 hours expounding at length on Erica's complete inability to remain faithful and god forbid, truthful. At long last, when all have spoken, they cross their arms over their chests and turn on their heels, showing her their back, doing that Klingon discommendation thing where you are effectively persona non gratis to them. As she begs for their forgiveness, they sing the "You Are Not One of Us" song from "Simba's Pride." Maggie throws a bucket of water on Erica, hoping she'll melt, but she just got really soppy wet and her mascara ran a good bit down her face, giving her a kind of Alice Cooper effect.
Afterwards, all of Pine Valley went back to their own lives, which they now had time to focus on since they didn't have to be so concerned about how all of their deeds and actions would affect Erica or what Erica would think or did maybe Erica need a sprig of mint in her tea just now. Now and then, they'd share a secret smile at how deftly Myrtle and Phoebel had executed the 180 degree turn in the Klingon [heretofore known as the "Erica"] Discommendation ritual and how great Opal had looked in the Viking helmet and braids she'd worn. All was quiet in Pine Valley for a few days while...
Erica worked her way out of the duct tape that held her to the wooden chair in the Pine Cone Inn. Devastated by the words and rejection of her loved and unloved ones, she fell to the floor weeping, pausing only to look at her shredded manicure that fell victim to the clawing to free herself from the chair.
Sobbing, she made her way to the motel door and opened it, only to find the specter of Roger Smythe leaning casually against the opposite wall. Roger lit a cigarette, took a deep drag and said, "What's cookin', Sweets? Why the waterworks?" Erica wailed her misery to him and he listened, nodding intermittently and dragging on his smoke during the other intermittents. Erica noticed that when he inhaled, the smoke would trickle out from the inside of his vest where he'd been shot.
When she'd finished lamenting her woes to this unlikely of guardian angels, Roger draped his arm around her shoulders and said, "Kid, come with me."
Two days later, Erica returned to Pine Valley with the true Chandler heir in her arms and Paul Cramer's balls in her purse, with Paul Cramer himself in tow, singing like a bird with a story of switched babies, faked helicopter crashes and sad, sad sisters.
Babe lovingly passed MiMo to Bianca, Erica handed JR, Jr to, well, JR and everyone lauded her as today's really, really good heroine. Paul was sent "up the river" for a good long time, which he didn't really mind because, let's face it, New England hadn't exactly been his friend anyway. Sister, Kelly, was so grief stricken over not getting to keep her stolen baby, not to mention Kevin having an affair with the female cabbie who drove him home to learn his baby was stolen, that she checked herself into St Anne's where she and Addie Cramer shared a room and made collages together.
The township was so impressed with Erica's reformation (truly, it was unprecedented since Ebeneezer Scrooge bought that giant turkey for the Cratchett family) that they thought about doing one on Maria, but decided to just kill her instead.
Viki held consult with her doctor, who suggested she see a specialist for her recurring health problems. The specialist told Viki that the source of all of her problems was a serious deficiency of purple, veiled hats. Viki laughed him off, but on the way home was gripped with searing chest pain. Her driver happened to be passing by a ladies haberdashery at the time (which only really exists in Llanview) and quickly grabbed an ornate purple hat with a wispy net veil and fourteen Shasta daisies on it. He jammed it on her head and instantly, her eyes focused and the pain ceased. As it turned out, the small, covered grippy things that held the hat to her head provided the perfect acupressure points to correct her cardiac problems and the purple dye from the hat contained a vital compound that upped her serotonin level to a point that she was jolly and near giddy, sort of that "mad as a hatter" effect. From that day forward, Viki was never seen without a purple hat from her vast collection of purple veiled hats, as well as one more thing...
A manic, infectious laugh.
Jessica and Antonio joined the Peace Corps and left. No story there. They just left.
Cristian is still thankfully dead.
Natalie and John have a hot and heavy romance and buy out Roadi's.
David and Dorian get married and David runs for mayor of Llanview against Daniel Colson. David actually wins.
Bo and Nora reunite and Matthew finally shuts the hell up.
Jennifer is so distraught about her college grades that she does actually sleep with that professor who was propositioning young girls without realizing that he doesn't even work at the university any more. They fall in love and he takes her to Malaysia. All of this, of course, happens off screen.
Lindsay opens "Ms Lindsay's School For Wayward Men Between the Ages of 18 and 25" and is just happy as a clam.
Troy comes back and is redeemed of his madness with the only after effects being that he periodically disrobes for no plot-related reason whatsoever.
Roxy and Nigel finally marry and she takes over the running of the hotel while he works for Asa again.
Evangeline and RJ move in together and open a chain of night clubs across town.
While visiting Addie and Kelly in St Anne's, Blair and Todd are locked in a therapy room, where their argument quickly comes to fisticuffs and they knock each other out. Two aides arrive and mistake Blair and Todd for psychiatric patients scheduled for intensive electroshock treatments. They are zzzzt'd and bzzzz'd until they regain consciousness the next day with the piss and vinegar just buzzed right out of them. They fall madly in love and never fight again. Just happy happy family stuff with Jack and Starr. The four of them form a family gospel group and begin touring with the Bill Gaither Trio "Homecoming" group.
Oh No! Carly, Sonny, Courtney and Jason end up in Sonny's limo just seconds before a car bomb, set by, oh let's not kid ourselves, set by ME, detonates. Like Lily, they're not only really dead, they're really most sincerely dead.
Sorry, but plot wise, it had to happen.
Michael and Morgan go to live in the Little House in the Big Woods with Leticia and Reginald.
Skye and Luke get past his "I can only have Laura" block and are madly in love, running the Haunted Star together. Skye finally has an outlet for her maternal instincts via LuLu and everyone is happy. Laura returns (gotta have some drama) and just when it looks like Skye is going to get dumped, Robert Scorpio returns to town and sweeps her off her feet. She still gets to play Mommy to LuLu because she and Laura become fast friends. The two couples get together at least once a week for pinochle and beer and Cassadine plotting.
Sam grieves for Sonny for a day or so, then joins a convent and is never heard from again.
Felicia and Mac are set to reunite, but in a change of usual events, he leaves HER for Lucy Coe, who has returned to town.
Happily for Felicia (and Katrina), Roy DiLucca returns to town and he is looking for HER.
Stefan and Stavros both return and give Helena an antidote to the emasculation compound administered in her morning tea by Emily. Upon her recovery (similar to when Stefan kept her paralyzed and she could only think and move her eyes, except this time, she could move and not think), she was so furious that she fed Emily to the wild dogs of Spoon Island.
Nikolas didn't care because by then, he was well on in love with Mary, who looked more like Amber Tamblyn every day. Little did he know (as suggested by one of our intrepid readers) that Mary was set up by Helena to distract him from Emily long enough for the dogs to finish eating. Meh. He didn't care.
After a crush that lasted YEARS, Maxie finally got to hook, up with Lucky.
Dillon and Georgie, of course, reunite and poor Sage ends up back at the Old Recasts Home.
Post Carly, Alcazar becomes an evil tele-evangelist that we love to hate. Sophie comes to town and re-wins his cold, cold heart and ultimately gets him a job teaching at PCU.
Lois returns and her love affair with Jax begins. Ned doesn't care because he's back with Alexis.
Monica has an affair with Alcazar (pre-Sophie), which ignites her passion with Alan again, but not until he finally has that fling with Bobbie. Lucas returns from 12 years at diabetic camp just in time to catch them in flagrante delicto and is in such shock that he finally blurts out that he's gay.
Bobbie then sends him off to "Gay Camp" and takes up with Justus.
Faith is just, well, Faith and so great at it. Without Sonny and Jason around, she's the mob queen bee and she and Robert Scorpio have a few close moments, much to Skye's chagrin.
Tracy learns that Damian Smith is alive and not only goes into cahoots with him to take over Faith's newly expanded territory, but of course, shows that Jane Elliot heat to a few walls, tables and other flat surfaces in town with her newfound friend.
Any chance y'all can have all of this worked out by the time I get TV next week?
I knew you could.
Have a great weekend!