CAUTION: My girl, Carol, speaks her mind in a strong, brassy and vibrant fashion. If you are offended by straight talking, adult oriented language (sometimes, there's a "very" in there), please be aware that you may well find it here. Carol shoots from the hip and tells it like it is, pulling no punches and taking no prisoners. That's why I love her & why I hired her. If it's not your bag, let's part still friends and salute our differences in tastes (I'm sort of a strong strawberry flavor...) ~*~Katrina~*~
Welcome Change of Pace
The spoiler warning of Nico beating up Sam (and her unborn baby) on GH did not do enough justice to what ended up on-screen. The beating wasn’t as bad (nowhere in any related scene did I ever witness the gratuitous physical abuse of woman and child as prophesized online), and best of all, another woman got in on the act, to help kick the abuser’s butt, none other than Carly, too.
Almost everybody who also heard of this particular spoiler felt the same way about the gratuitous violence that continually attacks women as some misguided means of enabling their men to come to the rescue. That, or glorify the good guys in the mob, Jason and Sonny, at the expense of morals, common sense, integrity and a conscience.
This time, the spoiler seemed very gratuitous. A punch or two, a little blood, eh, it’s GH. I already witnessed Sonny putting a bullet in Carly’s head while she gave birth and asking her later to do the same to her lover Lorenzo. No biggie, considering. But to lovingly detail every punch in a series of unending punches, each more brutal than the next on a helpless pregnant woman, to show a huge hulking male beating on an even more defenseless unborn baby? That’s going too far.
As usual though, what I saw and what was spoiled did not match. Thank God in heaven they did not match. My sensitive stomach and impressionable mind couldn’t handle much more of the revamped, keeping up with the Sopranos ABC Daytime.
Nico did punch Sam pointblank in the face, and it hurt to watch. But that’s pretty much all he did, except whine about how much he loved her, she belonged with him and he didn’t care about the unborn baby ‘cause it wasn’t his. Nothing different from the whining the latter (that nobody cares about Sam more ‘cause of the unborn baby) I already peruse on the message boards.
Then, TPTB did one better, they surprised, pleased me and almost redeemed their previous series of misogynistic impulses, they made another woman, a rival for Sonny’s affections no less, one of Sam’s defenders. By having Carly of all people kung-fu Nico nearly to death, grab Sam in a gruff, manly manner usually reserved for Jason and Sonny, haul her in to Sonny’s penthouse (without locking the door!) and dial 911, they made me hope for a day soon on the horizon where sisters are doing it for themselves, y’know, back when Anna Devane took charge and knocked a few knuckleheads in their place, using her brain and brawn, just like the he-men around her.
I could buy Carly as a revamped, contemporized Anna Devane. It sure would go a long way towards convincing me she’s likeable, intriguing and worth a third and fourth chance. Putting her bullying tactics to better use couldn’t have hurt the soiled, surly image either.
Yet, I suspect the real reason remains unfulfilled. I still don’t care about Sam, her unborn baby and yet another series of secrets, lies and deceptions. Everybody around her goes through so much trouble to keep her safe, and for what? So she can further jeopardize their lives and the lives of those they love? For this they skip over the fact that several important veterans have returned or stayed on in the cast, not the least of which are Jane Elliot (Tracy), Leslie Charleson (Monica), Robin Mattson (Heather), Robin Christopher (Skye), Stuart Damon (Alan), Jackie Zeman (Bobbie), Kristina Wagner (Felicia), Tony Geary (Luke) and Denise Alexander (Lesley), with Constance Towers (Helena), Stephen Nichols (ex-Stefan), Billy Warlock (ex-A.J.), Rachel Ames (Audrey), and Robert Kelker-Kelly (ex-Stavros II) on speed-dial.
GH is rife with emotional stories just waiting to be told. Just start with the kinds of scenes that occurred last week between Skye and Tracy in jail, move on to Lois and Dillon’s heart-to-heart following a brutal tongue-lashing from Brook Lynn.
See? It’s easy.
ABC Daytime president Brian Scott Frons made the rounds lately, going from soap press to SoapNet to pimp the summer fare on his three soap operas. As a rule, I try to avoid him at all possible.
Unfortunately, in my (volunteer) line of work, it’s my job to keep up to date on Frons’s every burp, fart and quote, even though, most of it’s bloated, stinking ego, and an incredible lack of understanding of soaps and soap fans.
I’ve never met the man. I probably never will. I probably never will meet 90 percent of the movers, shakers and poseurs I write about, which is just as well, since I don’t want to. But from what I’ve heard and read of what he thinks the genre needs to stay viable and raise ratings, no big loss.
He offends me on every level, whether he’s sitting his fat butt in the front row of The View, beaming like a proud, delusional papa, for appearances, or he’s insulting all the veteran soap stars of the world by referring to them repeatedly and blithely as “aging products” to be dissected according to red and black production values, or he’s confusing healthy criticism for disloyalty, or he’s calling a beautiful, average-sized actress (Kathy Brier/Marcie, OLTL) anything but, or just last week on SoapTalk, he’s bragging on himself and his cohorts about the network’s effort to establish diverse characters on his three mostly-white bread soaps.
I refused to watch this show, not just because that air hog co-host Lisa Rinna grates on my nerves (she’s the one who constantly interrupts and takes over conversations, not co-host Ty Treadway), but because Frons came on as a guest to pimp ABC Daytime in his usual delusional, you’re a team player or you’re a problematic disloyal curmudgeon fashion.
But others did watch and reported that Frons did his usual cheerleading, and unbelievably, Treadway gave him plenty of ammunition, by asserting – without a smirk in sight – that Frons should be commended for bringing more diversity, minority representation, into soaps. Frons went on to bask in that accolade, as the mindless audience clapped, saying that he’s trying and believes he’s been successful.
I have one sentence for him: How’s Trent doing on GH? (The young black man originally scheduled to appear in a major role tied to L&B Records has reportedly been cut back to ... token young black man plot device for the good ole white folks.)
I don’t know about anybody else, but tokens and lawn jockeys are not what constitute true diversity in soaps. True diversity in soaps is giving a storyline to the voices that clamor to be heard on a regular basis, beyond pure accidents, a nod to angry fan bases and/or filler until the good white folks with their shiny pearly white teeth come along to take over again.
Take OLTL’s Love Project. I certainly hope this isn’t Frons’ idea of diversity. The main attraction centers around Marcie, Jen, Riley, Rex, Shannon, Viki and to a lesser extent, Roxy—all white. The rest, including the Asian-American and the African-American, are afterthoughts, stuck in to fill up a crowd and keep the NAACP off the soap executives’ backs from this minority’s perspective. I won’t even touch what they’re doing to R.J. and Evangeline by throwing good ole white boy with the edgy tattoo and long dirty hair, John, suddenly into the mix – guess the black chick’s only good for a mindless, animalistic romp in the sack, eh (can’t wait for the Asian token to start going geisha on Rex). The one, good upturn is in the Vegas becoming more prominent; they’re only a part of the bigger, mob-infused picture, however, but hey, an inch is better than nothing.
The day I see a black community as prominently featured as one of Jennifer Rappaport’s many hangnails, is the day Frons actually put his money where his big mouth is.
Until then, spare me.
NOW THAT IT’S SAFE
I had to laugh at all the brouhaha over Jacob Young’s (JR, AMC; ex-Lucky, GH; ex-Rick, B&B) print interview with Soap Opera Digest, the controversial one post-GH, where he practically blames (the contractual demands of) GH for sending him away from daytime, practically admits he left GH because of GH, not necessarily because of any higher ambition for primetime, film, a music career, practically gives credence to all those nasty blind items out there accusing him of all sorts of malfeasance, not the least of which was a bad temper.
People are surprised he changed his tune (at the time, he did say he left GH to pursue his music and film career) and that he hinted around at a not-so-nice recent-past in L.A. (where he rehearsed and shot all his GH scenes as the first Lucky recast) with not-so-nice Hollywood types, which included mention of a distant co-star everyone assumed was really superclose with him at the time.
I’m not. But then, I don’t believe the party line every time it’s spewed by either TPTB or the stars themselves. I also don’t unconditionally worship, i.e., think they’re perfect, truthful gods, TPTB or the stars just because they’re TPTB or the stars. You won’t find me amongst the spin doctors trying to polish gold nuggets out of turds, or blindly defending an aging soap actor who thinks his nuggets don’t stink, simply because he’s on 24/7 and has an Emmy on his mantle.
I used to, though, back oh, about five, six years ago, when I bought that Sarah Brown (ex-Carly) left GH to pursue mainstream entertainment and directing, Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) would never return to GH, so he could pursue mainstream entertainment and indies, all the cast members got along, there is no “I” in “We,” Genie Francis (ex-Laura) is such a valued commodity that her bosses would do anything to keep her, they’d never let Kristina Wagner (Felicia) go or waste the talents of Stephen Nichols (ex-Stefan) and Billy Warlock (ex-A.J.). Most importantly, that I had half a chance with the likes of Ingo Rademacher (Jax, GH)... wrong on so many counts.
Much of the reaction by many diehard fans to Young’s GH dissatisfaction doesn’t surprise me either. Many of those fans tend to be the first ones defending whatever a star says because he’s a star and he’s cute too (and maybe just maybe they have a chance to score with him if they hike their skirts up high enough). They’re the last to believe anything bad could come out of any of their soaps if TPTB are in charge; after all, TPTB know what they’re doing.
Silly, star-struck fans. If they only knew.
Watching Krystal praying to the Almighty to keep her dirty little secret – and keep a baby away from her rightful mother – isn’t doing this trailer trash of a new female character any favors. A better plotline would’ve been to have had a nefarious villain, say, OLTL’s money-grubbing Paul, take the babies hostage. The only way Krystal can be redeemed is if she breaks down and coughs up the truth to Bianca immediately, with Babe taking a bullet for Bianca in the bargain. Wait, reverse that, and make the bullet fatal.
Kendall screwing Ryan’s younger brother is totally out of character. They just met. That’s like Erica turning tricks. And I never heard about a younger brother, was I passed out when this was mentioned earlier? Where the hell was Jonathan when Ryan was going through turmoil, his father’s death, Kendall’s betrayal, etc.? But he does look like Leo. Maybe he’s Leo’s brother.
Maria and Zach. Yeow. The look on Zach’s face. I know it’s acting but I wish I could be the recipient of such raw open lust from the likes of Thorsten Kaye. He’s practically lapping her up with his smoldering eyes and watering mouth. Waiter, I’ll have another, in double-AA.
Alexa Havins is beautiful. But the makeup on her Babe is too much. Makes her look like the Bride of Frankenstein, (or Ann Hauck, this poor trailer trash girl I knew from high school who’d always take cab rides home and charge it to me). Well, considering it’s JR, who actually smirked when cheering the loss of David’s newborn Leora...
Funny, I don’t mind teens Reggie and Danielle front and center. They don’t feel forced down my throat, perhaps because they’re connected to major families, were introduced slowly, and actually rock in the personality department (unlike that Bianca parasite, Maggie). It helps that they’re not cookie cutters of typical TV teen fare (see MTV’s the Real World).
June 29th episode: Ryan storms inside Tad’s house, label of his shirt in the back clearly flapping in the breeze. Two minutes into the conversation, he turns around and the label’s tucked inside. Continuity Police!
Skinny, gawky, lanky geek fest Jonathan, btw, is an instant hit with me. Two chicks throwing themselves at him in one day! Babe’s advances caused him to stammer, No nibbling! LOL, just my type.
Erica’s intervention started off even better than I’d anticipated last Friday. When Mark walked in and finished Erica’s pity party with something along the lines of, “...the sister who saved my life,” I had to reach for the ole Kleenex. I had to reach every time I saw Susan Lucci reacting heartfelt at just the sight of a vulnerable, hurting Eden Riegel (Bianca), who did better, Emmy-award-winning work just standing there waiting for the hits than in her entire past year blubbering about Michael Cambias. But I have mommy issues with Erica from way back.
The Love Project doesn’t make sense with Riley amongst the participants. Viki says the criteria binding them all together is they can’t work well in groups, for the group projects of their individual, different classes. Yet, Riley is there because his professor thought he cheated on a test.
The plot device enabling John and Evangeline to cheat on Natalie and R.J., respectively, didn’t make sense. Locking themselves in yet another basement, replete with wine. Not Asa’s this time. But couldn’t John have used his manly might to shove the door back open, or at the very least, plugged the doorknob full of bullet holes?
The minority-minded among us are perturbed that once again, TPTB saw fit to pull a black woman away from a black man, to pair her up with a white man, and thus, give her more of a frontburner status. Evangeline should’ve had the knock-down, drag-out, up-against-the-wall sex scene with R.J., the man she supposedly is committed to. But the audience never saw much more than chaste pecks on the cheek and lips with him. Enter, sexy white boy with tattoo, and suddenly, everything’s changed. This same M.O. happens everywhere in the entertainment industry, from TV (remember Byrds of Paradise?) to movies, where only white people can be the heroes, the familiar, non-threatening tourist guides through the jungles of exotica.
Dorian ranting about what kind of a man Kevin is for Kelly to feel she can’t confide in him about her miscarriage, when it’s Kelly to blame... Kelly acting like Ace is the only reason for living and her happiness, when she’s never around him and too distracted anyway to notice. Crock, meet urinal, meet Pepto-Bismol.
The vulnerable yet fierce look in David’s eyes when he realized Dorian’s spill wasn’t from a fall down some steps, but the result of a Santi thug beating on her for info on the hidden fortune... caused me to tear up. This is the kind of unexpected pairing soap execs kill for, where an unlikely class clown in lothario guise reveals a deeper, poetic meaning through the simpatico of an older, steel rod exterior belying an ocean of feeling.
The July 1st episode was near-perfect because 1) Todd told Kelly no way to her next scheme, 2) Kelly told Kevin Todd was Ace’s real father anyway, a lie, and suffered severely for it when Kevin blew his lid in an emotionally potent scene, and 3) Todd told Blair the truth, starting all the way back to when Kelly miscarried. I can’t wait for Blair to give Kelly a karmic beat-down, and blab her little head off.
I’d been waiting for Kevin to blow, under the weight of Kelly’s lie upon lie upon refusal to tell the truth based on nothing but a flimsy excuse as her love for Ace. When has she ever given that little baby any consideration, in between hyperventilating over Paul’s and Todd’s blackmail, and cover-ups? She even admitted that she never sees Ace, before she pontificates about Ace being her saving grace, without whom she’d be destroyed and mentally incapacitated. She’s already there, she loves Ace about as much as I love Sam’s unborn baby on GH.
Risqué, double-entendre dialogue between Antonio and Sonia (whom I believe to be the head honcho of the Santi family)... Sonia telling him she likes it hard, Antonio telling her to play with her jewelry. I have my face half covered in my pillow during their foreplay.
I always love Todd’s reaction to Kelly, because Trevor St. John always plays it so dry-comically, acting as if Kelly’s stupid and he has to painstakingly walk her through the obvious. His DUHs of incredulity at her suggestion that he fake being Ace’s daddy really had me laughing it up. Too bad Heather Tom’s playing Kelly real seriously.
I also really loved Dan Gauthier (my secret crush) as Kevin finally putting oomph into his performances, after Kelly broke the news of his not being Ace’s real daddy after all. Grabbing the framed family portrait, a lie, grabbing Kelly by the back of her hair, pounding the portrait’s glass facade with his fingers, shaking the portrait in her face, smashing it to the floor, voice alternating between blind rage and helpless anguish, crying for the first time since he took over as the 11th recast... I even watched his scene twice—and I haven’t done that since Viki and Dorian were downed in that plane.
But a glitch in continuity at Carlotta’s diner: When last viewed, Paul and Natalie left, as Jessica rushed to a handy pad and pen to write down the contents of Paul’s map, which she quickly memorized before handing it back to him. Commercials air, then, the scene picks up again with Jessica saying good-bye to Paul and Natalie?! Didn’t they just leave?
So, Adriana is finally seeing River for the phony-baloney, punk-rocker wannabe horndog that the rest of us have. Sorry it took busting her cherry but better late than never. Girlfriend, I can’t believe you gave it up for that skinny skanky little weezer, either.
The Love Project is a rollicking good hit, despite obvious stereotypes, quips flying fast and furious, Rex and Roxy in one room, yet I can’t help wondering how far the jock and the wise-cracking token Asian-Filipino are gonna have to go before Riley or Jen snap. Sure, Riley finally punched the jock out for pushing it with Jen, with the stripper put-downs, but he had plenty of chances earlier. And how come nobody is punching the jock and the Asian-Filipino chick for mouthing off about Marcie’s weight, least of all her supposed, protective big brother? If I were unfortunate enough to be stuck with those losers (honeychile, hard labor ain’t my thing), that chick would’ve been flattened so 15 minutes ago.
jealous of Nora and Daniel? Nope, still don’t see it.
...If Sam would just get out of town, being the expert of getting out of town and disappearing from the face of the earth as she is supposed to be. Yet she sticks around, causing havoc, giving empty apologies and continuing to threaten Jason, Sonny et al with more secrets and lies. I almost wanna say ungrateful but I think she’s really too stupid to realize how self-centered destructive her presence is. Pandora’s Box continues.
(Nico looked like Jason, in an odd, dreamy way. Yeah, I’m sick. Shut up.)
I cared more about Skye’s parting shots to Tracy. And, wanted Skye’s words – to live a less hate-filled life with the Quartermaines – to have counted for something with Tracy, even behind closed doors.
The “Milkshake” teen auditions were bizarre. More questions than answers in this regard. How come there were only three (lame) people shown auditioning, none of them teens? How come they all sang that insipid “Milkshake” song for their audition, except the first try-out, Trent, token black guy, who didn’t even have lyrics to his wailing? Does executive producer JFP, who used to do music for soaps before, have any idea what the “Milkshake” song’s about (neither do I, but they tell me it’s about BJs, and I ain’t talkin’ her lost heart)? How can Sage, as Brook Lynn suggested, feel the lyrics more, and, as Georgie suggested, be about more than sex, when the song is all about sex for the millennium? I saw a better audition tape from the movie, The Fabulous Baker Boys.
I did learn something important from the June 29th episode, though. Two somethings, actually:
I kept waiting for Alexis to tell Emily to shut up about keeping Nikolas’s alive status mum to Helena (just waiting in the wings to pounce on all that inheritance money), and throw in a scalding lecture, ala to Sarah Brown’s Carly on the side of the Quartermaine mansion entrance, along the lines of Little girl, let me school you on decency and plain common sense. Instead, silence meant acquiescence, apparently, ‘cause Alexis kept her mouth shut until Emily felt the time was right.
Emily didn’t even tell Lucky, Elizabeth had to do it. I don’t even think Emily tells Nikolas in the end, which arrives blessedly next week. One would assume from the disastrous results of her withholding crucial information from Zander, the supposed love of her life pre-breast cancer, that Emily would learn a lesson.
Elizabeth and Emily acted like best friends who haven’t seen each other in, what, two months, all smiles and support when... I – and tons of other fans like me – remember different back when Nikolas was falsely accused of murdering Zander in the hotel fire. Neither Elizabeth nor Emily cared about each other as best friends when it came time to defending their respective boy toys, but at least Elizabeth made an effort to understand Emily with her Nik-related turmoil. Emily could barely muster concern about Elizabeth’s pregnant welfare when ranting and railing at Ric over his intentional harassment of her precious Prince Nikolas. Now that Elizabeth and Ric are no longer threats to her precious, Emily can feel free to affect the role of friend and benefactor.
Brook Lynn’s disrespectful (but typical in soaps) treatment of mother Lois is a major reason I hesitate in having another child for fear it’ll turn out to have a vagina, and in 15 years time, mouth off to me about every hassle pre-conceived under the sun. I know Lois can be a control freak of epic proportions, but kids, when you give birth, stay up 24/7 for nine weeks, clean up dirty diapers, and assorted other thankless mother duties, then you earn the right to mouth off. Until then, shut up and sing. If even that’s possible (I heard Brookie with Ned, I cried from the pain, not the poignancy).
I know Heather Webber is sort of family-related to the Spencers, but c’mon, she last left with her mind questionable back in the mid-‘80s. Why in the world would Bobbie trust the woman with little Lulu? I kept screaming, “She’s insane! You might as well hand her off to a child molester, moron!” It’s Bobbie, though, after all, who turns her forgiveness off and on like a light switch.
I’m still comparing the before and after of the two Loises, Rena Sofer’s original and Lesli Kay’s (ex-Molly, ATWT) recast, but that distraction aside, I’m enjoying Kay’s more vulnerable, sensitive version more. I can’t help but think Sofer would’ve knocked Brook Lynn on her pompous behind for daring to mouth off even once, instead of run off in tears like Kay’s Lois did. This Lois’s eyes reflected all her hopes, fears and anxieties, not the least of which transfers over from the new GH actress herself. It doesn’t help that I wasn’t much of a fan of Rena I’m too good for daytime Sofer.
A little chortle came over me as I skimmed over a recent Soap Opera Digest interview with Lesli Kay about her new, recast role on GH, as well as her new home on the West Coast. The part where Kay tried not to offend Rena Sofer (the former, original Lois) and her fans by asserting that she didn’t want to make her Brooklyn accent a caricature, correcting herself by adding, she didn’t mean in the least that her predecessor did a caricature, and then not really explaining what she meant then, beyond, she used to live for seven years in Brooklyn, wanted to do the accent right, too many Brooklyn-ites feel that actors do a caricature, and that her Lois would be more vulnerable.
It’s too bad Carly didn’t really buy the I’m a hypocrite, because we’re too much alike BS she was spoon-feeding a gullible Sam in last Friday’s episode—and mark my words, she did not—because the truth not only hurts, but could’ve been a truly defining moment of redemption for both Carly and Sam. Instead, I’m yelling at the TV, “Tone it down!” as Carly growls to Felicia, her hired P.I., earlier in the show, about taking down the slut and the skank, for Jason’s protection...you’d think Carly was mad at Felicia, Felicia even looked like she was trying to calm Carly down by verbally going easy on the warnings – so as not to risk Carly’s wrath herself – against getting in further trouble by personally pursuing the South Carolina-based mystery.
But, as usual, Carly could not and will never hold a candle to the evil incarnate that has become full-throttle fake-Emily. I can’t stand this person so much, I should do a weekly WHY I HATE FAKE-EMILY segment. She can’t even cop an on-the-warpath attitude with Mary convincingly enough without all the Lisa Vultaggio/ex-Hannah hand-waving and finger-pointing. This, in the presence of an acting veteran (in the praise of Tyler Christopher/Nikolas), Catherine Wadkins, who, I’m sure will carry the scenes into next week for Natalia Livingston, as per usual. Yes, mes amis, I would very much like to take that finger and... but then I’d have to touch her.
Please, oh please Mary, morph into one of Charles Manson’s female followers and brandish a sharpened blade.
My little observation since mid-May: Isn’t it funny whenever someone says something, anything nice, it’s hardly noticed? But when the dirt flies, over 5,000 served. And counting.