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~*~
“ABC SOAP SECRETS” SHOULD BE WEEKLY
Or bi-weekly, at the very least.
I caught the special preview show already 36 minutes done on ABC, then the rest of it on cable’s SoapNet later that Monday evening, August 16. Surprisingly, the show was well done, well edited and well informed, an issue’s worth of a soap opera magazine.
Instead of wasting time regurgitating known bios and making lame small talk about (okay, there was some lame small talk) fans, gratitude and everything’s wonderful on the show, the soap star guests and SoapTalk co-hosts got right down to business, no awkward pauses, no silly fillers, almost as if scripted (well, it was). The soap actors of their respective soaps talked a bit about themselves, how they felt about certain scenes, secrets about their co-stars, what it’s like to be them, getting married by the lake (Rebecca Budig/Greenlee, AMC), finding out the baby girl to be born in December is really a baby boy (Maurice Benard/Sonny, GH), giving the audience a tantalizing glimpse into both their jobs as soap stars and soap characters, and their personal lives and personalities as people.
Clips from each soap and backstage chatter from each soap’s chosen cast members helped augment that in-the-know, on-the-spot feel and garner a kind of teamwork vibe. It was nice and refreshing to see on-screen bad guys and tormented damsels relaxing out of character, previewing what their characters will do next and reinforcing that this is all a bunch of pre-fabricated fantasy, not real life (Alexa Havins/Babe and Jacob Young/JR from AMC doing most effectively).
I couldn’t have asked for a more information-packed 40 minutes.
No soap fan wants to see a bunch of over-40 network executives (or smug soap mag editors) standing behind a podium reciting the spoilers, news and gossip. But one or four of their favorite soap actors doing it? Genius, and I don’t usually associate ABC Daytime president Brian Scott Frons (the guy who came up with this concept) with this adjective.
But despite my cynical predisposition against such a concept, press releases blaring the event weeks beforehand, I must admit Frons accomplished his goal with me. I was riveted to the screen for one hour, throughout the commercials, and found myself dying to watch all three soaps for the magic their actors seemed to exude about the fiction, the characters and the upcoming stories. I forgot that most of the current stories made the fiction and the characters stale, repetitious and sometimes extremely annoying to be around.
The soap stars who were on with co-hosts Ty Treadway (ex-Troy/Colin, OLTL) and Lisa Rinna (ex-Billie, DOOL) were also surprisingly engaging, charming, focused on their guests not themselves, which had me suspicious all the more that even their lines were mostly rehearsed from script. Look at notoriously shy, reserved men of few words, Christopher and Benard, chatting up a storm. Benard, especially, charmed me into forgetting his notorious reputation as soap’s controversial diva, known for working the fans and the press to his contract re-negotiation advantage and stonewalling scenes so newcomer actresses would be left out in the cold.
When he spoke of adding a boy finally, to his brood of hair- and make-up-discussing girls who, together with their mother, routinely gang up on him, I almost teared up and sensed he was very close as he said, “God gave me a boy.” When he related the scenes of Sonny innocently interacting with Kristina, then mocked the genre’s melodramatic reactions in imitating Alexis’s, “Sonny!,” I laughed. The actor has claimed he can’t do comedy, but I beg to differ. The actor, despite his character’s current caricature status, can still command the stage. I almost broke down sobbing at just the sight of him.
The biggest miracles were when Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio) and Bree Williamson (Jessica), from OLTL, and Christopher and Natalia Livingston (Emily), from GH, came on and I did not leave the room. I stayed, interested in their conversation, Reyes’ obvious adoration of Williamson’s innocence and purity as Jessica, Williamson’s Jessica-like embarrassment at having to perform a mini-private strip tease for Antonio, coming close to tears at the time... Christopher teasing Livingston about her wanting the cameras to focus on her “good side,” the right side of her face, like she all of a sudden had this better side, since one side looks as good as the other, juxtaposing such a soap vet-type demand with his first impression of her as nice, sweet, not the kind of girl who would have a good side that must be adhered to...
On AMC, Cameron Mathison (Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) and Alicia Minshew (Kendall) good-naturedly dished about each other’s little-known but embarrassing habits on and around the set. Mathison brought up Minshew’s obsession with bottled water, having to carry it everywhere, and him sometimes hiding it just to rile her. Budig started off seriously talking out of school about Mathison tanning himself, going to the gym before his love scenes, which caused the stud to blush, then she pushed it by exaggerating that he doesn’t shower for three days and such. Minshew, strangely looking just like the third wheel she is on the show, did allow that Budig has this cute tendency to pull her boob foam thingies out from under her dresses, let them hang while she did the Hammer dance, coaxing Budig to show the rest of the audience.
If SoapNet did something like this on SoapTalk, instead of SoapTalk as it is now, with Lisa Rinna (strangely muzzled this time around) interrupting guests constantly, thinking she’s Oprah, and boasting about her family, her boutique and her Angelina Jolie-wannabe self (maybe more like Kathie Lee), I’d be a happy camper.
ABC Soap Secrets, a byproduct of SoapNet and ABC Daytime, successfully captured the magic, the glamour, the fantasy and everything that’s good about celebrities, their charisma, their humility, their inside glimpse backstage to the work involved in putting up a false front for our viewing pleasure.
ABC’s Wide World of Soaps, on the other hand...
Footnote on HAND ME THE DUCT TAPE AND TWO BY FOUR: When angry soap fans called in to ABC Daytime, Anne Sweeney and the like to complain about ABC Daytime president Brian Frons’ offhand comment that the 55-and-over watching CBS soaps are all from nursing homes, they received an automated response apologizing for his insensitivity. It’s not the first time the upper brass has had to do damage control for something Frons put in his mouth.
GOOD VS. RATINGS REALITY
ABC Soaps in Depth’s August 31st issue, “In Depth Report: Have Bad Guys Become Daytime’s New Good Guys?” featured quotes from two actors playing bad guys – Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC) and Tony Geary (Luke, GH) – and one actor playing the good guy – Robert S. Woods (Bo, OLTL). Not surprisingly, the bad guy character actors defended soaps frequent use of slightly humanized villainry, while the lone good guy character actor playing a police commissioner defended the use of punishment with crime.
Transforming anti-heroes, like Dr. David Hayward and former mayor Luke Spencer, with the love of a good woman and a few self-less acts, is a time-honored soap opera tradition that, when applied judiciously, with emphasis on redemption, works ratings magic, earns critical acclaim, mainstream notoriety and an avalanche of awards.
Two examples come to mind: Todd Manning turned into a devoted husband and family man, a softie of a brother to Viki, and sometimes, a reluctant hero on OLTL, while always fighting back his past as a tormented, self-hating gang rapist. GH’s Luke Spencer raped the only woman he ever truly loved, and has been paying for it ever since, with wrong moves, bad hair pieces and protests against going heroic, while beating his oldest son Lucky when it suits him and bedding hookers on the side, just because.
However deeply flawed these two are, they share similarities in keeping with the cardinal, golden rule of soap storytelling: Never allow the redeemed villains to commit pre-meditated murder and get away with it. They must always be pushed to the borderline, and if forced, will shoot to kill to defend themselves and those they love. But they can never return to their former criminal roots with any sort of mindless, savage glee, and they should never rationalize their criminal actions. If they do, they are found guilty and sentenced to death or imprisonment.
It’s happened with AMC’s Erica, and quite often, her intentions were either good, to protect her daughters, or under mental duress, in shooting at husband Dimitri. But over there, the writers didn’t care about the reasons, to them Erica done wrong, and Erica must pay the penalty. So fans watched Erica sit in prison, making prison inmate friends and look generally miserable and penitent.
On OLTL, as charismatic as some of the villains have been, usually, they do time or get plugged. The Music Box Killer did not receive a last-minute reprieve based on any law technicality designed to protect the guilty. Even upstanding citizen Kevin Buchanan spent a night in the tank after a DUI. If you do the crime in Llanview, you do the time. Former loan shark R.J.’s been skirting the boundaries of law for years, coming just this short of actual murder, but if he really did kill that mob-related thug in cold blood for Sonia, he’ll be headed behind bars. I seriously doubt, however, that R.J. did anything but defend himself and Sonia.
As the resident police commissioner, Bo Buchanan, Robert S. Woods pondered the meaning of good and evil for the SID piece, acknowledging that a few villains in the story lend a certain credibility to the good guys’ fight, but when those villains take over and are portrayed as the good guys, or worse, when villainry is rewarded with a continued stay, it’s not right. “You have to do that [punish the criminals] anytime you have a storyline like that; otherwise, you’re condoning what they do,” he said.
According to Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC), today’s soaps merely reflect a basic fact of real life: sometimes those bad guys really do get away with murder. It happens, and if it didn’t, villainous characters like him would’ve been gone from the scene long ago. Tony Geary (Luke, GH) added that regardless of reality vs. fiction, he prefers to watch his entertainment with a heavy dose of darkness, even though, he admitted, the critics do have a point about the balance being skewed toward that darkness. “...over the last few years, everybody has gotten a dark side. Everybody seems to have a nefarious agenda.”
Which brings us to GH, breaking the mold of the ordinary, traditional soap opera, where good triumphs over evil, has to, or else it’s just a true life documentary, a student art film-noire. Unlike AMC and OLTL, villains at GH are rewarded for their evil, murdering, money-laundering, unrepentant ways. Faith poisons her grandmother to death, barely flinching, then proceeds to her next victim. She’s yet to be charged and convicted by Ric for pushing a pregnant Elizabeth down the stairs, intentionally hoping for a miscarriage, which happened. Helena’s been slitting throats and slipping poison into her victims for decades, and yet she still lives another day. Sonny used to be one of those redeemable villains, in it more for the power, the money and as a direct result of an abusive childhood, until he refused to leave the mob and go clean, using his violent stepfather Deke as every excuse in the book to continue skirting the law or outright breaking it. Jason is, for all intents and purposes, a hitman, ordered by Sonny to execute people, enemies of the mob, whether the people are good, evil or indifferent, but is regularly lauded by the prominent, most-used members of Port Charles (soaps’ contemporary Greek chorus) as merely a noble soldier, sent to do his duty for country, motherhood and apple pie.
Faith’s portrayer, Cynthia Preston, regularly thanks her lucky stars that the writers of GH has seen fit to keep her on, always finding those illegal illogical immoral loopholes with which to do so, or else she, as an actress, would be out of a steady job. Preston is the polar opposite of her soap alter-ego, friendly, nice, decent, about 10 years younger in appearance and approach, and a darling to her growing fan base. She’s also an intelligent, sensitive woman who knows—or should know—very well that in other circumstances, say, on a traditional soap that doesn’t rely on the copycatted sensibilities of a cable HBO hit, The Sopranos, she’d be out on her butt, or quickly made redemptive by showing an ounce of humanity in those kidnapping, murdering attempts which she performs with such one-dimensional cartoonish glee that a Wiley Coyote would be proud to witness. I wonder how much better she’d be with an actual story of her own that explored motives, family history, past mistakes and glimpsed the kind of woman who would let the underprivileged children have their Christmas toys and would let her guard down long enough to express sorrow for Justus’s loss.
Obviously, I’m on Robert S. Woods/Bo’s side on this argument, and I’m not an anti-villain fan whatsoever. I can fall for the worst of the best of ‘em. But I can also remember the entertainment genre I’m watching, and have been devoted to since kneehigh to a grasshopper in the early 1970s.
Soaps, like most mainstream movies, are not true life documentaries, snuff student art film-noire. They’re fantasy, fable, short stories, glimmers of the human condition and the requisite humane solution. With all due respect to messieurs Irizarry and Geary, and in alliance with Woods, soaps were, are and always must remain morality tales, where the given situations, the character attributes and reactions are realistically relatable, based mostly on earth-bound logistics, but the end results are always predictably rewarding, reiterating and reinforcing the timeless belief that good is good, bad is bad, and never the twain shall meet.
Or heaven help us all, rewarded with a four-year, six-figure contract.
If Jamie goading Seth into confessing JR bought the drugs that almost killed Babe, while stuck in a prison cell together with a hidden camera and wire—unbeknownst to Seth, the drug dealer—is entrapment, therefore rendering Seth’s confession inadmissible, then why even bother greenlighting this waste of Jamie’s time? If Derek, the supposed professional cop in all this, had simply remembered his handbook, or called up Livvie, his lawyer sis, the resultant stabbing would’ve been avoided.
I’d like to avoid Kendall, who’s gone from misunderstood, self-sacrificing, but sharp as a tack and just as charming, to stupid, one-liner-spouting, lame smirking shrew on the warpath. I cannot believe she used to be one of my favorite characters. Keep this up, Megan McTavish, and you’ll overkill the effect.
Let me wrap up the custody battle between Kevin and Kelly, and end the baby-swapping, cross-over storyline with AMC in a few easy steps. In order to thoroughly discredit Kelly as a fit mother, Kevin must prove that her baby Ace is not hers or his. So he orders a DNA test with armed guards surrounding the lab. The results back Kevin up, but a few others get curious as to the actual biological parents when the rare blood type proves a match for Paul. One thing leads to another and bam!, end of story. Unfortunately, from what I hear now, this story won’t end until February, that’s next year.
And Evangeline said she wasn’t stupid. Hah! How’s this for stupid? She goes to R.J. and Ultra-Violet to pretend interest, a falling out with John, trying her best to convince R.J. she’s ripe for the picking, the better to spy on him for John. Then, she skips on over to Rodi’s for her date with John and in plain sight, proceeds to be very chummy indeed (John’s practically doing her from behind) with the man she told R.J. she broke up with. For all she didn’t know, R.J. had one of his guys trail her to be sure she was on the level (er, he did). Sex with John must make a gal stupid indeed.
See Dorian wring her hands. See Dorian comfort Kelly, Adriana and the Third World children. See Dorian make lost, maternal, auntie eyes at estranged Blair (they are??). See Dorian start to worry about a missing Carlotta. See Dorian receive comfort from David. Back to Kelly... I must go off to pray at the altar of the soap vets that ABC Daytime’s brass will soon see fit to give Robin Strasser (Dorian) something more to do than be the human Kleenex of the Cramer clan, like, um, say, her own story, of love, revenge, mystery, action-adventure. Maybe let her be the one to help bring down the Santi family, so Antonio can do something interesting for a change.
I’ve joined the rest of you in blanking out whenever the Santi or Santi-related contingent surfaces. I. DON’T. CARE.
Some of you called up Robin Strasser’s (Dorian) hotline to find the diva at it again (didn’t she get ousted the last time for talking out of turn?), complaining about an upcoming change in cozy status between her character and David, and general disappointment with the wayward storylines. Apparently, David will start cozying up to Kelly, sexing her up, leaving Dorian in the lurch. Furthermore, Todd and Blair’s cozy little affair could be cut short by Tico.
At an August 21st OLTL Fan Club luncheon, held in Manhattan’s Roosevelt Hotel, attending fans got an earful from Robert S. Woods (Bo) about TPTB’s bone-headed move to oust Ilene Kristen (Roxy) from the premises. He sarcastically commented that they decided to get rid of a professional, generous, fine, Emmy-nominated actress who came into work and always gave her best, and God knows who’s or what’s next, since he’s clueless as to ABC Daytime’s idea of standard excellence... if the likes of Ms. Kristen isn’t good enough.
OLTL used to show the weekend getaways. It was incredibly disheartening to miss the dynamics of yet another of Nora’s relationships, this one with Daniel. She joined him in their weekend getaway, a big deal for a woman who kept to herself after the Troy fiasco, right after missing him because she’d been trapped in a meat locker with Bo. Cut to the August 19th episode, Daniel and Nora are back out at Rodi’s, talking about their weekend getaway, where she joined him later, then succumbed to a 104-degree fever, while he plied her with his homemade chicken soup—all of which the audience did not get to see for themselves. TIOC, too obsessed with the Santi mob story, trying to replicate GH’s Sonny World, also pulled this same thing when Bo and Nora went to New York City to train and win a dance contest. They’re missing out on a great soapy love story, the kind that used to put OLTL on the map, for a violence-tinged gimmick. Besides, how are fans supposed to sustain any interest if all the nuts and bolts of getting to know someone better (or harboring long-simmering interest) happens off-camera? They’re not; it’ll be as if Bo and Nora or Daniel and Nora were two strangers who just came upon the scene to blab about some bull-crap until the real story – the Santis and Jennifer’s boobs – takes over. Worse, until the fan base clamoring for a reunion, as in Bo and Nora’s case, shuts up about it already with the crumb of a mere passing mention.
I don’t know what the deal is with Jessica Morris (Jennifer) wanting out of her contract. That’s the rumor, anyway, not exactly refuted when some fans encountered her at a Ladies of Llanview charity event the night before the OLTL Fan Club luncheon. Maybe she’s sick of the story writing runaround, too.
Nice to see I’m not the only OLTL fan noticing the strident, shrill shrew factor of Marcie Walsh. Black Pearl noticed the same intolerance to differing views and how that intolerance will not win her any friends, keep Michael interested for long or in any way sway the votes of her father and Ron. This SoapZone/OLTL board post was in reaction to August 18/19th’s show, where Marcie tries to browbeat her homophobic family with high-decibel braying:
I really wish Marcie...the walking PSA, that never ends...would STFU! I'm sick of her prattling on about gay people...gay marriage. She's as narrow minded and intolerant as the people she is haranguing. So, she's not a bigot, but she's a narrow minded intolerant holier than thou irritant. And this is BETTER??? And if she yelled at her father and brother the way she yelled at Michael today, it's no wonder they won't listen to and consider her POV/opinion. OY. Go.AWAY!
Unfortunately, Pam, the writers have later stressed Michael’s more homophobic tendencies, openly condemning gay people from showing their love in public in any way (definitely not cool), in order to justify Marcie’s “walking PSA.” Where is liberal heartthrob Al in that soul of Michael’s, anyway? Oh yeah, from what I hear, it’s in principle only, to placate the Bring Nathaniel Marston back at any cost, even to the value of his once-interesting pairing with Kathy Brier contingent of fans. TPTB ::cough, Frons, cough:: will give the fans what they seek, whether the re-pairing works or not, whether the re-pairing is given a decent story or left to fend for themselves. It’s called passive-aggressive undercutting, kids.
Jessica arrives at Lion’s Heart for casual dinner with Tico, August 18. She’s in a low-cut summer dress, hair done up, as if to impress and later undress. Tico’s dressed to the nines, like Ricky Ricardo, practically a tux, candles lit, flowers laid out, champagne chilling. Jessica remarks that this was supposed to be a casual affair, not fancy. But she’s dressed to thrill, or wouldn’t she be in a t-shirt and jeans? The blonde tart does like to tease.
Hardly anybody talks up Melissa Gallo (Adriana), no soap covers, no 50-plus replies to related threads, no hugely populated tribute site. And yet, she’s one of OLTL’s greatest teen finds, a true youth demo darling the writers oughta build a multi-generational story around, the promising foundation of the future. There’s never a false or holier-than-thou note about her, whether she’s being kind to snotty Kelly, acting genuinely child-like around surrogate babysitter David (he agrees to look the other way after she’s caught intimately with River and she squeals with relief, chasing after River, practically skipping the entire way), expressing valid anger at River and Shannon for cheating, being all-around cute as a button about her adherence to natural foods and devotion to God, without laying on the syrupy lectures... I always come away wanting to know more. She’s like one of the cool kids who actually deserves the cool moniker, the ones who volunteer at the Peace Corp and serve Thanksgiving meals to the homeless every year in between rock climbing, hiking, skiing and backpacking through Africa.
Her scenes with Dorian August 18 were stand-out, and the only reason I didn’t fall completely asleep (next to David urging Roxy and Lindsay to a catfight, round 2, after suddenly envisioning them topless). Dorian being Dorian, noble in her own well-meaning but always selfishly destructive way—the opposite of Viki, is calm, reassuring, the picture of maternal bliss in front of Adriana, after finding a home pregnancy test. But after briefly going to David in the foyer, behind closed doors, she almost collapses in his arms from the fear of that possibility, her baby with a baby. My friends, this is the story that begs to be told. Instead of caricature-ing Marcie as a liberal shrew, objectifying Jennifer, Natalie and Shannon, let’s take a tip from a good girl who doesn’t flaunt her goodness or is only all about her boring goodness to the exclusion of anything else remotely human. If there’s anybody on daytime TV that I still relate to and feel I could be friends with, much less emulate, it’s Adriana. Why, watching her almost makes me feel 16 again.
So. Lindsay’s back. I almost forgot her penchant for hanging around loooong after she’s immediately not wanted. But she reminded me by pitching a tent between Daniel and Nora at Rodi’s, even after verbally taunting them, then throwing a drink at Nora. That didn’t shame her or force her into any decent exile, no, not Lindsay, she sticks around for more, and if David hadn’t happened upon the scene, she’d still be there, centuries later, her bones gathering dust.
Loved the Love Crew. Preferred the Love Crew scenes leading up to the strip show, August 20, more than any others, especially the bore-a-minute Santi mystery. Couldn’t quite figure out why, though. Maybe because they, a likeable bunch, included the most regular characters, in an ongoing saga of immersion, integration, interaction, a mix of generally likeable, misunderstood kids who—together—discover each other’s good sides. Maybe because they worked together to put on a Full Monty for charity, with drama, comedy and mix-ups. Maybe because the story blended character-driven reactions to hilarious, risqué situations, with an outrageous payoff come Monday, a jumping, bump-grinding soundtrack, “Hot in the City,” and just this side of macho dance moves by, again, familiar characters the writers worked hard on getting me to like. I watched these post-teens from the beginning, going at it, pre-judging, putting up walls, breaking down those walls with the casual familiarity of roommates and inside jokes, defending each other from outsiders at the most surprising moments (Nick taking on a jock bully, one of his own, to protect Marcie, whom he’d been mercilessly berating). It’s like a mini-soap opera, the way it used to be, instead of waiting around for the next plot gimmick.
Kids, watch Jackie Zeman’s Bobbie and learn. Zeman is a true soap veteran in every sense of the word. Yes, she baby-talks, her character forgives too easily, lectures too often, and there’s been more than one, ahem, vacation (think breasts and lips), but the character can be compelling, complex tragedy, a survivor of child prostitution, spousal abuse and parental neglect, Luke’s loud-mouthed tangents, Stefan’s paranoia. Bobbie was the original bad girl, vixen, misunderstood, deeply troubled, malicious and cruel, innately damaged, but through her own strength of will, she single-handedly rose above such dire ranks to become a respected nurse, citizen, mother and friend. It’s too bad I don’t see much of her anymore, except to prop up her youth-demo darling daughter Carly.
But Tuesday, August 17, I ignored the Carly searches for her father factor in Bobbie’s sudden reappearance as more than wallpaper, and let myself briefly sink into the soapy conviction, vulnerability and that Spencer strength, as respected mother fairly ordered wayward daughter to leave the past alone. Bobbie spared nothing, held back no punches, as she told Carly she was ashamed of what she felt she had to do after school, turn tricks, angry at Luke and Ruby for not intervening, for assuming the “job” was okay for such a young girl, and utterly destroyed by the fact that Carly’s father is a nameless john (even though, Bobbie probably does know her first, former boyfriend, not john). This, not Carly’s search and what that search will do to Sonny’s freedom, is the real heart, meat and potatoes of the story. I pretended it was the 1980s and Bobbie – the last woman you’d expect to have kids – had to face the consequences of her actions, had to explain to her own little girl all about them... how this would affect Bobbie and her family, friends, would Bobbie find true love with that one prominent john or find herself back in Stefan’s lair?
On that note, it has come to my attention that, based on the latest, most recent soap magazine rumors, Jackie Zeman (Bobbie) – along with her soap vet compatriots, Leslie Charleson (Monica) and Stuart Damon (Alan) – may very well be on the outs within the next few months, to completely make way for the Sonny & His Beyotches Hour. The “Who’s Carly’s Daddy?” should be centered around Zeman, who has served GH well, for several decades and practically invented the term vixen, not Tamara Braun (Carly), a weak actress at best and one who shines only when far away from Maurice Benard (Sonny). Yet, ABC Daytime president Brian Frons must be at it again, excising the nursing home contingent for the youth demographic. It’s a miracle this guy’s still employed.
I can see it coming with Sam’s next conquest. She’ll use Jason against Sonny, sidle up, work him over with her Deep Throaty voice, talk about how Jason’s always the one doing the schlock work for Sonny, Sonny & Co. talk a good game about supporting the unborn baby, but it’s Jason who puts talk into action. Quicker than I can whip out my purple vibrating rabbit, Sam will have screwed Sonny over, dumped him as the father, anointed Jason his successor with nary a glance or remembrance at everything Sonny’s given up and suffered for her... the definition of ingrate. And I’m supposed to root for this chick?
Acting lesson to Natalia Livingston (Emily): Screaming at the top of your lungs, decked out in your finest ghetto-wear, calling said ghetto-wear avec designer glasses greasy, dirty and fitting for a woman successfully putting on insanity airs do not equal Genie Francis (ex-Laura)-type acting caliber. All I could see in this latest stunt of hers to rescue Nikolas from the loony bin, is her blinding white bottom teeth.
Earlier, Emily goes to Jason, huffing, puffing, nearly hyperventilating, demanding he storm in there to do the rescuing for her. Jason demands Emily stay put at his penthouse with Sam while he gets this job done for her. No scene between Emily and Sam follows, to perhaps help fans like Sam, while Sam presumably tries to console perfect, saintly Emily and advise her on her lipgloss shade. Blink, and there’s Jason, manhandling Helena into a closet, taking forever to lock said closet while Helena could’ve stopped banging on the door and turned the knob, doing some fancy convincing to Nikolas to leave with him, they just about make it to the exit door when... why, there’s Emily, charging in to help, I assume, but ruining everything as Nikolas’s drug-induced paranoia takes over him and he charges Jason with conspiracy and kidnapping. The reason Emily refused to obey Jason, and let Jason release Nikolas from his asylum imprisonment is twofold:
Having exhausted all her heroes to do the job for her, Emily goes to Lucky, a man who harbors a known crush on her, and asks him to let her into the asylum where Nikolas is residing. There, she’ll pretend to be a schizophrenic sent for 24-hour observation. Lucky reiterates to Emily that that’s all she has, then she’s out. Emily proceeds to act bonkers using the Tom Hanks method of screaming at the top of her lungs for no reason and jutting her bottom teeth out, then when the coast is clear, beats a hasty track to Nikolas to... what exactly? Spring him out of nuthouse prison? Distract the guards while he makes a run for the back exits? Naw, nothing that logical. She’s only there to be close to her true love and make sure he’s okay. He is okay, he saw to it himself by palming the meds instead of taking them, to keep his head clear. But that doesn’t budge Emily, who does nothing while there, but hide in Nikolas’s closet, hover near Nikolas, heavy breathing in his ear, nod knowingly as Nikolas reassures her that his faculties are back in order and torturing me further with another lengthy example of why NEm allegedly rocks.
These two can play kissy-face as long as they want while I FF. But Emily will force Nikolas to spring into action when she gets herself in trouble and the guards start over-medicating her, an excuse to watch Nikolas torn up inside at what those brutes are doing to his delicate flower and perhaps cause him to be cured of his amnesia completely. IOW, once again, the pretty but dim young girl causes mayhem for everybody by trying to help.
Speaking of dim, why couldn’t Helena have the asylum staff medicate Nikolas the good, old-fashioned way? By poking long, sharp needles in his butt cheek? That way, he has no chance of palming diddly. Oh, I know, because:
Observe Sonny’s one, rare, perhaps final act of human decency August 17. Carly drags him over to Kelly’s in person (when she could’ve gone back home or told him over the phone) to wave her mother Bobbie’s diary around as the key to finding her father. Sonny, appalled, tries to tell Carly that this is a major invasion of privacy and let’s put this back in Bobbie’s bedroom before it’s too late. Only... something tells me this is less about decency and more about preventing Carly from finding JD.
Sonny later ruined his decent act by pretending to side with Bobbie, lying that he will prevent Carly from finding her father.
Something Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) did with Curly Boo Kristina either August 16 or 17 took me out of my usual disdain, ever on the look-out for the critical pans. Holding Kristina at the hospital, Alexis promises the pediatrician she’d try to feed her toddler daughter more to raise up the low weight percentile, throwing out a typical, familiar parental reasoning, the kid is a picky eater. Then, after the doctor leaves, Alexis holds Kristina close, face to face, nuzzling the cute curly-haired little girl, clearly bonding, mother to daughter, a moment only a fellow parent could love. I did, feeling my face moist and eagerly awaiting the next time Alexis and Kristina do their mother and daughter thing. I didn’t have to wait long, every time Kristina’s around, she manages to up the cuteness factor by repeating some of what the adults are saying, reaching out to Alexis for uppie, sneaking French fries with Ric...
Oh look, it’s NEm again, Nikolas practically begs Emily to get out of Shadybrook once her 24 hours is done, so she won’t be prey to Helena’s evil, so she won’t even be a temptation, but Emily won’t budge, stating that she wants to stay close to him, to make sure he’s okay (like she could do anything about Helena’s beefy henchmen but scream at them). They’re holding this intimate touchy-feely, kissy-kissy conversation in full public view before Emily gets a clue and Nikolas scrams. Too late. Why won’t Emily leave Nikolas so he won’t have to worry about protecting her and keeping himself from getting drugged up? Repeat after me:
Amber’s probably laughing all the way to her next Joan of Arcadia or Rock the Vote feted gala.
Here’s how futile the NEm stuff is. Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) said that the presence of Helena and her evil plot will make absolutely no dent in Nikolas and Emily’s love, that nothing could. So, why bother watching this crap? Unless you’re a fan, in which case, I plead the Fifth.
HNR – soap columnist and controversial board poster – wrote a doozy of a rant on SoapZone.com’s GH board against Sam, the manipulative, greedy, ungrateful skank sucking up the airtime from the viable characters left in the background after enduring yet another whinefest on August 19, Wah! I won’t be a good mother! Wah! Sonny, you’re better than me! Wah! Check it out:
OMG. Stop the (#*@ING WHINING already, SAM!!
what is it that she DOES NOT HAVE?
Oh wait, that's Courtney,
did she have a miscarriage like Liz or Carly?
No, she faked one.
Is she a single mom with no romantic prospects or man wiping her ass?
No, that Liz and Alexis
Was she put away for a murder she didn't commit?
No that was Skye.
Is she in an asylum?
No, that is Laura and Emily
WHAT IS IT THAT SAM HAS TO WHINE ABOUT?
The nerve - THE SAME DAY Courtney mourns her dead baby, this idiot Sam is sitting there WHINING that she doesn't know $hit about kids or may not be like the other moms.
Well, skank at least you HAVE ONE!
Go knit, bitch!
Be lucky Karma didn't bite you on the a$$ and make you lose it!
The girl is freaking NON AUDIBLE half the time, and when you CAN hear her all she does is WHIIIINE.
Life is SO HARD SAM. Let me worry about you and your Very Important Problems...
Like what a sippy cup is!
Or who is gonna pay for your next meal.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I saw Alexis’s Annie Hall look. First it’s Lucas with his collar up, now this. And Carly’s no better, lookin’ like she just got back from Studio 54, wherever she goes, morning, noon, night, hospital or docks (the ubiquitous park must’ve cost too much to use, it’s gone now). The Fashion Police’s Dayna (August 21) finally chimed in on the faux-pas of GH’s denizens, in grand style. I especially loved:
“Courtney's hair is so white that it's blinding. I guess she's not worried about her supply of Aussie 3-Minute Miracle...hee hee.”
That meant what I thought it meant, right? (Kids, don’t pay any attention.)
Friday, August 20th’s supposed cliffhanger show was a complete mess. Thursday, the day before, Courtney had just announced to diners at Kelly’s that she and Jax were not sleeping together but if they do she will be the first to let them know... this before Mike was about to give Jax the reaming of his life for using Courtney to get back at Sonny and Jason. Cut to the next day, Courtney dreams Jax has held a press conference bragging about what a wonderful lay she was, Mike’s all friendly. She wakes up. Next scene of hers, she catches Jax and some guy supposedly talking about a smooth ride, as Mike looks on bemusedly. She then lays into Jax for daring to talk about her out of school when they haven’t even had sex, but then Mike breaks it to her that, while he’s not a fan, Jax was only trying to sell the guy a boat. Mike’s friendly. So, what happened, is Courtney still dreaming, did Mike decide – off-camera while we weren’t looking – that Jax isn’t that bad, going from enraged to grinning?
Then, you have the teens suddenly gathering around a table outside of Kelly’s rapping about spirits and séances. A beat earlier, Sage was intent on getting even with Georgie, using Trent’s help. Getting even for what? Last I saw, she, Georgie, Brook Lynn and Astrid were in a girl band, cozy as can be. Did Sage decide on payback finally for Georgie’s ladder prank gone wrong, that ultimately landed Sage in the hospital? If that’s not confusing enough, didn’t I last see Dillon and Georgie on the outs, with Lucas getting in Dillon’s face about forgiveness? What are they all doing sitting around the table, consorting with each other, and agreeing to meet up at the Q mansion for a séance later...like nothing bad happened???
The producers always re-play important revelatory scenes the following episode, so why not Nikolas remembering everything (and why were most of his returned memories centered around Emily?—Don’t answer that!)?
I know, I know... to jump head-long into that much-hyped, self-contained, one-week-long murder mystery about to occur this week. Instead of building logically to the events leading to two deaths (Sage and Trent’s), the cheap, stupid bastards over at GH thought nothing of just getting straight to the action, the plot device, the splashy gimmick. (You do know that the murder mystery is, besides an obvious ploy to win DOOL/Passions fans from NBC during its Summer Olympics coverage, a way to cut the costs of using too many sets, because GH’s budget went in the red?)
... instead of telling a story about characters viewers are supposed to be familiar with. If they keep this up, we’re no longer going to bother paying any attention to what any of those characters do or say from one day to the next, because it won’t matter, everything changes without any explanation anyway, to suit the marketing exploits of the higher-ups. One day, we’ll see Jason pushing Courtney away, the next, they’re getting married with Sam and Jax as the bridal party and Sonny’s gone legit, the mayor of the city.
Next week, if you’re all good little boys and girls, I may switch it up a bit with, “bone.”