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~*~
They’re back. The enlarged, plastic dildo trophies. The names you’ll never ever see on a Daytime Emmy ballot unless hell froze over.
It’s the SOAP OPERA DIGEST SOAP AWARDS!
Nominations came out in the November 9th issue, along with a mail-in ballot (you only get one, no copying, no stuffing). Some names deserved the recognition. Others just screamed, consolation prize for dissing the character and/or the bad acting in previous issues by honest commentators. The categories, old and new, always strike me as excessive, like door prizes so that all the guests get something for just showing up, especially in the Newcomer, Teen, Younger actor categories.
Regardless, it’s nice to see Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC), Kassie DePaiva (Blair, OLTL) and Kristina Wagner (Felicia, GH) get some love. Irizarry and DePaiva were wrongly omitted from the past two Daytime Emmy nomination lists. If nobody from DOOL is also up for the same awards, they’ll stand half a chance.
And that’s another characteristic of this awards stepsister: the DOOL factor. My jury’s still out on whether there’s any hanky panky goin’ on here, but if not, DOOL fans are the most supportively stealth operatives out there. While GH fans do a lot of loud talking, boasting and bitching, clearly the most vocal show of fans, DOOL’s put their money where their collective mouth is by actually showing up where it counts, in the proverbial voting booths. Which is why, in previous SOD awards, DOOL nominees overwhelmingly take every category nominated in.
With the above said, let’s get to it. I’ve provided my votes in BLUE.
Outstanding Lead Actor: Maurice Benard (Sonny), Grant Aleksander (ex-Phillip, GL), Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R), Ricky Paull Goldin (Gus, GL), Roger Howarth (Paul, ATWT; ex-Todd, OLTL), Ben Masters (Julian, Passions), Michael Park (Jack, ATWT).
Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him. I know I can’t. Whether he walks on the GH stage or a talk show, his very presence speaks volumes, intensity, drama, spurts of genius, an intuitive gene embedded in his soul to always grab for a life raft in the nick of time, despite bad writing and mischaracterization. The fact that I’m on pins and needles for his reaction this week to Carly’s secret reveal speaks volumes. Benard told the press recently that he assumed Sonny would be off with the smashing of barware and the bellowing of “Betrayal!” and, surprised to encounter the opposite, as a change of pace, the writers told him, felt the scenes would have more impact. Scenes always have impact with him in it, for better or worse, but rarely for mediocre.
Outstanding Lead Actress: Tamara Braun (Carly), Kassie DePaiva (Blair, OLTL), Beth Ehlers (Harley, GL), Deidre Hall (Marlena, DOOL), Cady McClain (Rosanna, ATWT; ex-Dixie, AMC), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R), Erika Slezak (Viki, OLTL), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R), Maura West (Carly, ATWT).
If I became an actress after all, braving my assumptions about actors as prima-donna show-offs, I’d probably be very much like Stafford. (Except for the T&A. I have no A.) She’s ballsy, outrageous, fierce, and completely unpredictable. But she’s never false, which is amazing considering she has to turn in consistent performances almost every day. She lights up a room, whether she’s sparring with Dru, turning on Jack or this new guy Damon. Like my younger actor fave over at OLTL, John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex), Stafford always leaves every door open, scripted or not, with anybody daring and gutsy enough to take her on. If they do, they’re rewarded in spades.
Outstanding Supporting Actor: Rick Hearst (Ric), Sean Kanan (Deacon, B&B; ex-A.J., GH), Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC), Winsor Harmon (Thorne, B&B), Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R), Paul Anthony Stewart (Danny, GL).
Hearst came on as a nebulous plot device with a short life span. His character, lawyer Ric Lansing, was never supposed to make it past his first hit attempt on Sonny for presumptions about their shared mother Adele. That he survived despite the writers’ original plans (and despite a certain established leading man’s suggestion to the writers to kill him off, storyline-dictated) is testament to Hearst’s innate likeability, outside the story, and pure ability to out-wit the script with his additional intelligence, sensitivity and warmth. It’s not easy to play out the scenes as a kidnapper, physical abuser and attempted killer of your own wife, but Hearst managed to pull it off AND win an Emmy notice. Right now, he’s performing miracles, almost single-handedly in the Kristina reveal, defining the meaning of SUPPORTING as only he can. I admit, I was terribly torn between Hearst and my other love, Irizarry – who’s long since been ignored by critics and the Emmy judges. Hearst wins by a hair, for the tremendous amount, about 30 percent more than Irizarry, he’s had to overcome to stick around amongst the scenery-chewing likes of Benard and Braun.
Outstanding Supporting Actress: Alicia Minshew (Kendall, AMC), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal, AMC; ex-Macy, B&B), Heather Tom (Kelly, OLTL; ex-Victoria, Y&R), Victoria Rowell (Dru, Y&R), Alison Sweeney (Sami, DOOL), Schae Harrison (Darla, B&B).
A confession: I picked Rowell, because I didn’t like the other candidates very much. I don’t particularly care for the diva grandiosity of this Y&R mainstay herself, and Dru can be an irritatingly pushy pain in the ass. But when the girl is ON, she is almost untouchable (remember Phyllis?). I’ve watched Dru go through heartbreak and triumphs that would rival Elizabeth Taylor, and always come through the other end enlivened, enriched and the epitome of strength personified. She does so with a heady mixture of bravado, confidence, blind faith, clever wit and dumb luck. She also never fails to surprise the audience with an overflowing well of hidden talents, including that little ballet number.
Outstanding Younger Lead Actor: Scott Clifton (Dillon), Jason Cook (Shawn, DOOL), Justin Hartley (Nicholas “Fox,” Passions), Agim Kaba (Aaron, ATWT), Greg Rikaart (Kevin, Y&R).
Frankly, I don’t know who the other younger lead actors in this category are. Even if I did, I doubt they could touch the caliber of comedic timing and poignant depths Clifton easily evokes in stories that should’ve reduced him into a laughing stock or a forgettable bit player. He can stand up to the likes of Tony Geary (Luke), Jane Elliot (Tracy), John Ingle (ex-Edward), Stuart Damon (Alan), Leslie Charleson (Monica), and more than live to tell the tale, while outshining his peers.
Outstanding Younger Lead Actress: Alexa Havins (Babe, AMC), Eden Riegel (Bianca, AMC), Brook Kerr (Whitney, Passions), Jessica Dunphy (Alison, ATWT).
I should hate AMC’s Babe with a passion the way I hate Maggie and sometimes Bianca. But I don’t. I suspect it has more to do with Havins than her current story, which doesn’t do her as a performer any favors. The amazing thing of it all is, I don’t even know what she’s doing, how she’s doing it, and where she begins and Babe ends. She just embodies her role with multiple facets until it’s a fully realized human being and a girl next door I wouldn’t mind being friends with (and having a little chat with about ethics). Now I get why the casting people were so blown away by her audition, they knew nobody else stood a chance. If she sticks around, she’ll be the next Susan Lucci (Erica).
Outstanding Male Newcomer: Justin Bruening (Jamie, AMC), Dan Gauthier (Kevin, OLTL), Drew Tyler Bell (Thomas, B&B), Michael Graziadei (Daniel, Y&R), Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan “JB,” GL).
Bruening’s impressive. But it took a coupla months for me to warm up to him, much less get any feel for who he was as Tad and Brooke’s oft-recast son on AMC. But OLTL’s Gauthier captured my attention immediately with his comprehensive, instant grasp of who and what Kevin was and is – not easy considering this character has been recast almost as many times as GH’s Lucas, maybe more. He’s a perfect blend of all the past Kevins, with a little special something of his own, not quite villain, not quite hero, but in between, always played with equal parts no-nonsense, down-to-business-like emotional restraint, with stunning bursts of built-up, pent-up frustration, rage and the hurt of a man scorned too many times. Throw in perfect comedic timing and comedic expression, and I’m in love.
Outstanding Female Newcomer: Adrianne Leon (Brook Lynn), Levin Rambin (Lily, AMC), Silvana Arias (Paloma, Passions), Heidi Mueller (Kay, Passions), Heather Lindell (Jan, DOOL).
This is a weak category compared to the male version. I can’t tell if the newcomer is just an extension of younger actor/actress. Nevertheless, Rambin pisses me off the least amongst these nominees. I’d go for Leon, except I’m not so sure about her yet. Give it a few more months with a story that isn’t going away any time soon, and that can display more than her rebel affectation. As I mentioned in a previous column praising the young ones (“Youth Isn’t Always Overrated,” week of Oct. 18), Rambin does a convincing autistic teen, and she never acted in a major show before AMC. Makes me wonder what she could do in a more liberating, non-autistic role.
Favorite Couple: Jack & Erica, AMC; David & Dorian, OLTL; Michael & Marcie, OLTL; John & Marlena, DOOL; Luis & Sheridan, Passions.
Except for the DOOL and Passions couples, the three on ABC Daytime do not enjoy a love story per se, but act as filler for the current cliffhanger du jour (on AMC, it’s the baby switch and who shot Ryan; on OLTL, it’s the Santi mystery). And of the remaining ABC Daytime couples, only David & Dorian stand the test of neglect. Believe me, these two are sorely being neglected, used instead as stand-ins for the less talented and less capable. Every time either or both of these characters are in a scene, that scene is elevated in comedic flair and unexpected dramatic depths. I wish there were a separate category for Favorite Vet, but since this is my column, I can tack on more of my own ideas (which I’ll do at the end of this segment).
Favorite Villain: Ted King (Lorenzo), Hunt Block (Craig, ATWT), Linden Ashby (Cameron, Y&R), Thaao Penghlis (Tony, DOOL).
I don’t count his inexplicable return as S&C’s whipping boy as part of the outstanding villainry. I do count, however, the intentionally cruel manner in which he tossed Lois aside after their one-night stand. I’ve never witnessed such cruelty and such nobility in his insult, “You were proficient and flexible,” instead of the caring words she longed to hear, at least, “Thank you for making Sage’s death more bearable.” Because in my view, villains form two groups, a means to an end, and King’s Lorenzo, a modern-day “Paradise Lost,” with a happy ending. When he’s not forced to pant after the cardboard butch Carly and allowed to woo a real woman, like Lois, I can see the danger in his smooth words, the enticing believability in his nostalgic regret, and the chance for reform.
Favorite Villainess: Jane Elliot (Tracy), Arianne Zuker (Nicole, DOOL), Crystal Hunt (Lizzie, GL), Amelia Marshall (Liz, Passions; ex-Belinda, AMC), Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara, ATWT).
In any category, I’d pick Elliot. This soap veteran has a command of the language, the expression, the cutting magnetism it takes to pull off a compelling villainess, one not easily shrugged off as a cartoon character. Lately, she’s had quite a feat in turning in performances that don’t completely veer into the one-dimensional pest phase, but somehow, Elliot saves Tracy before it’s one grimace and one wisecrack too late. What raises her above the rank and file of a villainess in the end is her skill at using every turn of phrase, every corner of her face, in pure thrust and parry, attack and reaction... whether the story itself makes any sense or not and in GH’s case, whether she’s actually being utilized well.
Favorite Return: Kristina Wagner (Felicia), Thorsten Kaye (Zach; ex-Patrick, OLTL; ex-Ian, PC), Gina Tognoni (Dinah, GL; ex-Kelly, OLTL), Tuc Watkins (David, OLTL; ex-Pierce Dorman, GH), Keith Hamilton Cobb (Damon, Y&R; ex-Noah, AMC), Judi Evans (Bonnie/ex-Adrienne, DOOL; ex-Beth, GL; ex-Paulina, AW), Lesley-Anne Down (Jackie, B&B; ex-Olivia, Sunset Beach).
There are so many favorite returns here, it’s like an old school soap reunion. I’ve learned to value Wagner, Tognoni and Cobb more than I have. I never thought Cobb would return to be frank. But hands down, the return of Watkins, in a more permanent, leading man role, has me in a constant state of cheer. They call him a miracle worker around these here parts, and he’s saving the unsaveable (to wit: Nu Nu Kelly) with his gregarious grace. I also believe he’s securing another soap vet’s place on the show, as Robin Strasser’s Dorian might very well have gone the way of Erika Slezak’s Viki, serving as just the sounding board for her younger family members and nothing more. There are never enough pages to devote to why Tuc Watkins as any character rules, but I mentioned just a few favorable characteristics that have stood out for me in my past column, “Bravo!” (week of Sept. 13, 2004).
Favorite New Couple: Nikolas & Emily, Ric & Alexis, DOOL’s Sami & Lucas, ATWT’s Dusty & Lucy.
This category is different from Favorite Couple...how? Dorian & David are technically new, because they were never in love the first go ‘round. Technicalities aside, NEm had to show its over-exposed face in here somehow. This is when I’m hoping and praying the DOOL curse still stands and, as in every other category nominated, Sami & Lucas win by a landslide. Go DOOL fans, go!
Otherwise, of these, I guess Ric & Alexis, aka Rexis, aka Reckless, will do. I still haven’t seen much more than sparring partners and the basis for a really deep best friendship – similar to what I saw between Sonny & Alexis, ironically enough – but I’m not holding my breath, seeing as GH doesn’t do character or couple development and fairly threw these two together, because they had to have Nancy Lee Grahn do something besides complain about her lack of story (that’s a compliment to NLG, btw). It’s too bad Rebecca Herbst’s Elizabeth and her pairing with Ric as LiRic had to suffer in the bargain. Wouldn’t it have been nifty to see these three in the Favorite Triangle category?
Favorite Triangle: OLTL’s Evangeline/John/Natalie, B&B’s Ridge/Brooke/Nick, DOOL’s Shawn/Belle/Philip, Passions’ Theresa/Fox/Whitney.
To me, what’s going on over at OLTL is head and shoulders above the rest; it’s perhaps the first adult tale of three equally compelling people to hit soaps in a long while, where the women involved don’t vie for the man via catfighting, but by offering to bow out gracefully and yet be unable to contain their natural instincts to VIE FOR THE MAN. I can’t say the same for the other nominees. Brooke is a perennial B&B slut, just give her Ridge and let them at it behind closed doors already; Nu Belle on DOOL always looks like she’s gonna pounce on Philip and Shawn and bite them, besides, they’re youth demo wannabes (but they’ll probably win, DOOL curse and all); and the secret’s out about Passions’ Whitney, I never liked her, she’s a snooty, passive-aggressive sissy who doesn’t deserve any boy. Besides, I don’t think a bonafide triangle counts if you’re 20 and under.
Favorite Teen: AMC’s Reggie (Michael B. Jordan), OLTL’s Starr (Kristen Alderson), ATWT’s Will (Jesse Soffer), Y&R’s Lily (Christel Khalil).
Jordan reminds me of Darnell Williams’ Jesse Hubbard, but not quite so volatile, so unpredictable. Much wiser, level headed, and capable of the same great depths, combining charisma, street and an infectious humor to pull off successful hits no matter who he’s paired or grouped with. The teens in this group (a supporting younger actor offshoot, I suppose) are outstanding in their own right, but compared to the original master? They don’t stand a chance. Plus, no sign of a DOOL actor in here anywhere. Jordan stands a good chance of winning if the perennially lazy, quiet AMC fans (second only to OLTL’s) get off their asses and vote in droves.
Favorite Show: GH, AMC, ATWT, B&B, DOOL, GL, OLTL, PASSIONS, Y&R.
You’d think I would go for GH, since I talk about it the most. But naw, I’m going with the soap I talk about the least. I tend to talk more about negatives, a nasty trait I’m working on (see previous cheerleading columns praising actors and their characters).
AMC maintains its character history, its character interaction and its character development, while keeping the good and promisingly good new characters. Nobody in the cast at present really sucks that badly. And with the high caliber likes of Irizarry, Michael E. Knight (Tad), when he’s not doing standup, Lucci, David Canary (Stuart/Adam), etc. etc., how can this show go wrong? It’s as close to the original concept as any of the others, almost always choosing human relationships over shock value and plot device.
The best endorsement I could give is that every time it’s on, I forget to take notes or remember that I’m supposed to be watching with a snarky commentary eye... I just lose myself in another reality, as I’ve done since 1970.
Voting will be done by ballots. Ballots, found in SOD’s Nov. 9th issue, must be postmarked by November 29.
As promised, and since SOD is known for its extensive, ultimately invalid (who cares about a character winning Best Couple?) categories – the better to give everyone a chance to win something – the following are my personal categorical additions if I ran the SOD Awards:
“SCENE STEALER”: SOD actually had this category at one time, but dropped it for reasons unknown. My picks would include AMC’s Terri Ivens (Simone), OLTL’s John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex) and on GH, either Big Alice or Sam’s freckled cleavage.
“THE DAMIAN LEWIS SCREW-WORTHY AWARD”: Otherwise known as “Sexiest,” the category Steve Burton (Jason, GH) won once and was rumored to be pissed about winning, because it wasn’t serious enough. Ingo Rademacher (Jax, GH) also got plenty of nomination buzz here, and he will in my picks too. It’s not just about his looks, which goes against my usual character-first grain. There’s something boyish next door about him, a character hidden in the traditional surfer blond. I’d do Thorsten Kaye (Zach, AMC) in a New York minute, and I think he knows that. There’s a knowing glint in his eye, but a groan of helpless smitten barely controlled beneath his steely gaze. He’s the most sexy in this particular role, and I’ve watched him throughout his beatnik Patrick days on OLTL and that one memorable vampire moment as Ian on PC. On OLTL, there are a lot of gorgeous guys, Daniel, R.J., Rex, Riley, Paul, Preston, Kevin, Todd... but my heart goes pitter-patter over Kevin. Even though he’s stuffed in those starched shirt and ties and saying the most incredibly Ted Kennedy-ian things to get a vote, deep down inside, I sense a tiger in the bedroom.
“BEST VETS (used or unused)”: Where do I begin with this one? AMC’s David Canary (Adam/Stuart), Anna Stuart (Mary), Ray MacDonnell (Joe)... I pick Susan Lucci (Erica, AMC), Robin Strasser (Dorian, OLTL) and Stuart Damon (Alan, GH). They were great in their time, and they can be again.
“PHONING IT IN”: Michael E. Knight (Tad, AMC), Robert S. Woods (Bo, OLTL) and everybody not currently involved with Sonny, Luke or Jax on GH.
“THE HANNAH SCOTT AWARD OF BAD ACTING”: A tie between OLTL’s Bree Williamson (Jessica) and Heather Tom (Kelly). I know Tom was just nominated for real as one of the outstanding supporting actresses, but these are my categories, my picks, and she blows. Oh, and of course GH’s Natalia Livingston (Emily) and Kelly Monaco (Sam). Monaco says her lines, cracks a half-smile now and then, but there’s nothing but dead lights in her eyes... sort of how Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda) looked right before she left Sonny and Jax the first time. Marcil had burn-out as her excuse.
“THE SIEVE (aka, the actor viewers can actually see trying desperately to act instead of be)”: AMC’s Jeff Branson (Jonathan)... dude, just recreate whatever you did with Maggie at the fireplace after she caught you torching Bianca’s stained shirt. OLTL’s Javier Morga (Tico)... if he weren’t playing such an underwhelming, annoying scumbag, and out the door sooner than later, he might’ve actually fit in. GH’s Natalia Livingston (Emily)... yeah, I know, I’m picking on her, but she makes it so easy with her multiple talents. I can really see her trying when she’s been kidnapped and fighting back; it’s like the personification of an early-day Tamara Braun (Carly). But Emily’s rage is stunning in its nastiness, because I never know where it comes from.
“WORST RECAST”: David (Paul, OLTL) and Heather (Kelly, OLTL) Tom. (At least Bree Williamson looks like her predecessor, Erin Torpey, as Jessica.) What they did to Paul, turning him into the Anti-Christ to up the fear factor in a murder mystery, was downright despicable.
“ENDGAME”: The dumbest story ideas had to be AMC’s decision to break up Ryan and Kendall and give Ryan to Greenlee, just so Greenlee could have some guy to quip on... OLTL’s Santi mob infiltrates Llanview, in a body of one fey pipqueak Tico, and nobody cares... GH’s one-week murder mystery, the ramifications of which impacted nobody except NEm, and only for yet another dumb story, the resurrection of Connor to glorify NEm again.
COUPLES THAT MAKE ME SWOON
love. Vicariously, of course. Thanks to AMC’s Zach & Maria, OLTL’s John &
Natalie, and GH’s— er, um, ah...
I’d been staring at British film and stage actor Damian Lewis – my romantic lead archetype – for most of Wednesday night, October 27. I don’t know why, boredom, the usual board haunts were empty. Horniness.
Every time I see Damian, I’m lost in romantic possibilities, out there on the bluff or the edge of the end of the world, surf drowning my senses. With him, tall, lanky, awkward and intense, the boy next door I once fell in love with exactly twice – Brannon and Bobby – and found in my husband Eddie, although he calls horseshit to that one (jealousy talkin’).
...Who’s working on his next movie, a Greek production called “Brides.” It premiered last month in Toronto of all ungodly places and I probably have to wait for the DVD to come out in 10 years at some obscure foreign film outlet. But the premise oozes my kind of romance, Damian-style.
He plays a disillusioned American photographer overseas, trying to sell his pictures to no avail. Feeling an utter failure, he heads back to the States and to his loveless marriage on board a ship, first class, where he notices the third class section of Greek brides, promised to other American men by their Greek families. He thinks of photographing them, capturing their fear and beauty and maybe exposing their plight to the world through his pictures when one of the young women catches his fancy. This woman had a sister who was promised to a nice Greek-American, but it didn’t turn out well, because the sister got homesick and went back to Greece. The family then sent her in her sister’s place, and there she was, falling in love with Damian’s character right back, madly, deeply, desperately in love as only two star-crossed, ultimately-doomed lovers do.
A few stills of the two of them somehow recaptured every romantic image from the big and little screens, and back further into the Victorian literature of my college youth... “Wuthering Heights,” “Vanity Fair.”
I once decided to run off with a man I believed to be my soulmate, chasing that elusive image. The older I get, the more I’m convinced that’s all it is, an image propagated by poets and whored by Hollywood. Until my illusions are completely destroyed by life’s realities, I lie in wait, always, for the next best, fictional, thing.
Soaps were my first romantic experience, before books and movies and primetime, and they were never short on couples. AMC’s very livelihood depended on the audience relating to and rooting for its couples, Phil and Tara, Jesse and Angie, Greg and Jenny, Nick and Erica, Trevor and Natalie... I did my share of relating and rooting, but I’d never come across any couple that truly came as close to the archetype of my dreams until several months ago when Thorsten Kaye came aboard as the mysterious, dangerous stranger, Zachery Slater. His name even sounds Harlequin Romance-y. In flashback montages, slow, languid, as one would replay the best hits of an especially memorable night of pure, unadulterated animal sex, Zach and Maria remembered their time out of mind, a brief respite from their extraordinarily trying lives in turmoil.
I watched Zach hunger for Maureen, Maureen barely able to resist, their making love with all of the senses, their eyes, their fingers, their tongues, their physical presence amplifying what was already fulfilled inside their intertwined souls.
I didn’t even need a vibrator.
The connection Zach has with Maureen is so all-consuming that a) I almost believe it transcends the script into real life (not true), b) I forget Maureen is really Maria and more in love with her husband, Edmund, c) all of the above. If Edmund were played by another Thorsten Kaye, I’d be all over this triangle like pussy juice on an erection, and then some.
Edmund and Brooke almost had that kind of connection before TIIC blew their chance apart by capitalizing on a real-life connection between Edmund’s John Callahan and Maria’s Eva LaRue. And we know how that one turned out.
A lot of AMC fans disagree with me. After one episode, totally devoted to Zach and Maureen’s lovefest, LuvCruz posted that she didn’t care, that this was boring as hell, and when is the good stuff coming on? I can see how she’d be bored. One man’s boner is another man’s flaccid. But it sure beats the romantic poseurs, IMHO, Greenlee and Ryan... and worse the forced romance of Kendall and Ethan.
I think with on-screen couples, the writers would do best to choose chemistry first, ask questions later. Just as long as they ask me to consult.
If the guy is hot (and to me, hot could mean anything, I thought Michael J. Fox’s father in “Back To The Future” was hot), reminds me of a real-life guy I had the hots for and the scenario is all about unrequited, unfulfill-able yearning – i.e., the man wants the woman, but the woman is already taken, but he takes her anyway – I’m a fan.
A sufficient description of the hot guy for me would, well, take up volumes. Just refer to Damian Lewis in just about anything, but especially the first time he spots Irene, the girl with the dark hair and alabaster skin in “The Forsyte Saga,” or to Thorsten Kaye’s Zach when he matter-of-factly informs Maria that he will always love her, he can’t help himself, all the while dying to touch her skin one final time.
I’d intended on giving more examples throughout history and culture about compelling, famous couples and the secret of romance, but, staring at Damian Lewis all night messed me up somehow.
I’d also intended to talk about OLTL’s and GH’s sizzling couples, and I’d planned to be all orgasmic up in John and Natalie’s business, or Luke and Skye’s... other honorable mentions include Daniel and Nora, when Nora isn’t up in Bo’s business, the amazing fight brewing between Brook Lynn and Diego, the first real man who doesn’t take any growling shit from rebel riot gurrrl... but I ran out of steam, and really, nobody on these shows compares to AMC’s Zach and Maureen.
Besides, Damian’s waiting for me on the beach.
Maybe next time...
ONE MINUTE ECSTASY
When the press release came out this summer about SoapNet’s “One Minute Soap,” to kick off at the start of the new fall season, I yawned as I always do with these network promotional gimmicks.
I FF’d through the first segment, featuring the usual California studs and bimbos with their mindless clubby Valley sex talk, passing for passable soap acting.
But then I caught Jason-Shane Scott (ex-Will, OLTL) and Brittney Powell (ex-Summer, GH) in the next segment, entitled “Too Late,” (on for six weeks, starting Oct. 4 and continuing every Monday) and couldn’t move my finger on the rewind fast enough.
... Which is odd, because Scott’s Will wasn’t my favorite soap character, he came off as an arrogant brat, and Powell’s Summer served mostly as T&A appeal for my prurient amusement, will I see erect nipples through her wet t-shirt today?...
These two – acting as a former couple, he a bad boy, she a nice girl – benefit from instant chemistry, the kind that instantly had me fantasizing about them gyrating in bed with the French windows wide open and the summer breeze billowing in sand, salty sea air and a bit of the cotton-linen curtains to and fro.
It’s too bad this couldn’t be added to an existing ABC Daytime soap, or made as a foundation into a new one.
Preferably on pay-per-view cable, if ya know what I mean ::wink wink::
THE NEXT BEST THING TO ACTING CLASS
I have to tell you guys, I really love SoapNet’s original reality-TV series, “I Wanna Be A Soap Star.” The third installment had the five remaining actors trying a dramatic scene, learning to cry on cue, react flexibly to the scene partner’s flubs and unscripted, excessive slaps, and in Kelly’s case, figure out beforehand her character’s objective and obstacle.
Cynthia Preston (Faith, GH) showed up to show ‘em how it’s done, performing an impromptu scene and practicing what she preached... relax, block out everything else, derive the emotional impact from the scene itself within the character’s own motivation, or a personal insight that always evokes tears.
It was curious, and more than rewarding, to be watching this unfold as a viewer and a former actor wannabe, and to be able to cry on cue myself right alongside the five actual acting contestants. As their acting coach encouraged them to cry naturally but never force it, I found myself tearing up, immediately finding my objective – to unburden my soul to this friend I’d unexpectedly found myself attached to, more than my own selfish murdering impulses – and my obstacle – I would lose this friend, expose myself as a murderer and risk the humiliation of destroying this perfectly composed image of a saint in the community.
It made me want to jump back in and try again, at 39 pushing 40. Just for the 40 minutes it took for the show to wrap up.
During rehearsals, Mykel actually moved me the most, because he wasn’t focused solely on producing tears, he was being himself, sticking to the script according to his dialogue, and with that, he remained true to himself. But during the actual performance for the judges, he folded, shrieked like a baby at the three slaps, backed off and stood there willing the flood gates to open. He’s damned lucky the judges kicked off the other Michael, because if Mykel doesn’t realize he’s already got the goods, next week, Mykel and his fine self are out.
Sigh... I would sooooo kick some ass if I were one of them.
Normally, I don’t advocate violence, but Reggie listing his street credentials before an unmoved, belligerent Autumn, a dimwitted, clueless China and a strangely enabling Chantal – the only black girl in the popular high school trio of girl bullies – didn’t exactly have me trembling in my Depend either. Danielle should step in and beat the shit out them one by one.
Then, over at chez Lavery, Ethan should stop being so noble, turn around and clock Jonathan until the yammering bull dog is out cold. I could’ve done without the entitled arrogance of Greenlee, hanging on Ryan’s coattails, and the coldly determined insistence of Erica that Ethan and Zach just leave town (gratitude is not in that diva’s notebook).
Krystal getting down on her knees – and not for a blowjob this time – to fairly order the Lord to watch over her daughter, like SHE’S entitled to anything after what she’s done, just about turned my stomach inside out. Between her exaggerated Southern twang and Greenlee’s throaty growling quips, I have to wonder what any normal man sees in them besides a nice rack and a nice ass, respectively.
I know another reason why Greenlee does not turn me on (trust me, I know these things). It’s this posing she does after the end of every quip, where she has her mouth twisted and half-open, revealing a few glittering white teeth, like she’s about to spring from a centerfold. Sorta the same shtick Kendall’s been appropriating.
There are two soap actresses who really need to learn to tone down their kissing techniques. One’s OLTL’s Melissa Archer (Natalie) – although she’s kept her mouth semi-closed with John – with her gaping jaw practically sucking the tonsils out of a poor, defenseless male love interest, like Cristian. And on AMC, it’s Alicia Minshew (Kendall), who doesn’t kiss, she mauls. Her mouth cranks open before lips even touch. I’m waiting for her to start sucking tongue. Safety tip: On James Scott’s prim, proper gentleman Ethan, mauling doesn’t work.
I can’t figure Jonathan out. For the sake of his portrayer Jeff Branson, a nice, average, earnest Mid-Western guy who only wants to do his best and struggled early on to get his lines down right, much less naturally (beating himself up in the bargain until on-screen big brother and off-screen mentor Cameron Mathison [Ryan] stepped in)... I want to try. (He’s not too horrible, either.) Is Jonathan basically a good guy with a lot of childhood trauma to overcome, or just a plain rat bastard capable of cold-blooded murder, cowardly hiding from blame, deflecting all his pent-up rage at innocent Ethan, burning innocent Bianca’s shirt, drugging Carrie-Bradshaw wannabe Greenlee’s drink? Until the head writer, Megan McTavish, pulls the family abuse save at the last minute, I’ll just have to take a wait and see attitude.
I don’t, however, have to wait and see if Ryan and Greenlee deserve each other. They do, but I don’t have to stand around and watch them act so superior, like they’re the only two hot members of their exclusive club. Besides, they’re not so hot to me, they’re a little too physically perfect. I prefer my couples a little flawed, with a lot more character than chiseled chins and taut abs.
The October 27th break-up of Edmund and Maria must’ve hit a little too close to home for their portrayers, a real-life couple on the rocks and about to divorce. The juxtaposition of John Callahan’s Edmund ordering Eva LaRue’s Maria out of his Wildwind mansion and out of his and their children’s lives, to Thorsten Kaye’s Zach remembering romantic times with Maureen in their casita would’ve been classic had I not been drawn more to Zach and Maureen’s lust-filled romps. It’s a sad, odd fact of soap life that quite often, real-life couples don’t translate as well in chemistry on-screen. Edmund and Maria never hit my sensual muscles in any way whatsoever; in fact, they bored me. I always felt Edmund belonged with Brooke. At the time, the writers took great pains to explore their (Edmund & Brooke’s) relationship, as it grew from the bond of two journalists to the breaking of barriers by a jaded former bad girl of a tormented soul about to crash into the darkness of his own bad boy. Then, they did an about-face at the physical sight of Maria and Edmund, changing plans to pair her up with someone else whose name escapes me. I never bought it.
Now that Edmund and Maria are done, I hope McTavish has the sense to re-pair Edmund with Brooke, give them the love story they deserved years ago, and give Maria the loving arms of hunka-hunka Zach.
Derek hauls Ethan to the police department. Ethan resists. Ethan defies. Ethan finally starts resembling his father Zach. Just cut Kendall out of the picture, and we’ll be fine. Look, James Scott, there’s James Scott on TV!
Poor Derek, forced to endure Kendall’s abuse and Ethan’s highbrow cutting remarks. Dude’s been accused of taking bribes, kickbacks for his pals in high and low places when he’s just a lowly cop doing his job badly. Pair him and GH’s Mac together, and call it a day.
An amazing occurrence on Friday, October 29, I didn’t mind Greenlee at all at the hospital, begging Anita to forgive her mind fart and a distracted Maria to help find that tumor. Helpless, goofy humanitarian Greenlee? Refreshing change. I don’t notice her “Sex and the City”-esque quipping to be clever so much when she’s groveling for relief. I also see sparks between her and Bobby, a helluva lot more than with perfect boring Ryan.
And how stupendously, wondrously different was it to see Aidan, Tad AND David working together to exact truth against JR and Adam out of Rod? Tad and Aidan using David’s flaws – the drugging thing – to scare the manhood out of Rod, and David going along with it... Tad admitting to David that Krystal was right, the two of them can be quite constructive when in sync... it’s almost as if TPTB took SOD’s scene of the week (Tad and David on the same side) to heart.
It was only until the tail end of OLTL’s October 25th show that I noticed Kelly and Kevin without their precious son, Ace. For all their advertising about how important he is in their lives, after having fought viciously in court over custody of him, they sure don’t give a shit on a daily basis. Kelly’s at Viki’s, shooting the breeze with Duke, and later, kissing up to Kevin. It didn’t even occur to me to ask where Ace was until all the way over at La Boulaie, Adriana offhandedly mentioned to David that with Ace here, she wouldn’t want Dorian’s gun in the vicinity. So, Kelly and Kevin’s baby Ace – the baby they supposedly want with all their might – is sitting around at Dorian’s mansion with the nanny (I presume), for that one-day visit Kevin promised his estranged wife Kelly... with Kelly nowhere in sight??? If I were Kelly, and thank God I’m not, and my good-for-nothing phony of a husband deigned to let me see our son for a whole day, after threatening that I’d never see him ever again... I’d be holding Ace every minute of that day.
As soon as Evangeline started in on John about his true feelings for Natalie, I knew their fragile relationship, barely started, would soon end. No man wants to hear such nagging from any woman, least of all a career woman who incessantly brags about her independent spirit and her ability to be unlike the typical nagging, insecure, whining, jealous girlfriend. But, their conversation rang true, adult and awkward... John’s coming up with every other excuse in the book – his guilt over the death of Natalie’s husband, his responsibility to Natalie, his friendship with her, Evangeline cutting him short with the requisite, almost rehearsed sympathy, but that’s not her point, answer the question, John fending her off with an uncharacteristic, humiliated defensiveness. Oh yeah, that affair’s over.
On every show is at least one character that has me questioning the competence of the casting department, as well as the sanity of the executive producer, head writer(s) and ABC Daytime president. On OLTL, her name is Nu Jessica, as portrayed horribly by Canadian Bree Williamson. Most of the time, her scenes are painful to watch, almost as painful as GH scenes with Emily’s Natalia Livingston in them.
Jessica pretending her farce of a quickie marriage to Tico is legitimate, righteous and level-headed, compared to her twin sister Natalie’s rash, wild flings, as Viki tries in vain to talk some sense into the vacant fashionable Barbie doll... painful. Jessica insisting she didn’t marry Tico to spite Antonio, but because she wanted Tico, and she isn’t repeating a pattern since childhood with about the same inflection and expression as she would when confronted by two previous madmen obsessed with winning her love (Mitch and Steven)... painful. Jessica paying more attention to the fullness of her bee-stung lips and the innocence of her doe eyes and the stylishness of her latest fashion statement, than the emotional conflict of her stubborn resolution... painful.
If, after the shit hits the fan on Tico – the third psychopath to put one over on Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong – nobody calls Jessica on her gullible stupidity, or mentions anything about her blonde factor, I give up and FF her highness from now on.
As I cringed at the sight of Tico plotting, just this one time I wished GH’s Sonny Corinthos, mob boss of the Eastern Hemisphere would cross over with his enforcer Jason and just do their soldierly duty. Tico – and his dead father Manuel – would be small potatoes to Sonny Inc.
Like many other OLTL fans, I watched the walking plot device, Paul Cramer, throw Natalie around in his hotel room and rough her up a little bit...noting duly the excessive, gratuitous sexually-tinged violence used (and thanking God I have started watching these R-rated soaps at night when everybody’s asleep, hint hint). I stopped believing that Paul was this evil last week when he tried to rape Jennifer and got interrupted by Marcie, who nearly kicked his scrawny ass on her own before he ran out yelping. As Natalie lay unconscious one minute, eyes closed, teeth revealed in a grisly Colgate smile, cut to commercials, back to Nat still laying there but with blood dripping off the side of her mouth now, I wished she stayed unconscious so John could eventually discover her there, and see for himself what Paul had done. Instead, she came to, throwing away a perfectly juicy chance to evoke some truly terrifying emotions of outrage, based on their deep connection, from John, as he barged in, saw her lying there, bloody and bruised, quickly ascertained the situation and roused the fair damsel with the heaving creamy bosoms while wrestling with the blind rage that Paul did this to her... all the cool, vagina-melting stuff of bodice-rippers.
The last two days of last week were bizarre for the miscues and gaffes. Viki interrupted Carlotta, or maybe it was the other way around, did an impromptu, “No, wait, let me say this first,” to cover, and then Carlotta said her line, alerting me to the fact that this was a soap opera I’m watching, not fantasy come to life. Viki committed a number of verbal skips, along with Bo, who I swear called Evangeline, Angeline. Viki has a very moving heart-to-heart chat with Antonio – which I’ll get into in a bit – turns to leave and has to unlock his door after failing to open it. Odd, since everybody including Kelly and John can easily open the unlocked motel room door of Paul’s. I’m surprised I didn’t see the extras running into each other at Rodi’s still holding scripts.
Rodi’s bar? WTF kind of place is that to host a political event for the governor and lieutenant governor hopeful, days before the elections?! And with badly-costumed children present? Not moments earlier, some barfly came onto Lindsay about her brief foray into online porn!
So, Viki and Antonio. Leave it to her to finally talk some humanity into the guy. After a little Ben-related sharing, dignified tears shed and motherly advice to keep in touch with his daughter Jamie, Antonio cracked his angry young (dark dangerous) Manuelito staring. If anybody in Llanview could do it, it’s Viki.
Dorian. Rather her hair. WTDF? All I could do was sit and stare at it. The thing looked like an electro-therapy wig, all split ends and frizz.
I almost cheered Kelly telling off Kevin in relation to doing what’s right by Ace, i.e., returning the baby to his birth mother. She said the words I longed to hear, months ago, that it’s wrong to allow an innocent child to be in the middle of their adult bullshit and that she would never wish what she went through with their stillborn son on another mother. Almost. Because, as Kevin helpfully offered in the middle of Kelly’s tirade, I am off my meds, hear me roar!, if it weren’t for Kelly and her self-interested lies in the first place, they wouldn’t even BE in this mess. I also don’t believe Kelly when she swore to Kevin that she never once suspected Paul of lying when he swore he found the baby by legitimate means, from a homeless woman who didn’t want Ace. I’ll cut Kelly a break, when Kelly single-handedly defeats Kevin, AMC’s JR and anybody else in her way, to do what she says, return Ace to Babe.
and God help me but I must be honest, investigate this pull I see between
her and John. You read me right. I’ve noticed Kelly with an interesting,
interested, unforced vibe around two guys, and he ain’t David or Kevin.
They’d be Tico and John. Since Tico’s an asshole and soon to be off the
show (along with Sonia, a round of yays, please), John’s the next likely
target. I saw it when Kelly went to John for help during the LET’S BURY
THE LITTLE BROTHER IN A GARBAGE DUMP and I saw it last Friday when John
caught Kelly at Paul’s motel room, going through his jacket. It’s
wordless, but John instantly changes around Kelly, he’s, he reminds me of
how GH’s Sonny acted around Laura, all deferential and revering. I’d like
that explored, and it could be Kelly’s saving grace. Except, of course,
for that successful triangle John’s already enmeshed in with Evangeline
and Natalie, one that garnered the characters an SOD “Outstanding
Whenever a baby or a child (or both) is in peril, I tend not to give a damn about everything else. That includes the all-fired important mob story, and who arranged the failed hit on John Durant. Watching Lorenzo feign innocence, over Carly, for the umpteenth time in front of a smirking John and Sonny seemed almost obscene in comparison...like how dare these selfish pricks be talking about their smoking guns when Kristina’s life hangs in the balance?
Any medical emergency draws my immediate attention. Any distractions piss me off. It was that way on OLTL when Viki struggled with her failing heart, and hardly anybody except Dorian and Jessica gave a damn. I kept wanting to scream at the TV characters, “What the fuck is the matter with you Kelly?! Your fucking mother-in-law is gonna die without a transplant, and all you can think about is your precious murder cover-up?!!!”
On GH, during the week of October 25th, I mentally screamed at the TV characters the same way. Okay, maybe not screamed, maybe quietly snarked. If I was Sonny, Lorenzo or John, I’d be ashamed for wasting my time with unimportant matters like who tried to kill me, and focus my full attention on lurking at the hospital, waiting for a bone marrow match for little toddler Kristina.
But that’s me, always on the look-out for the human interest stories that I can personally relate to...
How nice of Brook Lynn to rush over to GH, submit to bone marrow testing and cheer little Kristina up with promises of shopping sprees and book readings. Tough Miss Singer Thang even teared up. But, why would a complete stranger do that for a little girl? (Heh, heh.)
And, how very redemptive of Diego to call Brook Lynn on her rebel posing,
as well as his disgust at a filthy rich guy like Edward slumming it.
That’s the second time I saw promise in this newcomer, and reason number
two for earning his recent contract. It’s not quite enough to ice Robyn
Richards (Maxie) out when she deserves a story of her own, but at least it
doesn’t tell me that TIOC have completely lost their minds. Diego has the
balls to rip Brook Lynn’s angry young bitch facade off, while revealing,
in his clearcut, straightforward approach, what it must’ve been like to
struggle for every penny.
CUT ALEXIS SOME SLACK
Now, a shout-out in defense of Alexis lately. Sure, she should’ve told Sonny a long time ago. Even though Sonny never afforded that courtesy to Michael’s biological father, A.J., to me, fair’s fair. No parent should be without at least the chance to get to know his child. One month is too long. I didn’t like it when Sonny acted like he owned Michael at A.J.’s expense. I didn’t like it when everybody around Alexis acted like it wasn’t a big deal that she did without her daughter for six months, court-ordered. And I sure as hell don’t like that Alexis has seen fit to keep Sonny out of Kristina’s life, mob or no mob.
However, as a mother, I completely understand her fear and her tunnel vision. As Alexis herself said to Nikolas earlier last week, she doesn’t care about Helena falling off the bluffs, or much of anything else, because she’s too focused on her daughter.
Alexis is getting slammed mercilessly on the boards for keeping Kristina away from Sonny, stalling for time when Kristina’s life is at stake and – in the near-future – hassling Sam to give birth prematurely to save Kristina with some donated stem cells. For these crimes against humanity, Alexis has been called stupid, selfish, stubborn, insane, and worse. This also gives the Alexis haters from way back plenty of ammunition to further their agenda.
Just remember, Alexis is a very flawed, very insecure, very fucked up Cassadine survivor. She’s trying to do her best to save her child, that much is clear. But she doesn’t want to lose her child to Sonny and his dangerous life, because she knows, the second she tells, he’ll call his lawyer up and use every power at his disposal to sue for sole custody, leaving her, again, out in the cold.
Also, in the matter of pestering a pregnant Sam... What mother WOULDN’T?
I’d do anything to save my kid, ANYTHING. If viewers would just put
themselves in Alexis’ place for five seconds, they wouldn’t be so quick to
condemn and judge her. I’ll also bet the mothers out there, most of ‘em
AND JAX TOO
Some of y’all are all too eager to condemn and judge, without one ounce of compassion, which requires a little introspection. Hey, I’ve been there myself, I can relate. But the same slack should be cut for Jax, who, for once, isn’t being an ass about Courtney like he did about Skye over Brenda.
When Jax departed for Bermuda, he’d hoped Courtney would depart with him. After witnessing one too many pathetic times of her chasing after Jason, in yet another sticky attempted murder frame-up, Jax had had enough. Jax doesn’t make idle threats. If, after trying his darnedest, the girl refuses to be gotten, he’s gone.
I’d say him banging this other blonde revealed the depth of his angst in losing Courtney. Fucked up rationalizing? Then why’s my pussy wet over his hang-dog look after Courtney left? ‘Cause the blonde rebound saw love and loss plainly on Jax’s face, just the same as I did.
For the smart-asses in the audience who think they know me, it’s not just hormones and a raging libido for all things Ingo Rademacher (Jax), either. I swear!
I saw Jonathan Jackson’s Lucky in Greg Vaughan last week... when he reacted to Luke and Skye’s plan to bust Faith out of prison and find the real culprit (Heather), a mixture of sorrow, strength, hidden vulnerability, the gutsy, clever little boy Luke taught street smarts to. I really wish TPTB would take Tony Geary up on his suggestion to team up father and son on a variety of capers, using Luke’s brains and Lucky’s charms.
No, Carly. You will tell Sonny RIGHT NOW, not later tonight, BITCH! And go put on a lighter shade of lipstick! Ahem... Even when that skank is attempting the subtle hand of restrained compassion, she comes off as an entitled bully. Gawd, I hate her. The end of S&C couldn’t be fast enough (and if you believe that’s the end, I have two cocks growing out the side of my right ass cheek).
The last two shows, Thursday, October 28, and Friday, October 29, deserve specific mention for the incredible amount of bullshit (acting and storytelling) stinking up the hemisphere.
The day before, on a Wednesday, Dr. Steven told Ric, Alexis and Jason that a bone marrow donor had been located and was on the way, referring to a “he.” I’m flipping out, growing paranoid about misleading spoilers on the ‘Net (to which I paraphrase for two other columns), because I wrote “she,” as indicated a week prior. On Thursday’s show, Alexis later informs Ned of that same bone marrow donor match, but as a SHE. Whew, but WTF? It’s a little hard to follow the story, much less get lost in it, if the writers can’t even keep a small but essential detail like the sex of the donor straight (and, wasn’t that donor supposed to be a Cassadine uncle?).
But then I have to listen to convoluted logic like Sonny and Jason’s when they discuss the ever-changing John Durant situation. Sonny gives Jason his life lesson for the week by ordering him to leave John alone, in part, because of what’s happening to Alexis with her child Kristina. The mobster says it’s bad to off Carly’s father, because family is important, even if he doesn’t like every family member... ya never know when ya might need the guy’s bone marrow for one of your boys. Aw, how warm and touching. This, btw, happens right before Jason’s bomb (in Lorenzo’s warehouse) blows up, nearly killing Brook Lynn and Diego. As fans (kll/karen) have pointed out on message boards afterward, you’d think Sonny and Jason would’ve learned THAT life lesson from the many bomb-blowing attempts that nearly got them and theirs killed and DID kill Alexis’s sister, Kristina.
And we all know very well that next week, or the next, this particular life lesson (John Durant’s possible bone marrow match good for Morgan and Michael) will have been forgotten in another pointless mob war. It’s all so pointless that I’ve ceased trying to figure out or bother caring why Lorenzo still keeps at it. You’d think with his niece Sage dead and buried, he’d make good on his noble leanings.
Apathy kills soaps. If you still don’t believe GH’s PTB are apathetic, take a look at the Thursday scene between Diego and Courtney. In a stupid plot contrivance – Heather and Tracy work together to pay off a psychiatrist to declare Edward mentally incompetent, and Edward falls for it by talking about his dead wife and his dead wife dreams to a complete stranger (said psychiatrist) at Kelly’s – Edward gets carted off against his will to Shadybrooke by two men in white coats. Diego witnesses this with touching, naive astonishment (while the rest of us yawn and wait for the Kristina reveal), rushing over to Courtney to gush about it. Courtney fairly yawns too, Pruza weary, and gives him the facts of GH: Dude, it’s no big deal. Don’t get worked up over Edward’s “plight” of the hour. He’ll escape Shadybrooke and exact payback, and round and round. It’s what the Quartermaines do.
Not only does GH regularly air stories nobody cares about, the writers put the apathy within the stories themselves, having characters like Courtney serve as the Greek chorus, explaining in almost an out-of-the-show narrative that we’re not supposed to take any of this seriously. Then, why bother? Why not simply herd the executive producer and head writers to the front of the TV screen before each and every episode to recite their disclaimers thusly?: WE ARE NOT PUTTING ANY EFFORT INTO THIS SHOW. WE NEVER WILL SO LONG AS WE HAVE OUR BOSSES BY THE SHORT HAIRS, AND CAN STILL TURN IN SHITTY MATERIAL, WHILE PICKING UP OUR HEFTY PAYCHECKS. SO, IF YOU WANT TO AVOID FURTHER HEADACHE, DO AS WE DO, AND BARELY PAY ATTENTION, JUST GO WITH THE FLOW. BETTER YET, SKIP THIS SHOW AND MAIL US YOUR PAYCHECKS AT GH, PROSPECT AVENUE...
I didn’t tell you the topper of that scene. Jason saunters along to exchange threats with Lorenzo in front of Kelly’s. Diego observes this exchange, mouth salivating at the possibility of residual instant power, butting in, and receiving a chokehold halfway up a wall by Jason for his nosiness. Courtney talks hitman Jason down, escorts Diego back inside at Kelly’s and has to listen to Diego – acting as the Sonny and Jason fan base – go on about how exciting and sexy the mob is before she finally, unconvincingly (considering her own worship of the mob) interrupts with an afterschool special lecture. “They’re not heroes.” All talk, no action.
The writers can hardly be bothered to pay attention to their own #1 story anyway. That would be the Kristina reveal, aka, another reason to showcase Maurice Benard (Sonny) for his Emmy win. Dr. Steven just destroys Alexis’s hopes when he informs her that the donor got in a car accident and perished on the spot. Ric looks devastated too, and here comes Sonny, wondering what’s going on. Instead of playing along with Alexis’s secret, for Sonny’s oblivious benefit, and telling Sonny that it’s not his business, since he’s not family – for all Sonny knows, he’s not family – and having done the same with Ric earlier, Dr. Steven simply repeats the bad news. It’s as if everybody has subconsciously given up any pretense at the worst-kept secret – next to the fact that I wrote SoapTown’s “Llan-VIEW” as Mrs. Blondi von... – and just agreed by osmosis to let Sonny in on the Kristina details. Everyone except Sonny.
The above in Thursday’s show were about as much as I could gather. The rest, how Nikolas evaded his attempted murder (of Mary) sentence and went free, c/o Ric, the messenger, what Jason told Sonny about Lorenzo’s latest takeover attempt, why Lorenzo is attempting a takeover and how... just went over my head. I didn’t have the energy and concentration anymore to beat my head against the wall with the current standings, only to surely have wasted my time in the following week when none of these events will matter or will be contradicted without fanfare or explanation.
John and Carly are supposed to be long-lost father and daughter, and yet, I’m seeing a strong professor and teacher’s pet sexual vibe between them every single time. Ninety percent of the signals are emanating from John himself, in the longing looks he gives Carly, accentuated by his deep throaty, breathy come-ons.
Edward, as played by likeable Jed Allan, looked like he belonged behind the counter of Kelly’s helping Mike with the customers, maybe even spinning off into a soap opera of their own for OUR generation. The previous Edwards would’ve stuck out like sore thumbs.
Heather, as played by likeable Robin Mattson, would’ve fit in better as a reformed, decent, heroic woman who does the right thing against all odds and against the preconceptions of a predisposed community who only knew her as a dangerous nutcase. I keep having to remind myself that she’s up to no good, not saving Edward from his family and about to reunite Luke and Laura.
Remember Courtney and Diego, Courtney putting down the mob as no heroes?
So then, Friday comes around and Courtney’s defending Jason when Diego lays into the hitman for not being hitman-tough enough. Even Diego looked confused, questioning why she’s saying they’re not heroes in one breath, then, instinctively rising up to smite anybody who badmouths them, meaning Jason, as not being a bad guy but trying to do good by threatening violence on Diego to keep the boy from succumbing to the dark side of the mob.
I’m always tired after trying to explain this shit.
At this point, I’m laughing my ass off, seriously laughing at Courtney when she asks Brook Lynn to find Diego, who’s run off to be a mob lackey hero. “Will you try, for me?” Brook Lynn should’ve replied, “Uh, who ARE you, lady? Before today, I doubt we’ve even said boo to each other. Suddenly we’re talking like relatives.”
I already hate Carly. That’s a given. But she doesn’t help matters by taking her sweet-ass time in telling Sonny the truth about Kristina, so that Kristina can be saved with a bone marrow match. Pretend we don’t already know what’s going to happen (actually, some of us viewers stubbornly remain spoiler-free).
What decent human being would stall by talking the matter over with her father before his second surgery in Manhattan, drive or fly back to Port Charles’s General Hospital to snarl at Alexis to wait, go to Sonny (this week), give him the fucking of a lifetime, one last fucking of a lifetime, THEN tell? Later tonight? How about NOW, you stupid bitch?
Better yet. How’s this for a genius alternative scenario? Alexis tells nobody. Suggests everybody get tested, you never know, sometimes stranger things have happened than a stranger matching bone marrow (wasn’t the lady driving over, a match on Thursday, only to be killed in a car crash on Friday, a complete stranger?) over a relative. Sonny’s been offering to help in any way he can, take him up on the offer, look desperate, people would humor Alexis and wanna look noble in the bargain. She could’ve had Sonny, Carly, Michael, Mike, everybody else in the Corinthos line-up, and a couple hundred extra strangers at Kelly’s pony up - - with nobody the wiser.
Finally, here’s the kicker. I didn’t HATE everything, least not everything a lot of posting viewers were wrangling over on message boards, namely:
1. Connor kidnaps Emily, Nikolas rushes in to a stand-off.
2. Lorenzo steps in his warehouse just as the bomb Jason sets is seconds away from exploding with Diego and Brook Lynn inside.
Like those posters, I, too, noticed the on-again, off-again unplaceable accent of Connor’s (a dual role by Tyler Christopher), maybe he’s from Brooklyn, maybe Minneapolis, maybe Atlanta, shoot, maybe he’s a bruddah from Kalihi. And yet, Connor – as interpreted by the very actor who portrayed another young man who’d been so callous to Mary – represented a kind of second chance to see Catherine Wadkins’ character honored. Nikolas barging in, and in previews, looking so scared and lost for Emily, provided just the right juxtaposition to Connor’s lost and scared differential for HIS Mary. Connor got to show why Mary was so loved and cherished, and why conversely, Mary went nuts over his look-alike (forgetting the lapses in early storytelling).
While I cringe whenever Natalia Livingston does Emily outraged, I have to hand it to the young lady... she does scare the crap out of me when she’s pushing the intense, almost perverted sarcastic limit, almost laughing at Connor for his inverted logic in defending his fair wife Mary with violence for violence, mocking his backward values as an escaped soldier seeking payback, urging him to slap her, duct-tape her, why not, he’ll kill her soon enough anyway. I’m not saying I LIKE her this way; remember Zander? She pulled this same sociopathic glee on him, and he was bleeding emotionally for her approval. But it’s jarring, and with NEm, jarring is way better than syrupy.
In keeping with the perilous theme, I actually sat on the edge of my proverbial seat when Brook Lynn barged in on Diego (what the fuck was he looking for though, extra loot laying around? a signed confession from Sonny?), closed the door, inadvertently locking them inside the ticking warehouse, the horror on their faces as they turned toward the bomb with 28 seconds left, the sudden surprising appearance of Lorenzo at the other side of the door (Diego is SOOOO Lorenzo’s son), and a blast, Guza style.
Did I ever mention that upon co-head writer Bob Guza’s first GH take-over, in the late ‘90s, I squealed like a stuck pig when he pulled off the template of an explosion in front of Luke’s in a mob shoot-out?... Nikolas hit in the throat, Luke and Jason on the case. I LIKE shoot-outs, explosions, car chases, big bad men with big bad dicks duking it out; my favorite genre of movie just happens to be the Clint Eastwood action adventure.
When done in Dirty Harry substance, instead of S.W.A.T. rip-off style, I’m there. Quite often, however, GH and every other two-bit soap out there, cannot do substance and style in the action-adventure genre to save a story arc.