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~*~




I don’t mind swearing – hell, I do a lot of it myself. I also don’t mind the occasional boobs and butts, but in the daytime? It’s a little too much. Surely the writers can think of more creative ways to use their 40 minutes per episode than following the crowd for attention-getting shock value. 


Before I had a child of my own, I used to hate the Christian right-wing activist prudes lobbying Congress for stricter federal legislation regulating smut on the airwaves. 

They wanted to put warning stickers on CDs for adult content, keep actors from cussin’, gettin’ naked and simulating sex on TV and add more educational programs for the PBS set. I wanted to throw them on a deserted island with a copy of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and the greatest hits of Pat Boone. 

But now that I’m approaching 40, a stay-at-home mom, with an impressionable toddler, I’m thinking different, that those do-gooders may not have been so wrong. I still believe in the open market democracy of a place for every person’s interest, pure or prurient, but there should also be a certain amount of responsibility and restraint when it comes to what networks air during the daytime. 

Much of this comes from my own history as a child growing up with several different babysitters and caretakers. Both my parents had to work, so I often spent my days – starting at around five or six years old – with a grandmother or the 20-year-old down the street, sometimes my mother on her day off. They all had one thing in common: soap operas. Instead of sitting on the floor stacking blocks with me, reading me children’s books, or running around playing hide-and-seek, they sat their fat asses on the couch and watched game shows and daytime serials on TV, eating bonbons, sipping glasses of Tab, sometimes with a box of Kleenex on their laps. 

They weren’t completely out to lunch. In the back of their minds, from conditioning, they knew they could watch this stuff without scarring me for life, in the safe, sound reassurance that sexual and violent themes would not subtly or overtly rear their ugly heads... back in the day when standards were standards. Besides, it was either that, or turn the TV set off—by getting up off their fat asses and hitting the off button on the TV, no child-proof censor control on any remote. And why would they do that when soaps were a habit they thoroughly enjoyed, one that took them out of their humdrum lives and into another world, quite like reading a romance novel. 

Their habit became mine. I got hooked on AMC first, then Y&R and DOOL, then GH and OLTL on my own in high school. I loved these familiar characters; they became a second family to me, and helped forge my own ideas of love, life, career and family, including gender roles and social issues. I admired the independent diva-bitch of fictional women like Erica Kane, Karen Wolek, Marlena Evans, Jill Abbott, Anna Devane. I dreamed of falling in love with Prince Charmings like Cliff Warner, Greg Nelson, Scott Baldwin, Neil Winters, Doug Williams, Don Craig. I felt hope for people who looked different (read: non-white), like me, making marks in this world (maybe I could be up on stage too), when I saw Jesse Hubbard’s Darnell Williams, Angie Baxter’s Debbi Morgan, Mia Korf’s Blair Cramer up there on the big screen doing anything but another Bruce Lee kung fu move. 

Even now, I can’t let go. With all the new and enticing, sexy cable programs surfacing everywhere, 50,000 channels on the dial-up, pay-per-view, the major networks—CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, UPN, WB—coming up with sexier options, I wouldn’t be hurting to try. But despite what they tell you at MTV, nostalgia is tougher competition. 

It’d be like asking me to give up writing, reading crime stories and Stephen King novels on the can, lip syching to Karen Carpenter hits with my remote control mic on my coffee table stage, crocheting afghans for my friends, going off in the woods hiking to clear my mind, enjoying a three-course Italian feast in the heart of Brooklyn. Soaps are a part of me. 

So, I continue tuning in, with my little boy James running around nearby, racing his toy trucks, taking a running leap and jumping on me, doing what little boys do. Granted, I usually watch my soaps while doing the laundry, the dishes, making dinner, taking breaks – thank God for replay’s pause and rewind buttons – to chase my buddy for some tickles, but I still watch. 

Only, I can’t watch the way my mom, grandmother and babysitters did before me—without a care in the world, content in the knowledge that despite the constant angst displayed, nothing on that little screen would shock, horrify or titillate such a young mind as mine. I have to watch carefully, and quite often, alone. More than once I’ve had to quickly change the channel to Noggin’ or Disney for some innocent G-rated cartoons, because the scenes quickly changed into adults-only (I can’t do much about the constantly running daytime commercials hawking Victoria’s Secret sex clothes, sex patches and sex lubes). 

The other night, I couldn’t believe my eyes when GH’s Faith and Skye practically reenacted one of the most tried and true lesbian porno themes right before my eyes. Faith called Skye her “bitch,” and planted a big fat wet one right on the smacker. I’m surprised, Faith didn’t try to rip Skye’s prison outfit off and wrestle on the ground half naked. Actually, Faith did try. Skip to Courtney and her sex fantasies played out with Jax in a convent, both of them dressed inappropriately, and later, Courtney standing there moaning and groaning with more fantasies of near coital bliss. 

Over on OLTL, Antonio and Sonia are about to sex it up. And who could forget John and Evangeline doing a good impression of Skin-a-flex’s R-rated B movies, up on the sink and against the wall, bosom heaving, pants bulging? Profanity and cleavage are regular co-stars there, too. 

ABC Daytime’s soaps, especially, teach us how to disrespect (threaten, assault, humiliate) our elders (OLTL’s Asa, AMC’s Adam), even posthumously (GH’s Lila), embrace white-collar crime and a little thuggery if the thug in question is as ruggedly handsome with sexy blue eyes as Jason Morgan on GH, commit adultery with justification (they committed adultery before, but always with remorse and punishment), celebrate promiscuity like they would an unplanned pregnancy, and the list goes on. 

When soap characters kill each other, there’s plenty of bloody evidence to show for it. There’s also plenty of gory, macabre detailed torture, screaming, sound effects replicating stab wounds and punches, leading up to the murders. Anybody catch Marlena having an orgasm while stabbing one of her victims, blood spattering all over her body and face? Too much. 

On a slightly comparative note, CBS tends to tone down the racy content more and more consistently. I just read of two examples on its top-rated Y&R and B&B, where Proctor & Gamble’s people slammed down on building stories that would’ve tapped into the incestuous LeTourneau newsreel, with Y&R’s Mackenzie, 21, and an underaged Daniel, and B&B’s Amber to Thomas. On Y&R, writers simply dropped the attraction. And on B&B, they’re planning to age Thomas to legal. Apparently ABC Daytime, owned by the corporation supposedly all about children and child welfare, Disney, isn’t hampered by such considerations, as it let Faith seduce underaged Dillon on GH, going so far as to show her about to go down on his underaged little private parts. I’m not surprised by CBS’s admirable handling of such touchy material; this network, above all others, has tried to keep up with the times, yet still maintain standards (okay, Deacon giving Brooke an orgasm on B&B last year notwithstanding). 

The difference between the past and the present on soaps is, now, they show almost everything the primetime shows and the movies do. Soap execs feel they have to, in order to compete, to attract some of the same attention as their primetime/movie cohorts. More than a few soap actors readily subscribe to this new and improved keeping up with the mainstream trends, including GH’s Ted King (Lorenzo), Tony Geary (Luke), Maurice Benard (Sonny). 

It wasn’t as if the soaps of the past were above reproach either, but they always tried to drive story, inform characters and aim toward the best in humankind. They weren’t trying for gratuitous, sensationalistic plot devices and shock value outside character-centered stories. 

I’ve always been a firm believer of freedom of speech and expression, and I will teach my son as much. But I will also show him an appreciation for quality in the arts, appropriate to the content and his age, prove to him it’s possible to exercise restraint, be creative without always having to resort to the lowest common denominator, conversely, that only a few equally creative souls can pull off cursing as an art (comedians Chris Rock and Richard Pryor come to mind), practice consideration for others, and still be a free-thinking individual. 

I know it’s easy to curse and be crass. I’ve done it myself, in person and in my commentaries. But it’s much harder to stop, think, and present the same sentiment and subject matter with the same impact, without the cursing and the crassness. It’s why I’ve tried it myself in this and the cubbyhole[s ic] column on Eye on Soaps for several months now. Not better, just two different sides of me, equally valid, equally true. 

I’m sure the soap writers can come up with better too on a more consistent basis. They don’t have to be like everybody else and copy the in-your-face mannerisms on a high toward gritty realism – without the depth of meaning or follow-through of purpose. There can be gritty realism in daytime without the extraneous show-offy quotient of fourth graders flouting authority. 

And sometimes, it’s more effective in the long run to hint at attraction or malevolence. I know I’m more turned on when two people are yearning for each other across a crowded room without even touching (witness AMC’s Zach and Maria), or more scared when a shadow crosses over a damsel’s face, cut to black. Airing it all out there like a Jerry Springer show 24/7 tends to dilute such effectiveness, and leave most of us numb to genuine touching reaction. Or worse, leave us lazier than we already have been trained to be, letting what passes for entertainment nowadays lead us by the hand and tell us, step by step, what we’re supposed to feel and think, and doing all of the work for us. 

I’m not saying it’s wrong to reflect current society, it’s actually natural and has been happening with soaps (and other media) throughout the ages. Hookers came on the scene around the late ‘70s and ‘80s, married couples were allowed to lay in bed together, fully clothed, just chatting and smooching chastely (whereas before, never or with one foot on the floor), the love scenes got more risqué, with more tongue, more candles and more skin. The problem happens when that’s all I see, an increasing amount of risqué without substantive story true to the characters to back the increase, and not enough of the opposite in subtle, hesitant tension played with intensity, intelligence, emotion and the x-rated fantasy left up to viewers’ own individual imagination. 

More than a few soap fans simply go along with the flow, reciting the common refrain: It’s not up to the TV and movie industry to babysit your kids. Parents should.” Obviously, these people have never been parents, or if they are, enjoy the luxury of a battalion of nannies, practice what they don’t preach by keeping their kids off daytime-viewing, or don’t care one way or another. 

The average, everyday set of American parents are hard-working, over-stressed middle-class citizens who barely have time to shop for groceries, much less schedule playdates and dates with each other. Their children, if they have more than one, are off at break-neck speed, getting into everything and anything. Supervising them is a full-time job, and let’s face it, nobody can do it with the constancy society – and child experts – demand. According to these experts, we’re supposed to keep our eye on our children 24/7, preventing them from intentionally or accidentally experiencing and witnessing something that’ll damage their psyche. Definitions of such damage vary, depending on the neuroses of the expert and the parents. 

I know of parents who won’t let their children go outside if there’s even a hint of a cloud in the sky, or get dirty playing in the garden, or even play with more than one toy at a time (cleaning each one with disinfectant right after). Neighbors down my street refuse to allow their children outside their yard perimeter; don’t even talk to them about visiting friends’ homes. There’s one OC-D-afflicted mother of a friend of an acquaintance of my husband’s who never allowed her infant daughter to put anything in her mouth, not even a clean toy, and furthermore, to this day, two years and counting, will never let the tyke interact with anybody outside the home and outside her own mom and dad. 

It’s all fine and well to talk of setting up limits, parental controls, but you try outwitting a teenager from accessing smut on the Internet at 4 in the morning, talking out of turn on their text-messaging, AIMing cells between classes, or sneaking a McDonalds quarter pounder with friends afterschool. How about keeping a toddler from jumping into a mud puddle while you’re trying to open the car door for a grocery run? Anything short of the same solitary confinement suffered by GH’s Faith Roscoe... 

In my case, I’ve chosen to watch my soaps after everybody’s gone to bed... my husband because he can no longer stomach the boring, repetitious shows with characters he no longer recognizes (he used to love Sonny to death), our son, because daytime on a major network is, unfortunately, ridiculously not kid-friendly. 

It’s a shame, because despite the cornball aspect of long-lost twins and back-from-the-dead villains, soaps have taught me much more about how to be a decent, caring human being and how to respect and honor my heritage, my gender and the people who helped raise me in a loving, supportive community – an education in itself, education our son James will, unfortunately miss out on... because soap executives, actors and many of their fans truly believe joining ‘em beats staying the same. 

 (Related topics: As Easy As ABC by Katrina Rasbold, 9/23)



Shemar Moore returns to Y&R in November as Malcolm Winters, after having departed only two years ago vowing he never would. I waited, knowing this would happen. It always does. 

In 2002, Shemar Moore went public with plans to leave his successful 13-year run as Neil’s younger brother Malcom on Y&R, sounding very much the confident primetime player, almost convincing me he’d make good on never coming back. 

But then I remember Finola Hughes (ex-Anna, GH/AMC), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas, GH), Sarah Brown (ex-Carly, GH; Julia, ATWT) Cameron Mathison (Ryan, AMC), just to name a few, who also sounded just as convincing. And within years, some a decade or so, came crawling back, as if nothing happened (nothing did, to their primetime/film aspirations), as if fans like me would forget their final farewell in the first place. 

I may forget my car keys and to turn off the bathroom light a lot, but I’m not that far gone. 

In fact, when Moore pronounced his departure with much fanfare, spouting the usual parting actor line as if he were the first to invent earnest but dogged ambition, I sat there laughing my fucking ass off and made a little pronouncement of my own: “Dude’ll be back in two years, maybe less.” 

I halfheartedly noted his name mentioned as a host of Soul Train and some nothing of a new show called Celebrity throughout the years, but otherwise, same shit, different actor. 

The other day I finished reading the Soap Opera Digest version of Sarah Brown’s big, surprising soap comeback – as recurring, short-term Julia on ATWT – which might as well have been the same goddamned interview Cameron Mathison (Ryan, AMC) gave, or Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio, OLTL), and oh, yeah David Fumero, who tried to leave three times and did on the third try, is coming back to OLTL too. 

Brown tried acting like returning was all her idea, for nobler reasons having nothing to do with needing the publicity soaps gave her. She wanted to work in New York City, be near her daughter’s biological father for her daughter’s sake, in the heart of the action, but not locked down in a two-year contract, certainly not something ABC Daytime president Brian Frons allegedly wanted from her. This would give her extra time to pursue acting outside soaps and maybe think about some practice with directing. 

Oh yeah, she had planned to enter directing school, conducted a big fucking deal contest with fans to see if she could use one of their winning stories with which to put together a short film as an entry (I submitted something, that’s how much of a gullible ass I was), but as soon as she “left” GH of her own accord, of course her big director’s dream went out the window. She says it’s because she couldn’t afford to commit herself full throttle, and keep a roof over her house. Acting paid the bills, acting kept her name in the casting calls. Directing would have to wait. 

It’s also interesting to note that only after two-three years had passed and the sting of “leaving” GH wore away, she felt safe enough to come clean about a major reason she did not stick around. It wasn’t just to pursue her hallowed directing. It wasn’t just to seek fame in primetime and movies. It wasn’t just time. It was also because she disagreed passionately with the direction her bosses – around the time Jill Farren Phelps moved from executive producing OLTL to GH – decided to take her character, as a woman who would rat Sonny out to the Feds, who would even think it okay to rely on law and order to handle her personal business, she being a Spencer through and through. 

Also at the time, the rumors were strong that she and Phelps engaged in a heated altercation of that very disagreement, and that she didn’t get along well with the previous EP, either. Co-stars came out after Brown left, stating that she could be a little overwhelming in scenes :: cough cough::. 

I tend to believe that in the end, Sarah Brown left of her own accord, mostly because the thought of doing her own thing with more independence and creative control was too enticing to pass up. I believe most of the departing soap stars feel that way. But I also think she would’ve stayed if TPTB hadn’t forced an unpalatable storyline on her, given her more room to do outside projects and a say in the development of her own character. I daresay, had she stayed, she might’ve saved Sonny and Carly, and this entire mob-centered debacle. The last thing Brown would’ve wanted, is a show centered around glorifying the mob in couple isolation; this chick was all about family, and the last time I ever saw Carly give a fuck about anyone outside her Sonny and Jason vortex was when Brown inhabited the role and railed in outrage at what Lucky was going through with his parents and the Cassadines. That’s the last time Carly interacted in any manner whatsoever with Luke and Laura, too. 

Hey, it’s okay if these actors and actresses leave for better opportunities. Who among us wouldn’t? It’s just that they should stop trying to convince us that this time their exits are for real. They remind me of the message board regulars in the online soap opera community, who announce that they’re through posting for good, they mean it!, and write this grand farewell to all their buds, as well as a grand fuck-you to all their enemies, hoping for an avalanche of Oh, please don’t go! We’ll miss you so!<<HUGS!!!>> tribute... usually right after a board war that got too heated. Only, they come creeping back, expecting the same emotional fanfare, as if countless others before them hadn’t also pulled this bullshit, in almost the very same way, I couldn’t stay away, I missed all of you so much, and besides, I have so much to say! 

What this behavior does – for both posters and departing actors – is lessen the impact, validity, believability of the departure itself, always done so grandly, so earnestly. If these people would just leave out the back door quietly, leaving that door ajar slightly, they wouldn’t keep looking like bombastic, self-important fools. 

Additionally, I’m just finding it very predictable and very hilarious that not a damned one of them will cop to their complete and total conformism. 

Show biz types like to see themselves as originals. But in many ways, especially the hello-good-bye-er, I’m back ... they’re all pathetically alike. 



As I mentioned earlier, I used to watch DOOL, more religiously than I do GH today. That NBC soap was all about family ties and grounded romance. The most far-fetched it ever got for me was when Julie and Doug discovered a grown-up, half-Asian-looking young woman as his long-lost daughter (not Julie’s I don’t think, then it would’ve been really fucked up). Otherwise, the men and women in Salem did what the men and women in any small town America did, they worked, they talked over coffee, they prepared for holidays, they sometimes rallied around someone afflicted with a disease, they fought over and dealt with the occasional love triangle (Marlena comes to mind). 

I bailed when the show started turning to the teens in the audience, writing the stories more fantastically and aimed mostly at their fickle crowd, less vets, more supernatural horror, less realism. After the flack the show received in going Exorcist on Marlena, I knew I’d made the right decision. (Who knew I’d wind up with the same shit on two of the three ABC soaps to some extent?) 

For most of my high school and college years, I basically ignored DOOL. Unlike Y&R, I refused to tune in now and then to check up on the familiar faces, I didn’t even read any related articles in soap magazines. That is, until executive producer Ken Corday made a stink about then-“Critical Condition” columnist Marlena Delacroix of Soap Opera Weekly and her critical column about his show, pretty much detailing the same problems I had. Instead of taking it like a man – say what you will about GH’s EPs, at least they don’t have a cow over freedom of speech – he whined lke a crybaby to the magazine’s higher-ups, his published letter bitching about how Delacroix is paid to kiss DOOL’s ass, cheerlead for DOOL, only praise DOOL’s best points and shut up about the rest, that her critical column did much to set back the genre itself in the eyes of readers. 

The magazine’s higher-ups seemed to support Delacroix, as did fans like me, but not soon after, SPW underwent a major renovation, with the editor-in-chief Mimi Torchin kicked off, Delacroix departing and the mag transformed into a tabloid rag, covering primetime’s latest obsession, reality-TV. That always struck me suspiciously. Ever since, SPW has never been the same. It reads haphazardly, regular columns a mishmash of thrown-together-at-the-last minute crap, trying to copy The Star with mostly pictures and trashy innuendo veering into the way-too personal about the actors, dead or alive. I no longer subscribed. Why bother, my favorite columnist was gone, and in my eyes, the publisher succumbed to demands of censorship by an industry executive who can’t take the heat. 

It wasn’t until the Salem murders that I started paying attention again, if only to mock Corday and his double-speak. The man is a born salesman, IMHO, of a circus freak show, and the hilarious game for me is to watch him excitedly hawk the latest IT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY! with earnest sincerity, while noting the broken, rusty, secondhand details forgotten. 

At first, Marlena turned out to be the serial killer, laying waste to as many of the show’s beloved staples as she could with gleeful abandon, part Xena, Warrior Princess, part Freddy Kruger. They even showed her wet dream, as she repeatedly stabbed her lover John with a knife, blood spurting on her clothes, her face, looking as if she were in fact, having an orgasm. It was revolting stuff, the stuff of B-movie horror videos, and quite unnecessary to daytime. 

And, at the time, I distinctly remember reading in the soap magazines Ken Corday promising, swearing up and down that Marlena would not turn out to be crazy, or to have been programmed by a nefarious moustache-twirler into the killings. 

Cut to a year later, it’s Captive Island, Marlena’s victims are alive and stuck there, Marlena herself—having been shot down, then risen from the coffin—is among them, trying to escape. Turns out Marlena never killed these people, she was :: get ready :: programmed by Thaao Penghlis’ Tony to believe she did, while he later revived and stored them on the island. 

I also seem to recall the executive producer or the writer promising that the victims were gone as we knew it, and the payoff would come in an unexpected way, that fans would be proud, amazed and relieved. I don’t know about the hardcore, diehard fans, but this former one was none of those things. I was appalled and disgusted to see the lengths these soap professionals would go to yank the audience’s chain, under the misguided premise of keeping them on the edge of their seats. 

Many of the hardcore fans would always throw DOOL’s current serial killing plot device at me, as proof that gratuitous shock value worked, that people in droves came together to see what those wacky motherfuckers in New Salem would do next. Sorry, I never did. Marlena daydreaming about stabbing John to death? Wasn’t watching it on the show, caught it in some preview teaser on Northwest Afternoon, a Seattle-based daytime talk show featuring Cindi Rinehart, Queen of Soaps, who was as appalled and disgusted as I was. 

Penghlis – who earlier broke the news to the press upon leaving his role that Marlena would be the killer, causing me to laugh my ass off – sounded like he was taken aback as well, and hoped he didn’t come off as the moustache-twirling villain with his empty laughter at the lives he cost (and the fans his fall guy Tony needlessly pissed off). Said he’d tried his best to narrate, in hindsight, how his character orchestrated it all right from under the noses of us all, without turning us all off. “I thought, ‘How do you tell a story that’s kind of brutal and sadistic and yet make it entertaining, wanting the audience to follow you in your element and still make them want to see you the next day?” [SOD, 9/28] Answer: You don’t, click, oh look, there’s Myrtle on AMC. 

He shouldn’t, and doesn’t, worry too much about whether his character will get a second chance. It’s DOOL, where nothing is ever as it seems and every phoenix rising from the ashes cornball cliché, complete with cornball dialogue and bad acting, is possible. Even he said so, adding that perhaps Tony would turn out to be bonkers, acting on insanity, but returns cured and ready for the redeeming welcome of a braindead genre. 

Wait, wait, wait... for the Ken Corday intro. 



Jonathan cracked himself up after ordering Ryan to be more careful and hiring two bodyguards, and I suddenly saw the reason for his hire. Dude looks like Leo, looks like. That’s about the extent of the resemblance, since actor Jeff Branson hasn’t been wowing me at all, unless he’s butting heads with Bianca. 

Same goes for James Scott as Ethan... unless he’s staring adoringly at Bianca, the woman he can never have. Everybody’s talking up his eventual romantic pairing with Kendall, talking sparks, but I don’t see it. I just see Kendall trying too hard to relate to Ethan, citing their similarities a little too desperately, now that Ryan’s taken with Greenlee... and Ethan just standing there, clenching his taut little ass. Come to think of it, Ethan acts like he doesn’t even like pussy. Hmmm. 

There’s holding suspense and then there’s stalling. The baby-switching story falls under the latter, and it’s pissing me the hell off. Plus, the asshole writers are forgetting an important historic detail in the DNA situation; we don’t know whether Babe’s baby is JR’s, the results got tampered with after Babe and/or Krystal gave some blowjobs to the medical staff... the only characters who know for sure are Babe and Krystal, and they’re acting so far like it’s JR’s baby too. Why not simply conduct a DNA test, under the radar of course, on little Ace in Llanview, JR, Jamie and Paul, if these two bimbos don’t know? Why not simply have told Bianca about her baby girl never having died in the first place... but that’s water under the bridge. At this point, viewers are simply sitting around impatiently, fuming right along with me at the latest outrageous stalling tactic perpetrated by Babe on the auspices of giving Bianca what she wants, just as soon as Babe gets what she wants too—undermining the entire character redemption process. 

They should never have made Lily afraid of red. Now, every time she’s on, I don’t watch her, because I’m looking out for anything red to set her off. She must’ve been cured by Erica’s lavender scarf, because when they were in Llanview, at Carlotta’s Diner, there was red everywhere. The red neon signs outside, the red aprons. 

I had a hard time watching the September 22nd AMC, as well. I kept staring off at the framed artwork the set designers chose for each character – Zach/Alexander’s painstakingly detailed white objets against black velvet, the doctor’s office where David was with Babe and Krystal and the Escher-like b/w puzzle print, Tad’s house with probably the leftovers of Dixie’s down-home country style in the fruit branch... and how those pieces somehow fit the mechanics of the characters’ individual workings. Well, except for Tad, whom I felt should be displaying Red Skelton’s clown paintings or something in a Sesame Street. 

At first I wasn’t paying attention to Zach and JR, because well, it’s JR, and all that ass master does is bellow at full decibels. But then, when Zach took over, he made quite a few clever analogies without coming right out and saying that’s what they were... between his childhood and JR’s, how JR tried to flee from his father’s blueblood, uppercrust shadow, but came back and now seems trapped, a “junior” but never the original, Adam would see to that – a similarity unspoken but clearly running through Zach’s head, how he managed to, with Michael’s help, flee his own father’s equally strict upbringing and expectations, to be his own man, and a Zachery Slater, no less, not a “junior.” Of course, this revelation went right over JR’s dullard head. 

It’s at this point, I wished every other character in Pine Valley would speak like Zach, instead of Tad, Greenlee, Ryan and Kendall... y’know, that clever, overly-rehearsed, bumper sticker kind of patronizing talk, like they’re all auditioning for Last Comic Standing, instead of having real conversations with people. Nothing sounds real, or natural, when coming out of their mouths. Although, Tad will throw in a quick zinger that does work (see below) sometimes, but he has to do it without thinking. 

“Your feet hit the ground, and the rest of you followed,” Greenlee told Ryan, in the September 23rd episode, after he tried to get out of his hospital bed, walk toward her a few feet away and take her clothes off (long story, too gaggy to mention). One minute I’m watching Ryan pull the sheet off him, cut to commercials, the next, he’s waking up, Greenlee calmly tending to him, after having suffered a blackout. I mention this because the scene is medically accurate (for a change for soaps), and because I lived it two Septembers ago following a myomectomy. Two days after my uterine fibroid surgery, the MENSA geniuses in the sparse nursing staff thought it would be a neat idea if I tried to get up out of my hospital bed and walk around. I no sooner stood up with their help, than felt immediately like heaving the empty in my stomach, which is nearly impossible to do if it’s knotted up with stitches, next thing I knew, I was sitting on a chair, several minutes had passed and the nurse had to call an orderly to help because I’d dropped to the floor, out cold. My problem, however, wasn’t a bullet removed from the gut, but the ill effects of an epidural still dripping into my spine and low blood pressure following the surgery. And those stupid nurses. 

Other than the above, I had no idea what Greenlee and Ryan were nuzzling and cooing to each other about, Greens sniffing Ryan’s chest, making a face, bringing up vodka and olives, what the fuck-ever. The “sugar rush” Ryan felt at Greenlee’s attempted clever sweet-nothings over the IV dripping their love gave me a toothache. 

While Aidan didn’t need to stand there watching a topless Ryan being fondled by Greenlee in their own private, nauseating soft-porn, he did provide comic relief, in the end, piping up about wanting his own rub-down. 

On the other end of the clever spectrum, David admitted to Derek that he bragged about putting Adam in the shipping crate, after the fact, not that he actually committed the deed, and that doing so kept JR preoccupied with finding his father, not hassling David’s daughter Babe. Nice save. 

Nicer acronym as clever means for antagonizing JR, brought up by Reggie. He toyed with the chiseled blond mannequin – forcing himself to wait at Derek’s house until Derek found out whether David did crate Adam off in a box – asking for in-person insight into being an EWG – Entitled White Guy. Later, as Derek did a little of his own verbal beat-down, “... like Hamlet’s pipe...,” the two former enemies bonded over their one-two-JR punch, until they noticed Danielle watching with amusement. Derek and Reggie swearing, together, that they weren’t enjoying a close moment was more funny on AMC than I’d witnessed in weeks. Almost as funny as Derek’s leisure get-up, loud aloha shirt, Bermuda shorts, socks, as emphasized by David, “Did I double-park, or did you want to invite me to the luau?” 

Tad nagging Krystal to marry him, going behind her back to nag daughter Babe – in a weird prelude where he went down on one knee with an empty ring box – didn’t strike me as very funny, romantic or loving. But it’s typical control-freak Tad. He thinks if he can get that one nagging secret out of them, Krystal will have no other excuse but to agree to be his love slave. Between his invasive prying and Krystal’s incessant, neurotic damage control, these two obnoxious jerks cancel each other out. 

I did, however, enjoy Tad’s growing frustration when Krystal arrived to shut Babe up and keep Tad from prying, then David followed not long after. “Enter the world’s only flightless vulture,” Tad quipped, then groaned as David gave Krystal and Babe the knowing eye, asking them to come with him. “Oh for God’s sake, it’s surreal. What is it with you people? You got everything but a secret handshake,” Tad said, exasperated that the Great Martini wasn’t let in on the big secret too. 

God help me, I love Babe, despite her keeping Miranda from Bianca. When (is she a doctor, a physical therapist, a physician’s assistant?) Anita confirmed, in a roundabout way, that Kelly’s baby Ace could not possibly be Kelly’s, the tears of joy on Babe’s face mirrored my own. While everybody else in the thinking world waits impatiently for Babe’s retribution, I’m in hiding, hoping it won’t be that bad. 

Bianca has a really bad habit, afflicting 3/4ths of the alleged good girls in soaps: an annoying tendency to bait her worshippers into mentioning a painful trigger to one of a million tragedies suffered because of her goodness. Take the September 24th episode (please). 

Erica checks out Bianca’s new pad, formerly Greenlee’s, when she accidentally picks up the shirt Bianca wore when giving birth to Miranda. That spurred on a conversation about loss and eventually, Erica’s new beginning, starting that new company she promised before going nuts and going to Vegas to be a showgirl. At the very mention of her mother’s new company, Bianca brings up Erica’s painful encounter with the reporter several months ago, when Erica was still in denial about her alcoholism, and the interview that never happened—for no reason apparent to me, except twisting the knife in Erica’s still raw wound about her alcoholism. Or maybe the writers needed an excuse for the two to make it all about Bianca’s pain instead; it did happen to be the day she gave birth and subsequently lost her baby Miranda. 

Predictably, Erica doesn’t acknowledge her own personal suffering from the interview gone awry. She does, however, immediately offer up an abject apology (for bringing it up—she didn’t, Bianca did), because immediately, Bianca appears obviously stricken with horror, like, Mother! How dare you bring up that painful part of my past in such a thoughtless, roundabout fashion! ...Only to have Bianca react with self-conscious nobility herself in granting her mother pardon, Oh it’s okay... and permission to launch into a self-pitying tale of woe. 

The next goody-two-shoes who even thinks about pulling this: Hey, don’t bring up the subject if it will somehow wind up being about you and your pain! And don’t act like the other person did it to hurt you, passive-aggressive twit! 

I caught a glimpse of Kendall’s bare back while yammering at Ethan about some bullshit or another. One glimpse was enough, girlfriend needs to eat some fries. Maybe that sounds like a personal attack (after all, when Soap Opera Digest’s Carolyn Hinsey wrote the same thing in her “It’s Only My Opinion” column over a year or so ago, she got slammed by a few overly sensitive types for daring to go there), but a half-blind person could plainly see that Alicia Minshew is beautiful, but way too rail thin, beyond ballerina thin. Let’s just say, if she and Ethan had shagged, the simulated sex would be the last thing on my mind. 

I want Tad’s house, but David’s desk accessories. 

Lock your doors, people! 

Tied for quite possibly the least sexy female voice in the soap world: Greenlee and Krystal. Theirs is enough to shrivel my own proverbial cock. 



The following is what ABC Soaps in Depth online reported on September 22: Head writer Michael Malone exits, as Dena Higley takes over, effective the next coming weeks. Malone – who joined then quit OLTL before, in the ‘90s – will return his attention to writing novels, as he had before. He leaves with warmth for cast and crew and a special place in his heart for Llanview in particular. Higley comes from the DOOL writing staff, and hopes to passionately steer OLTL’s characters forward with a “fresh perspective, while at the same time remaining true to the show's illustrious history,” which means keeping stories character-driven.

Here’s my take on the departure and replacement: Michael Malone got so fed up with the constant interference on story by the network suits that he threw his hands up and said, Fuck it, I give up, I’m going back to where the money and the results are, writing my own shit. So the network suits scrambled and picked up a team player in Dena Higley, someone who’ll do what they say, but mouth the party line about character-driven bullshit. 

And, here’s what bugs me about Antonio going all dark over his new identity as Manuelito: big fucking deal, so his biological father was a murdering sociopath who made his living pimping illegal drugs. He still had two decent moms, Carlotta and Isabella. True Isabella isn’t of much use to him now, but c’mon! What’s the guy have to be huffin’ and puffin’ about? Nothing’s changed, nothing at all. Except maybe he should get over his drama queen tantrums and get to beating the shit outta Tico. 

As the camera panned from Jessica, to Sonia, to Antonio, to a handful of strangers with familiar faces who didn’t care about anything going on, leaving me apathetic as well, I briefly toyed with the idea of putting an indefinite hiatus on OLTL until the baby-switching story started winding down for the finale. After the dreadfully boring, repetitious, derivative September 22nd episode, which I could not detail for you if my life depended on it, could you blame me? 

Just a suggestion, in hindsight: Had Antonio and Tico developed any sort of genuine family tie, gotten to know each other better, bonded, instead of immediately thrown up red flags, all but winking for God’s sakes, for the audience, practically signaling to all of us that Antonio suspects Tico of something underhanded, Tico hates Antonio and is secretly working him to get to his girlfriend Jessica, and they aren’t going to be connected, by blood or friendship any time soon... maybe the story would’ve played out better. This is what I mean about the soap writers treating the soap fans like complete idiots, children to be led by the hand, step by step, through every storyline turn, like we can’t figure out for ourselves what’s to come. The better story would’ve been to let these two enjoy a relationship, perhaps like and respect each other, before the mistaken identities dropped like bombs in their laps. Then, they could’ve tried the conflict angle, shown off a few acting chops... or not. Also, to have included other residents of Llanview in on this, would’ve added integrity to Antonio’s attempt at angst. 

Instead, Tico never gave a shit about Antonio, the feeling’s mutual. Tico blinks as he’s remembering how he physically assaulted his own mother (that bad example for children I’ve been telling you about in the above NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S DAYTIME) and caused her fatal fall on the broken glass, as if he’d just remembered that night he had the bad clams or ran into a traffic jam earlier in the day. Sonia’s no better. Tell me why I should care about these two in particular, if they don’t care about anybody else but themselves. 

The September 23rd show kicked off the gala fashions worn by some of Llanview’s most prominent female citizens—mostly in blues and purples (sale at Sak’s?), lulling me into a false sense of soaps the way they used to be, and forcing me to wish AMC would resurrect the Crystal Ball and GH, the Nurses’ Ball. Proceeds from the real-life sales of gowns up for auction and t-shirts for the occasion could go to charities. 

Anyway, on to the fashionistas. Even before the gala began in earnest, I fell madly in love with Dorian’s black pant suit. The top featured a stunning gold/red-leaf pattern border, flaring out flatteringly from the hips, the pants were loose-fitting, also flattering. Her strapless gala gown, in deep purple, though, would fit my ostentatious mother more, huge jeweled bedecked half the bodice, with a revealing curved slit down the middle of the ballroom skirt. 

But Adriana... she took my breath away. My eyes teared up at the very sight of her, just as Dorian’s had. The younger version of Dorian (it’s true, Robin Strasser, in a professional portrait as AW’s Rachel, many years ago, is the spitting image of Melissa Gallo/Adriana) was simply a vision in a vibrant mauve, strapless, like Cinderella. The belle of the ball tried to hide in the hotel bar at first, but her date Duke coaxed her to show herself with this truth: “You’re sweet, smart, you’re your own person, you’re real.” For once, another character isn’t just feeding a line of ass-kissing bullshit to the show’s reigning, self-proclaimed goody-two-shoes, ala GH’s Emily and AMC’s Bianca; for once, the praise fits the character, and in a good way, not goody, goody (Adriana to Duke: “Watch my teeth [for spinach].”) 

Kelly was, okay. Her dark blue gown hung straight and narrow, reminiscent of the 1920s flapper style, with the front so narrow that she probably had to tape her boobs underneath the cloth to keep those babies in place. 

Cobalt blue and strappy fit Sonia’s more sensual undertones, also bringing out the tan in her skin. I could’ve done without the big-assed tie high up in the back (visions of Homemaking 101 dance in my head), maybe made the back a gathered plunge. 

Line of the day goes to David, natch, while reassuring Kelly that Kevin may attend the gala with his socialite of the week, but “Kevin’s arm candy is just discounted junk food compared to you.” 

Scene of the day went to Adriana, bursting into Dorian’s living room, hair in a disarray, freaking out because the hairstylist hadn’t showed (remember Gene Wilder’s character walking into the conference room in a straightened nightmare to stunned co-workers in the movie Woman in Red? Har!), cut to David and Kelly’s What the fuck?! Adriana and David, however, carried the comedy, not Kelly. 

This is where astrology distinguishes itself. Kelly’s Heather Tom is a Scorpio, her predecessor, the original Kelly’s Gina Tognoni is a Sagittarius. Typical Scorpios cannot attempt goofy, wacky, hysterically, unconsciously accidentally funny if their intense, controlling lives depended on it. All I saw was Tom attempting to be a good sport in what was supposed to be a light-hearted slapstick scene, and probably TPTB’s attempt to show this Kelly as a facade of her former self, still capable of smiling, laughing and appreciating the absurd. But I couldn’t shake the sense that when Adriana put her hands on Kelly, begging her to help, keep Duke from seeing her so early, Kelly wanted to shake Adriana’s hands away, make a sour face, and get this fucking stupid-assed drama over with. I didn’t get that Kelly was enjoying the moment at all, just waiting for these idiots to snap out of it and get the problem fixed. But that’s my astrologically-motivated perspective. 

Damn. Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio/Manuelito) can not do suppressed, seething rage, without appearing soapy and Drake Hogestyn-ish. When Carlotta asked for a moment of his time to plead her case again, it was Patricia Mauceri’s case to plead, and she succeeded. Carlotta begged Antonio not to turn her away, he was all she had left, and the cold, heartless bastard just walked away, de los Reyes giving a clear portrait of caricature, not conflict. 

Okay, that must be about six times now, once or twice every day the past week of reliving Isabella’s unfortunate death by fall on glass. Enough is enough. 

AMC’s Babe and Krystal joined in the gala, wearing subdued gowns – which tells me for sure that the color scheme was pre-planned – Babe’s pale pink with spaghetti straps matched actress Alexa Havins’ pale blonde skin tone, for a change (AMC’s costume designers always screw up with her in those glaring 50s outfits). She sure made Kelly look like an overly made-up shrew, that’s for sure... not all of that aesthetic. 

Kelly and Babe facing off over Ace... classic soap. I should be feeling for Kelly over Babe, since Kelly has no idea that Ace is really a stolen baby from a rich family, not the hand-out from a homeless woman. And yet, it is Babe I sided with, because a) I hate Kelly and her entitled sour face, b) while Babe has yet to return Miranda to her rightful mother Bianca over at AMC, Ace belongs with Babe, not Kelly, c) Babe’s Havins out-performed Kelly’s Heather Tom and will any day of the week. Babe even managed to put Kelly at ease toward the end of their scene together, by saying she had a baby girl and understood Kelly’s situation. That ease lasted all of that one scene, because in the next, she’s with Karen or Julie, the nanny, and issuing forth her suspicion against Babe’s true intent. 

OLTL’s very own Nora, on the other hand, could’ve been dressed better. Her drab dull brown/green thing didn’t belong in a fancy gala but the bedroom, alone with the ice cream and the HBO Sopranos marathon, as lingerie. 

Making her grand entrance (but still paling in comparison to my adorable Adriana), Jessica attends the gala after all, in a skin-flattering pale sky-blue, strapless gown, with Grecian criss-cross tie thingie (Officer Dayna of the “Fashion Police,” I ain’t, what the hell are those thingies called?) in front, in off-pale-green, chiffon scarf in blue around her neck. 

Another line of the day, rather, creative reinvention of the naughty term: horse’s ass, from Asa, while muttering and fondling his six-guns: “Todd... you horse’s rosette.” 



Funny what happens to Sonny when he stops acting like a ferocious mobster, and interacts with the people of Port Charles he used to know when he was just a conflicted, mentally handicapped, middle-aged man. Eye on Soaps’ “Fashion Police” columnist Dayna reminded me of it when she mentioned how likeable Sonny is when he’s teasing Alexis about the ruffled stringy thingies under her neck (after her thwarted romp with Ric earlier on his office desk) – can you tell I’m no fashionista like Dayna? She wrote: “And how about that exchange for evoking emotions?  I went from furious at Sonny (nothing new there) for initiating such a disrespectful conversation with my Ms. Davis, to just cracking up at the way his eyes flashed when Ric entered the room to support her "your brother gives better bed" comeback.  Still gets me when I recall liking Sonny.” 

I did more than just crack up at Sonny, I positively melted before his dimpled, eye-flashing presence. If the writers would just let him be, show this part of Sonny more often, instead of the cocksucker in the Italian suit, then show the other part, the child who breaks and is broken, in a fully researched, fully fleshed-out, relationship-based, character-driven story about the awful effects of manic-depression, why it is frequently called a disease of brilliance, and the slow, therapeutic redemption of a formerly abused Brooklyn-ite street thug into one of the greatest federal agents the world has ever known, I would promise not only a string of Emmys, but offers from the movie and primetime world, and the instant legendary status of Maurice Benard as Sonny Corinthos in my soap-viewing life. Forever. 

Carly and Steven together – Star ... doesn’t work for me. Mostly because Tamara Braun doesn’t seem enamored of Shaun Benson’s acting choices. The last two times they interacted, it’s like she, as a pseudo-veteran actress, is trying to control what he, as a newcomer, does in scenes. When they parted ways in front of Kelly’s, Steven drunk and apathetic, Carly betrayed and pissed, Braun had to tell Benson to look at her, look at her, when she talked to him. Later, after he took her to the hospital to bandage up her sprained wrist, and after he had a run-in with her husband Sonny, she did not look amused by him suddenly, inexplicably laughing when she seriously explained the problem with Sonny and his suspicious nature. I thought that was odd myself. The whole thing stinks of discomfort. 

But what the fuck was up Sam’s asshole September 20? She just went ballistic about Sonny to Jason, and then on Sonny himself after he merely asked her to sign legal documents making it official on what they already agreed was best for her, him and their unborn daughter. Sonny wasn’t asking for sole custody, as Jason tried to explain. But Sam didn’t hear it, she kept going on about Sonny demanding custody, period, and she wouldn’t have it. No wonder Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) reportedly balked at making this an issue worth their characters going to blows over... ‘cause, it ain’t. 

Who did Bobbie call—twice—after Carly hassled her about her past johns, no pun intended, in searching for her biological father? She’d secretly placed that call to a person I assumed was the father, her first true love and boyfriend, not casual “best john.” But lately, the real John is acting like he just saw her, through a window at Kelly’s Diner, after stealing a postcard from her to Carly, talking to Steven about her as if she were just another hooker he hadn’t contacted in ages, much less exchanged two secret phone calls with. 

I really laughed bitterly when John ranted at Steven on the docks about the years of trust they’d built together, that John trusted nobody but Steven as his righthand man, and it took two days of being with Carly for him to lie and betray for her. The old Carly under Sarah Brown? Definitely. Tamara Braun’s growling, scowling, butch, street thug Carly? No fucking way. 

But my laughter almost turned into tears of despair when John offhandedly praised Sonny to Steven. Steven put the two of them together as ruthless assholes who’d just as soon use blood relations as protective, deflective shields as a means to out-maneuver the other. John immediately went into Sonny worship mode by informing Steven, as if he and Sonny were past lovers, that unlike him, the ruthless, heartless, soulless federal prosecutor, Sonny, the heart of gold mobster would never in a billion years risk any women and children, inferring in so many ways that Sonny has that honor John never possessed. Mission accomplished, guys, bad=good, good=bad. 

This also recalled a brief real-life, praise-filled quote from John Durant’s portrayer Corbin Bernsen about Sonny Corinthos’ Maurice Benard – only a week or so into the role – that the two actors got together and agreed on their characters’ probable history and motivation in regards to each other... that most likely, John wouldn’t have anything personal against Sonny, he’d probably be amenable to a few drinks, because there’s a respect amongst these men who are tops in their class, even with their inevitable rivalry. 

Solitary confinement must mean something entirely different to the clowns running GH. From what I’ve read in newspapers and magazine accounts, and seen of documentaries, solitary confinement could drive a person mad; it’s as close to lock-down in a mental asylum without the rubber walls. What Faith ended up in was another cell, but without a roommate. I’d kill to get that kind of solitary confinement (er, if I were in prison). 

Sam left another good-bye note, packed her bag again and took off—as far as Kelly’s Diner—to bum a room off a reluctant Bobbie, who actually stood her ground this time, on behalf of her daughter Carly. The note to Jason, as well as the kiss-up to Bobbie, reeked of insincerity and manipulation. To my observation, Sam overreacted, saw her opportunity to paint herself Sonny’s helpless victim, pit Sonny and Jason against each other (she didn’t want them at each other’s throats, after she went butt-fucking bonkers???), then pretend to bail, to show Jason how sensitive and noble she was. Nobody bought her bullshit, least of all Jason, who, IMHO, was making all nicey-nice to her to keep her from harming the unborn baby, Keep the nutty slutty lady calm so she won’t jump off a cliff or something. It took all of two-three minutes of talking about nothing important before she bummed a free meal off Jason, saying she was starving but had no money. See? If she had no money, how’d she expect to bum a room off Bobbie? My worthless street urchin of a brother, er, I mean Sam knew Jason would come running. If I were Kelly Monaco, having to play this horseshit every other day, I’d be horse whipping my agent to get me the hell out. 

Sam even went to Carly for advice. Did this bimbo think the street thug with a 15-inch dildo in her boxers would go all soft and mushy seeing her all torn up about Sonny handing her legal documents for shared visitation? Carly is Sonny’s biggest bitch, and Sam biggest enemy... Carly would as likely help Sam with a faltering, hesitant smile (that all-elusive conflict, y’know), as Sam would stay put, get a job and stop the goddamned whining every 15 minutes. 

Nikolas is starting to repulse me so much, the guy’s even crawled into my nightmares. The last one, suffered on the morning of September 22, had his alter-ego sending a couple of thugs after me for crimes against NEm (that, or because I dared to steal a glance at his holiness on a bus ride). I need to FF from now on, for my own safety. 

Actually, the week of September 20 had to be biggest waste of my time ever, since right before Bob Guza took over the first time as head writer in the 1990s. I put off catching up with the recordings as long as I could. And when I watched, I wished I were anywhere else. It was pure torture. Between Sonny bellowing at Sam bellowing at Sonny, Nikolas acting like Sonny on a bender, close-ups of Emily in the middle of an orgasm, Faith and Skye doing tough prison bitch impersonations (when’s the ass-licking scene?), John Durant not giving a shit whether Carly is or isn’t his daughter, because he has such a hard-on for Sonny, Steven giggling through other characters’ pain and stress, the sacriligious audacity of Jax and Courtney fantasy-playing the priest licking the nun’s cunt underneath her habit at moonlight....  I was about ready for a permanent nap. 

In the latest drama over at L&B Records, I must admit to be on Dillon’s side – even if Brook Lynn typically (for a girl) turns on him once she discovers her Britney – I’d rather hear the new female artist’s songwriting and singing brilliance, than see the old pop package. The haunting piano intro, full of melodic harmony in an almost echo of the mind’s remembrances, her work in progress told me volumes about actress Adrianne Leon’s innate ear for original ground-breaking music. The show business part, pimped and pushed by music producer Simon and mom Lois, told me nothing except the writers were just following the MTV crowd as usual. 

Calling JonBenet... I couldn’t believe Lois would pimp out her own teenaged daughter like a common whore for the masses, just to sell a CD: “You gotta use your sexuality...” Sure, she’s savvy on music business, but her own daughter? Then, the evil, soulless whore glint in her eye as she eyed a black number for herself from her daughter’s suggested new sluttier wardrobe, with which to mind-fuck Lorenzo. Said to myself at the time, “This is the beginning of the end of my interest in Nu Lois, thanks to TPTB.” 

And that red Bolero dress Lois chose for Brook Lynn. Made her look like the opera slut Carmen, or the drag queen icon Cher. What’s worse, Brook Lynn’s protestations about remaining true to her art, being herself, honored for the content of her personality instead of the cunt allure of her outward appearance... was all a bunch of teenage poseur bullshit. The second girlfriend put on the hooker outfit, showed a little leg and promise of pussy, had the boys, namely Lucas, panting after her, calling her “hot,” she turned into just another teenaged bimbo Britney wannabe hitting the malls. Next. 

I want Sonny’s olive-green couch. 

Courtney, get a haircut already. The ‘60s hippie look died ages ago. 

I wish that damned Courtney didn’t interrupt Jason’s walk to the car to drop Sam’s bag off. Sam was supposed to order dinner. I hate when characters do that and end up never eating. One day, I would like to see Sam chow down to a five-course Italian meal. And burp loudly. 

Courtney does not pull off power suits well, least of all the pink one with the ruffled short skirt she’s been sporting for weeks now, really accentuating her linebacker shoulders and muscly legs (kinda like Britney Spears in couture). Athletically fit, with a strong body I would kill for, actress Alicia Leigh Willis can do better than what the goof-offs in wardrobe have offered her. 

Also, she really does not look good turning the bet into a game, dragging Jason’s lips into it for Jax’s benefit. The bet might’ve held promise, been a novelty, but now, it’s just revealing itself as another stale plot device designed to prolong the agony, instead of actually showing us why Courtney would fall in love with Jax and vice versa (some of that was explored when Skye went to prison, Jax’s guilt, Courtney catching him during a serious moment), them getting to know each other as the people behind the suits and the jobs. 

The Casper romance could’ve been both Courtney and Jax’s ticket out of backburner status into supercouple. But the writers had to squander their appeal together with this stupid bet that has gone on way too long for nothing. Courtney got it right when she told Jax, “We flirt, Jax, that’s all.” That’s pretty much all. 

Her foundation, job, his... have fallen by the wayside, until conveniently picked up again for the next plot device. Such a shame. It used to mean something when a character discovered a hidden talent and parlayed it into a career. 

Jobs aren’t the only plot devices conveniently used for the Emmy moments, or to drive Sonny’s story (same diff). Paternity’s just as good. John Durant walks into Sonny’s penthouse to declare that he knows Carly is his daughter and invite her to her own club (which she hasn’t been seen attending to in weeks), the Cellar, for a little getting-to-know-you session over drinks. All this takes place in front of Sonny, who heckles him for the real reason now and then, stressing to me not to get too excited for Carly, because this is really about Sonny. What should be a pivotal scene and the beginning of a relationship between Carly and her long-lost father John and mother Bobbie, was rendered absolutely anti-climatic because of the writers’ intent for the real pivotal scene to be when John faces off with Sonny in the ultimate hard dick showdown. 

At the Cellar, John pretends to care about Carly’s hopes and dreams, no matter how outrageous. But when he presses her to explain the circumstances of her reunion with mother Bobbie, Carly balks, refusing to elaborate... prompting me to mutter to myself, “He’ll find out anyway, the entire town knows how you rode Tony like a wild tiger to get back at your mom. Stupid bitch.” The soft-doe-eyed act at the end with her tentatively giving in to John’s embrace gave me the runs. Will never make up for the million more scenes of her whipping the dildo out and bitchslapping her innocent victims with it. 

What happened to smart, sensible Courtney? Whyever would she pull Jason into a kiss—and cause Sam to forget that she was supposed to order dinner on Jason? To make Jax jealous? To avoid kissing Jax? Does any of this strike you as a Courtney move? Even more bizarre was Jason’s reaction, at first hurt and disgusted, then, as he escorted Sam back to their place, smiling like a fucking idiot. I don’t know whether to assume he’s crying on the inside, or if he really doesn’t give a shit about Courtney and her kissing games anymore. 

The line of the day in the September 23rd episode, however, went to Tracy. So delicious, I actually wrote it down, word for word: “She’s [Heather] dying to lead him [Edward] by his :: dramatic pause :: aging libido.” 

Quick, someone bribe me to watch the past week’s last two episodes! A hundred bucks, a dollar, anything? 

Too late. I caught the first 30 minutes of September 23rd. Why’s Brook Lynn copping attitude with Dillon when he’s only following her lead since she came here? Why’d Dillon just leave instead of sticking up for himself? Why am I not there to shove Brook Lynn back and scream two inches from her clown-made-up face: “BITCH, YOU WERE THE ONE TO ADVERTISE TO EVERYONE WHO’D LISTEN THAT YOU HATED THE PACKAGED SEXED-UP POP DIVA APPEARANCES THAT COME WITH SELLING YOUR MUSIC! And now, you’re yelling at Dillon for simply sticking up for you?” Next time she changes her values on a dime a dozen, she might wanna clue everybody else in first. 

Sonny would make a good undercover agent. He knows human behavior, every gray area, and could work well outside the system to bring the bad guys to justice, because he was one, probably the only one left to skirt justice for this long. 

Lois ceased being Lois on September 22. I’m done with her. No offense to actress Lesli Kay; she still rocks. But I’m tired of sticking in there for nothing, when the writers are only mind-fucking me again. 

The writers mind-fuck me in many different positions. Character assassination (Lois, above), character destruction (Brook Lynn, above), repetition (Journey, NEm), shock value (Sonny thinks he shot Lorenzo but shot his wife in the head during childbirth), and liberal use of revisionist history, week to week, plot device to plot device, to heighten the dramatic crisis of the moment, as evidenced by the recent furor by Jason and Sonny over John Durant coming to town, pretending to want to know Carly as his daughter. 

I barely stifled a guffaw as Jason lectured Carly about the dangers of her slipping up around Durant and costing him and Sonny their freedom, maybe slipping up about their illegal businesses. Every fucking person in that fucking town, hell from Port Charles to Llanview, knows Sonny is a mobster and Jason is his enforcer. They can prove it too, but they don’t and won’t. Sonny and Jason don’t even bother hiding their illegalities, but flaunt them. I often wonder if they have to be caught red-handed by a group of nuns and priests, videotaped on the spot in the act of laundering money or offing a rival mobster... even then, they go free on a technicality only the GH writers could pull out of their asses. I hardly think Manhattan federal prosecutor John Durant—as good as he is—poses much of a threat, least of all due to Carly’s slip-up. 

Okay, $50 even to persuade me to catch the rest of this shit.