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~*~
Is it over yet?
It is approximately the week of July 19, 2004, with one-and-a-half months left to go this summer. I’m still not entertained.
There have been pockets of interest, oddly enough whenever multi-generational interaction occurs involving veterans and a cohesive human interest story (a death, an illness, misunderstanding, triumph).
The story of Viki’s heart transplant at OLTL sustained me – even though, there weren’t really all that many characters in the community as involved as they should be, given her long-time status – through the power of her decades-long rivalry and reluctant friendship with Dorian and through the reluctant, but true, feelings of grief from her children, however many as recasts.
GH just finished up a three-day tribute to Anna Lee (Lila), who passed away a few days before the May 21st Daytime Emmys, before she had a chance to personally accept her lifetime achievement award with the other respected soap veterans.
While I wished for more of this kind of story, where more than a handful of the most immediate of family members are concerned (remember when Lucky died then returned and nobody, not even his parents really, cared all that much?), I did pay my respects with more than a few soaked tissues, especially when the veteran soap actors Jane Elliot (Tracy), Stuart Damon (Alan), Lynn Herring (Lucy), Jon Lindstrom (Kevin), John J. York (Mac) were on hand to pay their respects with true feelings that must have spilled over from their personal, real-life interactions with the grande dame.
It’s not easy shooting ensemble work, not for the stage, film or soaps. Too many things can go wrong if the ensemble in question aren’t on the same page and haven’t done too many of these types of scenes together (unlike GH’s Quartermaines, but even they’ve been known to flub), as Scott Clifton (Dillon) attested to when talking about gaffes that have occurred in staged fight scenes. No wonder TPTB, amidst today’s cut-backs and narrow profit margins, tend to shy away from them.
But soaps’ bread and butter demands them. Soaps first captivated the housewife audience in the ‘50s and ‘60s with ensemble work, otherwise known as core families within the fabric of a connected community. When one of them falls ill, passes away, suffers miscarriage, divorce, infidelity, they all feel it, as do we all watching, relating, remembering.
One of the reasons I must put a halt to my AMC viewing, as of last week (see the AMC section below), on the grander scale, it felt as if I were watching cliques from an insider’s club, the way I frequently feel when viewing GH’s mob, in twos and threes, because they obviously make up the youth-demographically approved viewing material. I can literally see the results of the marketing and promotions meetings, as ABC Daytime president Brian Frons moves our beloved valued precious characters around like so many chess pieces in the game of romance, based on nothing less frivolous than who looks physically good together and giving a returning, popular stud something to do.
They’ve singularly destroyed the promising, complex character of Kendall Hart, in order to give Greenlee a sure thing in love. Since Greenlee already proved in the past, late 1990s, that she sparkles with Ryan, they’ve thrown him in with her by demonizing Kendall as an even more thoughtless, mindless, conniving whore, something she never was. They’ve reverted Ryan back into the shallow, hypocritical self-important phony cad he used to be before Gillian and Braden humanized him somewhat, so now, Ryan thinks nothing of marrying Greenlee right after having words with Kendall, instead of trying to make peace.
And Greenlee? IMHO, she was always as useless as they come. She only came alive when she found a career to hold onto and slowly revealed a tender side when faced with the prospect of becoming an unforgiving, demanding, ugly shrew to Simone, or running up against a rival worse than her. Enter, Kendall, redecorated as the meaner, badder Laura.
There is absolutely nothing holding the baby-switch story together, not even the unlikely, implausible insertion of Dr. David as Babe’s biological father, a father who would think nothing of leaving Bianca in the dark, still, about her baby really being Bess.
Again, TPTB destroyed pre-existing, intrinsic, workable characters to prop up newcomers and possible youth demo darlings, Babe and Krystal. They’ve ingratiated these two amoral morons into the fabric of this fictional community by tying them in with David, Tad, Adam and to a lesser extent, Bianca and her clan. What they’ve done to JR by hiring one-note anger boy wonder Jacob Young (who’s done the same thing over at GH as Lucky) and turning him into a relentless, gleeful villain, just to force the issue of poor, pitiful Babe (so’s we don’t remember so clearly that Babe is keeping Bianca from her baby) is nothing short of criminal.
I don’t recognize these people, and furthermore, I don’t care what happens to them. They look to me like a bunch of obnoxious fools I would never associate with in their secret clubs doing their secret clubhouse routines, a sorority of MTV-watching losers I’m supposed to admire and wanna be... who just dropped in on my turf, and kicked out the friends and acquaintances who’ve earned my interest by being there, day in and day out, caring, relating, being real, reaching out, having ties to people outside their cliques.
Nothing is really tying these focused strangers to what matters, and that’s the humanizing force of the ensemble, a community of promising newcomers, brilliant veterans and talented in-betweens who portray characters of all ages, backgrounds, religions and races, and who care about each other... like they do when a veteran actress dies and it’s tribute time.
Celebrity is a confusing animal.
From a fan’s vantage point, you’d think these celebrities would cherish and protect their privacy, keep their personal lives sacred, far from prying eyes, probing lenses and the hint of ink on tabloid. You’d think wrong.
AMC’s Eva LaRue (Maria) and husband John Callahan (Edmund) both posted letters to their fans on their respective websites about their impending, formal separation and plans for divorce. LaRue started it, sometime on or around July 11, with Callahan shortly following with his own hand-written note on July 14. They spoke in-depth about this coming for a long time now, being separated for months, and how hard it was to let go, but that they’d remain friends and parents to their daughter Kaya, 2. LaRue even mentioned something about drinking her glass of red wine, helping to gather her thoughts, and Callahan with his reference to the storm clouds outside his window reflecting this most sorrowful, dramatic break in his relationship.
Um, should I leave the room? Isn’t this a bit personal to be sharing with a bunch of nameless, faceless strangers who supposedly call themselves fans? How do they know there isn’t a psycho stalker in the bunch who then decides to take up their cause, follow them around, woo one of them, take an unholy interest in their child?
Why would they open themselves up so freely like that? They really don’t have to; they’re not obligated to do anything really, but put on good performances and be on their good behavior when and if fans approach (politely) for autographs. If that.
Maybe they thought they’d beat the reporters to the punch, to ensure the news gets out correctly, no misquotes, nothing taken out of context. It’s a frequent excuse given by celebrities who use their notoriety to their advantage, after having been burned one too many times by an eager yellow journalist.
Then you have Kristina (Felicia, GH) and Jack Wagner’s (Nick, B&B; ex-Frisco, GH) public reconciliation, complete with professional photos released for the soap press, with a conflicting caveat in their spokesperson urging the soap press to back off and leave them some privacy.
Kinda hard to do when the reconciled, married celeb couple practically invited the soap press, and any other press in the mainstream media, to come on inside by releasing professional photos for the occasion and posing for the professional cameras on board a fancy boat somewhere in Monte Carlo... maybe to give the press a crumb, so the jackals are satisfied enough without having to go the libelous routes of futile but harmful guessing games. Who knows.
It’s also kinda uncharacteristic of Kristina Wagner, who—while giving her fair share of desultory interviews—is not known as an open book, ala Nick and Jessica Lachey, by any means.
I’m happy for one couple and sad for another. But it should be no business to me either way. Unfortunately, whether it’s the media’s underhanded tactics to blame, or the actors themselves, with their ego gratification and illusionary views of a rosy, adoring public, it’s voyeuristic business as usual whether I like it or not.
Reggie to Seth: You keep my mother out of your nasty mouth. ::cymbal crash!::
The costume designers of AMC must mistake lingerie for appropriate outer wear. Kendall’s gallivanting around in her apartment complex, inviting strange men (Zachery) in, and she’s wearing a negligee... oh wait, that’s what passes for a dress in the year 2004. If I ever have a daughter, she’ll be dressed like the Amish.
Sorry AMC fans. I’m taking a breather from this crappy show (again). Let cynical Kate Brown be the one to keep updating and commenting. I can no longer wade through the unclever one-liner attempts by most of the characters (read: Greenlee, Ryan and Kendall) to be Tad-like hip, and that ain’t sayin’ much.
After Kendall offered Bobby a chance to impress his estranged wife Anita, by making several thousand dollars in exchange for wooing Greenlee from Ryan, sigh, I deprogrammed my replay, so I could watch the 1994 year of VH-1’s I Love The 90s summer special. I couldn’t deal with the wise-cracking, oh-so-edgy when she’s thwarted in love Kendall Hart, with the wind blowing through her hair, caked make-up out of place with the street alley bullying tactics (they need help from the GH make-up department). Livin’ medium.. why not start livin’ large? Uh, check please.
Until the characters resemble human form (Reggie, Danielle excluded), instead of a walking audition for a sitcom, I won’t be back.
Erika Slezak’s character Viki had to choose her brother over her son after a physical altercation between the two in the July 15th episode, but the actress didn’t feel such a choice was warranted, according to Dan Gauthier (Kevin). She did as the scripts told her, nevertheless, but the fight scenes bring to mind a repeat of sorts when the loathsome Timothy Gibbs took over as a Kevin recast when the loathsome Jill Farren Phelps took over as executive producer several years ago.
No need for Viki to act stunned that Kevin would beat on Todd like that (even if Todd provoked Kevin and lay there daring it to happen)... or wail to Todd and Blair that being a violent bastard is “so unlike Kevin!” Doesn’t she remember Gibbs’ ultra-violent version of Kevin?, whose very tone signaled an ominous beat-down I likened to spousal abuse.
The more I see of Kelly’s constipated face, the more I want her killed off or put away (until they find the real Kelly, a Gina Tognoni type). I don’t know if it’s the writers putting the character in a vacuous, plot device box, or the writers picking up on the actress’s personal ticks, or what, but this Kelly needs a lobotomy, personality transplant and several huge heroic sacrifices (like, say, returning Ace to Babe over at AMC) for the transformation into bonafide lead female again, as per rumored. When Kelly makes Blair look noble, it’s time for some heads to roll.
The secrets, mysteries and lies could have all been avoided if Kelly simply told Kevin that she gave Paul the money, because he asked for it. Paul’s always broke and getting into trouble, why not simply say that Paul got into some jam she knows nothing about, maybe the deal with the Santi money, and she felt guilty and took money out as a loaner? Kevin wouldn’t raise an eyebrow on that one. Instead, she makes up one gargantuan lie after another, the lover she cheated on Kevin with in Texas is blackmailing her, Paul is blackmailing her, Todd’s Ace’s father, she had an affair with Todd, Kevin has a one-inch wanger!
I’m into big boobs. Natalie’s is just about perfect. But I wish the costume department (read: Frons) would stop fixating on the big factor. It’s getting ridiculous watching obviously average-sized young women being outfitted with fake boob enhancers and their real boobs pressed so close together as to almost feel painful from this end (hi Sage/GH). Shannon’s mouth has all the sex appeal you need, people, leave her T&A (sparse in comparison to Adriana’s Latina goodness) alone.
On that note, however, I must applaud the second best trait to Nu Jessica in a long while (next to her surprisingly real tears over Viki’s almost dying of heart failure): her body in a soft satin baby blue panties-and-bra ensemble while crawling and purring into bed with whom she believed was Antonio. I don’t have a dick, but I felt one at that moment.
It’s summertime, July’s almost over, one more month to go, where are all the bevy of bodacious beauties in thongs and string bikinis? Natalie? Jessica? Adriana? Jennifer? Hello?
Sonny and Jason were yelling, tearing up and doing good impressions of an Emmy reel on July 13, (about lying to Carly that Jason was the father of Sam’s unborn baby), and yet, I could not for the life of me, remember the nuances set in character months ago to cause them this extra emotion... something about Jason doing the unthinkable, lying, to save Michael from the revolving door of Sonny’s marital dysfunction, after having given up Michael, the only son he ever knew to Sonny, blah, blah blah (as Tyler Christopher/Nikolas is wont to joke at fan club events).
Lila’s July 16th memorial service and the days leading up to the event did provoke a few well-placed tears (or would that be provoked in the performers?), yet I could not put down my analysis. This is the kind of umbrella story that should be playing out on GH all the time. Usually, the characters, locked within their own cliques, could not care less about the other characters outside their cliques, dead, alive or kidnapped. But a real veteran actress, Anna Lee, really dies and suddenly, everybody, from Faith (?!) to Nu Justus and Nu Emily, to Ric, Nu Lucky... you get the picture... to the actors/characters who actually did know and interact with the lady, is in on the crying game.
Which is why I had to laugh, cheer and pump my fists in the air when Tracy of all people told her Quartermaine clan that the sad, sorry sight of all of them gathered together in one room mourning the loss of Lila was the height of hypocrisy and... does it take someone big like Lila to die before the family gets together in the first place? She could’ve applied this same observation to the impersonal, plot-driven-obsessed writers who only seem to come alive and prove their worth when an actress the caliber of an Anna Lee dies.
As my soap pal CesarFaison posted on a message board last week, will Stuart Damon (Alan) have to kick the bucket next for us poor, pitiful fans to get a story filled with veterans, interaction and caring?
SoapNet will premiere a new, half-hour show, 24 hours in One Day, featuring one daytime celebrity a week, with Wally Kurth (Ned) as the host and his singing partner Christian Taylor as the producer. Their first guest is gonna be Ingo Rademacher (Jax), and they’ll probably go surfing together, talk about Green Peace and eatin’ whole-grain healthy. But what I’d like to see is his real life, y’know, spread between the sheets. I’m just sayin’...
Let me know what happens with the S&C reunion this week, guys. Think I’ll avoid that disaster area. I’ve enough reruns on the other shows on the other channels as it is.
IF I WERE THEM, I’D HATE YOU TOO
On the other hand, since I’m always razing on the actors not taking heavy-duty responsibility for their public behavior with fans, it might behoove you guys to know that I can empathize with the other side, too.
It must not be easy for a lot of them to have to deal with every single fan that comes their way, notably at the network-sponsored Super Soap Weekend and the GH Fan Club Weekend (July 8-11).
Regarding the latter, it’s come to my attention that several disgruntled (former) Sage fans – and at least one non-fan – got ticked off majorly at portrayer Katie Stuart for her unsportsman-like conduct when faced with either a fan request or a fan brush-off. Despite knowing through a source(s) who was there to the contrary, these fans insist that Stuart was unnecessarily rude to them, unappreciative by bailing on the autograph session early and “throwing tantrums” because nobody liked her character butting in on the popular GQ (Georgie & Dillon).
Without being there, I have no idea as to the validity of the claims against Stuart, Maurice Benard (Sonny), or any other soap star that didn’t react with overwhelming gush upon every single fan at the Sportsmen’s Lodge. But I do know that there are two sides, even when it comes to the stacked deck of celeb vs. fan.
Let’s not kid ourselves. A lot of the soap fans are whacked-out nut jobs. Or immature, rude, self-centered, obnoxious morons I wouldn’t ever associate with no matter how much I were paid (and for the fan club, these actors weren’t paid, they didn’t even have to attend). Add to that, the fact that actors – like their fans – come in different sizes, shapes, colors and personality styles. Some, as in the overwhelming case of Rick Hearst (Ric), are personable, gracious, always “on.” Others, as in Benard, Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas), Kristina Wagner (Felicia), by many accounts, tend toward the reserved side.
Ever attend a convention where you have to put on a name tag and face a ballroom full of strangers, sit and lunch with them? Not exactly a day at Six Flags, is it?
I once toyed with the idea of becoming an actress, back when I was a high schooler. Had I gone through with it, and knock wood, made it to a soap like GH, you guys would probably assume I was the biggest, most stuck-up butthead on the planet. You’d be blasting my bad behavior on every message board, disavowing any fan groups put together in my name and trying to get me fired from the show. There’d be accusations that I was rude, crass, standoffish, conceited, weird (okay well, I am all that but...), not a sweetheart, when, most likely, I was scared, intimidated, anxious, nervous, worried about making it to the bathroom on the infrequent times I was allowed a potty break with an escort, wondering what to say when a fan or 15 came at me with demands for storyline or couple changes, blaming me instead of the writers for something I couldn’t control, confusing me for my character or, in Katie Stuart’s cited example... if I tried to be friendly and interested (interesting) by asking a fan in an autograph line how she felt about my character, then reacting negatively when the fan told me, politely with a smile, that no, she did not like my character, because my character tried to break up Georgie and Dillon.
Maybe I made a face, trying to be clever, trying to tell a joke, trying to commiserate that yeah, I hate my own character too, but the fan took it wrong.
And sometimes, you just don’t get along with someone, nobody’s fault, differences in personality, perception, etc.
It’s easy to jump down an actor’s throat for perceived snubs, an inability of the actor to read the fan’s mind, do or say what the fan expects, maybe the actor didn’t immediately tell the fan he wanted to have sex with her in the nearby hotel restroom, I don’t know, but there is always a conversely in these tales.
In case any of this matters, I have it on solid authority that Katie Stuart (Sage) did the best she could under the circumstances – dirty ole men – the girl doesn’t even like what Sage has done either. The soap newcomer bent over backwards to accommodate all the fans, along with her GH cast mates Lindze Letherman (Georgie), Adrianne Leon (Brook Lynn) and Robyn Richards (Maxie). To have so-called fans publicly trash her to me is the lowest common denominator of what’s wrong with soaps.
There are already plenty of worth soap celeb targets to choose from, who deserve the slings and arrows from disgruntled fans. Pick on them.