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~*~
Sometimes, It’s the Partner
I’ve been wrong on many occasions about certain female soap characters I thought I hated Jennifer, Elizabeth, Felicia, and now, it seems Emily on GH has taken a turn for the better. Pairing up with Lucky might have something to do with my change of heart.
I haven’t liked her since soap newcomer and budding actress hopeful Natalia Livingston landed the job, blinking, stuttering, pausing, heavy breathing, and generally not acting in character throughout her cheating on Zander, using breast cancer as a romantic backdrop to falling in love with Nikolas and lately, performing the duties of a confidentiality busting buttinsky.
That Emily’s portrayer, the writers, TPTB and a huge chunk of her and NEm’s diehard fan base all seem to be in agreement that the character plays the role of a good, decent young woman, the voice of reason, the words of wisdom, a heroine in the making, really grates on my nerves, rocks my own differing perspective and has me disliking her even more intensely.
If enough people try to tell me how cruel I am because Emily is such a compellingly good person, I tend not to be very responsive.
I don’t believe stringing a devoted guy like Zander along, throwing Nikolas in his and everybody else’s faces at every opportunity and that disastrous hostage situation (who was the hostage, anyway?) necessarily makes a ringing endorsement for good.
On principle, I can’t stand holier-than-thou, know-it-all prissy little princess types, treated by the clueless community around them as perfect, precious beings on these high pedestals. I can’t relate to them. Don’t wanna know ‘em. Shut up with the preaching and the lectures and the impossible standards.
AMC has Saint Bianca, who reserves her beatific generosity and understanding only for those who worship her unconditionally, say “How high?” when asked to jump through numerous hoops of fire and remain always at her beck and call. Oh, let’s not forget the cardinal sin of doing something Bianca deems unfit, unworthy and unacceptable, whether it’s unfit, unworthy, unacceptable or just plain natural human impulse... Big sister Kendall had to practically offer up herself as a courtroom sacrifice before Binks recognized her previous sacrifices in the name of earning love from a loveless mother too consumed with the stigma of childhood rape to notice an innocent child in front of her. And now, Erica’s run away, inspiring the judgmental condemnation of Saint Bianca, who seems to have plenty of words of wisdom for unsuspecting victims, but not enough of that all-important compassion to go around to try and understand why her own mother might not feel very welcome after being told she was dead to her two daughters.
GH had Robin, Elizabeth and of course Emily, Part II. See above.
With the Nu Emily types, sometimes a new story with new players can literally transform the unwatchable into the palatable. Bianca’s oft-quoted courage has shown itself for the first time to me in the face of back-to-back, unspeakable odds, surviving a rape, an attempted rape, resurfaced memories of a murder of a rapist, losing her baby daughter, kidnapping Babe’s, facing JR’s fear and rage, sacrificing for the benefit of JR’s peace of mind. Kendall’s humanizing influence isn’t lost either. Instead of instantly judging, condemning and ex-communicating, Bianca thinks twice, advises and even reached out to her estranged mother Erica.
In Emily’s case, that benefactor has been the welcome introduction of Lucky back into her life. Livingston and Greg Vaughan are recasts of the originals, so in their case, it’s a firsttime introduction ... that fits, works and has begun to interest me in ways more than of the mockery variety.
I could still do without the blinking in lieu of emotion, the excessive lip-licking lip gloss and the odd scuba-diving manner of delivering lines, but somehow, some way, when Emily and Lucky just relax and play, in their pretend Mexican resort getaway, I’m enchanted.
Furthermore, I believe... that Lucky is falling in love with his childhood pal and that Emily has come to rely on Lucky as more than a friend, a symmetrical replay of her re-encounter-turned-romantic with Nikolas. Their scenes before and after a frolic on the beach, Emily teasing Lucky about his lack of surfing skills, Lucky denying he wants to watch a chick flick instead of action-adventure (he said he got enough of it at home, nice touch), their tickling incident quickly escalating into an impulsive kiss, initiated by an impulsive Lucky, perhaps the emergence of the real Lucky married with the charismatic Vaughan... all served to convince me that this new pairing succeeds on so many levels, starting with chemistry, easy, unforced chemistry that just happens.
When given half a chance, solid actors like Vaughan can bring his character to life, and weak actresses can latch onto a superior partner who manages to effortlessly bring out their better sides, outside the boundaries of strict script reading. This was an innate skill possessed by Billy Warlock (ex-A.J.), who single-handedly charmed the charming into former dolts Hannah and Lydia for starters.
To prove my point, no sooner had Lucky left the room in abject, lonely shame (bearing a striking resemblance to Stefan’s rejection from Laura) and Emily caught a very-much-alive Nikolas kissing her new best friend Mary on the balcony next door, that my interest reverted to apathy, at times, irritation, and back to the mockery game.
Emily panted, heavy breathed, sighed, pursed her lip-glossed lips, stammered and blinked like crazy, all but throwing herself on Nikolas later at the beach, while he, thinking he was Connor, tried to explained his AWOL condition.
...Which stank of trying too hard to appear star-crossed, soul mate romantic.
I’ve heard of spoilers promising more of the Luckily love story, a surprising twist of a reaction by Nikolas to his recovery of memory (not necessarily feelings) and even the resurgence of the ole Jonathan Jackson-inspired adventurous, swashbuckling Lucky under Vaughan steady guidance.
God, please, let these spoilers be true.
They could be Nu Emily’s one last chance.
Krystal has lost all credibility as a concerned mother with me (see next, next week’s column, “And the ‘Worst Mother-of-the-Year’ Goes to...”). How that self-serving trailer trash can continue hiding the truth from Bianca and those who know and love her (as well as know and love Babe) is a mystery not worth solving. The only reason to cheer Tad on these days is the anticipation of knowing he’ll most assuredly rip a new hole in Krystal’s heart when the truth does come out.
The truth, unfortunately, didn’t come out during May Sweeps, although plenty of fans had psyched themselves up to believing Babe really would blurt that Bianca was “Bess’s” real mom at the wedding/christening – Soap Storytelling 101, children, make ‘em wait. Problem is, I doubt most fans are amoral enough to wait this long, much less through the summer, if all rumored indications become surefire probabilities. Meaning?
Meaning David will probably conduct a secret DNA test of his own, come to the conclusion Krystal discovered, that Bianca really is the biological mother of “Bess,” but then discover another secret, inconceivable to me considering he and Krystal act like they just met in Pine Valley... that he fathered Babe. So out of new-found fatherly devotion, he, too, keeps the secret. Argh!
Now, I don’t hate this show. But it has the flowery, sappy, excessively verbose head writing of Megan McTavish all over. If you can stomach the after-school special feel...
The shows for the week of May 31 had me in hysterics, mostly because I ceased paying attention to the plot movements and the specifics of the dialogue, and just watched the sitcom slapstick reactions of the characters themselves, notably Trevor St. John’s Todd with Heather Tom’s Kelly. St. John is practically carrying this murder mystery mishap, along with Tuc Watkins’ David, with his irritation at Kelly’s stupidity, the whole (paraphrasing badly here) Well, the police kinda wanna know who was involved in the murder and burial of a corpse, then the cell phone rings, it’s coming from Dorian’s house, and Kelly offers it to Todd with, “What do I do?” and he exaggerates the obvious, “You pick it up, put it to your ear, and talk,” LOL!
Okay, thanks to Evangeline’s Renee Elise Goldsberry, I now know that the green liquid passing for margaritas in the glasses at Capricorn are green Gatorade, her favorite drink. But then, what the heck’s the blue stuff in Jen’s? I spent two hours trying to figure that one out.
Riley’s out cold after writing a term paper that only took a couple hours, this after wringing his hands about it taking forever for weeks. Ah, reminds me of my old college days, where I could churn out a 12-pager for Victorian literature, after reading several Victorian novels (those babies are huge) in the toilet, within about the same time frame, hours, not weeks.
It’s too bad Kevin (portrayer Dan Gauthier) finally got his chance to scream bloody murder at Kelly’s mounting lies—without Kelly in the room, for the June 1st episode (did you see the blooper?). About time, too. That’s more emotion out of him than in the entire weeks leading up to Viki’s heart recovery. I have a feeling that when that guy blows, it’s gonna be Armageddon.
As I sat remembering bits from Gauthier’s SOD interview and previous guest appearances on various soap shows, while watching his character mired in yet another dour, serious, sober story of betrayal, secrets and lies... it seemed to me a terribly bad fit, waiting for resolution. This actor needs a comedy with David, Todd, R.J., Dorian, et al, pronto. He’s capable of such hilarity.
Paul’s still a bug-eyed sleaze.
I get front-row dibs on the day Natalie kicks some Kathryn bony buttcheek.
Here’s what most bugs me about Samantha McCall lately, through no fault of alter-ego Kelly Monaco – who’s so far from indecisive, it’s not even funny... If she would stop changing her mind, calling the next step of the plan off, calling it back. Make a decision and stick with it!
Spoilers and rumors surrounding Sam and her unborn baby’s status are even more indecisive. One website has her faking a miscarriage, to relieve Jason of the responsibility. Another site has her actually suffering a miscarriage after faking it. Yet another brings an ex-boyfriend into the picture, this Nico who winds up abusing Sam so severely, she’s miscarried, while on the brink of death. Finally, our very own Sage reports on insider authority that the baby (girl) lives, at least for a while, and that the writers are playing head games with the online scoopsters, to out-scoop their alleged scoops. Hey, here’s a thought: Just write the story, ignore oneupping the audience and be done with it.
Suddenly, Courtney’s not Sam’s second worst enemy anymore? What gives? This is more like Courtney, though. Maybe Carly’s absence has a favorable softening effect.
Speaking of Carly’s absence, how very wonderful. I do hope it’s an extended vacation, dear.
Soaps and the reasons people watch
If this was 10-15 years ago, I'd say the vicarious living through larger than life versions of themselves hypothesis would hold. But how does that account for the more outlandish and campy shows, namely Days of Our Lives and Passions (or so I've heard on both counts)? What about the influx of pretty faces to be thrown into salacious storylines? Soaps don't draw in new viewers, as a rule. They're on at a weird time, they come with decades of intricate backstory and the production values fall short of primetime. Execs count on longtime viewers hanging in out of a sense of loyalty and familiarity. The smarter ones realize that shoring up this loyalty through storylines focused on veteran characters is a wise move. Others seem to have all but abandoned pleasing this core of viewers, labouring under the assumption that they've invested too much time and energy into a particular show to give up on it anyway (not necessarily a wrong assumption). Instead, the focus on courting younger viewers without a history with the show. These people want quick entertainment that's easy to follow, engages them and doesn't require them to have been privy to years of backstory. The solution? Cast attractive young actors as characters with minimal histories and throw them into sexy situations. Of course, this almost directly conflicts with what loyal viewers want to see. This is in part what makes the current Viki's Heart storyline so unique to me. Continuity and history are actually being used. It doesn't come with a playbook for newbies. Considering that demographics usually beat longevity every time on almost every show, it's nice to see the tables turned for a change.
Reading your column and hanging out in the Unpopular Music Opinions thread on Fametracker has also got me thinking. I'd gladly take quality over quantity when it comes to a particular performer's catalogue. I'd much rather someone realize an artistic vision over the course of 3-4 albums, decide they'd said their piece and then stop recording. Not everyone is meant to have a 20-30 year career and the pursuit of the elusive second lightning strike usually just produces a lot of mediocrity and filler. I'd have so much more respect for an artist realizing their own limits rather than trying to squeeze blood from a stone. What's better; three exceptional albums and then silence or diluting the memory of your great stuff by trying to squeeze blood from a stone a la Madonna (I don't think she was ever great, but some do) or Stephen King in the literary world? I'd take a flash of excellence over an uneven oeuvre any day. More performers should retire at the top of their game as athletes do rather than stringing fans along, leaving them hoping for a return to top form.