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~*~
Pink Slips All Around
If a product does not deliver, recall the product. If an employee fails to perform, fire the employee. It’s as simple as that, even for soap operas. Who cares if he’s nice or handsome in person?!
Newly appointed ABC president, Anne Sweeney [ABC Television Network, 500 South Buena Vista, Burbank, CA 91521-4778], reportedly wants fan feedback on the job performance of ABC Daytime president Brian Scott Frons, as his job is up for evaluation. As long as that feedback is written or e-mailed in a respectful way, no personal attacks, no hysterical accusations, but a thoughtful, preferably fact-backed account of why Frons consistently displays a lack of appreciation, knowledge and respect for the genre of soaps and soap veterans, I’d say if enough fans did their thing, come next year, the network just might hire a qualified female executive for the position.
Obviously, I have no qualms about wishing Frons out. From the moment he took over for Angela Shapiro, last heard fleeing from ABC’s Family cable channel, I knew his hire was a mistake, an attempt to keep up with the highly-rated HBO, reality-TV trend and primetime’s best. I knew he’d jump on every bandwagon, disregarding the distinguished history of the daytime serial—based on everything he and the network suits refused to believe in: familiar faces, veterans, a community of core-based families rife with human conflict, diversity and social issues, reliant on permanence, slow burns, the daily pace and pulse of real life with fantastic problems and solutions.
He often showboated for the press, inadvertently denigrating those prized veterans, referring to them blithely in terms of dollars, cents, “aging product,” as well as his infamous insult to OLTL’s Kathy Brier (Marcie) as not beautiful but typical of the average fan. He made it clear that there was no longer any room for veteran-focused stories that incorporated interesting characters of all ages, backgrounds and colors, but only those deemed ratings-worthy by the youth demographic (meaning: young people, pretty blond anorexic-looking girls with big boobs and pretty boys with muscles, unproven physical talent foisted on an unsuspecting token foundation of the real actors who’ve forged careers and blossomed within the fabric of a pre-existing fictional community).
When faced with legitimate criticism, from fans, amateur and professional columnists, he often ignored the crux of their arguments or invalidated them altogether with ridiculous, obfuscating distractions that had little to do with the point. Example: Soap Opera Weekly editor Carolyn Hinsey did a series of “Dueling Divas” pieces with Frons the other month, covering all three ABC soaps. Instead of giving her complaints their due – lack of vets, using murder mysteries as quick-fixes and gimmicks, bombarding the canvas with isolated young newcomers nobody knows or cares about, filling up the landscape with glorified criminals and glorified violence, often aimed against helpless buxom women – Frons, in AMC’s specific case, actually accused her of disrespecting the show’s creator Agnes Nixon, who – according to him – loved what he’d done so far. So, IOW, if Hinsey has a beef against AMC, then she has a beef against Nixon. Then, he went on to label Hinsey as nothing more than a curmudgeon with nothing good to say ever, as if she were expected to be nothing more than a mindless, pom-pom waving cheerleader for the network, as if demanding quality in TV programming were nothing more than undermining TPTB’s efforts.
How’s that for in-touch?
(I went directly to Hinsey herself about Frons disrespecting her like that, and she actually defended the guy, told me that at least he had the guts to debate publicly. While I respect the guts and her fairness, I hardly call what he did with and to her debating.)
I mean, the list goes on. He mangles spoilers, cast lists and the ethnicities of the shows’ few and far between minorities, not to mention bragging about Natalia Livingston (Emily, GH) being proof that he backs up diversity since the actress is Hispanic – half – (but her character is as whitebread as Donna Miller).
And I have no guilt about jeopardizing his job on a regular basis with my own beefs. If there’s a chance to get rid of this clueless idiot, please dear readers, go for it.
That goes double for the alleged actors and actresses of the ABC Daytime line-up who have consistently failed to entertain you and me, who keep using soaps as some high school drama training ground and who should be back at their Home Depot day jobs already.
Explain something to me: Why is Babe so willing to let David be the one to spill the beans to Bianca (about baby Bess being Miranda), oh-so noble about it, when she could so easily take the credit herself?
Love Reggie and Danielle, but must they slobber over each other so? Reggie’s always wiping his lips from the tongue-washing he gets.
On the other hand, ooh-la-la on Maria and Zach. I don’t know what the score is, how the actors prepared, but that, my friends, is what is known as INSTANT CHEMISTRY. I’ve never seen Eva LaRue look so alive, so invigorated, so horny. If anyone puts her to shame in the horny department, it’s Thorsten Kaye. Their flashbacks have me reaching for the cold compress, especially the one where Maria just casually straddled a half-naked, flustered Zach in their cabin getaway, doing, for all intents and purposes, the nasty right before my PG-rated eyes. Zach groaning and Maria moaning were all that was missing. Now that’s daytime!
In a bit of unsettling news, Eva LaRue (Maria) and John Callahan (Edmund) are separated, and headed for divorce. LaRue said it’s amicable, nobody’s fault, but she seemed sad about it too. I wonder if that’s the glimmer I see in her eyes when she’s in scenes with Thorsten Kaye (Zach), the glimmer of a woman about to be single and enjoy the eye candy without too much spousal guilt.
Watching JR make Babe look even more like an unfit mother, in the July 13th episode, by using a little boy as distraction while he took off with their baby and then came back while Babe’s freaking out, acting all innocent, talking about another guy taking off with their baby... briefly reminded me of the time when I was in sixth grade, came home from school one afternoon realizing with a cold thud that I’d left my house keys (again) upstairs in my bedroom, then feeling as if I’d rather risk breaking and entering than the ungodly wrath of my father when he came home from work, tore the dining room screen and let myself in that way. When my father did come home, I acted like some robber had done it, and he believed me. He had the MPs come ask questions and everything, just the way JR did with Babe, wasting taxpayers’ dollars. Hey, it’s the only way I can get through this horrible travesty of a story.
Head writer Megan McTavish – outfitting every character now with one-liners, puns and Greenlee-esque (as if when she did it, it was endearing) quips – has completely killed any rooting value for Ryan, Greenlee and Kendall, especially Kendall. I don’t believe her hard-as-nails, tough girl persona. I’m waiting for the soft, contemplative side, and I guess I’m waiting in vain, because Kendall plans to stick around at Fusion, Greenlee’s company, and work the Lavery brothers for the 30th chance at Ryan only to screw up again, because she’s so bad at being bad.
Instead of wasting space with these space cases, I wish McTavish would work her meager wonders on Simone, who has more natural chemistry with Nu Bobby than any other female character on the show, and who made Tad human for about 15 nano-seconds. I should add Jonathan to Simone’s list, but... he seemed to light up more around Babe.
Bo and Nora, quarantined (wait, they’ll be stuck together through another artificial means next week), bickering, revisiting old feelings... nope, still don’t buy it. Nora accusing Bo of being jealous of Daniel, making his snide comments, Bo doing the same about Nora making some remark about Eve – whom we haven’t seen for months – and her gravelly voice, all this came out of the blue since I never saw any of it. I never saw any of it, because it was never shown, not Nora’s gravelly voice remark or Bo’s Daniel digs. Their arguing seemed as artificial as the quarantine.
Not a Blair fan, but watching her attack Kelly was long overdue. So’s a Blair and R.J. hook-up.
R.J.... What will it take for TPTB to give this strong, Shakespearean character a storyline of his own, much less a love story fully plumbed to its depth the way John’s is with Natalie (at least, in the beginning)? One of the hottest debates online has been the sudden, inexplicable diversion of Evangeline to John, leaving R.J., resident black token, far behind. R.J. never enjoyed a courtship in the truest sense of the word, never got his insides explored, vis a vis heartfelt confessionals the way John had with Evangeline after a few drinks, never so much exchanged more than chaste kisses, if that, with any woman, much less Vangie. He’s fully worthy of the Wuthering Heights treatment. When he does that lower vocal boom thing, it’s like poetry, a trumpet solo and the arc of the Netherworld all at once. ::shudder::
Vangie’s been taking a boatload of hits from disgruntled John & Natalie fans, as well. Some minority viewers have taken issue with the hits, bringing up the race card, charging the haters to blame the writers and the execs, not the character or the actress. For me, the issue is twofold: R.J. is being shafted once again for the more popular vote, John (why more popular? beats me, I’ll take 42 R.J.s over one lame wannabe any day) and so’s Evangeline, although why her is unclear. Maybe she’s unlucky enough to have initially been paired up with R.J., a black man who never gets the lady or the story (the revolving writers have gone on record saying he’s the bad guy antagonist), and because Renee Elise-Goldsberry is such a compelling, commanding, confident actress, TPTB wanted her moved around to other eligible male characters, instead of the sinkhole that is cypher-villain-only R.J. Maybe it really is because she’s a black woman and it’s okay for the white execs to use her as an emotional punching bag, while portraying her as a sudden, inexplicable enigma who doesn’t mind using a man’s righteous jealousy as her private, sick, sadistic Lust Roulette.
I mean, look at her throwing herself on John. Making body moves on Todd, right in front of R.J., in R.J.’s club. Instead of calling her man out for spying on her (and rightly so, ‘cause, the woman cheated), she grabs John in for a liplock to punish R.J. She then holds a business meeting with Todd on R.J.’s turf, and despite denying anything romantic, acting huffy that R.J. would even suggest such a thing (that she’s a slut?), she goes and puts her hands all over Todd as they leave, and plenty beforehand. Not too subtle, counselor. If that’s the character’s M.O., fine, she’s a duplicitous, lying slut and deserves nothing as fine as R.J., even though integrity clearly leaks from every pore. But if it’s more...
July 12th episode, camera shot to the cleavage, pan up slowly, gee, it’s Natalie on the cell with Paul, big surprise. But in the final scene, she rushes to the vault (the fortune’s under the floor, I’m betting) with the money, and her white camisole has been replaced with a black one. What??? Who cares, Natalie’s jugs are the best things to hit OLTL in a long while. I just mute her. Too bad my replay system doesn’t have a pan and zoom.
When in plot limbo, recast with a wacky, evil villainess. Margaret—no relation to Marty—goes from milquetoast peon to delusional kidnapping psycho who all-too-easily sweet-talks the worst nanny in the world to taking Jack.
Kelly, however, is truly the whacked-out nutcase who needs to be thrown in the loony bin like, yesterday. Between her strenuous, “Who just farted? Ew?” expression (reminiscent of GH’s Rebecca Herbst/Elizabeth, before Rick Hearst/Ric humanized her somewhat) and her brother Paul’s bug-eyed mouth-twisting, I’m in Tom sibling hell. David Tom’s brief sabbatical (for personal reasons) could not come sooner.
I am supposed to hate Mary for keeping Nikolas away from Emily. I am supposed to mentally and emotionally throw Mary away in the insane bin for daring to keep a young man from his fiancée. And yet, it is Emily I feel nothing for. Of course, it doesn’t help that the actress portraying her does nothing for me with her finger-pointing, heavy-breathing, two-word pausing, constipated eyebrow-furrowing and lip gloss-licking, in lieu of really feeling her character the way Catherine Wadkins (Mary) does. So when Emily lectures Mary on the dangers of not telling Nikolas the truth about his real identity right away, I had to laugh at the queen of the hypocrites.
Sonny had the perfect chance to exterminate Faith, just let his goons do it. Only, his goons seem to have minds of their own and are incapable of following orders. They listened to their hit victim, bound and gagged mind you, especially when she, get this, scrawled out the name of Sam on the dirt with her well-heeled toe. So the goons had no choice ?! but to call up their mobster boss to come down to deal with this personally. Sonny yelled at Faith two completely opposite commands: What do you want? Shut up! I laughed...at him. And the leverage Faith has, isn’t it rendered useless in weeks to come when Sonny comes clean to Carly about fathering Sam’s unborn baby anyway?
If they don’t start explaining Faith’s death wish, I’ll go in there and exterminate her myself, toe tag or no toe tag.
It happened on July 12th. I’m done. Sam’s history. I do not care any more about her latest catastrophe. Get her off my screen already and give the resultant airtime to the Quartermaines, bring back more ot fhe Cassadines, the Webbers, the Spencers, the Wards, and let’s roll.
My husband Eddie watched along with me and even he’d had enough (and he digs Kelly Monaco’s jugs just the same as me and every other heterosexual male next door). “I’m over this character,” he pronounced.
“Is it because they’re throwing plot devices at her instead of developing her character?” I asked.
“It’s because she’s having the same conversations with the same people over and over again, and it’s boring. ‘I ran away. I’m sorry, I won’t ever do it again. I don’t want to leave the country, I want to stay to be with you.’ Please delete this program permanently,” he replied.
Cue Carly, barging in on Sam, when the coast is clear of Sonny, locking the door, sneering, and about to force her nemesis to cough up yet another layer of secrets. Yup, again and again.
A rumor I just read on the boards the other day actually suggested that Sam visited her younger brother Danny and he will turn out to be retarded. Talk about using plot devices and soap clichés in rapid-fire succession to evoke instant-sympathy... y’know, instead of using the vets as the foundation from which to interact generations. I don’t care if they make Danny a quadriplegic, deaf, blind Down’s Syndrome brother targeted by the government for saving 510,000,001 daycare centers from Russian terrorists on a sociopathic bender.
Plot devices don’t make up for soulless characters devoid of personality.
Like fake-Emily. But then she’s got more problems than bad writing.
OMG! IT’S THE GH FAN CLUB WEEKEND RECAPS!
(Disclaimer: The following rant about 80 percent of the amateurish recaps out there in no way refers to the professional, on-the-spot reports from Eye on Soaps’ staff, or to the 20 percent that actually inform, enlighten and make the reader feel as if she’s right there, sipping daiquiris by the pool and glimpsing the soap drama in and around the Sportsmen’s Lodge.)
Every time Super Soap Weekend, the Daytime Emmys, GH Fan Club Weekend (which just wrapped up) or an actor’s public appearance approaches, I’m filled with dread, because I know what will mostly litter the message boards: those annoying, repetitious, star-struck cliché recaps that belabor nonsense, observe inane background settings and chitter-chatter about friends in attendance and other fan-friends from the ‘Net, and boring crap I don’t want to waste two hours a day of my precious time on just to glean one sentence of actual, useable, paraphrasable (for column purposes) spoilers, news and gossip.
There are usually two or three lengthy recaps on average for the actor’s public appearance, Steve Burton (Jason) at a comedy club, rarely anything else about those outside the popular Mob storyline, as well as the predictable backlash of misunderstandings from anti-fans. But for the big industry events, the current talk of the town, for example, the annual summer GH Fan Club Weekend, I’ve got to wade through double or triple that.
Most of those recaps feel like so much fan-based agenda and idol pushing, going on exorbitantly about how really gorgeous and thin and kind and gorgeous and gorgeous an actor or actress is in person. Every other sentence is, OMG! Did I mention how GORGEOUS he was?! Amazing what in-person, impossible physical perfection (and a touch of real nice to talk to) can do for a fan’s former opinion on bad acting.
Which isn’t as bad as the shout-outs to the fan club, fan base, fan group, fan clique buds. We hung out at the pool and I met Stace at about 9:45 a.m. in the lobby to tell her that the rest of us were at the pool, and Stace was wearing this cute little button and an even cuter pink summer strapless dress she must’ve gotten on sale at Wal-Mart off Hermosa Beach, because when I was there two weeks ago...
Shut up if you can’t deliver a decent, transcribed recap!
Truth be told, the best recaps I’ve ever read in my life were via private e-mails, where the sender tells me exactly what all the actors were like, who were dicks, what stupid, slutty thing some fans did to ruin the experience for the bulk of the sane fans... stuff like that.
I did read one excerpt yesterday from a fan board about how Katie Stuart (Sage) made a fan cry and vow never to attend another of these events again, how the actress didn’t seem amenable to an impromptu Q&A and outwardly recoiled at another fan’s hysterical outpouring of overwhelmed screaming adoration at the autograph line. Ooh, nothing better than an accidental juicy recap. (Remember, lots of fans are afraid to voice their real observations about powerful celebs.)
Other than that, keep your chatty Cathy Dear Diary entries to yourselves. Most of you can’t even spell worth a dime anyway.
ps. The real truth be told, I can’t stand the plethora of recaps because of the plethora part. I’m so lazy that every time I see another one, a lengthy one, I’m groaning with the work I have to do, and the longer it takes to get to some point to cut that work down... Hah!