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~*~

Just Another Teen Summer 

Every year around this time, I remember two staples of a post-May Sweeps season: the ear-splitting Blue Angels in August and three entire months of nothing but snot-nosed, spoiled bratty kids. And I always forget to use my frequent flier miles.  

The summer previews for ABC Daytime’s soaps seem deceptively diverse: 

AMC will offer the continuing saga of Babe and Bianca’s babies, the lives Babe’s and Krystal’s lies affect, drawing in David, bigger and badder than ever. Greenlee and Kendall will continue vying for Ryan as if he’s the only game in town, until his little-known little brother arrives to woo either or both ladies. Zachery (bet he’s Chris’s long-lost brother and Ryan’s uncle) arrives as well, giving Brooke, Maria and/or Liza a run for their money, and possibly bringing in the mob. Edmund and Maria figure out how to do the nasty without the mess. Derek will have more to do and more on his hands than the usual failed interrogation of a suspect, when daughter Danielle makes the scene with Reggie. Bianca and Maggie might actually do the nasty. Jackson expands his family in a major way with autistic Lily adding to the younger set. 

OLTL promises the flaming of passion between John and Natalie, the withering end of Kelly and Kevin, possibly a new love for recovering Viki, Dorian’s family secret to explode on the Vegas as the Puerto Rican drug cartel, run by the Santi family, explodes onto Llanview, bringing in the mob, more David and his hilarious “Craze” high jinks and a closer look at Llanview University’s flunked-out band of outcasts led by Jennifer and Riley. 

GH keeps its focus on the Sonny Show – thus completing the ambitious project of infusing every ABC soap with a touch of the mob influence – along with new soap darling Sam, as she waffles back and forth on whether to go along with Jason’s deceitful plan or not, what happens to her baby, the loving reunion of Sonny and Carly, then, the hateful end, the explosive after-effects of Sonny figuring out that Kristina is his biological daughter and that Alexis, with Carly and a host of others, betrayed him in the ultimate way. Secondary, NEm’s segueway into MaNik and Luckily, Lila’s star-studded memorial service, Casper actually losing their stupid bet and loving it, Elizabeth’s return and LiRic’s slow, painful road to recovery right over Alexis, and the L&B Records revival, nodding to the all-important youth demo, in Dillon as video director, Sage as aspiring singer, (Brook)Lynn as another aspiring singer, Georgie as the green-eyed monster, a recast Lucas as Maxie’s next boyfriend, several more teens with attitude, and their parents in the wings. 

Nearly all the age groups are represented, from high schoolers and college grads, to the 20-somethings and the middle-aged. Viki and Lila, Dorian and Tracy... no spring chickens there, figure heavily into storylines for the next three months. 

Most of the attention definitely remains steadfastly on the middle-aged, viewers my age, if word on the street proves correct. AMC’s baby-switching story better end quickly, so I can start seeing Brooke, Maria, Liza, David and Derek have a life outside their more youthful counterparts. OLTL’s heat lies solely with Dorian and those she cares about, from anything David does, to Travis’s presence in Starr’s life, to the blood ties with the Vegas. Did I fail to mention that Antonio strips undercover? And GH’s mainstays actually sound interesting, especially to see Sonny finally lose his marbles over what both Alexis and Carly kept from him, a secret over a year in the telling. I don’t even mind the new couples and the constant crooning that’ll occur for three months straight, one gigantic music video. 

The catch – and you regular followers of soaps know there’s a catch – is in deceptively

I’ve been stuck in this heat-addled town every summer for seven years (and almost two decades before that in hotter Hawaii) and nothing changes, not the 80-90-degree humidity, not the burning radioactive sun, not the window-shattering, ear-splitting flight shows of the Blue Angels in August, not the crappy alternative excuse to give local bands a soundstage called Bumbershoot (sorry, Jon), and not soaps. 

This is the time when the really cool actors (Robin Christopher, Tony Geary) go on vacation (or maternity leave), taking the really cool fans with them, somewhere out there where the breeze is balmy and the Coors overflowing. The online message boards have tumbleweeds and crickets instead of posters. My e-mail box is littered with 47 notes from SPAMMERS, virus attacks and unwanted mailing list updates, every three weeks. My friends can’t be reached because they’re off with their family and other friends in another country or another state having fun without me. 

And here I am watching reruns, leftovers and predominantly teen-centered stories on my favorite soaps, with syrupy, Disney-sounding soundtracks the acerbic comedians make fun of at the end of the year in VH-1 specials about the worst songs and the stupidest music videos in the history of television and radio. 

So, here, is what I’ll actually be watching on ABC Daytime, minus the network party line: 

AMC: Bianca killing Babe with kindness, Babe agonizing over her secret about Bianca, Maggie sticking her head up Bianca’s pristine buttocks, Jamie flexing his muscles and killer smile, tempting Babe, JR flexing his double chin, boasting about his evil schemes against Babe and Jamie, Kendall and Greenlee doing their Ryan, then Jonathan, dance, older people getting some airtime c/o hook-ups with the younger people, token appearances by those old folks, and centerstage, Reggie, Danielle, Lily and more teens to take over Fusion. 

OLTL: Think “Breakfast Club” meets “Stand and Deliver,” Llanview University style, as Jennifer, Riley, Marcie, Shannon and other college-age kids pretend they’re outcasts (in the most happening fashions, mais naturellement). More vicarious glances at Natalie’s jugs, Blair’s too. 

GH: It’s all about L&B Records, but without the mature, complex dilemmas of the parental set. That means despite a recast of Lois, Ned figures very little except as a figurehead for the singing and directing and sulking tykes that gather ‘round the recording studio to see whose voice tops the pops. Brrring it! 

Luckily, my father-in-law had perfect timing and *keeled over a few days before the official launch of summer, so I’ll get my vacation after all, albeit with a few moving, packing, storage chores. It’ll also be in balmy, hotter than hellish Seattle -- central Florida, but hey, it’s better than the Blue Angels and ABC Daytime’s version of a cool, cool teen summer. 

Plus, there’s Disney World just up the bend... 


ps. *Tongue firmly in cheek. I’m not that sacrilegious, take it easy... even if I’m allowed to be in his case. See cubbyhole[s ic] “almost four months to the day” for tongue out of cheek translation