Welcome to ME!!
Honey, you're either going to "get" me and know my heart and my intent or you're not going to "get" me at all. If you don't, know your limitations and just back away from the keyboard after clicking the little "X" in the box on the upper right corner of your browser window, ne'er to return again.
I used to have a long disclaimer here for the confused and manners-challenged people who don't know the difference between a "rumor" or "gossip" and an actual spoiler, but screw it. Angry, bitter, small minded people will always talk their trash to compensate for their own 1st chakra frustrations and inadequacies.
When you read those vicious people on the message boards, just shake your head and remember they aren't getting any play, so they're grumpy. Pity them, then dismiss them.
Note: Due to the large volume of e-mail he receives, Sage regrets that he is unable to personally answer each e-mail. He wants you to know that he reads each and every one (some 2-3 times) and greatly appreciates your communication. Please DO NOT ask Sage for further info on what is going to happen on the shows. Any information he has that he can share will be put into his column ASAP.
A Moment of Silence, Please
It's official, sadly. I have just heard from a flawless source (the one who broke the "Mitch is coming back" story a long while back) that Al will, in fact, be dying. We (and Marcie) are given the impression that he's going to be fine, then he goes down (still in the hospital, this ain't GH, you know), they hit him with the shockers and can't get him back.
There are also some ideas (not just rumors, but like plans being considered by writers) that Al has a twin in Argentina (I mean, didn't we WATCH Tina deliver Gabrielle's baby?? - Oh well, we watched Jessica be born as well, I guess and we know where that went).
There are rumors that Al will be around for a bit as a ghost to help Marcie through. Haven't heard anything further on that.
My favorite NotMitch troublemaker for Llanview, David Vickers, is just getting started with his enjoyment of the town's finest and most devious ladies. Watch for him to get frisky with Lindsay next as they trade prison break out stories over dinner. He's also going to utter the words we've all been wanting to hear (No, not "Adrianna *IS* going home to PR - but she is!! For real this time!): "Kelly, why aren't you cool like you used to be and why are you putting me to sleep, darling??" OK, so maybe he doesn't say it like that, but he definitely calls her on her new personality change. Old timers will remember David seducing barelylegal Kelly on Dorian's yacht (that he weaseled out of her), Kelly whopping him on the head with a bust (a statue, not a boob) thinking he was dead and running to Joey.
A Navy hottie will be coming to Llanview looking for Sarah in order to find CJ. Looks like OLTL might trying another shot at the gay story that fell through with Rex via CJ. Can they perhaps be braver than they were last year?
That's what I've got so far! Of course, even though a scene is in the can, it can still be changed, so keep writing those letters to Nathaniel Marston so we can save our Voice of the Night!!
Also, please check out the red notice above if you want to continue receiving my update notices!!!
All Da Love in Da World,
I'm Comin' For You, ABC Daytime
and I'm bringing my army of Sage's Raiders with me. This little postage stamp sized pic to the right (clickety click, darling) is actually a little desktop wallpaper for you if you want it. :) My gals and I are going into battle to set things right (or should I say "write") on these ABC soaps. You can already see how they're scrambling to make amends having heard that we're mobilizing. You can help support your troops (that'd be us) and I'll tell you how in a bit.
The biggest alleged recant is the confusion over Nathaniel Marston's firing or reprieve, depending on who you talk to in the grid. With Marcal fans all riled up over the seemingly unnecessary dismissal of NM in order to effectively discharge James DePaiva, the story was further complicated by an article on DePaiva's exit in Soaps In Depth, which stated "Even though on-screen son, Nathaniel Marston (Al) was granted a reprieve (see News, page 5), DePaiva's fate remains unchanged." Supposedly, when you go to the News section on page 5, there is no mention of Marston.
The plot thickens as we hear that Robin Strasser (Dorian, OLTL) was at the taping of the SoapNet Fall Preview Special (which aired today) and said, "...sadly, Al dies." Yet when the show hit the airwaves, the line had been deleted.
Other rumors say that NM has wrapped up taping and cleaned out his dressing room while others maintain that Max dies (initially, he was to go to North Carolina to be with his twins following Al's death) during a vital organ transplant to save Al, resulting in Al actually surviving.
At this time, I have not heard any information that is reliable about whether Marston stays or goes. I do know that there was a huge outcry when word of his firing was released and whether that is a factor in the current confusion over his contract status remains to be seen.
A wise friend of mine, Kate Brown from "A Cynic Soaps Up," who is also a long-time OLTL fan summed it up perfectly when she said, "I don't like to see the Holdens all go - the Holdens and the Gannons should be producing the next generation of Llanview-ites, not the Coulsons. Al staying would also be a sign that maybe someone beyond Frons [Brian Frons, President of ABC Daytime] is paying attention. Al and Marcie are the only believably happy couple on OLTL. And if Cris is also being killed off, how much unhappiness should an audience be made to bear? We have known Cris for a very long time and some of us still have fond memories of when he was played by someone who could act (ahhh Yorlin) and we have known Al since he was a baby. Maybe they have decided that Max and Cris are enough loss. It would be great PR to have Al live. The last time a fan protest saved an actor's job was when a fan outcry saved Robin Mattson as Janet From Another Planet on AMC."
The second major story that has two very active sides of the fence is the rumored departure of Stephen Nichols (Stefan, GH) after a few short months on the show. Historically, SN has not been one to pitch much of a fuss about specific storylines in which he is involved as long as he is getting a reasonable share of air time. By all accounts, he is very much a professional who does the best work possible with the material he is given and isn't one to make waves or prove difficult to work with as the norm. He voiced great pleasure upon his return at the opportunity to work with Tyler Christopher again, as well as with Tony Geary. Since Geary has been on vacation for the majority of Stefan's return to Port Charles and considering that he has been getting air time, it would surprise me if he were to leave GH of his own choosing. We know that Helena is also returning to PC, at least for a while, Anthony Geary is coming back from vacation with a direct involvement in Stefan's role (he kidnaps Stefean) and Alexis is becoming more involved with the Cassadines again via the custody battle and Stefan's trial for Summer's murder. That pretty much ensures Stefan time on our screen. The powers that be aggressively pursued Nichols to return with his short term contract being requested by him rather than by the network, who wanted to sign him for considerably longer. None of this adds up to Nichols leaving. His contract is up for renewal in November, so it could be that folks are speculating in advance or it could be that there's fire around this smoke. I'm not going to give up until I see hard core evidence.
The standard rumors have been circulating of the (wishful thinking) red lining of many of the highers up in the individual shows and in the upper ABC echelons. At this point, I can tell you that they are all just that: rumors. Not that it won't happen, because it's certainly true, but that there is nothing firm beyond speculation. December is when most of the contracts among GH execs come up for consideration, so the pot always starts to spontaneous stir around this time of year. The latest is that GH writer, Elizabeth Korte is being demoted.
As most people have heard by now, Jacob Young (ex-Rick from B&B and ex-Lucky #2 from GH - aka "Old Yeller") has been signed as the next JR on AMC. His first air date is Oct 2nd.
With the mystery of Michael Cambias' "everybody dunnit" murder underway, it would seem that his portrayer, William DeVry, would be gone from AMC,, but look for him to return in lookalike form hooked up with Kendall. Far too much like the Troy/Colin syndrome, this has already got me bored to tears. Just kill him and be done with it already. Cameron Mathison has a long term contract, so I'm more than willing to invest my beefcake watching into him. Now, if they'd just bring back Sam Page...
Courtney goes on the down slide as the Vicodin and grief over losing her baby and her resulting barren-ness (Lord help me, I keep hearing H.I. McDunnough as Jason saying, "Her insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase.") pushes her over the brink, resulting in her mowing down Elizabeth, who has just heard the angels sing and the music swell as she sees a flier for the art show and remembers why she fell in wuv with Ric. Faith sets up Ric to take the fall and Carly tries to help by getting rid of the car, putting herself in danger until Lorenzo shows up to save her. Get ready for some heavy breathing from the Corinthos Couple, but not for the usual reason, as Sonny and Carly take childbirth classes from Bobbie.
Clint Ritchie will be reprising the role of Clint Buchanan on OLTL for Natalie and Cris' wedding in early October. David Fumero will only be on the show for about 2 weeks after that, so the honeymoon glow won't even have left the rose before he's OLTL history. Michael Easton (Caleb, PC) will be moving in as a Private Investigator who is set to be Natalie's next love interest.
Now with the gossip out of the way, I want to get to the battle at hand. My thinking, and I've voiced this in a few other columns, that ABC has been thumbing their noses at the viewers for quite some time and are deliberately working to play out the exact things fans don't want to see. They seem to have declared war on the very folks who are responsible for their existence (us). GH co-head writer, Bob Guza directly said, "Whatever they say on the internet, we will do the opposite." The internet soap community is by far the most vocal and aggressive venue of fan commentary and to publicly defy that voice is basically an admission of hostility. To my knowledge, there hasn't been a more direct "nanny nanny boo boo" issued to fans since (then) OLTL head writer, Megan McTavish said, "The fans don't know what they want. We have to show them what they want." The idiots have definitely taken over the asylum and are obviously completely out of touch with what we are wanting to see (or worse, know and don't care). They have lost the true essence of soaps, which has a fully different flavor than does prime time. We don't want to see The Sopranos Lite for GH or Sex and the City for AMC. We want our shows back. Prime time and day time are two different worlds and the twain should never meet unless we're watching syndicated reruns of prime time shows. We want to see an emphasis on friendships and families and romance and bed hopping and betrayal and surprise pregnancies and secrets and stupid lies.
In the case of GH, for instance, we want to see a variety of personalities and stories going on at one time, with a reasonable shifting occurring among the cast as the natural rotation of front burner to back burner stories takes place. One main story, one substory that is on it's way out and two substories that are brewing at different rates would work nicely. We need to feel the strength of the entire cast, sprinkled through different stories rather than this freaky imbalance of one story from which 2-3 weaker tentacle stories stem. It's just not working. Neither is confining the male-female roles to such stiflingly limited pigeonholes working. We need texture to characters and a variation of motivations, strengths and weaknesses rather than "women are weak and whores to their men; men are brooding, tortured souls who use and abuse."
The biggest problem is what we're seeing onscreen in some ways reflects the turmoil that is going on within soap fans. I lay that conflict directly at the feet of the fan bases. No longer do we have simply GH fans or AMC fans or OLTL fans who are supporting the show as a whole. Now, you are virtually required to choose up sides. You can't be a LiRic fan who also likes Liason and can't like Journey or mention that Alexis was really cool that day without taking a beating and being banned from the special lucky message board club. If you are a Roger Howarth fan, you'd damned well better have a foot in either the TnT club or the Blair and Todd club. Can't like him in both or you'll be smited. You can't be a Sonny and Carly fan if you think Lorenzo and Carly would be really hot together. You have to hate David and Anna's baby because for the love of God, Dixie and Tad's baby died. ZEm people versus NEm people versus Nia people versus Zia people... It's all a huge us and them pissin contest with everyone feeling cheated and lashing out. You have to think inside a tiny little box or risk being ostracized at best and mercilessly attacked at worst. I'm betting there are very few of you out there who have ever posted on a message board without wondering at some point if you were going to get flamed off the internet for voicing a particular (and honest) opinion. (Are they going to kill me for this? Will they not like me any more if I say this?)
It shouldn't be this way. This infighting is what is going to be the death of soaps. It won't be because Guza wouldn't write for Bobbie or Mac and it won't be because Brian Frons has the hots for whores and insists on having an abundance of them on every ABC daytime show. It will be because fans were so busy hating each other for having the audacity of liking or disliking different characters that they failed to direct their attention to the correct enemy. Somewhere along the way, the majority of soap fans became so totally immersed in their support of individual characters, actors or couples that they lost sight of the appreciation of the show as a whole, as a composite, ensemble production rather than a support system for their specific cause. The more energy the fan bases put toward their cause, the more energy is turned away from the survival of the show as a whole.
So what do we do? That has become a serious issue as of late. Campaigns were the in thing for the longest time, with cans of dog food, paper tiaras and gold balloons being sent to the studio by the crate loads. Petitions were the next wave and thousands of names were collected, largely to no avail. As fans struggled to assert some kind of control over what was once a friendly and accommodating genre of TV, the diversified energies largely canceled one another out, leaving the powers that be the freedom of ignoring the fans (Who wants to determine what fan group is screaming and ranting the loudest or has paid the most money to promote their cause? Not me! I'd do the same thing that they have done: ignore them all and create my own little cinematic masturbatory wonderland. Think of the powers that be as office managers or moms or floor supervisors and imagine if all of the employees or kids are absolutely determined to have their way at once and they all start screaming and ranting and manipulating in tandem. What do you do? Short of shooting them all and waiting for the SWAT squad, you probably would cover your ears, turn away and sing a few rounds of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in your head while you mentally make your way to your favorite "happy place.").
Not so long ago, there was nothing more welcoming and embracing than settling down for an hour with your favorite soap. It was a safe, entertaining, bigger-than-life place to play for a while as you escape from the small, mundane world that was real life. I believe we can have that back, but not if we're divided up into these factions who are anti-everything else and promoting only their own special causes. Since a united front is not likely to happen (as long as fans are determined to spend their time and energy illustrating how much more wrong they were done than the ____ people rather than banding together and understanding that we have ALL been wronged and have ALL been cheated and that the degrees are so subjective they can't be adequately compared), I suggest the peaceful and productive approach: letter writing.
I have investigated this, with Katrina's help, on many different levels and after several months of asking and testing and exploring, we have come to the following conclusions:
1) E-mails mean nothing. They are not tallied and little credence is given to them. Don't bother.
2) Snail mail letters are where it's at. They are counted and their numbers considered... but not their content. While we'd like to imagine that *we* will be the one that writes a letter insightful enough (rather than "inciteful") that all of the honchos gather around our thoughtfully written mail for a lightbulb moment, unless it is directed toward a particular actor (not the Executive Producer, Head Writer, etc), it doesn't mean diddly. Brian Frons is not going to read your letter, slap himself in the head and say, "Shitdogs, what was I thinking???" When mail is sent to the show itself (as its own entity), to the EP or the HW, it's counted as "a viewer," whether the content is positive or negative. If you write a letter saying you'll never watch _________ again, it's counted as a viewer, which is considered to be positive.
3) Write to the actor that you wish to support. If we're going to be broken down into tiny little battling circles, let's at least make the best use of it. Don't write to Jill Farren Phelps in support of Liason, write to Steve Burton and Rebecca Herbst and hope for the best. If you want to see more of Big Alice, write to Bergen Williams, not Bob Guza. It's a crime that Big Alice has only gotten *4* fan letters and I want MY readers to be the one filling her mailbag, telling her how much we love seeing her and how the help at GH is so much more fun than the main cast. Tell her how much she lights up the screen. Show your support to the actors and characters you enjoy in a way that will make a difference. Take an afternoon and a sheet of stamps and start writing. Make a list of the characters you'd like to see more of on ABC daytime and start writing. Be one of the letters that *is* tallied and makes a difference. WRITE to Nathaniel Marston and let ABC feel the flood of mail from people who him to stay. WRITE to Stephen Kaye and talk about how much you look forward to Reginald's scenes. Write to Loren Freeman and say that you miss him and want Elton to plan Courtney and Jason's wedding or run Kelly's. THAT is how we go into the trenches and combat where the show is going. We have to put our energy where it is going to be noticed.
4) Remember that when you boycott the show, rather than showing the powers that be a thing or two, you're actually signing the death certificate of the show. Basically, what I'm hearing is that the powers that be at ABC view soaps as a dying breed and don't feel a great loss at the idea of their impending doom. If people stop watching, the show gets canceled and replaced with a daytime reality show or yet another talk show. The execs from the soaps, with well rounded resumes, simply move on to the next show. OLTL goes away and the people there move smoothly into other careers. We, however, lose our show forever. That fear of one or more of the three big shows being canceled is not unfounded by any means. It's very, very real and present. There wasn't a whisper of this fear of loss until "Another World" was canceled. Suddenly, everything felt very fragile and the elimination of "Port Charles" only serves to solidify the evidence that it could all go away in the boardroom if we don't hit the mailroom.
I have complete confidence that there are enough people out there who enjoy the characters who aren't being seen on the shows to write an impressive number of letters that will be instrumental in bringing them to the forefront once again. That doesn't mean that the characters who are the focus of the shows at this time have to go away, but it does mean that we can gently encourage the shows to a more balanced cast and a greater variety of stories that are told.
[Insert Actor's Name Here]
Write to your favorite AMC actors here:
[Insert Actor's Name Here]
Write to your favorite OLTL actors here:
[Insert Actor's Name Here]
Well, what are you doing still here? Start writing, darlings!!
By the way, if you find that you enjoy what we do here, both at Sage's Place and www.eyeonsoaps.com, please considering donation to our monthly site costs, which are due on the 7th of each month. You may do so by clicking on the PayPal button above or by clicking on "options" to learn about other ways to donate.
PS: For those who have asked, both Mom and my sunburned bits are doing quite nicely. Both are healing and feeling much happier these days. Nurse Colin and I are taking things very slowly and that also is just a wonderful thing. :)
Rumors are circulating that Stefan will make a dramatic departure, some say actually at Luke's hand or that Helena might finally do her Oedipal son in.
According to stephennichols.net, at this point, it's all speculation based on the fact that Nichols' contract is up around that time, but no official or semi-official word is out yet.
Fans of Robin Christopher are wondering what will happen to their favorite leading lady now that custody of baby Kristina will be reverting to Cameron. Originally, it was thought that Stefan would gain custody with Skye wooing him to get close to the baby again, but with that story scrapped, it's unknown what will become of ABC's favorite soap jumper. I've heard no news on Skye coming from the GH Fan Weekend and the grapevine is dry otherwise. Without Kristina to bind them together, it's wondered if she and Ned will continue to sustain their relationship. If I hear anything, as always, I'll let you know.
The "Where's Billy" mystery appears to be solved. With his non-appearance at the festivities this weekend, the rumor mill began to grind about the previous rumors of his possible departure from the show. Not so, according to the New York Daily News. They report that Warlock is taking time off from GH to make a movie. No one could really blame Warlock should he decide to beat a retreat from the show that has basically ignored him other than to make him the whipping boy for all things Corinthos. ("What? Sonny's in trouble? Quick! Get AJ! If AJ gets a beating or dressing down, Sonny will feel much better!")
Last seen in "real life" getting into her car (right) soon to be blown to Lillibits and last seen in Heaven as Sonny's celestial babysitter (left), the news that Lily Rivera Corinthos will be returning to Port Charles has caused quite a stir amongst GH fans. In addition to learning that children evidently age in Heaven (which doesn't make it Paradise for me, honey, because I want to believe if I die at 110, I'll look studly like I do now), we also figured it was a done deal that Lily was, indeed, dead (as if being blown up wasn't evidence enough).
I heard an interesting rumor (rumor, rumor, RUMOR) that Lily isn't alive after all (sigh of relief since it would be a serious reach and would make no sense whatsoever), but will only be used as a machination to convince Sonny that he's finally gone nuts. After having a conversation with Carly about Sonny's past, Alcazar gets an idea and gets busy with it (thinking of "Alcazar" and "gettin' busy" in the same sentence is giving Sage a faraway look in his eyes). Initial reports indicate that Lilly Melgar will reprise her role, be it real or Memorex (despite her advanced age of a geriatric 34 years - I mean, how can they write for her???)
Taking a longer than usual vacation this year, Anthony Geary will not be returning until early October.
Yep, he's on contract. A nice long one (far away look). By all accounts, Cameron Mathison is thrilled to be back with AMC and plans to sit happy for the foreseeable future. He's excited about Ryan going back to his more ruthless roots. In my own personal opinion, between Cam's return and the more frequent appearances of my own personal favorite character, Palmer, the scenery in Pine Valley just keeps getting better and better. Just how the hell they can have a "sexiest man in America" contest and keep a straight face when Cam's around, I can't imagine. I mean, these guys who are hitting the finals are nice enough looking, but I'm disappointed that they are being fed these dorky lines to describe themselves in 10 seconds or less. If it were me, I'd say, "I'm Sage. I do hair, rub feet and clean house. I'm too sessy for my shirt." I'd be in that Alicia Minishew/Rebecca Budig sammich before you could say "I win."
If you're like me, the appearance of David Vickers (and heavily exhaled laughter of Dorian) as the guy stalking down the Baddddrah diamond (I snorted my Dr Pepper when he chided her with his "Arabian Nights" line) was as welcome as Ty Treadway on my doorstep with a bottle of massage oil. Always a delicious addition to any OLTL story (who can forget Todd grabbing and holding David's tongue with a tissue while he bitched him out), David doesn't seem to disappoint this round either.
As he continues his pursuit of the beloved gem, now many beloved gems, Dorian will push the envelope by suggesting that he get the coveted necklace by courting one of her nieces. Will its owner, Blair or a more vulnerable target: Kelly? Paired with the snakey David, maybe I'd like NuKelly a bit better.
Look for the final send off of the Holden family to take place the last week of September. Al dies, Luna appears to Max (go take care of my kids, jerk) and Max heads off to North Carolina to be with the twins, quite possibly with Gabrielle in tow. Thusly ends the presence of a family who could have been a strong influence in LLanview had they ever been given the right bonding and storyline. Wasted since his brief story when a weekend in Atlantic City resulted in his marriage to fireball Roxy, James DePaiva made the best of being little more than a prop until his unceremonious dismissal a couple of weeks ago. Laying the blame squarely onto the shoulders of ABC Prez of Daytime, Brian Frons for his "Youthinizing" of ABC soaps, DePaiva regretfully announced his dismissal to a hushed audience at a recent OLTL fan event. It is widely speculated that the regretful killing off of Al (Nathanial Marston) was little more than a vehicle to write Max off the show. Of COURSE they do this just when I was really, really liking Al. >:< Of course, as Katrina points out, we must must must free up more air time for Jenn and Joey!! (blech)
Was she not just so, so, so wonderful yesterday? I didn't think anything could top out Roxy and Nigel doing "I Got You, Babe," but Marcie commanded the stage from the first minute and I was utterly entranced as she, well, sang even better than Janis did. I vote in Kathy Brier as the best singer to hit OLTL since the beautiful and talented Heather MacRae (right), who played Tillie, tormentor of Lindsay behind bars. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) is also a magnificent songstress, bringing OLTL, in my opinion, to the top notch in ABC singing talent. GH might have it going on in the montage department, but nothing beats OLTL for finding actual musical performance material.
Lastly, I know a number of you are aware of my incredible super hero powers (no, not those, sssshhh, that was our secret, remember), but now I'm eagerly entering into battle of an even greater depth and importance. MSN reports:
With that, I big you farewell for the weekend. I'll be giving my house its summer clean and bringing in the next batch of harvest from the garden. Hope yours is grand! I'll be back on Monday with a mini-column.
From One of My Sweeties!