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May 11, 2005

Feelin th' LUVVVVVV

I've been pimpin out the hate lately, having come to terms with the fact that I am really very, very angry with all three soaps lately.  Took some time off and posted the trivia, which saved me a bit from thinking about how I felt about the shows.  The trivia columns followed my column where I blasted all three shows, so it was a nice diversion to go back through the past and remember all of the good and interesting things about the shows to cleanse the palate, then watch them with a clear mind.

What I found was that I actually enjoyed many parts of the shows!  I feel rejuvenated (for now) and have found a whole new appreciation for each ABC soap.  It is quite exhilarating to actually like what I'm watching again and I am grateful for this buzz, regardless of how long it lasts.  Yes, there will be some complaints and ridicule interlaced with the lubbins, but overall, I'm... content.  I know that a lot of people will not agree with my opinions and observations and I am completely good with that.  I don't ask that you agree; just respect my right to have a different opinion.

All My Children

I can't possibly say nice things about Ryan right now, so of all the soap fodder for the week, he's the real fly in my soup.  I am only barely tolerating the petulant, wide-eyed, cruel persona he had adopted since John-John go blewie and my disdain for him grows with every scene.  Nothing would please me more than to have him straddle that bike into oblivion again and stop cluttering up my screen with his self-serving, selfish, well, "ISH."  Yadda yadda freakin' yadda.  Get over yourself, son.

I do, however, have to say that I am grateful for his decision not to procreate.  The idea of yet another self-involved, dim-viewed Mini-Me on my show makes me feel weary.  Have I denegrated Ryan quite enough yet?  I think not.  I did, however, think of a song dedication for the over-exposed, over-rated, over-done Ryan:

Every sperm is sacred, every sperm, is good
Every sperm is needed, in your neighborhooooood.
Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great
If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.

I can't begin to tell you how much I am absolutely loving Di.  I was no fan of Dixie overall (I had a few flashes of affection during her Pine Valley time, but most of it was fleeting and far between), but wow, Di I really, really enjoy.  I love the unnerving effect she has on J.R. (almost makes me like how Jacob Young is playing this... but not quite) and God Bless David for thinking to pass her off as Dixie.  Of course given the fact that we know nothing of Di's background, it virtually guarantees that she really is Dixie.  I actually thought there was hope based in fact that the two were one and the same when I saw Tad talking with the doctor, but then the very lickable Kate, our resident cynic, filled me in on what I evidently missed:  Dr Dave is in cahoots with the Swiss doc.  See?  Miss a little and the whole story changes. 

I find Di to be a lovely alternative to the brass harshness of Krystal, who started trampling her tacky, 4" stilettos into my very last nerve about 10 minutes after her arrival.  At the risk of sounding sappy and like one of those soap people with whom we do not hang out, Di has Dixie's eyes.  Like every woman on soaps who claims to be pregnant to trap a guy and then is forced to take a pregnancy test, I think our David is up for quite a surprise in the near future.  Kelli Giddish is doing a FINE acting job and looks stunning as a blonde.    Although she is a relative newcomer to both the big and little screen, Giddish has a strong history in theater, receiving rave reviews for "Full Bloom," a play by Suzanne Bradbeer. In my opinion, she hit the ground running in soaps and is doing an absolutely brilliant job. It rare to see a newbie light up the screen and bring depth to nearly every scene she's in, but Giddish does that to the fullest.  Whether she's smiting JR, demurring to Tad, puzzling Adam or singing to Little Adam/James/Ace, she is just lovely.  Besides, I'm a retired hairdresser.  How can I not appreciate an absolutely perfect "Di-job?"

I don't think I have adequately conveyed the depths of my Thorsten Kaye appreciation and would like to take the time to correct that oversight right now.  Having never seen much of Port Charles, I had to base my knowledge of his work on his time with One Life to Live playing Patrick Thornhart.  Because I absolutely could not stand sniveling, snotty, manipulative, whining Marty Saybrooke, it seemed the height of insult that SHE was the one who HAPPENED to be in a pub in Inish Crag (Ireland) when Patrick came rushing in, hiding from The Men of Twenty-One, planting a fat tongue kiss on her to disguise himself (sort of using her head as a mask).  *sigh*  No justice in the world.  He was exciting and breathtaking for months before dissolving into an obsessed, determined lover who she finally wed in a hail of gunfire, resulting in his own faked death, ushering TK off the show (and Susan Haskell, who had the misfortune of playing Saybrooke).  The two married in real life and as far as I know, are still together.  I had my doubts when he was coming to AMC.  He'd become a fully dismissible character on OLTL by the time he left and I did not hold the faith in AMC to create a character that would aptly reflect the dynamic (even when subdued) actor Kaye can be.  Like so many other actors, he flourishes in good material, but occasionally falters when the writing is lame.  Since very nearly all of AMC's writing is lame (Thank you, McT - smirk), there wasn't much hope.  Well butter my ass cheeks and call me a biscuit if TK didn't come through with flying colors, taking a relatively second-class character and turning out a multi-faceted, complex portrayal of a man who truly makes me want to know more, watch more and see more.  What could have been a simple case of propping up Eva LaRue or playing arch-nemesis to onscreen son, Ethan, has become a rich and vibrant character that is both intriguing and engaging.  Seeing him boss around Maria's snotty, hateful kids was like a breath of fresh air blowing into a dank, putrid room of a show.  Hats off to TK for taking what could easily have been a nowhere character and giving the the extra oomph that keeps him from fading into the woodwork.  I hope Kendall DOES marry him AND falls in love with him AND we get to see that romance actually onscreen.  Bring it on!  I'll love it even more if we can use the lines, "Just like your Daddy" and "I WAS the next man!"  Since Kendall is the equal to the horses outside supermarkets where you put a quarter in her mouth, get on and ride, it would be nice to see her settle down for a while and give that wandering saddle a break.

Proving that AMC is dedicated to the idea of making my hormones do the Snoopy Dance of Joy, word comes that Ian Buchanan (ex-Duke Lavery on GH) is going to be in a short term role on AMC (bearing in mind that classic characters were slated to only be short term).  Buchanan will be portraying Dr Greg Madden around the end of this month.  Rrroowwwwlll.  People under dual fanship to AMC and GH are hoping for a connection between Buchanan's former identity on GH and the Lavery clan on AMC; however, at this point, it does not appear that Dr Madden is a secret identity.  More's da pity.  Those who do not know Mr Buchanan... I gotta say, you're going to be impressed.  The man has nice legs.

One Life to Live

My thoughts exactly, J/Tess  I am definitely not of the group that enjoys Jess' dive into DID, aka The Plot Device That Should Never Have Been.  It makes my head hurt and my ears bleed.  It makes my dog whimper.  It makes my mailman late with the daily delivery.  It makes my favorite grocery store out of Hostess Ding Dongs and whole milk when I get there.  It makes my trash man go on strike.  It makes me no longer happy with my long distance service.  It makes my toilet back up and flood.  It makes Christmas never come.  It causes tsunamis.  (No, seriously, it does)  It crashes the stock market.  It makes celery fattening.  I steals the breath out of sleeping babies.  It makes Pepsi go flat.  It dissolves the white creamy center out of Oreos.  It creates sugar in the gas tank of my car.  It turns gold to lead.  It stabs cute little puppies in the head with forks.  It leaves a greasy, nasty bathtub ring.  It draws underwear up into asscracks.  It dries out contacts while they are in your eyes.  It exposes itself to little children and old ladies.  It wants to know if you have found a good church home yet.  It doesn't come with a one year manufacturer's warranty.  It poisons a blind man's dog and steals his cane. 

Oh my yes.  I do so hate that story.

But I have come not to bury OLTL, but to praise it!  Out of the midst of a truly inane story, comes the flicker of a couple of candles in the darkness.  First, props to my #1 cohort, Carol Banks Weber, who p0wn3d the internet world by being (to my knowledge) the first to tag Daniel's lover as being gay.  When she first mentioned it, I snorted my White Russian out my nose (ow!) and said, "No WAY are the OLTL writers cool enough to do that!"  Well, slap me to sleep and slap me for sleepin', if they didn't put together their pennies and buy some cool, because wow, they went for it.  I'm so proud I could pop my buttons AND my zipper!

Of course, this perpetuated what I would consider to be one of the most brutal murders on a soap opera.  Who would think a piece of saran wrap would be the murder weapon?  That has to be the most brilliant scheme since the story where the victim was bludgeoned to death with a frozen leg of lamb, which the murderer cooked and ate.  Wrap it up into a tiny ball and stuff it in your pocket and you're on your way.  Of course, Daniel went to the trouble of setting up the whole suicide-in-the-car scenario, figuring even Llanview would not believe Jenn was stupid enough to suffocate herself on a piece of plastic wrap.

So with all of that mess going on, what can I say that is nice?  The very underused and inappropriately discarded Catherine Hickland is pulling out all of the stops as the grieving mom, as well we would expect.  ABC has always been bane to treat this talented actress with the respect she deserves, even back to her days on Loving and The City.  Even when she had front-burner stories on OLTL, her primary purpose has always been to prop up other "more deserving" characters such as Bo, Nora and Sam.  Little credence was given by the powers that be to the absolutely sizzling scenes Hickland shared with Ty Treadway (Colin/Troy), as is evidenced by the lackadaisical treatment of her current onscreen relationship with RJ.  Like Ty before him, Tim Stickney is arguably one of the hottest men in daytime, yet we seldom, if ever, get to even see the two lovers kiss, much less make out in the red hot sex scenes that should be resulting from such a pairing.  For the longest time, we had to wonder "are they are aren't they together?"  That simply should not be.

Now that something, anything on the canvas directly affects Lindsay, we can see the power behind the misused actress as CH belts out amazing performances one right after another.  Whether or not she will be given the chance to fully take advantage of the material that could be offered remains to be seen and is completely in the (sadly) untrustworthy hands of the OLTL fat cats.  Hey, they surprised me with Daniel's lover; maybe they can score two for two.  I suspect we are more likely to see Natalie react than Lindsay, which is a damned shame.

My question is whether or not Joey will even bother to return from London to attend the memorial service for his ex-wife.  I'm guessing no, although brother Will (Jason-Shane Scott) will briefly appear.

The big news to hit OLTL is of the return of one of my favorite villains, Carlo Hesser (Thom Christopher) who will be showing up as part of the reason why Asa is missing.  Particularly fun when teamed up with his lady love, Alex Olanov Buchanan, Hesser has proven to play a heavy in the tradition of Mitch Laurence (Roscoe Born) and has long been a valued recurring visitor to Llanview (by the viewers if not by the citizens of that fair town).  With TC showing up on OLTL and Ian Buchanan on AMC, there's not much argument of where I'll be spending my 12-2 hours in the near future.

Speaking of my buddy, Carol (careful, she cusses like me in the post that is linked to her name), she hit the nail on the head and pounded it right into the ground in this week's column where she, among many other astute observations, pointed out Antonio's "dead lights."  That, of course, made me think of the Stephen King novel, It, which was a wonderfully, delicious, chilling moment, but it also perfectly describes what has left me feeling uneasy about ol' 'Tonio.  She says:

"I didn’t notice this one until Evangeline strutted into Carlotta’s Diner to check on Antonio, one day before his custody court hearing. He sat at the counter, going over notes, completely ignoring his lawyer’s plaintive hints at romantic trouble with his best friend, the cop. Evangeline did most of the talking, starting and stopping about her great-aunt’s funeral, her family’s third-degree of John, and her own doubts as to whether he’ll ever open up fully to her. But she might as well have been talking to her coffee mug. Antonio neither gave her the courtesy of a face to face or any response. He just reminded me of my best friend Jon sometimes when Jon clams up, puts on a Buddha smile, and shrugs with his entire soul."


In fact, there are many, many more words in that column that really rang my bell.

General Hospital

First, come ye forth the heckling.  This photo has been around the net so much, I'm not even sure where it started, so high five to whoever snapped it at the right moment:

"Yes, it's your baby, Ja-SON, and I am DEEPLY
hurt that you had to ask."


"Check it out, Steve, I made the entire lower half of my body disappear."


"I know you are, but what am I?"
"I know you are, but what am I?"
"I know you are, but what am I, INFINITY!"


"Why is Reese dressed like the guys in that Combo #5 internet funny?"

"Combo numbah one, two, free, fo, fi'!"

Now that we have that item of business out of the way, there is something else I need to address.  Has anyone else notice how much Sam looks like Robin these days?  Sure, it's another slightly built brunette, but wow, there was one day last week when she was standing a particular way talking to Jason that I instantly thought, "Adoing!  Compensating, much?"  Of course, Sam had a few more coupons to cash in at the Hooters store than did Robin, but there is definitely a resemblance there.

And where oh where oh where is my very favorite "matronly" MILF???"  (For the uninformed, that would be "Moms I'd Like to...")  That pretty lady just tastes like happy and it would be such a joy joy moment if GH would actually concede to giving Felicia and Mac an actual story.  I have not missed the absence of Georgie, who (like Elizabeth and Lucky before them) became half of the most annoying duo on earth once she and Dillon actually consummated.  I have been waiting to see NuMaxie, but I am prepared to be pissed off about Robyn Richards all over again once she shows up, so Felicia's kids are on my black list at the moment.  Mama and StepMac, however, are more than due for some attention.  Unlikely it will happen with the current regime, but an old guy can dream, right?

Although Tyler Christopher did a fine job of reacting to Emily's revelation that Connor had raped her (working with Speilberg must have popped a little more ram into his motherboard because he's sailing along at an unprecedented clip of performance.  Color me impressed.)  I did, however, get a bit of the creepies when Nikolas insisted that Emily recount to him every painful detail of the rape. Did she really need to relive it to let him know what happened?

Recently, it was revealed and then countered and then denied and then divulged that Ted King has re-signed his contract with GH.  My hope is that he actually has NOT signed because like Catherine Hickland, it is a damned shame that all Lorenzo has to do in this world is follow Carly around, sniffing at her skirts.  A worthy actor like King needs to be more than a prop that is moved around from set to set, always performing the same function, always reciting the same four lines over and over.  Lorenzo and Skye, I like, but can we count on anything there?  Use your resources, GH!  This show has been so completely fixated on a very few characters for so long that it doesn't seem to know how to be an ensemble show any more.  I hate to be the one to break to them, but you know?  If Sonny and Carly and Jason and Sam were to sit on the back burner, maybe only work a couple days a week and maybe, I dunno, support other people in the cast in a story or two, GH would not die!  When you let something simmer for a while, it reduces down to a richer blend and tastes even better than if you cook it on high nonstop.  We have people who have been on the back burner for so long you can barely tell what was cooking in the first place.  GH suffers strongly from their avoidance of one of the basic rules ingrained in us since kindergarten:  "TAKE TURNS!!"  

But yes, as with the other two shows, there are places that truly deserve applause and GH has two very specific ones.  I know in this department particularly, my opinions may not be popular, but at least this time, I am making enemies by saying nice things instead of bitching and complaining.

Nope, I'd never heard of this gal before, but she surely does light up my day.  The name, "Reese Marshall," has got to be one of the worst ever contrived in soap history.  Her bad cop persona is terrible, no, not even terrible, it's laughable.  Her attachment to Michael is... weird.  She is, however, one of the prettiest little things I've seen in a long, long time.  I welcome her as I welcomed Big Daddy John before her.  She works well with Jason, with John, with Ric, with Sonny and even with Carly.  It took me a little bit to decide how I felt about her, but lately, she's grown on me and I am glad she's here.  I've never been a fan of actors needing to "find their feet" in a role, believing it's their job to hit the ground running and give me a classy, quality performance from the get go, especially in the beginning.  That's when they're winning me over, so hit me hard, hit me good and let me love you right away. Kari Whurerererer didn't quite do that for me right away, but she's surely got my attention now. 

Manly yes, but I like her too.  =======================================>>>

The returns on Jennifer Bransford's performance as Carly the Third have wavered between lukewarm and downright hateful.  Personally, I don't get it.  I thought she actually did a marvelous job stepping into a well established and popular role that, in theory, could not possibly be recast with any degree of success.  The characters of Sonny and Carly are held almost as sacred to the new GH viewing audience as are Luke and Laura to the previous generation and Audrey and Steve to the generation before that.  Recasting the role when Tamara Braun left was either bold or stupid, I haven't decided which.  One would think the powers that be would have learned from recasting Sarah Brown that it's a hopeless endeavor.  It didn't help that, let's face it, Tamara Braun was just terrible for a while after she started.  Lots of phrases like "give her a chance" and the famous "feet finding" line were tossed around and sure enough, after a year or two, she was doing a fine job and turning out quality performances despite a demanding tape schedule and draining series of very emotional scenes.  I didn't think they would take themselves back to square one again, having to "sell" a new actress in the role of Carly, particularly to the enflamed Carly and Sonny fans, already stinging from the couple's divorce. 

Wade right in they did, not even considering casting a name actress in the role and specifically stating that they were looking for an "unknown."  Bransford doesn't quite fill that bill, having spent some time on OLTL as the fairly deplorable Georgie Phillips (I, personally, hated her in that role and for that reason, did not look forward to her arrival in Port Charles), but she did put her acting chops to good use right away.  I don't see her mimicking Tamara Braun's idiosyncrasies, which for me is the kiss of death for a recast.  If you want to fight about the bug eyes for emoting, I have to tell you, Bransford was buggin' long before Braun.  In my opinion, Bransford does age Carly a bit, which works in the part because Carly has been through a series of life altering experiences that have logically taken her to a more mature place.  Although we have been promised that this version of Carly will be reverting to her conniving old ways, I for one am betting that it's going to be with a grown up kick to them rather than the more pubescent, "neener neener neener" machinations of Sarah Brown's Carly.  I am very open to seeing Carly being Carly and taking control of her life.  I think JB can handle the role and bring out a new dimension of Carly that we have yet to see.    

WTF?  Why's he talking to her?

WTCF??!!  Why's he KISSING her??

And that's my gig for this (next) week, folks.  Take care and have a stunning week, my darlings.

Much love,



Note:  Sage gets a fat ton of mail every day and regrets he can't answer everyone personally.  He loves ya, he just might not get a chance to write to ya!  Besides, he writes to you every week in a column whether you write to him or not!  Needless to say, if you are an asshole, he just for sure isn't going to write back.  If you're inclined to writing hateful things, pretend he wrote back and said, "That's just like, your opinion, man."

If your writing to ask about future storyline happenings, figure he answered, "Pfft, I dunno."  Sage truly does not have info on upcoming storylines except what is posted on the EOS Spoiler Commentary pages!

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