Belief vs. Disbelief

Belief & Disbelief

At the risk of indulging an age-old cliché or perhaps inventing a new one, real life is the soap opera that interrupts our daytime dramas.

I’ve been away for the last couple of weeks caring for my partner who was seriously ill for a little while (all is better now); dealing with the challenges of running a business and maintaining my livelihood in a faltering economy; consoling friends over unexpected loss in their lives and reveling in the result of a Presidential election which has left me elated and joyous in an event that I, as a Black man, never thought I would see in my lifetime. This time has been filled with hospital vigils and prayers (all answered in the affirmative), nail biting suspense, and a dash of personal intrigue. In short, the last two weeks have been a period of belief and disbelief.

As a result of the tumult caused by these events, I had to tape all of the soaps I watch and I am just now catching up. I’ve been reading the daytime press and caught up with all the goings on here on Daytime Confidential, the reporting of our good friend Nelson Branco, and perusing other websites. No less than the soap opera of real life, the world of daytime drama continues to be as fascinating ever.  Therefore as a way for me to catch up with you, gentle readers, here are a few of my thoughts on what is causing within me a state of belief and disbelief on daytime.


Belief: Debbi Morgan is delivering some of the best work of her career. Erica’s takeover of Fusion is awesome. Reese & Bianca make a cute couple. Taylor is finally emerging as a truly interesting character and fans of Beth Ehlers’ Harley and Ricky Paull Goldin’s Gus from Guiding Light are starting to see a hint of that ole "Gush" magic even if the characters aren’t nearly there yet. I am far more intrigued by the development of the Annie/Aiden alliance than the actual crazy plot mechanics of Emma’s faux-kidnapping. I’m really liking JR Martinez’s turn as Brot.

Disbelief: "Brot" is quite possibly the worst character nickname in soap history. Jesse’s two families is a story with far reaching ramifications that could have played out for months, if not years and yet is being cut short with Natalia’s impending death. Vincent Irizarry has been almost seamlessly reintegrated as David Hayward, but it is way too soon for a grieving and devastated father to be bedding anyone (in this case, Amanda) or moustache twirling so fast, no matter what his plans for revenge are for Pine Valley. Why does Wildwind look like a big ole walk-in closet now?


Belief: The show is chock full of good stories; even the ones that don’t make sense like ultra-rational Dusty’s out-of-character & out of the blue two-episode obsession with the Jennifer look alike and the twist involving Spencer’s missing body are interesting, although I think it may be pretty obvious who is behind that latter development. The emergence of Sage as a preteen troublemaking villainess in her scheming to break up Janet & Jack has been particularly satisfying; the daughter becomes the mother. Lucinda’s developing relationship with Brian and the return of her cancer is meaty stuff. Elizabeth Hubbard and Ellen Dolan have been fabulous the last couple of weeks. I’m loving the Janet/Carly rivalry.

Disbelief: The stories continue to move at such breakneck speed I’m suffering whiplash. The Luke/Kevin election story should have played out for two months leading up to the real life election to allow fleshing out Luke’s motives and build genuine tension instead of the herky jerky pace over two weeks. The inclusion of both Alison & Casey in the election arc was clumsy considering how neither are connected to Oakdale University. Can a suspended student actively participate in a school election? Dani Andropolous continues to serve little purpose on the canvas. The murder mystery involving Spencer has Brad caught up with the law once again and it feels like one time too many in too short a period of time.


Belief/Disbelief: The entire show, from top to bottom.

Ron Carlivati’s OLTL has emerged as a fine-tuned swiss clock of plot schematics, weaving various stories in and out of each other with a dexterity not seen since the glory days of Henry Slesar’s Edge of Night. That’s the good news. The bad news is in order for the intersection of many of these stories to work, logic often must be upended and belief totally suspended. (continued)

16 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Mark

    "The inclusion of both Allison & Casey in the election arc was clumsy considering how neither are connected to Oakdale University."

    But Casey is connected to O.U. because how could they suspend him (and expel him today) if he didn’t go to O.U?

    Welcome back!

  2. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    Mark, I should have been more clear:

    How could a suspended character actively participate in a university election process as a campaign manager for one of the candidates?

    Maybe I’m missing something….

    Thanks for the welcome! Glad to be back!

  3. Profile photo of uofmichgrad99

    OK…I may be banned from the site after this comment, but here goes. I like One Life to Live right now…actually I LOVE OLTL. Granted some stroylines have dragged on for far too long, it’s truly the only show where I don’t wear out the FF button.
    I have been a fan of daytime for over 20 years and I am slightly biased towards ABC soaps. They have always been my favorite. OLTL to me was always my “summer” soap. They always would deliver when I was out for school break and then go terrible again. Now OLTL is my winter/spring/summer/fall soap. The writing/acting has been amazing. This current week has been the best week thus far on soaps period!
    I may post later (if allowed), but I want to make a comment about Todd and Marty. I don’t think of this as a “Tarty” love story so it really didn’t bother me as much as the rest of the web world. I usually don’t watch soaps to teach me right from wrong…rather, just for entertainment. To me the Todd/Marty story is just another Todd is an a-hole story. If Marty knew everything and had her memory then I would probably protest as well…but this story was about Todd not Marty (I believe we will see Marty’s story soon). Todd is evil. Always has been, always will be. Add Todd wanting to steal his daughter’s baby on the long list of Todd is an a-hole stories! In fact, I was MORE appalled by this story than the Todd/Marty storyline.
    Ok, I’ve rambled enough…but I have seen soooo many EMMY reals from OLTL this week (that is, if they have an an award Susan Haskell and Trevor have knocked it out the park! Susan needs to copyright this past week and ABC should make it mandatory for every new actress to watch it!
    So what will probably be as rare as seeing Russia from my backyard here in Atlanta…Congrats OLTL for an amazing performance this week…you have me glued and waiting for more…reminds me of the good ole days of soaps in the 80’s!

  4. Profile photo of daisyclover1938

    uofmichgrad99: I agree that Tarty is definitely not a love story – it’s a story about Todd yet again victimizing Marty – psychologically and physically. But I find that repulsive.

    And I also agree that this is Todd’s story, not Marty’s, which pisses me off. Marty was essentially used as a prop in this story, we were supposed to be viewing this story through Todd’s eyes, which made feel like I was watching a rapist’s fantasy. And that’s not good entertainment, imo…

    I can understand why some people “like” the story, but I think ultimately it was a big mistake. JMO!

    Bernard: Sorry you had to go through some tough times, but I’m glad that things seem to be back on track with you. I was wondering where you’d gone :)

  5. Profile photo of rumours

    as much as the story lines on OLTL are just crazy as hell, i love seeing TSJ everyday and shirtless is a nice treat too! i also love BW and JESS/TESS so its hard for me to say this but i do agree this storyline has gotten cartoonish :s and Bess’s Mr.Magoo glasses made me giggle too but at the moment they are very trendy with celebs so i will give OLTL stylist kudos
    lastly, this is my first time watching SH’s portrayal of Marty ( minus the time she came back for a very short stint) and she has grown on me a lot and made me a fan and I too can now understand what all the talk and anticipation was about before her arrival!

    nice to see you back J

  6. Profile photo of uofmichgrad99

    Jamey, thank you!

    Daisy, I agree to some degree as well…Todd has gone too far, just like he always has! I actually think he should be shot (not Someone shoots him, dump his body over a bridge and let’s have a good OLTL “whodunit” story. I will never forget the SOW cover when half the town wore trenchcoats (who killed Carlo Hesser). Todd needs to vanish for a while…and of course come back as someone is convicted of his murder…lol.

  7. Profile photo of season1217

    Great, to have you back Bernard and to hear that everything is now well w/ you and yours! Your intelligent insight and facetiae were sorely missed.:)

    Now, on the subject of “Tarty” I think the majority of people know that Todd and Marty were not written as a romance. Although, you would never know it by the promos! OLTL was very shameless in their promotion of this story. My main issue w/ “Tarty” is I still don’t believe that Todd would do what he did to Marty. I could see him doing it to Blair or Tea or any number of women but not to Marty.

    I was never overtly offended by the s/l just turned off by it. In my opinion, Ramsey should have played the Todd role and Todd should have played the John role minus the sleeping w/ Blair. Ramsey could have easily have been the one to lie to Marty and the two of them could have developed feelings for one another. I still would have loved to see the chemistry between Hunt and Susan.

    Todd could have been the one to rescue Marty and in turn salvage whatever relationship he had w/ his daughter, who could once again look at her father as a hero. Then Marty and Todd could have been attracted to each other w/ Marty fulling knowing who Todd was but still not remember all the hurt he caused her. It would have been just as interesting to see the two of them have feelings for each other but know that they could never really be together because of the past.


    //**No one on the corner has swagger like us!**\\

  8. Profile photo of dmfj

    Every thing about EJ on DAYS is beyond belief. It is the same as Tarty on OLTL. Yet people want EJ with Sami. It blows my mind. His list of offenses against every Brady could take days to recite, but he can practice law. Seriously, he of all people is a lawyer. It disgusts me. I can’t get past it.

  9. Profile photo of JaSamLover

    All My Children
    I am actually quite disappointed with Chuck Pratt’s hyped return. I have been watching AMC on and off for about 6 or 7 years, so I know it goes through highs and lows. I’m generally an ABC daytime viewer and come and go from AMC and OLTL as I please, while always staying with GH. However, I started watching AMC once again when Debbie Morgan and Darnell Williams came back. Those sappy promos sucked me in and had me do research and such on the past. I fell in love with Jesse and his portrayer. I fell even more in love with the story of Jesse&Angie.I continued to watch on a regular basis to watch their reunion progress. I liked that they werent necessarily a young couple, but were still catered to and portrayed realistically.

    However, I find this whole new storyline with Jesse and his family completely uncharacteristic. Not the fact that he had another woman, another child, but that he would lie to Angie and Frankie about it. It’s unrealistic to think that a man on the run for twenty years would be completely celibate and unable to find love again. I do however, think it is unrealistic that Jesse would abandon them for Angie without telling her the truth.I am appalled that they would have him make Natalia lie about knowing him, let alone him being her father. It’s just so contrived and forced. I hate that they gave him that backstory.

    I haven’t watched AMC in a couple of weeks, not since the tornado, and until something amazing happens, I probably wont be watching on a day to day basis.
    (I have youtube for my Tamara and Vincent clips, I could never desert them :])

    Tequila and dominoes-we will never forget.

  10. Profile photo of season1217

    “However, I find this whole new storyline with Jesse and his family completely uncharacteristic. Not the fact that he had another woman, another child, but that he would lie to Angie and Frankie about it. It’s unrealistic to think that a man on the run for twenty years would be completely celibate and unable to find love again. I do however, think it is unrealistic that Jesse would abandon them for Angie without telling her the truth.I am appalled that they would have him make Natalia lie about knowing him, let alone him being her father. It’s just so contrived and forced. I hate that they gave him that backstory.”




    //**No one on the corner has swagger like us!**\\

  11. Profile photo of JaSamLover

    One Life To Live
    I haven’t watched OLTL in a couple of weeks. When I know that I am going to be really frustrated with a storyline, I usually stop watching until it’s resolved. The s/l I am referring to is the baby switching. One baby switch in a tweny year span is about all I can handle. I feel like we just had that epic OLTL/AMC crossover thing. It’s just to recent for another one, IMO.
    Plus, I want Marcie to be happy okay. I’m a Marcie fan from way back and this chick can not catch a break. I mean, she loses Al, she loses Tommy, she loses Michael. She loses everything! Let’s just give her some peace. Kthanks.
    And poor Starr, here she is thinking she’s doing her best to bring a healthy baby into this world, a baby she sees as a miracle for Marcie, a gift she’s giving her, and it’s taken away from her. Come on. COME ON.

    Tequila and dominoes-we will never forget.

  12. Profile photo of andithomas1

    ALL MY Children

    Debbie Morgan is a pro and I will miss her and Darnell Williams work because I have had it with that storyline. Tell me of an AA woman that will sit and watch while her husband comforts another woman. Please–never in a million years but Pratt thinks we are going to swallow that. I am not stupid. Give me something that is worth my while, because this ain’t it.

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