DC #372: Soap Opera Examiner Mary Montanari

On today’s episode of Daytime Confidential Luke and Jamey visit with soap journalist Mary Montanari. Montanari writes the Soap Opera Examiner column for Examiner.com and previously covered the industry for Zap2it.com.

Montanari tells her unique story of how she got her start in soap opera journalism. Luke and Jamey ask for her thoughts on the state of the industry, Guiding Light’s Otalia, Nuke at As the World Turns and whether or not more shows will have to use the Guiding Light production model to survive. She shares insight she received from Agnes Nixon that is just as important today as it was back when Passions premiered.

All this and much more on today’s Daytime Confidential episode.

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4 Responses

  1. Profile photo of suzio

    Guiding Light
    Jonathan Return?

    With everything that is going on with Reva (pregnancy, cancer), this would be a perfect time for Jonathan/Tom Pelphrey to reprise his role for a long term or short term visit.

    If they continued with the baby storyline of Sara, it would be interesting to see how Jonathan and the newly returned Philip would interact. There is also the Buzz revenge story now against Alan for Coop’s death.

    Of course, there is always the possibility of a “dream sequence” for Reva where baby Sara never happened or where Jonathan or Tammy and Jonathan just left town (with or without the baby) to start a new life.

    When Jonathan and Reva did their original ending scene at Outskirts bar after his “supposed” death, Jonathan said to Reva “…it’ll seem like it was all a dream, maybe it was…..”

    GL needs to get rid of their dead wood cast members and grab him quickly for a short or long term visit before he goes elsewhere.

    It would be great to have a couple like Jon and Tammmy again to root for.

    And it would be great for the badly needed ratings boost for GL to have Tom Pelphrey return to captivate all of us again with another award winning performance.

    Hopefully this time if/when he returns, the writers will let him have his great sense of humor back again so we can all hear that great laugh of his, see his big smile and most importantly, let him grow his hair longer again!

  2. Profile photo of daisyclover1938

    Great interview, thanks guys! And I’ll be checking out Mary’s column on Examiner.com :)

    Luke asked Mary if she thought people would be as accepting of an older male character suddenly becoming gay on a soap, as they are of Otalia (I’m paraphrasing…) and I thought that was an interesting question. IMO, I don’t think people would be as accepting. For whatever reason, a lot of people (including TPTB) just seem to be more comfortable with lesbianism on soaps than the depiction of gay male relationships. So I think fans might be more open to Olivia suddenly being a lesbian, rather than Alan suddenly being gay.

    But for me, it’s weird other way. I mean who wakes up at 40 and suddenly decides they’re bisexual? It’s different if the character had always been bi but had supressed it or kept it secret, but Olivia has been on GL for years and as far as I know there had never been any indication of that. As much as I would love there to be more gay/lesbian characters on soaps, to make a long standing character (male or female) suddenly gay just seems odd. (To be fair, I haven’t watched GL regularly in a long time, so maybe I’m offbase w/ this…)

    However, if the story is told well and the response is good then I’m all for it (but I’ll still think it’s odd, lol)

  3. Profile photo of Johnathon

    Okay first good interview :) now to my thoughts lol.

    #1. Attention span of teens –

    I am sorry but teens will watch good shows, they watch The O.C., One tree hill, Gossip girl, 90210, and all of the rest, but they don’t watch crappy written shows that has the budget (and shows it) of just one of the actors on the show lol.

    There is not a teen soap (ala Home and Away, Hollyoaks which I will be bringing up a few more times in this post lol), there is no real reason for teens to get hooked to soaps when they are not that good.

    #2. Advertising –

    You guys pretty much said it, but the soaps do almost no advertising until the show is on its death bed, then they do everything they can to save it. How about we see some YR promos on Tvguide.com, and OLTL over on zap2it ? GL has showed they CAN Promote soaps, they just wont.

    #3. Same Sex Stories –

    I am sorry but I do not see the spark in Otalia, they bore me, I do not think Nuke is Nukular more just well fall flat lol. These stories are written horribly, and I am supposed to buy Nuke because guess what Noah is kinda sortof conflicted and well Luke is all 100% GAY! and he constantly lets us know it.

    You guys mentioned the fact that we grew up with them that it made the storylines kinda fall flat or something along that line, well we saw Craig Dean grow up on Hollyoaks, we saw him have multiple straight serious relationships, but then came the McQueens and the conflict and the multiple storyline threads that lasted for YEARS came from when John Paul McQueen broke up with Hannah and ‘came out’. Not only did the family issues cause problems and make his girlfriend become anorexic, but John Paul fell in love with his best friend, Craig Dean.

    The story was slow, and we heard Craig’s "Im not gay" speech for pretty much the entire McDean run, "I love you John Paul but I am not….you know…" "Gay Craig" "Yea that, I am not one of those queers" "So what exactly do you call sleeping with another guy?" and then he would go on his mantra and rant away and then leave to go to Sarah Barnes and play straight for a little while until it was all exposed on the night of Craig and Sarah’s engagement party :).

    These storylines can be well done, but they arnt they are not something to watch or even be mentioned they are just something that the fans jump on because well its all they got, I mean Home and Away had its first lesbian kiss a few weeks ago and is about to embark on a relationship with someone who was straight. So we are going to see how things play out.

    Anyways that is enough rambling, I think the soaps can be saved, I do not believe this 15 minute crap is the way of the future, and I think if anyone settles for that they only have their selves to blame.

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