More Random Thoughts About Five Soaps


My absence from Daytime Confidential lately has not been due to the usual business of family and work taking up a lot of my time, but rather a certain lack energy to post about practically any of the daytime serials that clog up my DVR from day to day. This is neither a positive nor a negative thing because there are frequent periods throughout the year when shows kind of coast along and do their their thing, usually between sweeps.

At these times, there is little for the viewer — if that viewer is me — to get all worked up about this plot twist, that character’s action, some couple or another or even a whole show’s direction. Normally, this state of affairs hits one or two shows at a time. Every once in a while like the last couple of weeks, the stars align and all the serials get caught in the same momentum of drift. All that is required of us is to watch and see where it all goes.

In that spirit, my brain plays a little game of soap opera hopscotch, taking in odds and ends big and small. There is no great elaboration on anything here, just a quick rundown of things I like and not like so much. Your mileage may vary…


ALL MY CHILDREN

I hadn’t seen Taylor (Beth Ehlers) on screen in so long, I thought she was helping M.I.A. Carmen dust D.O.A. Bobby Martin’s skeleton in the rebuilt Martin attic. I do like her potential with Tad (Michael E. Knight), though.

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Annie (Melissa Claire Egan) reminds me more and more of Guiding Light’s now-classic Nutter Butter Annie Dutton (Cynthia Watros) with each passing shenanigan.

Do they even know what they are doing with Aiden (Aiden Turner) anymore? Have they ever?

I have to hand it to both Chrishell Stause (Amanda) and Vincent Irizarry (David) for the scene where Amanda told the lie that her baby had died to keep David from going in the morgue to see the non-existent body. Both actors were excellent in a scene that almost me believe that his offspring was the 237th dead baby on daytime this year alone. Janet would have been so proud!

Injured Afghanistan war casualty Frankie (Cornelius Smith, Jr.) trying to drink with bandaged hands at the club wasn’t supposed to be funny, but I cracked up anyway. I hope I don’t get a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs or an always-outraged-at-something Sarah Palin.

The Who Killed Stuart (Not Adam) Mystery is becoming much less irritating and much more boring as time goes on. While certainly seems to be a front burner story, this extraordinarily convoluted tale is turning out to be little more than a sideshow to Zack (Thorsten Kaye) & Kendall’s (Alicia Minshew) Penultimate Extraordinary Neverending Epic Story, or for short, PENIS.

Warming Up To: Brittany Allen (Marissa), an actress who can deliver some of the most cornball dialogue on a daytime show not called Bold & the Beautiful with a sense of genuine sincerity.

Cooling Down On: Marissa, a character so saintly that she makes St. Bianca (Eden Reigel) look like Rosie O’Donnell off her meds.

AS THE WORLD TURNS

The apparent dissolution of the fabled and infamous "Vortex of Suck" is making me very happy, a development which I hope is permanent.

Despite the widespread hatred of Meg (Marie Wilson), I actually like her and Damian (Paolo Seganti) together despite the cringe inducing dialogue they are forced to recite. This could be great if it turns into a history-infused emotional rollercoaster between Meg, Damian, Holden (the criminally underused Jon Hensley) and Lily (Noelle Beck). Oh wait, this is Jean Passanante writing….

Rosanna’s (Cady McClain) initial return via Green Acres reminded me of Reva’s now-infamous return from the dead in Amish country on GL. After that rocky start, I quite enjoyed Rosanna’s sparring with Craig (Jon Lindstrom) as hints of the old, manipulative Ro (when played by Yvonne Perry) flashed here and there.

What the hell is up with all the baby fever? Now, despite her explanation to a justly incredulous Susan (Marie Masters), Emily (Kelley Menighan Hensley) wants a baby, too? And her eggs have been stolen? Shouldn’t those things have freezer burn by now? And all of this to shoehorn Larry (Ed Fry) into a story that should have solely been about him reconnecting with his daughter? I’ve lost my taste for omelettes.

Despite the dodgy writing of fifteen minute funerals and just add water and stir faux sons, I love seeing Ellen Dolan (Margo) and Scott Holmes (Tom) back in something that resembles an actual storyline, "resembles" being the operative word.

I’m kind of digging Henry’s (Trent Dawson) cross-dressing persona of "Geneva Swift." Not only does "Geneva" remind me of a cross (so to speak) of Another World’s "Krystal Lake" (Stephen Schnetzer) and GL’s "Marian Crane" (Frank Beaty), but she is a bitter tonic for many of the more rabid conservative blowhards who hate all manner of stuff out in the real world.

It had been so long since we saw Ashley Marie Greiner on screen that Faith grew tall enough to practice medicine with "Dr." Lucy Montgomery.

I’m liking Bonnie (Chaunteé Schuler) and Dusty (Grayson McCouch) together, although I hate the absence of Derek (Benton Greene). The thing I like is it finally took a sista to call Dusty on his shit!

Warming Up To: Alex Cole (Hunter) and Tom Degnan (Riley)
Cooling Down On: The complete lack of surprise in practically any story ATWT tells these days.

GENERAL HOSPITAL

Don’t stone me, but I’ve been loving some of the work that Sarah Brown has been doing recently. Claudia is still one of the single most loathsome characters currently in daytime, but Brown has been delivering performances that are loaded with subtext and double meaning as if she finally has a handle on who Claudia is even if the writers haven’t figured it out themselves after all this time. Were those tears of fear of losing the baby or losing her leverage after she fell down the stairs? Is she starting to genuinely like Michael (Drew Garrett) or is she only manipulating him to save her own ass? Plus, I thought Brown was awesome during Claudia’s showdown with Olivia; on an acting level, that was truly getting swept up in the moment when she threw that book at Olivia and seemed to have a hard time calming down for real.

Speaking of Olivia (Lisa LoCicero), she and Johnny (Brandon Barash) are hot, hot, hot! Might I add that I’m glad I have a widescreen TV every time her ample bosoms make an appearance, often entering the frame before the rest of Ms. LoCicero.

I’m loving the fallout in the death of Brianna Hughes! This rapidly expanding tale seems to be one of the first GH stories in a long time that is truly an umbrella story for a good portion of the cast not specifically tied to a sweeps stunt! It is not necessary for us to know or care who Brianna was; her death was only a plot device that has been used in the best possible way: to jump start a multi-threaded narrative, the likes of which we haven’t seen in ages on this show.

I liked the dynamics and some of the dialogue in the scenes in Jakes the last couple of days, but I haven’t seen anything that contrived since the last Rush Limbaugh outburst.

"I’m surprised you don’t know who I am." Was that brief entrance introducing Andrea Floyd (welcome back Martha Bryne!) awesome or what?

GH looks absolutely amazing now that they gotten their stuff together in high definition; even the overly tanned actors now look like carrot cake instead of three week old Cheetos.

Warming Up To: Nathan Parsons (Ethan), even when he pronounces words like "alluring" as "aahleeeureeng"
Cooling Down On: Billy Dee Williams (Toussaint), who is more like a soggy croissant

24 Responses

  1. Profile photo of LIASONADDICT
    LIASONADDICT

    The baby who plays Chloe/Hope is one of the best actors in all of daytime!

    _____________

    Those triplets are just best actor’s in daytime right now, they are adorable.

    I do hope they bring Ray back for Dorian I also wanted them to be together from the minute they shared a scene together

    Loved Dorian’s meltdown and Langston pushing Dorian in the pool….OLTL is great

  2. Profile photo of DaytimeFan0001
    DaytimeFan0001

    i have to be honest, I think the writing of the case of Edmund’s murder is absolutly atrocious. Whoever came up with the idea that Josh (who does nothing but float around) tell Mallet about the body being missing should be fired. It’s Mallet’s case Josh has to keep him up on the developments? Even Frank didn’t know. I also can’t buy into anything EJ Bonnilla is dishing out. IMO he can’t even speak right.

    GL couldn’t do a worse job hiding Jessica’s pregnancy. As much as I hate the constant Company scenes, just let that poor woman sit down and do her scenes there! Instead they make her sweep sidewalks and stuff. I feel bad for her!

    Lastly, since when did Marina Cooper turn into Alice Horton? She doesn’t do anything but take care of that baby and oversee the family. When Aubrey Dolla played Marina she was sooo full of life, and enjoyable to watch. Where Mandy isn’t a bad actress, and a lot of it is storyline dictated she just plays the character so flat.

    I love Bethann Bonner, glad to see her and the Spaulding storyline is well well written, but that anytime Marina, Mallet, EJ Bonnilla or Bonnie Dennison are on my screen >>FF

  3. Profile photo of disillusioned GH fan
    disillusioned GH fan

    Are you smoking CRACK BJ? I’ll bet you a run through the middle of town bare arse naked screaming “free the monkeys” if Perkie OR Regan even remotely agree with your current assessment of GH. I’m willing to bet they are ready to pounce you verbally for what seems like Fronsie slipping you a $20 to write THAT!! (I jest)

    Sarah Browns Claudia has been a perpetual accident in constant rewind and fast forward since she arrived. Yes, Sarah brown is doing the best she can with what little they give her for material, but to suggest Claudia measures up to any of the current daytime bad girls is laughable!

    Yes, GH has some areas of possibility in Johnny and Olivia, but you know the writers will screw THAT up. There are possibilities w/ the Micheal story and the Q’s, but it won’t measure up to the standards we expect. There is a supercouple staring us all in the face that daytime would love to rally around, but again, TPTB at GH won’t give us Spixie! The murder mystery, it has possibility, but so did the Not Emily story and they butched that up to holy hell as well!

    GH looks amazing in HD? Maybe, but HD doesn’t make some of the worst writing in daytime any sunnier, or yellower! As for Teethan, I could care less one way or the other, but the writers proverbially raped the history of Luke/Laura/Robert and Holly for this clown, who, had the story had merit, might actually be liked.

    Sorry BJ, but I can’t let ya have this sunny view of GH because no one will honestly buy it! Anyone Bueller?

  4. Profile photo of troymcclure
    troymcclure

    Thanks for the article, it was as always highly entertaining. I’m not a fan of the Edmund murder mystery mainly because it is so unevenly balanced. This week 4 episodes in a row and the Spauldings only one. I wish other people had been involved in the murder mystery storyline apart from Jeffrey and Reva, Dinah and Shayne and mallet and Marina, three couples that bore me to tears.

    The writing for EJ Bonilla was pretty darn good, telling Otalia that they could go to hell since that is where they’ll end up anyway. Pretty darn ballsy for GL to write that.

  5. Profile photo of daisyclover1938
    daisyclover1938

    As usual, I enjoyed reading your thoughts J Bernard! I haven’t watched my soaps in weeks (except for Ryan’s Hope on SoapNet), and I hate to say it, but I’m not missing them all that much. I’ve been so disappointed in them over the last year or so. But it’s nice to be reminded that there are some good things about each show. And what stands out to me is how every show has actors that try to rise above mostly subpar material.

  6. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

     Regarding the writing for Edmund’s murder: I will agree to the extent that things seem somewhat off, but I would ask you to consider that we don’t know how much the show had to rewrite, truncate or restructure their long-term stories after cancellation. The show has only about 12 weeks or so left to air and a lot of ground to cover.

    The Who Killed Eddie Winslow? mystery was clearly written to be a long term, canvas spanning mystery but — at least to me — it seems glaringly obvious that some reshuffling went on. Hopes for saving GL are growing more dim by the day and twelve weeks is NOT a long time in tv terms. I am more than willing to cut the show quite a bit of slack, because they have to balance the slight possibility of a pickup with trying to tie the show up completely. So unless it’s something really bad like the will she or won’t she confess fiasco with Reva, then I think it’s not too much to ask to consider these issues as GL’s light dims.

  7. Profile photo of maxsmom
    maxsmom

    Jolivia doesnt work for me mostly because Olivia doesnt work for me. At first I liked how she exposed Kate’s illusions about Sonny, but as a character in search of a sl she became a self righteous bore.  There is no way this character gets involved with a jr mafioso no matter how hot.  As for Spixie, again I say no way a woman like Maxie can be made happy by a boy like Spinelli.  As for the Brianna Hughes sl becoming an umbrella, the Michael wakes up is also an umbrella, and even the Ethan?Rebecca is an umbrella involving the Qs and Cassadines and the Spencers, the question with umbrella sls is how it utilizes the supporting players.  All of these stories elevate new or newly aged characters at the expense of veterans.  And all have Guza holes.  Brianna’s surgery was performed by Matt, Liz, and Epiphanny, if you could stand Grey’s, you’d know that was ridiculous. Rebecca was raised in a situation bad enough that she resents Emily but she was able to get information that only the FBI could obtain, because Alexis and Nik investigated her to no avail previously.

    As for the rest I am back with OLTL after sitting out rapemance but I gave up on AMC years ago. As for GL and ATWT, I grew up with ABC and found it difficult to truly love shows I came to so late.

  8. Profile photo of bonobochick
    bonobochick

    JBJ… I give you points just for sitting through Meg & Damian. I refuse to watch, especially in light of Damian telling Meg she deserves to be treated like a princess. Meg/Damian is better than the Vortex of Suck but that’s not exactly high praise. From the boards I check out Meg/Damian is second only to Casey/Alison for pairings people hate. Then again both are better than Paul/Meg. Pretty much anything is. I don’t think there’s been a pairing thata awful since Shane/Kayla on DOOL.

    And ATWT is really ridiculous when it comes to suspenseful writing in that there never is any. Viewers already know the outcome before the story even really kicks off.

    I am actually enjoying Bonnie/Dusty but like you would have liked seeing more of Derek. That could have been a good triangle instead of watching some of the other crap on the show (like watching Katie watching her old hosting gig being taken over by Vienna. AWFUL)!

  9. Profile photo of shirleedee
    shirleedee

    How refreshing to have someone on this site say positive things about GH!!! I loved NP(Ethan) the day he walked thru the door. That insulting ‘Teethan’ thing make my blood boil every time I see it. Love Johnny and Olivia, SJB makes it work no matter how awful the writing is sometimes. I can’t get enough of Coleman no matter want’s happening at Jakes – so THANKS!

  10. Profile photo of arielade
    arielade

    I enjoy JBJ’s commentary, even if it differs from my own opinions. I would hate to discourage him from posting more frequently by accusing him of illicit drug use, but I certainly understand the impassioned pleas of the most angry and frustrated soap fans.

    That being said, I did ENJOY GH yesterday!! The mob was almost completely absent, Andrea made a terrific entrance, and Alexis, Diane, Mac, and Max, were all dusted off and taken out of the closet! Their dialogue was terrific, and centered around a story line set in the actual hospital. It was WONDERFUL.

    Will it last? Of course not! But maybe this will balance out the Sonny, Jason and Claudia centered show through the summer. Hey, GH has been so bad lately that it can only get better, right?

    And yes, JBJ, Sarah Brown has definitely toned Claudia down lately making her much more watchable. She did seem to add a vulnerable (dare I say softer) layer underneath the one-note angry villainess that she has been. Perhaps we can arrange a public stoning together?

  11. Profile photo of uofmichgrad99
    uofmichgrad99

    J Bernard, I must say that you have a brilliant mind…we don’t always agree but I am always excited to read you entry’s. I love your intelligent thought process and the fact that are willing to own your “own” thoughts..something that is so rare in this soap “bloggersphere” world that we live in…but moving right along…I agree with so much of this post! I must admit, I am actually rooting for Claudia these days (<–taking a number to be stoned). Honestly, I know it probably isn’t so much the character. Sarah Brown has been kicking a** and has made so much of this role. She could probably play a fruitfly, a trash collector, satin, etc…and I would still root for her. The girl is just so talented it’s sick!
    OLTL has been OK lately, but Bree really nalied Jess’s grief. The scenes at the grave were so moving. Robin was classic being a woman scorned and I was so SHOCKED that no one even said a word about Marcie seeing a “+” sign during her last scene on the show. THAT WAS CLASSIC SOAP OPERA!
    AMC’s Annie is a millisecond away from being GL’s Annie and the break from Taylor actually worked…I’m looking forward to seeing her with Tad…
    Great post…and I would have said the same thing even if I didn’t agree with most of it…lol

  12. Profile photo of liason4real
    liason4real

    GH – Olivia is a hypocrite! I guess she forgot about keeping Sonny in the dark about his son because of his dangerous life and now she is boinking Johnny? What about when Olivia told Liz she shouldn’t be involved with Jason?…
    I use to like Spin, however, the actor is close to 30 years old and his ‘teenage’ hi-jinks is no longer funny…JMO

    OLTL – Only soap I’m watching these days…wish they kept Ray, dropped Stacy, and, the M&M sendoff was great…cute Chlope babies…

  13. Profile photo of lilyredd
    lilyredd

    Excellent article.

    One life to live is often hit or miss for me. I wish they would send Stacey packing and as wonderful as Susan Haskell can be I am not feeing anything for her character this time except boredom.

    I thought Robin Strasser was amazing whether hurt over Ray’s departure or playing drunk/high Dorian (what was with the pills?) I hope the show changes their position and brings back A Martinez. I love Dorian and David, but I was won over by the chemistry of Strasser and Martinez. (Any chance they would bring him back?)

    The show would be wise to invest in Langston, Markko, Dorian, Markko’s parents and rest the over-exposed Starr and Cole.

  14. Profile photo of tardis1975
    tardis1975

    gh .. im loving all of the kristina stuff. I think the relationship between her and little michael is written so believible. I am really loving the claudia stuff. At first, i couldn’t stand her, now I cant get enough of her. I hope they find a way to keep jason from killing her, but i suspect they will have him try and end up killing jon jon. i loved the scene between monica and rebbeca where she told her she promised page she would take care of her daughter and that included her. I also liked the Jason/Rebecca scene. All in all im really enjoying this show again and hope it continues, we don’t need another big bad mob enemy anytime soon.
    Days.. Im loving the feud. It has reenergized the show. Im really love having john aniston on my screen along with joseph (stepheno). I think they make this war more real. I think nicole and sami are the bells of the ball. They will come out fighting at the end of this storyline. I like the doctor/lucus/chloe/kate storyline, the only problem with it is that it doesnt involve putting roman with kate.
    Y&R.. what can i say about this show acept…ADAM, JANE, AND PHYLIS ARE THE ONES TO WATCH. I just am not feeling the danny..scooby gang story. I am upset at the african american story..((i don’t think maria cares about these characters much, because she has really fixed most of the others, but their story just STINKS.))i cannot wait for the NINA story to come to a head and i hope she brings in Phillip IV.
    oltl..I want to begin with my like not love for stacy. I really don’t see what others saw in the rex/gigi story anyway, so I like stacy messing with thim, but the leukemia story sucked. Im tired of the mystery of Rex’s dad…I NOW DONT CARE WHO HE IS AND DON’T THINK THEY KNOW..Dorian and A martinez’s character were fire and it is a shame they let that go. i am really enjoying the whole todd thing and hope marty can make mcbaine interesting to watch.
    atwt…Rosana and carly/craig are all i want to watch on this show the rest is drooooooool
    b&b the coooger and her boy are great…Brook is just love..the rest FIX BRAD
    AMC..Why did sturt die again..who is that horribe red head…loving amanda and jake..are angie and whats his name on the show? Tad is with who? Annie is watchable…babe’s twin is not identical to her and is important because..WHAT IS IT WITH THIS SHOW????????
    GL..SORRY TO SEE YOU GO NOW THAT YOU ARE SO ENTERTAINING TO WATCH.

  15. Profile photo of chelehel74
    chelehel74

    You are correct:

    AMC – I have watched Aiden on AMC since his first airdate. They have never known what to do with him. None of his stories have worked and yet the dead wood has gotten to stay. Never understood it.

    GL – Also loving the Beth Ann Bonner looks and attitude. And the writing of Rafe and Nat so well done. Oh why isn’t this show staying on the air?

  16. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones
     Are you smoking CRACK BJ? I’ll bet you a run through the middle of town bare arse naked screaming "free the monkeys" if Perkie OR Regan even remotely agree with your current assessment of GH. I’m willing to bet they are ready to pounce you verbally for what seems like Fronsie slipping you a $20 to write THAT!! (I jest)

    I’ve been accused of worse. But I don’t write to agree with Perkie, Regan or anyone else, as much as I love their excellent columns and respect their well-considered opinions. 

    to suggest Claudia measures up to any of the current daytime bad girls is laughable!

    Where did I suggest this?

    GH looks amazing in HD? Maybe, but HD doesn’t make some of the worst writing in daytime any sunnier, or yellower! 

    And to think I only was talking about how great it looks in HD.

    Sorry BJ, but I can’t let ya have this sunny view of GH because no one will honestly buy it!

    I’m trying to figure out what you are referring to as a "sunny view," but when I find out I won’t let you let me get away with it.

  17. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

     Thanks, LiasonAddict! I forgot that twins or triplets are usually used to play character babies due to union rules and so on and whatnot! But they are ADORABLE and their reactions are almost always appropriate to whatever is going on in a scene.

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