Ratings, Rants and Raves: Mixed Results For GH and DAYS, Plus Wishful Storytelling for Y&R's Cane and Lily

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Looks like Americans were too busy popping firecrackers the week of July 2-6 to watch soaps. (Source: Soap Opera Network) While all soaps suffered in some respect, Days of Our Lives did manage to post a few positive gains.

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DAYS was the only soap up in total viewers (+80,000), held steady in households and among women 18-49. However,  DAYS was tied with its all-time low in that demo. Among W18-34, DAYS posted a one-tenth of a point gain.

In story, Will (Chandler Massey) decided it was high time he played top to EJ's (James Scott) bottom for a change. Finding the proof EJ isn't a DiMera, gave Sami's (Alison Sweeney) boy just enough leverage to accomplish that feat. Will told EJ he wanted him to "mentor" him. So that's what the young lads are calling it these days? Does this song pop into anyone else's mind during EJill scenes?

Sami, Salem's oldest teenager, freaked out on Carrie (Christie Clark), whom Sami believed to be pregnant with Rafe's (Galen Gering) child. After hearing Rafe deny fathering any children, EJ became even more convinced the baby Nicole (Arianne Zucker) is carrying belongs to him.

Speaking of Nicole, she was busy getting to know Daniel (Shawn Christian) the week in question. I guess she just can't wait long enough to get EJ's little cupcake delivered from her Easy Bake Oven, before letting Dr. Hairy fill her with his creamy frosting!

Elsewhere in Salem, U.S.A, Gabi (Camila Banus) learned the dude she hired to stalk her had gone off script by kidnapping Melanie (Molly Burnett). Paging Shawn, Belle, Mimi, Chloe and Philip...

ABC's General Hospital tied its all-time low among W18-49 the week in question. GH was also down 35,000 total viewers, yet held steady in households and among W18-34.

In story, McBain (Michael Easton) managed to get Jason (Steve Burton) delayed from the plane, so McBain could have first crack at the latest dayplayer mob villain. I said this last week and I will say it again. I could care less about Joe Scully Jr. This whole "he wants what Sonny stole from him" stuff is nonsense.

Yes, Sonny got his first taste of mob success from Joe Sr. back in Bensonhurst, but his real power base came from marrying Lily (Lilly Melgar) and taking over Rivera's holdings.This blast from mobsters' past is the last thing GH needs right now. It's Guza-lite and not the strongsuit of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati.

These two proved they can fashion a funny, intense, character-driven and—at times—campy soap opera at One Life to Live. They've quickly proven capable of doing the same thing on GH, with the immensely enjoyable Heather Webber/Todd Manning baby switch umbrella story. It would be a mistake for Frank and Ron to try to pull out their love sticks and prove they can do a big, splashy, Guza-style mob drama. Fans have been screaming for less mob for years. It's time ABC started listening.

Continuing on with story threads I have to struggle not to fast forward through, Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) found out why Connie became Kate, or Kate became Connie. I'm beyond confused at this point, and I was able to keep straight all 74 characters Eileen Davidson played on Days of Our Lives in the 90's.

Kelly Sullivan needs to go. Bless her heart, she's not a bad actress, but Kate's popularity was tied directly to the chemistry Maurice Benard shared with Megan Ward. If Sullivan hasn't managed to make me give a runny poot about Connie/Kate—other than to laugh at her, when I don't think that was what I was supposed to be doing—by now, she never will. Let's cut our losses and put Sonny in a romantic storyline with one of his baby mamas.

It's too bad Trey (Erik Valdez) has to be connected with this vapid Connie/Kate/Joe Jr. nonsense. I like the actor and think Michael/Starr/Trey/Kristina have potential as a YA quad. However, I don't think I'll be able to stomach months and months of Sullivan shrieking and howling, as Trey yelps at her for shooting him out of roman candle as a baby, or whatever it is she did to him. In the words of Joy Behar, so what, who cares?

Sidenote: Who do I have to give a handy-J to get Dillon Quartermaine, Serena Baldwin and Brook Lynn Ashton back in Port Chuck?

Now for what I liked in Port Charles the week in question. Molly (Haley Pullos) and TJ (Krys Meyer) had a cute, little swimming pool date, which was ruined by Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn). When TJ first premiered, I was like "Why?" Since then, the character and actor have grown on me. In fact, Molly and TJ are one of the most refreshingly-realistic teen stories soaps have done in years. What I wanna know is when will TJ's surrogate daddy, Shawn (Sean Butler), show Alexis what he looks like in his drawers?

Todd's (Roger Howarth) guilt over causing Sam (Kelly Monaco) to lose her baby is palpable. As much fun as it is to see Heather Webber (Robin Mattson) yank the dangling stitch in Todd's scar, it would be a soap opera wet dream if Trevor St. John were to reprise the role of One Life to Live's Victor Lord Jr. and be the one to ultimately reveal the baby switch. Though I know that can't happen until AMC/OLTL's indentured servitude to Prospect Park is up.

Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) has quickly become the best part for a woman of a certain age in soaps. She's sharp, romantic, courageous and in command. This Anna is so much better than the cartoon version of the character past regimes brought back throughout the 00's.

I'm glad to see Jason Thompson (Patrick) finally getting a storyline, even if it does have to be pill-popping. Sorry, flashbacks of poor Jonathan Jackson, with buckets of snot running down his nose last year, has me a bit apprehensive. I love the chemistry Thompson has with Julie Marie Berman's Lulu. As much of a kill joy as Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) has turned into, I wouldn't mind a drug-addled Patrick breaking Lulu's back, as meddling Maxie (Jen Lilley) walks in on them!

The Young and the Restless lost 38,000 total viewers over the previous week. Y&R also fell two-tenths of a point in households and one-tenth of a point among W18-49. Among W18-34, Y&R went up one-tenth of a point. 

Save for the continued ickiness of Shictor and all that dad-blasted stunt casting, Y&R is thisclose to being off my shitake mushroom list. The storylines in Genoa City have vasty improved. For instance, The Naked Heiress' kidnapping caper, which came to an end the week in question, was a hoot. Ashley (Eileen Davidson) reminded me of my late grandmother, as she growled into the cell phone for Abby (Marcy Rylan) to come her fast ass home. Okay, she didn't call her a "fast ass", but she should have! I just love that Abby Newman.


Doug Davidson continues to show who has really been deserving all those clique-sanctioned Y&R Daytime Emmy nominations over the years. Paul Williams' grief over killing his disturbed-yet-sexy son is the stuff of soap opera gold. While I never quite got why Ricky (Peter Porte) was so crazy, so fast, the fallout from his endgame has led to a storyline as ugly as it is heartbreaking and compelling. I only wish Paul's bible-thumping, judgemental mama, Mary (Carolyn Conwell) Willams, was around to chastise Paul for sending that boy off, as opposed to raising him up in church! 

More and more I am coming around to the idea of Michael Baldwin (Christian LeBlanc) as district attorney. The plot point has led to Michael having to serve out his duties in direct conflict with people he's had decades of history with. Since accepting the job, Michael's had to investigate: Daniel (Michael Graziadei), his little brother's BFF and the son of his former-kinky-sex-partner-turned-galpal, Phyllis (Michelle Stafford); Paul, his former enemy-turned-friend and now Phyllis herself. And whaddya know, Victor has managed to figure out how to wipe the sweat from his nads all on his own! Wait, that's what Sharon (Sharon Case) is for... 

I really don't care about Cane (Daniel Goddard) receving emails from his dead sister, or Robert Scorpio, or "A" on Pretty Little Liars or whoever is sending them. That Colin/Genevieve debacle almost wrecked the character of Cane once; let's not go down this road again. There's no denying Cane and Lily (Christel Khalil) have a sizeable fanbase. Why not give the characters a sensible storyline, as opposed to more Aussie-mob-parents-from-hell shenanigans? 

Why not let Lily go back to work as a model? There's all this talk on the blogosphere about Yahoo's new CEO being pregnant, and what that means for working moms, as they try to balance home and career. Via Lily's soapy attempts to be there for Cane and the twins, while struggling to reignite her career, Y&R could explore this topic.

Wishful Storytelling: What if Kevin (Greg Rikaart) hires Lily to be the new spokesmodel for the shopping e-Commerce site he and Chloe (Liz Hendrickson) are developing? While Chloe and Lily have come along way in coexisting, having to work so closely again would no doubt pull the bandaids off wounds from their old rivalry.

There's also Kevin and Lily's sordid history to consider. Maybe Kev wants to finally make ammends for giving Lily crotch crickets, when she was still carrying around a Hello Kitty Trapper Keeper in high school? What if the site hires Lily's ex-hubby Daniel to oversee digital photography for the campaign? I'm sure Cane would love that!

Maybe Lily becomes such a smash success modeling for the site, big name agents—who used to work with her mother in Paris—come calling? Lily would suddenly be forced to make the same decision Drucilla (Victoria Rowell) once had to make: Does she focus on being a wife and mother, or on giving Gisele Bündchen and Chanel Iman a run for their catwalks?

Neil (Kristoff St. John) could prove a ready resource for Lily and Cane, as his daughter's husband struggles to accept his wife's newfound success. Lily's dad went through a similar conflict with her mama, after all!

Neil could offer Cane advice on how not to force Lily to choose between her love for her family and her passion for her career, as that once cost him Dru. He could also bond with Harmony (Debbi Morgan), while discussing the regrets he has about how his first marriage to Dru ended.

When Sofia (Julia Pace Mitchell) comes into The Colonade Room, I mean GloWorm and spies Neil and Harmony's tender embrace, she takes little baby Nicodemus and heads for the airport, en route to Paris, to beg Malcolm to take them back!

Later in Paris, we see Sofia reunite with Malcolm (Shemar Moore in a cameo), as a veiled woman, sipping a cappuccino to her crimson, bee-stung lips—wearing a fabulous chapeaux—watches them from a table at nearby cafe...

The Italian wedding/honeymoon was quite literally over for The Bold and the Beautiful the week in question. The 30-minute sudser dropped a whopping 223,000 total viewers. B&B also fell two-tenths of a point in households and one-tenth of a point among W18-49. Among W18-34, B&B held steady. 

Back home in SoCal, Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) and Liam (Scott Clifton) were acting all weird, following hooking up on his wedding day to Hope (Kimberly Matula). Marcus (Texas Battle), Dayzee (Kristolyn Lloyd), Thomas (Adam Gregory) and Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) double-dated and Karen (Joanna Johnson) came out to Bill (Don Diamont).  

It was nice to see so many B&B characters, besides the Chosen Three, get a bit of airtime. Hope/Liam/Steffy have become about as compelling as two candidates competing for dog catcher, having a debate on public access television. Yeah, I'm over it.

I just completed a six-season Dawson's Creek marathon, and after hearing four 15-year-olds talk about (and act on) their hopes, dreams, fears, angst and yes, who they wanted to bone, it's kinda hard to sit through the youngsters on B&B beg the same boy to marry them over and over and over again. You can do better, Brad. See you next Ratings!