Guiding Light’s Tina Sloan Shines in What May Be Empire’s Best Episode to Date


In what may quite possibly be the best episode of Brian Hewson and Gregory Turner's webisoap Empire to date, publishing maven Theodora Crane (Guiding Light's Tina Sloan) painfully recalls her past, while Jake (Toby Levin) learns a shocking secret about his, involving Valerie (As The World Turns' Yvonne Perry).

While I've long been amused by Empire, seeing it as campy, soap spoof fun (Remember that chick chained to the wall?), the webisoap got real this week, which served it in good stead. Bravo to the creators and director Fritz Brekeller (All My Children) ! Watch this week's episode of Empire below.



15 Responses

  1. Profile photo of pjc722

    The only PAINFUL about this episode and the show is not the revelation of a characters past but having to ENDURE the show! In the space of less than 8 minutes, this webisode revealed that one character is another’s mother with as much suspense and drama as taking off your socks, showed another character supposedly dressed to impress in a makeshift GRAND DINING drinking CLEARLY flat champagne while talking out loud while her creepy son squeezed his way into the frame to say “What are you hiding mother” or some sort of line that would sound suspenseful if that one drinking character had been shown more than that 1 minute scene in the webisode.

    Then you move to the Tina Sloane scene as this once great actress is stuffed into a TINY cheap ass room that is supposedly in a MANSION with a guy who has as much charm as a shoe salesman WHILE she is wearing cheap costume jewelry and a bad dress. And the drama is the revelation over her father and a younger woman.

    Please. These soaps on the web look more like cheap college film class flicks that only your 20 year old friends in that class like.

    Too much story in 8 minutes and not enough good drama. How about one story with one character the focus and the rest is just filler.

  2. Profile photo of RebeccaJ

    In watching the first episode where the guy was murdered in ‘the study,’ I’m guessing the mega rich dude lives in a dubbawide cuz that’s the SMALLEST ‘study’ I’ve ever seen!

  3. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    OMG, people. They are webisoaps, done of shoestring budgets, because these people love the genre. They don’t have $50 million a year, or even $1 million. Heck, $100,000. When Irna Phillips invented this genre on the radio, sans sponsors to begin with, it was similarly bare bones, and look what it became?

  4. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    @Jamey Giddens: That’s right Jamey it is the beginning of a new era for soaps. And with that start means that you can’t expect them to working with Dallas and Melrose Place budgets. So the money is not an issue for me. If the story is good I will view it. And from what I see they have more going on than that Liam/Hope/Steffi and Text Messing crap on B&B. So no complaints here. At least not of any seriousness.

    @everone: Web soaps are still in their infancy. So they gotta crawl before they can walk. So I applaud them for giving a damn about keeping the genre alive.

  5. Profile photo of Soap_Stud

    The four remaining soaps should be using the wonderful P&G actors like Tina for short term characters and stories. How great was Martha Byrne in her short term story arc on #GH a few years back? Bradley Cole was good on #GH too! Tina and so many of her P&G pals would bring viewers with them! Who needs Brett Butler or Catherine Bach when actresses like Tina, Colleen Zenk, and Beth Chamberlain are available?

  6. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    Considering the grumbling and resistance that many of the OLTL transplants are getting on GH, I don’t think that many actors who’ve now been off the Daytime soap ‘grid’ appear to be that eager to return to the network mentality (I could be wrong). Martha Byrne in particular, who is one of the new producers, seems particularly enthusiastic about independent soaps. I wonder whether the whole business with ATWT management–contrasted with how exhilarated she appears to be with independently produced soaps (so much so that she has taken on producing them) is the reason.

    I watched a marathon of Empire episodes from the first episode and I think it effectively illustrated how far the series has come in terms of production values. I think the creators/producers are still finding their way around the short form and how much story to focus on in any given episode.

    I’ve written short scripts, storyboarded them and directed (while someone else shot the scene) and it is NOT EASY, especially when you are used to writing in a longer form. You must be concise while providing detail but not be too expository. And with these scenes being basically 10 minutes, they must decide how much to include (including how many characters) in any given scene. It’s time management as well as creativity and as Jamey said THE BUDGET IS TIGHT. Interestingly enough, I think Empire, for example is able to do something that many daytime soaps are struggling with and that is BALANCED STORYTELLING. And I bet with their meager budget, these soaps cannot waste money– if they have characters show up on screen especially characters who are not extras, you better believe they’re going to create story for those characters.

    I don’t quibble about the low budget furniture/props– I liken it to the early days of MTV, when the ideas and creativity were high but the budget was low. I think that like the early days of MTV, there’s a lot of experimenting going on, which is good. Of course, websoaps have a long way to go but I agree that they must begin somewhere. Network soaps are at a point where they are dealing with stagnation. As an artist, I know which entity I’d rather be working on!

  7. Profile photo of SwanQueen59

    While generally leary of re-casts, and very aware of her place in the GH cast firmament, should TPTB not bring back JZ as Bobbie, I would suggest TS as a possible substitute. Her Lillian was always a well crafted character that was allowed to “age gracefully”. Just a thought… 0:)

  8. Profile photo of pjc722

    Calm down people… just because there is no budget doesn’t mean it can’t soap or be good. It’s GARBAGE. The sets are cramped and the writing boring and there is WAY too much crammed into one episode.

    I’ve got an idea… 8 minute episdoes, the lets do one story instead of 6!!!!

  9. Profile photo of booze26

    What kind of shit is this. I cant even believe people like this crap. Its ridiculous. And Jamey you refer to Irna Philips and her start of this genre on the radio, but that was the start of a new genre, it was the beginning of something that turned out to be a great genre, but these websoaps are not an improvement to the current genre on television. They are bad acted, the scripts are horrible, the sound, background music and settings are the worst ever. There is more action, fun, drama to see on a random youtube amateur movie then this shit. I cant even believe that you stand for this. It has nothing to do with soaps, besides some of the actors we see, and well,even these actors dont know how to bring it anymore when the storylines are bad, the script even worse and the worthless production values.

  10. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    @pjc722, booze26: LMAO! Okay, we’re not totally going to agree about this. Some of us on the creative side are looking at what web soaps can be potentially in the future, while those on the viewer side are looking at it for what it currently is and see no further possibilities. It’s just a good thing that people on the creative side look further ahead and can imagine a better future for an emerging genre. Where would we be without imagination in entertainment?

    Now I think we can all agree that lack of money is probably mostly at the root of what is lacking in web soaps but what is the excuse for the poor showing of network soaps??

  11. Profile photo of booze26


    It could be potential in the future, but how big is that chance? The internet is a big advertising market and there are cheaper and more important, better ways to advertise. There is no future for the websoaps whatsoever. It al depends on goodwill, I dont see anything else happening that could bring in the money for this kind of shows.

    The network soaps are brilliant compared to these websoaps. The writing on all four shows could be better and should be better, but we all now its hard to please all the fans. Take as an example B&B. Its the soap where ratings are improving, but we DC soap fans all complain about the current state of that show. Its the most worst year ever (well actually there was a year that was far worser, but that was 2008 and somewhere around 1998/1999) It prooves that there is a different market, and that we true soap fans are probably not important enough to change the genre. Writers are not going to listen to us, and well, we are not going to save the soaps, simply because we are not the one that influence the Nielsen figures. People do tune in on B&B, but they probably dont visist DC.COM.

  12. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    And Jamey you refer to Irna Philips and her start of this genre on the radio, but that was the start of a new genre
    And these are the early days of scripted television on the web. There still isn’t much money to be made and a continuously successful business model has yet to be found, much like the early days of radio. As a soap lover, I prefer to support the people maxing out their credit cards to at least try to keep the genre going, than to pick apart and compare/contrast to daytime or primetime soaps with extensive budgets.

    I will rip a daytime soap with a $50 million budget to shreds, if need be, but I am not going to log into a website for the express purpose of crapping all over a low budget web series. Don’t like them, don’t watch.

  13. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    @booze26: Soaps are also brilliantly expensive. The cost is more than the profit. And when you are spending more money than you are making or just barely breaking even it does not matter how brilliant they are it is a bad business move to keep going in that direction.

    Couple that with the fact that the these show’s don’t even get ratings and will never again get the ratings that warrant the 50 million plus expenditures for the cost of production. And you have your answer.

    Then you have actors in this genre. In the 4 remaining soaps who act like their pay should remain what it was when soaps were pulling in a 8.2 per episode.

    You also said B&B is improving. B&B is just averaging the best of the low end of the ratings scale. True improvement in the ratings that would make a network stand up and reassess the genre would be if B&B all of the sudden rose to 5 million viewers a week. And ditto that for other soaps. So any improvement today is just enough to keep any of the soaps dangling on the rope for just a little while longer.

Leave a Reply