Ellen Dolan

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... READ MORE

ATWT Sneak Peek: Package from Afghanistan

Margo (Ellen Dolan) gets a strange box in the mail from Afghanistan on Tuesday's episode of As the World Turns.

What's Wrong With As The World Turns


As the World Turns is something of a mystery to me these days. I haven't been blogging regularly about the show because, honestly, I am kind of flummoxed about what to actually write about from day to day.

I love ATWT. The show is blessed with some of daytime's strongest actors. In this age of massive cost cutting, ATWT found an arguably better production alternative than Procter & Gamble sister show Guiding Light. Speaking for myself, I find most days, most characters, most stories and most events to be sufficiently captivating to keep me coming back.

Nonetheless, something is badly amiss in Oakdale. The usual criticisms of ATWT are all-too-familiar: far too many recasts, underused vets, storylines that turn on a dime, compressed storytelling and ever shrinking production values to name a few. While those issues are real and important, they are only symptons of several larger problems that encapsulate the issues that I, other Daytime Confidential bloggers and commentators all over the internet have found themselves dismayed about over the last several months. After trying to put a finger on these issues while attempting to "figure out" what's going on at ATWT from a larger perspective, several things have jumped out as serious structural flaws, like a cracked foundation in a beloved old home. READ MORE

ATWT Preview: Luke In Trouble

Luke (Van Hansis) is arrested on Thursday's episode of As the World Turns and Lily (Noelle Beck) is NOT happy.

Grading The ATWT Valentine's Episode

Yesterday As the World Turns featured a special Valentine's episode that put a spin on some old fairy tale and gave its actors a chance to do something a little bit different.
I think my favorite fairy tales were the Pinocchio and the Cinderfella segments. I didn't even recognize Ellen Dolan in the Cinderfella tale. Maura West, Michael Park, Mick Hazen, Jon Lindstrom, Don Hastings and Colleen Zenk Pinter all had great parts. I must admit I even enjoyed Grayson McCouch's Scarecrow too. It was so out of the "I'm a tough guy" role I'm accustomed to seeing him in I couldn't help but smile at it. Then we have the "vortex of suck," Paul and Meg. Apparently, not even the re-imagining of fairy tales can save these two.  Oh and where were Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann as Luke and Noah? Not for nothing, but one or both of them could have been Cinderfella's fairy godfather[s] and it would have been hilarious.

What grade would you give the Valentines episode?

Valentine's Day Wishes From ATWT

Ellen Dolan (Margo Hughes), Austin Peck (Brad Snyder), Billy Magnussen (Casey Hughes) and Trent Dawson (Henry Coleman) share Valentine's Day stories.