Erika Slezak

Exposition Whores

AUTHOR'S DISCLAIMER: The title of this blog entry is solely a reference to the writing styles of the shows mentioned and nothing more.

"The effect of drinking a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick." — The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

That description of what is known as the best fictional alcoholic drink in the known universe is exactly how I feel watching a few of my favorite daytime dramas these days. Unlike that improbable drinky drink, this is hardly a compliment. There is something really odd going on all over the soap dial with the ham fisted lack of subtlety and general narrative blundering going on.

In a couple of recent entries, I pointed out how All My Children's "Who Killed Stuart (Not Adam) Chandler?" murder mystery has been marred by a lack of, well, mystery. As I said, what had the potential to be a great whodunit has been turned into the soap opera equivalent of Clue, one which is losing my interest very rapidly, especially when compared to increasingly delicious and twisted "Who Killed Edmund Winslow?" whodunit concurrently airing on Guiding Light. The latter show is peeling back layers and layers of motive and opportunity, while the former is peeling like an onion: it is making me cry. As it happens, AMC isn't the only egregious offender of hitting us over the head with the narrative equivalent of a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick these days: the other two are As the World Turns and, shockingly and in some circles blasphemously, One Life to Live. READ MORE

Random Thoughts on Five Soaps

I'm back, gentle readers, and not a moment too soon. Since we were last together, real life has provided more plot twists than an episode of Lost, but I've still managed to faithfully watch the stories day in and day out. While there are a few larger topics that I'll be addressing in the next few days and weeks, it turns out a little time and distance provides the opportunity for a bit of clarity and perspective on issues that one might have been previously too close to appreciate. In that spirit, here are a few completely random observations about the five soaps I normally watch that I've noticed in the little over a month since I last posted. These observations generally are not a part of the usual list of talking points, but just a number of things that have popped in my head. Without further ado... READ MORE

Would You Watch OLTL Without Erika Slezak?

I have been trying my best not to pay attention to these rumors, but they don't seem to be going away, despite denials from the network to the contrary. More and more people are talking about the lack of airtime for arguably the best actress in daytime, Erika Slezak, at One Life to Live. I have only been watching OLTL for five years, but I can tell you right now, not only would I not want to watch the show without Slezak— who unlike some of her veteran peers hasn't phoned in a story once since I've been watching—but I wouldn't want to promote it.
Daytime's executives ought to be ashamed of themselves for treating the veteran actors who hooked us on this genre like crap. When news first broke of Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn's shameful firings from Days of Our Lives, I talked to an industry friend about the possibility of similar firings taking place at ABC.

" Brian Frons isn't stupid ," said the friend. "He realizes star power."

I then pointed out that while Frons may not be as stupid as Ken Corday was to fire two marquee stars at once, his method has in fact been to strategically weed out Over-40 actors one-by-one over the course of the last decade. Don't believe me? ask Julia Barr, Genie Francis, Jackie Zeman, Brad Maule, Stuart Damon, Marcy Walker, Catherine Hickland and countless others. Slezak herself recently encouraged fans on her website to write to Frons, whom she says has to approved storylines for Viki written by Ron Carlivati. Reportedly, she had a big one coming up with Charlie that was dropped.

It's time for this nonsense to stop. No soap is going to attract the mythological "younger viewer". Why should kids watch soaps when they can get their soapy fix from much hipper sources, like Gossip Girl, episodes of which can be streamed directly into their brains via their earrings? The only people stilll watching soaps are the ones who have stuck around for the veterans, and it is high time they stopped treating us as if our eyeballs don't matter because we're too old, or too poor, or too gay, or too ethnic.

What's your take? Would you watch One Life to Live without Erika Slezak?

Erika Slezak Remembers Her Co-Stars

Erika Slezak's (Viki, One Life to Live) February newsletter has the Emmy winner's memories of her late co-stars, Clint Richie and Phil Carey.

What memories of Clint come to mind? You know at this point, you only remember funny and good things. We had a good time – we worked for 20 years and he was a very funny guy. We laughed a lot. He could be rude, he could be delightful, he could be obnoxious – you know, all of the things that all of us are. But I remember him being funny, and he was very warm. He was so good with the kids (Joey and Kevin). We started with John Paul Learn, and Ryan Janis – and he used to call them his little cowboys. And I had a lovely email from Erin Torpey [ex-Jessica] where she said he was a very warm and loving man – that's what she remembers very fondly. READ MORE

Go Red Rivalry: Charlie & Viki vs. Clint & Nora

Who is your favorite couple: Charlie & Viki or Clint & Nora?