As the World Turns: Finally Getting It Together


Perhaps someone passed along my Open Letter to Christopher Goutman. Perhaps Barbara Bloom took a good look at the plummeting ratings and decided that everyone should not lighten up after all. Perhaps head writer Jean Passanante took an extended vacation to Buenos Aires. Whatever has been happening over the last few weeks, let me step out on a limb and utter the words that many fans thought might not ever be said again or even believe: As the World Turns is, at long last, improving.

I fully expect the comments section to be full of invective and angry fist shaking about how ATWT is still "the worst soap on the air," how the vets are misused, and how the "Vortex of Suck" continues to, well, suck. In addition, the now well-documented list of the show's biggest defects remain stubbornly in place: warp-speed storytelling and the soul sucking semi-episodic structure continue to test the rapidly waning patience of the show's dwindling audience.

Having said that, it bears repeating that fans are a stubborn breed. We will praise shows, actors and performances we like, but we are quick to make our displeasure known when we feel things are not up to speed and falling apart. Once the latter narrative has been established it is very hard to turn the tide of opinion, even when a show starts to address its critics and make changes. Therefore, though the longstanding criticisms of ATWT are still valid, I think it is time to once again give credit where credit is due.

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...
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Chauntee Schuler Leaves “World Turns”



Here we go again. Chauntee Schuler has left As the World Turns and the show is in the process of recasting the role of Bonnie McKechnie. Why bother? When Bonnie returned in 2007 it seemed like she and Holden (Jon Hensley) were going to have an affair, but the storyline was dropped quickly. The last couple of months she had a relationship with Derek Coburn (Benton Greene) but the couple only appears in a handful of episodes and then disappears for weeks.

What’s Wrong With As The World Turns

ATWT


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.

No Party Hat, No Party



Today was one of the first episodes of As the World Turns that I've been disappointed with in quite some time. As a whole, the performances were solid (was that a hint of growth from Chaunteé Schuler?) and the writing was decent, but there were a number of small and large plot elements that got on the very last of my nerves:
 
• So, Jack has the gall to ask Carly, who he's never hesitated to browbeat in fits of moral indignation, to talk to Janet — who he recently didn't hesitate to browbeat in a fit of moral indignation — about Jack's absence while the former keeps Jack's mission a secret from the latter. I almost recited the inevitable Janet's "You could trust Carly but not me!" argument with Jack coming a mile away, but I was only partly wrong. Janet stormed into the police station and demanded respect and common courtesy. Excellent! The only thing Janet and Carly should be keeping secret is how a cup of sugar wound up in Jack's gas tank.

• Didn't Janet's conversation with Carly about Jack sound a lot like Cassie's million laments about  "the connection" between Josh and Reva on Guiding Light before Josh dumped her?