We've already been popping champagne over General Hospital's 18-week ratings high for a few days now; so let's talk about the other soaps that posted promising numbers for the week of Feb. 27-March 2 first, which include NBC's Days of Our Lives and CBS Daytime's The Bold and the Beautiful. Of course, we'll also have to discuss the one that dropped it—and not like it was hot—The Young and the Restless. (Source: Soap Opera Network)
B&B went up 15,000 total viewers, and was up 269,000 year-to-date. B&B held steady in households at a 2.3, which was up two-tenths of a point from where the soap was in the same demo a year ago. The soon-to-be 25-year-old sudser was also up two-tenths of a point, year-to-date, among women 18-49. Among W18-34, B&B went up an impressive two-tenths of a point over the previous week, and was up one-tenth of a point year-to-date.
In story, Bridget Forrester (Ashley Jones) and Owen Knight (Brandon Beemer) returned to L.A. to let their family and friends know they were splitting up, paving the way for a "Jowen" reunion for Owen and his cougarific lover Jackie Marone (Lesley-Anne Down). As the Marones were ushered to the backburner, B&B's popular YA set continued to drive story. Rick (Jacob Young), not Liam (Scott Clifton) paid a nubile Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) a late night visit, spied by Rick's ex-wife and design partner Amber (Adrienne Frantz).
Steffy's grammy, Stephanie (Susan Flannery), proved meddling wasn't just for mothers, by seeking out Liam to lobby that he continue schtupping her progeny and not start doing so with Brooke's (Katherine Kelly Lang). Speaking of our Miss Logan, Hope (Kimberly Matula) sought advice from her Aunt Katie (Heather Tom) on how to win friends and eff your non-husband.
I know there's been a bit of concern from some DC readers about B&B showrunner Brad Bell's declaration that the show would continue to focus on the Steffy/Liam/Hope triangle, in a bid to attract younger eyeballs, but I get where he's coming from. Like a lot of viewers, I rolled my eyes when the story first began, because of Steffy suddenly falling so hard for Bill Spencer's (Don Diamont) son, after lusting over the publishing papa for months. Despite a bumpy start, though, Brooke's daughter battling Ridge (Ron Moss) and Taylor's (Hunter Tylo) kid over a Spencer scion has turned into enjoyable-if-fluffy, comfort food soap confection. No, it isn't PBS-worthy high drama, but then, that has never really been what B&B was about.
The story also quite pointedly recalls the soap's early romantic sagas like Brooke/Ridge/Caroline/Thorne and later Brooke/Ridge/Taylor. That being said, I would like it if Liam waited more than a week or so before ping-ponging back and forth between the two women and that a bit more gravitas was added to the storytelling. Given that Bell is about to embark on a timely, pill-poppin' arc for Hope, maybe I'll get my wish sooner rather than later?
I realize anytime an exec mentions going after "younger demos," it causes panic, but Brad Bell is no Brian Frons. We aren't going to see Eric (John McCook), Stephanie, Brooke, Ridge and Taylor killed off in one violent sweeps stunt after another, which is essentially what occurred on the ABC Daytime soap lineup when they started salivating after the young 'uns.
What Bell seems to be talking about is more of a passing of the guard, and really isn't it about time? Brooke Logan is one of my favorite sex cats in daytime history, but after they had her boink Hope's boyfriend by accident at a masked ball, even I was starting to wonder when Mama Logan was gonna close her legs and start to simmer down a bit. By extension, the once intriguing Brooke/Ridge/Taylor triangle started to make all parties involved look pretty silly around the time Brooke rode a horse down a Malibu beach to stop one of Ridge and Taylor's weddings, when all three are in their 50's. I'm okay with Brooke and Taylor becoming a less violent version of Dynasty's Krystal and Alexis, bickering over their warring-yet-connected families, complete with Stephanie serving as the ultimate matriarchal meddler.
All of that being said, I do hope Bell manages to ramp up the corporate intrigue for the adult set. As much as I've also enjoyed B&B's sexually-charged triangles, it was their fashion biz tales that truly hooked me on the show. Isn't it about time for that BeLieF patent to be up? Wishful Storytelling: What if the Forresters plan to license the BeLieF formula, making the company billions of dollars, only to find out they didn't properly reapply for the patent, which has reverted back to Brooke? To keep the patent and not default on all the licenses Thorne (Winsor Harmon) has arranged, the family once again has to cede 51 percent of Forrester Creations back to Brooke, or risk bankruptcy!
DAYS went up 59,000 total viewers over the previous week. The NBC sudser also inched up one-tenth of a point in households, among W18-49 and among W18-34.
In story, Will (Chandler Massey) told Marlena (Deidre Hall) about kissing a boy, but his time with Mee Maw was interrupted by Hurricane Sami (Alison Sweeney), blaming Doc for everything from global warming, to having to raise four children in an apartment that only has a kitchenette. It was so good to finally see Marlena stop coddling Sami and tell her to quit blaming her for all her problems and concentrate on being a mother to her son. See, Hogan Sheffer, this is how you grow Sami up, not by forever staining an insanely-hot pairing, by having Sami's first sexual encounter with EJ (James Scott) involve a gun and blackmail! Can't say I'm sad to see the end of Safe. At least I hope it's the end. Lord, please let it be the end...
Elsewhere in Salem, Nicole (Arianne Zucker) fainted in front of Daniel (Shawn Christian); Ian (Ian Buchanan) outed Sami as the Countess W mole and Bradison continued to be full of insta-couple angst.
While I'm loving Will/Sami/Marlena, and think it's just about the best thing going in daytime right now, there are a few things about DAYS that just aren't working. For starters, the whole Gabi/Chad/Melanie triangle. Gabi (Camilla Banus) is a pointless character. Had she still been dating Will when he started to secretly explore being gay, I could see how she would have been viable, but since their breakup, this character has been a screen time waster. Gabi's only connection to the canvas is Rafe, whose only connection is Sami. DAYS has spent enough time trying to make the Hernandez family happen. Let's move on.
Chad (Casey Deidrick) is a DiMera; he needs to be much more involved in that notorious family's business and interpersonal dynamics. I'd much rather watch Chad and Melanie's (Molly Burnett) burgeoning, new relationship threatened by his being lured into the DiMera's criminal activities, than by some vapid triangle. Maybe Chad spies Kate (Lauren Koslow) in a steamy moment with Ian and tips his Stefano (Joe Mascolo) off? Or, now that EJ is mayor, Stefano could start courting Chad as the new heir, pitting him against his half brother? had could have lofty ambitions of taking the DiMeras legit, much like his late brother Tony (Thaao Penghlis) often wanted to do. DAYS has invested a lot of time in getting us to love Chad and Melanie as separate character; now let's ditch the dead weight and give them a story worthy of them as a couple.
Now for GH: The ABC sudser went up 49,000 total viewers over the previous week and went up one-tenth of a point in households and among W18-49. Among W18-34, GH held steady.
Story wise, Holly Sutton (Emma Samms) returned to Port Charles just in time to help save Luke (Tony Geary) and Ethan (Nathan Parsons) from a hammy Helena (Constance Towers). Everyone was lying to SuperJase (Steve Burton) about Robin's (Kimberly McCullough) death. Maxie (Jenn Lilley) refused to believe Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) when he told her Robin was gone. Anna (Finola Hughes) had to break the news to Robert (Tristan Rogers). Carly (Laura Wright) continued to enjoy braiding Johnny's (Brandon Barash) chest hair and Kate Howard (Kelly Sullivan) held aloft her magic sword and said "By The Power of Connie Falconeri!"
Okay, first what I liked: Johnny and Carly are smoking hot. I realize a lot of fans wanted a Carly/Shawn (Sean Blakemore) pairing, and while I definitely would not have minded seeing a little dark chocolate mixing in some vanilla in Port Charles, I didn't see any long-term potential with a CarShawn pairing. Johnny is Sonny's (Maurice Bernard) current mortal enemy, so it makes more soapy sense for Sonny's Supreme Baby Mama to be screwing him. How about let's give Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) a crack at Shawn? Lord knows she needs her back broken; plus that would no doubt still tick off a territorial Carly!
Tristan Rogers, John J. York, Finola Hughes, Jason Thompson, Jenn Lilley, etc have all be FIYA when it comes to their scenes involving Robin's death. I would have rather seen Robin simply move to Paris to do more extensive HIV research; however, I get soaps need to make every exit as dramatic as possible. GH has provided its canvas with a chance to soar via Robin's supposed endgame.
Kelly Sullivan earned her right to stay on this show the moment Kate morphed into Connie. Hi-La-Ri-Ous! Nothing like making a character go bat sh** crazy in order to make them watchable.
Now for what I didn't like: Those scenes at Wydemere between Holly, Helena and the Spencer men were absolutely atrocious. I used kid gloves last week, because I realized the story was in place long before Frank or Ron came onboard, but it would have been better if the Woman in White had died off screen like Hooker Abby, than to have had to sit through that madness.
I adore Constance Towers and am well aware of the awesomeness that is Tony Geary, but they ate up all the scenery on the Wyndemere set. Hell, I believe I saw Helena bite a plug out of Casey the Alien's spaceship!
At one point, I covered my eyes, it was so awful. I had to gingerly peek out at the screen, scared of what I might behold. Emma Samms' rushed, unbelievable delivery of Holly's dialogue about Ethan not being Luke's, didn't help matters. I've seen five-year-olds lie about stealing candy more convincingly. You mean to tell me Helena, a 300-year-old, megalomaniac, criminal mastermind, fell for that?!
And Ethan...all that yelling and carrying on and cutting up over some tramp, who pranced about a lofty, old island house in her slip, just begging to develop the TB, was too much. I'm sorry, but not every story deserves a proper resolution. Might I suggest that GH just go on and have that dark-haired lady cop and the blonde doctor woman (Not Monica!) just spontaneously combust during the tag of a Friday show? In fact, just make it a webisode. We don't even have to see it on the air. To say this past week more than made up for the one before it, is the understatement of the millennium, but more on that in my next column. Here's a teaser though: I LOVE SONNY VS. TAWD!!!!
Since I'm already fired up, might as well wrap this sucker by talking about The Young and the Restless the week of Feb. 27-March 2. Y&R lost a whopping 231,000 total viewers over the previous week. Y&R fell two-tenths of a point in households and one-tenth of a point among W18-49. Among W18-34, daytime's most watched soap held steady.
Where do I begin with the storylines on Y&R that week? Okay, so Phyllis' (Michelle Stafford) daddy—who I don't give three poots about—died after admitting he did what Phyllis said he did and that was tragic for Phyllis and her sister—who I don't give three poots about. So yeah...2 unnecessary characters, weighing down 1 I love = 6 poots. Y&R should be sponsored by Beano.
Lauren Fenmore (Tracey Bregman) bought a gun to defend herself from Daisy (Yvonne Zima), when a really difficult crossword puzzle likely would have done the trick. Daisy also managed to take custody of Lucy and move into Lauren and Michael's (Christian LeBlanc) building. Next week on The Young and the Restless, Daisy will buy up controlling interest in Newman Enterprises, Jabot, Beauty of Nature, Chancellor Industries, Gloworm, Sony and Bell Dramatic Serial Company.
Meanwhile, down by the shores of Silver Lake, Blind Adam (Michael Muhney) regained his confidence after putting out a fire, started by lightening, when he's blind... Keep trusting that "vision," Ri Ri! See you next Ratings!