Well here we are at the end of the summer of 2013.
Next week starts fall so it is the perfect time for me to write this piece. I have watched all summer, all of the soaps and I mean all of the soaps. I have watched The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital on Network television and I have watched All My Children and One Life to Live on the internet.
There were some stellar moments and there were some cellar moments. Let’s start with Young and the Restless:
Young and the Restless for me this past summer was just okay. I do feel that the soap is still reeling from the death of Jeanne Cooper, the soaps matriarch and is struggling to find its footing again. It didn’t help that Michelle Stafford who played a key character Phyllis decided to jump ship to start her own internet show. She couldn’t have left at a worse time with the discovery of Summer’s paternity being revealed and then unrevealed. I like Michelle as an actress but I have never liked the character Phyllis and I don’t care if she ever comes back. If she get’s recast, I hope they allow the new actress to come back with a new personality, a changed woman because of the coma. Y & R has totally destroyed the character of Sharon. She is hard to watch these days.
They brought in a top notch actor like Steve Burton and while his acting is good, and PTSD is a very real thing that many Vets suffer from, I feel they are absolutely not using him to his full potential and the storyline is forced and predictable. Now they are going to have him be Nicky’s son, and although it hasn’t been revealed yet, that is certainly where they are going with it. New writers are coming in so let’s hope this gets written well if we have to have it at all. The stellar moment for me this summer was when the character Jack found out that Summer was his daughter. Peter Bergman deserves an Emmy for that performance and I hope they use that clip to get him his nomination.
Katherine’s memorial service was very sweet and well done and I really enjoyed the Tribute they did a few months back when the actors as themselves reflected on Jeanne. I had never seen that done before in any soap and I thought that was remarkable and a fitting tribute to such a fine lady. The Cellar moments for Y & R this summer have been all the forced writing and storylines that have had to be developed because of the death of this great lady. I have always expected more from this show than we got this summer but I certainly do understand. Let’s hope the fall brings in a new direction for the show.
Bold and the Beautiful this summer has been one day after another of Liam, Steffy, Hope and then just Liam and Hope. What is wrong with the writers and producers of this show? They have done away with the best and most interesting characters and left us to listen to the whining and cackling of Hope Logan, played by Kim Matula. Annoying actress much? If it weren’t for Wyatt Fuller (Darin Brooks) and his Mom, Quinn Fuller (Rena Sofer) coming onto the show, I would be gone, gone, gone.
The only stellar moment I can cite in this show is when Katie found out that her slutty sister had not only slept with her husband but had gotten pregnant by him. I loved that the writers didn’t have her collapsed into a heap on the floor which I fully expected them to do. I love that they finally gave her a backbone and are showing that her damaged heart is stronger than we all ever believed it could be. I am hoping that they have Katie have an affair with Wyatt, her would be step-son but not for long. Why not? I think it would be fun. Wyatt’s Mom is finding her way to the king of the empire and Wyatt should have an affair with Katie leaving both Hope and Bill dazed and confused.
They need to bring back Taylor and Steffy, the only two really interesting females on that show and they need to get better writers. I do want to note that all the scenes that Steffy played by Jacqueline MacInnes Wood did right before she left the show were Stellar. Most ridiculous moment this summer was when Hope saw Wyatt naked, photographed him and then ran away and tripped, fell and hit her head. Why Wyatt kissed her to awaken her, come on writers, are we in Disneyland or what? I have only been watching this show for 2 years but if this is as good as it ever gets, well, I won’t be sticking around for another 2 years. Here’s hoping that the fall brings some good sense to the writers and producers. I know this show also lost a Matriarch but that was quite a while ago now, it wasn’t sudden, it was planned and things just need to be better than they are.
Days of our Lives has been the best soap all summer long. There is no denying this. It is going to be hard to cite only one Stellar moment because there have been several. I do have to say right here and now and since it is so fresh in my mine, the actor James Scott playing and owning the role of E.J. DiMera rocked everyone’s socks off this past week when he had to get down on his knees and beg his father’s forgiveness. I got so emotional during that scene I actually shook for him out of pain and anger. The various different emotions that swept the face of the actor, from pain, sorrow, hatred, pleading, anger and loathing was fantastic.
This is the footage that he should use for his Emmy nomination and you will see an Emmy nomination for James and if you don’t, well then I don’t know what anybody is thinking. Alison Sweeney has done a great job as a prisoner all summer and the letter writing between her and E.J., has been so sweet and so touching. I also think they have the hottest sex scenes on this show. Eileen Davidson who plays the role of Kristen DiMera is excellent. I get such a kick out of her and I am very unhappy to hear she has left the show again. My guess would be she is heading back over to Genoa City to Y & R where I don’t think they use her to her potential. We have seen her shine as Kristen and I hope she makes her way back to Salem soon.
I think she adds a whole new dimension to this show and there is never a dull moment when she is around. Speaking of never a dull moment, Arianne Zucker who plays Nicole Walker is also a fabulous actress who makes every scene she is in fun and entertaining. In the past the character of Nicole has lost babies and let me tell you, that girl can cry and bring on and out emotions that most people didn’t know they had. Arianne is a top notch actress and should be nominated for something in the supporting categories. I think they are under using her right now and would like to see her get a front burner story. I think Eileen should be nominated along with Alison for best female actress in a drama series. This show also provided the most hysterical storyline of the summer when the ladies of Salem book club got together and ate pot spiked donuts that J.J. Deveraux, played by Casey Moss made.
What a fun scene and all the ladies played that one well and looked like they had a great time doing it. Cellar moments are anything Daniel and Jennifer. It seems like a case of cougar and cub although in real life Dr. Dan is actually two years older than Jennifer. Dump the Dan & Jen storyline and while they are at it, they need to either age little Johnny to meet the size of the actress they are using to play Allie or shrink Allie down to Johnny’s size. They are supposed to be twins and I know they come from two different baby Daddies’ but the size difference is just unbelievable. It looks like Sydney and Johnny are twins instead. Other than that, I think these writers need to keep doing what they are doing.
General Hospital has been going downhill for a while and this summer did nothing to make me think it is heading into an upward and forward motion. They are in the middle of their 50th Year Anniversary and they are doing nothing but rehashing old storylines and rewriting history not at all the way it was told the first time around. I am wracking my brains trying to think of a Stellar moment from this show this summer and I can’t think of one. Well, that’s not true, I guess the Stellar moment would be this past Friday’s cliffhanger where Sonny in his mania spills the beans at Morgan and Kiki’s wedding reception that he kept the secret for Morgan that Morgan knew Kiki was not related to Michael. He chose one son over the other. That is a fact and because of that it truly did lead to Connie’s death when Connie had asked Sonny to tell Michael the truth and if he had done that, there would have been no headline.
I do still think that Connie would have been killed as we all know that Connie was not killed by AJ but most likely by the Jerome’s or someone in the Jerome family. And what is going to happen to Michael and Kiki when it is discovered that Kiki is really a Jerome of the actual arch enemy Jerome family. It is the Hatfield and the McCoy’s all over again. Will the families have to learn to get along for the sake of the children, after all Julian Jerome is the grandfather to Jason and Sam Morgan’s son, Jason who was really a Quartermaine? It is all intertwined and they have the potential for some good stories if they would just stop rewriting history. Why bring Lauren and Scotty back only to have her marry and divorce him in 4 months? Where is Robert and where is Robin? I think the writing team is busy trying to decide just which way to go here. When Prospect Park called their cast members back to work, ABC made Anderson, Eason and Howarth an offer they couldn’t refuse, they jumped the sinking ship known as One Life to Live for safer harbor. We, as the viewing public got force fed that the three disappeared at the same time and reappeared at approximately the same time only back as totally different characters.
What a hatchet job but I am sure they will blame that mess on Prospect Park. How dare Prospect Park ask for their actors and characters back onto the soap that they were signed to be on? Shame on you Prospect Park. Anyhow, I don’t buy this whole Kiki thing, nor do I buy Michael Easton as Dr. Silas Clay and I especially don’t buy Roger Howarth as Franco. All these actors are acting exactly as they acted on One Life to Live as John McBain, Starr Manning and Todd Manning, they are just using different names now, and the personas are exactly the same. Maybe that was in the deal that we are not privy too. That they could still use those personas but would be called by different names. I see no differences in the personalities at all. So the Stellar moment all summer was Sonny on Friday’s cliffhanger. Cellar moments are most every other moment all summer on General Hospital. This show has to get better or it should be on the chopping block.
All My Children came back to us in April and it went from 1/2 hour for 4 days which equals 2 hours a week programming to just 2-1/2 hour episodes which equals one hour of programming a week. Sloppy start from Prospect Park for both shows and they filled Friday with a show they called “More.” I watched it a few times and thought I want no MORE of this. If they must keep going with more, please combine the more shows so there is just one “More” show a week. I think they ended up canceling it all together. It was a cute concept and I think it was created to be interactive but with people watching all different times, it made the interactivity near impossible. Stellar moments for me were just having this show back. I enjoyed seeing Thorsten Kaye back as Zack Slater.
I enjoyed his acting but didn’t like that they had a divorce from Kendall occur off screen in what was supposed to be the time lapse of 5 years. Vincent Irizarry came back as Dr. David Hayward and was his usual great performer. I have noticed chemistry between he and Angie Hubbard played by Debbi Morgan which I really hope they decide to act on. All in all I liked the reboot but missed some of my favorites no longer being there. I don’t think the show had enough time to really take root. I am hoping that it has a more structured footing in the second season because they are running this now as a seasonal show and not a weekly throughout the year show. I fear this will hurt momentum but I will elaborate on that in my review of One Life to Live.
One Life to Live I must admit was kind of a disappointment to me. From the new theme music opener to the last scene I was disappointed. This show was not living up to its potential. I loved having Blair and Todd back together. That was a highlight that ended far too soon. The Stellar moments in this show this summer were definitely given to us by actor Jerry Van Dorn who plays the character of Clint Buchanan. His drinking and drugging scenes were fantastic. Everything else I just felt was too forced, to sexually explicit and I just couldn’t connect with it. I think a lot of other people felt the same way. Now I hear that Prospect Park has suspended One Life to Live because of the pending lawsuit with ABC but I must wonder why they would only be suspending OLTL if the lawsuit is the reason. Why would they be suspending both shows? Again, the change of schedule and in this shows case, the sloppy writing and contrived storylines are what I believe is this shows biggest problem.
In conclusion, I still believe that Prospect Park should combine both shows and bring them to network television, whether it is lifetime, or TV Land or one of those stations. If they are going to only give us one hour a week, then it should be primetime, network and if One Life to Live isn’t strong enough to make it on its own, then they should have the actors visit Pine Valley and incorporate them that way.
I believe that ABC summarily diminished and dismantled the popularity and characteristics of One Life to Live by sending 3 characters to Port Charles via General Hospital and killing off main two characters, Hope and Cole. I also believe that loss might be too much for the soap to come back from, especially after the network cancellation and the on again off again reboot onto the internet.
I hate to see all the characters go into the abyss and would rather see them incorporated into All My Children since both shows always took place in Pennsylvania anyhow.
I honestly don’t know what the answer is but if One Life to Live must die, I would like to see it die with dignity. What is happening to it is sad and undignified. After all those years on network television it certainly deserves better than this.