Monday, December 26, 2011

Soap Opera Christmas Round-Up 2011

BEST CHRISTMAS REUNION: John and Marlena on "Days of Our Lives". Rex and Gigi on "One Life to Live" get a good mention as well. Maybe the long absence of J/M from DAYS just makes their reunion a bit more meaningful for me.

BEST SOAP WEDDING: Billy and Victoria on "Young and the Restless". Although the lead-in with the Chloe/Kevin debacle along with the American Idol chick was stupid, that still did not detract from the reunion of one of the best soap couples around right now.

BEST OBLIGATORY "CHRISTMAS CAROL" EPISODE: Yes, the whole annual Y&R It's a Wonderful Life Xmas Carol jazz is getting old...but Melody Thomas rocked it with her episodes.

FUNNIEST CHRISTMAS: "Christmas threw up in our living room!" exclaimed Nick after he saw Pam's handiwork on "The Bold and the Beautiful". Fun watching the Logan girls slaughter that bird...and then Dollar Bill saves the day.

MOST BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS: What at this point is the last Christmas in Llanview on "One Life to Live". What more needs to be said?

MOST DOWNER CHRISTMAS: Hard to watch Patrick and Robin on "General Hospital" knowing what is in store for the couple. Even the Quartermaines were too dour and not enough funny.

WACKIEST CHRISTMAS: THE HOLI-BAY -- Eight sitcom-style episodes of comic improv with different "Bay" members and Santa Claus.

VENICE: No Christmas episode on the beach in Season 3, Episode 5...but a great scene with Peter Reckell and Crystal Chappell as "Gina" comes out to "Richard".

Monday, December 19, 2011

Soap Opera Round-Up 12/12 to 12/16: Better Late Than...

SOAP OPERA OF THE WEEK: Again, ONE LIFE TO LIVE is so much fun with the "Fraternity Row" storyline. I'm loving their nod to GENERAL HOSPITAL and James Franco...oh, excuse me...SOUTH WEST GENERAL and Franco James. How can you make a timely storyline like this better? Add Tuc Watkins to the mix. Which leads me to...

BEST ACTOR OF THE WEEK: Tuc Watkins (David, ONE LIFE TO LIVE). As the famous quote goes, "Dying is easy, comedy is hard". Every time Tuc is on the show, I know I will be chuckling at some point before the episode is over. That sort of talent should not be overlooked. When OLTL goes, Tuc will be one of the actors I'll miss the most.

BEST ACTRESS OF THE WEEK: Kimberly McCullough (Robin, GENERAL HOSPITAL). Yes, this AIDS storyline is one of the worst soap stories ever...but Kimberly is trying her best to give this plot respect and seriousness, despite the headwriters.

I apologize for not including commentary on every soap this week. Between a broken computer cord and Xmas shopping insanity, the time got away from me. Next time!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Soap Opera Round-up 12/5 to 12/9

BEST SOAP OF THE WEEK: ONE LIFE TO LIVE. The "Fraternity Row" cancellation -- along with Roxy's outrage and determination to save her favorite story -- is a wonderful reflection on what has happened in real life to OLTL. I give props to this soap for not going down without a fight. Having Clint Buchanan practically spout out Oprah Winfrey's YouTube speech about the soaps was brilliant!

BEST ACTOR OF THE WEEK: Chandler Massey (Will, DAYS OF OUR LIVES). Chandler is fi-yah as Will going into meltdown mode. The scene where Will called Sami out on her hypocrisy to Marlena was a showstopper!

BEST ACTRESS OF THE WEEK: Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS). It's not easy to be dead drunk, find out your husband is taking the rap for a murder you committed...and then Deacon Sharpe forces you to marry him. She's had a bad week; and Melody is making up for her lost time on the soap.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES - Kudos for the Horton family tradition being continued. The whole reboot is a bust if we don't have that, damn it! I'm liking Austin and Abby. Both characters have been too goody goody. Yeah, Austin is older and all that...but the dramatic fallout of Carrie, Sami, Jack and Jennifer resulting from a May/December romance would be incredible. Maybe Abby will wise up that Chad just isn't that into her and will fall even harder for Mr. Pretty Boy Boxer.

BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL - Enough of the Hope/Liam/Steffy fluff. Let's get down to brass tacks with stolen dress designs and a good old-fashioned Jackie M/Stephanie catfight! Now that's soap opera! And I'm loving it. Also loving Pam and Nick...but I feel sorry for Pam...having gone from the real thing with Stephen Logan (Patrick Duffy) to having only hot kisses with Nick Marone (Jack Wagner)...wait, what am I saying?! I'm jealous as hell!

GENERAL HOSPITAL - The soap was mildly improved this week. Good strong drama between Lucky, Liz and Luke. Say that fast three times. Dante and Lulu had a nice angst breakup. Sonny got an idea of what the people back at his old homestead really think about him. But the week fell apart when the focus went back to the WhoCaresWhoDunnit murder mystery of Lisa Niles.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS - Okay, I've had it with the bad singer at Glowworm; and I don't care who she is in real life. This is boring filler storyline! The episode that went backwards in time, different. Half the time, I thought I had accidentally set the DVR wrong.
BITCHIEST SOAP LINE OF THE WEEK - Gloria about Jill when they accidentally meet up at a bar - "Sometimes company is the misery."

ONE LIFE TO LIVE - Loved Fraternity Row. Over Paris, Texas. Blair and Todd = HAWT!!!

If THE BAY would ever work out the technology to buy wardrobe through clicking on the episode, I would soooo buy myself Sara Garrett's black and white dress for Xmas! Lianne makes a spectacle of herself. The Mayor seems to be getting senile. Stephen's up to no good!

VENICE - Hillary B. Smith and Harrison White steal the show for Episode 2!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Soap Opera Round-up 11/28 to 12/2: The Who Cares Whodunnits

- I wasn't really blown away by any of the soaps all that much this week. But it is interesting to see this eternal Hope/Liam/Steffy triangle veer in another direction. (I swear if I have to hear "To Make You Feel My Love" one more time...!) Now Dollar Bill realizes that maybe he's not quite as over "Lolita" Steffy as he thought he was. Did anyone really think that was completely over? And this gives Heather Tom something to work with. (See BEST ACTRESS.)
- I'm also enjoying Pam's antics with stealing the Forrester designs to get some manly attention from Nick. I'd love for Nick and Pam to actually blossom in a real romance rather than just being comic relief. It could be a touching love story. Yeah, I know. It won't go there.

BEST ACTRESS OF THE WEEK: Heather Tom (Katie, B&B). Heather Tom tore it up this week when Katie found out about Bill's involvement with Liam and Steffy's marriage. When she found out that Steffy was also put on the Board of Directors, it looked like another heart attack would be oncoming.

BEST ACTOR OF THE WEEK: Matthew Ashford (Jack, DAYS). It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a longterm Matt Ashford fan. I hope I am being objective when I say he knocked it out of the park in the scene with Deidre Hall. After so many past storylines of Jack uncharacteristically being a clown and a loser, now with the post-traumatic stress disorder story, he has a serious problem that Matt Ashford can sink his teeth into. Under the best of circumstances, Jack is closed off and does not easily in confide in people. It took him forever to tell Jennifer that he loved her, for example. So when Jack confessed to Marlena about the experience in Afghanistan regarding the torture and murder of his cellmate, Ashford played every level. Emmy worthy stuff...which leads me to...

SCENE OF THE WEEK: Marlena treating Jack for his post-traumatic stress disorder, DAYS. How great was it to see Marlena treating someone with a problem based in reality? For a while, her specialty seemed to be hypnotizing victims of Stefano Dimera with brain chips, multiple personalities, amnesia, et cetera. Both Deidre Hall and Matt Ashford have done their best work since their return in this scene. Now Corday just needs to shell out some money to give Marlena an office to work in again!

GENERAL HOSPITAL - Who Cares Whodunnit, Part 1. Lisa Niles was so much more interesting alive. Other than Robin getting a nice monologue to tell Stone about her feelings regarding that travesty of a storyline, this has been such a crashing bore.
- If this soap is so close to the cancellation block, how come GH always gets to do cool montages when the other soaps generally don't?
- I am starting to understand the whole Shrew-lu reputation that Lulu has. Kudos for Dante telling her to put on her big girl pants. If she doesn't like being with a cop, she should dump him and hang out with Spinelli.
- With the firing of Brian Frons and Jill Farren Phelps all within the same week, the debate about the future of this soap is much more interesting than what is actually happening on the air.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE - Who Cares Whodunnit, Part 2. We all know Todd killed Victor or thinks he killed Victor or whatever. So can we move on from the whole Tomas thing, please? Not too much time left to waste on this soap anymore.
- Nice scene with pregnant Tea and Shaun.
- Wow! Stacy is really Gigi. Who didn't see that one coming?

YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS - Who Cares Whodunnit, Part 3. Victor confessing to Diane's murder to cover up for drunk Nikki is another plot twist on a murder that we are all so tired of!
- Debbie Morgan is great as Harmony. Ready for more!
- So how long before Billy rehires Phyllis at Restless Style?
- Patty would have been enough; did Emily have to come back too?

DAYS OF OUR LIVES - Will Quinn be Kate's latest boy toy? I can live with that!
- Madison finally wised up and realized that she has hired a deadbeat (Sami).
- I'm liking Jennifer becoming Abe's hardcore PR spokesperson; if she can't be a reporter, at least this new profession suits her better than her earlier job at the hospital.
- Will's breakdown going into freefall. Great acting by Chander Massey!
- EJ comes onto Nicole with all green lights, gets a flashback about Sami...and the mood is killed. Yeah, Sami will do that to a guy.

PRETTY THE SERIES - Episode 3, Season 3.
- Michael's dirty little secret comes out that he was part of one of those one-hit wonder rock bands.

THE BAY - Chapter 7, Part 1.
- Romantic longing between Sara and Lee.
- A great scene with Capt. Sanders and The Mayor (soap opera fan heaven with Charles Shaughnessy and Nicolas Coster!)
- A high Lianne rips off Pete's shirt.
- Crazy Igor is back. Woot!

VENICE - Episode 2, Season 3.
- We get to see more of Peter Reckell as "Richard" goes to say Hi to "The Colonel" (Jordan Clarke).
- Excellent performances from Jessica Lecchia, Nadia Bjorlin and Crystal Chappell once Gia found out about Ani's abuse.

MOST UNROMANTIC LINE OF THE WEEK: (Christine "Aubrey" Wentworth to Rex, ONE LIFE TO LIVE)
I am so sorry, Rex. I did not mean to kiss you. It was just an impulse like Turrets.

Todd: John, are you suggesting I set my own newspaper on fire?
John: I read it. Did you?

What I said was one day at a time. One hour at a time. And at this hour...I need a drink!