Marlena’s “Only the Bests” List 2008

New Year'sEve clip art

Thinking Fans’ picks and pans for 2008: Cherry Ames pans Todd/Marty as “the foulest story ever” … DSO816 picks the Angie/Jesse reunion … while Marlene agrees GHNS2 set the bar higher for all soaps … and more. See Comments below. 

________________________ 

By Marlena De Lacroix

Last year I decided I will no longer do “Best” and “Worst” lists for soaps.  After all, there have been so many “worsts” this year (real life deaths, superstar firings, General Hospital limosex and other tasteless storylines, wasted returns of some soap veterans), why would I want to re-inflict the pain on you?

 So, darlings, here are my “bests.”

General Hospial Night Shift 2 — As I wrote last fall,”If they could bottle this show, they could save soap opera.”  This 2008 soap dared to remember that soap opera is supposed to be about love, compassion, close friendships and the importance [Read more...]

Merry Christmas, Cher Thinking Fans!

This our second Christmas here in our home on the Web. By now, we feel we know most of you by name, and are more pleased than words can express to welcome your regular visits. So many of you Thinking Fans have been frequent correspondents, and have enriched our site with your thoughtful, heartfelt commentary.  Thank you, thank you, for investing so much of your time and sharing your ideas.

Here’s hoping each of you has a joyous Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Marlena and Moose

I want to wish all the wonderful Thinking Fans out there a happy and safe holiday season.  Thank you so much for all the support and intelligent comments  you have shared with me this year.  As we begin 2009 with much uncertainty in our soap worlds, it eases my nervousness to know I will be sharing the next year’s highs and lows with such a wonderful community. 

Please take care of each other out there, and come back to visit me, Marlena, and Patrick, as often as possible.

Love,
Damon L. Jacobs  (“Soap Shrink”)

Merry Christmas from crisply cold Chicago, the cradle of soap operas, and the home of Irna Phillips and Bill Bell! May you and yours have a warm Christmas and a prosperous 2009! Here’s hoping for blue skies, a healthy economy … and a story with a happy ending every now and then!

Patrick Erwin

As The World Turns in 2008: The “World” at Warp Speed

Thinking Fans Comment Update: James wonders, “Where’s the happiness in Oakdale?” … likewise, Steve says Oakdale has become “a bitter, mean-spirited place” … and more. See Comments below. 

____________________ 

ATWT logo

By Patrick Erwin

As The World Turns may be the second oldest soap, but this year, the show burned through storylines at warp speed. There has been a tremendous amount of action onscreen, as well as behind the scenes, in 2008 at ATWT.

But interestingly enough, the general mood of the show seems to be back to where it started in 2008 — in a cloud of darkness.

Back in February, I shared my opinion about how incredibly dark the mood on the show had been. It was almost a chore to watch at that point, with classic characters who [Read more...]

The “New” All My Children, Part 2 — Finding the Heart (s) of Pine Valley

AMC logo

Thinking Fans Comment Update: renee wnts a long-term storyline for Brot, but is certain there will never be one … Kristen thinks Bianca and Reese “are more in lust than in love”… while Kasey thinks Angie “has just the right blend of steel and magnolia” … and more. See Comments below. 

_________________________ 

By Marlena De Lacroix

In Part 1, I explained  how I recently began watching All My Children every day again after being mostly alienated from the show I loved for a decade and a half.  The main reason I’ve returned is the nicely intelligent work of Charles Pratt,  who appears to be a  thinking headwriter.   He seems to want to revive the very elements of the Agnes Nixon-created show I valued the most, choosing  characters and storylines that are both smart and have heart.  And he’s continuing to do thoughtful Nixonian social issue stories in an era when [Read more...]

The “New” All My Children, Part 1 — Lifting the Fog of Stupidity

AMC logo

Thinking Fans Comment Update: EricMontreal22, once horrified by Pratt’s arrival, is now “pleasantly thrilled” … likewise Donna L. Bridges, though still wary of Pratt, yells “Yippeee!” … but Cate disdains the suggestion of a  Reese bisexual romance storyline. See Comments below. 

_________________________ 

By Marlena De Lacroix     

A few weeks ago I realized I was receiving one of my best ever Christmas presents. I was watching All My Children and I realized, after twelve long miserable years out in the cold, I finally want to watch my old favorite show regularly again!

As I described in Take Me Home to Pine Valley, I’d  been alienated from my beloved AMC since 1996, when gimmick-mad, plot-driven headwriter Megan McTavish took over the show and filled it with empty-headed characters (like Ryan, soap opera’s most vanilla hero);  the dorkiest, most repetitive plots (all those kidnappings of Bianca’s and Kendall’s babies, and, worst of all, the dumbest, most superficial 

Although the show is far from great, or even good, after only three months with (Charles) Pratt at the helm, at least we have a headwriter who is actually thinking.

women (Greenlee and everyone else at Fusion.). How I longed for all the years going back to the 1970 premiere, when show was still written by Agnes Nixon, and later by such great writers as  [Read more...]

Peter Bartlett Contest Winner Announced

What's That Smell

Marlena and the Atlantic Theater Company are pleased to announce that Trudi of West Virginia (go Mountaineers!) is the winner of two tickets to What’s That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling.  She scored the highest of our many entrants in our Peter Bartlett Quiz contest. Our thanks to all who entered.

As you know, Peter co-stars with writer David Pittu in the hilarious off-Broadway musical spoof. He has a fun day job, too — he plays Nigel Bartholomew-Smythe on One Life to Live.  You will laugh uproariously, Trudi.   And we look forward to meeting you!

FYI to anyone interested in seeing What’s That Smell? at the New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., here in Manhattan: The show will close Dec. 28.

Marlena  De Lacroix  will be back on Wednesday with a surprising soap review.  Will it be naughty or nice?

                                                                                               Marlena

                                                                                               XXXOOO           

The Soap Shrink Interview, Cont’d: Ilene Kirsten On Her Insightful Creations — Ryan’s Hope’s Delia and One Life to Live’s Roxy

Part 2: One Life to Live‘s Roxy

By Damon L. Jacobs

Yesterday, I interviewed the insightful  Ilene Kristen on the creation of her iconic role of Delia on Ryan’s Hope.  Today she talks about Roxy, her current, vastly entertaining character, who debuted on One Life to Live in 2001.

D: How did the events of 9/11/01 shape your creation of Roxy?

I:  I actually got the job the day before 9/11 happened.  But it affected me big time.  I felt I had to go out and entertain the troops.  They would need me, the audience would need me.  I would infuse the comic part but first I would give them the [Read more...]

The Soap Shrink Interviews Ilene Kirsten On Her Insightful Creations — Ryan’s Hope’s Delia and One Life to Live’s Roxy

Ilene Kristen

By Damon L. Jacobs

Ilene Kristen is an actress famed for a having both enormous acting talent and an idiosyncratic sense of humor which helps her to steal every scene she’s in. But behind the wisecracks is a wise soul with unique understanding of human psychology. She’s used that understanding to create two iconic daytime characters: Delia on Ryan’s Hope and Roxy on One Life to Live. When we spoke at length recently, she described how she reached inside herself to create both Delia and Roxy.

Here Ilene talks about how she made Delia so startlingly real over her many years on Ryan’s Hope, during the show’s 1975-1989 run.  In Part 2 tomorrow, she’ll talk about how she made OLTL’s Roxy so entertaining and compassionate.

Part 1:  Ryan’s Hope‘s Delia 

D: So let’s begin talking about Delia on Ryan’s Hope.  The fans who read “Soap Shrink” regularly know the subject of Borderline Personality Disorder comes up frequently.  It is a personality disorder, typified by someone who makes frantic efforts to avoid abandonment.Delia Afternoon TV

I:  That’s Delia in a nutshell.

D: The only thing is BPD didn’t start getting listed as diagnosis until 1980, well after your first run as Delia from 1975-1978.  How did you know so much about Delia and these symptoms?

I:  Well, second to being an actress I would have been a therapist.  I wanted her to be real, so I observed those who were very needy. (RH‘s co-creator, co-headwriter) Claire Labine also wrote a great character description about her mother selling subway tokens, her father being a drunk, only getting love from her brother.  You then see how that manifests in the decisions she would make.  She had no occupation, she just lived in the shadow of the Ryans.  So she was [Read more...]

Listen to Marlena and Company on In the Zone Blog Talk Radio!

in the Zone logo

Join us, Thinking Fans, as we continue our first anniversary celebration! Our Soap Shrink Damon Jacobs, Patrick Erwin and I will be guests Friday night, 10 PM EST, on the  In the Zone Blog Talk Radio Show . We’ll be talking about our site and reviewing the many events of the last, tumultuous soap year.  We’ll all be pleased to speak with you on the air and answer your questions.  The call-in number  for the 90-minute show is (347) 996-5978.  Let’s talk soaps!   

                        Marlena

                         XXXOOO

Contest: Win a Pair of Tickets To See Peter Bartlett in What’s That Smell?

What's That Smell?

By  Marlena De Lacroix

In honor of our first anniversary, Marlenadelacroix.com is delighted to have two tickets to the hit off-Broadway show What’s That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling to give away to some lucky Thinking Fan, compliments of the show’s producers,  The Atlantic Theater Company.

The hilarious satire on musical theater, written and performed by David Pittu with original music by Randy Redd, enjoyed a sold-out run at Atlantic’s downtown theater, and now has moved to the New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., in Manhattan’s midtown theater district.Peter and Pittu

Pittu shares the stage with Peter Bartlett, a veteran character actor who is well known to Thinking Fans and is one of Marlena’s all-time favorite actors. He’s played Nigel Bartholomew-Smyth, the butler, on One Life to Live since 1991.  Here’s my review of What’s That Smell? I can sum up my reaction in one word: LMAO! And you will, too.

To win the tickets, plus an autographed playbill, just answer all six of the questions in the quiz below and send us your answers in a comment. The deadline is midnight Sunday EST. The winner will be announced early next week.  In the event of [Read more...]