Marlena’s Summer Plans

sunflowerBy Marlena De Lacroix

Bonjour, everyone!  I’m sorry I haven’t posted in many weeks.  As you know, my mother passed away.  It happened amid the frenzy of the end of spring semester, at the end of a long academic year.  I need the summer to recharge, so I’m going on relaxed summer mode until the Daytime Emmys at the end of August.

However, there will be new material here.  I will post as often as I can, and there will be posts by other contributors.  I am thrilled to introduce a new regular, Matthew Weaver, who will debut soon. Matthew does something rarely done well:  soap satire.  His work is very sophisticated and entirely original, and it always makes me LOL.  You may have read his wonderful creative faux press releases and casting notices on Soap Zone, where he’s known as “Cesar Faison.”  His first piece, On the Next Baristas, imagines some of our favorite soap actors in five familiar-seeming primetime shows that actually are purely his invention.

Meanwhile. here are a couple of short takes on plots/shows I’ve watched over the last few weeks:

Chris EngenThe Chris Engen (ex-Adam, The Young and the Restless) affair.   In addition to everything that’s already been said, here’s one aspect I think has been overlooked.   To me, Engen has been from the start a mediocre actor, as many beginning soap actors are.  However, good storylines usually showcase new actors favorably and bring out the best is them.  The character of Adam has done some really awful stuff,  but one tragic aspect of Engen’s leaving June 24th is that the storyline has gotten superhot.   Adam’s gaslighting Ashley into a likely miscarriage is super showy, the kind of story fans tune in especially to see. What an opportunity to show off good acting!  And as of June 25th, replacement actor Michael Muhney has been handed this star-making opportunity free. 

Even if it personally feels better to Engen to quit now, he’s broken his contract (a Hollywood no-no that will inhibit him in finding future work). Furthermore, he’s been sentenced by the soap press to a career that will burn in perpetuity.  Wouldn’t Engen’s story of fear and foolishness juxtaposed with being blacklisted in the new Millennium  because of  personal choice be fodder for a memorable screenplay?  Too bad the great Paddy Chayefsky (Network, Marty and The Catered Affair ) isn’t here to write it!

One Life to Live’s on-going sexism. In May, One Life to Live was very entertaining, real popcorn soap opera that gave me a needed escape from my everyday problems.  However, I couldn’t help being irritated by some of the clunky writing, such as the night  Starr and Cole went directly from The Prom to the exhumation of their baby’s casket.  Hello, isn’t anyone from the Network reading these scripts for continuity and logic?  OLTL, don’t treat your audiences so carelessly!   

And the rampant sexism, which has stained the show for the last few years, continues to sabotage its overall quality.  Only a man could have invented Stacy Morasco, the idiot who asks her ex-stripper boss Stan Toddto punch her in the face and give her a black eye, so that her boyfriend Rex could feel sorry for her.   Between that and Tea again sleeping with Todd (“Come on baby, beg for it!”), the man who had punched her in the face when they were married, someone has to impress on the frat house team of Carlivati/Valentini/Frons that runs OLTL that violence against women and sexism on soaps are obscene.  Now Todd and Tea, Teathe abuser and the abused, look like they’re  falling in “wuv” — again! What a way to keep dishonoring one of the show’s rare intelligent female characters!  If I had my way, I’d invite Camille Paglia (a soap fan, albeit The Young and the Restless) to do an intervention. (P.S. I just heard Tea will have a new love interest, Elijah, who is coming to town in August. Hooray!  I’m sure Todd is polishing up his brass knuckles now …)  

Then I’d hire a new female ABC Daytime Vice President to oversee the shows. Violence toward women and perpetuating front burner characters who are brainless bimbos is nothing less than institutionalized  misogyny.   It’s not nice to spit time and again on women who watch soaps, especially when soap audiences are still overwhelmingly female!

Comments

  1. Cherry Ames says:

    Marlena, I was beginning to worry about you. I check every so often to see if you have a new column up and voila-today I had the good fortune to check and see your latest.

    Of course, I can only speak about OLTL with any knowledge (I don’t watch Y&R since the Brooks family left). Of course, I cannot disagree with the ill treatment of some female characters but the writing team sure isn’t doing Rex any favors. He has been dumbed down so much that , once attractive, he now seems several bricks short of a load. And it’s all to prolong the story about the donor, Rex’s dad, yada yada. When the material makes the major players look like imbeciles then maybe the writers need to hit the keyboard for a complete rewrite. I do find myself really liking Gigi even more (always did find FF very likeable) even though Gigi is clearly no rocket scientist. I think I like the actress more than her character which seem to blend together-if that makes sense.

    At any rate, OLTL has been capturing my attention as a viewer lately. Bree W. has been heartbreaking and I’m in love with Erika Slezak-she supported Bree so beautifully in this SL, even though she herself owns the DID material. (I hope Bree is recognized for her own Emmy worthy performance).

    OLTL has such wonderful actors- I adore FL and TSJ and too many others to name. And I know the writers and producers work so hard, that I really haven’t the heart to complain. If OLTL continues on this path, I’ll be a happy viewer but if not… I won’t complain anymore-I’ll just vote with the remote. Have a lovely summer and I always look forward to reading you and Damon and I welcome the new team Marlena member. Bon jour.

    Marlena says: Thanks for looking out for me, Cherry, and all my beloved readers out there. I agree they have destroyed Rex lately in favor of Gigi and Stacy, or as I call them in honor of the acting “talents” behind them, Eva and Zsa Zsa. I see Rex has bulked up and is back to having brown hair. What’s that about? I am the only one who is not crazy about Bree, whom I consider an average actress. Her portrayal of the DID personalities did nothing for me. To me DID was and is always a Viki story. Erika Slezak forever!

  2. Steve says:

    From what Engen has said, he asked to leave, and the show let him. The other cast members and Maria Arena Bell also haven’t spoken negatively of him in the press. I really shouldn’t feel sorry for him, but I do, because that first report which came out made him out to be a tantrum-laden homophobe, when the real story seems far more complicated.

    As for the story, I can’t blame him for leaving. I find it sick, perverted, and like most of Y&R, deeply idiotic and misogynistic. It’s all about a woman being violated in every way, and yet this woman has no personality to speak of. Ashley is now just a generic victim. The crassest point of the story was when Adam brought in a doctor who has a history of sexually abusing patients in to treat Ashley. So she’s now going to be even further abused. And Y&R thinks this is entertaining, this constant vileness. Plotting, characterization, it’s not important to them compared to making everything as dark as possible.

    Marlena says: Because so much soap reporting is by gossip columnists these days, who knows what the real story is? A traditional journalist would have interviewed Paul, Maria and Hogan to give us a fuller picture of what happened. And asked Chris, who only released a statement, direct questions. Eventually (years from now) it will all come out in the wash. I admit what’s being done to Ashley is pretty cruel and vile. But hey! One Life to Live certainly isn’t the only soap that is sexist and misogynist right now High stakes soap stories nearly always victimize women these days. I really think male producers and writers don’t think ethically at all when they are so desperate for ratings.

  3. Steve says:

    I forgot to add that after what happened to Frank Beaty with what was supposed to be a starmaking part as GL’s Brent/Marian, I can see why an actor might not want to wade into this type of stuff day in and day out.

    Marlena says: I actually interviewed Frank Beaty at the beginning of that story and found him to be a nice guy and very dedicated actor. But he walked into a land mine with the Brent/Marian story. One of the writers much later confessed to me the whole story was written to, as we say, taunt the show’s producer (whom Frank was made up to look exactly like.) It was all very bad backstage politics. I always wonder what happened to Beaty, who was put through a very unnecessary nightmare at GL.

  4. Matthew J. Cormier says:

    Marlena,

    You seem to forget that a woman was in charge at ABC Daytime when the first version of the Todd/Marty rape took place. Angela Shapiro is the lady that brought all of this to OLTL and allowed it to run rampant on all of the ABC shows during all of the 1990′s. Remember the Kit Fisher rape story on “AMC”? the Elizabeth Webber rape on “GH”, the increased focus on the mob and violence on “GH”?

    I think all writers, producers and executives need to realize that violence in any form is not entertaining television, but i think female staff also have to be held accountable for this. Afterall it was a female writer, Megan McTavish that penned the rape of Bianca Montgomery on “AMC” and allowed Michael Cambius to attempt to rape both Kendall and Erica as well.

    Marlena says: Yes dear, I knew Angela Shapiro (who started on soap mags) quite well. I was only writing of one case, One Life to Live, right now. It’s the first time in ABC Daytime history that all men run a soap. (Frons–VP, Valentini–EP, Carlivati-HW.) I suggested Frons be replaced because I think he is the most expendable quality in making that show successful. At all the soaps you mentioned there were male and female exectives involved in the running of the show. So the voices of both sexes went into decisions — even the very bad ones. No one bitched about all the storylines you mention above more than yours truly!

  5. Esther says:

    Oh Marlena…I want to watch OLTL but anytime that Stacy comes on, I just have to turn. I hate that in order for her to exist, they had to make everyone around her so stupid. It’d be one thing if it was at least interesting story — but it certainly isn’t. I wish I could say the other stories save it but eh…not really. So I pretty much just read the updates to see if there’s anything I need to bother with….mostly that answer is no.

    As for Y&R, while it is quite dark with this story and I don’t really watch it, the rest of the show is pretty good.

  6. David C says:

    Connie, I hope you continue to take good care of yourself in your wilderness time of living with the grief for your mother. I too have been glued to One Life in the last few weeks although I think you really must take a closer look at the wonderful, focused and disciplined work Bree Williamson has been doing in the last few months. She easily equaled the divine Slezak in the conclusion of the Jessica/Bessica/Tessica story.
    Loathe doesn’t even approach the level of disgust I have for the simple actress playing Stacy but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Farah Fath has brought such warmth and strength to Gigi and she holds her own very well in both high drama and delicious comedy. Come on, you must admit she seems to be enjoying very much her snide comments about her sister as much as we are.
    One more thing, I agree that only a mysoginist like Brian Frons could allow the creature of Stacy to seen in even one scene, let alone months of scenes. Now there’s a poor inept actress who must have blackmail photos of ABC execs doing terrible things to something or somebody, maybe even including puppies or kittens. There is no excuse that anyone that awful (and not showing an inch of improvement in all these months) should be allowed to pollute One Life and ABC daytime It HAS to be the photos.

    Marlena says: As soon as I saw you had sent me this message I felt better immediately. Your kindness and friendship mean so much to me. Weren’t you a viewer of GL, when the actress who plays Stacey on OLTL, Crystal Hunt, played Lizzie on that show? How was she on that show? LOL on the “invented” blackmail photos she has on Frons and other ABC execs!

  7. Matthew J. Cormier says:

    Marlena,

    You are absoutley right, i cannot believe i didn’t connect the dots about OLTL and it’s all male showrunners. I agree totally it has become far too anit-women and pro-violence towards women.

    I also agree Frons is the one that would need to be replaced, i feel with him out of the equation the story quality on all ABC series would rise because of it. I believe he is limiting the type of story his showrunners are allowed to write. I believe another VP of Daytime would have a different take on things. As much as Anglea Shapiro allowed some shady stories to go on, at least the overall quality of the writing was of above average; wasn’t she that allowed Claire Labaine and Wendy Riche to do the BJ’s Death story on GH and the Stone Cates saga on GH? and at OLTL allowed marvelous stories like Luna/Max romance and the Vicki’s DID story to happen in the 90′s?

    But i also think one of the biggest offenders right now is AMC’s Julie Hannah Currethers who i believe has no clue how to produce a show that women would want to watch; she has cleared that show of any relevance it ever had and any relation to it’s history and has filled it with violent story after violent story. And has lowered the intellectual level of all the characters on the show.

    I think it would be interesting if either Angela Shapiro, Pat Fili-Krushel or Mary Alice Dwyer Dobbins were brought in to reshape ABC Daytime. Really at this point it’s clear a women’s voice needs to be heard—or at the very least a voice that isn’t Brian Frons.

  8. Cate says:

    I agree about the sexism at ABC daytime. There is little respect for women in the writing. Since Pratt came to AMC I’ve seen strong independent women either weakened or marginalized and men like Ryan and Zach are written as arrogant, angry cave men.But there seems to be this kinda thing happening on all the ABC soaps. A lot of people have noted how on ABC most women don’t drive stories anymore and so much revolves around men. It’s sad that these soaps are treating the gender that makes up its core audience this way.

  9. Steve says:

    “One of the writers much later confessed to me the whole story was written to, as we say, taunt the show’s producer (whom Frank was made up to look exactly like.)”

    The things I learn thanks to your great site. This is shocking. Poor Frank. I can’t imagine how awful it must have been for him, and even for those insiders who watched all this play out.

    I think where rape stories have really gone wrong in daytime is they are no longer about the woman. First they were about a woman being violated and her struggle to regain control (Holly on GL, for instance). Then they became about “redeeming” or “punishing” women deemed bad (Liz on GH, Emily on ATWT, Natalie and Gloria on AMC). Now they are all about men, and as we have seen with EJ Dimera and Todd Manning, now it’s almost impossible for a soap to even admit waht the man did was wrong.

    Marlena says: I have a million stories like these from my two decades out and about as a soap reporter! You know, the whole topic of rape on daytime is so complex that it literally gives me a headache. I think two factors are important in even thinking about it: Luke raping Laura back in 1979 (and eventually marrying her) on General Hospital turned out to be one of the most talked about and popular daytime stories ever. And, rape is a very showy crime and perfect as the ultimate problem to be overcome in a woman’s medium. But the problem is, after Luke, the daytime shows had to come up with a future for the rapist who in real life would have to leave town for a lifetime stint in jail. A way to keep the rapist on the canvas was needed and all kinds of plain baloney has been invented by many of the shows to explain the rape away. (“He’s psychotic but interesting” Todd, OLTL; “He’s extremely handsome,” E.J., Days; “Luke and Laura are the most popular chacters in soap history,” General Hospital.)

    It has always been dirty business, rape on soaps. The writers seem to know that they can easily snow the viewers, who don’t seem to have much of a moral or feminist conciousness anyway. Except for myThinking Fans, of course!

  10. DS0816 says:

    Dear Connie,

    I hope you are doing well. All my best to you. —DS0816

    It has now been 25 years for me — watching these daytime soaps. Regularly and occasionally.

    In the summer of 1984, I kicked off the habit of following the dramas by first becoming familiar — though it began, slowly, the previous year — with NBC; followed by embracing ABC; and, while the latter was programming during weekday afternoons the Summer Olympics, CBS.

    I have many memories, especially with the sweet-and-All-American love story of “All My Children” newlyweds Greg and Jenny, and the strong introduction of the dynamic “Guiding Light” mother-and-son team of Alexandra and Lujack (played by the-late-and-four-time-Emmy-nominated-great Beverlee McKinsey and then-new-to-daytime Vincent Irizarry).

    I had a terrific time getting to know these soaps, these characters, these actors. I loved Laurence Lau and 1983 Emmy nominee Kim Delaney on “AMC” (Delaney won a 1997 Emmy for “NYPD Blue”); really digged 1984 Emmy nominees Larkin Malloy and especially Sharon Gabet (as spouses Sky and Raven Whitney) on “The Edge of Night”; always found the original Roman and Marlena coupling, on “Days of Our Lives,” one of the most sexy and mature (and fabulously played by the underrated Wayne Northrop and the sophisticated and Emmy-nominated Deidre Hall); and I am forever grateful for the majesty of two Emmy winning veteran players — the late Bernard Barrow and Tony-winning Helen Gallagher (as wise pub owners and spouses Johnny and Maeve Ryan) on “Ryan’s Hope.”

    There are plenty, plenty more.

    Daytime soaps used to … rock!

    What is going on with today’s daytime dramas is a … bummer.

    And it’s a … come down.

    It is farcical that “One Life to Live” has ousted two of its best supporting players — Chris Stack and 2004 Emmy nominee Kathy Brier (as underused and emotionally relatable spouses Michael and Marcie McBain) — for what “OLTL” (or is it really ABC?) has opted for, instead: substance- and future-free characters; ones that have been well-described here (and on other related sites).

    I am royally disappointed “AMC” is not writing for one of the genre’s best: Beth Ehlers who, as Taylor Thompson, is suffering with an ill-conceived yet salvagable character (while the five-time Emmy-nominated actress’ glorious work, as Harley Cooper, on “GL” is as even more history as that show is about to become). Months have passed, and “AMC” still hasn’t caught wise — or, if I’m incorrected, it certainly has not moved forward — to pair Ehlers and Michael E. Knight (Tad). These are two unique actors who, on screen, connect — and they are more intriguing than everything “AMC” has presented in 2009.… By the way: Already this new Liza Colby — played by “Savannah” and “Melrose Place” sparkplug Jamie Luner — is a loss. This is not the Liza who traveled in Pine Valley circles, in the early- to mid-1980s, with Tad, the late Jenny, Greg, Angie, and Jesse. Did anyone look at recent scenes with Luner’s Liza and Darnell Williams’s Jesse and believe these two were high-school class mates? (Oh, lordy!)

    A NOTE ABOUT THE 2009 DAYTIME EMMY AWARDS:
    I will be following this year’s ceremony (scheduled for live broadcast, on The CW, Sunday, Aug. 30). The fact that the exquisite Debbi Morgan is up for best actress, as “AMC’s” Angie, is reason alone for me to tune in.

    Marlena says: Thanks DSO. You bring up so many interesting topics I can’t comment on them all. I promise to tackle some of them in future columns. But I do agree with you that soaps rocked in the 80s. They really were a smogasboard of great choices! Believe it or nor, we in the soap press used to bitch and moan about their quality back then! (and be paid well for it!). I mourn the loss of Kathy Brier and Chris Stack on OLTL, real actors in a sea of poseurs and models!

  11. JaiJai says:

    Came out of lurking to say: only the divine Marlena would mention Camille Paglia AND Paddy Chayefsky in her column!

    Take that, neophytes and syncophants!

    Marlena says: Jai, jai, thanks. You’ve made moi a happy Marlena today!

  12. SteveFrame says:

    I have to admit I was worried about you too Marlena. I had never seen you go so long without posting since you came back. Glad to hear you are okay. Again sorry to hear about your Mom.

    Steve, I don’t know who you are but you and I think a lot alike. In fact many of the things you said I have posted elsewhere.

    I really hate to see any site with any type of credibility at all condone the rumors that he left due to the kiss or that he even actually broke his contract or anything when we just don’t know the truth of the matter. It is all gossip.

    I wish we had the type of reporters out there today who would go as Marlena described and get the true story. But it seems we just don’t have those anymore.

    As pointed out Maria or any of them have not actually come out and said he broke the contract. Her comments and even Chris’ comments all leave it as if it was a mutual decision for him to leave. Many actors have been granted permission to leave in the past before their contracts were up and that was not considered breaking their contract. Who was it Crystal Chappel who asked to be released from her GL contract a few years ago so that she could go to OLTL. It is done for various reasons all the time.

    If that is the case and he was given permission to leave then he didn’t break his contract. And throwing all the gossip stuff cited on Perez, TVGC, and other sites it just seems to me that it was a mutual decision.

    And as stated no one has bad mouthed him, even Eric Braedan and Eileen Davidson just said it was a WTF moment.

    I can’t say that I feel sorry for Chris Engen. I don’t really know how I feel in that sense. He did what he had to do for himself, and to me that is what is important. We don’t all deal with every situation the same way. That is what makes us individuals and not robots. All I know is that I have been totally shocked at the lengths that many sites went to or allowed posters to go to in ruining a person’s reputation and labeling him certain things based on the gossip of one unconfirmed source. And some sites I will never have any respect for again.

    Marlena says: Thanks for worrying about me, Steve. You and I have both been in this soap world a long time, haven’t we? I think this is an excellent letter and personally I’m so glad to see a mature, adult viewpoint. Readers, you are always free to say or write whatever you want here. But this letter is a wonderful example of what I wanted to run on a soap site when back when I started marlenadelacroix.com and coined the term “Thinking Fan.”

  13. Anonymous says:

    With all due respect, Steve, whatever the reasons that Chris Engen left his role on Y&R, it was very unprofessional to just up and leave it because he was unhappy with its direction. He’s an actor, playing a part of someone who’s becoming evil, on a soap opera! It’s not as if he were doing a part on “Touched By An Angel.” And he signed a contract to play this role.
    I, for one, am enjoying the “Gaslighting Ashely” storyline…reminds me of something from a good southern gothic novel.

  14. Marcia says:

    Rape on soaps is such an interesting, if disturbing topic. I’ve always thought of the Luke and Laura storyline as a product of the times it was broadcast in. At the same time, heroines falling in love with their “redeemed” rapists was very popular in romance novels, ala Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower.

    http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/talking_about_the_r_word/

    I think there are ways to tell a rape story on soaps; unfortunately, women are still being raped. However, redeeming a rapist and having her, or anyone else, fall in love with him is not the way to do it, especially 30 years after Luke and Laura.

    While I agree that there should be more women writing and producing soaps, I don’t know if that would change the dynamics of the rape issue. There are so many female fans who love Luke, or Todd, or EJ, just as there are many women who still read the rape romances and defend the heroes. Is it self-hatred? A backlash against feminism? (Ughh.) I don’t know.

    And I have to say that after watching Guza’s General Hospital for this long, Carlivati’s OLTL seems only mildly misogynistic in comparison. *shudders*

    Marlena says: My best pal, an editor at a magazine called Romantic Times, told me all about The Flame and the Flower — a blockbuster in the field. Rape as the beginning of romance goes back to silent movies (The Sheik) and probably even way before that in literature. The feminist revolution of the 70s unleashed lots of published thoughts on rape and romance, and you can Google this subject if you want to know more. As a product of that revolution, it always boggled my mind that soaps have been so unprincipled in portraying rape as something romantic.

    But the real life machinations behind the starter Luke and Laura story is especially hard to understand. Go to ebay and buy my friend Gary Warner’s book on General Hospital for a good and accurate explanation of what went on then behind the scenes.

  15. David C says:

    Connie-On GL she one of the first grown up Lizzie Spauldings. She competently played an uncomplicated teenager. Her character didn’t call for much and she did just that. I think by now she has good enough technical skills as an actress but really, she’s nothing more than a kid in her senior year of high school who has worked hard, has marginal talent and is rewarded for that work. HOWEVER, she ain’t in high school anymore and there are a few dozen better actresses who would play the role of Stacy and make it less of a one-note character. You know my theory of why she was cast and remains on the show.

  16. Cate says:

    “It has always been dirty business, rape on soaps. The writers seem to know that they can easily snow the viewers, who don’t seem to have much of a moral or feminist conciousness anyway. Except for myThinking Fans, of course!”

    I’ve always been bothered by the irresponsible way rape is portrayed on soaps. It’s often exploitive and overused to the point where viewers have become densensitized to it. There have been a few well done rape storylines but I would not be bothered if I don’t see another one for a very long time.

  17. Gene says:

    Hey, Marlena, thanks for the insightful commentary about the rampant sexism in daytime. GH is the leader of the pack with women being made as disregard sex on the soap. I haven’t seen this much misogyny in one soap for a long time and it needs to stop. I hate how the women is falling down the stairs pregnant no less and the mistreatment of veteran female actors over male is obvious sexist. It is the leader, Frons, that is letting these head writers write such mess to make the woman feel less than human. I think that Ron is the only one who those care about the female and not being let to be empowered, but enslaved by the male leads on the show and the writing shows it. I thank you for speaking about the sexism in daytime and keep it coming Marlena, Have a great summer and can’t wait for more columns by you.

  18. Matthew J. Cormier says:

    One of the biggest issues with rape on soaps now is that it’s not even done with the idea of showing what a horrible crime it is. It’s used as a sensationalized ploy to lure viewers to a show. It doesn’t have the same educational tone to it. When Emily was raped on GH it clearly wasn’t about showing how rape affects a women, it was about showing this women get violated by someone that looked like her husband, and was almost done as punishment because of her involvement with Conner Bishop.

    I think rape is one subject that needs to be retired from soaps unless someone wants to do a rape story from the women’s perspective.

  19. Jennifer says:

    I am sorry to hear about your mom. You will be in my prayers.

    I appreciated your words about one life to live. I have been watching this show since 1980 and never have I been bothered more than now by the stories and the lack of heart -but I am still watching because of the great talent of Ms. Strasser and Ms. Slezak. They are amazing just as they were when Dorian showed Viki the secret room all decked out in that fabulous polka dot dress.

    What a waste of chemistry to drop the pairing of Ray and Dorian for the insipid Rex and his barbie sisters or John and anyone.

    Enough with the dead babies and formally intelligent women fighting for the love of a two-time (well really three time with the rapemance) rapist, baby-seller, murderer Todd Manning.

    Now it appears the writers are making Dorian a drunk (what??????) and Viki only a hand-holder of lesser characters. I wish the writers of this show would find their heart, find love, find laughter, find intelligence…..

    Women are so much more than what the writers of OLTL and many other soaps have written them. Perhaps when they realize this fact, a new audience can emerge and the old audience return and the rest of us still watching will know it was worth the wait.

    Have a blessed summer.

    Marlena says: First of all, thank you so much for your warm condolences. I’ve been crusading against the misogyny on OLTL for a year or more. So I am very happy that you see this as I do. When I condemned the rapemance of Todd sleeping with/raping Marty, I got tons of letters saying it wasn’t rape, it was love because Marty had amnesia. Duh! Of course the letters were all from men, some of them my best friends. I thought that things on the show would change, but the show just keeps on putting down women. I’m putting up a new column today on another example of tthe degrading of one of the show’s female characters, Dorian. Tell me what you think!

  20. Purple Haze says:

    Welcome back. I missed your column and insights.

    The Chris Engen brouhaha seemed to me to be highly orchestrated by Y&R to show him in the worst light possible by leaking the story that he walked out on his contract because of his homophobia.

    I’ve always liked the actor and thought he brought as much subtlety as anyone could to as vile a villain as I can remember on a soap. I think Y&R would have benefited by mitigating the character, leaving some room for redemption, and allaying the concerns of the actor.

    Adam seducing Rafe reminds me of a scene in the 70′s film, “The Day of the Jackal”, wherein an assassin hunted by the police goes to a gay bar and picks up some random guy and goes home with him as the most expedient way to evade the police. It was pretty obvious that the James Fox character was not gay, only opportunistic.

    If Chris Engen’s leaving was mutual I don’t think this should result in a blacklisting. I’d like to see him as an ADA on one of the “Law and Order” shows — I don’t think playing such a character would cause him the internal pain that playing Adam did (remember “A Double Life” with Ronald Colman and Shelley WInters wherein Colman internalized the role of Othello?) and Chris Engen looks the part of an ADA.

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