Happy 20th Anniversary, Soap Opera Weekly!

By Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Happy 20th anniversary, Soap Opera Weekly!  Congratulations to the generations of writers, editors, production, art and business people who have worked on the magazine over the years.  I was  lucky to be one of them, from its launch on November 21, 1989 through the magazine’s first eleven years. Each http://www.hollywood-dreams.com/images/uploads/sowsept595.jpgweek, under the pen name Marlena De Lacroix, I wrote Critical Condition, the magazine’s  ultra popular, original critical/humor column — 543 of them!  

Some say SOW was an instant success because soaps were so much better then or because there were so many more millions of soap viewers in 1989.  Both are true. But I think  SOW‘s success can be attributed primarily to the fact that it was a timely, excellent, fair-minded, professionally done magazine. It became a legend because in its first 11 years, it demonstrated courage and integrity in being absolutely honest about the soap opera world.     

Jon-Michael Reed‘s break-though Daytime TV Serials Magazine in the 70s pioneered the serious view of soap opera and a few other soap magazines had periodically done the same in the 80s.  But it was [Read more...]

One Life to Live: Still Surprising After All These Years

By Ed Martin

One Life to Live showed me something last week that I haven’t seen in 30 years of soap viewing: A mass wedding of two dozen gay couples. This show has pushed the envelope in a number of crazy ways since the ‘70s, sending its characters to heaven, to an underground city and careening through time. What a pleasure it was 

OLTL‘s comedic elements are greatly appreciated and should not be taken for granted. Daytime executives and show-runners seem to have forgotten that funny characters and comic set pieces were de rigueur during the glory years of General Hospital and Days of Our Lives, the two soaps that commanded the largest young audiences (while keeping veteran viewers engaged, as well) during the genre’s heyday.

to see the show execute a storyline that was out of the ordinary without being out of this world. It was a stunt, to be sure, but despite [Read more...]

General Hospital: Making Michael a Monster

By Ed Martin

Everything about General Hospital that I have come to loathe during the last ten years was on proud, pungent display last week, to such a degree of extreme outrageousness I could not look away.

I must admit that there was an infectious lunatic energy to it all, which could account for my deep fascination with what I was watching. Wasn’t the tumultuous birth of baby Jocelyn a kick, with poor kidnapped Carly helpless on that cabin couch

How grand would it be if Michael’s real father, A.J. Quartermaine, returned from the dead and found a way to destroy Sonny, now that he has turned Michael into an axe murderer?

and crazy Claudia helping her with her difficult delivery? How about the part when Michael stormed the cabin, saw Claudia holding the baby and killed her with one mighty swing of his axe? Good times — though not as satisfyingly violent as the time Sonny accidentally shot Carly in the head just as she [Read more...]

A Letter to Marlena De Lacroix (a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman)

Dear Ms. Passalacqua Hayman: 

I wanted to write to tell you how much I enjoy reading your columns and your insights into the soaps.  You are the reason I started buying Soap Opera Weekly so many years ago and I was sad when you left.  I bought that magazine every week, at first for your columns, but then cause I just loved it.  I would not get a subscription

I hope something comes along and saves our shows from themselves, but that alarm has been ringing for a long time.  Why can’t those in charge hear it?

because I wanted to buy it every week so the cover would not be damaged with those damn postal stickers.  Their covers used to be so good — those were the days!  I was pleasantly surprised to find your web site recently and am excited to read what you have to say about the state of soaps today. 

I, too, am just saddened by the state of the soap business these days.  I, of course, do not pretend to know all it takes to make soaps or [Read more...]

JJ and the Rehabilitation of General Hospital

By Marilyn Henry

There already have been big discussions on the internet about Jonathan Jackson returning to his role as Lucky on General Hospital. Newer viewers who don’t know his work are jolted; other long-time viewers are thrilled. I don’t know whose bad   

In the last few weeks, the show seems to have turned a corner. Good grief, did they lock mob-obsessed Guza in a closet and allow someone else to spin actual soap tales for awhile? Who knew it could happen?

taste decides the direction of the insulting promotional ads, in the vein of “The REAL” Lucky is back, or whatever. They got so much flack over Greenlee ads you’d think they would learn, but obviously TPTB are basically without taste.Jonathan Jackson

That aside, I am loving having Jonathan back on the show. The character of Lucky has been stunted for so long. Suddenly what I’m seeing now is an excellent actor giving the part of Lucky some intensity, depth, naturalness and truth. Amazing. JJ makes the role rich, worth watching – with face, voice, body language.

Greg Vaughn was indeed handsome, but there was never a moment I believed he was Lucky Spencer. He was too old for the part, too unexpressive, and they wrote him as a stiff-necked, up-tight type, and not [Read more...]