Connie, Anna and the late real Mr. Moose at the Museum of Natural History (above); The Nige (right)
By Marlena De Lacroix
Happy New Year 2010, everyone! Hope you had as joyous a holiday season with your family and friends as Moose and I (a.k.a. Connie and Ed) did. My beloved step-daughter Laura and step-granddaughter Anna visited us here in Manhattan for a few days around Christmas from their home in Michigan. They loved our seven month old beagle Nigel. Our Nige has become quite a character, as we used to say very affectionately in the Queens of my youth.
As I served my Italian grandmother Concetta’s manicotti to Laura and Anna for Christmas dinner, I said, “Mange figlias, mangia figlia” (“eat daughter, eat.”). That is
Only stories that are about love — and tell logical emotional truth about the characters we have long known and loved – can save daytime soap opera now.
what was my late grandma and father Cosmo always said to me as a girl. Having the love and continuity of family around me really did a lot to soothe a difficult year and renew my spirit and hope. (Originally, soaps taught me that!)
I want to wish you, my beloved readers, a renewed spirit and much joy as we enter 2010. Although I haven’t been posting a lot lately, I want you to know I am still here, thinking about you and grateful as always for your continued interest. And yes, I’m still watching soaps. It’s a lifetime passion for me. But its very hard to do so lately, because I feel such sadness at watching the swift, choatic implosion of what was for most of my life our safe, comforting little world.
Of course there were still some wonderful stories and plots about love and truth in 2009. From One Life to Live came Kish, a story of the universal reality of true love. From The Bold and the Beautiful, Stephanie and Pam, who had been so emotionally abused by their mother Ann, surrounding her with love and forgiveness as she lay dying of a fast-moving cancer. Millennia ago, a prophet once said, “Return ill treatment with love.” Bravo, Bradley Bell, for your expression of faith and goodness.
But back to soap reality. Every other week these least few months or so came stories that were so dishonest, such outrageous lies, such a violation of the human spirit they shocked me — Marlena De Lacroix, soap mouth of 30 years — into bitter silence.
Well, mostly. You know moi. In just the last few months, I have literally struggled not to scream when characters I know and love are dissed or suddenly become characters other than themselves. On one show, a long time professional woman was called a “whore” by her husband who would never do such a thing. On another, a woman was “justifiably” murdered because she was a “crazy bitch.” On that same show, a long term hit man who has murdered dozens of people over the years was set up slowly over this year to be redeemed (the insulting gall of the headwriter!) First, he finally (after a dozen years!) saw the error of his ways when a teen he loved also became a murderer. Then, he was given the renewed love of a good(?) woman. Now, he’s suddenly about to be made a life-saving hero. Pul–eeze! How gullible, unprincipled and stupid does this show think I am? The character is STILL a multiple murderer! Murder is always wrong!
After watching soaps for decades, perhaps I am too tired (and definitely way too smart) to have my head twisted around any more by headwriters and networks who think I am so desperate to keep watching soaps that I will believe anything. I am — and have always been, like all of you — a Thinking Soap Fan.
In Rockefeller Center (from left): Anna, Laura, Ed
Only stories that are about love — and tell logical emotional truth about the characters we have long known and loved — can save daytime soap opera now.
And so we sail into 2010. I mourn this year’s tragic soap cancellations of As the World Turns and Guiding Light, shows I adored. May the soaps still on the air survive. No matter what, I know the our friendships will. And I promise you this: Marlena and Connie have not finished writing about daytime soap opera yet.