Introducing “Sunday Reflections”: General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Sunday is a great time to reflect on what’s happened during the week on soaps. So Marlena happily presents the first of a feature called “Sunday Reflections.

General Hospital: Leave it to this regime at GH to bring in a GQ mobster, Joe Scully Jr., as played by the mighty fine looking Richard Steinmetz (ex-Santa Barbara, Sunset Beach) He’s no Paulie Walnuts or Bobby “Bacalla” from The Sopranos.  I dig Joe’s artfully clipped hair. But what I really like about Joe is that he’s definitely a Brooklyn “des,” “dems” and “does” guy withoutrichart steinmetxhaving to say the actual words “des,” “dems” and “does.” Joe’s is a master liar who usually got away with everything in the past (sound familiar?)  I can hardly wait to see the super melodramatic prison reunion this week between Joe and Kate, the woman he raped long ago. This rape produced a son, obviously Trey, played by slick looker Erik Valdez, an actor I don’t especially like. So that makes a show with how many rapists? Todd, Joe, Luke. And how many murderers walking around? Sonny, Jason, Heather, Johnny. That’s exactly double the number of such criminals GH had under Guza. Sopranos creator David Chase could hardly dreamed up this line-up, no?  Ladies and gents, please no letters on the good looks of Maurice Benard and Steve Burton. I already know.

The Young and the Restless: When a friend tweeted two weeks ago “I can’t believe that I’d be so glad to see Christine again,” I just laughed. Now I agree. Lauralee Bell is demonstrating a wonderful maturity and great passion as she now plays a lawyer who is out to prosecute Phyllis for her long ago hit and run involving herself and Paul on their almost wedding day. Speaking of Phyllis, the character has become way too overexposed and tiresome of late.  Not that I would ever write a bad word about Miss Michelle Stafford! Give the ever-in-trouble, perpetually center stage Phyllis a little screen time rest already, Ms. Arena Bell!

Days of Our Lives:  Except for enjoying the Will coming-out story on Days, I have hardly watched this show for a long time.  Getting back into it is proving to be very tough. Is this show slow or is it just me?  What I really need is a spoonful to sugar (to make the medicine go down).  How about a reappearance of that sublimely kooky character Susan Banks? Eileen Davidson is returning to Days in October after the veteran actress was so unfortunately given the boot from Y&R. (As Kristen, her doppelganger Susan, or both, who knows?) I could really use a laugh at the sight of Susan’s screwed up sour face and buck teeth again (and Davidson is so beautiful!)  I wonder if they are going to bring along Susan’s brother Thomas and sisters Mary Moira and Penelope again, all so masterfully played by Davidson in 1993-98. She was nominated for a Best Actress Emmy in 1998! Of course, these comic characters were created and written by the late and much missed Jim Reilly, whose imagination and sense of humor (and solid knowledge of classic soap writing) are so badly needed on daytime these days. But can you imagine anyone but Jim writing Davidson’s hilarious characters again? What do you want to bet me that this show tries it?  Could anyone else write Passions‘ Tabitha and Timmy?

Extra, extra:   Hurry on over to the We Love Soaps website (www.welovesoaps.net) as they are doing another of their very entertaining soap lists.  In the tradition of their 50 Best Actors and Best Actresses list, they are currently counting down the 50 Best (Super) Couples.  Marlena has been asked to contribute to all three, and what fun I’ve had doing so!  What’s hard about doing a list like this is getting the historic context right. (Readers and other contributors tend to submit couples that they watched in the recent 20 years or so.)  So I’m very pleased to see some very old time couples listed already, such as Chris and Snapper on Y&R and Phil and Tara on All My Children.  They’ve even listed Dark Shadows’ Barnabas and (sweet) Josette, whereas I was rooting for Barnabas and (the deliciously evil) Angelique. These ex-lovers/enemies, as played by the late Jonathan Frid and the very beautiful Lara Parker, were truly electric together.

Comments

  1. Esther says:

    Y&R is very hit or miss to me. The Paul story and everything near it (Phyllis hit & run, Daisy disappearing) is very watchable to me but so many other things (like Adam/Chelsea, Kevin/Chloe, Victoria/Billy, Sharon becoming manipulative, etc.) have me reaching for the fast forward button. I’ve been incredibly impressed with Doug Davidson (I’ve never said that before) and enjoy seeing LB and Tricia Cast.

    Your bits about the other shows perfectly illustrates why I can’t watch ‘em.

  2. Aaron says:

    Yes, I love having Christine (and Nina!) back on Y&R and have been enjoying the hit and run being explored. Stafford is doing great work but, yes, Phyllis is getting a little overexposed as is Sharon. Hopefully, we can see some other Y&R favorites in front burner stories like Katherine, Jill, Lauren, Neil, etc.

  3. Chris says:

    Richard Steinmetz also played Martin Fitzgerald on “Passions” too! I think he is doing a great job so far playing Joe Scully Jr. on GH!

    Marlena says: Thanks, I remember that. He also played Jeff Hartman on Loving.

  4. horselover says:

    Glad to see more columns from you Marlena!

    I’m watching We Love Soaps’ list on the 50 greatest supercouples. I sure hope the 80s supercouples like GH’s Robert & Holly and Duke & Anna and AMC’s Greg & Jenny and Jesse & Angie make it the list. Now that was “Love in the Afternoon”.

    Marlena says: Thanks, horselover. Great to see you again. I always appreciate your letters!

  5. BL says:

    It has been a treat to be able to read so many postings from you this July, Marlena.

    I’m enjoying a good amount of Y&R these days, and I like how the history has come back to haunt people.

    I wish We Love Soaps had split it in two sections the pre & post Luke and Laura era, as the way supercouples were defined shifted in that time period. Also since other than Dark Shadows and Ryan’s Hope little to nothing is available legally or via YouTube of many past couples prior to 1979-1980. As a viewer there is no way I would pick a couple I saw three or four scenes on YouTube as a favorite of all time like ATWT’s Jeff and Penny. I know they are significant, but they were years before I watched soaps, so I wouldn’t put them on a fan list as I wouldn’t think it was fair to include them due to lack of knowledge.

    Marlena says: Blossie! So great to hear from you again. The editors of We Love Soaps make all the decisions and the rules. Perhaps you’d like to register your complaint at their site.

  6. horselover says:

    Sad to see that GH’s Robert & Holly and Duke & Anna did NOT make the supercouple list. The list loses credibility for me. :(

    Marlena says: Hold on! They’re just starting the countdown as of Monday, 7/16. I bet Duke and Anna make the list!

  7. horselover says:

    Nope. They didn’t make it. It says so when they’re describing Robert and Anna.

  8. BL says:

    Actually I plan to eventually write We Love Soaps on this topic. :) I’m not upset with what they did as it is their site. I’m more curious than anything else as while I know your viewing history from reading your blog and SPW back in the day. I have no idea what shows/stories the other experts saw and didn’t see. It would have been cool to have that kind of information along with the results.

    Marlena says: Unlike the last two lists (50 Best Actors and 50 Best Actresses), which were voted on by soap journalists, the readers were the main contributors to the couples’ list. Everyone has a different frame of reference. Believe me, some of the couples already chosen were even way before my time.

  9. Chris says:

    Sorry Marlena and horselover, but WLS already stated in their article on their submitted pick of Robert and Anna from GH that Duke/Anna and Robert/Holly did not make the 50 Greatest Couples List! The countdown actually started last Thursday 7/12.

  10. SZima says:

    Marlena, I’ll be looking forward to your “Sunday Reflections” column every week! Whether I agree with you or not, I always enjoy reading you.

    Marlena says: Thank you SZima. That means a lot to me!

  11. James says:

    Chere Marlena!

    Is it December? Sure feels like it since having your column back regularly is a Christmas present! Please don’t go away again.

    I agree, Y&R is suddenly must-see TV after over a year where I would fast forward through a majority of an episode or delete it entirely without watching it if I needed DVR space. Reviving the hit-and-run plot has been brilliant, got me glued to my set. So great that all the actors involved are still the same, almost 20 years later,

    I know misogyny, mobsters and rapists are you buttons, so not surprising that you’re complaining about GH. As much as I disliked the mob domination of GH for the past decade under Guza, it’s not bothering me at all now under Ron C.Guess it’s all about the way the story is being told and this feels a lot more enjoyable since Ron C has put the long absent humor back in the show. Heather is a hoot — could care less if she murdered that Maggie character with the poison laced iced tea, she’s so fun to watch. Todd can be hysterical with his commentaries about Port Charles and referencing Llanview. too. Plus Todd and Heather have great comedic chemistry.

    Also agree that aside from Will’s coming out story, Days is a snooze fest. Can’t wait for Eileen to arrive, hopefully to play both Susan and Kristen. But then Days shooting scheduled these days might not allow time for shooting two characters by the same actor. Just FYI, Sally Sussman Morina headwrote Days for the final 6-8 months of Eileen’s time there in the 90s. Reilly left in Oct. 1997, Eileen didn’t leave until April 1998. During that time, Kristen was seemingly murdered but it was really the lookalike Penelope. Meanwhile Susan impersonated Kristen who was being held on an island as a sex slave. All very complicated and convoluted, but it was pulled off magnificently.

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