General Hospital: The Wyndemere Curse

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

Kelly Thiebaud’s Dr. Britt, embryo thief

Wyndemere has always been a center of plot action — and frequent plot tragedy — on General Hospital.  Although owned by others, most of that plot action has centered on the Cassadines, the evil family that has manipulated so many of Port Charles residents.  They have thrown events — mostly parties like the Black and White Ball and the Bacchanalia Ball — that have led to sorrow.  Stefan Cassadine and Katherine Bell both met death at these events.

This month, GH spotlighted another event at Wyndemere. Current resident Nicholas Cassadine threw a party to celebrate his engagement to gynecologist Dr. Britt Westbourne.  The two had met at a Fourth of July event and had an idyllic courtship.  At the time, Britt was pregnant and later delivered baby Ben.  Britt and Nicholas had a whole new life to look forward to.

But that was before events overtook them and truth-telling took over.  Elizabeth found a note from Britt in which she confessed to having stolen the fertilized embryos of Dante and Lulu Falconeri, one of which became baby Ben.  It was already known that Dante was the father to the baby, but Britt had hidden the identity of his true motherhood.  Elizabeth presented Nicholas with the note and Britt confessed her guilt.  After throwing Elizabeth out of the house, Nicholas broke up with Britt, leaving her all alone.  She was later arrested.

Of course Dante and Lulu were ecstatic to find out they have a son, almost high fiving each other at the news. Lulu demanded that she be given her son.  But Dr. Obrecht kidnapped the boy and brought him to Elizabeth’s home, where she held the two hostage.

General Hospital being a soap, many other things happened the night of the engagement party.  Luke revealed he is somehow behind a plot to bring down Sonny, and this may be the reason why he is acting so strange lately.  Later. Alexis and Julian made mad passionate love.  Elizabeth rejected Rick’s advances.

Good acting marked this sequence.  Tyler Christopher and Becky Herbst were particularly good in the scenes in which Nicholas threw Emily out of the house for being the bearer of Britt’s letter and thus the truth.  In a side note, GH has earned high marks by bringing on bravura actress Donna Mills to play Madelyn, Silas Clay’s evil mother-in-law.  It’s been almost twenty years since she starred on Knot’s Landing as evil Abby, and it’s hard to believe this dynamic actress is 73. She certainly doesn’t look or act  it!

Are You Buying These Fanciful Plot Twists?

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

Camryn Grimes, welcome back as Cassie look-alike

In their drive to create more and more entertaining soap opera, writers sometimes devise situations that are fanciful and, to put it bluntly, hard to believe.  After all, soap viewers will buy anything, right?  Wrong.  Recently, three soaps have come up with situations which Marlena finds incredibly hard to buy:

The Young and the Restless faux Cassie:  As Y&R viewers know, Cassie, daughter of Nick and Sharon, died when she was quite young.  Recently, Sharon has been shown having extensive conversations with what she thought was Cassie’s ghost.  But she really is a Cassie a look-alike, hired by Victor, who is in quest of finding out Sharon’s secret (that Nick really fathered Summer, not Jack).  How would Victor find an exact Cassie look-alike, especially one of the right age?  This story is cruel, and even took more of a cruel turn when Sharon turned to electroshock therapy (ECT) to extinguish her visions of Cassie.  It is good, however — especially in scenes with Sharon Case — to see an adult Camryn Grimes, who is again playing Cassie, or more correctly, her look-alike.

The Bold and the Beautiful’s suddenly crazy, neurotic Aly Forrester: When Ashlyn Pearce debuted as Forrester granddaughter Aly, she brought a real breath of fresh young air to the show, which is mostly filled with older adults.  So how sad it is to see her character descend into a kind of neurotic madness, as she has taken to a real hatred of Hope’s suitor Wyatt Fuller. She will do anything to destroy Wyatt, because she feels he destroys Hope’s wholesome values, as made famous by the publicity for Hope’s “Hope for the Future” line of fashion.  Recently, Aly has even been seen talking to her dead mother Darla, who was killed in an auto crash long ago.  We hope this character makes a quite recovery from all this craziness and is not ruined for good.

General Hospital’s A.J. is shot and Luke is not what he seems to be:  Recently, GH has had a lot of fanciful storylines,  not the least of which was that A.J. was shot by Sonny, supposedly because he killed Connie, which he did not. (Ava has confessed to the murder.)   All his life A.J. has been endlessly and sometimes unbelievably in  trouble, his antics filling way too many hours of GH drama.  Remember when he, a life-long drunk, conceived Michael in the street with Carly?  Remember when Sonny hung A.J. from a meat hook?   This time, no matter how many times he swore not to destroy A.J., his son’s Michael’s biological father, Sonny took a shot at A.J.  Will he live to die?  Actor Sean Kanan is leaving the show.

And if we are to believe GH’s Friday cliffhanger, it turns out that Luke is the one who has been bankrolling mobster Julian Jerome after all.  Huh?  Sure, Luke has not been himself since he was wrongly imprisoned in Heather’s lunatic asylum.  But where would he get the money or the resources to be behind such a major mobster like Julian?

General Hospital’s Amazing 50th Anniversary Celebration Ends With a Few Troubling Story Choices

By Ed Martin

As a long-time viewer of General Hospital I have been thrilled with much of what I have seen on the show during the last two years. I can’t say that it’s been all good – the return of Caleb the Vampire and Lucy Coe’s obsession with destroying him was one of the most tedious storylines I have ever seen on any soap opera, and it seriously undercut the excitement that the spectacular Lynn Herring’s otherwise energizing return to the canvas had been generating. (If the show really had to go there – and I really wish it hadn’t – I think Lucy should have killed Caleb by crushing his skull with one of the crystals from Lumina. Why not? Weren’t the crystals found on Spoon Island, where Wyndemere and its catacombs are located?)

That not-so-hot mess aside, almost everything I saw on GH during 2013 – its 50th anniversary year – was a joy to behold. The return to the canvas of so many beloved veteran characters in ongoing stories (Anna Devane, Duke Lavery, Felicia Jones, Frisco Jones, A.J. Quartermaine, Robert Scorpio, Holly Sutton, Sean Donely, Lesley Webber, Kevin Collins, Scotty Baldwin, Laura Spencer, Bobbie Spencer, Nikolas Cassadine, Brenda Barrett, Noah Drake – even Richard Simmons) or for brief but

If the GH writers can bring back dead villains over and over again, surely they can bring back from the beyond a few more good characters, as well. Whenever I write about this show I can’t resist making a renewed plea to have Dr. Alan Quartermaine, his adopted daughter Emily Quartermaine and Maxie Jones’ sister Georgie Jones return to the living. The current GH regime has done an outstanding job of correcting many of the worst mistakes made by previous writers and producers (mistakes that, I believe, contributed over time to the erosion of the show’s fed-up audience), but it needs to go a little further and bring these three back.

welcome cameos (Audrey Hardy, Juan Santiago, Ethan Lovett); the return of so many exciting villains (Heather Webber, Caesar Faison, Stavros Cassadine, Julian Jerome); the inclusion of references to classic ABC soap operas Loving and Ryan’s Hope (the latter featuring Ilene Kristen’s return as Delia Ryan); and the resurrection of the Nurse’s Ball, a cherished annual GH tradition throughout the Nineties, made for the most memorable year since [Read more...]

B&B: Brooke is Now Suddenly on the Outside

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

Katherine Kelly Lang: Love is her Brooke’s “fate”

For more than 25  years, the main story of The Bold and the Beautiful has been the story of the love life of Brooke Logan Forrester (fascinatingly played by Katherine Kelly Lang) .  She’s been married to all the Forresters — Eric, Thorne and Ridge –and is the mother of five children.  When it came time to die from cancer, Stephanie Forrester chose Brooke’s arms to die in.

Brooke has been such a good soap heroine because her life is centered on what soaps are all about:  love.  To Brooke, love is all.  Whoever she has sex with she must be in love with. And because she believes love is her fate, she believes any of her actions toward that end are justified.

Armed with the nobility of that motivation, Brooke has gained much in life.  She became a top scientist and later designer at Forrester Creations, inventor of the Belief fabric formula and lead designer of Brooke’s Bedroom, a line of luxe lingerie.  When she became Mrs. Eric Forrester, she became rich and famous at a very young age.

But it’s her continuous love affair with Ridge Forrester that has dominated her life.   A young girl when she met him, she set her sights on him immediately even though he was involved with and later married Caroline Spencer Forrester. Though men came and went in her life, it was always the love of Ridge she sought — and won and lost many times.  The two have been married three times.

Because Brooke believes nothing she does is wrong, she has trespassed often on the lives of many around her.  She fell in love with her daughter Bridget’s husband Nick Marone.  She fell in love with her sister’s Katie’s husband Bill Spencer and had a torrid affair with him.

But right now everything that Brooke has stood for and believed is coming apart.  She was set to remarry Ridge when her maid of honor Katie fainted in the middle of the ceremony.  It turns out that Katie, who had been so harmed by Brooke when Brooke fell in love with her husband Bill, is now in love with Ridge. And Ridge is in love with Katie.

Now that Brooke is finally faced with what she can’t have – namely Ridge, the once inevitable “fate” of her love — it may be time for her to take a good look at herself.   What is it about her that she has been able to steal so many other women’s men?   How will she survive now that Katie has stolen her man.  Will Broke ever change and see the errors of her ways ?  Will she once again wrest  Ridge from another women’s once arms?

Y&R: Nikki Newman’s Great Strength

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

Melody Thomas Scott

One of the great things about daytime soap opera is how strong the women characters generally are.  They have to be that way to survive the problems continually thrown at them in their everyday lives. At the same time, they must be vulnerable to the vagaries of romance. The head may know best, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

One of daytime’s strongest women characters is also one of its historically most vulnerable. She is Nikki Newman, as played with such phenomenal depth and power for the last thirty years by Melody Thomas Scott on The Young and the Restless.  For the last six months Nikki has been fighting a situation that has shaken her to her very core:  She found out the baby she gave up to adoption as a young teenager is in fact the new man in town, Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton). How, she wonders, can she earn his filial devotion?

The baby was conceived under very shady circumstances.  As a young girl, Nikki joined a cult led by a very influential, shifty and pushy man named Ian Ward.  Ward seduced the young girl and Nikki carried the baby to term, giving it up for good with the assistance of some local nuns.

One of the first things Nikki did after she revealed herself to the grown Dylan as his mother was to make sure that he knew that Ian, the rat, is his biological father.  Dylan researched Ian and found out he was still up to his old tricks, living as a shady youth counselor named John Darwin.  Darwin came to Genoa City and has since haunted the lives both of Nikki and Dylan.

Ian’s unwanted attention has been particularly frightful for Nikki, especially when he breaks the security of the Newman estate and shows up in Nikki’s living room.   But what’s really tested Nikki is Ian’s plot to similarly influence and seduce her young granddaughter Summer, who is the daughter of Nikki’s other son Nick Newman.

As played so beautifully by Scott, Nikki is able to be strong despite her fear. Even though she was frightened, she stood up to Ian, telling him she is not afraid of him.  He requested a $5 million payoff to leave town, and Nikki showed up with a fraction of the amount.  Then she scared him away from Summer, demonstrating her great strength as a character and a leading lady.

One of the great highlights of this plot has been the performance of Ray Wise, a soap opera veteran and perhaps best known for the role of Leland Palmer on Twin Peaks.  His Ian Ward is just the right shades of charming and smarmy and has had wonderful scenes with both Scott and Hunter King, who plays Summer.

Now that Ward has been exposed as a scoundrel, will he turn up dead?  And will it be Nikki — or someone else — who kills him?