Marlena Is Back – And Needs A Little Help From Her Friends

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

Peter Bergman, still smilin’ through. But what about the other guy?

Bonjour, mes amis! Je suis retourné!  Marlena was ill for a while, but I’m recovering and happy to report for duty. The only problem is, I took a short hiatus from watching soaps during my down time. Now, I’m reemerging with many questions. It’s amazing how much soaps can change in just a few short months.

So I have a favor to ask of you, my faithful thinking readers. Can you help me fill in the gaps in some storylines? If you’ll send in your answers to the following questions as comments on this column, I’ll comment on your comments and we’ll have a grand old time talking about soaps, our favorite subject, as we have for so many years. In advance, merci beaucoups.

A Tale of Two Jacks

Why are there two Jacks on The Young and Restless?  Of course, double characters and twins are as old as soaps themselves.  But two Jack Abbotts?  This one really threw me.  One is ol’ Smilin’ Jack and the other is Marco Annicelli, a big drug dealer.  Who is this Marco and how did he become Jack? Moreover, how in the world did Jack’s love, wife Phyllis, not know she was sleeping with an imposter? Isn’t that … bizarro?  And while we’re at it, who is this Marisa (Sofia Pernas) and how did she get mixed up in this two Jacks debacle? Most importantly, are you all having fun with this, or not?

Certainly Peter Bergman has enough talent to play a double, so this is not a comment on him. But this just seems another hollow trick by headwriter Charles Pratt, master manipulator of nonsensical plots.  But please don’t get me started on Pratt until a future column.

Too smart for their own good?

Why did so many good, brainy characters get written off or killed off in the time I was gone?  I am furious that Y&R did not pick up the contract of  Jessica Collins, who played Avery Bailey Clark.  Avery was what all soaps need, namely a very intelligent woman.  She was a lawyer with a cause, The Innocence  Project.  Yet Y&R chose to have her ex Joe Clark (Scott Elrod) beat her up, motivating her to flee the town. I miss her!

And then there’s the murder of Dr. Silas Clay (Michael Easton) on General Hospital.  Soft-spoken though he was, he was a voice of intelligence and reason, saving Danny and Josslyn in life and death situations.  Yet, there he was stabbed in the back with a butcher knife. This is a soap called General Hospital after all and it needs as many doctors as possible.  I know that in the interim the show’s old head writer Ron Carlivati got fired and Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante have been hired.  I have all faith in Altman and Passanante, both of whom have long sheets of soap credits, the last of which was Y&R  before Pratt came in.

So how to do feel about the fled and the dead?

They Enriched the Days of Old, and Now They’re Back!

How did Days of Our Lives get so good?  I am the first to confess that I haven’t been a Days watcher for years.  Yet I grew up glued to Days on the 60s, 70s and early 80s and adored the show when that genius, the late James E. Reilly, was writing it in the 90s.

But now, as the show’s 50th anniversary looms this November, new headwriters Josh Griffith and Dena Highley are bringing back the spirit of the show I cut my soap teeth on.  All of a sudden there’s the reappearance of the old show’s central stars.  Bo (Peter Reckell) and Patch (Stephen Nichols) are back and I find myself interested in the show again.  And there’s more. They’re bringing back Thaao Penghlis, who played that great baddie  Tony DiMera as well Tony’s evil cousin Andre. I can’t wait! And, joy of joys, they’ve signed Marlena’s old favorite Vincent Irizarry to a contract as Demios.   Oh how I loved his Lujack and Nick on Guiding Light, his Dr. Scott Clark on Santa Barbara and  his David Hayward on All My Children! Plus, they’ve already brought on the fabulous A. Martinez as Eduardo!  Most notably, Martinez played  Cruz Castillo on Santa Barbara. I can’t wait to watch this show again! Tell me if I’m right.

So write to me, Thinking Fans, and let’s have a glorious reunion!