Ten More Marlena Summer Questions

Thinking Fans’ summer thoughts on this, that and the other: Esther is happy Holly is making an appearance on Guiding Light, and wishes Monti Sharp would come back, too … Steve finds, “The acting from the new younger set on General Hospital is good, but I’m horrified by the misogyny and thug worship in their stories” … while Roger Newcomb is “actually excited about the Daytime Emmys. The producer this year is a lifelong fan of soaps and has produced some pretty classy award shows in the past” … and more. See Comments below. 

_____________________________________ 

By Marlena De Lacroix

1.  Isn’t it interesting that both Gigi and Stacy on One Life to Live wore as low as you can go cleavage during their catfight this week?  I mean, those puppies were popping out!  Isn’t it interesting that Brian FronsBrian Frons dogcurrent photo on his Facebook page is that of a big dog sitting in the driver’s seat of a car? (I’m not kidding. Check it out!)

2.  Now that Mary Jane‘s stuffed cat (a.k.a. Kitty) has turned out to be the surprise star of the summer on The Young and the Restless, why hasn’t CBS begun marketing souvenir versions yet? Let me tell ya, city gal Marlena just loves taxidermy …

3.  Hey Bradley Bell, headwriter of The Bold and the Beautiful! Marlena knows what you are doing!  Aren’t you copying your father’s two most successful stories of the 80s at the same time?  That’s the (then wonderful, now nauseating) Brooke-Ridge-Taylor love story and the establishment of a “comic” second family (Jackie M and [Read more...]

Marlena’s Midsummer Night’s Questions

Thinking Fans’ summer thoughts on Destiny et al.:  JTG says Shenell Edmonds’ Destiny is no stereotype. “It’s obvious OLTL’s writers are positioning Destiny as Matthew’s first girlfriend. Most of the time, the stereotypical ’mammy’ character is either sexless or oversexed. That is not the case with Destiny” … while Mike Goldberg confides Destiny has made him a believer again. “I haven’t been interested in teen romance in years” … and more, on many topics. See Comments below.

________________________________________ 

sunBy Marlena De Lacroix

Bonjour everyone!  I’ve been taking it easy this summer, staying cool in the pool with my new pooch (see above).  Yet I’m still watching soaps and have a bunch of questions I’d like to ask.  As always, I welcome your comments!

1.  Why hasn’t anyone in the soap press asked major actor John Rubinstein — a Best Actor Tony winner for Children of a Lesser God in 1980 and a million other TV roles, plus being the son of the late piano genius Artur Rubinstein — why he’s playing a minor little part on The Young and the Restless?  His Dr. Taylor is the crooked [Read more...]

Soap Shrink at Sea: On Deck With As the World Turns’ Van Hansis

Thinking Van Fans on Mr. Hansis’ sea-going chat: Morgan D. enthuses, “Van is amazing, but we all knew that. But look how much brighter he shines when he is asked INTELLIGENT questions” … Mary says, “It’s always nice to hear an actor be able to really understand his character” … while Tom confirms, “As someone who has met, and talked to, Van at several fan events, I can say that this interview captures his personality beautifully” … and more more. See Comments below.  

______________________________________ 

By Damon L. Jacobs

As the World Turns‘ Van Hansis (Luke Snyder) is definitely one of the more outspoken and risk-taking actors working on daytime today. The pairing of Luke and Noah (Jake Silberman), who are gay, has been one of the most popular soap couples ever.  Van HansisHe has taken on the challenge of lending integrity to a role that is controversial, symbolic, and the center of many political debates. During our chat on SoapNet’s “Rock the Soap Cruise,” Hansis talked about finding out what it is like to make a social impact in the world, about Luke’s legacy as a Grimaldi, and the truth behind Luke’s REAL feelings for Brian (his amorous step grandfather, played by Laurence Lau): 

D:  Luke has been going through some serious stuff these past six months. 
V:  Yes, definitely.  It’s been fun to play. 

D:  What’s been the best part for you recently?
V:  I like that they’re giving Luke more layers than he had before.  He’s still a very good guy, but he’s conflicted and has a lot more issues now, a lot of which he has brought on himself.  It all started with him trying to steal the election and it’s all built upon that.  The character is now [Read more...]

Guiding Light: What Happened? Start Your THINKING Long Ago

Thinking Fans savor vintage Guiding Light: Mike Goldberg says, “It seems to me that Guiding Light has had so many magical periods and then so many dreadful periods. The era you describe was magnificent” … while from Italy, Giada declares, “I don’t want to be a ‘laudator temporis acti,’ someone who praises the past for its own sake, but I do believe we’re not seeing in the present moment soaps as good as we used to” … and more. See Comments below. 

____________________________________________ 

By Marlena De Lacroix

It’s been so difficult to write since last week’s  cancellation of Guiding Light.  So painful to see it go, so awful to lose a show that is literally the cradle of all soap operas.Guiding Light 1

I only stopped feeling bad when I realized that the cancellation freed me from ruminating about the disasters of the past year (the “new” production model!). Instead, I could reflect on and savor memories of the remarkable and glorious 72-year history of GL. Not just to reminisce, but to think about why GL was an excellent and superbly crafted classic soap for so long, and how over the years so many of the elements that made it so popular and compelling were carelessly discarded.  I decided to pick one era –1980-82, the first years I watched — and examine it through the eyes of someone who’s watched thirty years of subsequent soap opera history.  Some might call what happened during those years modernization.  Others might call it slow destruction …

You have to remember that GL in1980-82 stood in a shadow. In those days everyone, especially the young and hip, were swooning over the magical Luke and Laura story on General Hospital, which had hit all of daytime with a tidal wave of

GL was truly an ensemble effort.  As a viewer, you felt very much an integral part of Springfield, too!  It was like a real place, a real home.  Which once upon a time is what all soaps were.   

popularity in the summer of 1980, the summer on the run.  I was the new editor of a magazine called Afternoon TV, and was responsible for [Read more...]

Spinning As The World Turns’ Luke and Noah — Again!

Thinking Fans weigh in on the Nuke “surprise”: Aprioriguy avers “This is about ATWT deliberately not promoting this couple” …  while keie loved the surprise so much, he “literally jumped out of my chair and screamed!” … and Michael thinks “The show is trying to have it both ways — being progressive while trying to appease conservatives.” See Comments below.

 _________________________ 

Luke and NoahBy Marlena De Lacroix

I was out of town yesterday and I missed the As the World Turns episode in which Luke and Noah made love for the first time.  Why?  ATWT‘s production company, Telenext chose not to publicize it, in other words, give the viewers any advance notice of the event.  What were they afraid of?  Protestors walking the streets of Brooklyn, where the show is taped?  Or equally abhorrent (to a production company which is starved for soap viewers right now), that advance word of the sex would discourage viewers from watching the show at all?

What cowards!   Every soap viewer knows that advance story information in the form of spoilers is regularly ladled all over the soap magazines and on many, many websites.  It’s the network publicists and, in ATWT‘s case, the production company, Telenext, who give out [Read more...]

Marlena’s “Only the Bests” List 2008

New Year'sEve clip art

Thinking Fans’ picks and pans for 2008: Cherry Ames pans Todd/Marty as “the foulest story ever” … DSO816 picks the Angie/Jesse reunion … while Marlene agrees GHNS2 set the bar higher for all soaps … and more. See Comments below. 

________________________ 

By Marlena De Lacroix

Last year I decided I will no longer do “Best” and “Worst” lists for soaps.  After all, there have been so many “worsts” this year (real life deaths, superstar firings, General Hospital limosex and other tasteless storylines, wasted returns of some soap veterans), why would I want to re-inflict the pain on you?

 So, darlings, here are my “bests.”

General Hospial Night Shift 2 — As I wrote last fall,”If they could bottle this show, they could save soap opera.”  This 2008 soap dared to remember that soap opera is supposed to be about love, compassion, close friendships and the importance [Read more...]

As The World Turns in 2008: The “World” at Warp Speed

Thinking Fans Comment Update: James wonders, “Where’s the happiness in Oakdale?” … likewise, Steve says Oakdale has become “a bitter, mean-spirited place” … and more. See Comments below. 

____________________ 

ATWT logo

By Patrick Erwin

As The World Turns may be the second oldest soap, but this year, the show burned through storylines at warp speed. There has been a tremendous amount of action onscreen, as well as behind the scenes, in 2008 at ATWT.

But interestingly enough, the general mood of the show seems to be back to where it started in 2008 — in a cloud of darkness.

Back in February, I shared my opinion about how incredibly dark the mood on the show had been. It was almost a chore to watch at that point, with classic characters who [Read more...]

Soap Shrink to Thinking Fans: Ways to Cope with Recent Soap Deaths

Thinking Fans on the passing of beloved soap characters:  BL says, “Feelings are feelings, and if someone did something magnificent in their career or touched you emotionally, it should be honored” … while renee says, “I know they’re not physically real, but if we’re blessed they’re emotionally real” … and more. See Comments below. 

________________________ 

By Damon L. Jacobs

This is not an easy time to be a soap fan.  Already we are coping with declining ratings, pre-emptions, time changes, and signs of behind-the-scenes instability.  But this week the Thinking Fans are coping with not one, not two, but three significant creative and artistic losses.  What’s worse, the NAW’s (Non-Addicted-Watchers) in our lives usually have a limited ability to relate to our pain and sorrow.  

Unlike stars of prime time TV shows or movies, soap actors/writers form unique relationships with us viewers.  They are in our homes several times a week, sometimes for decades at a time.  We often go through school and college

Respect your relationship with the person who has died …  Appreciate the values they brought into your life.

watching our favorite character go through similar struggles.  We may enter and exit relationships; we may give birth to children and watch them grow up, all with that comforting surrogate family member entering into our homes during the day.  They come to symbolize [Read more...]

Our As The World Turns Expert’s Reaction: Jon Lindstrom Cast as the latest Craig Montgomery

Scott Bryce

Thinking Fans Comment Update October 10:  James thinks Lindstrom is a worthy successor … but Dawn worries that he’ll join the dumpees. See Comments below. 

_________________________ 

Last December our Patrick Erwin did a very, very perceptive take on the very strange state of the character of Craig Montgomery on As the World Turns.  Earlier in 2007, Scott Bryce,  the brilliant and very popular actor who originated that role in the 80s,  had returned to the role after an absence of more than 15 years. (Other actors had played the role in the interim.)  In his analysis, Patrick maintained that  ATWT was misusing  the character and wasting Bryce’s talents.  The same month this article ran, Bryce was indeed fired for reasons that were never clarified by the show.  Fans were outraged — and remain mystified as to why such a valuable actor as Bryce could have been fired. Yesterday, it was announced that Jon Lindstrom, the versatile and well-liked actor who played Kevin and Ryan on General Hospital and Port Charles has been hired to take over the role of Craig.   Here is Patrick’s reaction:

                                                                                                            Marlena

                                                                                                            XXXOOO

____________________________________________________

By Patrick Erwin

There’s a big mystery brewing in Oakdale — or at least in Brooklyn, where As The World Turns is taped. It’s more mysterious than figuring out if James Stenbeck is alive, dead, or vying to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars:  It looks like ATWT is bringing on daytime vet Jon Lindstrom to play Craig Montgomery.

My question is: Why? [Read more...]

From Bad to Good or Good To Bad: Seven Soap Characters Who Changed Before Our Eyes

Melissa Claire Egan

Thinking Fans Comment Update Sept. 9:  Sina nominates Maxie Jones … Greg would include Vanessa Chamberlain …  Aaron misses Annie Dutton … and more. See Comments below. 

________________________ 

By Patrick Erwin

It’s been interesting to watch recent scenes with Melissa Claire Egan as Annie on All My Children. Once a good girl, Annie has turned into a manipulative witch. She may not be a nice person anymore, but Annie no longer comes off as a Greenlee-wannabe and is far more interesting to watch.
 
Most soap characters serve a purpose and stay in their designated slot: heroine, villain, rouge, or temptress. But every once in a while, a character will undergo a major metamorphosis and make a dramatic change, redeeming their wicked ways or shedding their goodness to get in touch with their inner bad seed.

Here are seven examples of characters who radically changed in front of our eyes.
 
1.  Annie Dutton, Guiding Light: Speaking of Annies, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this one. When she was [Read more...]