Patrick’s Postcards from Oakdale, Salem and Springfield

By Patrick Erwin

Hello everyone! Sorry I haven’t been around as much lately.  I’ve been dealing with the plot twists and turns of my own storyline, including a move to another city — not just any city, but the Windy City of Chicago. Chicago is, of course, the cradle of soaps, where Irna Phillips started it all and where Bill Bell began. Speaking of cities, I’ve managed (despite my busy schedule) to visit several soap cities. Here’s my postcard from each …

Postcard: Oakdale – It’s no secret that As the World Turns has been the center of an incredible amount of friction, both onscreen and off. Many of the stories that played out on our screens over the last several months were incredibly dark and depressing (like Dusty’s murder, the custody battle for baby Hallie, and the Craig/Paul/Meg/Rosanna triangle, to name but a few). I have to say, though, [Read more...]

Days of Our Lives’ Glorious Sweeps Event

Days plane crashBy Marlena De Lacroix

My readers know what disdain I usually have for stagey sweeps stunts, so imagine my shock at being sucked into the very beginning of last Friday’s episode of Days of Our Lives and then spit out an hour later thoroughly entertained … and even thrilled!

The plane carrying various members of the Brady family returning from Ireland had veered off course and the hour featured passengers fretting for their lives and scrambling for a dwindling oxygen supply while John and eye-patch-wearing Steve (a one-eyed flyer?) struggled to pilot the failing craft into some kind of landing.  The episode was filled with a feeling of suspense and urgency like nothing I’ve ever seen done on a soap opera.  It was more like [Read more...]

10 Sweet and Soapy Valentine’s Day Questions

By Marlena De LacroixSarah Brown

1.  Is it my imagination or did bravura actress Sarah Brown return to General Hospital (as Claudia Zacchara) with a little something extra under the signature slutty red wrap dress?  And isn’t fierce mob princess Claudia very similar to Maerose Prizzi (Oscar winner Anjelica Huston) the fierce mob princess who wants to take control of her mob family in the 1985 hit movie Prizzi’s Honor?  Is there a mob movie that Bob Guza has  failed to rip off?

2.  Indeed, is there any Hollywood movie that Guza hasn’t ripped off? Last night I watched 1983′s War Games, about a nerdy but lovable teenage computer hacker [Read more...]

Rape Stories: Days of Our Lives Shows That “No” Really Means “No” This Time

By Patrick ErwinDays of Our Lives

For all its onscreen and offscreen turmoil, Days of Our Lives seems to have a few stories working for it right now. One of them is Chelsea and Stephanie and the sorority girls dealing with the aftermath of the campus rapist, Ford, who raped Stephanie and Cordy and threatened Chelsea. Initially, the story didn’t seem too promising. The setup of the story was rushed (what story isn’t, nowadays?) and the rapist, Ford, came off as a one-dimensional buffoon.

[Read more...]

Happy New Year! Thinking Soap Fans Pick B&W of 2007

Happy New Year, mes chers!

Marlena toasts you with a glass of champagne, wishing only soaps that are good this year.  Speaking of, so many of my Thinking Fans sent in their own Best and Worst picks for 2007, there’s barely room to post them all!  I love the intelligence of them and appreciate how discerning all of you are when writing about a field of soaps that is less than enchanting.  Bold and battered, Thinking Soap Fans march on in 2008, using their soap savvy and quality critical judgement … [Read more...]

Marlena’s “Only the Bests” List 2007

By Marlena De Lacroix

I no longer do “Best” and “Worst” lists for soaps.  After all, there have been so many “worsts” this year, why would I want to re-inflict the pain on you again?  Moi loves mon readers.  So, only the “bests” for you, darlings.

[Read more...]

Patrick’s Hope: Soaps, Scrooge, and Christmas Miracles

By Patrick Erwin

I admit it — I’m feeling an awful lot like Ebenezer Scrooge this year.  Even Saint Nick himself knows that soap fans have certainly had a lot of reasons to say “Bah humbug!”

[Read more...]

Welcome to Yearning for Yesterday, Our New Feature

 By Marlena De Lacroix

Whenever I talk about favorite old soaps with longtime soap fans, the conversation always ends the same way:  “Weren’t soaps so much better then?”

We all yearn for yesterday.  For many of us, soaps have been part of our lives for decades. It feels good to look back, just as it would looking at a family album.

[Read more...]

Days of Our Lives: A Soap in a Vacuum

By Patrick Erwin

Days of Our Lives can be called many things, but “boring” is seldom one of them.  The show’s twists, turns, and red herrings sometimes make The daVinci Code look like Dr. Seuss in comparison!

[Read more...]