Happy 20th Anniversary, Soap Opera Weekly!

By Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Happy 20th anniversary, Soap Opera Weekly!  Congratulations to the generations of writers, editors, production, art and business people who have worked on the magazine over the years.  I was  lucky to be one of them, from its launch on November 21, 1989 through the magazine’s first eleven years. Each http://www.hollywood-dreams.com/images/uploads/sowsept595.jpgweek, under the pen name Marlena De Lacroix, I wrote Critical Condition, the magazine’s  ultra popular, original critical/humor column — 543 of them!  

Some say SOW was an instant success because soaps were so much better then or because there were so many more millions of soap viewers in 1989.  Both are true. But I think  SOW‘s success can be attributed primarily to the fact that it was a timely, excellent, fair-minded, professionally done magazine. It became a legend because in its first 11 years, it demonstrated courage and integrity in being absolutely honest about the soap opera world.     

Jon-Michael Reed‘s break-though Daytime TV Serials Magazine in the 70s pioneered the serious view of soap opera and a few other soap magazines had periodically done the same in the 80s.  But it was [Read more...]

Marlena’s Summer In Review (Part 1)

beagleBy Marlena De Lacroix

What a summer, and it’s not over yet!

Moose and I deeply mourn the loss of my mother, who passed away in April.  This very week we adopted an exquisite beaglePeter Bartlett puppy I’ve named Nigel.  As in Mr. Bartholomew Smythe, the One Life to Live character, played so capably by Peter Bartlett, who has given me so much laughter and joy over the years.  I also watched a lot of soaps this summer, but uncharacteristically (the first time in 30 years) I didn’t feel like writing about them.

I watched the last remnants of my old favorite soap, All My Children, dissolve in front of my eyes. It was once the most idiosyncratic and indivudual of soaps because Agnes Nixon wrote with genuine wisdom, wit and heart that always brought me

Conditions on soaps have to get better when the summer is over! The Emmys, the end of GL, the big 20th anniversary of my old mag, Soap Opera Weekly, are coming up and I’m sure there will be lots of hype and hoopla.

joy. Charles Pratt is writing generically bad soap as if it were Love of Life, Somerset, Sunset Beach, or any other long-cancelled soap.  So how [Read more...]

The Killing Fields of Soap Journalism

Thinking Fans Comment Update Aug. 17: Young Jay spent his snack money on Soap Opera Weekly … Professor Cindy calls for higher soap writing standards … Liz V is saddened by the decline of soap journalism … and more. See Comments below. 

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By Marlena De Lacroix

This is a short note to Marlena readers in another terrible week in a year that has become Marlena’s personal “horribus annee.”  My elderly mother is hospitalized again and I had a terrible toothache, necessitating getting a wisdom tooth pulled.  Who could pay attention to soap operas? Yet Hinsey-gate — the firing of the editor of Soap Opera Weekly — loomed large, casting a shadow that still hasn’t gone away.

Many readers have written to me, asking for a comment on the Hinsey story.  Here it is. But first some background:

After 10 years as a soap magazine editor, writer and newspaper  journalist, I originated the Critical Condition column in Soap Opera Weekly.  It was a pioneering critical column in the field and I wrote more than 570 columns, from the magazine’s inception in 1989 until 2001.  Early that year, Soap Opera Digest took over [Read more...]