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 (played by a very young Matthew Broderick) with a short brown bowl haircut who hacks into the computer network of the U.S. government and almost starts a global thermonuclear war.  OMG, this must be the “inspiration” for GH‘s Spinelli!  Bobby G has no shame!  And not an ounce of originality to his name!Debbi Morgan

3.  Did I really read on that professional soap site that one reason the editor was happy Debbi Morgan has come back to All My Children as Angie was because Morgan hadn’t had any plastic surgery? Respect must be paid! Morgan’s return as the deeply mature, compassionate, exquisitely emotional and real Angie is one of the greatest and profound events of the soap year! Brava to Debbi and Darnell Williams (Jesse)  who makes this old Agnes Nixonian All My Children fan weep with joy because I’m so happy to see them back on my screen every day.

4.  Did seeing Shirley Jones playing the ancient Colleen Brady on Days of Our Lives flip you out?  Wowsa!  Talk about profound! I’m so sick of editors only crediting her as Ma Partridge on the The Partidge Family.  Those of us with more refined taste remember Jones as Laurie in Oklahoma! and Julie in Carousel, the movie versions.   I know a lot of you out there are musical theater fans!

5.  Who’s the Daddy?  There are so many crazy father-finding-lost-sons plots going on at the same time on One Life to Live I can’t keep any of them straight.  Now, Jared is the pretend son of Asa Buchanan?  Or is Jared now the biological son of Charlie?  And Rex isn’t the long lost son of Charlie?  And the same Rex is the biological father to Gigi’s son Shane?  Oy!  You need a special computer program to keep proper track of this!

6.  Did you see the magazine that had a picture of soap mainstay of almost 30 years Bob Woods on its cover, with the headline “FIRED?”  I trembled when I picked it up at the newsstand, thinking how many veteran soap actors would have a panic attack when they heard the news!  It turns out Bo Buchanan was to be fired as police commissioner that week!  Don’t you hate when mags do that?

7.  Did you see Dusty’s murderer Evan Walsh hold Lily and Lucinda hostage waving a syringe on As the World Turns? It was laughable!  Actor Ryan Serhant has to be one of the worst actors I have ever seen on daytime!  Yes, I know he won the “In Turn” contest.   And was the dope who tipped his own character was the murderer on his website weeks before it was revealed onscreen.

8.  On The Bold and the Beautiful, isn’t the story in which Taylor is in agony over the fact that Brooke (her lifelong romantic rival) is the biological mother of her son Jack (mistaken egg switch at time of in-vitro fertilization) just beyond, beyond cruel?  I mean, Brooke’s best pal (and onetime husband) is Taylor’s husband Nick!  And Brooke is about to marry Taylor’s ex Ridge (for the 300th time.) And isn’t this all the harder knowing that Hunter Tylo has to play this story right after the real-life death of her own son?  Marlena hates cruelty to women on all levels.

9.  Now that it looks like the Writer’s Strike is about to be over, isn’t it great we’ll have our favorite headwriters back to kick around again?hearats

10.  Did you see what my husband (and co-editor) Moose sent me for Valentine’s Day?  Check out our banner above.  Many thanks to Team Marlena artist Ira Blutreich.  And I want to send another bouquet of flowers to you, my beloved readers!  We are getting a fabulous response to this site.  All because we have happily connected with you, the wonderfully intelligent THINKING daytime fans we knew were out there!  Love you all!  Happy Valentine’s Day!  


  1. Marlena, I’m glad you mentioned #6…..another magazine did that a few weeks or months back with Y&R, and Nick (not Joshua Morrow) being fired….I’m sure it sells mags, but I don’t think it’s very good journalism!

  2. Are there idiots who aren’t aware in the press that Shirley Jones won the 1960 best supporting actress Oscar — opposite best actor winner Burt Lancaster — in Richard Brooks’s “Elmer Gantry” (which won Brooks the adapted screenplay Oscar as well)?


  3. But Marlena, I disagree regarding B&B’s basket-case, Taylor the mess. Taylor has always been after Brooke’s men. Brooke was first involved with Ridge and Nick, before former gynecologist now “world-reknown” psychiatrist Taylor knew them. They were both her patients, yet she still married the, thus breaking her ethical oaths!

    Also, Taylor still married Nick knowing that he still had feelings for Brooke. After being dumped by Ridge and always living in the shadow of Brooke (the same woman who raised Thomas, Phoebe and Steffie), you’d think a psychiatrist would know how to break this pattern. Taylor has always sniffed after Brooke’s scraps like a desperate vulture.

    And Taylor has been engaged to Storm (Brooke’s brother), slept with Stephen (Brooke’s father) and is now getting her hooks into Brooke’s son (Rick)! This is the same Rick who, after teaching him how to swim as a child, wanted Taylor to be his mother! Ick! He actually thought of her as a mother, and now she’s getting involved with him! Taylor has sunk to a new low! B&B actually has demonstrated how Taylor is really obssessed with Brooke. Her hallucinations prove how much of a mess she is since all she obsesses over is Brooke. My theory is that Taylor really is in love with Brooke, so the only way she’ll ever be close to Brooke is to get involved with Brooke’s exes or men biologically-related to Brooke!

    Marlena says: I disagree, Baked. From Day One, Taylor has always been depicted as a very intelligent woman. And she is certainly breathtakingly beautiful. I always think of her as a victim — of circumstance, and of the massively self-centered Brooke. And that the subconcious obsessive love affair on the show is between Brooke and Stephanie. Brooke is the one who has no self-awareness of her identity, her actions and aggressions, not Taylor. That Taylor may now dally with Rick shows me how insane Brooke has driven her!

  4. 1. So John Black (nee Ryan Brady) is really Stephano DiMera’s half brother. Since Stephano was 8 to 10 years old when Santos was romancing Colleen, that makes John a mere 10 years younger than Stephano. Huh?? But even more bizarrely, it means that John’s nephew, Tony, is probably 10 years YOUNGER than John, but he looks about 15 years OLDER. And then there’s Roman, another of John’s nephews, who also looks to be about 10 years older than John.

    2. Isn’t it convenient that the writers made Victor K. Bo’s biological father years ago? Otherwise, they’d have to deal with the fallout of Belle and Shawn’s marriage being incestuous. If Grandpa Shawn was Bo’s biological father, that would make Belle and Shawn first cousins once removed.

    3. Isn’t it amazing how my enjoyment level of AMC increased 500% once Angie Hubbard returned to the screen? Show feels classy again just having her back in Pine Valley!

    4. Can someone please take a pair of scissors over to the Y&R set and give Daniel Romalati a decent haircut? After that, fly those scissors to the AMC set and do something about JR Chandler’s hair.

    5. But at least Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan) got a good haricut before returning to Springfield. He looks so handsome with a decent haircut. Looks like he’s ready to become a leading man rather than a punk.

    6. OLTL’s multiple father plots aren’t the least bit confusing to me. Feels very carefully crafted right from the start when Charlie merely said his name was Charlie B. I feel I’m in expert hands with these daddy plots and look forward to seeing where Ron Carlivati takes the story. I don’t think I’ve felt so completely trusting of a headwriter since Henry Slesar’s perfectly plotted Edge of Night storeis that often seemed disjointed at first but eventually were revealed to be part of a much larger storyline. I just hope the writer’s strike didn’t mess up Ron’s stories too much.

  5. Re: Debbie Morgan’s return. Greenlee’s near death. Frankie’s near death. And yet throughout the medical crises, the prevailing feeling has been happy! Not just because Debbie Morgan as Angie Hubbard has returned, but because Debbie seems genuinely happy to back! When was the last time any of us as viewers felt glad to be in Pine Valley! She makes it seem possible that Pine Valley might be a place worth visiting again as a palpable reminder of the community that Pine Valley once was and hasn’t been for years!

    What a pleasure to see an actor on AMC actually seem glad to be there! Most of the cast is either in the throes of being fired or wishing their contracts were over already.

    Let’s hope the show doesn’t squander and squelch Debbie’s breath of fresh Pine Valley air with the lousy plot-driven drivel that has depressed us and AMC’s rating for years!

    Re: Dusty’s killer! No essential argument, Marlena, with your assessment of the syringe killer’s dopey demise…though I think needled the poor actor even more than Lily needled his character. The finale itself was poorly written (sorry, scabs!) and poorly executed…as was the entire motivation concocted for the woefully underwritten killer. While I don’t entirely blame the actor for not making it believable, I also can’t help thinking that he’s proven himself more than ready to land a role on “Passions!”

    Ultimately, the whole murder story was less about unmasking a killer than about re-cementing Holden and Lily. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Marlena says: I send a special Valentine’s smooch to pjs, Marlena’s dear friend of many, many years, who has always been totally loyal and a real gentleman despite the fact that we disagree on one thing — Passions!

  6. 1. Is Ken Corday [i]trying[/i] to get DOOL cancelled before 2009? There’s no other reason to hire Dena Higley. The woman is evil in teleplay form, and that’s the nicest thing I can think of to say about her. I’ve given up Days – I just can’t watch Dena destroy another soap.

    2. Who else absolutely LOVED watching the classic GH on Sunday morning during Robin’s mini-marathon? Stone and Robin remain one of my all-time favorite couples, and seeing them again was such a treat. And not to mention how wonderful GH was in general. Characters interacted as friends and relatives, had conversations both fun and serious, and even made us think a little bit. And the opening credits – I lost track of how many of those faces are gone now – but it was wonderful to see them again, even for a second. The GH of today is certainly unrecognizable – in a very bad way. How I miss Claire Labine.

    3. Speaking of classic GH, why don’t I own Soapnet? If I did I would pack the schedule with classic episodes. First up would be Robin and Stone’s story in its entirety, from start to finish. I know I’m not the only fan who’d love to relive favorite storylines (for me, Noah and Julia, Viki’s DID, Marty’s rape trial for starters) and also watch some storylines for the first time (Cruise of Deception, Bo/Hope and Steve/Kayla, Roger and Holly, Luke and Laura, the list goes on!) Perhaps if all of us soap fans chip in we can buy out Frons and actually put the SOAP back in Soapnet!

    4. Why can’t I watch OLTL after work without having to watch tiny brunette Carly flit across the bottom of my screen? (and yes, Marlena, she certainly does have something “extra” that she didn’t have in the Robin/Jason rerun yesterday!)

    5. Why do soaps insist on bringing actors back as completely different characters? Sure, we must watch our soaps with a grain of salt (or a bottle!) sometimes, but, c’mon PTB, work with us a little!

    6. Am I the only person who’s completely disgusted with Todd Manning? The TnB army will probably hunt me down for this, but I am done with Todd, and I was a fan for many years. He’s been bringing down Blair as well, and I’d love to see Max return and catch Blair’s eye (again!) He’s been poorly written since Margaret Cochran, and lately I find myself questioning Trevor St. John’s acting choices (his smirk during the heart-to-heart with Jack on Friday went beyond inappropriate to downright cruel, IMO!) If the writers can’t get a grip of who Todd is and write him as such, and if TSJ insists on going with out-of-place acting choices, then I say please get Todd out of Llanview. He’s been front-burner for years straight. I’m ready for a break.

    7. OK, this one isn’t a question, but I count three paternity storylines on OLTL. I haven’t had trouble keeping them straight either, James. 1) Jared and Charlie are related – am I the only person who doesn’t like Jared? Thought so. This s/l doesn’t do much for me. 2) Rex and Charlie are “related” – I’ve actually been enjoying this because it’s tying Charlie, one of my two favorite newbies, to existing characters, and is giving the fabulous Ilene Kristen her first meaty material in years, not to mention giving JP Lavosier a chance to shine. 3) Are Rex and Shane related? – This one is tying my other favorite newbie Gigi to some existing characters, and promises Rex a deeper storyline and worthy love interest (finally!) So, I guess two out of three isn’t bad.

    8. So it sounds like the strike is over, right? I’m so glad we’ll soon have Ron C. back at the helm of OLTL!

    Thank you Marlena, for this fantastic site and for the insights and fun that you, Patrick and everyone else at team Marlena bring to us!

    Marlena says: Kade, you are my liege! Big smooch from the Team. And great questions! I agree with you about TSJ’s Todd; the smugness with which he is played has made the character almost unbearable to watch. I always thought the actor was much better as Walker.

    All these years later, the character of Todd is still wildly popular no matter what. And still I’ve always wondered what people — and children — see in him. My old friend Leonie, the Todd fan/NY Times editor I used to write about in my magazine column, lives only these days for Friday Night Lights.

  7. I can’t bear to watch any scenes with Taylor on B&B since Hunter Tylo botoxed or surgically altered her face. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    And these days, I think Stephanie would rather bed Donna over Eric.

  8. 1. Why does GH insist on centering their stories around the mob.

    2. Where is the romance on some of these soaps like GH and DOOL. We no longer get any love scenes just a kiss.

    3. Is it me or is the whole thing with John Black being Stefanos brother just ridiculous and what is the purpose of killing Grandpa Shawn off?

    4. If AMC can bring back a few vets have an intriguing story why can’t some of the other shows. I mean GH brought back a few vets only to waste and ruin them. Like Noah Drakes being an alcholic, Robert Scorpio treating his daughter like crap, Holly Sutton being an evil greedy witch, Rick Webber is brought back and killed. Ridiculous!

    5. Why do most of these soaps seem to cater to the wealthy. I mean look at Young and the Restless most of the characters are rich and the Bold and the Beautiful as well.

    6. Why doesn’t the Bold and Beautiful put Ridge and Brooke together and be done with it and place them on the back burner. They are both too old to be getting together and breaking up a million times.

    7. Why did GH insist upon killing off the one true good girl Georgie Jones? Also whats up with the newbies?

    8. On GH it seems that its quite easy for a doctor and nurse to leavy duty and shack up in a supply closet or empty room. Since when you are allowed to do that? Their butts should have been fired by now.

    9. Why is it that some fans get actors and the characters they play confused. These people are acting a part and getting paid its all pretend they are not real.

    10. Why do some soaps insist on playing favorites with some characters that doesn’t seem fair.

    Great column Marlena I love reading it!

  9. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Marlena! SMOOCH!

    Can I give you 5 Soapy Valentine’s Day Questions?

    1. Why aren’t I more excited about Guiding Light’s new format, which debuts later this month? All the location scenes and fancy camera work in the world won’t make the mismatched couples and boring plot driven stories on this show more watchable.

    2. Isn’t Robin Strasser absolutely radiant these days as Dorian on OLTL? She is clearly enjoying her front burner, multi-storyline status!

    3. Isn’t it marvelous how OLTL is interconnecting all of its main stories and characters? I see a major domino effect coming when all the lies and secrets are exposed.

    4. How disappointing is it that the major soap rags have dumbed down to the extent that they have? If I want the Star or the Enquirer, I’ll buy them!

    5. Did Marlena ever get her Weird Al Yankovik albums and purple mules back from Phillipe L’Oeuf?

    Marlena says: Oh, Dale! I can’t believe you remember my long ago bald beau Phillipe, who I used to make fun of all the time in my SOW column! We’re still friends, and I must report he’s even more boring than ever–livin’ in the ‘burbs, coupla kids, you get it. You know I never did get the albums or the shoes back. But I definitely got a way superior hubby, Moose,who is the nicest guy in the world, extremely smart and most importantly, very handsome!

  10. Personally, I have no problem following the OLTL paternity plots, although someone who’s not paying close attention might easily become confused. I’m loving OLTL right now.

  11. One question:

    Just what the heck is the color of Brandon Beemer’s skin?

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