Sunday Reflections 10: Katie Couric’s Talk Show is So-So … GH’s Fast Wrapping Up Remote … Y&R: Why did “Red”’s Hair Suddenly Turn Brown?

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

So what did you think of Katie, Ms. Couric’s new talk show?  I have mixed feelings about it.

Couric herself doesn’t bother me.  Au contraire — we should be proud that daytime television, which marginalizes older women, is spotlighting a 55-year-old.  Katie’s usual intelligence does shine through on the show.  Plus she’s the real deal as a journalist, a terrific interviewer.  She has the professional acumen to ask the difficult questions — on her first show she asked Sheryl Crow if she knew about Lance Armstrong’s drug use while she was dating him. (Crow copped out and said she doesn’t talk to him much anymore.)

Katie Couric

One of the show’s main problems, though, is that so far it hasn’t measured up to the Couric intelligence.   It’s been focused too much on what I call the girly-girl lightweight subjects, like weight and romance.  Wasn’t the interview with shallow Jessica Simpson just a bore?  Who needs yet another recommendation for Weight Watchers, as Simpson went on about her weight loss and even brought on her WW counselor.  Katie gave over an entire show to a feel-good author named B’rene Brown who just burbled on for endless segments about how beneficial it is to make yourself vulnerable to romance and all in life. She was so New Age-ish and so full of hot air that the show just went on interminably.

As I’ve written, a daytime talk show shouldn’t appeal only to women. It should appeal to all people who have brains, as The View does.  Katie herself seems quite genuine during the show, yet as successful talk show hosts do, she hasn’t learned yet to let her entire personality shine through. So far, Couric seems shy and comes off as vanilla. Compare her to my goddess Wendy Williams (a guest on Katie’s first week) who is so funny and natural on her own morning talk show.  Anderson Cooper is every bit as intelligent as Katie, yet he’s far more loose and charismatic on his own show.   A big problem the first week of the show was that Couric herself is just not that entertaining.  Marlena says, relax and let yourself go, girl!  A journalist has to be professional and objective while a talk show host has to be more personable and informal.   Perhaps when Couric becomes more comfortable with being personally open, the show will improve.  As for the future of the show, I just don’t know.  It took The View at least a year to catch on; it will probably take Katie at least as long to correct its problems.

General Hospital:  So what did you think of GH’s big waterfront remote?  It was well directed and acted and gave some of my soap fan friends an adrenaline rush.  But Michael Easton, hilariously flipping back his hair as he drew his gun and defused the bomb, didn’t seem much the hero to me.  Can you believe that both Sonny and Jax survived the horrific explosion?  And what’s with Nancy Grahn’s (Alexis) low, low cleavage bouncing around through the whole sequence?  I also think that GH wrapping up the months-long Jerry Jacks poisoned water sequence in only three episodes was a bit of a rip off.  What if you missed one?  Oh well, the ratings went up very nicely  for the sequence and the whole show last week, so perhaps one shouldn’t complain.

The Young and the Restless: Didn’t anyone notice that Phyllis’ hair went from red to brown this week on Y&R?    Since “Red”’s hair is her trademark (as it is Marlena’s) what’s up with that?  Oh, and who isn’t getting tired of Victor the amnesiac on the run? Supposedly the show’s centerpiece, Eric Braeden just looks too terribly tired and old as Victor continues his derelict state.


  1. But did you notice how “Red’s” hair went from red to brown to red to brown? Who allowed Stafford to dye her hair mid-sequence? And the entire two shows’ worth of scenes took place in Phyllis’ apartment! Did she get bored being interrogated by Ronan and skip off to the loo to play Miss Clairol? Just sloppy, sloppy continuity and an apparent inability by management to keep Stafford from doing whatever she wants. If anything, I need Phyllis to be a strawberry-blonde to vaguely resemble her vapid offspring, Cruel Summer.

    Marlena says: Ant, so good to see you again! Love that you call Phyllis’ daughter ‘Cruel’ Summer. LOL!

  2. What do you think of the recent “bloodbath” that is going on at Y&R now, Marlena? First, Genie Francis (Geniveve, Y&R) has been fired because of “budgetary reasons” (ironically, Genie was fired by incoming new Y&R E.P. Jill Farren Phelps when Jill held that same position at GH several years ago! Rumour had it GF and JFP had a feud and Jill fired her when Genie made public her past drug addiction back in her youth. I hope that the new showrunners at GH and new ABC Daytime President Vicki Dummer hire back GF and bring Laura Spencer back home to Port Charles on GH!), then Debbie Morgan (ex-Angie, AMC and Yolanda/Harmony, Y&R) was the next one to get her walking papers, and now its rumoured that Jennifer Landon (ex-Gwen, ATWT and Heather, Y&R) is the next to get the axe! There are other comings and goings at Y&R that are not exactly “bloodbaths”: Julia-Pace Mitchell (Sophia, Y&R) has been demoted to recurring status, and now its been rumoured just today (along with the aforementioned possible Jennifer Landon news) that Billy Miller (Billy Abbot, Y&R) and Daniel Graziadei (Daniel Romalotti, Y&R) wants to leave the show since both of them has appeared in quite a few primetime tv shows in guest spots. Do you think these cast changes that are going on at Y&R with the new upcoming showrunners at the helm are changes for the better or for the worse?

    Marlena says: Chris, you always keep Marlena on her toes. Certainly, all these are great losses for Y&R, but the ones I’m saddest about are Debbi Morgan, Jennifer Landon (if it is true) and Billy Miller (if it’s true.) I guess we’re going to have to let Sony and Ms. Farren Phelps do what they have to do to cut budget and we’ll have to reserve ultimate judgement on these cuts until their new version of Y&R actually airs. Genie would be great back on GH, but I’d think she’s mighty expensive. ABC should pay her whatever she wants to come back though.

    • Marlena, I hate to disagree with you about Genie, but what exactly would she/Laura come back for?
      Luke has moved on, Lulu is an adult, Lucky is gone, everyone else has moved on. There are already three women pining over Luke for some unfathomable reason, we sure don’t need another. So what purpose would the character have?

      I am upset about Debbi and Billy leaving. I love both actors/characters and really hate to see them go. TPTB could have done so much more with Debbi and even though Billy is leaving of his own accord, I hate that he is leaving. I would assume they will re-cast Billy since the character is involved in so many storylines, but I can’t imagine anyone better than Mr. Miller.

      Jennifer Landon never had a chance to grow on me so I’m not sure how I feel about her. I didn’t watch her on the other show, but I know she won several Emmys and it’s too b
      ad she’s out so soon.

      Daniel…don’t care much for him, but what will happen to Lucy?

      Marlena says: There should be always room for Genie on GH, no matter how much I like Luke and Anna and Luke and Tracy. Laura represents all that is good in Port Charles, and certainly her love and light can brighten up the town. As far as Y&R’s obnoxious Lucy goes, I hope she’s sent to Attitude Adjustment School.

    • What do you mean she’s “mighty expensive”? Does Genie wants a higher salary now that’s she a big legendary daytime soap star like Susan Lucci? I don’t think its always and mostly about the money with her, just a great storyline and great writing is all that she needs! Genie said on the Oprah show that she wanted to come back to GH if Laura isn’t portrayed as a victim anymore, and I hope Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini listens to her ideas for her character if they want her back to the show!

      Marlena says: As I said, bring back Genie on her own terms, and as you say, listen to her ideas!

  3. Glad I’m not the only one who noticed Michelle’s hair color change. I thought something was wrong with my TV.

    Marlena says: There’s got to be some explanation for this, don’t you think?

  4. About GH: You said that Michael Easton (John McBain) “didn’t seem much the hero to you” because he was flipping back his long hair while shooting his gun and diffusing the bomb! At least it wasn’t Sonny The Mobster the one that saved the day this time! It was a person that was on THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE LAW for a change! Who’ cares if John couldn’t help flipping his hair because he had long hair trying to fight against the bad guys! John McBain IS A COP ON A DAYTIME SOAP for god’s sake!!!!

    Marlena says: You are so right Chris! What a nice change for GH and all of daytime.

    • Thank you Chris. I’ve said the same thing about having someone other than Sonny OR Jason be the hero. It;s nice it was one of the good guys.

  5. Dear Connie/Marlena,

    You can add Marcy Rylan, who plays Abby, to the list of those who will be exiting CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.”

    From her Twitter site, Rylan writes: “I had a blast at [‘Y&R’] and I’m taking all those awesome memories with me! I am so excited to see what will come next! Love you all! XOXOXO”

    I think Connie/Marlena saw this coming. I think a number of us did. That we could perceive “Y&R” having to trim the budget and say good-bye to some cast members, presumably with pricey salaries and, with some, less impact than storytelling required. That some characters were not vital.

    I wish well for all who are impacted by this. And we subscribers will find out whether this has a positive direction on “Y&R,” which has been rather rudderless for some time.


    Marlena says: A sensible look at the show DSO. We’ll just have to give the new version some time to see how it all plays out.

  6. Genie Francis, if she wasn’t brought back in some idiotic way, like Vanessa Marcil was, would be a great addition to GH. GH has no moral compass, and she could serve as that, as the Victoria Lord kind of character, flawed but striving to be better and to help others be, and do, better. Luke with Anna is a throwaway, as far as I am concerned, and now that Tracy wants to move her booty call into Monica’s home, well, for me, she’s lost a lot of credibility. Laura made Luke a better man, and he made her an interesting character.
    One of the first story lines I remember watching was the two of them on the run, and then of course the Ice Princess, and I think those stories made me a lifelong fan. I wouldn’t want Genie Francis to just be some earth mother one note do-gooder, or some woman that sits in a rocking chair wearing a bad wig, but a fully realized character. They don’t need to rewrite her history, but they do need to leave the last annoying chunks out where they assassinated her character. And all that nonsense with Rick Webber! Sheesh!

    Marlena says: Bravo! I love your idea of Genie as moral compass. General Hospital hasn’t had one in twenty years, at least, if not longer! I’d love to see Genie was well, independent grown-up woman.

  7. Although I agree that the resolution of GH’s poisoned water supply storyline was a bit rushed, I have to admit it had me glued to my set. What I found most compelling about it were the scenes between Edward/Tracy/Monica/Patrick/Emma. As a longtime GH viewer, I have felt that GH has been unable to pull off any emotional punches in recent years, primarily because the writers/producers have done a poor job of recognizing the importance of familial relationships. Here were a few great scenes where members of two families first displayed a strong emotional connection amongst themselves and then with each other. In some ways, very contrasting due to the age differences between Edward/Tracy and Patrick/Emma, yet it showed that the love between a father and a daughter knows no age boundaries. (The Edward scenes are even more poignant to me now due to the passing of the great John Ingle, but his work deserves to be recognized in a standalone article). I also really enjoyed the way GH integrated Sam’s family with Jason & Monica (and Edward, although he wasn’t shown) during the prior week’s “what if” episode. I really hope that the current production/writing team continue to provide viewers with scenes that recognize the deep connections that family members share. Let’s get back to character-driven storylines instead of plot-driven writing!

    Marlena says: What a great letter from a thinking fan! I agree with you 1000%, Sam. Maybe the current writing regime can save GH–and all of soaps with its character-driven storylines.

  8. Finally, September 15 review of Katie Couric is right on. Katie is okay but her shows have been tedious. Sheryl Crow, Jesscia Simpson, JLo, 50 Shades of Grey are 10 to 20 minutes at most and after 30 minutes I was looking for the remote. She is pandering to her guests, probably hoping to have them back in the future. Sixty minutes appears to be too much Katie and she does not need to worry about having guests back because she’s not likely to last. If she can’t improve, keeping her show going past December is just cruel (to everyone).

    Marlena says: Thanks, John. I do wish Katie and the show well, though, and continue to respect Ms. Couric tremendously.

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