General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful: The Decisions of Great Showmen

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

For the last year, I have been writing what great showmen executive producer Frank Valentini and headwriter Ron Carlivati are with their crackerjack rescue of General Hospital.   As I wrote last week, the Nurses Week was a blast, with the windup this week as wonderful as its beginnings. I loved Sabrina and scrumptious Emma singing “Call Me Maybe” and the boys of Port Charles doing a shirtless strip (down to their shorts, which spelled out sequentially “Nurses Ball.”)   Epiphany and the Revelations (Tracy and Monica) were great, finishing up the show singing “Jump.” The final act, with Patrick, Sabrina and Emma singing “You Are not Alone” with the whole cast, was sublime.  The 2013 revival of the Nurses Ball will always be remembered!

Still divinely sexy, Robert Kelker-Kelly is back as Stavros Cassadine

But what did you think of Valentini and Carlivati’s follow-up?  The revelation that Prince Stavros Cassadine (the divinely sexy if older Robert Kelker-Kelly) was alive and holding his kidnapped  Lulu frozen as his new “Ice Princess” was either a show-stopper or a bomb, depending on what you think — and Marlena does want to know what you think!  Was it typical Carlivati over the top writing?  Or was it a just spectacular enough a follow-up to the Nurses Ball?I thought it was all way over the top.  Genie Francis’ Laura was way overwrought, but I guess her getting all hysterical (after all Stavros had held her and raped her, producing Nicolas) was in character.  But then again, Marlena was never a Cassadine fan.  What do you think of Laura, Luke and Dante’s rescue of Lulu?    What do you think of that great line from Stavros, “I’m a Prince, and she’s my Ice Princess?”  Too much for vous or what?  I found myself not liking the new Cassadine revival, but I kept tuning in day after day anyway.

Which is what the real GH showmen wanted and did achieve here, n’est-ce-pas? What do you think of the whole Cassadine revival?

The Bold and Beautiful Gets Sexy

Speaking of showmen, what did you think of the fact that Bradley Bell finally brought sex back to daytime TV?   In other words, after months of unbearable tension he finally had in-laws    Brooke and Bill (those whores!) make love not minutes after Katie took off her rings and walked off from her husband.  It was forbidden, it was heartbreaking (literally Katie’s was, landing her unconscious in the hospital) but it was undeniably hot, hot, hot!!!!

So what do you think of Brooke’s latest seduction?   Do you like Brooke and Bill as a couple or are the two just too immoral to bear?  Will they have to pay the price or their forbidden act? 


  1. Marlena, for starters, I found Brooke and Bill absolutely disgusting and immoral. And I am not a judgmental person. I cannot believe that Brooke is so lowdown as to have sex with her sister’s husband. Yes, I know about her past sleeping and marrying every man in the Forrester family. Having a baby by her daughter’s husband. She was/is a vile, despicable woman. But the Brooke of those eras was young and grasping and self-absorbed.

    Many years have lapsed since those unfortunate interludes, so I was hoping that we were going to see a Brooke who had matured. I was hoping that she’d tell Bill that Katie was her sister, that she loved her and wasn’t going to do anything to hurt her. “And making love with you Bill would destroy Katie. And I won’t play a role in causing my sister heartache.”

    But that ain’t what happened. Our Miss Brooke is still impetuous and lusty. I was DISAPPOINTED that Bridget didn’t shun Brooke because of what she did with Deacon. I was letdown that some teenage bitch from the wrong side of the tracks who was jealous of Hope didn’t unearth the details of Hope’s paternity and spitefully share it with everybody at the high school she and Hope attended. Which would have led to Hope telling Brook to go to hell.

    Brooke has never paid for her transgressions. And losing Bridget and Hope’s respect, having them shun her for a few years would have been payback.,

    I was REPULSED by Brooke and Bill. Out of disgust, I flipped to DAYS OF OUR LIVES. I’m not going to give up on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL, but I don’t like Brooke and Bill and I love, love, love watching Taylor make them squirm with her nonstop hovering and innuendo.

    The show has become watchable again and that is in large part because of Brooke and the show did need a vixen which they created in Caroline. But the writers should tone her down and make her more believable. She’s coming across like a vamp from a soap opera spoof.

    Now about GENERAL HOSPITAL. That Cassadine schlock was so over the top. Stavros turned Lulu into a frozen Falconeri. And Robert Kelker Kelli’s campy acting was like something out of a 30’s horror movie. Luke Spencer is now eligible for senior citizen discounts at the grocery store. Hell, he’s eligible for Medicare and Laura ain’t far behind. They are too old to be playing such stories. Don’t get me wrong. I want them on the show. I want Luke treating us to his biting wit and bon mots, but Luke does not belong in these James Bond type adventures. The moment has passed. I don’t think Luke should become a doddering old man, swaying back and forth in a rocking chair reading Mary Higgins Clark novels, but he looks goofy playing adventure stories.

    And speaking of overwrought. That describes Carly perfectly. I get exhausted just watching her.

    Marlena says: Can one be titillated and disgusted at the same time? That’s how I feel watching Brooke and Bill. They are both sexy and hot together. Yet, what they’ve done to Katie is a crime. It’s funny that you used the James Bond analogy to describe the Cassindine adventures, because so did Moose. Luke doesn’t look so good – -but ssh, he’s our Luke!

  2. horselover says:

    While I think some of the acting was over the top, I do like Carlivati’s revisit of the Ice Princess. It was a nice nod to history. It was way more than the previous regime would have given us. Valentini and Carlivati are not perfect. I don’t think this is the best GH has ever been. That said, this show is better than it has been in over a decade and I’m very glad these two are in charge to celebrate GH’s 50th Anniversary. Bravo!

  3. Mama hasn’t seen the shows you are talking about our queen, Marlena.

    There are some of us that have OnDemand. And HuluPLUS. Which means we don’t have to watch the shows at 1:00 PM CDT.

    Oh Marlena can’t wait to hear what you think about “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on HuluPLUS!

    Marlena says: I can’t wait for All My Children and One Life to Live either. I watched both going back four decades!

    • Ginger Smith, executive producer of the online version of ALL MY CHILDREN said in an interview that viewers were not to expect their mother’s ALL MY CHILDREN. How sad. Couldn’t the show have elements of the erstwhile version while still being fresh, daring and contemporary?

      When Jacqueline Babbin produced ALL MY KIDS back in the 80’s, I ADORED it. It was funny. There was humor galore. Opal was managing the Glamour-rama and she ran against Langley for town council. Prior to that, Opal and Langley had a backstreet affair.

      Liza hated Jenny because Greg loved her. Les Baxter was giving Jesse hell. He said Jesse was street trash and he didn’t want his daughter involved with him. And there Les was running a black market baby ring. And who could forget Hughie and his dive, Foxy’s? I recall Jenny, at Opal’s behest working at Foxy’s wearing that skimpy costume. Opal sat around watching TV and reading trashy magazines while her daughter worked in a dive.

      Opal and Jenny were living with Myrtle. Myrtle realized what was going on and she told Opal that if she didn’t tell Jenny to quit that sleazy job, that she’d report Opal to Child Welfare Services and have Opal charged with child abuse. “I’ve nevah laid a paw on that girl,” Opal yelled, astonished by Myrtle’s accusation.

      “”You don’t have to knock a kid around to abuse ’em,” Myrtle retorted. “Jenny should not be workin’ in that dive while her lazy mama sits around doing nothing.”

      “Myrtle this is really none of your business, Besides, I have a heart condition,” Opal prevaricated.

      “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with your ticker.”

      I found those stories credible and entertaining. In fact, some of that stuff can be found on Youtube. To me, the show was at its best when daytime’s most underestimated wordsmith Wisner Washam wrote it. The show was going along swimmingly with great stories and acting and out of nowhere, Lars Bogard was revealed to be an art thief and from there, the types of stories changed. The show lost its way.

      I don’t know what to expect from the online version. I saw a clip of ONE LIFE TO LIVE and Tea uttered the f word, telling Blair that she didn’t want any effing water. That is not necessary. A show can be daring and brazen without using vulgar language.

      P.S. I also liked how smart and independent the women were on ALL MY CHILDREN of yore. Monique ran the Serving Spoon. Opal, the Glamour-rama, Ellen and Myrtle operated the Boutique and Myrtle took in boarders. Erica was involved in a number of lucrative, glamorous endeavors.Brooke was a journalist. All the women fend for themselves, except Kate Martin. I guess she was sustaining herself with Henry Martin’s, her late husband’s pension or Social Security. Ah, the memories. Keeping my fingers crossed that this new online version brings me the enjoyment that the ABC rendition once did.

      Marlena says: All My Children was always my favorite show and a good part of that was how smart and assertive the women on the show were. That of course represented the founder and perpetual headwriter of the show, Agnes Nixon, who was the ultimate professional — and a loving mother and grandmother. I was so fortunte to have known her over the years. Jackie Babbin was also a great woman!

      I can only hope that the new All My Children is in the mold of Agnes. I know Marlena McPherson, who did fine work on Days of Our Lives, is the current headwriter, and I am pulling for her. Can’t wait to see the new version of the show. Hope it doesn’t disappoint, especially in its progressive vision and portrayals of women.

      P.S. Erica was always my favorite. If she can’t be there, then Opal, a strong outspoken woman, is certainly a great character to have always around as a sounding board. And she certainly knows how to sound off!

  4. The Cassadine characters have always been over the top… but that has been part of the fun and charm of them and their storylines. I am a huge Helena/Constance Towers fan and love whenever she is on. She is a beautiful lady with the best wardrobe on the show and she plays with Luke and others in a very deviously campy way and it is so much fun. Stephan was great and seems to have the most heart of the Cassadine villians. Stavros has always been over the top crazy and villianous and a bit campy and yet there is still something appealing and entertaining about him. I appreciate the fact that they are not graphically evil and a bit campy. This story with Stavros is moving very quickly and Luke and Laura and Dante’s reactions seem somewhat over the top but the story is over the top and it’s a nod to the past and yes… it is different with the age of all of the characters…. but it is just tugging at old memories and trying to have them work together to save their children. I love it all and am very thankful that RC and FV are giving us these fun teases with the oast and our memories of fun times with chracters we love. I am loving GH and I know that these are just quick hits in stories… just like the fun Faison story was to give us a piece of the past. To me Faison and Helena are villians that you love to watch and have appeal because they are interesting and human and over the top and intriquing and they are great foils for characters we love. Love GH!!!

    Sorry stopped watching BB…

    Marlena says: What a nice letter, Heidi. You are right, Helena and Faison are great foils for our GH characters. Both are evil, but also very human. Constance Towers is a classy lady, and that shows a lot in her on-screen performance. I doubt Helena is really dead and that we are really finished, either, with Faison.

    • What I find distressing about those nutty GH villains and their story lines is that they never prevail. They are always thwarted by the so-called good guys. And I love Tony Geary, but Luke is not a good guy. He’s a rapist and a child killer.

      Out of my admiration of Tony Geary, I was willing to pretend that Luke wasn’t a rapist, but the writers revisited the story and later on, they further decimated Luke’s character by having him kill his grand kid and his reaction to that was blase.

      But back to those absurd Cassadine stories. To me, those narratives are goofy, boringly repetitive and reminds me of BATMAN. But hey, if they can get ratings out of it, why not?

  5. GH historical bad guys have always been the kind you love to hate. Unlike the seriously awful villians of OLTL which were written cartoonish by RC, ala Irene Manning. I was afraid of what RC would do to the villians of GH. Prince Stavros was a great villian whose last storyline was cut short by 9/11. He is as sexy, evil, as ever, yet the writing had him over the top, I would have loved to see more of his confident, calm evilness in a longer plot of the Ice Princess than the silly rescue of Lulu. Really, break in and save her from supposedly cryogenically induced sleep, really? A storyline only longtime GH fans will accept for purposes of changing the actress of Lulu. I hope Helena is not dead, another classy villian and I hope she saves Stavros and RC watches some classic GH and gets a feel for how good a villian Stavros can be. It would appear at this point RC is into destroying the characters of some of the GH classics such as Brenda, Brenda’s return was scripted worse than her last return, if you don’t like the character, don’t bring them back. Brenda has huge history on GH and they are ruining her. The same with Frisco, really??? They needed him to leave Maxie like that??? For all the storylinse RC has done that have been must see TV, he needs to please keep true to the classic characters.

  6. Marlena, what do you think about the new versions of AMC and OLTL on TOLN using strong profanity and nudity in their shows to make them edgier and sexier? Are you turned off by that, or do you welcome it with open arms?

    Marlena says: I’m not a fan of profanity or nudiity although I recognize the new producers have to modernize AMC and OLTL. Let’s see what they dish up before I comment more.

  7. I’m with you…not caring for the Cassidine storyline, but maybe it’s finally over? Seems those people can never stay dead, but fingers crossed that they do this time. I wasn’t watching during the 80’s-early 90’s, so this was history I wasn’t interested in reviving.

    Far as B&B goes, I took that crap-fest off my DVR several weeks ago. 🙁

  8. I loved the revisit of Stavros and the Ice Princess but I wish it had gone on longer, with Lulu waking up and being totally in love with Stravros. Instead of having her not know her parents, I think it would have been better if Stavros had just brainwashed her into loving him and wanting to be with him. I could have just envisioned them living at Windermere, throwing parties and trying to schmooze their way into Port Charles society. Lulu on the cover of Crimson, perhaps Stavros buying CoCo cosmetics from Lucy for her. I think it’s a shame that froze him so quickly.

    As for Brooke, I agree that I wish that she had matured enough to know that sleeping with your sister’s husband is just as wrong as sleeping with your daughter’s husband! I find it hysterical that in a city of over 8 million people, Brooke, Hope and Steffy seem to date the same 2 or 3 people!

    Bill has always had a problem dealing with people’s weaknesses. He dealt with Katie’s post-partum depression as just something that she needed to get over in 5 minutes. I can’t imagine how he would deal with Brooke going through menopause! I do however love Taylor sticking her nose into their business, she’s doing a better job than the entire LAPD.

    Marlena says: Interesting scenarios you have created here with GH. Brooke has never had any morals and has always been able to “reason” her way into sleeping with anyone, especially close relations. Something pyschological is definitely wrong with her. (Or in the old days they just would have called her “a tramp.”) It’s just part of the whole fun of being a female soap character. Is she every woman’s fantasy? Are her sexual urges “empowering?” Who knows?

  9. I’m not sure how I feel about GH but I keep watching. I prefer my soaps to be realistic rather than pseudo-James Bond parodies but a Stavros/Lulu story does have some potential if done right. I adore Ms. Rylan and was thrilled to see her. I love the Britt character but why do we have to see another pregnancy storyline. It was old when Bobbie tried to trap Scotty with a fake pregnancy. It is demeaning to women. I was hoping she would be involved in some shenaningans motivated by some outside issues that really had nothing to do with Patrick. I should love Sabrina. I love seeing competent, professional, well spoken Latinas on my screen. I loved Ugly Betty but so far have found Sabrina and Patrick to be too earnest.

    Marlena says: I think Ms. Ryan was an excellent choice for the role. As far as Britt goes, soaps always use pregnancies in their storylines, although I agree poitically that is demeaning to woman. I love Sabrina!

  10. Eric Henwood-Greer says:

    My one issue with the Ice Princess revisit is one I often have with Carlivati’s writing (here and on OLTL)–I’m willing to re-visit the campy, slightly sci-fi GH that is, like it or not, a part of the history of the show. But then–what, the story seemed to last three episodes? While I hate drawn out soap stories that seem like the same scene repeated just for filler, *at this point* GH’s seems way too quickly wrapped up (maybe I’ll be proven wrong.) If you’re gonna do it (or, heck, revisit vampires) there has to be more of a fallout. To bring back Stavros for less than a week, and then have him conveniently put, literally, back on ice just makes me kinda react with a big *shrug* “That’s it?” The Nurse’s Ball was great, but I still have real issue with RC’s pacing on the show (there was a preview today showing Rafe–who I swear after him being constantly on after being introduced I forgot about or that he apparently is in some foster home where he’s being beat up or whatever.)

    I think some people are worrying way too much about the online One Life and All My Children (though I admit now that it was announced that they’ll air on FX/Canada here–since we can’t access Hulu or American iTunes I did breathe a huge sigh of relief as I was worried it was going to be difficult managing to watch them.) The 3 minute preview trailers that were just released for both show a lot of great potential, IMHO. They seem to have realized that both shows, while complimentary, should have their own vision (AMC being more family based, OLTL more urban, etc.) I’m more excited than ever. I haven’t seen the clip of Tea using the “f-word” mentioned, though mostly I think we have seen and been told that, while edgier, the shows won’t be full on HBO, full frontal nudity and f-bombs every episode affairs. I think somewhat more graphic sex scenes and more realistic dialogue are both good directions to go–and I trust they will be carefully handled. Some soap viewers may forget that before the Janet Jackson “clothing dysfunction” SuperBoawl happened, the networks were experimenting with slightly more nudiy-Y&R and GL both actually had scenes of male (rear) nudity and nobody made a big fuss.

    Marlena says: I think the fact that Lulu thinks she is married to Stavros indicates there will be more scenes to play for the Cassidines and Robert Kelker-Kelly. I can’t see the show having gone to all this trouble to resuscitate the family for only part of a week. I also think that everyone is very worried about All My Chidlren and One Life to Live since we’ve waited so long for their rebirths and so much is going on in our own imaginations as to what could happen. As far as sex and profanity go, as I’ve written, you’re right — we’re just going to have to give PP the benefit of the doubt to see what they will produce. I’m excited about the new shows — plenty more for Marlena to watch and write about and discuss with her cherished Thinking Fans.

  11. Marlena, did you hear that Susie Bedsow Horgan stepped down as OLTL’s new co-headwriter last week? What do you think of this minor behind the scenes shake-up from the show? And what do you think of the casting of Jenni “JWOWW” Farley from the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore” on OLTL as the recurring character Nikki, a bartender at Blair’s new nightclub “Shelter”? I personally don’t like the fact that a reality show star was cast in a role instead of a real actress in the part! I guess she was picked to join the cast in the show because TPTB at PP wants to attract a younger audience to the show that also likes reality shows.

    Marlena says: I’m sorry to hear that Susie Horgan stepped down. I’m not crazy about reality star casting either. but we’re in a new frontier now and anything that can be done to publicize the show is good. We’ll have to see how her performance is.

  12. I enjoyed Stravous return. I also love Emme Ryland. Loved Lizzie on Guiding Light. Sure GH has its days but it is definitely better than it was. For the most part it is watchable.
    Luke can go to wherever he goes on his long vacation, and I will not miss him at all. Since he and genie returned he has had nothing but a scowl on his face, he always looks like he wants to be any where but there.I am certainly happy GENIE IS BACK.
    I hate the WTD story line always have. Patrick is a doctor and to be this dumb is not believable. Pus who gives abortions to women with a large belly bump?

Speak Your Mind