Appreciating Three Wise Decisions – In Soap Land, No Less

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

Soap critics never miss a chance to bash all they dislike.  But credit should always be given where credit is due. So this week, Marlena would like to give kudos to three significant decisions:

1.  OWN, the Oprah network, picked up the first 40 episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live from Prospect Park. These are the pioneering episodes produced for online viewing in a bold experiment to aimed at giving the iconic soaps a rebirth. Now they’ll be broadcast again on Oprah’s cable network starting July 15th.  Hooray!  Now, we the technologically unadvanced have a chance to watch these shows on regular TV! As explained by Roger Friedman in Show Biz 411, here , Oprah, an astute businesswoman decided to pick up the two shows after the megasuccess of Tyler Perry’s original soap The Haves and Have Nots, which more than doubled her network’s viewership.  Kudos to OWN for realizing the power of soaps, in an era when so many still proclaim them to be dying.

2.  CBS, number one in viewership and Emmy wins, is demonstrating that it still knows the power of Friday cliffhangers.  So many soaps stopped doing them years ago in favor of spreading out story high points during the week.   But this week The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful had socko Friday endings which guarantee the return of viewers on Monday:

On Y&R, Phyllis and Kyle  kissed, as Phyllis tried to break up the romance of Summer and the biological brother she doesn’t know she has. This kiss (and maybe more) has huge ramifications, potentially breaking up Phyllis and father Jack and Summer and Kyle’s budding romance, too.  Is this Michelle Stafford’s exit storyline? 

Hunter Tylo

Meanwhile, over on B&B:  Also leaving her show is Hunter Tylo whose Taylor lowered the bomb on Brooke Friday encouraging her to tell her secret to all the guests at her birthday party. Brooke secretly slept with her brother-in-law Bill, becoming pregnant. Katie never knew — until now. Wow!  The ramifications here are huge inasmuch as this is the soap’s central story.

I’m coming back to watch both Y&R and B&B on Monday.  Are you?

3.  General Hospital paired brilliant actors Roger Howarth and Maura West as “romantic” partners Franco and Ava.  So what if this pairing is a put-on, one to wrest the ownership of ELQ and the Quartermaine fortune from the Quartermaines? The pairing of the two most talented and charismatic actors in the soap business is absolutely divine soap watching for us GH fans.  Hope these a deux scenes go on depuis longtemps.


  1. As for GH, no matter the talent of the actors playing the roles, the whole Franco storyline is being shoved down the viewers’ collective throats. Why is GH so insistent on forcing these actors from OLTL onto GH? So many wonderful characters returned for the 50th, and none of them have been used in any meaningful way. Instead, whoever is putting this show together is neglecting all those characters viewers actually want to see in order to provide a canvas for three new characters viewers are not at all invested in. I am trying to hang in there with this show, but it is getting tough! Sad.

  2. Loved this synopsis, Marlena and thank you for the compliment. Didn’t realize I was one of the technologically advanced (since I’m watching “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on my TV via my Roku).

    Surely, Marlena, you’re not one of those still watching on a computer? (Gasp!). I would have e-mailed you a step-by-step how to stream to your big screen TV’s. It’s so easy and Roku’s are so cheap.

    As for Maura West and Roger Howarth, I agree. Because they are the creme of the acting crop, they CAN override the horrific nightmare of a situation Howarth is in at the moment. I only see Todd when he is interracting with anybody in Port Charles. BTW, I watched “As the World Turns” during it’s last seven years when Howarth was Paul Ryan and West, Carly Snyder, but don’t once remember them sharing a scene together.

    Nonetheless, I’m rooting for a Ava and Feaux Franco pairing rather than the predictable Carly and Feaux Franco pairing/reunion.

  3. Does your cable or satellite provider carry the OWN network, Marlena? And since you once responded to a past comment about you not being a fan of watching tv shows on the computer on the internet, will you be watching both AMC and OLTL on tv now?

    Marlena says: Yes, I will be watching.

  4. #3 All I kept thinking was that we had days(a week?) on end of scenes in the Q livingroom, and not a Q in sight!! Only Todd from OLTL, and some actress (yes, a good actress) from some other now non-existent soap. Made me sad. I try to keep watching, but I will be fine when it finally goes off the air…and I never thought I would feel that way.

    • I felt this same way in the spring of 2003 when Roger Howarth left Llanview for Oakdale. I felt I was watching Todd Manning in scenes with Barbara Ryan, Lily Walsh, etc.

      As much as I love Roger Howarth, he doesn’t seem to have much range.

  5. I agree about Y&R this week!!! There were some iinteresting developments that make me want to tune into Monday and beyond!

    I still am upset about Roger playing the recast Franco and I am hoping he is really someone else… pretending to be Franco!!!

    Not a fan of Opran and really not interested in her OWN network.

    Thanks for an interesting column… Marlena!

  6. Patrick Erwin says:

    Not generally a B&B fan, at least not since Liam/Steffy/Hope was the Triangle That Ate LA, but Heather Tom was magnificent today.

    BUT (yes, there is a but) they kept cutting the scene into edits of just a few minutes. I longed for a straight-though confrontation, like when Kelly finally caught Nola in her lies on GL all those years ago.

    As for the OWN news, it’s great but I found it odd that they’re staggering the viewing times two hours apart. Since AMC and OLTL followed each other for 40+ years, it would have made sense to mimic the same on OWN, too.

  7. I am not a fan of either MW or RH. He overacts and always seems to be laughing at something we know nothing about. She vamps too much. her character ruined ATWTs she actually ate the show. RH is now doing that to GH.I FF them both. Thanks to OL characters I have now returned to watching GH on the dvr, just so I can FF these two and of course the return of the mob , Sonny. FrankenRon have been given so much credit for bringing GH back, where ARE THE VETS THEY BROUGHT BACK? The show is getting old fast. Opra I do not watch. No thanks.

  8. horselover says:

    Count me in as another viewer who is NOT happy with GH focusing so much on RH and MW. I don’t care if they are Al Pacino and Meryl Streep – I am NOT invested in these characters. They could have 100 scenes in the Quartermaine mansion, and it still won’t endear me to them. GH needs to focus on the GH vets a little more and give less airtime to the OLTL vets. This is after all, GENERAL HOSPITAL.

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