Are You Buying These Fanciful Plot Twists?

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

Camryn Grimes, welcome back as Cassie look-alike

In their drive to create more and more entertaining soap opera, writers sometimes devise situations that are fanciful and, to put it bluntly, hard to believe.  After all, soap viewers will buy anything, right?  Wrong.  Recently, three soaps have come up with situations which Marlena finds incredibly hard to buy:

The Young and the Restless faux Cassie:  As Y&R viewers know, Cassie, daughter of Nick and Sharon, died when she was quite young.  Recently, Sharon has been shown having extensive conversations with what she thought was Cassie’s ghost.  But she really is a Cassie a look-alike, hired by Victor, who is in quest of finding out Sharon’s secret (that Nick really fathered Summer, not Jack).  How would Victor find an exact Cassie look-alike, especially one of the right age?  This story is cruel, and even took more of a cruel turn when Sharon turned to electroshock therapy (ECT) to extinguish her visions of Cassie.  It is good, however — especially in scenes with Sharon Case — to see an adult Camryn Grimes, who is again playing Cassie, or more correctly, her look-alike.

The Bold and the Beautiful’s suddenly crazy, neurotic Aly Forrester: When Ashlyn Pearce debuted as Forrester granddaughter Aly, she brought a real breath of fresh young air to the show, which is mostly filled with older adults.  So how sad it is to see her character descend into a kind of neurotic madness, as she has taken to a real hatred of Hope’s suitor Wyatt Fuller. She will do anything to destroy Wyatt, because she feels he destroys Hope’s wholesome values, as made famous by the publicity for Hope’s “Hope for the Future” line of fashion.  Recently, Aly has even been seen talking to her dead mother Darla, who was killed in an auto crash long ago.  We hope this character makes a quite recovery from all this craziness and is not ruined for good.

General Hospital’s A.J. is shot and Luke is not what he seems to be:  Recently, GH has had a lot of fanciful storylines,  not the least of which was that A.J. was shot by Sonny, supposedly because he killed Connie, which he did not. (Ava has confessed to the murder.)   All his life A.J. has been endlessly and sometimes unbelievably in  trouble, his antics filling way too many hours of GH drama.  Remember when he, a life-long drunk, conceived Michael in the street with Carly?  Remember when Sonny hung A.J. from a meat hook?   This time, no matter how many times he swore not to destroy A.J., his son’s Michael’s biological father, Sonny took a shot at A.J.  Will he live to die?  Actor Sean Kanan is leaving the show.

And if we are to believe GH’s Friday cliffhanger, it turns out that Luke is the one who has been bankrolling mobster Julian Jerome after all.  Huh?  Sure, Luke has not been himself since he was wrongly imprisoned in Heather’s lunatic asylum.  But where would he get the money or the resources to be behind such a major mobster like Julian?


  1. Bravo, Marlena. Wonderful article.

    Personally, I’ve given up wondering if the soaps will ever come down from whatever “high” the writers have been on for the past 15 or 20 years. I just go with the flow and adapt to whatever they deliver even if that means eventually seeing the soap characters’ pets talking back to them (it will probably happen!).

    I think a big chunk of the blame has to go to the late headwriter James E. Reilly, of the NBC soaps “Days of Our Lives” and “Passions.” That man penned some of the most ridiculous and over the top story lines in the 1990’s and the network allowed it. And people ask why NBC has always been the laughing stock of the soap world? All in the sake of getting higher ratings (sigh!).

  2. It’s hard not to harp on Y&R but this show is so far removed from what made it click to millions of viewers, I don’t know what to make of it anymore. Good serialized drama should follow history. Character motivation should derive from where the characters have been and flow from there. Since JFP has come to Y&R, she’s continued with the plot driven drivel that was set in place during the Maria Bell years. She does a less silly version that Maria did but the show is no less vapid and uninteresting. I used to love this show (once upon a time), but I mostly can’t stand it anymore.

    The current Cassie story is a symptom of a much bigger problem at Y&R. They tell stories that involve compromising the history of its veteran characters (that was once drawn out so beautifully) to build much newer, weaker characters. Dylan is a perfect example. This character was brought on attached to no one in the cast. To make him work (and I use that term loosely) they have yet again re-written the past and bombard the viewer with endless scenes that explain a back story most fans don’t give two hoots about. In trying to build the new group of characters, it’s made me care less for the old ones because they don’t feel like family anymore. I don’t know who they are or what makes them tick or not tick. Every motivation is driven to make plot work, which they usually fail at. That is a JFP staple. Her shows are known for their gimmicks and plot heavy messes. Look at how badly they handled Katherine Chancellors death. Jill is endlessly talking about a music box that showed up in a sketched drawing of Katherine no one ever knew existed. Almost 40 years of rivalry between these two ladies and THIS is what they come up with! NO history being called on here. Just the blandest, most made up, inferior crap. Katherine’s death and the reading of her will was a golden opportunity to jump start the show and they F’ed it up. Devon is a boring billionaire who inherited almost everything. Victor was made the heir to Chancellor Industries, post will reading AND off camera. Delia inherited a lovely sum of money for her future education just to have the character plowed down a month later. Esther was given a sizable income but still wears her maid outfit, because she’s the maid to whom? I don’t know. WIth the exception of Jill, Esther and Colin, pretty much no one talks about Katherine anymore because they have to focus on selling their new plot driven messes.

    With the Cassie story the writers seem to be making Victor more unlikable than he already is. For what? I’m still not sure. Sharon is still a mess! And dealing with the most inaccurate story of bi-polar disorder I’ve ever seen, further keeping the character creatively damaged. Victor continues to hurt people with no recourse. Y&R has clear good guys and clear bad guys. There is no color there, just black and white. Victor needs to written with a conscience again because he’s exhausted the fan base with his, unbeatable persona. Under Bill Bell, Victor was flawed. Ruthless yes, but he had a soft side and it’s one of the reasons the character shot to stardom and turned Eric Braeden into one of the biggest actors in daytime TV. Under todays less interesting writers, a character like Victor would have a short shelf life. You can’t just be one thing all the time and remain interesting. Most of the shows new characters are that way. I’m convinced Phelps big sweeps stunt will probably involve Dylan breaking into Stigmata. The character is so blandly nice I want young Faith to sucker punch him in the crotch and then kick Avery in the knee. Two goody-goodies as the new “big” couple, is not interesting soap. But these are the kind of characters the show is focusing on. It will bite them in the ass at some point. Yes their ratings are up, but ALL of daytime TV experienced a surge that I think had everything to do with bitter weather the nation experienced for several weeks. More people were at home. But not that things are warming up, ratings have fallen back to the levels they normally got. I don’t think Y&R’s brief, big ratings surge was an accurate reflection of the shows overalls quality. It’s got it’s moments but it’s not a great, and most days even good soap, by any stretch. It’s a show that fell into a hot mess and in picking up the pieces they don’t always fit anymore. SO more messes are made to “fix” that last mess. That’s not the ingredient of great tv.

  3. anonymous says:

    first of all, aj and carly had sex in jasons’ apartment not the street. I don’t think luke is luke either.
    Where would he get money to set up shell companies and back the jeromes’ or anyone else. I read that
    silas’ mother-in -law was backing them. How would she know the jeromes’?
    For really fanciful and bad storylines,”brittas'” mother being chief of staff of gh and one of the cassadines
    head of the WSB? I don’t think so. Or Carly being in love with the man who had something to do with what
    happened to micheal in prison.

  4. Marlena, I think that it’s clear that Luke is going to turn out not to be ‘Luke.’ Julian mentioned that ‘Luke’ had been bankrolling this operation for a year. And Luke has no reason to want to take Sonny down, so one of his enemies has clearly kidnapped Luke, and had plastic surgery to look like him. Probably took the opportunity when Luke was at Miscavige to make the switch. Who he really is, who knows? At this point, after Sonny shot AJ, I would like to see Sonny taken down, spend a little time in prison. Even John Gotti ended up in jail. It’s beyond ridiculous that Scott, Alexis and Rick when they were the DA’s of Port Charles were never able to gather enough evidence to take Sonny down. At this point, the US Attorney and the FBI should be involved.

Speak Your Mind