November 6, 2007

Checking In For Sweeps Week


Hi.  Don't know if anyone remembers me or not, but I am the webmaster/Queen/Raging Dictator of Eye on Soaps.  I used to write this column up until around the end of June when I suddenly realized I didn't really have anything to say about the soaps that was not already being aptly stated by the other writers on my staff, so I just kind of tipped away, went into off topic writing and gave myself a 5 month break, which is only being interrupted now because I found something to say.  Picture me as the kid in class, bopping my butt up and down in the chair, using my left arm to try and push my right arm up even further than it can naturally go on the hope that the teacher will see it faster and call my name sooner, just pissing myself to get called on so that I can speak my piece.


Cool thing is all I have to do is find a moment to write a column and it's off to the races rather than dealing with classroom politics.


 Honestly, this is the only sweeps story I remember since Todd being executed:



That was in February and I'm sure there were sweeps in May, right?  It's not that I didn't watch the sweeps shows, it's just that I don't honestly remember a damned thing that happened.  That's how impressive they were to me.  Was Greenlee driving Spike into the quarry and botching up his little ears a sweeps story?  I think it was. 


Basically, for me it all just runs together into a soapy quagmire. 


Don't get me wrong, I love my soaps and intend to continue doing so.  I love most of the actors, most of the characters and overall, the (very) crappy story lines we've been fed for months or years now don't even bother me.  It is what it is.  I only really perk up and pay attention, however, when something truly interesting comes along, otherwise, I'm lulled into a complacent, dulled place, sort of like the dormouse who wakes up now and then at the soapy tea party.  OLTL did get my attention with the Todd story.  Having an innocent (of that crime, anyway) guy actually executed and then brought back to life again is a pretty doggoned interesting thing.  Bringing back a whole passel of past stars (especially Nathan Fillion who makes me swoony anyways) is really big for me.  See? I can wake up when it gets riveting.


Despite the fact that I do have a deep and abiding caring for AMC, it is kind of pissing me off and this November sweeps isn't helping at all.  Having more baby drama after something like, oh, 3 years of nothing but baby drama on AMC doesn't impress me in the least.  I could stop and count all of the endless baby and child crises we've had and alluded to on AMC over that time, but that would be quite an investment of energy and the creation of a really exhaustive concordance of information that no one really wants to remember anyway.  Suffice it to say that from the time Babe and Bianca cranked out their kids, AMC has been little more than the Romper Room From Hell.  Ace, James, Li'l A, Bess, Miranda, Fetal Josh, Jenny, Kathy, Kate, Emma, Spike, Ian and all of Greenlee's melted little embryos are the stars of this show now.  I stand by what I've said practically since the first online soap column I wrote a zillion years ago:  I don't watch soaps to see kids...I watch soaps to escape kids and mundane life and such.   'Nuff said.  There are just too many kids, and I'm not going to be happy with AMC until it stops.  There are still parts I enjoy and will continue to watch for those, but dangit already, enough with the kids!  I'm all for some serious investigation into David Hayward showing up in a Pied Piper suit (preferably spandex) and strutting all those little storyline hogs off into the Land of Nemo.  When he's finished with that, he can spike the Pine Valley municipal water supply with enough Ortho Novum to melt the uteruses (uteri?) of a herd of elephants and we can get back to some serious lying, cheating, manipulating and romancing big people stories! 


OLTL normally has a good bit of attention for being just a really good story to tell, but when I get to 1pm in my viewing schedule for sweeps, what's there?  ANOTHER FLIPPIN' KID STORY!  Does ABC think that our little pink ovaries call out to us constantly and will always react to child endangerment?  Is that just a sure fire way to lure us into watching?  Right now, I don't care of Harry the Hook kidnaps little Tommy and Marcie gets stuck in that drain pipe forever, I just want the kidnapping of my show by this story to stop!   I don't find it interesting at all and let me tell you, people, I am really trying here!  Marcie and Michael might be the greatest parents on earth, but they definitely have some serious money issues.  Either they have a fortune tucked away in a mattress somewhere or else someone has a spending problem that is fairly critical.  She is a famous best selling author and a full time teacher.  He is a doctor and they still live in that shitty little two room apartment?  With a baby?  Of course, Marcie was pissed off when Lindsay told her that Michael had known all along that Tommy was actually TJ and didn't tell her because it might make her sad.  I'd be pretty pissed myself!  Going on the run and getting a really bad dye job doesn't really fix things. Being a mother, I can imagine the moment of panic and impulsive actions that might result, but she has obviously never watched "America's Most Wanted" (they probably can't afford a TV with that spending problem they have - I'm pegging Michael as having a gambling addiction, honestly) and seen that in this day and time with computers and security video systems and such, you just aren't going to disappear when the FBI is looking for you.  Her best bet is to go to Pine Valley.  They have a surplus of kids there and she would be much better able to blend in there than she can hiding in a thatchet of trannies.


Like most of the rest of the free world, I do love Viki's story and look forward to it playing out.  I enjoy this whole business of Asa's will and David marrying Alex and whatever Jared's big paternity reveal might be.  Seeing him torture Natalie, Jessica and Nash is a real plus as well.  Who knew I'd end up liking Angertonio more than any of the rest of them? 


Overall, OLTL is the show with the most potential at the moment, but when it comes to sweeps, WOW!  GH is just knocking 'em out of the ballpark, aren't they? 


"Would you die for love?"


Whenever I hear that said as GH opens, I think of that excellent scene in the fabulous Wang-Auster film, "Blue in the Face"  where Michael J. Fox plays a guy doing a survey.  He asks his old friend, who he hasn't seen in many years, played expertly by the amazing Giancarlo Esposito, a series of questions that is supposedly something of a psychological evaluation.  One of them is, "Would you eat a bowl of shit for a million dollars?"  Esposito's character asks thoughtfully, "My shit or somebody else's?"  As the survey continues, it becomes clear that Michael J. Fox's character is certifiably nuts, but then, we should have gotten that from the fact that he's not wearing any pants during the scene.  (This scene is second only to Harvey Keitel and Jim Jarmusch's scene in which they discuss the fact that JJ's character is smoking his last cigarette, how they started smoking and how Nazis smoke in movies.  It's priceless, I'm telling you.)


"Would you die for love?" 


I'll tell you one thing, the people on Spoon Island have got to be the most unlucky bitches I've heard of in years.  In addition to having not only one homicidal maniac running around (Anthony "Chauncey Gardener" Zacchara) but two (whoever killed Leticia, who is likely not Anthony Zacchara), we have the most incredibly lengthy Series of Unfortunate Events since those little Baudelaire kids had their parents die off.  Let's examine the evidence, shall we? 


1.  Not one, but two aforementioned homicidal maniacs on the island.

2.  Nikolas finally goes sufficiently insane that Emily figures maybe he is a danger to the world and agrees to lock him up in the basement.  Insert the scene from "Young Frankenstein" here:  ("Love is the only thing that can save this poor creature, and I am going to convince him that he is loved even at the cost of my own life. No matter what you hear in there, no matter how cruelly I beg you, no matter how terribly I may scream, do not open this door or you will undo everything I have worked for. Do you understand? Do not open this door.")

3.  Ric is stabbed with a whaling harpoon or whatever that was, I wasn't really watching carefully because Ric's gums kind of freak me out.

4.  Sonny almost dies bleeding into Ric.

5.  Tracy is startled by Alfred and falls down the stairs and breaks her leg.

6.   Luke has a heart attack.

7.  Cooper falls down and whacks his head.

8.  Carly falls down and whacks her head.

9.  Alexis develops acute appendicitis.

10.  Jax, Jerry and Sam get shot at by mercenaries.


With that laundry list of calamities going on, I'd say we're in for a pretty full couple of weeks, not to mention the most excellent fight we got between Sam and Elizabeth (I'm still not completely sure why she doesn't think that watching Jake get kidnapped without saying anything and then hiring thugs to pretend to attack Elizabeth isn't that big of a deal), the minor skirmish between Maxie and Leyla, the fight coming up between Carly and Robin or rather, Carly and everyone and of course, the big reveal that Lucky is not Jake's father, which everyone except Lucky already knows.  In addition to that, we are assured that Anthony Zacchara's secret is just going to completely blow.  Our.  Minds (minds, minds, minds, minds, minds...).


I am so digging the whole "we're trapped in this big, crazy, spooky castle on this big, scary, dark and dreary island while all this weird crap goes on" premise.  To me, that's so much more fascinating than a giant explosion and the Seven Stooges as terrorists.  I'm such a complete sucker for stories based on the And Then There Were None foundation set by Agatha Christie.  Watch the movie "Ten Little Indians" circa 1965 for a near perfect adaptation. If ever a movie needed a good remake, it's that one.


With the rumored list of causalities growing all the time (to date, I have Bobbie, Mike, Georgie, Ric, Emily - confirmed, two henchmen - done, Nadine, Kate, Trevor and Patrick - half of whom are not even at the damned party), I figure no one is safe with the possible exception of Monica, who should be damned glad for once that she got called away to that emergency surgery.  The one death that should occur is to the wardrobe bastard who dressed Skye in that nasty schoolmarm outfit. Regardless...


Got my popcorn, got my Dr. Pepper, got my vibrating back pillow, got my remote.