Daytime Diva:

The View From the
Recliner's Edge

By Belinda Ache

 



 


October 11, 2007

Ack! 

I sit staring at the empty screen before me; searching for words to put down about the shows that we all know and love. (Or love to hate, whichever may be the case.) I am simply at this time; uninspired. 

All My Children isnít giving me much to work with at this time. I find myself liking Adam, who is an actor I have adored from childhood (Sorry, David Canary you must hate hearing that) and I find myself liking Michael E. Knight who had played Tad, a character I have adored for all most that longÖ and not much else. I enjoy the eye candy JR, Aidan, Zack but the stories are not pulling me in. I can not like Kendall, Iíve *never* liked Erica, apparently liking Krystal or Babe is a sin worthy of nothing short of divine absolution and all the other characters seem over blown, bland, boring or bordering on one of the above.  

The teens seem like budding thugs I would be reluctant to turn my back on in our neighborhood, the twenty-something (Ava through JR) group all seem to be in some kind of alternate La-La land that makes no sense to me. The adult group (Greenlee-Kendall) is some kind of pod creatures that seem barely real, and the middle age group (Tad/Krystal) all feel like doppelgangers for the people I once saw them as. The senior group (Erica, Palmer - Myrtle, and oh yes, I am so calling Ms. AARP Erica Cane a senior citizen) is either not on camera or still being portrayed as if they are the young adult group only in smaller doses!  It all feels wrong or at least seriously off kilter.  

I want to see All My Children as a show rebuilding itself instead of one that is sinking fast but Iím struggling with All My Children. Thatís about as fair and honest as I know how to be. Everyone is seemingly floating about un-tethered. The stories are disjointed and as a good friend of mine said to me recently: Itís like All My Children has no soul. Where is this shows center? Around what does it build its premise any more?  

One Life to Live is thriving. I mean glowing RED HOT. Breaking up Natalie and John was a multifaceted gift that One Life to Live gave to us all. Okay, well; maybe the end of one of the three most over used, over done, just plain OVER couples on daytime today is not solely responsible for all of the yumminess that we are seeing but it sure as hell didnít hurt. Marcy is having a really bad breakdown for a very valid reason. My heart breaks for her although her reaction toward Michael is just slightly this side of bazaar. I canít believe Todd got custody of that poor baby, but it wasnít a shock in the least as Todd is one of those ďproducerís petsĒ who gets by with anything and everything and never, ever loses to anyone.

I was discussing One Life with Karen from WUBS (www.wubs.com) and Luke From TV Fan Online (www.tvfanonline.com) on the podcast that we do called Daytime Confidential: ABC Edition (Click here) and Karen mentioned that she feels that if One Life to Live and General Hospital were to switch time frames and One Life came on after school hours that One Life to Liveís ratings would go through the roof. I have to say I agree with that. The youth on this show are doing a fabulous job. I adore Langston with Marco as well as with Dorian. She and Starr have one of the few working platonic friendships on daytime. Add to that they have great high school set, the teens showed enormous talent during the cutting edge Prom Musical and like it or not they are the only ABC soap set up to have a poignant and far reaching summer storyline next year precisely because it has been building slowly toward this stage for several years now. 

I think Talia is my new favorite newbie, although I do also like Shawn and Vincent. I know Iím not going to get my wish but I almost wish that Talia and Shawn were for real instead of a prelude to Antonio. Not that I *mind* Talia~Antonio, I just hope they donít move too fast. Her crush and her flighty awkwardness are charming. I have to fault the writers on most of the daytime shows for the same mistake; moving too fast. Thatís what the problem is with Miles. The character was intriguing, A grown man with virtually no past, A clean slate; and in true daytime form they had to turn him in to a reprobate right off the bat. Iíd like to like him. He is Natalieís only friend and their friendship could be endearing. Maybe if we find out that his hallucinations of wretched Spencer are post hypnotic suggestions planted in his delicate psyche and he is not actually another circus freak let loose on the unsuspecting denizens of Llanview I could like him.  

I hope so. I am so tired of hating everyone because they are criminals. I realize that ďbadĒ characters are more fun. I understand that the boring characters are the ďgood guysĒ. I hate it but there is no denying it. Take General Hospital for example.  Currently on screen as ďheroesĒ we have Lucky who is too stupid to pour piss out of a boot without instructions written on the heel, we have Robin who is like some kind of beautiful brunette parrot repeating the same lines verbatim for months upon months on end, we have Mac who is a gorgeous, vibrant, sexy man who is completely ineffectual in his work as a cop and in his private life (his wife left him for Luke, a man who will never love anyone besides himself as much as he loves his comatose Laura, then she abandoned her two underage daughters for Mac to raise)! I suppose Emily can be added to this list, seeing as how the worse thing she has ever done is shoot heroin and have sex with the local mob boss who is old enough to be her father. 

See what I mean? Snore! At least now with the Night Shift characters coming on board we have a chance for some other characters who are not felons. That should be a refreshing change. Doctors Andy and Leo have their problems but so far there is no indication that either one is a convict, wanted for any illegal activities or involved in the mob, murder, mayhem or madness. How refreshing! There is Leyla, who, yes, I would like to slap back to London with her Baklavas but she is at least honest, so far. In fact; everyone who is crossing over from the Night Shift besides Cody seems to be great hero/heroine material. 

Conversely, Cody is by far the most interesting new character. His chemistry with Lainey is off the charts giving me the first thing I have liked about Lainey since they killed of Justus (in the biggest BULLSHIT moment from the last few years). I have blamed Lainey for Justusí death, be it unfairly since the senseless act occurred. 

See, here is the thing, I do not understand what the detractors of Night Shift have a problem with! Once we remove the factor that the two shows we running simultaneously and had no correlation I just do not understand what the malfunction concerning NS or its characters would be. Absolutely, I understand that with 15 new people on screen that it will no doubt be the veteran characters who are left in the dirt but lets just shake the shit out of that dirty diaper right here. TPTB have no intention of writing for Bobbie. They are not going to write for Monica or Edward, for Leslie, Mac, Robert, Mike, Helena or Noah, not anymore than they have for the last 5 to 7 years. Refusing to like new characters, blaming them for the veteranís disappearance is like blaming Lainey for Justus' murder; it may be satisfying but it means nothing in the long run. 

For the first time in a decade there is new blood at the hospital. The cross over characters like Regina along with our own General Hospital regulars can only help to bring the hospital back into the fore front and THAT is what I want to see. I want to see Kelly eaves dropping in the locker room, the new blue suited nurses gossiping at the nursesí station, I want to see the drama in the emergency room and between the women over the men. Iíve been saying it since my first column way back in July of 2004 and it may just be happening before our very eyes. Iím not ready to poo-poo that because my dream of seeing my favorite characters returned to their former glory may as well be a crack induced hallucination.  

I want to see it. I will not cease in my determination to see my favorites brought back in to the stories that they could enrich and enhance but Iím not going to turn my nose up at a chance for the show to at least right one grievous wrong and return to center around the hospital. We canít cut off our noses to spite our faces, to quote my father. To that end I want to share something with you that I have learned. The kind of attention that carries the most weight at the ABC Daytime offices is snail mail mailed to the star you want to support in care of the studio. I have it on the best authority that they count the amount of fan mail that the performers receives and that that BY ITSELF carries more weight than all the email, phone messages, internet petitions, gifts or letters to the writers, executives, producers or directors put together. So, go out and buy a box of post cards and star mailing them off to your favorite performer and lets try to enjoy what we are getting right now that is not the same four people repeating the same four lines as we have heard in the last four years. M-K? 

See ya!

 

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