When the theme song to this soap came on the other day, I said, aloud, to no one, "Oh, for the love of, I can't sit through this today" and hurried to change the channel to something more entertaining, which, in that case, turned out to be an E! True Hollywood Story about someone who was neither famous or connected to Hollywood.
a) All My Children
b) General Hospital
c) The Young and the Restless
Readers, the tragic answer to that question is c) The Young and the Restless, which you might have been able to guess since the horror I had over watching a full episode was relatively minor and nothing in comparison to the anxiety I experience about AMC and GH (for the record, my reactions to those shows are "KILL IT! KILLLLLLL ITTTTTT" and sobs, respectively).
Is that not the saddest thing ever? Or at the very least, the saddest thing you've read in the past three minutes? It is! Just a few weeks ago, I was stockpiling Y&R episodes so that I could enjoy five hours of fabulosity all in a row over the weekend, as a prize for making it through the week. Now, I'm searching for reasons to get out of watching. "I could use a nap. I'm going to go read. I should dust. I'm super hungry! This infomercial looks really informative, and if I call in the next ten minutes, I'll get half off AND a special bonus gift!"
I...did not see this one coming.
I knew it was a possibility, sure, but I thought it would go the same way Steve Burton's General Hospital negotiations go: magazine stories wondering if he's out, melodramatic Soaps In Depth commercials asking "Is this THE END for Jason?" and then a quiet, re-signed contract stating that Jason will get daily screentime for a couple of more years. The last time I talked about it, I was all, "This is just a prolonged pissing contest and eventually they will come to an agreement, because, duh, people will bug if there is no Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless."
And yet, here we are, looking at a future of no Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless. As the ever-cantankerous Eric Braeden told Entertainment Weekly:
“We reached an impasse in the negotiations,” Braeden told EW.com. “I have shown flexibility, they have shown none. It is over. I pulled the plug. That’s it. No more. If I show good will, I expect it to be reciprocated. If there is a rigid attitude on the other side, what is there to to negotiate? That’s a sign of utter disrespect. I will not negotiate with people who remain aloof and arrogant about the whole thing. Not after 30 years, I won’t do that. I’m saying this with a great amount of sadness because I’ve had nothing but respect for my fellow cast members, I have deep respect for the crew who has done an extraordinary job year in and year out, and I have enormous respect for (head writer) Maria Bell.”
Oh, to be a fly on the wall during those contract talks! How many times do we think Braeden actually said the words, "You got that?" during negotiations? And why can I picture him being all, "I WAS IN TITANIC! HOW DARE YOU"?
(The answer to that is, "Because you have an overactive imagination and a strange knack for bringing Titanic into nearly all of your conversations, Mallory". Fun fact: one of the [number redacted] times I saw Titanic, the people in the row behind me gasped and said "Victor!" when they saw him.)
It's not that I am at all upset about not having to deal with Old Vic, it's just...I am sort of terrified at what the writers will do to fill all of the Victor-shaped holes in the current stories. I don't even want to imagine what sort of front-burner horrors we are in for.
There have been Genoa City goings on that range from...well, mostly from the bad (the art storyline and Clementine Ford's acting come to mind nearly immediately) to the ugly (Victor getting the heart of the girl whose death he is basically responsible for! A "shocking" baby switch that was so clearly telegraphed that even the Amish were like, "Adam's going to steal Sharon's baby and give her to Ashley!"), but I haven't provided any expletive-laden commentary on them. I am going to pretend that this is me getting my righteous indignation on and that I had been boycotting Y&R coverage as a political statement against their foolish decision to kill off Colleen. I'm fighting the power, y'all!
(The truth of the matter is that I have just been insanely busy, but isn't man-damning a better excuse?)
There is big news, though. As with most things in the world of soaps lately, the drama is taking place completely off-screen. Can you imagine how awesome soaps would be if reel life was even half as interesting as real life?!
Eric Braeden is being written off of the show. Yes, that Eric Braeden. He is none too happy about it, and has chosen to voice his frustration through a series of angry interviews. He spoke to TV Guide and Entertainment Weeklyarmed with "Whatever, I say what I want" straight-talking and, I imagine, a large thesaurus or standardized test prep book because he's busting out some words fit more for a GRE review book than common conversation.
Some choice bits, although both articles are worth reading in full:
TV Guide: Could the tough economy just be a cop-out—an excuse for Sony to cry poor? Let’s face it, Y&R is still the No. 1 daytime show. The most recent ratings [September 21-25] show that the program is drawing 5.3 million viewers. Those are still good numbers.
It’s a damn good show, and [executive producer/head writer] Maria Bell has done a very, very, very good job. I cannot say enough about that. As far as I am concerned, she has revived Y&R. The actors are enormously disciplined and we all work under very difficult circumstances now. Are we all friends? No. Are we family? No. That “family” thing is bull----. But do I respect t he actors I work with? You bet. [Due to budget cutbacks] we now crank out this show with practically no rehearsal. It’s become so impersonalized, so cold. What we do in one day is unheard of anywhere else in the business. We shoot between 80 and 100 pages per day—I myself did 62 pages on the day I said my goodbyes. Very emotionally wrenching stuff. I’m dead serious—62 pages! Take any movie star or primetime star and put them on a daytime soap and they would s--t their pants.
EW: As of today, are you willing to take what Sony offered?
No. There is no appreciation of the fact that I’ve been an important part of the show for nearly 30 years that has been no. 1 in the ratings. That’s extraordinary. So to be dealt with in a perfunctory matter as if you had just known these people for a few months is what is most offensive. This is a certain corporate culture now that is very deleterious.
TV Guide: Where does CBS fit into this equation? Why isn’t Barbara Bloom, the head of CBS Daytime, doing something to stop it? Where’s Les Moonves?
I don’t know. I assume all this will have to be played out first [with Sony]. Let me put it this way, I’ve always had a great respect for Les Moonves, and I think it’s mutual. I don’t know who has what say and what power, but I would assume CBS has considerable power. And none of this, as I said, is a fait accompli. It’s not that I’m not cognizant of these difficult economic times. One has to be stupid not to be aware. I’m also aware of certain decreases in the [Y&R] license fee that took place recently, but now it’s sledgehammer time, you know? [And that’s wrong] when you put your ass on the line for this show for 30 years, and have done as much publicity as I have. I still sell more [daytime] magazines than anyone in this medium, as you know. And I am very proud of that association.
Well, when he is on the cover of nearly every issue, that is to be expected!
EW: You taped your last episode on Sept. 23. Was that the way you wanted Victor to go?
No. It was rushed. It was obviously meant to intimidate. It was obviously done with enormous forethought to coincide with the end of the 26-week cycle. Essentially that is what the business is doing now and has been doing for a while. And quite frankly, it’s outrageous. When I sign a three-year deal, I’m obligated to fulfill that deal. The producers, however, can come to me after a half-year and say, “We’ve changed our minds.” Where in the world of business does this kind of contract exist? Do I blame the people for wanting to squeeze as much out of us as they can? I do not. The question is, when do you squeeze too much?
As I have been with many other things lately (Jonathan Jackson returning to GH: CONFLICTED. The big decision between a vanilla latte and a caramel latte: CONFLICTED), I am of two minds about this.
On the one hand, a Y&R without Victor is something that I've dreamed about. And those dreams are always so glorious! No mumbling, no misplaced rage, no storylines biased towards holding Victor up as the greatest human being to ever walk the earth.
On the other hand...
...I swear I had a downside to a Victor-free Y&R. Um...oh! No Victor means no hilarious Jack Abbott quips at Victor's expense. That would be sad.
By Becca Thomas
Another Daytime Emmys ceremony has come and gone, and I'm thrilled, confused, and irritated all at once. Thrilled because there was some seriously, seriously bad fashion on display, and it was oodles of fun to mock. And confused or irritated by...well, by virtually everything else.
First, the things that irritated me least. DAYS's Ava was written almost incomprehensibly (still irritating these many months later), but Tamara Braun worked wonders with what she was given, so I was happy for her Supporting Actress win (and she looked absolutely gorgeous--bonus!). Also on the DAYS front, I am always happy to see someone from my two shows win something, particularly if the show is DAYS, which, let's face it, rarely gets nominated, much less wins anything. So congrats to Darin Brooks (Max) on his Younger Actor win, though I remain a bit puzzled by his nomination. (And by his suit at the ceremony, but that is a discussion for a different day.)
GH's Julie Marie Berman should have won the Outstanding Younger Actress award last year, so while I didn't think she had the same level of material or performances this year, I'm happy for her make-up win. Perhaps the same logic will bring Kirsten Storms the award next year. She didn't even get a nomination last year when by all rights she should have won for her performance as Maxie mourning Georgie, but at least we're moving in the right direction.
Somehow we both managed to forget our three-year blogiversary last week. Obviously, as would be the case in a traditional relationship, this has caused us to reexamine our connection and enter counseling. While we work through our myriad issues and contemplate whether this whole co-blogging thing is really right for us, or whether instead our twins and sextuplets would be better off with us on separate blogs, we invite you to peruse the most popular entries of our third year, based on your comments and visits. We ask for privacy during this difficult time. (Except for the regular interviews we will provide about our progress, the personal diaries we will post as blog entries, and the reality show that a crappy cable network -- or the CW! -- will be picking up momentarily. Other than that, like we said, PRIVATE.)
We wrapped up the second season of Night Shift on a high note and vowed to write Sri Rao love notes until the end of time or until he becomes head writer on another soap (and given the decision-making skills of most soap showrunners, the former may come before the latter).
We lamented the sad state of General Hospital repeatedly, loudly, bitchily, and hopefully -- on occasion -- somewhat amusingly. We were reduced to examining it by the numbers, as an instructive lesson in how to be terrible, and were sometimes just left with our lists. The only solidly good constant throughout our third year, upon closer review, appears to be baby Emma. Love you, boo. Try to stay out of snow-covered trees this next year, 'kay?
We reviewed 2008 and struggled for entries on the “best” side of the list.
We relived some of General Hospital’s golden years, which then made us even more bitter about the shitpile the show has become.
We weathered the firing and somehow even shoddier subsequent treatment of big stars. (Ones that we didn’t really like, but still…)
We said goodbye to a daytime legend.
We suffered through The Thong Incident.
We shuddered through inappropriate groping.
We peeked into Robin’s Diary.
We marveled over All My Children’s awfulness, and Ryan Lavery’s inability to fail at failing.
We rolled our eyes through product placement nonsense.
We begged a heroine to choose herself.
We had to adjust to an uneasy feeling: Hating Luke Spencer and even – gasp! – disliking his portrayer.
We wondered how Charles Pratt remains employed, but then we remembered that Bob Guza does too, at the same network, and it made more sense. Well…”sense.”
We wondered who they’re trying to kid with the whole “she’s Liza!” thing.
We watched some new-to-us shows (and Mallory jinxed Guiding Light and got it canceled).
We watched Y&R actually get good and therefore difficult to mock, but then rejoiced with the whole Colleen’s murder thing that allowed the bitching to perk up.
We watch Gossip Girl so were luckily able to track down the Daytime Emmys on the tiny lil’ CW and say a few things about the whole shebang. (“Shebang” is actually far too generous, but soaps are supposed to be overdramatic so we’re trying to stick with a theme.)
We welcomed an awesome guest blogger.
We had conflicting thoughts about the re-re-recasting of Lucky Spencer.
And finally, we have no link for this one, but we continued to be completed flattered, baffled, and delighted by the fact that you read and comment on our blog, and looked forward to three more years and beyond!