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« New Year's One Liners | Main | Crazy In Love. Like...Deranged In Love »

January 06, 2014

Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column

Our thoughts on General Hospital and The Bold & the Beautiful were featured in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest, currently on newsstands.


My Take
by Mallory Harlen

Yes, it’s true that the season of eating, drinking and merry-being is winding down and the weather isn’t getting any warmer, but the upcoming weeks have their own special charm. Think about what the next month affords us: a new year, a fresh start and the opportunity to dream big. Anything can happen—even in Port Charles! And in case the writing staff needed a few prompts to get their creativity flowing, I’ve come prepared. You’re welcome, GENERAL HOSPITAL. It’s the least I could do.

Has anything brought the GH audience more soapy glee than the assorted adventures of the Scorpio family? The return of Robin has been quite nearly perfect: her search for a polonium poisoning cure (I love when they show her being smart), her bonding with Nikolas and getting the Cliff’s Notes version of what’s gone on in Port Charles since she “died”) (I love that the show remembered that they were friends), her reunion with her parents (do I even need to specify that I loved it? Robin’s “Daddy” to Robert and Finola Hughes’s wordless reaction shot to glimpsing her were both so amazing that I still get goosebumps thinking about it. And I think about it often, as I plan my own campaign for a Daytime Emmy nod for Hughes. The way she played Obrecht playing Anna was so genius that an Emmy might not even be enough recognition). It has all been so great and so old school soapy that I hope the show makes the Scorpios a centerpiece of the show in the coming year. And not just Robin; don’t get me wrong, I am so looking forward to her return upending Patrick and Sabrina’s great romance (those two words were supposed to be dripping with sarcasm. I don’t get “love” from Patrick as much as I do “You’re kind of okay. I don’t dislike spending time with you”) and perhaps spurring Sabrina into having an actual personality outside of being a shiny happy babysitter. But I want meaningful and frontburner stories for Anna, too.  Surely that’s not too much to ask?

My hopes for the Franco…issue (that was diplomatic, right? “Issue”?) are more of a pipe dream. Look, I get that behind-the-scenes tussling necessitated a recast for Roger Howarth and I also get that Howarth works astonishingly well with Laura Wright and that his new character would need to be paired up with Carly so as not to waste their chemistry. But it still perplexes me that Franco was what the writers landed on, especially since they could have brought Howarth back as any character in the world (ANY ONE! A recast Steve Webber. Tom Hardy, the fictional doctor. Tom Hardy, a fictionalized version of the British actor) who didn’t have a sordid history filled with crimes against the people Carly loves most. I can’t watch their scenes together without wondering how Carly, who holds a grudge more seriously than anybody, could stomach even being in the same room as the person who so badly hurt Jason and Michael, no matter how brilliant an artist he is or how sad he is about his parentage (and honestly, would it kill the show to give Scott a child who’s not a psychopath? You could make this up to him by bringing Serena into town, writer. I’m just saying). So please, for the sake of your audience—keep them apart. Or else 2014 is going to be a long, gross year for us all. 


My Take, Too
by Louise Schwarz

Confession time: I haven’t watched a soap since August. Throughout the summer, I’d only been keeping an eye on OLTL until that flew sadly out of our lives once again. By that point it had been over three months since I’d seen any other shows and I was a little too emotionally exhausted to jump back in and figure out what I’d missed. Now I’ve done a bit of an experiment and recently watched two episodes each of GENERAL HOSPITAL and THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL just to see what they were looking like these days (and to see if I even recognized half the characters!).

Because B&B was doing its sentimental holiday episodes, it was tough to follow. Rick and Caroline are getting happily married now? Did she have another personality transplant and how did he fall out of love with Maya after all his many declarations that it was True Love Forever? Clearly Hope and Liam have reunited, since obviously we’re not lucky enough to be off that see-saw for good. It remains a mystery which Logan sister is this minute’s object of affection for Bill Spencer, but I imagine that vacillates on a regular basis. Has Marcus abandoned Dayzee to spend all her time with his insane family and all their drama? How has she not developed a drinking problem yet? And while I have no idea who Quinn or Wyatt are, I’m always overjoyed to have Rena Sofer on my screen. But the biggest takeaway from my visit? Pam and Charlie are my very favorite new onscreen couple! I’m loving that Pam doesn’t always have to be a joke and that someone finally appreciates her. Alley Mills is way too good to just trot out for bad lemon bar jokes over and over.

Over at my GH visit I got to see a little more action as the citizens of Port Charles were distracted from holiday festivities. You know how it is when you’re trying to fix turkey and stuffing and there’s yet another hostage crisis or a loved one coming back from the dead. Also, too many latex masks can really ruin a good potato dish. Sabrina seems to have just as much of an annoying Cinderella complex as she always did and is now best friends with Emma, the only real peer she has in town. Maxie appears to be setting herself up to make her standard terrible, terrible choices to ruin her chances of ever seeing her daughter again. And is Britt becoming a Real Girl at last? I hope so! I always thought she had potential for being a classic bad girl who gets redeemed (but not all the way, I hope she keeps her edge!). I really had the greatest timing for things that are relevant to my interests as I tuned in just in time for Robin to finally reunite with Anna, Robert, and Duke. You can bet I’ll keep following the aftermath of that, and not just because I am evil and look forward to Sabrina’s heartbreak and inevitable downward spiral. I hope.


Yes, Louise, Rick & Caroline are happily married now! Rick has seemingly completely forgotten he was ever in love with Maya and although Maya has flashbacked to Raya a few times, there were no recent sightings and she's THRILLED to be marrying Carter although they haven't set a date yet. This turnaround has been so out of left field, ugh. While I was rooting for Raya, I do think that Rick & Caroline complement each other well.

Also, FYI, Hope and Liam have since broken up again -- on their supposed-to-be-wedding-day -- because Hope saw Liam talking to Steffy on the aforementioned supposed-to-be-wedding-day and ran off to Hawaii with Wyatt. (Steffy had just found out that she could have children and crazy Quinn convinced her to come to LA to tell Liam, which she did. He told her it's great, hugged her, Hope saw and ran before she could see Steffy leaving.

And that's what you missed on /Glee/ B&B!

Oh, and Bill is still proclaiming his love for Brooke while also flashbacking to good times with Katie, so it's possible that he's taken a page out of his son's book in the waffling chapter.

So happy to have you back, Louise, even if for a guest stint :)

I can only comment on the first column, since I don't watch B&B.

If there was a soap god that could answer our prayers about the Scorpios being the center of the GH universe, I would certainly bow down to it. The fact that all of the characters were played by the original actors is astounding in and of itself! Even Faison and Duke! It was almost an embarrassment of riches. Which RC promptly spit upon when he didn't tie TR down with a contract. But I digress.

Thank you for voicing what so many fans believed about Patrick and Sabrina: where was the love? Didn't feel it before, during, or after Robin's appearance. So that sound you heard? That was the thud RC's "triangle" made when it hit the floor. Ugh, he makes my blood boil with this insistence on all things ridiculous.

And in case it isn't clear, I'm a Scrubs fan. First and forever. However I don't think that ANY new love interest would have worked for Patrick when the viewers KNEW that not only was Robin still out there but that she would return when things could be worked out with KMc.

Which brings me to my next point. I love Kim and I love Robin, but the case for any Scrubs future story sadly rests with whether or not FV can somehow work with Kimberly's schedule. I fully believe that if Kimberly is given outs to work on her directing projects, she will commit to at least recurring, if not more.

Of course, she could already be filming her exit story, and I'll have egg on my face. Fine, I can live with that. I guess that just once, I wish FV and RC could believe that they have gold with Kimberly/Robin on this show and they should use her right.

OH Louise I am with you haven't watched a soap since OLTL went away again.. I will forever miss Viki, Dorian, Bo&Nora and my one true soap love T&B..
How can RH suck so much on GH and yet was so amazing on PP's OL the answer KDP

I, too, will miss OLTL and wish that PP had only concentrated on bringing it online until they found their footing. Oh, well, maybe next time.

As for GH, I have mixed feelings about Robin/KMc and it stems from watching OLTL's David Vickers and GH's Luke Spencer disappearing every few months due to vacation or outside projects. GH has a pleather of favorite characters (Monica, Liz, AJ, Leslie, Scotty, Lucy, Laura, Kevin, etc) that are spinning their wheels while RC/FV catered to their pets, so I say KMc either needs to stay on GH full time or move on (I feel the same way about Luke) and let the people that want to act on GH daily do their jobs. However, I know that there are Robin and Scrubs fans that are happy to see their favorite character back on screen.

@Anne Just to be fair, it's really FV, the exec producer, who you should be figuratively spitting on for not offering TR a contract. RC had nothing to do with it and was apparently just as surprised as everyone else to hear he was leaving.

@ Liz R.--You are right; I meant to type FV. I have MANY gripes with RC but nailing down TR's availability is not one of them. That is all on FV. Sorry; my bad!

As stupid as the relish story was at least Tracy had something to do when Luke wasn't there. If KMc is recurring, what is JT going to do during the time she's gone? No one wants to see him be tempted or have affairs so that leaves thrilling doctor things to do or propping someone else. I understand the Robin love from longtime viewers but at some point her costars need to be thought of too.

We can shoot RV for losing Tristan, but no pass for Re_Ron. His writing is bordering on almost as bad as Guza's. he has his pets and like it or not we get the leftovers from OLTL. daily. No thanks. They did a great job with Robins return, and all the evils. But that's gone .Kimberly made sure they knew what she wanted, and they can write her leaving here and there. .She has bent over backwards to do as they asked and she and her TV family have been a big deal of the ratings through the roof. Whats the big deal of her leaving ? These guys write one group and then you don't see that group for months, then that's groups gone and we start over again.I like Robin just as long as they keep her away from Scummy. Wasn't she suppose to be angry at him for shooting a gun in her house with her daughter there and actually shooting her ????

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