Tuesday, November 30, 2010
By Alina Adams
Yup, another photo from my deep, dark, skating past... That's me on the left with Dick Button and 1980 Olympic champion Robin Cousins, at the 1998 Nagano Games.
Sean Young, a nominal soap star, at best (she played Meggie on Y&R), got voted off last night, upsetting a lot of people who really hoped she'd go the (crazy) distance.
Her ouster meant saying good-bye to Sean's partner, ice dancer Denis Petukhov (his last name means "rooster," in Russian - just a fun fact). What I found soapy about the whole thing is that Denis, along with his wife/skating partner, Melissa Gregory, has performed a unique trio routine in the past with Skating With The Stars judge, Johnny Weir.
Check it out below:
Meanwhile, an actual soap star, Rebecca Budig (Greenlee, AMC; Michelle, GL) is spending her second week atop the leader board.
When Rebecca joined the cast of Guiding Light in 1995 (as a recast Michelle following pre-teen Rachel Miner), the story was supposed to feature her and (then-Little) Bill Lewis, still played by a pre-teen Bryan Buffinton, trying to figure out how a friendship and burgeoning romance was supposed to work when one half had suddenly matured, seemingly overnight. (Well, it's a soap, so, yeah, literally, overnight).
Unfortunately, Budig proved too grown up looking for Buffinton, (no big surprise, there, she's seven years older!) and the story was scrapped to send Michelle in another (angelic) direction.
What does this have to do with skating? Well... Bryan's dad, Dick Buffinton, is a long-time ABC Sports producer and director, who covered many years of professional and eligible skating for the network. (In other fun facts, Rachel Miner's dad, Peter Miner, was a director at One Life to Live, and Rachel was one of the finalists to play Jessica Buchanan, before Erin Torpey won the role.)
What's Bryan Buffinton doing now? Find out, here!
Alina Adams is the author of "Oakdale Confidential," "Jonathan's Story," "The Man From Oakdale," and the figure skating mystery series.
Monday, November 29, 2010
"Over the past few days," Dr. Abel Marsh told Jamie, Felicia, Lucas and Morgan, "We've invited half the hospital in here for a consult of one kind or another. The consensus seems to be.... In spite of all the equipment we've got here, in spite of the medical advances that have been made just this century alone, sometimes the best thing to do is to leave the body alone to heal itself."
"For how long?" Morgan wondered, his reputation for preferring to treat aggressively popping up even in what technically wasn't his case... or, Jamie thought, his business. Jamie supposed he could ask Morgan to leave. But, that would merely have been wasted energy better spent focusing on Lorna.
"There is, however, a problem," Abel ignored Morgan's question. "Judging by other vital signs, Ms. Devon's body is being stressed much more than can be considered optimal for sufficient facilitation of the healing process."
"English," Lucas snapped.
Abel was about to oblige, when Morgan interrupted. "Lorna needs all her strength and resources to pull through this. Her body needs to be one hundred percent honed toward healing the brain injury so she can wake up. But, it's not right now."
"Why not?" The words were barely out of Felicia's mouth before Jamie interrupted.
"The baby," he said dully.
Lorna's prognosis pits the people who love her against each other, Frankie attempts to reassure a hostile Charlie, Kirkland and Lila drop bombshells on Grant, Chase backs Kevin into a corner, and Dean finally confronts Donna.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_82p1.html
Thursday, November 25, 2010
It's Thanksgiving in Monticello... which means a surprise dinner invitation and a brand new mystery - featuring some familiar faces!
Read Mariann Aalda's (Didi) latest installment of Edge of Night Today at: http://eontoday.blogspot.com/
Mariann Aalda played DiDi Bannister-Stoner on Edge of Night from 1981 to its final episode on December 28, 1984. With a penchant for comedy, she's also done stand-up in clubs across the country and is the co-creator of M.O.I.S.T.! -- the "sex-istential" comedy-with-music celebrating the seasoned woman -- which she co-wrote/produced/performs with Iona Morris (ex-Fiona Griffin, As The World Turns).
"You know what's weird?" Kirkland observed thoughtfully in between chewing.
Jamie could think of several things off the top of his head. But he merely asked, "What?"
"Last year, we were all at the hospital on Thanksgiving, too, remember? Only you and Marley were married, and Grant and Spencer and Alice came with me, and Cass wasn't in jail, and Felicia didn't know Lucas was alive, and Lorna..."
"Gave me a bracelet..."
"What?" Steven stared at him oddly. "What for?"
"It's... a long story."
Seeing that Jamie appeared close to tears all of a sudden, Kirkland quickly attempted to distract with, "And Matt started a toast. Like he said Amanda's dad always used to."
"Mac was a dad to all of us," Jamie corrected gently.
Steven picked up the baton of look-over-there! diversion. "So what was so great about these toasts of his? Everybody's always talking about them. You remember any?"
"There was one," Jamie began, struggling to recall exactly how it went, he'd heard so many others quote it over the years, he wanted to make sure he did it justice. "Mac said... I think... He said: I'm grateful for the awareness of the sheer... damn, what was that word? What was it?... " Jamie tapped his fingertips against his forehead until the 'aha' moment came. "Munificence! That's it! The munificence of life as it keeps rolling on despite our little problems..."
Rachel, Steven and Kirkland struggle to comfort Jamie, Morgan spills a secret to Felicia, Allie attempts to explain herself to GQ, Donna and John search for something to be thankful for, Grant urges an on the edge Marley to stick to their plan, while Dean reveals his decision to Frankie.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_81p2.html
We at "Another World Today" want to wish the cheeriest of holidays to our readers and state, once again, how thankful we are for you all!
To read last year's Bay City Thanksgiving toasts, click here.
And enjoy a classic Mac Cory toast, below:
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Celebrate the quintessential American holiday with three quintessentially American shows.... Classic Thanksgivings from As The World Turns, Guiding Light and Another World!
ATWT 1989: Paul is on trial for 'murdering' James (it's Jessica for the defense!), Emily squares off with a Snyder sister who isn't Meg, and Kirk romances Iva while wearing a big hat. Plus Hal! Andy! Lien! Duke! Hillary Bailey Smith as Margo and Scott Bryce as Craig!
GL 1985: Roxie and Hawk do their own unique versions of supporting Reva, Alexandra and Beth pray over a hospitalized Lujak, and a cartel called Infinity makes life miserable for the Lewises and Kyle.
AW 1988: Vicky dresses like an Indian while pouting over Jamie to Donna, Matt growls at Mitch, Marley obsesses over having a baby (still? Again?) with Jake, and Rachel rolls out the red carpet for Iris.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
By Alina Adams
I worked in soaps from 1994 to 1996, and then again from 2001 until now. But, in between...
In between, I worked in figure skating.
I was a researcher for ABC and ESPN's coverage of the National and World Championships, for TNT's Olympics, and a feature producer for NBC's StarSkates series of specials. I've written two non-fiction books on the subject, "Inside Figure Skating," and "Sarah Hughes: Skating to the Stars," and five figure skating murder mysteries, "Murder on Ice," "On Thin Ice," "Axel of Evil," "Death Drop" and "Skate Crime." (The latter were actually very soapy, as I kept the same characters and some storylines through all five books.)
Now, my worlds have collided as soap actors Rebecca Budig (GL, AMC) and Sean Young (Y&R) made their debut last night on Skating With The Stars.
Dick Button was one of the judges. I spent two years of my life locked in a sound-booth with Dick Button, trying to control what came out of his mouth at the bequest of a producer screaming in my ear through a head-set about twice the size of my head.
Based on the picture above, or pretty much on anything Dick has said on television over the years, I'm sure you can guess how well my attempt to control him went. (Full disclosure: I actually adore the man, he is absolutely brilliant, and articulate and... just a little bit twisted.)
Right now, I am fighting very hard my impulse to blog about the show. When it (inevitably) turns more and more into a soap opera as the weeks go on, I'm not sure I'll continue to have the stamina. So consider yourselves warned.
To keep this on soap topic, please enjoy the Days of Our Lives clip below of Hope skating in an ice show... in order to save the world from blowing up. (Really.)
Alina Adams is the author of Oakdale Confidential and The Man From Oakdale, and the co-author of Jonathan's Story.
From 1985 to 2010, Kathleen Widdoes played salt-of-the-Earth, homespun, pie-baking, invisible grandchildren babysitting, periodically romance novel writing, Snyder family matriarch Emma.
But, before she came to Oakdale, Ms. Widdoes had quite a film and theater career, including a prominent role in The Group, based on Mary McCarthy's phenomenal best-selling novel.
Check her out in the clip below (though you have to work hard to see around her hat):
Monday, November 22, 2010
In James Lipton's book:
He talks a great deal about the actors who've sat across from him and answered questions billowing out of the seemingly infinite stack of note-cards in front of him.
But, he also devotes a chapter to not only his days as an actor on Guiding Light (Lena Horne was such a fan she threw a party for him with a guest list that included Mabel Mercer and Fran Allison of Kukla, Fran and Ollie), an Another World, Guiding Light, Love Is a Many Splendored Thing and Capitol Headwriter (under the personal tutelage of Irna Phillips alongside her two other protogees, Bill Bell and Agnes Nixon), but also to all those actors who got their starts on soaps - and were prompted to speak about them during their Inside the Actors' Studio appearances.
Tommy Lee Jones recalls One Life to Live keeping him literally alive, while Laurence Fishburne chimes in about watching him prepare to go before the cameras.
Julianna Moore reveals that ATWT's Frannie was originally supposed to be a very different character then what she ultimately became, as Meg Ryan wonders how, when Craig was both impotent and sterile, Betsy was supposed to believe he was her baby's father.
Kevin Kline and Susan Sarandon share anecdotes from Search for Tomorrow, plus there is a hilarious story about Irna Phillips and the cryptically named "Battle of the Blanket," that ultimately pulled in Jesus Christ himself.
Overall an excellent read. Check it out by clicking the link above!
Even though Jen had offered to go with him, GQ insisted this was something he needed to do alone. Even if he wasn't quite sure that he was actually going to do it yet.
He sat outside of Chase Hamilton's office, having given his name to the secretary at the front, and waited... as eager to find out what would happen next as anyone.
Testifying against Allie would solve two of GQ's current problems in one fell swoop. He'd put the legal problems connected with Gregory's death behind him, and he'd be able to sue for custody of Hudson.
But, testifying against Allie...
Yes, he was mad at her. Furious, really. Incensed. And yes, it bugged him that Allie had set the wheels in motion for him, Mindy and Rick Bauer, not to mention Hudson, getting hurt... and managed to walk away consequence-free.
But, being angry wasn't the same as doing something about it. Especially something this... vindictive.
"Mr. Todd," Chase stepped out of his office, holding out a hand to shake. "What brings you down here?"
All up now at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_81p1.html
The discussion is getting heated! Join us at: http://www.soapopera451.com/talk/mboard.php to add your two sense (or more)!
Friday, November 19, 2010
Mindy tells Rick GQ's intention to seek custody of Hudson. She expects Rick to be furious about her mishandling of the situation, but Rick only apologizes for not being able to make their meeting.
Rick tells Mindy they're going to fight, by turning GQ's own words against him. They are going to prove that Hudson is better off being raised White than Black. (Meanwhile, in Bay City, GQ comes up with his own battle plan.)
Rather than immediately voicing her concerns, Mindy withdraws to think... and read her e-mail. She finds a dispatch from Josh in Andorra, who tells her that Reva is still in agony over finding out that Jeffrey is alive - and that Marah helped him kidnap Colin. Josh wishes there were something he could do to reconcile mother and daughter. Meanwhile, Edmund, who caused all the turmoil, gets away completely unpunished. "Nice to know good guys still finish last...."
Josh's despair helps make up Mindy's mind. Rick is right, they have to fight with everything they've got!
Mindy calls Phillip, who recommends a brazen plan: Mindy should get Allie to testify against GQ in the Assisted Suicide case. GQ will go to jail, and the Bauers keep Hudson. It's the least Allie owes them all.
After asking for advice from her followers, Mindy calls Allie and orders Hudson's biological mother to do just that...
Dying to know what happens next? Follow Mindy daily, Monday through Friday, at: http://twitter.com/melindasuelewis. To read her tweets in chronological order, from oldest to newest, go to: http://www.soapopera451.com/msl/ and help Guide the Light!
As has previously been noted, here, Guiding Light's Maureen Bauer and As The World Turns' Margo Hughes shared a great many similarities.
How did actress Ellen Dolan get both roles (and which one does she claim was just "stupid luck")?
Find out here and here!
By Nicole Walker
Part #1: Ryan/Frankie and Donna/Grant
Dean and Lorna: I know, I know, Jenna and Dean were THE Another World young lover SuperCouple, complete with their own music video, but honestly I saw the heat potential between Dean and Lorna and a volatile love triangle involving sisters Lorna and Jenna with passionate impulsive Dean as the center, instead of the wishy-washy judgmental manchild Matt Cory.
While Jenna represented the white picket fenced happily ever after that Dean dreamed of, the lure of Lorna (besides being sexy hot even while playing the Ice Queen) was that she and Dean seemed cut from the same cloth: survivors of harsh childhoods, ambitious, focused, primed to rise above what they perceived as their lowly roots to be successful, willing to get their hands dirty to get the job done, always moving and looking forward. They would get each other, but what drew them together would also push them to want more than what they were and seek someone better, which is why Dean reached for Jenna and Lorna reached for Matt, believing that loving and being loved by the ‘right’ people would make them happy.
And, in many ways, Jenna and Matt could, but ultimately silver spoon-fed Matt and sheltered waif Jenna would fall short and Dean and Lorna would drift back to each other, hating themselves for it, but unable to resist. I mean seriously, did Ricky Paull Goldin not play Dean having such extreme distaste and animosity towards Lorna that the only thing that fit was that he was attracted to her, hated himself for it, hated her for it and so spewed it out at her in order to keep her prickly and less attractive to his baser desires?
Jamie and Olivia: Jamie and Olivia being the ones to find love and happiness together with baby Sarah instead of Marley and Dennis would’ve been hilarious for a number of reasons:
After all of Marley and Dennis’ schemes (Marley scheming to adopt Olivia’s baby for herself and Jamie to raise so she could finally have her perfect family; Dennis scheming to break up Jamie and Marley ‘for Jamie’s own good’ by seducing Marley away) the two victims actually ended up happy while Dennis is left to sulk as Jamie plays father to his child and Marley is left with no man AND no baby.
Jamie would’ve dated yet another woman from the Matthews family tree (he had dated 3 by the early 90s; Sally, Marianne, and Susan), a family tree that he was once considered part of when, at one time, Russ Matthews, Olivia’s father, was believed to be Jamie’s father.
Jamie’s sister, Amanda, was a rival of Olivia’s, the two women squaring off against each other for Sam Fowler. Olivia had named Sam as her baby’s father, causing months of angst for Amanda and Sam before Olivia finally came clean that she had a one night stand and knew that he, not Sam was the father of her child. Olivia finally moved on and left the couple alone, but if Jamie and Olivia had gotten married the baby that Amanda so resented would’ve gone from being her step-daughter to her niece and Olivia would have been even more firmly entrenched in Amanda’s family.
ADDED BONUS: Olivia would be around to witness the implosion of Amanda and Sam’s second marriage due to Sam’s burgeoning country music career. Oh, how Olivia would’ve laughed at that!
Finally, looking at the two characters, Olivia and Jamie could’ve been a fun, but surprisingly lasting couple. Sure, Olivia was needy and could resort to scheming, but she was a mess of a young woman whom you still rooted for (And frankly, she was at least better than Kelsey). Jamie could’ve given her the stability and safety she wanted, and the type of devotion she craved. As for Jamie, after the roller coaster of both Jamie and Vicky, Olivia’s type of needy, unpredictable desperation would be a cakewalk. And having the fight beaten out of him by his battles with Marley, Jamie would be more inclined to roll with the punches with Olivia and realize in doing so that he’s having a lot more fun with his life.
Jamie and Paulina: Rewatching Judi Evans and Russell Todd in Another World episodes of the early 90s, there were times when Jamie’s concern for Paulina – even before her involvement with Jake, but especially during - went beyond ‘brotherly’ concern and Paulina’s appreciation for Jamie’s friendship and loyalty was more than about being accepted by her 'family'.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, she was his ‘sister,’ but they weren’t blood related and they weren’t raised together. And Jamie Frame has no problem dating within the same family tree (Vicky and Marley) or dating within a family that he was once considered a member of. These two were being chem tested, I tells ya, and while I had some interest in seeing where TPTB could’ve gone with it, the writing was on the wall that Jake and Paulina was where it was at.
Sure they could’ve done a triangle, but honestly Jake and Jamie had been battling over Vicky and then Marley for the better part of three years, to add yet another woman to their sordid passionate history would’ve just been…silly. And beg the question of whether these men truly hated each other or just found any excuse to lock horns because of some unsaid, dare not be spoken attraction…(See entry above, Lorna and Dean)
Would any of the above have worked? Should they have been tried? Let us know below!
Nicole Walker is the Associate Producer of Another World Today.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Finding Rachel on her doorstep the previous day hadn't come as a surprise to Alice. Neither did Sharlene's appearance in the same spot the following morning.
"Come in," Alice said, even as her former sister-in-law seemed unsure as to whether she genuinely wanted to. "Please," Alice added encouragingly.
Sharlene did, though she declined the chair she was subsequently offered. Instead, she asked, voice halting, "Was he... was he in a lot of pain?"
Alice nodded regretfully.
"When he was first diagnosed," Sharlene recalled. "I used to think the treatment was worse than the disease. The things they put him through... But, he was so brave then."
"He was brave now."
"Not brave enough to fight."
"Brave enough to know when it was time to stop."
"That wasn't your decision to make!" Sharlene exploded.
"And I wasn't the one who made it," Alice replied, her voice calm in comparison. "Gregory did."
The new Mayor makes a tempting offer to Sarah - and Grant, Rachel and Carl reminisce about the people they used to be and wonder if all their changes were for the best, Lila and Kevin consider facing reality, Felicia, Lucas and Jamie get Lorna's prognosis while the cover-up surrounding her accident pulls in another unwitting accomplice.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_80p2.html
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Part #1: Mariann Aalda
We continue our series on Daytime Diversity with the thoughts of Kyra Davis, longtime soap fan and current best-selling author of romantic suspense novels featuring Sophie Katz, a half-Black/half-Jewish protagonist (like Kyra herself).
KD:I started watching Guiding Light with my grandmother when I was a kid in the 80s. Eventually I discovered the ABC soaps that some of my friends watched. Back then I didn't question the lack of "color" on daytime TV because at that time the only ethnic characters on TV were pretty much regulated to "black shows" like Cosby or before that The Jeffersons.
The few black characters daytime did have didn't impress. They had storylines with the other black characters and romances with other black characters but they never got to really interact or have romances with the white characters. And since the white characters were already established as the main characters of the shows (Reva on Guiding Light or Erica Kane on AMC, Viki and Dorian on OLTL) and soaps are all about having romances with the main characters... well, it just ended up feeling like the black characters were sort of a token nod to the soaps' black viewership.
RJ on One Life To Live was the first black character who really caught my attention. They didn't try to make him a token black role model. He got an actual meaty role as a villain and he rocked it. Oh, and there was Nora (OLTL's Jewish character) and her black, ex-husband Hank, her biracial daughter and her "history" with RJ.
That said, it did not escape my attention that the interracial relationships all happened off screen and were over before the characters were even introduced. Now, as far as I can tell, OLTL has decided that it's okay for black characters to have interracial relationships as long as the mix is black and Latino (with the notable exception of RJ's brief tryst with Lindsey). All My Children had earlier gone down the same path with Noah and Julia. While Keith Hamilton Cobb was undeniably the young leading man of the show, his love interest, while played by white actress Sydney Penny, was a Hispanic character. Would Keith and his dreadlocks have been nearly as well-accepted if, instead of Julia, he'd ended up with the say, very blonde, very blue-eyed Hayley as played by Kelly Ripa?
These days, I spend more time watching nighttime soaps like Desperate Housewives and True Blood. I appreciate what those shows have done with their ethnic characters. They're not just token-role-models. Two of the juiciest roles on Desperate Housewives are currently played by Eva Longoria and Vanessa Williams. It is safe to say that it is the ethnic characters who currently make that show fun. Most importantly Longoria and Williams get to play the characters in a way that makes it clear that while their ethnicity is part of who they are, you can't define them by it. That's rather refreshing. On the flip side, True Blood has taken a different but equally admirable route. Tara Thorton (played by Rutina Wesley) and Layfayette Reynolds (played by Nelsan Ellis) are not only main characters on that show with major storylines but they clearly identify as black and that in no way stands in their way of interacting with the rest of the cast or having romantic relationships with them. That in and of itself is particularly satisfying.
As a black-Jewish woman, I've heard people complain that while there's little antisemitism directed at assimilated Jews in the US, it's still a bit "taboo" to be too "ethnically" Jewish (in other words, don't wear a yarmulke and don't use more than one yiddish word for every two hours of conversation).
I think the same can be said about blacks. If you look and talk like Obama or Condoleeza Rice no one has a problem with you. But a black person who listens to hip-hop and wears braids is viewed differently.
The character of Tara could not be more different from Condi, and yet Tara's fully embraced by the other characters regardless of their ethnicity, and Wesley's portrayal of the role is nuanced and not stereotypical. Layfayette, in addition to being black, is probably the most interesting gay character on TV. So yes, we've come a long way. Hopefully the next step will be to have a lead role in a multiracial cast played by a woman of color.
When we have a black Erica-Kane-type character we'll know we've made it.
Kyra Davis is the author of the best-selling books, Sex, Murder and a Double Latte; Passion, Betrayal, and Killer Highlights; Obsession, Deceit and Really Dark Chocolate; Lust, Loathing, and Little Lip Gloss, and her latest, Vows, Vendettas, and a Little Black Dress. Learn more at her website, http://kyradavis.com/.
Do you agree with Kyra's assessment of multiracial characters and relationships on soaps (daytime and primetime)? Do you have examples of shows that have done better? Worse? Please let us know below!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Whenever talk turns to The State of Daytime Today, one issue repeatedly brought up is soap operas' lack of diversity, and how they don't accurately represent, either on-screen or behind the scenes, the people who watch them.
SoapOpera451.com is very fortunate in that several of our contributors happen to be African-American women ranging from their 30s to their 60s, all longtime soap fans who made the transition to working in the genre they love.
For the next several weeks, we are going to engage in a round-table discussion with these women, delving into the issues around all kinds of minority representation on television which interest us and, we hope, you, as well.
Please check back regularly for new installments, and leave your own questions and comments below. We can't wait to have you join our conversation and hear what you think!
We open up the dialogue with actress, writer, producer Mariann Aalda, and the question:
From the time you personally started watching soaps, then working in soaps, up to now, how have you seen the approach to diversity issues change and evolve?
MA: I grew up in the fifties, and like many women of that era, my mom was a stay-at-home housewife. My earliest memories of soap operas are of sitting on the floor in front of her while she sat on the couch watching Search for Tomorrow as she braided my hair. Bill Cullen was the host of Price Is Right while, back then, Bob Barker hosted Truth or Consequences; depending on whatever time she got around to braiding my hair, I remember sitting on the floor and watching those shows, too. Then, in the afternoon, while mom was cooking dinner, my sister and I would watch The Mickey Mouse Club; when it was over, mom would sit with us and we’d watch The Edge of Night, together.
I had great aspirations of becoming a Mouseketeer, someday, but I never gave much thought to the color of the characters on the soaps any more than I did to the fact that all the heroines of the fairytales in my storybooks had blond hair and blue eyes or that none of the Mouseketeers looked like me.
That’s just the way it was. Just as it was a BIG DEAL whenever there was a “colored” (a word my mother used till she switched to “black” in the nineties, opting to by-pass “Negro” and African-American”) contestant on one of the game shows.
If my sister and I were outside playing, she’d never fail to call us inside to watch. Then the three of us would sit there praying for “our” contestant to win… or at the very least, to not do anything embarrassing that would make “us” look bad.
It wasn’t till the early seventies/late sixties (by that time, I’d I switched from braids to page-boys and pony-tails and had long been doing my own hair), with the arrival of All My Children (1970) and the characters of Frank and Nancy Grant....
.... And One Life To Live (1968) with the saga of Sadie and Carla (Benari) Gray, that black actors on daytime television (I think there were twelve soaps on at the time), really grabbed my attention.
Until then, the few black characters that peppered daytime had pretty much been perfunctory… in the background, on the sidelines or as a sidekick.
But with AMC and OLTL, black actors had storylines that were front-burner! God bless Agnes Nixon, their creator and head writer. She didn’t just open the door for diversity, she broke it down!!! By that time I had aged-out of any hopes of being a Mouseketeer, but having aspirations of becoming an actress, I could now realistically contemplate the possibility of being on a soap!
More importantly, as a member of the viewing audience, it was heart-warming to see “us” represented and fully recognized as valued, contributing citizens of Pine Valley and Llanview. It was the post-Civil Rights era, and over the next twenty years or so, the populations of other fictional daytime towns like Oakdale (As The World Turns), Genoa City (Young and the Restless), Springfield (Guiding Light) and Sunset Beach became increasingly diverse, as well, changing the landscape of daytime television forever.
Well… maybe not.
Mariann Aalda played DiDi Bannister-Stoner on Edge of Night from 1981 to its final episode on December 28, 1984. She also played Grace Battles on Guiding Light and Lena Hart on Sunset Beach. She is currently starring in M.O.I.S.T.! -- the "sex-istential" comedy-with-music celebrating the seasoned woman -- which she co-wrote/produced/performs with Iona Morris (ex-Fiona Griffin, As The World Turns).
Check out her on-going saga, Edge of Night Today at: http://eontoday.blogspot.com/
Monday, November 15, 2010
By Alina Adams
Judith Chapman, who turns 65 years old today and is currently playing Gloria on Y&R, has a phenomenally impressive soap resume.
She started off on ATWT as Natalie, Tom Hughes' first legal client - and eventually his first wife. Then she was Charlotte on Ryan's Hope, a part of some overly complicated Irish vendetta against Frank that really had to do with his mother (I hated the character so much, that when she got stabbed and spent, I swear, it was literally a week, writhing on the floor, trying to get to a phone, I giggled through the whole thing).
She was Ginny on General Hospital, where she somehow got to enchant both Mark Goddard as Derek (those who remember my earlier confessed love of Lost in Space, will understand my confusion) and Chris Robinson as Rick Webber. At the time, I thought it was the worst story ever written for Rick. Little did I know of what havoc would be wreaked when he returned to the show years later, only to be killed off by Laura and his body dragged around town, nearly Weekend at Bernie's style, by his grandsons, Lucky and Nikolas.
Next, she played Anjelica on Days of Our Lives. In this case, I had loved Jane Elliot's take on the role, and never warmed up to her subsequent portrayers. The same thing happened with Y&R's Gloria.
But, the thing that utterly stunned me was when I recently found out that Judith Chapman had also appeared on the classic Galactica 1980 episode, The Return of Starbuck (as Dr. Z's mother), a show I adored as a child. (Don't tell me it was cheesy. I know it was cheesy. My love was able to overlook that. Or maybe, at 10, I just had no clue). Thankfully, to keep things consistent, I hated that character, too.
Check out the video clip below!
As the World Turns writer Susan Dansby talks Carjack, Nuke, Lure, the last days of ATWT, the golden age of GL, the future of soaps and, most importantly how you can be a part of them, in her interview at Dayplayer Dish.
Listen to the complete show, here!
GQ told Jen, "Get this: The Bauers filed an injunction forbidding me from suing for custody until the Assisted Suicide case is settled. They argue that, until I know whether or not I'm going to jail, I can't claim to be capable of providing Hudson with a stable home. So not only did Allie deprive me of my son in the first place, now she's the indirect reason I can't immediately fight for him, too."
"But, Gregory's case might not come on the docket for weeks, maybe even months."
"Sucks to be me," GQ agreed. "Let's not even get into the fact that every day Hudson spends with the Bauers is another day they can point to and claim he's too settled in with them to be moved."
"GQ..." Jen began tentatively; no longer because she was afraid of giving unsolicited advice, but because she really wasn't sure how she felt about the advice she was about to offer. "I — I assume, when this all first went down, that Chase Hamilton offered you the same deal he offered the rest of us."
It took GQ a moment to comprehend what she was saying. Once he did, though, he appeared even more scared of the words and their potential than Jen had been. "No... Jen... I — I couldn't..."
Read the latest episode and vote at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/aw_today.html
Friday, November 12, 2010
Mindy met with GQ, who stressed to her that he was sorry to be hurting her, but he deserved to raise his child. And Hudson deserved to be raised as what he was - a Black man.
Mindy put her foot in her mouth when she pointed out that Hudson doesn't look Black, so wouldn't it be better for him to live a life with her and Rick that even GQ admitted would be simpler and less complicated?
GQ didn't see it that way. Mel filed papers declaring the adoption null and void and demanding that Mindy and Rick turn Hudson over to his biological father immediately.
Beth countered with the reminder that GQ was currently facing charges in Bay City in regards to Gregory's Assisted Suicide (http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_67p1.html). Until that criminal issue was settled, GQ couldn't claim to be capable of providing Hudson with a stable home.
Mindy went crying to Billy about how she'd screwed up everything. Billy wondered, if GQ were sent to jail, that would make things easier for Billy's Princess, wouldn't it....
Don't like reading backwards? Go to: http://www.soapopera451.com/msl/ to read Mindy's latest Tweets in chronological order.
Want more details about what happened this week and how to follow along live starting Monday? Sign up to follow Mindy and offer her your advice at: http://twitter.com/melindasuelewis
By Nicole Walker
Ryan and Frankie: Blasphemous, I’m sure, to the Cass/Frankie and Ryan/Vicky factions, but Ryan and Frankie were such tight BFFs, such fun partners with real chemistry, that I enjoyed the idea of them becoming more than friends and making the transition to lovers much more than each staying with their respective partners. The potential was always there and both Cass and Vicky knew it- and fretted about it- but Ryan and Frankie were true-blue to their significant others (you wouldn’t expect anything else with them being the stand-up heroes that they were) and Fryan never came to be. On one hand, I applaud TPTB for resisting the urge to take every male/female interaction down the torrid lovers path which seems to happen sooner or later to every male/female couple on every soap, but on the other…
All things said, while Cass and Felicia were the standard for a (mostly) platonic friendship between a men and a woman, Ryan and Frankie were in a class all their own. You just knew that when Frankie met her untimely (and brutal) death that Ryan was the first one waiting on the other side to welcome her and do his best to comfort her, support her and see her through, just like always...
Below, Vicky (Anne Heche) is jealous of Ryan and Frankie's closeness.
Donna and Grant: The snark! The wit! The sparks! This once and future dark power couple of Bay City could have been a force to be reckoned with by any who dared cross their paths. Between Grant’s ruthlessness and Donna’s high scheming and plotting IQ, there would be nothing these two couldn’t accomplish and no one they couldn’t crush. Or at least torture very, very painfully.
It would all start so innocently; Donna, in an effort to wedge Vicky and Grant apart, would take one for the team and set out to seduce Grant and draw his attention away from her daughter, only in the process she becomes charmed by the Senator, beguiled by his passion and ambition, and finds herself taking a liking to him even as she thoroughly believes he would be the biggest mistake Vicky could ever make. Grant would resist Donna’s attempts initially, still feeling a pull to the youthful Vicky, but he too would fall under the spell of the more confident, mature, fearless Donna, a woman who was intellectually stimulating, capable, experienced, and connected. A true partner in every way, the Lady to his MacBeth, in what would have most assuredly a torrid, tragic, mesmerizing car-crash of an affair.
Imagine! Dueling Power Couples Grant and Donna vs. Carl and Rachel! The battles these two dynamic duos could’ve had to determine who would reign supreme in Bay City!
Funnily enough we kind of DID get Donna and Grant together as a couple, only they were Greenlee Smythe’s parents (well, in Roger's case, presumed parent) on All My Children...
Nicole Walker is the Associate Producer of Another World Today.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
"I love Cass," Felicia asserted. "And I love Frankie. I think they have been amazing parents to Lori Ann, especially under the horrible circumstances. But, on the other hand, the very qualities that made Frankie capable of taking in her cousin's child and raising Lori Ann as her own, are also the ones that are now making me reconsider her fitness for the job. Frankie is a loving, good-hearted, open, forgiving person. Which is wonderful. Up to a point."
"And what might that be, may I ask?"
"The one where her forgiving nature extends to sympathy for the Devil. Or, in this case, Donna Love."
Carl's countenance shook with rage. "She what?"
"Apparently, Donna came up to her at Gregory's funeral. It was a horrible occasion; you know how close Frankie is to both Sharlene and John, and she adored Gregory. She was clearly vulnerable, obviously not thinking straight at all. Donna pleaded her case. She had the audacity to compare her own keeping Jenna from you to Frankie's protecting Charlie from Cecile, and the lengths that Cass went to — "
"That bitch!" Carl exploded.
"You know how Frankie is. She prides herself on seeing the good in anyone. I admire her for it. But, if it leads to her eventually coming around and allowing Donna any sort of standing in Lori Ann's life — "
"Unacceptable," Carl sputtered. "Never. It would be a perversion."
"Exactly," Felicia agreed. "Which is why, for a variety of reasons, I believe it would be best for everyone if Lori Ann were returned to her father...."
Lila inadvertently gives Grant an idea for protecting Marley, Alice refuses to let Spencer and Kevin plot out her future, Jamie and Morgan disagree over Lorna's course of treatment, while Felicia and Carl continue with their plot against Donna.
Read the latest at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_79p2.html
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010
By Alina Adams
When we talk about diversity on daytime, it's easy to forget that even among the minimum representation of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish and gay characters, one group that's rarely ever seen is the differently-abled.
Sure, there are the periodic attacks of trauma-induced and/or hysterical blindness/deafness/muteness/paralysis. But, hardly anyone stays that way for long. (Unless they are played by a genuinely disabled actor, such as Tom Sullivan on Search for Tomorrow or Mitch Longley on Another World). Guiding Light hired a hearing-impaired actress, Amy Englund, to play Abby, but both the character and performer received a chochlear implant. (For more on that story and deafness on daytime in general, click here.) Even Lily's autism on All My Children seemed to come and go as the storyline called for it. (She's nonverbal! She's hyperverbal! She panics at the color red! No, today, she's fine...)
Brent Collins was an actor who suffered from dwarfism and, ironically, also Marfan's Syndrome, the same disease that killed Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar and vollyball star Flo Hyman.
He made his 1982 debut on As The World Turns in a role that was basically a (rather tasteless, IMHO) short joke, portraying Mr. Big (get it? It's funny, because he's a dwarf!), a mob kingpin who tortured Tom and Margo in his secluded European castle and then through Africa (in my ATWT tie-in novel, The Man From Oakdale, I pay tribute to the storyline and the start of the Hughes' romance; I was 12 when it aired. I thought it was awesome.)
As you can see for yourself in the classic clip below, the part consisted mostly of evil cackling:
But, just like Margo Hughes (not the one in the clip above; but we're soap viewers we know how to roll with these kinds of punches) turned out to have a doppelganger in Springfield (video evidence, here), so did Mr. Big have a (much nicer; for a change) twin in Bay City.
In 1984, Brent Collins assumed the role of Wallingford on AW, Felicia Gallant's confidant, business partner and occasional partner in crime.
And while the role was quite an improvement over Mr. Big (for one thing, there was a lot less cackling... and torture), the fact is, for the duration of his run, Wallingford was primarily used for comic relief, as a supportive shoulder and a "cuteness" factor, that proved soaps still have a long way to go when it comes to those who are different... in any way.
(This piece was in no way intended to be a comprehensive overview of disability portrayals on daytime. If you have a story that you think was handled particularly well over the years... or particularly badly, please let us know in the Comments!)
What have Sky and Raven Whitney been up to over the past twenty-five years? Find out in the latest installment of Mariann Aalda's (Didi) Eye on Monticello!
And please enjoy this classic EON opening sequence, featuring Didi, Calvin, Raven, Sky and whole lot more!
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Before they found prime-time success in Who's The Boss and Heroes, Danny Pintauro and Hayden Panettiere made a slapsh in daytime as three iconic, pint-sized dynamos from a trio of core families.
At age seven, Danny Pintauro stepped into the role of As The World Turns' Paul, son of Barbara and James. (For details of what a heavy storyline was laid on those second grade shoulders, click here.) Enjoy the clip below: Evidence that, once upon a time, James actually did love Paul - or, at least, loved him in a noticeably less twisted way.
Meanwhile, Hayden Panettiere made her mark as not one but two daytime tots!
There's Guiding Light's Lizzie...
And, even before that, Sarah on One Life to Live...
Monday, November 08, 2010
Perhaps no one has lived the life of a New York soap star with more panache and notoriety than Eileen Fulton. The woman credited with inventing the soap industry’s contractual “granny clause” in the late 1960s (no grandchildren for her character) is working with the cabaret coach and director Diana Basmajian to create the nightclub act she’ll unveil at the Greenwich Village piano bar Don’t Tell Mama on Dec. 17.
In an apartment on the Upper East Side whose walls are painted a dramatic shade of purple, Ms. Fulton recently quieted two Pekingese dogs — Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney — as she practiced the showbiz yarns that might make it into her cabaret act. At 77, and waving off concern over the pneumonia that landed her in the hospital just as the final episodes of “As the World Turns” were broadcast, Ms. Fulton dismissed talk of retirement with a succinct “You die.”
More on Eileen, as well as Jake Silbermann (Noah), Michael Park (Jack), Terri Columbino (Katie), Van Hansis (Luke), etc... at: The New York Times.
And for those who'd like a preview of Eileen's nightclub act, check out her cabaret reel, below:
And then buy Eileen's CD!
"You could have stepped up and helped those kids at any time," Rachel accused Alice.
"My coming forward would have hardly gotten all the charges dropped. Especially not where Allie was concerned."
"You could have tried. You were so sanctimonious about being the one Jamie turned to when he was sick years ago."
"That's your interpretation of my motives."
"You picked a hell of a time to quit butting into my family's business." Rachel zeroed in with her best shot. "Steven Frame. How could you look at that name in the paper, how could you look at that face; we both know who he looks like, don't we? It's unmistakable — and, understanding that you had the means, still refuse to lift a finger to help him?"
"I don't need to justify myself to you. Not today of all days."
"I knew it." Rachel's smiled mixed triumph with bitterness. "You were lashing out at me, using my children and grandchildren to do it."
"Would it be terribly rude," Alice inquired. "If I were to suggest you get over yourself, Rachel? And quickly. It's not attractive."
Grant steps in to protect Marley even as Jamie discovers Lorna at the hospital with Morgan, Lila warns Donna off turning to Matt, Carl pleads his case to Dean, and GQ meets with Hudson's adoptive parents.
Your votes are in! Who is the new Mayor of Bay City? Find out at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_79p1.html
And as several lives hang in the balance, we want to hear your thoughts on what should happen next! Go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Another-World/307355595460?ref=search&sid=13800416.3728872026..1 and http://www.soapopera451.com/talk/mboard.php to voice your opinions on future storyline twists and turns, and become a part of keeping "Another World Today" spinning!
And for a refresher course on the reason behind Rachel and Alice's over 40 years of animosity, please enjoy this retrospective from the 1994 prime-time special, 50 Years of Soaps.
Friday, November 05, 2010
While waiting for GQ and Beth to show up for their legal meeting, Mindy attempted to make small talk with Mel.
It didn't go well.
First, they clashed about Leah dating Kevin Marler. Mel thought her daughter deserved to have fun and not obsess about her schoolwork like Mel did when she was Leah's age. Mindy thought anyone with Thorpe chromosomes - especially a teen-age boy - was bound to be trouble.
Next, Mindy was furious to find out that GQ went on TV again, to talk about Hudson's custody. (http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_78p1.html). But, she grew speechless when she heard GQ reading aloud some of the nasty, racist mail he'd received as a result.
Mindy swore to Mel that she had nothing to do with it (even as she and Beth privately wondered if Phillip might be involved... he did promise to protect them, Spaulding style).
Mel conceded that she knew that. But, also pointed out that the custody battle was bound to have a racial dimension. Did Mindy really want to put Hudson - not to mention herself and Rick... and Leah - through this?
What should Mindy do now? Tweet her your advice via: http://twitter.com/MelindaSueLewis.
And, to read more, go to: http://www.soapopera451.com/msl/, where all of Mindy's tweets appear in chronological order!
Plus, should soaps delve into issues of race? Please let us know your thoughts below!
Some As The World Turns bloopers to start your weekend off with a chuckle!
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Cassie Layne Winslow and Alan-Michael Spaulding: A Bad Romance
By Nicole Walker
It never fails. Just like you know that when a woman sleeps with two different men on the same night that she’s going to end up pregnant or when an emotionally distraught girlfriend/wife/mother gets behind the wheel of a car you can set your watch by how many minutes she has before she crashes her car into oncoming traffic...
When news that an actor is leaving a soap and their character is being written out, THAT is when the character and their potential becomes 1000x more compelling than what they were before they were given the pink slip.
Now, many Guiding Light fans were skeptical when the beloved Alan-Michael Spaulding was brought back to the canvas in 2005, which was understandable since he wasn’t being played by Emmy award winned Rick Hearst. I mean, Alan-Michael IS Rick Hearst (sorry, Carl Tye Evans, we love you, too; it's just been a while) and Michael Dempsey (Alan-Michael’s new portrayer) was quite pretty to look at, but he wasn’t Rick Hearst.
And, as if the poor guy didn’t have enough against him, instead of playing with the big boys upon his return, Alan-Michael was thrown into not one but two head scratching romances with women nearly half his age - Marina and Ava - the former being the daughter of his ex-wife, Eleni, who at one time could have turned out to be Alan-Michael’s daughter!
After nearly two years on canvas, Dempsey was given his pink-slip in 2007, and us viewers were left to watch and wait for his exit.
And then it happened.
One scene of Alan-Michael playing the Spaulding Family Defender against the emotionally volatile and grieving Cassie Layne Winslow and suddenly I could visualize a compelling, organic, character-consistent, emotionally engaging storyline for Alan-Michael and Cassie that could keep going and going for years.
Take Alan-Michael: Always at odds with Alan and being a Spaulding, he nevertheless takes up the mantle of gate-keeper and head of the Spaulding family because that’s what a son does. In taking this action, of course, there is the hope that he will finally earn Alan’s respect and love.
Take Cassie Layne Winslow: A grieving mother who is unraveling to an alarmingly unpredictable degree. She has a legitimate beef against Alan-Michael’s father, Alan, for his role in Cassie’s daughter’s death and aims to see Alan - and all the Spauldings, if necessary - pay and pay dearly and will do so by any means necessary.
The two battle; Cassie doing her damndest to upset Alan’s life and Alan-Michael doing his best to set it right, Cassie changing up her tactics and playing up her grief to sucker Alan-Michael in, Alan-Michael playing to Cassie, claiming that he does feel her pain and understand what she’s going through...
Only somewhere along the way, the sweet sensitive part of himself that Alan-Michael tries to protect does begin to feel Cassie’s pain and Cassie is shocked to realize that not all Spauldings are without a heart or compassion and the two realize, to their horror, that they are falling in love with the enemy.
But this wasn’t supposed to happen, each is using the other as a means to an end. So they retreat from each other back to their warring selves, only the more they try to fight it, the more they can’t resist each other, even when they give in to lust and temptation they tell themselves that it’s all part of the plan, that they’re in control of themselves, in control of the situation and that nothing will keep them from their ultimate goals.
And then fate intervenes. Cassie ends up pregnant. Clichéd? Maybe. (Ed. Note: Tricky without a uterus, perhaps even more so.) But nothing steps up a storyline like a blood-feud baby!
Now the game goes to a whole new level.
For Cassie this child is a miracle, a salve for her broken heart or a weapon in her vendetta against the family obsessed Alan, even as it remains a vulnerability that the Spauldings can use to completely and utterly destroy her once and for all.
For Alan-Michael- this child marks the defining moment of his life. A family is now within reach, but will he cut ties from the Spauldings for his child and its mother and make a deliberate effort to protect his own child from Alan’s crushing influence? Or would he be swayed by Alan’s sudden interest in another heir to use his and Cassie’s child to finally cement himself in his father’s good graces?
Would Cassie and Alan-Michael ever trust each other enough to believe in their love? To let go of the past and look to a future as a normal happy family with their new bundle of joy?
Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
Cassie and Alan-Michael never engaged in full on crazy, sexy, hot, Spaulding-Layne warfare.
Alan-Michael went out with whimper instead of a bang, forced out of Springfield by Alan in a most humiliating manner in a supposed effort to ‘protect’ him.
Cassie would leave town a year later after finally hitting rock bottom, taking the one kid she had left, RJ, off for a new start in Hawaii.
Somewhat anti-climactic ends, I’d say.
But who knows, maybe those two, crazy, pretty kids still found each other after leaving Springfield; Cassie being the one to help Alan-Michael finally let go of his anger towards Alan, and Alan-Michael showing Cassie that not all Spauldings are irredeemably evil.
What do you all think? Click the Comments button and let us know!
Nicole Walker is the Associate Producer of Another World Today. She is rarely without an opinion.
By Alina Adams
I wonder what Dr. Freud would have made of the dream I had last night, wherein I travel back in time but, instead of buying Apple stock or warning people of the looming recession, I choose to spend my time... watching classic soap operas.
(General Hospital's Anna and Duke, to be precise, which is very odd, since, while I liked them well enough, they don't even make my Top 25 favorite soap couples list. It's also a bit anachronistic, as, in my time travels, I'm in New York City, where I only moved in 1994, and Anna and Duke were over by then. But, enough about me....)
Clearly, my subconscious is trying to tell me something. Am taking suggestions on what....
"What, Mom?" She tuned around, hands on hips, bracing for a fight.
"Drop the tone, young lady," Rachel was in no mood for attitude. "No matter how tired you are, I am still not the enemy, here."
"Sorry," Amanda mumbled. "I just... It's been a long.... What were you going to say?"
"I was going to say that it would probably be best for you to hire a new attorney for Allie as soon as possible. Maybe you and Jamie would like to employ someone from the Cory corporate stable for both Allie and Steven. If not, perhaps Mike Bauer or — "
"Why would I get Allie a new attorney? Kevin hasn't said anything about quitting."
"His representing Alice is an obvious conflict of interest."
"How? They're all charged with the same crime."
"No, they aren't. Alice is a doctor, her indictment is much more severe than theirs. Not to mention the fact that Allie and Steven will need to testify against her."
"No way," Amanda said. "If they were going to turn on Alice, they could have done it weeks ago. Clearly, the kids aren't interested."
"Which is precisely why they need their own attorney, to explain to them why they should get interested, and quickly."
"I'm not going to let you do this, Mom."
"Do what? Protect my grandchildren?"
"At another person's expense."
"Alice is guilty. Even she isn't denying it. If anyone should be laying down the law here, it should be me forbidding you from sacrificing your daughter and your nephew to protect the grandmother of a man who certainly wouldn't do the same for you."
Marley's recollection of the past offers new perspective on her future and jeopardizes several people's future, Carl questions Rachel's role in Alice's arrest, Morgan makes a confession to Lorna, Steven confronts Sarah who blames GQ, Spencer vows to protect Alice at any cost, and you get to vote for the next mayor of Bay City!
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2010/2010_78p2.html
Thanks to everyone who let us know the link to the Discussion Board was broken. We've fixed it at: http://www.soapopera451.com/talk/mboard.php
And thank you for your continued support. We're getting new members for the mailing list and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Another-World/307355595460?ref=search&sid=13800416.3728872026..1) every day. We couldn't do this without you!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Mariann Aalda (Didi) keeps a fresh Eye on Monticello at: http://eontoday.blogspot.com/2010/11/fine-dandy-and-just-super.html.
Click on the above link to find out what prompted her to write as a post-script: Rick James was actually one of Irving Allen Lee's (who played Calvin) favorite performers. And there were many mornings that he would show up on the set after a night of partying, singing this song!
Plus, check out a new interview with Mariann at: http://thesoapspiel.blogspot.com/, and please enjoy this final act from the last episode of Edge of Night!