Tuesday, May 31, 2011
When I first began my Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments project, I set June 1, 2011 as the date on which I would stop taking nominations and get down to the work of writing - and programming - the book (currently scheduled for release September 2011).
I've had some wonderful nominations up to this point, which has lead to terrific interviews with actors, writers and producers about this genre which we all love.
However, some shows have been represented more than others. Would you believe I haven't gotten a single Bold & Beautiful suggestion? I'd also love to hear from Search for Tomorrow, Ryan's Hope, and Loving/The City fans.
The idea behind this enhanced e-book is to include as many different moments from as many different shows representing as many different facets of soaps as possible.
So, if you've been on the fence up until this point about contributing, please do so now by either e-mailing me at AlinaAdams@gmail.com or leaving a suggestion in the Comments section below.
I want to make this book the best it can possibly be for the people who've kept soaps going these past seventy-plus years - the fans!
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Monday, May 30, 2011
"Tell me, what did you and Jeanne Ewing chat about when you swept her off from the receiving line?"
"Ms. Ewing?" For a moment, Carl appeared unable to connect name to face, or even recall the incident to which Rachel was referring. She raised an eyebrow. Translation: Don't even try pulling the wool over my eyes. That triggered Carl's memory nicely. He tapped his head absently with one finger. "Ah, yes, Ms. Ewing. I daresay, we discussed a great many things."
"Including her breaking reports on Donna Love?"
"That may have come up."
"What have you done, Carl? I need to know."
"I merely told her the truth."
"And what does that mean, precisely?"
"It means that, like you, Ms. Ewing is a highly intelligent and capable young woman."
"What have you done?"
"And, like you, she also harbors periodic reservations. Except that hers are centered on the topic of whether or not Donna actually sent that incriminating file to the authorities as she had long threatened to."
Rachel blanched. "But, I thought that was the entire crux of your plan? If Jeanne doesn't believe...why are you looking so happy?"
Rachel demands Carl fill her in on his latest subterfuge, while Jamie and Lorna, Frankie and Grant, and Marley and Cass ponder the consequences of their airport showdown.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_108p1.html
Please take a moment to remember our troops this weekend, and have a wonderful, safe holiday!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
"What are you doing?" Grant demanded, watching Steven reach for his phone. "Who are you calling?"
"Someone who can settle this once and for all."
Grant charged Steven, seemingly looking to snatch the phone away from him, only to be met with his former stepson's fist squarely to Grant's jaw.
He stumbled backwards. Cass catching him at the last minute was all that kept Grant from hitting the floor.
"I'm not six years old anymore, Grant," Steven shook his head, struggling to keep his emotions in check, mostly for the horrified Michele and Bridget's sakes. "I know how to fight back now."
Marley turns to Grant for a final rescue - which he struggles to provide, Matt and Lila question each other's life choices, Alice lends Lucas a sympathetic ear, Dean meets a former fan - with unexpected results, Lorna reminds Jamie of his (very recent) wedding vows, and GQ shocks Allie - not to mention himself.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_107p2.html
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I will be speaking to Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) later today about her Days of Our Lives role(s) as Kristen AND Susan AND Sister Mary Moira AND Penelope AND Thomas for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments.
Got questions for Eileen, or thoughts on the lookalike story you'd like to share for possible publication? Let me know in the Comments below, or e-mail me at AlinaAdams@gmail.com.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
When I went looking for the Terrence Mann interview yesterday, I discovered several other of my SoapCity interviews still available on the web.
Here, just for fun, are some circa 2003 flashbacks with:
Martha Byrne (Lily/Rose; ATWT)
Cady McClain (Rosanna; ATWT & Dixei; AMC)
Greyson McCouch (Dusty; ATWT & Morgan; AW)
Stay tuned, there are more where those came from! (I.e. my past....)
Monday, May 23, 2011
News that Eileen Fulton (Lisa) will be appearing in a theatrical production of My Fair Lady alongside her one-time As The World Turns co-star Terrence Mann, reminded me of an interview that I did with Mann when he appeared on ATWT (for the second time) in 2003 as Newman, Marshall's lawyer. (There is an archive of it, here.)
And now that I've outed myself as a soap geek (duh), a figure skating geek, and a sci-fi geek, it's time to add another one to the list: Musical theater geek.
I love musical theater. (Hence my watching of Glee, 'cause it certainly ain't for the character development.)
I am also excited about NBC's announced midseason replacement show, Smash.
Not just because I expect it to feed my musical theater geekiness jones, but because of what it says about the future of soap operas.
Let me explain:
Everything, entertainment trends included, goes in cycles. One upon a time, Bonanza ruled the airwaves and Gunsmoke was the longest running TV show in prime-time. Not too many cowboys saddling up these days. Once, sitcoms were king, then they were pronounced dead, then Bill Cosby brought them back again in the 1980s and kicked off a new Golden Age. The same was true of game shows until Who Wants to Be a Millionaire struck it big. The same was true of variety shows, and then came American Idol.
After Cop Rock (which, I still assert, was not that bad) crashed and burned spectacularly, no one thought you could do a weekly primetime musical. And then came Glee. Which began Smash. (Not to mention it's own reality show on Oxygen.)
These days, everyone is ringing soaps' death knell. Just like they once did for sitcoms and game shows and musicals.
Herb Kaplan, my Broadcast Law professor, was also a national authority on The Fairness Doctrine. Whenever reporters would call to ask him if it was dead, Herb's answer was, "No. It's just sleeping."
I am utterly confident the same can be said for soap operas. They will be back.
Or, to paraphrase my favorite musical of all time, All That Jazz, "Everything old is new again."
You can count on it.
Lucas kissed Lorna on the cheek, taking her by the hand and tucking it into Jamie's.
"Who gives this woman away?" the minister asked.
"Her mother and I do," he glanced over his shoulder at Felicia. "Of our own free will, this time," and sat down beside her, grateful to let his shaking legs take a rest.
Lorna and Jamie faced each other beneath the same gazebo where Rachel and Mac had been married. The day was windier. Her veil and the hem of Lorna's dress billowed in the breeze, and the minister had to speak up to be heard.
He began by reverentially evoking all the loved ones who were there in spirit: Jenna, Helen, Ada, Mac, Steve...
At the mention of his name, Rachel and Alice couldn't help it. They locked eyes.
At Lorna and Jamie's wedding, Rachel receives a surprise reassurance, Carl makes a disturbing connection, Amanda pries a confession out of Kevin, Charlie provokes Kirkland, and Jen comes to Steven's aid, while Frankie and Cass pursue Grant and Marley. But, will it be too late?
Find out at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_107p1.html
Friday, May 20, 2011
(Sorry there was nothing last week, folks - Blogger was having a meltdown, eating posts right and left. It seems to all have been fixed now.)
Rick and Mindy celebrated Mother's Day with Ed, who invited Rick's uncle Mike to tell Rick stories about Rick's late mother, Leslie. (To find out why Rick's uncle knows more about his mother than his dad does, click here.)
Later, Ed got a call from Holly, furious that Alex and Fletch took Meg out of town on Mother's Day. Mindy wondered if Ed and Holly might be working their way back to each other.
Mindy went to visit Phillip to find out about his status with Beth, but they were interrupted by a frantic Lizzie furious that Phillip, in his quest to divest the Spauldings of their ill-gotten gains, had shut down her bank accounts. Lizzie insisted she needed the money to fight Jonathan for full custody of Sarah - and that Bill wouldn't approve of her actions.
Back home, Mindy was surprised to see Leah hanging out with Kevin, Jason and Meg. When Mindy learned it was Kevin's idea that they befriend Meg, she was convinced he was up to something - and that Holly would agree.
At the playground with Hudson, Mindy ran into Reva, Colin... and Jeffrey. Reva insisted that Jeffrey had no more secrets from her. Mindy begged to differ and asked Jeffrey, "Do you want to tell her... or should I?"
Follow the light, five days a week, at: http://twitter.com/MindyLewisBauer, and tweet your thoughts about what should happen next!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
A director that I worked with at ABC Sports (when I was a writer and researcher), once called me a visual waste-land.
I took no offense. I am a visual waste-land. Words are my thing. Images... not so much. (Of course, because life is like that, my oldest son wants to be an artist - that's the way it goes, I guess.)
As Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments winds it's way to publication, I need to pick a cover image.
And, because of the visual waste-land thing, I am turning to you, my readers, for help and advice.
Unlike a traditional publication, since this book will be exclusively electronic (in order to accommodate the video clips), the cover needs to be something that looks good when seen at about the size of a postage stamp.
Here are some possibilities.
Obviously, with a book about television, there is the television motif.
In each of these options, the title would go on the screen, with the subtitle in a line below. For the two versions that have multiple screens, those would be filled with images from soaps.
My concern with the latter is that they would be simply too small to see, and thus pointless.
There is also the "time" concept:
But, I'm not sure where the title would go, here (top? bottom? across?). Plus, hour-glasses are almost exclusive to Days of Our Lives, no?
And then there's this image:
I find it striking and compelling. The verbal connection is "soap." But, I'm afraid that might be too obscure.
What do you think? Which of the photos above would make the best image for a book to celebrate Soap Opera's Greatest Moments?
Please let me know in the Comments below, or via e-mail: AlinaAdams@gmail.com.
"And then I'll have to explain to the girls what I'm doing," Marley swallowed heavily. "Why I'm kidnapping them."
"You are not kidnapping them! You are their mother," Grant slammed the wheel with his open palm. "They'll understand why this had to happen."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because," Grant's voice cracked with emotion, surprising them both. "If I'd been given a choice between running away with my mother when she abandoned Spencer, and being left behind, I would have picked her. I would have picked her every damn time. And then maybe... Maybe she wouldn't have... cracked the way that she did. And nothing... Ryan... Me... Everything would have been different. I couldn't take care of her. I was never given the chance. Not until it was too late, anyway. But, I can take care of you. And Michele and Bridget. Trust me when I say that whether you go to Clareview, or leave the girls behind for their own good to go on the run alone, all they'll know is that you left. And it'll hurt them. They'll never forget it. And they will never, ever get completely over it. No matter how many times people tell them they should."
Grant and Marley plot to spirit Bridget and Michele from Lorna and Jamie's wedding, as Rachel deals with a hostile Amanda, an unwelcome Morgan, Spencer and Alice, and the surprise appearance of GQ. Carl slyly offers Jeanne advice on her breaking story, Dean attempts to rejoin the land of the living, Elizabeth challenges Charlie, and Lorna and Jamie accept last-minute words from their respective parents, as Cass and Frankie face a major decision (which you'll help them make)!
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_106p2.html
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
My favorite TV shows were soap operas, and V (I've written about the soap/original series connection, here.)
Which is why it was my seventeen year old self that leaped on this report from Associated Content:
The popular Facebook group, Fans United Against ABC, almost immediately changed the group description to be more welcoming to fans of all canceled ABC shows, and went to work recruiting fans of the other cancelled ABC shows. Within minutes, fans of V started joining the group and pledging their fealty to the soap group, in exchange for returned loyalty.
Having been a passionate geek within both genres for over thirty years, I am still, nonetheless, surprised by the frequent crossover in soap and and sci-fi fandoms.
My husband, who has so many comic books that we actually rent a storage space outside our apartment to house them all, put it this way: "People who like sweeping, on-going stories featuring larger than life characters tend to like sweeping, on-going stories featuring larger than life characters." (He's an engineer, they're big on A = B = A. But he's also watched All My Children from the crib. He says he learned everything he needed to know about women from Tad Martin.)
Pissing off soap fans is a bad idea. Pissing off sci-fi fans is a bad idea. Pissing off both soap and sci-fi fans.... that's a very bad idea.
Unless we all can think of some way to turn it into a good one.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Several viewers have nominated Guiding Light's Olivia and Natalia romance for inclusion in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, including one who wrote:
Not only did they tackle homophobia, but they tackled religion, faith, trust, spirituality and the acceptance of love when you feel unlovable. It was such a great Journey to watch these two women go from adversaries, to friends, to an honest couple in love. Just as the feelings between these two women changed, my feelings toward homosexuality and acceptance changed as well.
Do you have feelings or thoughts about that story that you'd like to share for possible inclusion in the book? Let us know in the Comments below, or e-mail me at AlinaAdams@gmail.com.
Also looking for thoughts on Y&R's Dru/Malcolm/Neil story, and Edge of Night's Great Train Escape!
Looking forward to reading what you have to say!
Monday, May 16, 2011
"You've done enough to Marley, as of late," Grant warned Donna.
"I've done nothing but try to help and safeguard my daughter from the likes of you."
Grant snorted. "After years of undermining her with emotional manipulation. Not to mention nearly killing her, which I had an unfortunate front-row seat to witness. You can play the doting mother as stridently as you like, but you and I both know, when all is said and done, the only personage of importance to you is you. This manufactured drama over Marley's mental health has nothing to do with her, and everything with your need to be the center of attention. Your desperation to reinvent yourself as the hero after years of proving capable of just about anything — including greedily devouring your young."
"That's your back-story, Grant. Not mine."
"Of course, as soon as the heat gets too much and you're actually called to the carpet to own up to your indefensible actions, your go-to cover is Blame Daddy. The man's been dead for decades, and yet Reginald's somehow still pulling your strings."
"Isn't Daddy responsible for all your shortcomings, as well? Oh, no, I forgot, in your case, it's because Mommy didn't love you enough to suffer under Spencer's tyrannical rule or take you with her when she left him!"
Donna strikes Grant where it hurts the most, Jeanne sends Matt to get the truth from Lorna and Jamie - and report back to her, Frankie wants answers from Cass about Lila, and Jen brings the last person anyone could have expected to Kevin's rescue.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_106p1.html
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I chatted today with Victoria Rowell for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments regarding the infamous Dru/Malcolm confrontation about the night they slept together while Dru was knocked out on cough medicine and dreamed he was Neil.
Got thoughts on that iconic Young & Restless scene and storyline? Send them to me at AlinaAdams@gmail.com or post them in the Comments below for possible publication.
But, there was something else Victoria said during the course of our interview that got my attention.
She told me, "I understand the dynamics of the genius of what William J. Bell Sr. did for daytime drama, as did Agnes Nixon, as did Irna Phillips, as did all these incredible soap opera creators. Historically, the longer you can keep a storyline that has resonated with the audience going, the longer you can keep building on a soap opera's leading actors, the principle actors and their storylines, the longer you can capture an audience. The longer you can keep a secret, the longer you can stay on the air. "
These days in soaps, the buzz-word seems to be to move the storyline faster, to skip the build-up and get right into the big confrontations (often leaving the audience to fill in the gaps). The slow burn is out of favor, constant action is in. The belief is that keeping a secret for too long is boring. That the audience will lose interest and tune out.
Personally, I love a good, long secret. It adds subtext to even the most banal scenes. And I'm a sucker for subtext. Something that soaps do particularly well do the fact that their long histories give practically every character a dramatic past with every other character.
But, I pose the question to you: How do you like your secrets kept... and when do you want them revealed?
Tell us below!
(And make sure you check out Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments when it's released this Fall for complete interviews with Victoria Rowell, Linda Dano, Tina Sloan, and many other daytime heavyweights sharing their exclusive peeks behind the scenes of your favorites stories!)
"I've planned a wedding before," Rachel didn't turn to look at Carl as she counted chairs by rows. "Usually, my biggest concerns are the flower arrangements being delivered on time and our food remaining at perfect temperature until the reception. Worrying that we all might be gunned down like what happened over in Moldavia, was it twenty-five years ago? That's new. I'd prefer not to have my entire family massacred."
"Actually," Carl mumbled. "We'd be lucky to get that crack assassination team. Dozens of machine gun clips emptied and ultimately only three fatalities?" But, what he actually said, loud enough for Rachel to hear was, "Rest assured, I have everything well in hand. My men at the gates know to check everyone prior to entry. No invitation, no admission, no exceptions. The perimeter is secured by a second armed team, and I will have snipers on the roof — Israelis, I'm not taking any chances."
"Wonderful," Rachel said. "My son is getting married in a prison camp."
"My people know how to be inconspicuous."
"Let's hope they also know how to do their jobs. And that having you, Lucas, and Spencer all in one place at one time doesn't prove too strong of a temptation for even the most cautious thugs."
"Harrison is on the guest list?"
"Alice," Rachel reminded. "Jamie invited her. And considering I'm bringing you, I could hardly put my foot down over her choice of escort."
Rachel and Carl wonder if their respective pasts are doomed to affect the future, Marley says a cryptic good-bye to Donna while Grant receives a harangue from Spencer, GQ attempts to mend fences, and Lorna and Jamie get a shock just before their wedding day.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_105p2.html
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
With a special shout-out to Soap Opera 451 contributor Susan Dansby, nominated as part of the As The World Turns writing team.
Susan is currently working on The Young & the Restless.
Complete list of nominees at: http://www.daytimeemmys.tv/
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Television actors, newscasters and politicians who worry far less these days about fumbling their lines, stalling as cue cards are flipped or shuffling typewritten pages on the podium owe much to Hubert Schlafly. With two colleagues, Schlafly invented the first teleprompter in the late 1940s - a rudimentary device that has since evolved into computerised text scrolling across screens to the tempo of the speaker.
On December 4, 1950, actors on the CBS soap opera The First Hundred Years turned their attention towards a motorised scroll of paper, lined with half-inch letters, mounted inside what looked like a suitcase and controlled by a stagehand. That first teleprompter was designed by Schlafly, electrical engineer Irving Kahn and Fred Barton, an actor who proposed the idea.
Monday, May 09, 2011
"Tomorrow is a big day for Lorna," Grant reminded, determinedly ignoring the way Marley flinched every time the topic was touched upon. "By the time she and Jamie pop out of their self-satisfied euphoria bubble and realize what's happened, you and the girls will be long gone and out of their clutches."
Marley stared at him. "Me and the girls? You want me to go into hiding with Bridget and Michele?"
"I know you'd never leave without them."
"No, but...I'd be taking them away from everything they know. Everyone they love... Steven and Kirkland... the McKinnons... their family."
"Jamie and Lorna have no problem taking you away from them, and you're the closest family they've got."
"It's not the same thing and you know it. What kind of upbringing would I be giving them, a life on the run?" Marley shook her head. "I can't. I couldn't do that."
"Is leaving them to Donna's tender mercies any better?" Grant challenged.
"There's the McKinnons," Marley offered weakly. "Vince and Mary, MJ and Adam, Ben and Justin... They could look after the girls until I... until I'm better."
"And what if the fine, upstanding, judgmental and self-righteous McKinnon clan decides to fight you for custody? Do you really want your girls being raised by Mary McKinnon, someone who once thought Reginald was an okay guy?"
Grant has a plan for Marley, Lila has a wake-up call for Frankie and Cass, Allie has a plan, Felicia has a confession, and Matt has a theory.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_105p1.html
We're about to start prepping "Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments" for publication. If you have thoughts you'd like included regarding "Another World's" last episode (or any other soap moment you believe worthy of inclusion) sent it on to me ASAP at email@example.com.
(And a Happy Belated Mother's Day, too!)
Friday, May 06, 2011
GUIDING LIGHT SYNOPSIS WEEK OF MAY 2-6, 2011
Hudson's biological father crashed the boy's first birthday party to tell Rick and Mindy that he's dropping the custody suit.
Lizzie told Mindy how happy she was for her, then proceeded to complain about her own difficulties with Jonathan over Sarah.
Mallet also congratulated Mindy, and wondered whether this might inspire Dinah to consider adopting a child with him. Mindy kept mum about what she knew regarding Dinah and Shayne's secret meet-ups.
Finally, Mindy and Rick wanted to ask Phillip and Beth to be Hudson's godparents, but wondered if that was a couple that had much of a future together. Mindy resolved to find out!
Follow all of the stories, five days a week, and help Guide the Light at: http://twitter.com/MindyLewisBauer
A classic episode from All in the Family's first season in 1971, guest-starring Anthony Geary (Luke; GH), Phil Carey (Asa; OLTL) and featuring semi-regular Bob Hastings (Ramsey; GH and brother of ATWT vet Don Hastings).
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Jeanne's face appeared on the television screen, looking all the more smug and self-satisfied for being broadcast in High Definition. (Somehow, Donna didn't think it was right that her personal cash investment to upgrade the station's equipment was being used in the service of making Jeanne Ewing look good.)
She began by airing a clip from Donna's pre-Election interview, wherein Donna — of her own free will — had expounded, "I am well aware that Carl and a number of people in his professional acquaintance may still have issues with me, and the actions I took to protect Jenna. Consequently, I have taken several precautions. I am quite prepared to defend myself if need be against anyone who threatens me or my family." And then a quick cut to: "Carl's world involved a number of nefarious characters, people who considered themselves above the law. People who would have been all too willing to use anyone and anything against Carl — including his children. Sequestering Jenna with Gloria was only one of the means by which I shielded her. I also took steps to amass information that I could use to neutralize any and all threats against myself or my loved ones should the circumstances ever call for it."
At that, a file photo of Donna replaced the moving image and, much to her shock, she heard her own voice, helpfully subtitled for those who might have trouble making out the muffled recording, saying, "I did not mail that infernal file to the authorities. It was a bluff. There was never any file. My knowledge of Carl's dealings was always cursory, at best. I certainly was never intimate with his associates."
"Would the real Donna Love please stand up," Jeanne was back to chirp cheerfully. "Which version are we to believe?"
Donna grabbed her phone, punching in Matt's number for the second time, certain that she would be getting the run-around again, but needing to do something, anything to express the rage welling up inside of her.
Much to Donna's surprise, he answered on the first ring.
Donna comprehends the full extent of a defensive Matt's betrayal, Marley is trapped between Grant's urging her to lie and Jamie's demands for the truth, Steven gives Kirkland advice while Charlie turns to Frankie - with very different results, GQ offers Allie one last chance with Hudson, while Lorna confronts Felicia about her role - and Carl's - in Lorna's accident.
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_104p2.html
"Another World" turned 47 on Wednesday, May 4th, which also marked the 2nd anniversary of "Another World Today" (read the original TV Guide announcement bottom of: http://tvmegasite.net/day/aw/). Thanks for coming along for the ride, and stay tuned, we've got a lot of great stuff planned ahead!
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Thank you to everyone who contributed a favorite scene for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments.
I've had a blast going through your suggestions, and getting in touch with the actors, writers and producers who made them happen, so they could comment on your picks.
What I found interesting is that Y&R and B&B, the two currently highest-rated soaps have had the least nominations (even Ryan's Hope, Loving, Santa Barbara and Capitol, soaps long off the air, received more).
I don't think the phenomenon can be attributed to advance nostalgia for AMC and OLTL, since I was getting their nominations in even before the cancellation announcement.
Why do you think Y&R and B&B have been so underrepresented?
Meanwhile, if you were planning to send me your pick for Top Moment, now is the time to do it. I'll be closing the suggestion box on Friday, May 13, 2011 so I can spend the rest of the time contacting actors, writers and producers, interviewing them, and compiling their answers in time to release the book this September.
I can't wait to hear from you (send me an e-mail via AlinaAdams@gmail.com)!
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
No body available for viewing, huh?
Buried at sea, huh?
DNA match, huh?
We're soap fans.
We know what that means....
Habeus corpus! (And even then, I would only put the odds at 50/50.)
See Barrett, Brenda (GH)....
And Snyder, Jack (ATWT)....
And who is your favorite not really, most sincerely dead water-logged person?
Monday, May 02, 2011
I've waxed poetic before about how the roles James Rebhorn gets in movies and prime-time don't come close to fully exploiting his talents the way the soaps did.
Now comes another prominent example. My husband and I watched Salt this weekend (yeah, I know it came out last summer; we have three kids, this is actually pretty quick turn-around for us.)
Featured in the cast alongside Angelina Jolie and Liev Schrieber is Hunt Block (AMC/GL/ATWT). (Our exact words, "Hey, look, Hunt is the president of the United States!")
He has maybe a dozen lines (though still more than Andre Braugher - who gets higher billing; I'm guessing most of Mr. Braugher's scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, or else it really makes no sense), and two scenes, of which he spends the second half of the latter on the floor, unconscious.
In his first scene, Hunt is called upon to radiate "I feel your pain" sympathy and "please don't shoot me" fear. In the second scene (prior to being knocked unconscious) his task entails conveying "I wonder if the White House is under attack?" concern and "Hmmm, I seem to have just entered the code to launch a worldwide nuclear war, perhaps I should give this some thought before pressing the red button" consternation.
Anyone who has ever watched his nuanced work as Ben on Guiding Light or especially Craig on As The World Turns (even his earlier, rawer pass as Peter on Knots Landing) knows that the man is capable of far, far more.
I gather that, supposedly, every actor dreams of doing major feature films. But, all I have to ask is... why? Unless you're Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis, the real acting opportunities (if not the pay-checks, I totally get that) are on soap operas.
Watch the below ATWT clip of Craig talking to his dead son (at 3:33) in the morgue and let me know if you agree!
Rachel thundered, "I trusted you to protect us! What happened to the Carl Hutchins who knew how to stay several steps ahead of his enemies? Who intuited when to play with his food and when to strike hard and fast? Your insistence on getting revenge against Donna put us all at risk. Had you gone after these people directly, they wouldn't have had the opportunity to scurry underground."
"Rachel, I do love you," her husband said with great care. "But I will not be spoken to in this manner!"
"I'm not you, Carl. When my children's lives are at stake flowery language and courtly manners are the first things to fly out the window. Followed by patience. Jeanne Ewing or no Jeanne Ewing, I need you to settle this now."
"Are you aware of what you're asking of me?"
"You are not," he challenged. "The situation has changed. For me to do as you ask — nay, demand — will require marshaling all of my resources and skills. Skills and resources that you once — equally as forcefully — ordered me to place under lock and key, never to be invoked again...."
Lorna and Donna offer their takes to Jamie on what to do about Marley, while Matt entertains Donna's pleas of innocence. Lila turns to a surprising source for protection, GQ crashes Hudson's first birthday party, and Carl lays his future fate in Rachel's hands (which you get to decide for her!).
All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2011/2011_104p1.html