Thursday, January 07, 2016


Excerpt from my BlogHer review of Telenovela:

Viewers learn that “Isabella used to be the leading lady until the day Ana took her place. She didn’t not handle it well.”

There’s video of Isabella throwing a massive tantrum. Which is exactly what Ana does when she learns that, due to her complaints about working with Javier, “You got your wish. You’re not playing my love interest anymore. You’re playing my love interest’s mom.”

This, unfortunately, is a very common occurrence on soaps. Because of something the fans like to call SORAS (Soap-Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome), an actress in her 30s, who gave birth to a baby on-screen five years earlier, might suddenly find herself playing the mom of a teen-ager (who, in turn, is played by a 25 year old… some of the age differences between actors on soaps are truly ridiculous. Joan Collins and Gordon Thompson, who played mother and son, Alexis and Adam, on Dynasty, were only 12 years apart in age. Thompson’s Santa Barbara dad, Jed Allen, was only seven years his senior. And Judith Light is exactly three years older than Mitch Pileggi, who played her son on the TBS reboot of Dallas.)

Many actors believe that once they’re playing a parent of a teen-ager or – God forbid – a grandmother, their days as a romantic lead are over, and they’ll be relegated to pouring coffee and listening to other characters’ problems (this, as a rule, happens almost exclusively to women. Soap-opera leading men have much longer shelf-lives. As Matthew McConaughey says in Dazed and Confused, “I get older, they stay the same.”). As a result, some daytime divas with enough clout have a “grandmother clause” inserted into their contracts.

As the World Turns star Eileen Fulton (Lisa) about her demanding one in the 1970s, “I was involved in a hot romance at the time. I knew… soap-opera grandmothers had no fun.” (Savvy fans, consequently, blamed Fulton for Lisa’s on-screen son, Tom, and his wife, Margo, losing their baby.)

General Hospital’s Denise Alexander (Lesley) followed suit, which is why daytime TV’s best-known couple, Luke and Laura, had no children until Alexander was off the show.

But, the fact is, Fulton was right.

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