Accentuate the positive

Everyone with a keyboard and a modem can whine and complain about their favorite (or not-so-favorite) soaps.

So for a change of pace, I thought I’d try to spotlight something positive on ALL of the shows. 

All My Children: When I watch AMC these days, the most common reaction I have is hives. But there is one twist I’m really loving, and that’s the “return” of Tad the Cad. The accidental shooting that injured Tad’s brain has allowed Michael E. Knight to shed his character’s morose history and bring some lightness back to Pine Valley. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen so far.

As The World Turns: I love having Cady McClain (Rosanna) back on-screen. I loved the Bob/Henry scenes; Bob should be more of a mentor to Henry. (Henry and Vienna remind me, just a little, of Bob and Kim!) And cheers for Lisa and Barbara sightings. 

The Bold and the Beautiful: Don Diamont is definitely stirring things up as Bill Spencer – bringing him to B&B was a wise move. Despite the calls for a cleanshaven Diamont, the scruffy beard and metrosexual stylings are right on for a larger-than-life designer; Bill comes across as a heterosexual Tom Ford, and Diamont is showing a side of him that was usually hidden on Y&R

Days of our Lives: I’m glad Galen Gering is staying put as Rafe; Days has managed to capitalize on Gering’s easygoing nature and leading man qualities. And though Days is pure fluff, I don’t feel quite as dirty about watching as I did when Gering was acting opposite an orangutang on Passions

General Hospital: GH has lucked out on the teen front, hiring two performers (Drew Garrett as Michael and Lexi Ainsworth as Kristina) who can act, who come across in a very natural and organic way, and who (say it with me) physically resemble the actors they’re replacing. It’s a shame they’ll be sucked into the mob mess or some other vat of misogyny and violence soon enough. (Sorry, that’s not very positive, is it?) 

I’m also excited to see what happens with Mayor Floyd and his wife; I’m looking forward to Martha Byrne’s first appearance. 

Guiding Light: I have to admit, I’ve been just the tiniest bit bored (yes, I said it!) over the last few weeks. I’m guessing a lot of the stories were changing tracks and being revised as we get closer and closer to September 18th. 

But I continue to rave about Zack Conroy’s performance as James. His scenes today with Grant Aleksander (Phillip) were amazing. It’s a definite case of deja vu, because Phillip/James have some of the same dynamics as Alan/Phillip. Phillip may not be as maniacally power hungry as Alan is (and was), but he’s made mistakes with James and is acting out of love and regret to try and fix them. 

One Life to Live: The culmination of the Chloe-is-Hope story was a must-see last week, bringing so many characters together. Watching Marty and Blair put aside their animosity to support Cole and Starr was touching, and seeing Starr’s joy and Jess/Tess/Bess come to terms with her (their?) loss was haunting. (Though I’m still angry Marcie and Michael are leaving this week.) 

Young and the Restless: It would be way shorter to just list the negatives here, because almost everything on the show is clicking and on fire. Aside from the deadly dull Cane/Lily pairing, and the thankfully underutilized Noah/Eden story, everything else is firing on all cylinders. In the last month, Y&R has had two seriously old-school Friday cliffhangers: the is-he-or-isn’t-he-Phillip reveal, and the dragalicious Adam/Sabrina moment.

5 thoughts on “Accentuate the positive

  1. Y&R is ridiculously good right now. It’s amazing: about eight months ago it was unwatchable, but they picked it up, shook off the dust, and totally fixed it…and it’s now as good as it’s ever been. Every casting director who thinks that it’s all about youth needs to watch Y&R and pay close attention: Victor, Ashley, Jack….the old reliables…they never, ever get stale. Last week, when Jack tearfully told Sharon that he knew about her fling with Billy…dang. He took me there.

    I all but gave up on AMC, entirely, a few months back, and only watch sporadically. You’ve made me reconsider, though. I used to love Original Recipe Tad. His sleaziness was a joy to behold. (BTW: is it just me, or has Debbi Morgan aged not a day since the 1980s??? She looks amazing. So good that it’s almost silly to watch her next to silver-haired Tad.)

    On GL: how happy was I to see both Vanessa and Alex? Vanessa had more than one line! And Alex had a whole exchange with Alan, that was very old-school Spaulding: Alex protecting Philip. I love both these women, and I want to see more of them. Why, for instance, isn’t Vanessa getting involved in helping Reva?

    You’re right – Debbi looks fantastic. She and Darnell actually look better NOW than they did then.

  2. Patrick,
    I agree with you about Zack Conroy’s performance as James and I am enjoying the parallels between Phillip and James and Alan and Phillip as well. There have been a few times when I have found myself asking Phillip, “So how does it feel to hear that from your son?” I keep hoping that this will all lead to some healing among the Spaulding family before Sept. 18.

    Lana, I loved seeing the scenes between Alan and Alex last week, and the scene with Buzz, Lillian, Vanessa, Billy, Alex and Alan! Six great characters that have been the essence of GL over the years!

  3. As much history as Vanessa and Billy have (and I’ve ridden the Vanessa/Billy rollercoaster for the duration, so I do know), I always long for a Vanessa/Matt reunion. Those two had incredible chemistry together, and I consider them among the best soap couples, ever.

    And, is Zach Conroy channelling a young Grant Aleksander, or what??? The pigeons really do come home to roost.

    Lana, we usually see eye to eye, but for some reason I just never got on the Matt/Vanessa wagon.

    I never liked “Mattessa” (or as I liked to call them, “Mattress-a”). Their romance from afar, and reunion when Matt learned Vanessa was alive WAS incredibly old school soap, much like Otalia, and I did really enjoy that part of the story. But I never really “got” who Matt was. His whole identity seemed to be, “Oooh, looky. Vanessa has a young hottie.”

  4. We can agree to disagree ths one time, Patrick. I just felt, from the moment Matt and Vanessa shared screen time, that the raw chemistry between them was palpable. I always remember my mom, who is quite a staunch woman and not much of a romantic, watchiing M&V and saying “My God – this is such a beautiful story!” And, yes, it helped that they were incredibly gorgeous to look at – both were stunning, IMO. The 5th Street fire? Be. Still. My. Heart. Matt at the right place, at the right time, as Vanessa reads Henry’s last letter to her? Lord have mercy. I loved these two together.

  5. Galen Gering is a gift to Days. At last, a handsome, kind, sexy, man with a heart. Love his understated, real acting style. He makes the other male characters on the show look as if they spend all their ‘days’ looking in the mirror. He is a treasure.

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