The Virtual Soapbox
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Apr 2, 2009
It just kind of figures. I post about my GUIDING LIGHT love and how the show can't be canceled and, then, the very next day, the ax falls. Much like many of you out there, I'm still reeling from the news and you can check my Soapbox column in our April 28 issue (on sale April 17) for my expanded thoughts on this dear, wonderful, piece of television history going gently into the good night.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Mar 31, 2009
I'm not normally an alarmist — at least not lately since I'm trying to cultivate a sense of zen like Charlie Crews from LIFE — but WHAT is going on with the rumors of GUIDING LIGHT being canceled this fall? Say it ain't so! I know things are tough all over, but how is jettisoning a show that pulled itself up by its bootstraps and reinvented itself so completely a GOOD thing for CBS and Procter & Gamble?
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Mar 18, 2009
First things first, stay tuned to the BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL section of our site for the write-up of my first visit to the show's set in sunny California! Second things second, I now have the task of catching up on all the soapiness I missed, and that's quite the chore ... unless we're talking about yesterday's GENERAL HOSPITAL. Okay, just a specific portion of yesterday's GENERAL HOSPITAL: Johnny and Maxie. Yes, I know this snappy banter and stolen kiss thing they've got going on makes them faithless cheaters and it's despicable to betray their respective partners in such a way, etc. But you know what? There is precious little to get excited over on GH these days, and I'm going to cling to whatever squee-inducing thing I can, no matter how faithless and cheating it may be. Desperate times call for desperate measures, folks. This beggar cannot and will not be a chooser.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Mar 10, 2009
Have you ever stopped to think how odd it sometimes is to watch soaps for a living? For one thing, I can't get into an elevator without thinking it's going to stall and someone's going to go into labor. (And one of our elevators here actually does hiccup; it freaks me out every time!) But then, consider the love scenes! You know how people on the 'Net warn if a link or a photo is "NSFW" (Not Safe For Work)? I mean, many soap love scenes aren't exactly SFW, are they? Even when you work at a soap magazine! LOL!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Mar 5, 2009
So, I was formatting the list of this year’s Daytime Emmy pre-noms for the issue we're working on this week, and just marveling at how weird the pre-nom and nomination process is. I'll be honest, there are years where I look at the list and just go, "What? Huh? I don't get it!" I don't know if it's equal parts popularity contest and political maneuvering or what, but sometimes the Emmy process just doesn't make sense to me!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 27, 2009
When it comes to my critical pieces in the magazine lately, I've been, well, critical. There's a lot to go off on when it comes to soaps these days and finding things that make me all warm and fuzzy proves to be a harder task than finding something that makes me all fork-stabby. But fear not! For this blog entry is completely devoted to things soap-related that make me smile. (And I promise the only time I'm mentioning cute men holding babies is right now. See? Done!)
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 20, 2009
Sometimes, there's an actor that just wins hearts across the board. Critics and fans alike cotton to them, and they take their gloriously dysfunctional character to a level where you can't help but feel for them. GL's Tom Pelphrey (ex-Jonathan) was one such find and I'm sure it's no surprise if I suggest that Y&R's nuBilly, Billy Miller is another. To say it less formally...dude, this guy ROCKS. I have not been able to tear my eyes away from him during the fallout from Delia's birth. He's so compelling and I bet ALL MY CHILDREN is just kicking themselves for killing off his prior incarnation, Richie Novak. And if they aren't? They should be!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 17, 2009
Most people who are soap fans watch soaps on their day off. Given that I watch soaps for a living, the logical conclusion would be that the last thing I do on my day off is watch them, right? Then could someone explain to me why I was sitting on my couch between the hours of 10 and 11 AM yesterday glued to GUIDING LIGHT?
Oh my God, folks. I couldn't look away. From start to finish ... a finish which, by the way, actually had me on the verge of bawling. Dangit, John Driscoll, way to knock it out of the park with a helluva exit line. In fact, he had me the whole episode, managing to retain Coop's purity of spirit and his trademark snarky Cooper humor while growing progressively weaker and weaker. ::sniffle:: I'm getting all maudlin just thinking about it.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 4, 2009
Between the poor showing for Carly's "gala" for Michael, an airborne toxin that seems to only strike every fourth person, and a pathetically underpopulated hospital, it's been hard to drum up any kind of excitement or sense of urgency while watching GENERAL HOSPITAL. Gone are the nailbitingly tense days of the Metro Court hostage crisis of Ought Seven or the 2006 virus story that actually jeopardized multiple people and featured staffers and laymen alike actually wearing surgical masks. But just when I thought I was going to need to bailout of GH's numbing biotoxin story, the show delivered me a stimulus package in the form of Johnny and Maxie.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jan 23, 2009
I've been a little behind with my soap hopping, so I haven't tuned into AMC for a few weeks. But judging by the unhappy mail we get, it seems like watching the show is a cross between watching the live feed of an execution and getting a root canal. So, when I offered to pinch hit for our web site's AMC daily recap today, I seriously questioned my sanity. I was like, "Dude, what am I setting myself up for?" Guess what? I loved the entire episode!