The Virtual Soapbox
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jul 18, 2008
My favorite soap of 2007 returns on Tuesday, and I couldn't be happier. No, seriously. If GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT was a person, I'd be throwing my arms around its knees and crying, "You're back! Never leave me again!" Sure, it returns with a different cast, and different stories (I'm SO bummed that we'll never know what happened to Lainey and Cody or Andy and Kelly), but at the core, it's the same: It's about a hospital, it has familiar faces, it's cutting edge, and it's diverse.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jul 11, 2008
I've already admitted I basically have GENERAL HOSPITAL on for background noise these days. Who wants to tune in for young guys going psycho with axes, roughing up women and getting killed, right? Yuck. It's summer. Where's the romance and where are the abs? This is half the reason why BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL and AS THE WORLD TURNS were so much fun this week...gratuitous shirtlessness abounded! Bless you, Eric and Donna, for throwing a pool party. We should have a pool party every Friday on every show during these steamy summer months, while the other four days a week are devoted solely to vets and family-driven storylines. (Swimsuits optional.) That's the other half of why B&B and ATWT were so much fun this week: Forresters and Hugheses and Stewarts, oh my!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jul 4, 2008
I guess it's fitting that on a day so resonant in American history, I'm all giddy over soaps nodding to their history. Daniel and Chelsea on DAYS OF OUR LIVES may skeeve me out, but their union can be lauded this week, because of the hilarious conversation between Doug, Bo, Julie and Hope about how Bo and Hope's relationship didn't exactly warm the cockles of Doug's heart. How funny was Bo trying to trump up excuses for why Daniel is bad for Chelsea and Doug countering with Daniel being a doctor as opposed to how Bo was just a shiftless no account? LOL! And, okay, I admit that Daniel and Chelsea were cute for a few seconds when they arrived at the Fourth of July bash together and Daniel got hauled off for a lecture by Victor. But I am NOT surrendering! Nuh-uh. I remain strong in my anti-Chan stance. (Y'all are giving me about two weeks before I cave, aren't you?)
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jun 30, 2008
I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but why do soaps, soap actors and soap viewers all get such a bad rap? Sometimes, I feel like everywhere I turn, all I see is scorn for the genre. Sports fans are lauded for their loyalty, for having pricey season tickets, lucky chairs and lucky hats. The cast of the SOPRANOS, the showrunners for LOST...they all get kudos for being SO talented. But soap operas are the redheaded stepchildren of media. I can't even tell you how many times I've gotten the "ew!" look from people when I mention where I work, or, worse, the "oh, that's too BAD!" look. Like soaps are something to be ashamed of. Baseball fangeekiness is acceptable; sci-fi fangeeking means you're probably a brainy nerd, but soaps...? GASP! Heck, furries probably look down on soap fans. (If you don't already know, don't ask.)
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jun 27, 2008
So, I've already mentioned that I'm generally okay with GH's Jerry holding everybody hostage at Metro Court last year and still being around. Basically, as long as 90% of Port Chuck continues to treat him like he's scum, I'll be fine. Once everyone decides he's made of sunshine and puppies, however, it's a different matter. He's actually teetering on the edge for me right now because he filled Alexis' office with flowers and is all googly-eyed. Stop that! You're a villain! I feel like there are things that a show shouldn't "get over." It's one of my biggest pet peeves to see a character's ugliest moments glossed over and explained away.
Here are some of my biggest "Oh, HELL no" moments in daytime: (Warning, there are some YouTube clips, and they are disturbing.)
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jun 13, 2008
So, I started watching GUIDING LIGHT again this week. Yes, it appears we've kissed and made up. Mind you, I'm still seeing DAYS OF OUR LIVES at random hours and in between seeing ATWT. (I'm so promiscuous!) At any rate, now that GL and I are on again, I'm heartbroken by the fact that Bill and Lizzie are still off again. :( Just watching Daniel Cosgrove and Marcy Rylan together for a few minutes is enough to showcase that GL's biggest mishap (next to backburnering Kim Zimmer's Reva) is how they have broken up so many functioning and wonderful couples just to create pairs that evoke a big ol' "meh." Cosgrove and Rylan have the kind of tempestuous chemistry and engaging humor that every soap needs in a banner couple, and the only thing that was harder to believe than Bill impetuously proposing to Ava during the Lewis shindig was the fact that wee Lizzie could still be standing after all the liquor she downed. That's not to say Ava and her portrayer Michelle Ray Smith are chopped liver. Ava and Remy are great together, so why trump up all this unnecessary Ava/Bill stuff?
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jun 5, 2008
It's not surprising that GENERAL HOSPITAL submitted last February's Metro Court hostage crisis episodes to the Emmys. That's the last time I found the show truly engaging. Every day of that story was must-see TV...and no, not because of the fancy explosions (or because I heart Sebastian Roché). It was because of cast integration, because of character building and bonding and use of history, because GH stepped up to the plate and let its phenomenal actors all hit it out of the park.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: May 30, 2008
This past Tuesday, I was lucky enough to jaunt down to AS THE WORLD TURNS' studio to interview Cyndi Lauper and watch her film scenes (and songs!) that will air in July. Cyndi. Lauper. I can't even tell you the surreal awesomeness of that. In fact, I still haven't even processed that I actually MET a music icon. (But I sort of attribute that to the fact that David Cook is the only musician on my radar right now. I have more Cookie songs on the iPod than Cyndi ones. LOL.) Not only did I, along with other reporters, get to meet her, but we sat in the Snyder kitchen while doing it ... and that was completely hilarious, too, because I was like, "Oh, look, that's the counter where Lily hid Dusty's gun, and the cabinet where Holden stuffed the syringe, and...." Why, yes, I'm a complete dork — and my chair was right in front of the shelf where Lily stuffed her Dusty mementoes. Cyndi Lauper and the Snyder kitchen ... It's a definite combination for squee.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: May 23, 2008
While between DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Lucas coming home and catching EJ and Sami in the sack and Jesse and Angie's wedding on ALL MY CHILDREN, it has been a pretty entertaining soap week, I think it's safe to say that the biggest drama was on prime time: that's right, AMERICAN IDOL! Much like the other 90+ million voters in the country, my eyes were fixed to FOX and the double whammy of the AI finale and results shows. Move over Y&R's David Chow and OLTL's David Vickers, it was all about David Cook and David Archuleta. I rocked out to ZZ Top and George Michael and was part of the collective breath held when Ryan Seacrest opened that shiny gold envelope. So, if you think I love GENERAL HOSPITAL's Sebastian Roché, mutiply that by a hundred and you'll get the level of my admiration for David Cook right now.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: May 16, 2008
I knew it was just a matter of time, but I'm in a lather about soap diversity again. And, no, it's not about AS THE WORLD TURNS. Guess who gets to board the failboat this week? THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL! It's uncharacteristic enough that B&B's Los Angeles is the whitest white that ever whited (and the straightest straight that ever straighted despite focusing on fashion design) but then, this week, the show introduced a new character of color. Cause for celebration, right? Oh, no, my friends...oh.no.