The Virtual Soapbox
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Oct 14, 2009
Have y'all seen the BANK OF MOM & DAD promo that runs during SOAPnet's evening lineup? I was watching OLTL last night and utterly horrified. It's a jaunty little tune set to the ol' "Hello Mother, Hello, Father" camp song that enforces every negative stereotype there is about women and finances. Basically, "Like omg I bought too many shoes and can't handle my credit cards. Tee-hee." I just have to wonder, yet again, who sits around at network meetings and comes up with this stuff. We're in a recession, where hard-working women from every walk of life are experiencing financial hardship, and you're going to reduce it to buying too many expensive coffees and cute high heels? Really? Do you think SpikeTV would do a similar series about guys buying too many power tools and wasting their money on porn? Doubtful. Way to reduce it all to hair-twirling, vacant-eyed shopping sprees, SOAPnet. Stay classy. It certainly didn't make me want to tune in and watch the show!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Oct 9, 2009
I've talked about this before, but it bears repeating: Boy, did YOUNG AND RESTLESS take a wrong turn with Adam. When he sobbed on the stairs yesterday, I objectively bought Michael Muhney's performance, but subjectively Adam's manpain did nothing for me. I have no sympathy for Hope's little boy turning out to be a asshat who jabbed Botox needles in his eyes, caused Ashley's miscarriage, hired a molester to be Ashley's OB/GYN for the duration of her hysterical pregnancy and then stole Sharon's baby. I mean, I thought having downlow "I'm not gay, I'm just desperate" sex with Babyface Torres to cover up his crimes was mind-boggling, but whodathunkit, Adam actually exceeded the batspit crazy of that move.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Oct 7, 2009
Were we supposed to cheer when GH's Johnny grabbed Claudia and threatened to crush her skull or be horrified? Because with this being a show where Luke the rapist is a wacky hero, Sonny shot his wife, and Jason laid a plastic tarp down for Faith, I can't really tell. It sort of feels like, with that elite list for company, Johnny has proven himself a core character the powers-that-be are invested in. It's like going out and shooting your first buck. Clap Johnny on the back, he's manned up! Besides, it's not like that evil witch Claudia doesn't deserve it, right?
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Oct 5, 2009
This either means I'm really committed to soaps, or I need to be committed: One of my favorite shows right now isn't even in English. I'm completely and totally addicted to the German drama, ALLES WAS ZAHLT (ALL THAT MATTERS).
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Sep 30, 2009
Did anyone hear high-pitched screaming around 2:40 p.m. Eastern time today? That was me, while watching AS THE WORLD TURNS and processing the EPIC FAIL that was Adam being absolved of attacking Gwen. I mean, honest to Pete, people, did someone at the show just flip through the World of No encyclopedia and decide to hit every major entry?
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Sep 29, 2009
You know what never fails to make me hit the brakes on a storyline? Violence against women. And I'm pretty consistent about hating characters that engage in it and I remain resistant to redemption arcs. We all know this about me by now. I hate OLTL's Todd and have little patience for GH's Sonny; I don't care how cute ATWT's nuAdam is, I'm not playin' the game. So why, then, am I totally on the Craig and Rosanna train?! Aaaaaaargh! I love them. I love them so much it might actually be getting in the way of normal brain functions. And I'm really having a tough time reconciling that passion for this couple with the fact that I hate giving characters who hurt women a free pass.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Sep 23, 2009
I know some people think Oliver's scenes with his parents are unreal or deliberately over-the-top as part of someone's liberal agenda, but the sad truth is that the conversations Oliver had with George and Barbara happen every day, every minute, in hundreds of languages. LGBT people the world over grapple with coming out to their families and reconciling their religious and cultural beliefs with their identity. Only the characters are fictional, not the situation. And when Mr. Fish cruelly outed Fish to John and Marty and then lashed out at Kyle for "corrupting" his son, I cringed. Oliver is a good man, especially by soap standards. I mean, I don't think he's ever even jaywalked! And that his father would think he's less of a man just because of who he loves...you could see the pain that caused Fish, and by extension Kyle. I was so glad that Oliver was able to connect with his mom, but heartbroken that his dad remained unyielding. Luckily, the emotional sequences provided some touches of unintentional humor, too. I couldn't help but giggle a little at how John's trademark sangfroid worked so well with Mr. Fish — he barely blinked at the revelation that his fellow cop is gay! And when Fish called out for a deli-bound Cris and Layla to put the sandwiches on white bread...? LOL!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Sep 16, 2009
Have you ever known me to be at a loss for words? Weird concept, right? But as GUIDING LIGHT winds down with only two episodes to go after today, I find myself scrambling to articulate how I feel about the phenomenon.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Sep 11, 2009
I'm going to talk a little OLTL and GL today. First, can you believe there's only five episodes of GL left? I'm in denial. DE-NI-AL. Thursday's episode began the rapid wrap-up process, with Phillip and Alan coming out of surgery with flying colors, Jonathan returning Sarah to Lizzie (Oh my God! So much cute!) and Olivia and Emma moving back to the farm with Natalia. Oh, and babies. I remember Josh and a lot of babies.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Sep 10, 2009
So, I have this pattern with GH. I like one episode and then the very next one sends me plummeting back to disappointment-land. The lead up to the carnival, on Tuesday, was integrated, fun, and aside from a few missteps, incredibly enjoyable. The fall-out yesterday...? Was baffling. Can someone explain to me the need to have Jason wander the carnage like a sad, lost puppy? A man who has seen — no, CAUSED — so much violence in Port Charles is suddenly devastated enough to require his own montage? There is not enough eye-roll in the world for that. And why in the world would Rebecca give consent for Edward to be treated at GH? SHE'S NOT A QUARTERMAINE. THEY AREN'T RELATED. If you can't pay Leslie Charleson (Monica) or Jane Elliot (Tracy) for that day, couldn't somebody have at least gone and found Jason and had him sign a consent form? Or would that have cut into his quality angst time?