Do you think Paul is faking his amnesia?
Perhaps someone passed along my Open Letter to Christopher Goutman. Perhaps Barbara Bloom took a good look at the plummeting ratings and decided that everyone should not lighten up after all. Perhaps head writer Jean Passanante took an extended vacation to Buenos Aires. Whatever has been happening over the last few weeks, let me step out on a limb and utter the words that many fans thought might not ever be said again or even believe: As the World Turns is, at long last, improving.
I fully expect the comments section to be full of invective and angry fist shaking about how ATWT is still "the worst soap on the air," how the vets are misused, and how the "Vortex of Suck" continues to, well, suck. In addition, the now well-documented list of the show's biggest defects remain stubbornly in place: warp-speed storytelling and the soul sucking semi-episodic structure continue to test the rapidly waning patience of the show's dwindling audience.
Having said that, it bears repeating that fans are a stubborn breed. We will praise shows, actors and performances we like, but we are quick to make our displeasure known when we feel things are not up to speed and falling apart. Once the latter narrative has been established it is very hard to turn the tide of opinion, even when a show starts to address its critics and make changes. Therefore, though the longstanding criticisms of ATWT are still valid, I think it is time to once again give credit where credit is due. READ MORE
On May 26 oral cancer survivor Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara, As the World Turns) was presented with the prestigious 2009 Harry Strusser Memorial Award for Public Service. Check out this clip.
AUTHOR'S DISCLAIMER: The title of this blog entry is solely a reference to the writing styles of the shows mentioned and nothing more.
"The effect of drinking a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick." — The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
That description of what is known as the best fictional alcoholic drink in the known universe is exactly how I feel watching a few of my favorite daytime dramas these days. Unlike that improbable drinky drink, this is hardly a compliment. There is something really odd going on all over the soap dial with the ham fisted lack of subtlety and general narrative blundering going on.
In a couple of recent entries, I pointed out how All My Children's "Who Killed Stuart (Not Adam) Chandler?" murder mystery has been marred by a lack of, well, mystery. As I said, what had the potential to be a great whodunit has been turned into the soap opera equivalent of Clue, one which is losing my interest very rapidly, especially when compared to increasingly delicious and twisted "Who Killed Edmund Winslow?" whodunit concurrently airing on Guiding Light. The latter show is peeling back layers and layers of motive and opportunity, while the former is peeling like an onion: it is making me cry. As it happens, AMC isn't the only egregious offender of hitting us over the head with the narrative equivalent of a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick these days: the other two are As the World Turns and, shockingly and in some circles blasphemously, One Life to Live. READ MORE
As the World Turns is something of a mystery to me these days. I haven't been blogging regularly about the show because, honestly, I am kind of flummoxed about what to actually write about from day to day.
I love ATWT. The show is blessed with some of daytime's strongest actors. In this age of massive cost cutting, ATWT found an arguably better production alternative than Procter & Gamble sister show Guiding Light. Speaking for myself, I find most days, most characters, most stories and most events to be sufficiently captivating to keep me coming back.
Nonetheless, something is badly amiss in Oakdale. The usual criticisms of ATWT are all-too-familiar: far too many recasts, underused vets, storylines that turn on a dime, compressed storytelling and ever shrinking production values to name a few. While those issues are real and important, they are only symptons of several larger problems that encapsulate the issues that I, other Daytime Confidential bloggers and commentators all over the internet have found themselves dismayed about over the last several months. After trying to put a finger on these issues while attempting to "figure out" what's going on at ATWT from a larger perspective, several things have jumped out as serious structural flaws, like a cracked foundation in a beloved old home. READ MORE
Yesterday As the World Turns featured a special Valentine's episode that put a spin on some old fairy tale and gave its actors a chance to do something a little bit different.
I think my favorite fairy tales were the Pinocchio and the Cinderfella segments. I didn't even recognize Ellen Dolan in the Cinderfella tale. Maura West, Michael Park, Mick Hazen, Jon Lindstrom, Don Hastings and Colleen Zenk Pinter all had great parts. I must admit I even enjoyed Grayson McCouch's Scarecrow too. It was so out of the "I'm a tough guy" role I'm accustomed to seeing him in I couldn't help but smile at it. Then we have the "vortex of suck," Paul and Meg. Apparently, not even the re-imagining of fairy tales can save these two. Oh and where were Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann as Luke and Noah? Not for nothing, but one or both of them could have been Cinderfella's fairy godfather[s] and it would have been hilarious.
What grade would you give the Valentines episode?