Michael E. Knight
Despite gloom and doom about the state of daytime in almost all of its aspects, fans have been treated to some good soap opera lately. The Young and the Restless is the Must See Soap right now. One Life to Live has regained it's glory and Guiding Light is steadily improving. Some of daytime's best actors are giving some of the performances of their lives. With that in mind, there are three performers new to their respective shows deserving of special mention who I think are doing a bang up job.
JR MARTINEZ (Brot Monroe, All My Children)
Introduced amid a publicity blitz, JR Martinez came aboard AMC with a fascinating, real life backstory: an Iraq War veteran seriously injured and disfigured by explosives, eventually becoming a noted inspirational speaker for and on behalf of veterans coping with their life altering injuries. His addition to AMC's canvas was purposeful and deliberate. The show wanted a real life injured vet to play Brot, former love of newcomer Taylor (Beth Ehlers).
AMC has received much justly deserved praise for casting Martinez, but make no mistake, this was as much a bit of stunt casting as it was groundbreaking decision. READ MORE
This just in. All My Children and One Life to Live creator Agnes Nixon has confirmed to Advertising Age that massive pay cuts have indeeed taken place at one of her two ABC soaps!
"All the actors on 'All My Children' have been reduced [in salary]," said creator Agnes Nixon, who also created the ABC soap "One Life to Live" and is now a paid consultant to the network's daytime division. "Susan Lucci, Michael Knight and Ray McDonald have all been reduced -- substantially. And so have I, as a consultant. The ratings are not the same."
In addition to ratings woes, the article cites the pisspoor state of the American automobile industry, a one-time strong advertiser during soap broadcasts, as reason for the economic hardships facing daytime television.
"The affiliate stations are really hurting because the automobile dealers don't advertise [like they used to]," Ms. Nixon said. "It's a ripple-down effect."
In disaster cinema there comes a point in the story where, as Heidi Klum would say, one is either in or out. One knows going into the theater or popping a DVD into the player what one is in for the same way one knows more or less what to expect from a slasher pic or a romantic comedy. No matter how the genre's formula is tweaked, it is up to the writers and filmmakers to provide the hooks that will draw you into their specific event or world. What hooks me varies all the time; just as often those same elements may turn me off completely.
The make-or-break moment for me in 1972's The Poseidon Adventure is the sequence when the survivors must climb the Christmas tree to escape the ballroom. In 1964's Fail Safe, the make-or-break moment is encapsulated in the tense conversation between the President of the United States and the Soviet Premier, which must be precisely interpreted. In Deep Impact, the scene is Tea Leoni's first conversation with President Morgan Freeman. There has to be something to make me care or I won't wait for the credits. After learning who lives and dies, the story is over in a movie. READ MORE
Is Pine Valley about to be less one cad? Rumors across the Internet have All My Children veteran Michael E. Knight and his wildly popular character Tad Martin possibly on their way out of Pine Valley. Knight's omission from the list of attendees for this year's final Super Soap Weekend (Nov. 15-16 at Disney World) seems to be helping to fan the online flames.
"Michael is in contract negotiations," reveals a source close to the show. "If the negotiations can be resolved in time for Super Soap he will be there." READ MORE
Here we are at Day 2 (or according to ABC's marketing, is it Day 3?) of The Great Pine Valley Tornado of 2008. Before giving my general impressions, this entry calls for a bit of a disclaimer. My initial "The Wind Done Gone" post about All My Children's epic event was a broad critique of the episodes aired to that date based on ABC's marketing machine regarding the special effects work vis a vis the show. This may have left an impression that I was conflating the CGI work with the dramatic aspects of the story. In an effort to streamline things a bit, I will henceforth treat several aspects of The Great Pine Valley Tornado separately.
THE DRAMA: At the end of Friday's episode, Erica and Adam were trapped in the secret passageways of the Chandler Mansion, having discovered that a mysterious stranger had been living there; a jealous Aiden found Ryan and Kendall at the gazebo moments before it was destroyed; the Comeback was demolished, leaving a hysterical Babe bleeding and trapped on top of a suffocating Little A and JR with a terrible choice to make; and Zach made a narrow escape from his overturned car and returned to the decimated beach house to find the boys alive, Kendall missing, and Bianca under a flipped over couch.
Today, the drama continued with a number of rock solid twists, shocks and surprises (mostly involving Bianca) that would have been more twisty, shocking and surprising if one hadn't read them in Soap Opera Weekly, Soap Opera Digest or watched any of ABC's promos over the weekend. And we're off! READ MORE