On Topic
December 29th, 2000, 8:00am

You know, I'm still hung up on that tape of old 1981 episodes that Laura sent to me.  I've been watching it about every other night and I'm up to, I think, episode #4 of 5.  Each time I carve out an hour or so to watch a bit of it, I am struck by something new that contrasts with the GH of today. One of my strikes from last night was the change in facial structure, particularly of the women.  All of the women, including the younger ones, had faces that were soft and full.  Here is an example or two:  

Bobbie then

Bobbie now


 Amy then   

Amy now

Society has dictated that these lovely women, as well as tens of thousands of others in America, let a surgeon sculpt their beauty rather than nature.  We are well and truly a tweaked bunch of wacko's to bring things to this point (remember the urban legend about Cher having ribs removed so that her belly would be more hollow looking?  I think it's real now).  But that's another column altogether, along with starving oneself into the Western concept of beauty.  Moving along and perfectly fitting in a conversation where we are digging through the shoebox of photos and speaking of true beauty, remember I was telling you about Lesley's cleavage??  Check out these boys:


Aye Carumba!  Was I right about the hat or WHAT?  But then Denise Alexander is still a fox.  She is, as my friend, Dwon would say, "STUPID fly."

Anthony Geary had SO much hair back then:

  Young, hopeful, devil-may-care, twinkling Luke    
   Mean, cold, embittered, beyond redemption Luke

Beyond how people actually looked, I was watching an episode last night that had a number of scenes at Kelly's Diner.  Rose Kelly was still behind the counter then and the set of the diner, as well as the hospital, was just so extremely cheesy.  Liz's stupid painted fireplace house looked more real than Kelly's.  We definitely got the better end of the stick in the scenery department, but then, they went on location a lot more then and we got many incredible site shots back then, so I suppose it was a good trade off.  You know what is sad, though?  I never really noticed that Tiffany had a southern accent.  Of course, when she married Sean and the Krumholtz family came up from the south for it, it was evident, but I'd never noticed it before then.  It was loud and clear to me now. (smile)  

The PCPD was a little more competent under the lead of Burt Ramsey (later to be revealed as the Eve-eil Mr Big, or was it Mr B? - dirtiest cop in the world), but not much.  This was during the time that Heather Grant had been jailed for the murder of Diana Taylor.  She came upon the body after she'd already been shot, but had the presence of mind to take Diana's dead hand and write the name of her arch enemy and contender for Jeff Webber's affections, "Ann" in Diana's own blood.  That was some cold hearted caca right there!  How many people come upon a dead, blood soaked body and think, "Hmm, how can I use this??"  Joe Kelly, private eye turned lawyer, was trying to prove her innocence (Heather's) and the interchanges were not all that much different than now, just took place in goofier surroundings.

I was particularly strange to see all of Port Charles kissing Luke's butt and giving Scotty a hard time for his perfectly choreographed entrance to catch the bouquet.  

I had pause to think that Monica and Alan can only look helplessly on as Emily does whatever the hell she pleases, first with Juan, then with Zander (now I do love me some Zem, don't get me wrong), stomping her little foot, looking angsty and demanding, "You will NOT keep me from seeing _______!  You won't!"   Lee Baldwin, however, told an ADULT Scotty to basically get his ASS back over to the couch and SHUT UP and LISTEN while he damned well told him WHAT he was going to do, HOW he was going to do it and WHEN he was going to do it.  Scotty then immediately shaved off his bad guy beard and started throwing around apologies like rice after the wedding.  What a difference two decades makes, eh?  "The hell you say!" is evidently not in the Quartermaine vocabulary.  

Which brings me to:  Anti-Zem.  I'm sure the hackles came up on the back of every mom of a teenager in America when Emily was throwing her demands around.  *sigh*  It is the bane of our existence.  Our kids and the generation of our kids are all pretty much great kids.  They have gotten a really bad label, but the issues they face and the challenges they meet are pretty heavy.  We (at least my generation) faced a war that we thought was unjust, watched our classmates disappear and never come back as the Vietnam machine chewed them up and spit them out.  We were pretty sure we were the only ones to ever discover sex, color TV, The Beatles, acid, flowers or lava lamps.  We dared to love men with their hair on their backs (not originating there, but grown from their heads) and dared to turn dancing into foreplay.  We refused to trust anyone over thirty and smoked up half of Columbia.  We were breaking free from the painfully rigid paradigm of the 50's to expedite the emergence of a culture filled with social, political, sensory, verbal, sexual, mind-enhancing freedom and we did so with angry gusto at first, easing into an acidic flow of making love, not war.  We had our angst.  Our parents HATED us and what we had become.  They labeled us as the scourge of mankind, BURNED our rock and roll albums and arrested our icons if they breathed wrong.  ("People try to put us dddddown.  Just because we get arrrround.  Things they do seem awful cccccold.  Hope I die before I get old.")  Our biggest fear was becoming one of them.  We didn't worry about the little punk ass that we dogged in gym bringing a jammie to school and mowing down half of the cafeteria.  We didn't deal with the knowledge that, degree or not, we had no hope of getting a home/apartment of our own in the wild unless we could somehow manage a $30,000 a year from our minimum wage job at Wendy's.  We didn't worry about busting our asses in college for four years, only to find the market flooded and our only job being making short flat ones out of tall skinny ones at the aluminum can recycling mart on 8th street. The only bums we saw were gathered in bum colonies around the railroad tracks, not jockeying for position on the I-80 off ramp or in the Safeway parking lot.  Each generation has its high points and low points.  Each generation curses it's children and doesn't how they can be the way they are.  Each generation curses its parents and doesn't know how they can be so narrow minded and intolerant.  The most redeeming factor is that the older generation eventually learns that it just doesn't matter, it all works out in the long run and the younger generation eventually "gets it" and sees where the older generation was coming from.  Part of that old circle of life.  Rant off.  Emily needs a spanking and an ankle alarm bracelet.  The parent in me is terrified for Emily, wondering why she insists on dating degenerates:  thieves, runaways, kidnappers and drug dealers.  I feel for Monica knowing good and well she would never have turned out like this if her real mother had raised her and that it's the influence of this warped family that has put her on this road.  Paige Bowan is probably spinning like a rotisserie in her grave right now.  I wouldn't put it past her to rise from the grave, decayed and hairless, and jerk Emily's tailbone into a knot and drag her into the murky earth, pulling her headstone in over them.  

Pro-Zem:  God, I love these two.  Chad Brannon is the magnificent, synergistic child that would emerge from the darkness of the cinematic womb if Brando and James Dean had a child.  Those pleading eyes!!  The determined set of that jaw!  The way he reached for her face the second his hands were free!  The way you could read his expression ("Oh sh!t!") as soon as he saw cops with guns!  The way her hands shook as they cradled his on her face after the handcuffs were removed!  The pure joy on her face when he picked her up and twirled her around in the snow!  The way she started screaming her little monkey lungs out when the bodies started to fall!  Tamblyn and Brannon are the best thing daytime has going right now.   Sure, Maurice Benard and Sarah Brown KICK ass, but they are not fighting against the stereotypes and bad writing that plague teen stories.  I hated soap opera teen story lines when I was a teen.  They are invariably written by forty-year-old chain smokers who have forgotten that they were ever thirty, much less nineteen.  Like stories for mature actors, when it comes to teens, the writers are invariably lost.  Zem leaps above all of that, grabs you by the heart and slam dunks you into the basket.  I love it.  Buh-bye Juan.



December 28th, 2000, 5:30pm

Nah, I'm not proud, I'll just flash pictures of my kids to the whole world.  ;)  Here are my two littlest.  Dylan is 3 1/2 and Nathan is 14 months.  

Katrina's Babies


December 28th, 2000, 300pm

Ahhh!  At last it is time to kick back and talk about our visits to the city of Port Charles over the past two weeks.  No more moving, no more weddings (I hope), no more trips and no more Christmas for a good long while.  Just time to kick back, watch the soaps, be a mom, plan for the site and write in the journal. 

I wish I could say I was going to be embarking on a GH love fest, but it wouldn’t be entirely true.  There are plenty of things I can say that are good, but there’s going to be a bitch or two on the loose as well.  Go pee, get a drink and some sticky Danish, kick back and let’s get busy. 

My friend, Laura Gedstern (Laura’s Cool GH Site) sent me a copy of the GH episodes that aired the week Luke and Laura married in 1981.  She sent this wonderful gift to me back in August.  I don’t have Soap Net, so this was a real treat.  I literally hadn’t had time to watch the tape until this weekend when my battle with a treadmill ensued.  I used the tape to distract myself from my aching calves and dripping sweat.  I was stunned by a number of things.  The number of actors on the show then who are still on or back on the show now is amazing.  These people have some true longevity!  It was odd to see a GH world (even though I was there the first time around) with no Mac, no Flea, no Sonny, no Robin, no JASON, no Chloe or Jax, no NED and no Brenda.  I could go on and on.  Monica had brown hair, Alan was quite slender, Lesley was young and spry, Lila walked, talked and was very chipper, Laura looked about a minute past fifteen, Amy had her old face, Luke had lots of hair and a big smile on his face, Scott’s had a beard for the first time, proving to us that our little Scotty was all grown up now.  After Lee gave him the business for ruining the wedding, he shaved again and his face was as smooth as a baby’s ass.  Bobbie’s chest was washboard flat, as were all of the young women.  I’m not exactly sure when the Tittie Fairy descended onto Port Charles, but she swept in and blessed with a vengeance.  Of course, it was tremendous to see all the old faces that I loved so dearly:  Joe Kelly (aw, shucks), Rose Kelly, Robert Scorpio (before Anna was EVER on the scene), Tiffany Hill, Sean Donnelly, Rick Webber (in his Chris Robinson suit, not the first one, Michael Gregory), Susan Moore (at her petulant best), Noah Drake, Alice Grant, so many faces that have gone on to better things or nothing.  Then there were those who are, sadly, no longer with us:  Norma Connelly as Aunt Ruby, Steve Beradino as Dr Hardy (still suave in his aviator glasses), Emily McLaughlin as Jessie Brewer (fussing a the nurse’s desk), Jeff (yes, Jeff and I don’t have a clue on that one, folks) Donnell as Stella, Lila’s faithful maid, and David Lewis as the first Edward Quartermaine.  There were also a slew of people (Claudia and Brian Phillips?  Charlie and Emma Lutz?) who, although I distinctly remember their names and faces, cannot for the life of me recall what purpose they served or what storylines they played out.   Comparatively (aside from the boobs), there are several differences.  Fashion, of course.  The bridesmaid dresses would still play out beautifully, but I did spot a leisure suit or two in the crowd.  Lesley looked MAGNIFICENT and had cleavage for days (none of which is ever visible now or anything else that could attribute to the idea that she is a stunning female.   I don’t mind an older mom who dresses like an older mom, but let’s not lose the beautiful Denise Alexander in a sea of paisley and corduroy!) but was wearing what might possibly be the ugliest hat ever known to man.  Susan (to soon play the Madonna to Port Charles’ own Christ Child, Jason Morgan), wore classic 70’s plaid hip huggers, tight sweater and big, chunky pendant (typical 70’s mistress-wear).  The stories were richer, more exciting and totally compelling, but the filming was choppy and the directing was a bit over the top in dramatic angles.  The acting was more along the lines of average in caliber, whereas today we have actors who are really, really good or really, really bad.  Seldom does anyone strike the medium and back then, almost everyone ran up the middle, somewhere between mediocre and tolerable. Regardless, it was a lovely trip back.  Elizabeth Taylor was certainly a badass Helena, but I like Constance Towers’ choice of manservants much better.  

On to today, or rather, the past two weeks.  I have read a lot of derogatory comments on the message boards about the shooting and I have to say, when stacked up against the “shootings” housed in the annals of soap history, I thought it ruled.  Sure,  Sonny’s camel coat was untouched despite a hefty shooting.  Sure the snow looked like Liberace shed on it rather than someone bleeding on it.  Certainly, Port Charles’ finest took their damned time noticing automatic fire on their front steps (but since when are they anyone’s NYPD Blue?).  Let’s not pick this apart!  The slow motion POW POW POW, everyone diving to protect a woman, Sonny standing alone while bullets riddle his body, dancing like one of those little wooden dolls on a stick…it was poetry in motion.  The warm, loving reunion when he returned home from Puerto Rico and both of them trying to say the words but being unable to be that vulnerable, the way he promised Michael he’d see him soon…classic soap kiss of death.  I love it.  I loved the way Carly took charge and got Johnny to get Michael out of the hospital as soon as she looked at Alexis and took in what had happened.  Say what you will (and you will – smile), but I could find nothing but praise for Sarah Brown’s performance when she saw Sonny, forced her way to his side and shook as she tried to figure out where to touch him.  Magnificent stuff.  Just magnificent.  Even though I knew it was going to happen weeks ago, I still felt every bullet that went into Sonny (or didn’t). 

I’m trying to find words to comment on Alexis ditches the wedding, but the story was so inclusive that it doesn’t leave much room for comment.  The performances of Nancy Lee Grahn and Wally Kurth were probably of the best they’ve ever given.  I was cheering Alexis as she ditched the wedding and hopped into the semi.  I loved the scene in Jake’s when Alexis spat, “What do you think?” when the hapless trucker said, “Have you been at a wedding?”  Loved her begging for change for a cab.  Loved how she grabbed Roy as soon as she saw him. 

Those are the good things I have to say about what’s been going on.  Now for the gripes.  Who can I jump into first?  Haggert.  I’m sick and tired of playing out the whole Taggs, Hannah and AJ triangle.  It’s only serving to make Hannah look like a bigger idiot than the whole Sonny debacle and to make our Taggert look like a sitting duck in the cuckold department.  I’m grateful that Billy Warlock is finally being given something resembling a story to flex his acting muscles because he really is quite good, but this isn’t how I’d like to see him shine.  Giving him a legitimate story rather than “AJ steals Taggert’s daft woman” would be most gratifying.  Lisa Vultaggio just isn’t honing her craft, as far as I’m concerned.  Most newcomers of average talent start out slow and then gradually come into their own.  Tava Smiley, for instance, has done that.  I can now tolerate her as Chloe and accept that she’s a decent character to have on the show (more later).  Hannah just can’t find a place to land.  I say we strip away some of the extraneous characters and cut loose the deadweight.  Speaking of LV, when I mentioned on Soap Opera Central when I was writing there that I thought she was a lame actress, some guy (one of her 5 fans – 4 of which ARE men) wrote to me and said, “women are just jealous because here is a beautiful, talented woman who is successful at what she does.”  You’d better believe I wrote back to him and informed him that yes indeed, women are very jealous of LV and any other beautiful woman who somehow managed to schmooze themselves into a great job for which they are painfully unqualified because of their looks.  Despite what ABC tried to say (and clumsily at that), LV was hired into that job for one reason only: she’s a dead ringer for Vanessa Marcil.  Period.  Put Haggert out of its misery and letter my Taggert love again.  Speaking of Taggs, with his main adversary in a life-threatening situation, I wonder if any background is going to be surfacing on these two.  I’d love to see Taggert at Sonny’s bedside talking to him while he’s unconscious, saying things he wouldn’t say with Sonny awake. 

Laura and Scott rule.  The wedding episodes showed me that, despite hopes from a long time back, what Luke and Laura had has been corrupted to the point of no redemption, even in soap land.  The Luke we have now is nothing like the Luke we had then.  It made it all the sadder to see the innocent love they had back then and to know, in retrospect, how it was destroyed and blighted.  It is definitely my vote that these two be allowed to RIP and move on to other lives.  Scott should definitely be a part of Laura’s.  Not only is it a karmic-perfect situation, but their flow is romantic, fun and loving.   It gives a warmth that she never really had with Stefan.  With Stefan, she just looked like she was desperately scrambling for someone to love her.  Now for the Laura beating.  I am totally unhappy with Laura’s behavior to Carly.  Sure, Carly has been a gripe about things, but Laura has done nothing to treat Carly as a partner.  She lauds the 1% over her like prize she’s won and refuses to consult her on ANY company decisions.  If I were Carly, I’d be pissed too.  Again, I’m not saying Carly is a saint, here, but Laura is really being a bag. 

Speaking of saints, Lucky and Elizabeth are making me puke.  Loudly.  I was excited about their reunion when Elizabeth had taken the date rape drug and Lucky spilled his heart to her.  I thought Jacob Young was doing a great job as Lucky and was going to suffice.  Lately, he’s just dopey as hell.  Elizabeth is such a snotty little thing and I’m really tiring of her smart mouth.  As soon as these two had sex, the characters began their descent into sappy, saccharine sainthood.  (Raaaalph, boouuggght a Buuuiick and a yakkkk).  ‘scuse me.  The Dickenesque cardboard boxes she stacked up in Lucky’s apartment were the clincher, or so I thought.  It brought forth a million images of Mad Magazine satires I could do on the scene.  (not to mention the weird scene from the movie “Labyrinth” where Sarah realizes that the room she has been shows that she thinks is hers from home is really a pile of trash disguised as her room – “No, Lucky, this isn’t really a bare room at Kelly’s, this is an Edwardian mansion with antique Christmas decorations!”)  When Young was forced to actually commit the sacrilege of singing “Elizabeth,” I was enraged.  It was bad enough when the ultra-romantic, “permanent lock” Valentines Day vows were not only re-filmed with Young in Jonathan Jackson’s place, but were also bastardized through continuous repeatings.  Now the song JJ sang for her has been violated.  I was never a huge JJ fan.  I didn’t dislike him in the least, but I was no rabid, screaming banner waver.  He was and is an incredible actor and I think he is THE quintessential Lucky, but I was open to seeing what a recast could do in the part.  Overall, I’m not impressed and I feel some things should be held sacred.   I am NOT a sap, but on this one, I have to side with sap brigade. 

Love the new little snippets shown between commercials.  Now can we PLEASE have a new opening montage, not just the pictures, but the scenes as well?  So what if it’s extremely expensive!  New regime, new montage.  That’s my motto. 

I’m with Edward.  Mac needs to resign.  I’m beginning to think he might actually work for Sorel (and what a cool, unexpected and exciting turn of events THAT would be!) because he’s incredibly deft at redirecting the flashlight of guilt from Sorel!  NO!  This kid, Zander, is the drug lord of Port Charles and is responsible for killing Ted, the undercover cop!  He claims he worked for Sorel, is ready to spill testimony on the most devious mob kingpin in Port Charles, but NO!  THAT must mean he works for the #2 mob guy in town, so let’s focus on HIM!  OH, commish, you’re a SLY dog.  Let’s see, we have now decided to let this so called “witness” (pointer and middle fingers of both hands scratching the air in front of him) testify against Sorel and as soon as he’s out the door, his entourage is hit with gunfire, Hmmm, someone’s out to get Sonny?  Who could it be?  He’s in the company of the kid set to put Sorel away, but Taggert, find out what every one of Corinthos’ enemies are doing!  Jeez, Mac.  Sorel killed the cop, Sorel ordered a hit on the kid who was testifying.  Deal with it!  This isn’t being thorough, this is being stupid! 

WHAT the complete hell is that THING around JUAN’S MOUTH!!!   Hahahahahhahahahahhahahaha.  (gasping for air)  HAHAHHAHHAHahahahaha.  (Rolling on the floor as the tears are likewise rolling from my eyes)  Hahhahahahaahahahahahhaaa.  OH, good God, I’m dying.  (Wiping my eyes and still giggling a bit)  Buh-bye, Juan. 

On that happy note, I’m outta here.  More later.