Methinks we are in the "calm before the storm," each show setting the stage for February Sweeps -- slowly and painfully, if you ask me. (Yeah, Pollyanna has been power napping lately, so if something snarky slips in here, it's her fault. Really.) After having had a most enjoyable few weeks centered around the holidays, both AMC and GH are moving as far away from warp speed as possible. I'm even starting to pay closer attention to the show intros, which I started fast-forwarding through after about a week of admiring the changes. We've come a long way since the days of the unmoving red "All My Children" photo album, with dirge-like theme playing in the background, and from the screaming ambulance passing by the massive structure that is "General Hospital."

I thought it was great when the show introductions began including pictures of the contract players, accompanied by updated theme music, which morphed, along with the photos, every couple of years. (You could also tell who had more clout at each show. When AMC started showing two openings, each of which began and ended with Erica Kane but alternated other characters, her status, always obvious, was cemented.) At one point, all of the ABC soaps identified the character by name, which I'd heard was an annoyance to the actors. That's been stopped. I've been told that actors who leave the show remain in the opening credit montage for six months, so every now and then, I watch the intros to see if there have been any changes. This week I noted Bobby Warner's absence from AMC, then the addition of Diego, Steven, Brook Lynn and Lois to GH's intro. (Still waiting for the rumored alternate opening for GH, featuring the women in formal dress rather than the men. And wondering about the absence of Ingo Rademacher from the men's formal portrait, as he looks so at home in white tie and tails.) I didn't notice if anyone had been deleted from the GH opening; it seemed that some of the spots had been edited/shortened to accommodate the four additions. Have I missed anything?  If so, please write in and let me know!

Lovely to see Liza and Mary on AMC, however briefly. More, please!

JR's quiet, snarling fury is much more palatable than screams of scenes past.

Jesse McCartney, probably the longest-running of the JR recasts, has a burgeoning singing career. At one point, the character of JR was performing in a boy band, and Adam proudly remade an estate outbuilding into a rehearsal space for the lad (anything to keep him away from drugs). I'm wondering if this is the same outbuilding that became Mary's art studio and, now that she is persona non grata, if it will become a rehearsal space once more after JR's bravura performance at the Concert For Miranda. Who knew/remembered that JR once sang (no one outside PV, or so we thought)? Jacob Young, the current JR, released a CD of his own back when he played Lucky on GH, so perhaps AMC is plotting to take GH's "rock soap" crown away. Hey, Tonya "Livia Frye" Pinkins is a Tony-winning belter, so there's other musical talent on the show. Vincent Irizarry once played Paul McCartney in the stage show "Beatlemania" and is reportedly a fine musician in his own right. Eva LaRue has recorded a CD or two, and then there's La Lucci, who does a touring song-and-schtick show with Regis Philbin. (Little known bonus: the young actor who played devilish Petey Courtlandt was recently on Broadway playing "Young Peter Allen" in "The Boy From Oz," starring Hugh Jackman. Now that that show has closed, maybe we'll see Petey again on AMC. And Petey's "dad," James "Palmer" Mitchell was quite a hoofer, back in the day.) Eden "Bianca" Riegel has demonstrated a sweet singing voice and Bobbie "Krystal" Eakes is said to have a big following in Europe, vis-a-vis David Hasselhoff. Hmmm. I don't think I've left anyone out (apologies to anyone I have missed). The point is, there's a lot of dormant musical talent on AMC...perhaps they should do a version of GH's famous, much-missed "Nurse's Ball."

Aw, hell, GH should just go back to doing its "Nurse's Ball." Luke's ballroom dancing yesterday, both with and without Skye, reminded me how splendidly Tony Geary moved while onstage at the Nurse's Ball, in any number of styles (my favorite being "Midnight Train to Georgia," with the incomparable Mary Mae Ward on lead vocals and the original Justus and Lucky backing her up with Luke). A wonderful showcase for the underused talent of Adrianne Leon as Brook Lynn. Solo, teamed up with Wally "Ned" Kurth for a beautiful rendition of "Barefoot Ballet" or "You're The Only One I Love," or something entirely different. I have always enjoyed her singing on the show and am craving more (release a CD!). Let's not forget Scott "Dillon" Clifton, whose off-duty singing appearances have drawn rave reviews. (I'm very sad that I have to leave the GH Fanclub Weekend before his event; I'm sure it's going to be great.) Stuart "Alan Q." Damon is a proven singer. Other cast members have, in the past, delivered good performances for the Nurse's Ball....let them have the opportunity to do it again! The Balls were dropped due to budget constraints, or so TPTB have claimed, but that happened during the "Port Charles" days, when the daytime budget at ABC was said to be hemorrhaging. After all the talk about making GH more "female-friendly," I challenge TPTB to really go for it and resurrect the Nurse's Ball.

January 6, 2005

December 30, 2004

December 23, 2004

December 16 2004

December 8, 2004

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