By Evie

Why Foolish Writers Make Smart Characters Make Foolish Choices 

I have some issues with it, but I have to say, wasn’t AJ’s funeral a good episode?  Although, I still say AJ should be on the show and Courtney should go.  I mean, I have to hear Courtney’s whiny, low voice, but I am not permitted to hear Billy Warlock’s low, sexy voice?  What the hell is that about? 

Let’s briefly review the Good, the Bad, and the Laughable of that particular day: 

Good:  Alan and Monica’s scenes, throughout this whole storyline. 

Also Good:  Alan and Monica getting a storyline. 

Also Also Good:  Skye’s eulogy 

The Incredibly Good:  Skye and The Jason have a scene together!  Didn’t you love that, Hope?  I keep forgetting to ask you ;)   

The Laughable:  Alan saying that the only person that was “nice” to AJ was Emily.   

No, Alan, that would be Skye, the woman you said would always be your daughter in your heart but now basically have no time for?  Even if Skye and AJ were fighting at the time of his death, she was there for AJ way more than Emily ever was.  Alan, I guess you’re so happy to have a storyline, you’re just not thinking. 

The Bad:  That prior to the actual ceremony, we are shown Lesley, Bobbie and Audrey.  That’s not the bad, because they have, as the soap mags say “languished on the back burner” for far too long.  The bad is that they were all smiling when first shown, before they had any actual lines.  I am to assume this is because they get so little screen time they were thrilled to be working.  They get even less screen time then Monica, and that’s not a whole heck of a lot.  They should all be on more, considering that they all have relatives who are major front burner characters. 

So, why did we have to have an AJ’s “death” storyline anyway?  I had heard that he isn’t really dead, but then I read in a soap mag that BW is now going back to Days, where he will play Frankie Whomever – and even he can’t get me to watch that show.  I still am angry that it got to stay on the air when Another World was canceled.  I know, I know, it was five years ago, and now it’s on Soap Net, but I’m still bitter! 

Still, BW or not, I am assuming that AJ is not really dead.  It’s Soap Opera Law to have a “shocking” storyline around sweeps time.  Let’s use that joke of a soap opera I mentioned above, Days.  If you happen to be a fan of that show, then you go, girl!  I respect your viewing choices.  But I still think it sucks.   

Marlena, probably my choice for the Most Unlikable Soap Opera Character Not Currently on GH, was revealed -  GASP! – to be the killer when bunches of Days characters turned up violently dead.  Then, - GASP! – it turned out they were not really dead.  I don’t know whether to laugh or yawn.   

Maybe it’s all in the eye of the beholder, but I think there is a difference between truly  good soap opera, and insulting the intelligence of the audience.  Soap opera writers, presuming that they have power on their own and that everything they do is not directed by the producers of the show, occasionally treat us like we are STUPID.   

This time I’ll use my beloved Another World as an example, the last few years that it was on:  First of all, we can start with the fact that we were supposed to accept that adorable 9 year old, well behaved Ally as played by Lindsay Lohan was suddenly 17 year old bitchy, snotty, misbehaving, Mama-resenting Ally as played by Alicia Leigh Willis, who plays my very favorite character on GH, Courtney.  Too bad you can’t hear the sarcasm in my voice, because I think it loses something in the translation of writing.   

But that’s nothing compared to how they really insulted the intelligence of their fans:  Jensen Buchanan didn’t want to play twins any longer and asked for a reduction in work time.  She played radically cool Vicky and bland, boring, bitchy Marley.  So what did “they” do?  Kill Marley off you say?  No!  Get Vicky/Marley #1, Ellen Wheeler, complete with four inch height difference, different bone structure AND eye color to come back and play Marley only.   

As a result, not only was Marley completely unlikable, but we’re supposed to be stupid and think that “plastic surgery” can create all the way obvious physical differences between the two actresses.  Whatever.  I pretty much lost interest in AW after that, but was still upset when it was cancelled.   

My feeling was they never gave the show a chance to get better.  Did you know that AW at its lowest ratings point was still higher than that of today’s highest rated soap?  Did you further know that JFP was behind the Vicky/Marley debacle, before her Reign of Terror on GH began? 

So, how much power do the writers have?  Are we to assume that they willingly write some of the sludge we see?  We call them “The Idiots In Charge,” but are they in charge?  Are they even idiots?  Is this a typical conversation between a GH writer and, say, Pruza (Guza or Pratt – just pick the one you hate less)? 

Pruza:               S’up, [writer’s name here], how’s the taping of the latest episode coming, yo? 

Writer:              Oh, gosh, Mr. Pruza, it’s just coming along wonderfully.  We’ve got a wonderful scene between Liz and Audrey –  

Pruza:               Audrey?  Which chickie babe is Audrey?  Is she the new blond hottie or the new brunette hottie? Yumm-eee! 

Writer:              Uh, no, Mr. Pruza… I refer to Audrey Hardy. 

Pruza:               Audrey Hardy?  We don’t have any family called “Hardy” on this show… 

Writer:              Audrey Hardy was [explains] 

Pruza:               [Angry Silence] Why in the hell would we want to have anyone from this, this “Hardy” family?

Writer:              Well, it would show the fans that we acknowledge the rich history of –  

Pruza:               The fans?  And just why would I care what they want to see? 

Writer:              I’m sorry, Mr. Pruza, I…uh… never mind, we will make it a scene between Liz and her brother Steven. 

Pruza:               Wait – why is Liz looking, uh, sad? 

Writer:              Well, the love of her life, Lucky, is in a coma, and they were just about to reunite.  It’s great soap opera, sir! 

Pruza:               Well tell the actress to smile more!  The important thing in that character’s life, as I see it, is that she is friends with Emily.  And how many scenes has she had with Emily today? 

Writer:              4. 

Pruza:               And how many scenes has Emily had today? 

Writer:              12. 

Pruza:               And how many times has she cried today? 

Writer:              Well, uh… she hasn’t. 

Pruza:               WHAT? 

Writer:              Well, you see, we’re trying to shift the focus off of the characters as individuals and on to Lucky’s coma and –  

Pruza:               I don’t think so!  Make her cry.   What about Carly?  Give her a scene with Alexis.  Put ‘em in an elevator.  Make ‘em get stuck. 

Writer:              Carly just got stuck in an elevator three episodes ago, sir. 

Pruza:               So?  Look - if it will shut you up, make her go down the steps.  Better yet, have Carly fall down the steps!   

Writer:              Uh, sir, Carly falls down the steps approximately once a month… 

And it could go on and on.  Are the writers behind force feeding us annoying characters we can’t stand?  Are they responsible for taking a mostly likeable, almost cute character with roots in the town, such as Steven, and turning him into a hateful, stupid troll within like a month?  I struggle to understand this:   

These are the people that also gave me my Alkie.  And the people that had Skye refer to her Pine Valley history…Wait a minute, what the hell am I talking about?  How can I defend people who force me to watch Courtney rolling her eyes as she goes off on yet another self-important tangent?  On people that continually bring on new, more boring characters while the interesting, established characters are reduced to smiling at a funeral so they can have more screen time.   

These are the people that have TWO front burner characters that are related – Carly and Luke – but have made little effort to connect them and barely even show them with their common relative, Bobbie.  These are the writers that have Ned referring to Diego’s father as Luis Alcazar instead of Lorenzo Alcazar.  These are the writers that keep on writing scenes for Lois, Steven, Courtney, and excuse me while I make the sign of the cross, Saint Emily of the Perpetual Victimization.   

That reminds me, I have to go study for my religion class (I’ve almost got my BA in Communications!).  If you are a praying soap fan, say a prayer to the Patron Saint of writers, I believe that is St. Francis of Assisi without checking my notes, for the souls of all the writers that continue to insult what could actually be a good show.  I guess the fact that it was a good show once is why some of us don’t give up altogether!  Well, that, and they already cancelled Another World so what have I got better to watch?


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