Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Surgery: Dead On Arrival

Yet another article trying to explain the collapse of the online deal. This is from more of a media perspective in the New York Times. Bottom line--as in most of life, comes down to money. What gets me going is the fact that ABC had a chance to revitalize the soap genre all together with the advent of Soap Net. They never really did much with that channel. Put on a talk show...a "Day in the Life" but never really developed much else. There was a short-lived primetime show-- but they never did what really was needed. MOVE A SOAP that was in production over there!! If they would have moved one of the ABC soaps long ago, we would have bitched but made the adjustment. Not only that, if OLTL was allowed to go over there, with it's kick ass writers and producer, it may even have become a cult hit. They could do so much more on a cable net-- and with the right marketing? Hell. So much wasted opportunity. Why not put a "Dirty Soap" on there as well? A 'behind the scenes"...all of our great fan get togethers and charity events? Pay Rick Springfield and Jack Wagner to show concert footage. I have a million ideas. I'm sitting here in Rochester, NY and I have a hat full of them, don't tell me someone at Disney couldn't have thought of some great things to do. Instead, Soap Net stuck to showing reruns after reruns of old soaps, and not much else. Now, it too is going off into the sunset to make way for yet another kid's station. 

 The time to have saved the soaps was about 10 years ago-- the writing had gone downhill and then the block taping kicked in to save money. GH seems to have used it the most, making stories choppy and basically unwatchable sometimes. When I hear people say how "great" the show is they are usually younger and have no idea what real integration looked like. They think having 2-3 people talking in a room for days on end is the norm. Stories taking months and months to tell with little movement. Dropped characters are also everywhere. Too bad the don't show more of our old clips pre 1997-- jaws would drop. Families...core families together, celebrating. The shootouts came late Generation-Guza.  We didn't need that sheeze everyday to have a good time. 

The news for GH is bleak. Kim McCollough and Jonathan Jackson, both legacy characters who grew up on the show, are packing it up. They aren't even waiting until the final curtain call.  With OLTL and AMC not coming online, doubt GH will either. We can hope that some other station picks up the show but I'm not holding my breath. The way the writers/producers are destroying the last vestige it has left of attracting viewers, who's going to want it? 

Look, I've been online since 1998...doing my Wub thing. I don't pretend to be anything but someone that loves the show and it's fans. I took over for Gedstern back in the days when actors were still on the show I had contact with and things were looking pretty good. Morale wasn't in the toilet. The Internet was new and few of us had many readers. Now there are a ton of sites out there. Quite a few talking heads. Some say this, others say that. Some say Disney's fault...others say it's just the money. I bought the Prospect Park Deal when Frank and Ron said they were staying with OLTL. Surely these two talents knew something I didn't. Heck, Ron even had an offer from GH to come over to write. (who knows where that stands now). All I know is this: OLTL has no business being cancelled. It kicks ass and has done wonders all on it's own steam. Word of mouth and praises from people like me had some people going back to take another look. I don't know what else they want. I feel like even if GH's ratings improved, it wouldn't matter. Turkey's on the wall. 

I've talked to some of the other people that run sites and blogs. Only they can understand what it's like to invest your free time, to drum up a show and give them more PR than the damn station does, only to be mislead and acted like a fool.  Most of us rarely get any privileges as far as  exclusive photos or interviews go and have to get a lot of things on our own.  We attend and report on events more than the mags or networks care to. We advertise charity events and merchandise. For what? For the love of the genre, that's what. I'm sure as hell not making a lot of  money on this. Ah, that's besides the point. The point is whatever the REAL story is, our shows are not coming back online. I fear the longer they are away, and even IF someone "picks them up" the cast, writers and everyone else involved will have moved on. Who can blame them?

We the fans are the ones that suffer. What other genre other than die-hard sci-fiers and sports nuts can boast at selling out $280 events with only two stars? A band that charges through the roof for 'cover songs' and sell out all over the East Coast? How many fans PAY to help their faves build houses for the poor?  We sell out events everywhere. Oh, you've heard me preach it before. We may be "older" for the most part but we have jobs and money. 

I think there will be fallout from all  of this and I think Frons will be on his way out.  Which of course, usually in corporate speak means moving sideways or going to another net to create havoc. Just like bad soap writers and producers, it's just a gin mill.

Ok, on to the rest of the week. Since GH was only on for 3 days, and I hated the Thanksgiving Epi so much, it's going to be hard to pick but here we go:

SCENE OF THE WEEK: Tracy goading Jason. Jane Elliot is spot on, and even got Burton to emote. Great scene. She doesn't coddle Jason, that's for sure! Plus, we got a table toss out of it! 

NOT THE SCENE OF THE WEEK: Honestly? Anything with the above character in it. She's just... oh, there are no words. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. AND if you want to know why I call her Mulva, watch this Seinfeld clip it "rhymes with a woman's body part": MULVA

  • By the way? The Poll? An overwhelming majority think Jake is alive and well. I'm still not convinced. Rewrites are all  over the place. I don't even think the actors know the skivvy!


  1. What a well written Sunday Surgery! Like many soap fans, the "stories" were passed down to me by my mom & grandmom. I can't imagine life without them. There were so many times in my life they provided the escape that I needed. They were constant friends, always there. Heck - I even DANCED to the GH theme song at my WEDDING with my new grandmother-in-law! I surprised her with it at our reception! That was how we bonded when my husband and I started dating in high school. We both watched GH! As we got to know each other, a lot of our conversations started out with GH gossip.

    I agree OL should not be cancelled. I came late to the party. I followed RH over from ATWT. Honestly, it was that and listening to you rave about the show Karen. I wish I had come to the OL party sooner.

    I do agree that it is going to get to a point where if the shows are picked up by someone ~anyone~ if too much time goes by all of our beloved actors will have moved on. I am trying to have hope, but it is tough at times.

    I have been reading this column since the Gedstern days, and I appreciate all of the time and work you have given it since you took over years ago. Amy

  2. Good Morning Amy & Karen...I would like to forward Sunday wubs to soapnet, PP, abc.
    It will do NO good. I understand that.
    However, your written Sunday surgery Karen as usual, tells it like it could have been. At least allow these people to know we aren't dummies!!

    Amy your post got to my heart. You are an example of what someone else said on here a few days ago. We are a soap FAMILY. We bicker, we share our personal problems with the past storylines, and basically it allows us to escape.
    Hopefully you will give your blessing while I find all emails involved.

    Karen like always I will give your site the credit.

  3. Spot on GH is so over and I will miss OLTL.

  4. I am so sad about the ruining/ending of GH. It has been my "guilty pleasure" for so long, and it always has been a delight to find out that someone I meet has the same addiction.

    It has been an "alternate reality" for me, taking me out of my own life for a brief respite, allowing me to laugh and cry along with all my "friends."

    Even now, much of my weekday focus centers around GH. After a long day of work, I look forward to watching it on the DVR as I unwind, eat dinner and open my mail.

    I really can't imagine life without GH, but I know I'm going to have to come to terms with it.

  5. I really wish the internet thing worked out, but I never really thought that it would. No one seems to get what soaps mean to people, and I really don't think that the Prospect Park stuff was real. Yes, a bunch of stars from OLTL had been approached, but with AMC only 2 people had signed and most hadn't been contacted. I think this was all a way for ABC to get the fans off of its back--they were throwing us one of those fake plastic bones that dogs play with.

    I watched the Thanksgiving episode last week because I heard there was going to be a Q's Thanksgiving, something that I loved watching as a kid. Unfortunately, there was maybe a total of 10 minutes of stuff at the mansion. It was all about Sam and Jason--surprise surprise. I don't know why I expected anything different; the reason I stopped watching was because it had become the Sam and Jason show.

    I watched the Lucky marathon on Soapnet, and while I don't understand why they chose some of those episodes, I loved the drama in each of them, especially the first one where Luke and Laura were on the run to PC and Lucky was on the plane. That was great! When they got to the episode where Lucky, Liz, Nikolas, and Emily were at Kelly's, I just wanted them to put on the next part--the episode with the fire. I remember watching that one when it originally aired in the late 90's, and it was the first time a television show made me feel as if a part of me was gone. When we were watching the marathon, my mom asked me how I remembered the names of characters that were on for such a short period of time, and I had to explain to her that at that time, GH was my life because I didn't have any friends. Seeing what Guza and Frons have done to the one thing that really defined my childhood makes me sick. I couldn't even watch the final episode of the marathon because it was about Jake's death.

    I really hope that they do something similar before Kimberly McCullough leaves. She grew up on GH, and it would be great to see some of her episodes, especially the stuff with Stone's death, which I have never seen. It looks like she is going to end up with AIDS, so it would be nice if they did some Nurse's Balls and it would also be nice if they used this to bring them back. I know that's not going to happen, but I can dream still--ABC hasn't taken that away from me.

  6. I just wanted to add (I was afraid my other comment was going to be too long, so i posted before i finished) that the other day, I was watching an early episode of Gilmore Girls and Lorelai was telling Rory all about how she was watching General Hospital and that everyone was waiting to see if the 2nd Lucky would have any chemistry with Liz. If Gilmore Girls was on now instead of 10 years ago (when that episode aired), I don't think they would have been able to use any General Hospital references. What would they talk about--how Sonny is misogynistic and it is only a matter of time before he sleeps with every woman over the age of 18?

  7. Wow, I am a Gilmore Girls fanzine and had NO idea about that scene!! I'll have to look for it. thx

  8. Your talking about the younger people thinking the show is great makes me laugh , cuz you must be talking about SOC! LOL!

  9. I saw your rumor about April Gutierrez and googled her..I got more than an eyeful..What she was Ms Coed...I do not want Chrissy to look like a "Ho"...Just disgusting that GH would think to recast her character like this.
    I have always thought that recasting is the lazy answer for poor writing. Good writers should be able to develop a character and to change the character with their writing not by re-assigning the character to a new actress..

  10. Just some rumors from SoaptownUSA. Y&R is courting R Herbst for when her contract expires in the spring (she sees the writing on the wall). They are leaving it open for JJ to return for a short stint to help her character exit. Also, Days is willing to have Kirsten Storms & Jason Cook return there once GH is canceled. Also, Alicia Leigh Willis is being asked to return & Tyler Christopher coming back for a short stint. Again, these are just rumors. You can click on the Loose Lips link on the SoaptownUSA page to see this.

  11. It makes me sad now every Sunday to see how few comments your column gets. I love reading it and look forward to doing so each week. It's sad to me that it's gotten to a point where no one bothers to reply. You are always so right on that there's little to add and it shows that people either agree too much to bother to say so, or simply don't care about the show enough to bother. Both are horrible indicators of this future of the show.

    As for Jake, I am one of the many who is positive he will be revealed as alive eventually. Forget the actors; I am not sure the WRITERS are aware that he is alive. Eventually though, they will be. Will the show survive long enough for them to figure it out is my question.

  12. Very interesting rumors Anon, thank you for sharing!

  13. Check out this You Tube clip of Carly telling Sonny off when Michael was in the hospital (omg how Lara Wright totally brings it in this one!!)..But check out old Kate .. :( I really miss Megan Ward and I want her back...I don't like NuKate at all and I never can remember who she is or NuMaxie every time they come on I have to think for a minute to remember who they are. Here is the clip..

  14. P.S. I only watched the first 5 minutes. I just loved seeing Laura Wright act her heart out.

  15. Adora, I get more comments on Twitter than on here. LOL..... I think people just are tired of it all. Can't blame them. Or, maybe no one's reading anymore!!

  16. So many good ideas, Karen. Wish some of TPTB were listening.
    I think the ratings are hardly accurately drawn, so I take a skeptical view of them representing 'total audience'. I think far more people are watching that heads counted.
    When I consider no longer having OLTL to watch daily, my heart just breaks. I surprised myself by falling in love with soaps back in the late '70s and justified my daytime TV watching by writing for soap mags and doing interviews and articles. I was able to visit sets and talk to actors and how I loved that, even though the pay was seldom much. I came to love the whole genre.
    Now I feel like my second hometown is being blown up, destroyed by greed. How I will miss the actors from this show. I remember how long I missed the actors from Santa Barbara, like Lane Davies and Jed Allen. It was as if I'd lost dear friends.
    I once loved GH, but the mob slowly killed it for me. Seeing the Lucky marathon reminded me a little of what I miss so much.

    I don't think I can pick up on any other soap now. I've tried to watch Young and Restless before and couldn't stick it out. Tried Days as well, without success, so what will I do now, with GH in such misery?

  17. I agree Carrie....Kristina comes back a HO. Disgusting!!

    For the rumors....I do believe JJ will come back at the end to escort Liz off....
    The rest of the rumors are silly.
    Trust me, I posted some dosies of spoilers a month ago, and NONE came true!! (thankfully)

    I still want to know what if anything is there left to do for OLTL. I guess nothing?

  18. WARNING!!!!!!!!

    Just read spoilers from GH2.
    The only one I am CONVINCED is true, and I felt it was my 'duty' to warn all of you.......
    Sonny goes to the closet Deek abused him in!!!!! Per Mr & Mrs Wolfie Guza, it is 'heavy'.
    WFC????? (who fu**ing cares)

  19. My2cents, I've had that spoiler for ages now LOL.. on the main site!! Yep, Sonny is in total ANGST with his old memories!

  20. I am sorry Karen, you know I don't know my way around from here, to FB site, etc.....

    Why are we focusing on Sonny's past?? Still and Again???

  21. I just read your SPOILERS. I hadn't read the updated ones, but YES you had everything in there.
    Including the Robin story beginning. :( And the Sonny 'closet'.

    Though Robin will be missed, it will be a well done storyline.

  22. Why in the world would they ever want Alicia L. Willis back - one of the worst actresses ever? Hope it's just a rumor. After watching the Lucky marathon, I was surprised to see that Guza was head writer back in '96 and Garin Wolf has been around at least 15 years, so he should know better. They worked on quality shows, so what happened? JFP, Brian Frons?

  23. Linda V...WHY does everyone HATE Alicia?? There was/is so much worse on daytime, yet everyone hated her. NOT ME!! lol

  24. My2Cents2, it was the annoying habit of touching the hair at the side of her forehead constantly that drove me crazy and using the stuttering method of non-acting. And she and Jason together were like watching paint dry. No hate here - just relief when she finally left. JMHO

  25. We all have our 'quirks' about certain actress's, actors. For me, they are still on GH! At least for you they are gone!!

    I did like Alicia. I LOVED her friendship with Carly, I liked her the best with Jason than anyone else Jason has been with.

  26. I have to admit I liked Jason with Liz more than anyone else. Their baby-making love scene I think was so beautifully done.

  27. BELCH!!!!!!!!!!!

    That is what I thought of Jason & Liz.