Nov. 25th, 2012 03:46 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
The draft of the Jo book (actual title: Can't Find My Way Home) is done-ish. Which is to say, it's done, but I still need to listen to the spoken text file this week to be sure.

Word count: 89,122

Page count: 320


Also, yesterday I went to Skylight Books for Small Business Saturday (bought The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson and a Moleskine notebook), and one of my favorite soap opera actors, Matthew Ashford, was there. He was engrossed in a book, so I refrained from going up to him and blathering about how Days of Our Lives shouldn't have killed off his character.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a rather chilly day in L.A. This weekend I've been working on the Jo book (yay) and doing my taxes (bleh).

Yesterday I drove to It's a Wrap! in Burbank to see their newly acquired wardrobe items from One Life to Live and All My Children. It was fun to see things like Dorian Lord's glamorous gown and Adam Chandler's silk pajamas, but it was a little sad too. On the way home I stopped at Brand Books and got a used copy of Laurie R. King's A Letter of Mary.

this week on General Hospital & Days of Our Lives )
gwynnega: (Default)
I guess I'll start with the bad/the ugly, which, as usual these days, is General Hospital. Recently I ranted about the show's execrable misuse of Robin Scorpio's HIV storyline. Unsurprisingly, Kimberly McCullough, who has played Robin on and off since the mid-1980s, is opting to leave the show. She has a burgeoning directing career, but Jason Thompson, who plays Robin's husband Patrick, revealed recently in an interview that he and McCullough were deeply unhappy about the recent storyline, and that McCullough nearly chose to walk rather than play it--so I'm assuming the crappy writing is a factor in her departure. With Jonathan Jackson leaving too, I have a palpable sense of what was left of GH's soul leaving the building. (Michele Val Jean, the member of GH's writing team who should have been made head writer instead of the floundering Garin Wolf, has also jumped ship, and is now writing for The Bold and the Beautiful.)

Also in the realm of the bad: last week One Life To Live finished taping its shows for ABC. OLTL, which is in excellent creative shape, goes off the air in January. Now there are rumors that Prospect Park, which is supposed to continue the show online, is having budget problems, and that there will be a delay in getting the new OLTL off the ground. I really hope it's only a delay.

The good: Days of Our Lives, which was craptastic until recently, has been improving by leaps and bounds, and now they've kicked the show into high gear by reigniting the love/hate pairing of Sami/EJ. I can only compare them (and their sex scenes yesterday) to season six Buffy/Spike. The scenes also gave a nice nod to show history, in that Sami's son Will (who is about to have a major coming-out story) walks in on his mother cheating with EJ, just as, almost twenty years ago, teenage Sami walked in on her mother cheating on her dad (resulting in years of Sami mayhem).

Also good: I know I have some As the World Turns fans on my FL, so for those of you who may not know about this: there is now an ATWT five-DVD boxed set and a Christmas in Oakdale single DVD for sale. I'm hoping this will be a trend, and that more classic soap stuff (besides Dark Shadows, which is already available in its entirety!) will be released on DVD.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
[Well, I started writing a post about random stuff, but apparently I had another anti-GH rant in me, even though I already ranted about it recently!]

Weather: We're mostly been having Actual L.A. Autumn, and are supposed to have some rain tomorrow.

Writing: I'm in a good mind-set re: the Jo book, i.e., totally engrossed by it. (When I'm not in a good mind-set re: the Jo book, I think: OMG I am STILL writing That Damn Book?) Looking forward to working on it a lot this weekend.

One Life To Live: Awesome. With each passing day it becomes more clear how stupid ABC is for opting to let this show go, and how smart Prospect Park was to snap it up.

Days of Our Lives: Surprisingly awesome. Until recently it was the worst soap opera on TV, which just shows how quickly new head writers can turn a show around. Like OLTL, DAYS is doing what a good soap should--telling multi-generational stories with a nod to show history AND fresh twists. (And Matthew Ashford, newly returned to the show, is doing a tremendous job with a PTSD storyline.)

General Hospital: Sucks beyond the telling. What I said about new head writers? I didn't think it was possible for GH to be worse than it was during Bob Guza's final days with the show, but Garin Wolf has proven me wrong. For the first time, I am ready to say that GH, my GH, the show I started watching in 1980, is now the worst soap opera on TV. There are no stories on GH. There is just pointless angst, endless talking about nothing, and occasional bursts of violence, misogyny, and misogynistic violence. Jonathan Jackson is leaving the show, and I can't blame him. He deserves better. GH's viewers (those who haven't already jumped ship) deserve better. The show will probably be cancelled soon, but its soul is already gone. Still, better writing could resurrect it, but that seems unlikely at this point.


Apr. 10th, 2011 11:08 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Yesterday I went to the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown LA, I think for the first time since the late seventies. (I used to go there for Beatlefest back when John Lennon was alive.) I did a quick walk through the Romantic Times Book Fair, which was WAY too crowded. Then I had a great visit with my agent [personal profile] dianafox, in town for the RT Booklovers Convention. Then, when I was waiting for the valet to return my car, who should appear right in front of me but Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, i.e., Doug and Julie from Days of Our Lives (arguably the first soap supercouple of all time)!! I managed not to blurt out, "You're Doug and Julie!" I did think it a good omen for the Jo book. (The only soap actor sighting to beat this one was when Heather Webber and Rose Kelly [actors Robin Mattson and Loanne Bishop from General Hospital] sat in the row right in front of me during a two-act play of Plath's Letters Home, in 1983 or so. They only stayed for the first act.)

Speaking of the Jo book, this weekend I had a mini "What To Do When the Revolution Doesn't Pan Out" film festival: Sidney Lumet's beautiful Running on Empty (River Phoenix was still alive when I last saw it) and Tanya Hamilton's Night Catches Us (2010), set in 1976 Philadelphia, about former members of the Black Panther Party. I was particularly struck by how both movies show the children of former revolutionaries trying to come to grips with their parents' histories and how these histories have shaped and impinged upon their own lives.

Then tonight I watched episode one of the Upstairs, Downstairs reboot on PBS. It won me over, though now I want to play my DVDs of the classic series.
gwynnega: (Roger Coleridge)
Soap writer James E. Reilly has passed away at the age of sixty. He was arguably the most over-the-top soap scribe in the business, famous for such stories as Marlena Possessed by Satan on Days of Our Lives (and a number of insane storylines on Passions). He was also on the writing team of Ryan's Hope during its worst period (during which Roger falls down an elevator shaft, a quintessential Reilly plot point!). I had recently heard rumors that he might be returning to Days, and I'm saddened to hear of his passing.

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