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)
From today's very meta One Life To Live, here's perhaps the definitive statement about soap operas, as Victoria Lord talks about the end of One Life To Live Fraternity Row:

gwynnega: (Default)
In which Prospect Park continues to degenerate from heroes of the soap genre to mustache-twirling villains: yesterday Variety reported that Prospect Park is still shopping One Life To Live and All My Children. The kicker: "one of the options Prospect Park is said to be considering is bringing in an overseas firm to turn the shows into a co-production. That may or may not allow the shows to circumvent the unions, which couldn't come to terms with Prospect Park on compensation for talent on both sides of the camera."

I.e., Prospect Park may be hoping to do some union busting. This would be 1) disgusting and 2) stupid, because none of the actors, writers, crew, etc. for these shows would opt for a non-union deal. For a great, scathing take on these developments, here's a post by Lana Nieves: Occupy Your Conscience.

Meanwhile, as OLTL hurtles towards its final episode (which airs on January 13th), it is engaging in some awesome meta. On Tuesday there was a brilliant and hilarious episode in which the whole town watches Fraternity Row, the soap within the soap which originally appeared on OLTL in the eighties. Various OLTL characters reel at the show's plot twists. Then, at the end of the episode, Roxy (Ilene Kristen) reels to discover the soap has been canceled! On yesterday's show, Roxy begs Clint Buchanan to resurrect the show, but he mouths ABC's party line that the show's time has come (even though he was watching the show with the rest of the town the day before, delivering my favorite line of the episode: "These damn writers are messing with my Brianna!"). Roxy tells him not to be so condescending and storms off to save her beloved show.

gwynnega: (Default)
It's been a very aggravating week for me, but a fantastic week for what's left of ABC Daytime. On Thursday it was announced that OLTL head-writer Ron Carlivati and producer Frank Valentini are taking over the helm at the currently craptastic General Hospital. The dreadful Garin Wolf will be demoted to script writer. I'm very surprised--I had fully expected ABC to let Garin Wolf drive the show into the ground. It may be that ABC fully intends to cancel GH next year and merely wants it to go out on a high note. Even if that's true, I'm thrilled at the prospect of what Carlivati and Valentini will do for my once beloved show. I wonder if they will be able to convince Jonathan Jackson and Kimberly McCullough not to jump ship. Unfortunately, it'll be awhile before any Carlivati-penned episodes will air, and there'll be more Wolf lousiness to wade through in the meantime.

Then yesterday soap-killer Brian Frons, who presided over the destruction of ABC's soaps and SOAPnet, announced he was stepping down from his position as head of ABC Daytime. And there was much rejoicing.
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)
It is Henna Day, and the henna is on my head. The lovely autumn weather seems to be inching back to summer again for the next several days, alas. I've been working on the Jo book and writing critique notes for tomorrow night's writing workshop.

Yesterday I took three bags of clothes and boots to the Goodwill. Why is my closet still so full? Then I went to Starbucks for a pumpkin latte, and the barista told me my hair was the same color as the pumpkin syrup. This pleased me.

Meanwhile, General Hospital has fired one of my favorite soap actors, Lexi Ainsworth. GH seems intent on hiring amazingly talented younger actors and then firing them. Plus Garin Wolf's head-writing leaves a lot to be desired. He started out well, but now the writing is aimless and poorly paced. It's as if those in charge want to drive GH into the ground.
gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan sister-in-law)
Usually I henna my hair on Sundays, but I was in San Francisco last Sunday. Today I went and got my hair cut, and now I am home with the henna on my head. Also I appear to have hurt my lower back. Ow. It's not horrible, but it's not feeling great either.

Meanwhile, I just learned that SOAPnet will be cutting Ryan's Hope from its schedule next month, after All My Children's last ABC episode airs. Bleh.
gwynnega: (Default)
As this year of behind-the-scenes soap drama continues:

ABC Confirms AMC/OLTL Licenced to Prospect Park

"The licensing agreement, brokered by Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group, enables Prospect Park to continue production of 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' beyond their life on ABC. Prospect Park will produce and deliver the two long-running programs to consumers via online formats and additional emerging platforms including internet enabled television sets. Under the terms of the arrangement, the programs will continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length. Additional details of the new productions and tune-in will be forthcoming from Prospect Park..."

I really don't get how this is going to work financially and logistically (and I wonder who from the current regimes of the shows will remain on board), but it is potentially amazing news.
gwynnega: (Roger Coleridge)
So the rumors are true: Katie Couric is getting General Hospital's time slot on ABC starting in September 2012. ABC refuses to admit they're planning to axe GH, however. Even if GH isn't cancelled next year, a change in its time slot will almost certainly finish it off, and then ABC will have what it apparently wants: no scripted daytime dramas, and fewer pesky unionized writers and actors to deal with.
gwynnega: (Roger Coleridge)
So a couple of weeks ago it was confirmed that One Life To Live and All My Children are going to be cancelled. Despite fan outcry (and Hoover pulling its ads from ABC in protest), the cancellations appear to be going forward.

Now there are rumors that ABC will be replacing General Hospital with a Katie Couric program next year. Unlike OLTL, GH has not been a good show for awhile now. Mostly it's been treading water, writing-wise, despite a very good cast. Occasionally there will be an amazing episode or two--as with last week's stunning episode focusing on alcoholic Luke Spencer's intervention--which makes it even clearer how lacking the show is on a day to day level.

But I don't want GH to be cancelled--I want it to get a new head writer who isn't burnt out (as Bob Guza obviously is). Now I'm wondering if ABC has kept Guza on because he's burnt out, so it won't hurt as much when the plug is pulled. It looks like the brass at ABC have their hearts set on the end of scripted drama on their daytime lineup.
gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan balcony)
ABC cancels One Life To Live and All My Children

There is something particularly nauseating about ABC killing two of its legacy programs, which began in 1968 (OLTL) and 1970 (AMC), in favor of a cooking show called "The Chew" and a weight-loss program called "The Revolution"(!). As soap writer Tom Casiello wrote today on his Twitter page: "You will save money. You will hold onto demos. You will be fine. But you leave NO LEGACY now, ABC. Congratu-fucking-lations. You're mediocre."

Rumors had brewed for months about these cancellations, but ABC denied them, even as fans wrote and called the network pleading for their shows to be spared. Apparently the casts of the shows found out when the fans did, today.

It's particularly unfair that OLTL should be cancelled, as it is on a creative high and, in my opinion, currently the best soap opera on the air. But I feel sick at the idea of both soaps being gone, and only four remaining. I'm sad, and I'm angry.
gwynnega: (Default)
It's Thursday already? I keep thinking it's only Wednesday (because I took Monday as a sick day).

Head cold: I still have it. It's abating, but it's taking its sweet time. Possibly due in part to...

Weather: About as far from cliched California weather as it gets. The Garage Kitty and I would prefer some nice cliched weather, thanks.

Garage Kitty: Availing herself of every warm car hood and patch of sunlight at her disposal.

Writing: Today I think I figured out how to proceed with the new part 2 of the Jo book. Tomorrow I will get to work on the new chapter 5, and I'm really looking forward to it. Hooray, it's back to 1975! And speaking of which...

Ryan's Hope: SOAPnet is currently airing the 1975 episodes for the last time (since SOAPnet will be kaput in a year or so). I wish everybody was watching (or at least everybody who even vaguely likes serial drama), because it is such damn good, intelligent, juicy storytelling. And watching young Kate Mulgrew and Ilene Kristen is always a delight.

One Life To Live: Tuc Watkins/David Vickers is back, along with his extra-meta hilarity.
gwynnega: (Default)
Today I went to Theatre 68, a small theater in a rather dicey part of Hollywood (Sunset & Western) to see a production of The Busy World Is Hushed featuring three actors from General Hospital: the fabulous Carolyn Hennesy (who also appears on Cougar Town), Jason Thompson and Nathan Parsons. The show is closing this weekend, and several other GH actors attended. I was right behind Bradford Anderson and Sonya Eddy at the box office, and I told Bradford, "I know I'm in the right place--the coworkers are here!" A bit later Brandon Barash and Lisa LoCicero showed up. I ended up sitting next to Lillian Lehman, who played Dr. Meadows on GH for years, and we had a great chat during intermission.

The play was excellent. At first I thought Jason Thompson (who, unlike Carolyn Hennesy and Nathan Parsons, is a theater newby) would be the weak link, but he ended up giving perhaps the most affecting performance. On a shallowly slashy note, I enjoyed seeing Jason Thompson and Nathan Parsons play lovers. Their (very heterosexual) GH characters Patrick and Ethan don't share much screentime, but now I wish I could see a Patrick/Ethan affair...


Aug. 11th, 2010 12:12 pm
gwynnega: (Default)
Today Vanessa Marcil returns to General Hospital in the role of Brenda Barrett, and I am delighted, although I question whether Bob Guza will write a worthy return story for her. Yesterday ABC ran three classic Brenda eps, and, as Sara Bibel writes: "Wow. All of a sudden 'General Hospital' is brilliant! It’s like it's a whole different show. The dialogue is rich. The characters are flawed and multi-dimensional. The show is balanced. The mob no longer dominates the show, nor is it glorified. The production values are lush. Wait a minute. These are reruns."

I'm not thrilled that Soapnet has decided to preempt Ryan's Hope in favor of an additional showing of GH for a week and a half (RH returns on August 23)--but welcome back, Brenda/Vanessa! I wish Claire Labine were coming back to GH too.
gwynnega: (Default)
This came up on Twitter today, but I must share it here as well--one of the stranger (and more hilarious) soap opera moments of all time. For some reason Santa Barbara decided to recast a character in the middle of a scene! One minute Mason is played by Terry Lester, the next, by Gordon Thomson. The clip is dubbed for Italian TV, but the look on Nancy Lee Grahn's face says it all!

gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan balcony)
I'm mostly packed for WisCon. I'm wide awake, though I should be trying to sleep NOW since I have to get up before 5 a.m. Bleh. I can hardly wait for WisCon, in spite of my usual massive pre-travel angst. I won't be online much until I get home next week.

In non-WisCon news, the big soap news of today is that Disney has opted to cancel SOAPnet in 18 months and replace it with a station for preschoolers. Um...because preschoolers watch so much TV after 11 pm? There had been rumors about SOAPnet getting the axe, but everyone had expected it to be replaced by "women's programming." Very odd. (When the news broke, it was such a shocker that it crashed Daytime Confidential's server.)

Oh, and my Books To Bring on the Plane poll is tied between The Robber Bride and Faro's Daughter, so I'm bringing 'em both...
gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan sister-in-law)
Thanksgiving at my mom's was lovely. We ate turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, pumpkin tart and sweet potato pie. (The tart was better than the pie.) Then we watched An Education, which was even better than I'd expected.

This morning I finished reading Georgette Heyer's The Corinthian: cross-dressing heroine + world-weary fop FTW! I began to tackle the Fridge O'Leftovers by eating stuffing (plus an egg) for brunch, and watched Ryan's Hope and Days of Our Lives (DOOL proving they are more on the ball than the other soaps at the moment, by being the only soap airing a new episode during the holidays). Now I'm tackling the chapter 20 revisions. I think chapter 20 is the only chapter remaining in the Jo book that will require massive research. I hope. I hope!

I am taping The French Connection to watch with dinner--another NYC in the '70s film (and one which I have, somehow, managed never to have seen, aside from the famous car chase scene).

Perhaps I shouldn't have had that second pot of Wintry Blend coffee, but I love it. Speaking of Trader Joe's, soon I will venture forth for a small grocery run...

today's Ryan's Hope )
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I'm having a cozy day at home, while outside it's LA-autumnal. Just had a second (small) pot of Trader Joe's Wintry Blend coffee, which I adore. I just wrote 500 words of chapter 20, and will do more. I need to do some research too. The chapter is set at a 1976 daytime TV awards ceremony, so I've been researching the Daytime Emmys, which only got started in 1973. I can't find any Youtube clips from the 1976 show, but the 1975 show, weirdly enough, took place on a boat in the Hudson! Everyone looks a little discombobulated, or, possibly, seasick. The 1976 Daytime Emmys took place at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center.

I've started reading Georgette Heyer's The Corinthian. I find I can't read as much as I'd like these days, focused as I am on the home stretch of the Jo book, but Heyer seems to work. Also I'm back to watching the 1966 pre-Barnabas episodes of Dark Shadows, which are comforting in their glacial pace. David Collins is an excellent Creepy Child.

Victoria Winters (David's governess): You said you hated me. You said if I died, you wouldn't come to my funeral.

David: Did I say that? If you died, I would go to your funeral.

Victoria: Why?

David: Because I LIKE funerals.



Sep. 29th, 2009 12:10 pm
gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan sister-in-law)
Courtesy of an early-morning allergy attack, I watched all of today's Ryan's Hope at 5 a.m.! Wheeee.

today's Ryan's Hope )

I am seriously excited about Jonathan Jackson returning to the role of Lucky Spencer on General Hospital! Between that and the truly lovely Spinelli/Maxie non-wedding, plus some stellar recent casting (of Dante and the SORAS'd teens and pre-teens) and improved storytelling, I am feeling more positive about GH than I have in ages. (Even though it's still very uneven compared to the brilliant One Life To Live.)

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