Don’t asked me what possessed me to do this when I have a million and two things I should be doing – like my taxes, which are due at the end of the month. :/
Perhaps it’s just that I’m obsessed with compiling a comprehensive listing of everyone’s best and worsts – focusing on LuRe, of course. But regardless, I sat through all 3 hours and 20 minutes of this podcast, which could frequently be called a “hot mess.” For anyone who thinks the Blog Talk Radio interviews have been unprofessional and difficult to listen to, this show easily outdid them in terms of unlistenability.
But, being the devoted LuRe blogger that I am, I sat through the whole darned thing, featuring four DC contributors, and here are the highlights:
- One pick for Most Tortured Couple: Luke and Reid
- Two nominations for the Hall of Shame went to OLTL for their handling of Kish and the dismissal of Scott Evans and Brett Claywell; another to soaps in general for their lack of diversity
- ATWT-affiliated parties swept the Megan McTavish Award for Special Achievement in Serial Drama Dismantling category, with two votes for Chris Goutman, one for David Kreizman (for his subsequent work on All My Children), and one for CBS.
- One vote, and a second, very vociferous vote for As the World Turns as the Worst Soap of 2010.
- In the commentary about why ATWT was the worst, Luke and Reid are referred to as the only potential supercouple on the show (and Reid’s death and Luke’s unhappy ending are discussed).
A partial transcript of the bits that might interest the ATWT/LuRe/Kish fandom follow below the jump….
The Daytime Confidential Podcast
I admit I rarely followed DC while ATWT was on the air (even at the end where I was quoting everything I could find!) because a) the site is one of the most poorly organized and poorly designed commercial sites I have ever seen (just finding their Couple of the Week polls was a challenge!), and b) because I felt they had a strong ABC bias (making the CBS stuff rare and/or difficult to find). Both of these seem to have improved since being added to the zap2it.com stable, but I follow the site so rarely these days it’s hard to tell.
The last few weeks, I have been trolling the webs for year-end lists (I keep hoping Soap Opera Source’s Karen Riel will write a retrospective!) and found that DC did a podcast of their Best and Worsts. I couldn’t find either highlights or any other specifics so I thought I’d listen in.
Eschewing such conventional categories such as Best Actor and Actress, DC’s show instead features most improved Actor and Actress (and character), Soap Opera Scenery Chewer of the Year, and the Charity Rahmer Award for Babies Who Don’t Know Who They Are (which I think is an in-joke euphemism for “who sucked the most”).
Hosted by Luke Kerr, the show features Daytime Confidential’s regular contributors: Jamey Giddens, Regan Cellura and Jillian Bowe. The Bests and Worsts of 2010 episode can be heard online or downloaded via iTunes.
The main reason I couldn’t stand this broadcast is that there was so much showboating by the participants and it went on…and on….and on…for over three hours (compare this with Soap Central Live’s Two Scoops podcast which was well moderated by host Dan Kroll and featured – I think – all 14 Two Scoops columnists…in under an hour). There was swearing (which doesn’t bother me, if you’ve read my fanfics), but I got the sense that it was in there just to push people’s buttons.
I’ve transcribed the podcast as best as I could – 95-98% of the grammatical errors were as spoken (I would guess, again, for effect), and some of the slang was just beyond plain ole’ suburban mom me. So there are a few words I just couldn’t figure out. Sorry.
WARNINGS: The timestamps below refer to the iTunes timing. The web-based player uses cumulative minutes instead of hours and minutes, and so you’ll need to do some translating to find the right place to cue ahead to. Also, Jamey Giddens is occasionally….very enthusiastic….and LOUD. If you have your volume turned on high (sometimes needed to hear Regan’s comments), be prepared for some ear-blasting portions.
I am a CBS girl, through and through. Even in the Luke and Laura-crazy ‘80s, I never strayed, so I can’t comment on the choices of the participants across networks. However, some lowlights I would agree with were:
- Y&R’s multiple dopplegangers – too many to believe, and a sucky use of Tracey Bergman
- B&B’s party boink – really, Brooke, really?
- Obviously never listen to themselves on their podcast because the volume meter would be so far in the red. Dopplegangers storyline. Party boink.
And some ATWT highlights that I’ll withhold commment on:
- Most improved actress: Marie Wilson (Jillian’s pick)
- Most improved character: Nutmeg (Jillian’s pick)
- Best quad: Molly Holden Lily Damian (Jillian’s pick); Carly Jack Dusty Janet (Luke’s pick)
Now, onto more on-topic discussions….
Most Tortured Couple
There were several more conventional picks going to hetero couples with either bad storylines, or hackneyed soap push/pull crap (I think Victor and Nikki got a vote, and Guiding Light’s Holly/Roger named as an example of going too far – Roger raped then-wife Holly (his SoapCentral.com bio lists another prior rape and an attempt), though he later regretted it).
But, Luke and Reid were not left out of this discussion.
Cue to 1:51:22…
Luke: Well, my most tortured couple is ATWT’s Luke and Reid. Because poor Luke is going to be tortured for the rest of his life every time he sees Chris Hughes with Reid’s heart.
Jillian: I’d cut it out (?) and tell him get back to Springfield.
Jamey: Oh please! Luke moved to Greenwich Village and he’s….
Luke: Oh, c’mon, that’s just wrong.
Jamey: What’re you talking about? That boy’ young, he ain’t gonna be settin’ up, on that thing about Reid forever. C’mon now. You talkin’ about how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. That’s a club right now. Shakin’ like a dollar, five and ten.
When I first heard this clip, I thought Jamey sounded really juvenile and homophobic. So much to my surprise, when I Googled him, I found several articles mentioning him as a big champion of Kish and a big detractor of OLTL after Kish were written out of the picture. So, I withheld judgment on his comments here as distasteful as they sounded to me.
Hall of Shame 2010
I was glad I withheld judgment when a LONG near-hour later, he calmed down. Maybe it’s just that I agree with his point, but I don’t think so. When Jamey spoke about more serious matters, I actually was surprised to find him to be calm and relatively deliberate. So I am chalking up his earlier comments to theatricality. By the end of the show, I got the feeling he was like umpteen TV show hosts these days – loud and extreme for the sake of provoking response or providing entertainment.
I know this isn’t a Kish site but I feel many of the issues affecting LuRe also affected Kish. Plus, I can’t seem to find a good Kish site anywhere online, I think it makes sense to include stuff about them here, even though they’re not “my” couple.
In this particular case, he makes a point LuRe fans have been jumping up and down about as well – it’s not okay to show two gay men in a loving relationship, but it’s somehow more “moral” to show the heterosexuals engaged in all sorts of icky shenanigans – criminal and sexual, sometimes both?
Jamey’s recommendation for 2010’s Hall of Shame can be found at 2:40:00
Well, it’s going to be….and I promise, I can honestly say, this is a year-end podcast, that’s the only reason I’m bringing it back up because I’m pleasantly, pleasantly surprised by the rebounding that this show has done. And I’m not gonna go into 2011 still beating them over the head for this, but since this is a year-end podcast, I’ll be remiss with a Hall of Shame not to put Frank Valentini and Brian Frons in the Hall of Shame for kibboshing Kish.
I don’t even think I need to go into that much detail to know how disappointed I was and the legions of fans of this show are, but just to reiterate – the message that was conveyed was that mainstream America thought it was too much. Yet this is the same soap opera that was going to have a man rape his daughter….which speaks volumes, in my opinion, about what people either think America will accept, or about what America really accept.
And I wanna believe that it’s people being out of touch or responding to over-zealous letter-writing campaigners. But sometimes and seein’ the climate of the world and that we’re still debating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and gay marriage. I hate to say it, but I really think sometimes that America can be that crazy to think that something like that was too much, but NOT write letters in to say, “hey, we don’t want to see a man rape his daughter” on national television.
But, yeah, Kish being kibboshed and scapegoated for the ratings when the show did other ridonkulous things in this year. That was to me was a Hall of Shame moment. That being said, bygones are bygones. OLTL is on fire again and moving onward and upward.
Jillian, in a somewhat related note, called out all of daytime for the lack of diversity:
I would say the Hall of Shame goes to daytime’s lack of diversity. I’m not, It’s not just – we beat Y&R over the head with it because they are the number one show. They keep touting it, it is a fact. They’ve been number one since King Hatchet was a hammer. They are the number one show so they are held to a higher standard. Everybody looks to them to model their show after, to see what they’re doing, to keep up and keep that number ones spot. But all shows should be trying to diversify themselves.
It’s not a lily white world. Not everybody is straight. You know, it’s not only blacks. It’s also Hispanics. We have a black man in the White House. We have also a Hispanic person running New Mexico. We have a person of Asian descent (I guess you’d call it Asian descent) – a governor of Louisiana.
But yet still, you know, nothing. It’s like pulling teeth to get diversity on screen. And then, you know, when you don’t any stock into it and you don’t put anything, if you don’t give it your all with it – they are the ones you scapegoat, and say, “Oh, well, focus groups aren’t feelin’ them. So, they’re out.” You know what I mean?
When you finally do get some diversity you will just tross them up every once in awhile just to kibbosh people from making noise. You shouldn’t have to do that. Life isn’t like that. You either play ‘em or don’t even try to play ‘em. Just keep it real. If you’re not invested in them, don’t try to hire them or tross them out. So, there you go.
I don’t agree with Jillian’s last part. I disagree with the “don’t try to hire them” as I know visibly minority actors have fought long and hard to get work, period. I am sure those actors would agree that they would prefer a “real” job with a frontburner story to being “decorations” that are conveniently thrown under the bus (or props for certain unworthy storylines between white hetero couples), but I feel strongly that nearly all visibility is better than none.
Tangent warning: I can’t remember if I’ve already shared this story anywhere on this blog, so apologies if it’s a duplicate. Several years ago (maybe 5-10), I was riding in an elevator in a major city teaching hospital in the US. I was probably wearing something professional (I had just come from a business meeting), though probably not a suit. Out of the blue, my elevator companion asked me if I was a doctor. When I replied, “no,” her response was, “Oh, ‘cause you look like a doctor to me.” That story has stuck with me for a long, long time because I am a visible minority, and look younger than my age. When I was a kid, all the doctors I saw in real life or on TV were older white men. To have someone look at me and assume that I was a doctor was a real eye-opener and a signal that times had really changed in my lifetime.
Back on topic. Regan’s choice for the Hall of Shame:
I’d have to agree with Jamey. I think the whole way ABC handled ending Kish, letting those two actors go. I think the whole thing from beginning to end was just irresponsible and unprofessional.
I still am a champion of OLTL. I think they are doing their thing, for sure. But that whole time period was just shameful for ABC Daytime. I really think that they were just wrong. Flat out wrong.
The Megan McTavish Award for Special Achievement in Serial Drama Dismantling
Daytime Confidential has among their ignoble “honors,” one called The Megan McTavish Award for Special Achievement in Serial Drama Dismantling.
Megan McTavish is (according to her Wiki) a three-time Head Writer for All My Children known for plot-driven plot lines, a controversial plot involving prominent lesbian character Bianca, and for killing off the character of Dixie Cooney Martin, played by Cady McClain, who played ATWT’s Rosanna Cabot. When I started poking around for more information on why the award was named after Megan, it reminded me of a fascinating interview that Cady McClain did with SoapCentral.com. It was interesting enough that I created a separate post, which I’ll post shortly.
So, back on-topic. Jillian’s pick for the Megan McTavish Award for Special Achievement in Serial Drama Dismantling, which can be found at 2:49:54…
Chris Goutman. Yeah, you thought you was gonna get off lightly, sucka. No! And you sniffin’ around my Y&R? Maria, I’m so glad. Look, we do hate her, well, not hate. We do criticize Miss Bell, but thank you, Jesus, thank you for her side of it (?). But y’all don’t know the hell the hell that we were in for with Chris Goutman coming around.
Man, he woulda torpedoed Y&R!
And Jamey’s pick?
It’s a twofer again. Christopher Goutman. I mean, I thought about it long and hard, but then I’m like, y’know? You really can’t give it to Julie Hannon, or Jill Farren Phelps, or any of the other ones or even Dana Higley because their shows are, at least at the very end of the day, still on the air!
Goutman has been responsible for the deaths now, for three soap operas. Yes, Another World was already in danger when he got there, but he didn’t help it by puttin’ a baby in a tree [?]. And that time-travellin’ Lumina mess.
And I blame him for the death of Guiding Light because he’s the one who convinced Ellen Wheeler to come back to play Marley under the deal that he would let her direct and teach her everything he knew. And he taught her how to properly kill a Procter & Gamble soap opera.
So for death, dismantlement, and destruction of the P&G soaps, in the finality, because they wanted to be out, but the one that helped. Look, they got diagnosed with a fatal disease and told “you might have 10 years to live.” Here comes Goutman, and it went to two, just like that!
So, yeah. Chris Goutman. And y’know, I do not like kicking a horse when it’s gone, because ATWT was once an amazing soap opera. But if I cut all the nostalgia out, and it will come up next in the next category, Chris Goutman made that show damn near unwatchable in its last few years.
Luke didn’t single out Chris Goutman, but joined the anti-ATWT chorus. Brief debate followed:
Luke: Well, mine goes to CBS for cancelling ATWT. Because in the end, ATWT was doing better in the ratings than other shows still on-air. And it was taken off the air by CBS. Also, CBS did the show no favors. They did not give it proper promotion, they did not promote it when they won the Emmies, the way they should have. I mean, it used to be that if you won an Emmy for Lead Actor or Actress, there’d be some promotion.
Jamey: I’m not gonna blame CBS. But I feel ya’. That’s you. I feel like CBS is a business. And I blame Procter & Gamble for lettin’….
Regan: …Chris Goutman run amok.
Jamey: ….them monkeyshines continue to take place for all these years. If those shows still had been makin’ money, CBS would have been happy to sign ‘em up. Procter & Gamble did away with their executive in charge of those shows position, and just let the Executive Producers run amok with Barbara Bloom [head of CBS Daytime] puppet-stringing them left and right and y’know. I can’t blame Les [Moonves, President and CEO of CBS]. I can blame him for keeping Barbara Bloom in the job.
Regan was the only one of the three not to name someone/something affiliated with ATWT at the time of its final demise, but to make it an ATWT sweep, she named “Killer Kreizman.” David Kreizman was Head Writer at Guiding Light from 2004-2009, and with Jean Passanante from 2009-June 4, 2010. David is widely credited with creating the character of Reid Oliver, and (because he left to join All My Children) has largely escaped the wrath of LuRe fans unhappy with the storyline progression and endgame following his departure.
Best and Worst Soaps of 2010
Which soap was your Worst Show in 2010? Jillian’s response at 2:54:58…
I don’t want…No, naw, I’m not even. Mmm mmm. Y’all know, that’s not even my stylo (?).
As the World Turns? Chris Goutman, with that, when he decided to be so arrogant and say, “oh people in daytime, people don’t have the attention span to keep up with five days…” People don’t realize that that man on the low-low is doing a three-day thing when you would have three days of storytelling and then two days later you forgot about everything else. It was something brand new. He just dismantled the show.
And he arrogantly said he wasn’t bringing anybody back. And at the last minute, he did. And when fans were still clamoring for Martha Byrne to come back, he still cockily said, “No, I’m not bringin’ her back.” Even when Noelle Beck was a class act to the end and was like, “You know what? Fans want her back, I will step down.” He still said, “No!”
You are an arrogant son of a you-know-what. And you killed that show dead. You shot it in the head like Jason Morgan. Two in the head and it was dead.
Well, I don’t have to add much to it. And I did debate this. I almost chickened out. I already had my list made and I almost chickened out. I almost gave it to AMC. But then I thought, no, if I am honest, I of course I don’t want to offend As the World Turns fans, which I am one of them – I was one of them – I loved that show for many, many years from at least ‘99 to a good 2007, I thought it was the bomb.
But it was terrible, for me. Even when everybody else, I know what nostalgia does to you, but the last year of Another World was atrocious. It was atrocious. But when I remember those moments, I still feel warm and fuzzy. Even though it was atrocious for most of the year.
As the World Turns got great in the last, what, month, but the last year? It was terrible. It was terrible, to see Tom Pelphrey on there, with that microchip in his head. ARRGGGHHHHH! Takin’ that church hostage. It was terrible to see Holden and Lily wasted for a whole year. It was, like Jillian mentioned about Martha Byrne. Even though I wanted Martha Byrne back, too, but the story they wrote for Noelle Beck was terrible. Y’know.
It was terrible seeing Cady McClain come back for that ridiculous, stupid storyline. Y’know, everything about the stupid handheld cameras and fashions that like made it look like you were looking at Lisa through a kaleidoscope. And Barbara with that clown for episode after episode after episode [Regan in the background saying “Oh my god!”].
And the penultimate. The last slap in the doggone face that just makes you wonder why these people are even working in soaps, and I mean Chris Goutman and Jean Passanante, not the brilliant actors that did this show. You have, at the end of the day, ONE couple that manages to make people whisper that “super” word in front of it, and what do you do? YOU HIT HIM WITH A TRAIN! You just hit him with a train! You just kill Reid dead.
I mean, you just kill him. You just kill the last gays on the train. The last y’know. The saving grace. Your show might have left with any semblance of “They did something right.” You mow him down with a train.
It’s like, don’t call us [the soap press] negative. Don’t say we don’t support the industry when you do shit like this. You kill that boy dead!
[Regan or Jillian: Don’t that just sound like the truth. The truth hurts. That’s why we’re negative.]
So that poor Luke, is the only person in Oakdale who did not get a happily ever after.
[Luke: That’s not true. Holden and Lily didn’t end up together.]
I don’t give a damn. We knew that their ass was gonna get back toge…Look, we saw Holden and Lily grinnin’ at each other. Luke didn’t get to grin at…
[Regan: Yeah, at the wedding…]
Weren’t fooled. He didn’t get to grin at him – it’s done. Unless Stenback is going to come back and put a microchip in his chest to beat for him. It’s just stupid.
As the World Turns was really, really bad. And it’s not just the ones I mentioned. Parker sleeping with his step-cousin. It was just, that show was really, I’m gonna be honest with y’all, it was so hard to watch.
[LoveLure: OMG – I always thought Parker/Faith had the eww factor going for them – both Snyders, though Parker’s adopted by Jack, but I forgot that Liberty was also Parker’s step sister AND Jack’s brother Brad’s biological son. Ewww….ATWT obviously didn’t have enough teen girls on the canvas. :/ ]
Guiding Light was not hard to watch in its last year. After Guiding Light got its cancellation notice, and post bringin’ Philip back – and y’know if y’all get this show up we’re gonna cancel ya’ – Guiding Light got good. Guiding Light, even though the handycams was bad and all that, Guiding Light got really good and stayed that way right up to the very end. But As the World Turns
[Luke: Until they did the conga through town.]
[LoveLure: In the last two episodes, GL used a truly CHEESY convention where a large chunk of the cast traipsed around town in a group, attending a shotgun wedding, spying on a blind date, and saying goodbye to various characters as they departed the canvas.]
I didn’t mind all that.
[LoveLure: Me neither. Yes, it was stupid, and it was totally a deus ex machina-like device. They wanted to give the secondary characters an appropriate send-off (Daisy, Ashley, Rafe Remy and Christina, etc) and followed the core characters (Buzz, Lilian, Olivia, Natalia, Doris, Frank, Blake, etc) around town from bus stop to packed car to the park. One of the nice benefits is that you got to feel the goodbyes from the main characters’ points of view – I cried for Natalia when Rafe left, and I detested Rafe as a character – and the main characters got lots of screen time though their lines were relatively few.]
But what’re you talking about “conga through town?” That was Another World.
[Luke: Racing through town, everybody and their ass was racing through Springfield on the final episode.]
[Regan: What’re you talking about?]
Another World did the big dance thing…
[Luke: I’m not talking about the dance. You had everybody running around town trying to get everybody together.]
That ain’t no conga! A conga’s a dance! Anyway, As the World Turns was bad. That last year of that show as bad. It doesn’t take away from its enormous legacy and the brilliance that it provided, and I’m so happy that Jack and Janet, I mean, Lord have mercy, Jack and Carly got back together. But it really was bad. And I can’t do, I can’t throw All My Children under the bus, even though it was pretty bad, too. But, yeah, As the World Turns? It was terrible.
I do not fault CBS. At the end of the day, CBS is a business. I think CBS is stupid and that they should have replaced it with something else soapy. Now, my thing is I think CBS should try a telanovela format with like limited run, I would, y’know, and they should’ve invested in hiring a lot of popular soap stars to do, y’know, closed-ended soaps. 13-week arcs and y’know, make ‘em really big and soapy, rather than The Talk. But I can’t fault them for not signing on another contract because look at, I mean Y&R used to get five-year renewals. And B&B they got a three and happy to get it. B&B got a two-year renewal.
The Procter & Gamble soaps were not makin’ enough money. It’s a business. They were not able to sell enough commercial time for those shows with just, y’know, one-point-something women 18-49 demographic watching that show. They just weren’t able to do it.
And yeah, Les is a donkey in that he y’know. There needs to be something for PR. He could’ve been more, y’know, more diplomatic, but then, alpha males are not diplomatic. They’re the reason why they rule the world, because they’re douchebags and they’ll do whatever it takes to get to the top. But yeah, it is what it is.
And I feel for the diehard fans, because I didn’t consider myself a diehard fan ‘cause I’ve only watched for 10 years. But I know, I know how I felt. My Santa Barbara was terrible at the end. I loved it too, I did. I cried like a baby.
But lookin’ back. I watched it for 30 years, sucka.
I’m throwin’ ‘em under the bus. All My Children. Next? I don’t need to elaborate. They need to improve, they’re not. It’s easy. It’s simple and easy.
FWIW, Luke says he considered All My Children, but didn’t because he didn’t feel anything at all for it. “I don’t love it and I don’t hate it.” In the end, he went for Days of Our Lives because “None of the climaxes were worth the amount of time we wasted watching that soap.”
Best Soap of 2010
Given the above, there’s not much interest in this category for ATWT fans, but in case you’re curious, here are the picks:
- Jillian: GH (OLTL second)
- Jamey: OLTL despite Kish (GH second)
- Regan: OLTL
- Luke: Y&R (with OLTL a close second).
Thanks for reading everybody!