Thursday, September 27, 2007

As The World Turns: Noah, you go, boy!

Today was another fierce and well-done day on As The World Turns.

I was a bit disappointed that there was no second angle kiss between Luke and Noah at the beginning like what happened the first time. Though I loved how the innocent, sweet music played when we saw them kiss briefly, then when Noah’s dad walked in the music got all tense and creepy, just like Winston himself is.

As expected, we get this nasty attitude from Winston when he catches them. Actually, "nasty" is an understatement. Barking at Noah and Luke, and then Maddie walks in and accidentally makes it worse. The three of them were scared crapless, and rightfully so. And then to make matters even more climactic, we have Winston calling Noah a liar and a coward, and he cuts himself off before calling him the next hurtful thing in mind, on which I'll bet my entire video collection, would have been a slur that rhymes with the word "maggot." And then even going as far to say that he has no son.

I was so relieved to see that Noah didn't shut Luke out again after that whole blow-up. One of my favorite lines from today was after Luke said that he's probably sorry he ever met him, Noah said that they kissed each other, and he doesn't regret it. Then they even have the nicest little almost cuddle talking about the situation. And after that, this is the moment we've been waiting for. Noah finally decides to stand up to Colonel Bigot.

And then after Maddie left Noah and Luke earlier at WOAK, we get more confrontation between her and Winston outside. Maddie is so right. Win should be sorry for how he acted between them. And if he asked me whether or not I was intimate with Noah, screw respect. I would have just told him "none of your damn business."

Meanwhile at the bar, we have Winston drinking while having an audio flashback thinking about an argument between he and Cheri. About how he won't have him turn into a "deviant" like she is. God, just when this dude can't get any scarier. And the "NOW GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! *echo* GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!" literally made me jump a bit. And here comes Noah, who finally confronts his father and tells him that it's not hard just for him to deal with, but it's hard for himself as well. Also Noah realized why dear old dad wanted him to join the army and why he was so cheerful with the idea of he and Maddie being together. Then the reassurance that it's nobody's fault he's gay. And yay! He's happy for who he is (finally!)... and miraculously, out of nowhere, Winston says he will accept him for who he is. And then he calls Luke to tell him the good news -- this is the best part of the show for me. "He told me he didn't want to lose me. And Luke -- I don't want to lose you." Noah, you go, boy!

I also really loved Maddie and Luke's scene at Al's Diner talking about everything. Even an "Invisible Girl" mention. I am so happy that Maddie still wants to be friends with Luke and Noah. Also, gasp, after adding up the events of the day, Maddie is finally becoming more creeped out by the Colonel.

Again, the acting was incredible. Daniel Hugh-Kelly... my goodness. So far I've only seen him on two shows, Ryan's Hope and As The World Turns. This man's acting is fierce. The man has done a really good job at making me like his character on RH, and truly despise the character he portrays on ATWT. And Jake did a really good job again of having Noah be vulnerable and sad after the big blow-out at the top of the show, when he stood up to Win, and at the end when he called Luke.

Seriously, why can’t most of the other storylines featured be this good?

I really have no interest in Paul/Craig/Meg and Cole and Sofie. The latter two have only been on the show for just over a month and ALREADY they’re having the same repeated scenarios over and over. Cole is a complete jerk to girlfriend Sofie, and Aaron (with whom she works with) and Gwen (who turns out to be Cole’s sister) tell her he’s bad news, repeatedly. The two of them fight and he treats her like garbage, and they make up. Lather, rinse, repeat. And I’m telling you right now, if I were Sofie and Cole told me that he might not be the father of our baby, I’d have honestly slapped him straight into the next century. I don’t really care for Gwen’s current storyline either. As for Carly dying, Maura West rocks. Seriously. Her acting is really keeping this afloat. The storyline itself I don’t have really have much of a problem with. It’s Katie’s role in it. Katie and Jack do not belong together. Period.

Now for anyone who's read the spoilers for next week, we know that it is not yet over between Noah and Luke, hence my still constant Winston-bashing. I won't say much. But even though it's gonna be brief for right now, I'm really excited seeing Noah and Luke being happy for a change. All I can say is fasten your seat belts, and get ready for a climactic, soapy, drama-filled ride.

Again I ask, why can’t most of the other storylines be as good or nearly as good as Luke and Noah's?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WTBS changing to WPCH: Peachtree TV

Beginning October 1st, locally here in Atlanta, a major change will occur with one of its local stations, WTBS. Back in June, Turner Broadcasting announced that WTBS would change its call letters and logo and become WPCH-TV, Peachtree TV, even with the logo looking like a street sign. The inside joke being that there are many streets in metro Atlanta with the name Peachtree in them (i.e. Peachtree Street, Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, etc.). After all, Georgia is the Peach State. The national feed will not be affected. Cable viewers elsewhere will still get the same old TBS Superstation.

Some of the newer shows to arrive here are some classics, including: All In The Family, The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son, and In The Heat of The Night. Also movies at night, and Atlanta will finally see the new game show Temptation, the revival of the classic $ale of the Century. It shows to have a lot more variety than current TBS' offerings, with them mostly airing the same series multiple times a day.

I have to be honest. About 98 percent of the time I hate channel makeovers like this. Pretty much because whenever they usually occur, the channel declines in value, and starts airing lesser quality programming, or even worse, airing shows that do not fit the purpose of the channel at all. For instance: when GSN went through “the change” for a period of about a year in 2004, they started airing reality shows and tried to wean off the traditional and classic game shows, programming the network was known for… for at least a decade at the time. Then no real complete overhaul was done with SOAPnet, but earlier this year they tried to wean off more of its traditional programming, and added two series that really fit better on another network, let’s say, The-N. And don’t even get me started with MTV, the biggest offender of the bunch. With MTV, I could tolerate, and hell, even enjoy some of the alternate programming they had to offer (The Real World and its sister Real World Road Rules Challenge when they were both still fresh, Remote Control, and I’ve always wanted to see Undressed), but when you’re playing MUCH less music and your network identity for crying out loud is MUSIC TELEVISION, well, then to me, that is a major problem.

But in this case with WPCH, I’m looking forward to the changes. I have to admit though I was worried about how this would all go out in the beginning. But with the channel airing classic sitcoms in the morning and movies at night, instead of rerunning most of their shows to death like the current TBS does now, it really shows signs of the old-school WTBS that I’m used to and have enjoyed for years, despite the unfamiliar settings of the new logo and call letters. There's really more variety being added. Also, Braves’ baseball is staying here locally. Now, I’m not a sports fan by any means, but this is an Atlanta tradition, and I’m glad that this station wants to continue that for its fans. They deserve nothing less.

I'm sure it will be a shock for many viewers here when these changes finally hit the airwaves. After all, this station to Atlanta viewers has been known as WTBS 17/TBS Superstation since 1979. Here's hoping it works out alright. This is definitely a change I'm waiting for.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Nuke" Me Some More

Yay! Today was the day! Noah finally admitted that he is gay! Hooray! What a day! Now, let's go outside and play! Alright, alright... no more lame rhyme schemes and on to the point of discussion for today.

I was pretty upset with Noah and how he treated Luke yesterday. He seemed to have already forgotten the fact that while, no, Luke's biological father Damian is indeed not as evil as Winston is, their stories really aren't that dissimilar. Last year, Damian attempted and almost succeeded at trying to send Luke to a camp that tries to turn gay teens straight. Also before coming out, he and friend Jade Taylor masqueraded together as boyfriend and girlfriend, the only difference being that it was the plan from the get-go, even managing to fool Lily into thinking that they slept together. So he couldn't be that far off in knowing how Noah feels.

Lily actually had tried to talk some sense into Winston's severely warped mind about what's going on with Noah and Luke. Even as to tell him that she didn't deal with it that easily in the beginning either. I commend her for that so much, though, but of course, sadly it didn't work, and about 25 percent of me wanted her to just knee him in the crotch in the end after he had the gall to judge she and Holden's parenting skills. Especially considering that he's known her for only fifteen seconds. Yeah, I hate him that much. And it kind of fell on deaf ears, but Lily visiting WOAK to try to comfort Noah was rather unexpected and a really nice surprise.

I was so happy to see that Noah's finally ready to accept who he is today. And I was wondering how this would finally happen, and it was his talk with Maddie. Maddie's right. Luke is a really good guy and he'd be lucky to have him. And he really should be himself, for himself. Like I said last time, denial really runs in the Mayer family. I mean, for a while it was really like trying to tell the big guy that turkeys can't fly. I wish I still had the confetti to throw for today. God, I feel like Rip Taylor. I'm so relieved that the denial on Noah's part seems to be coming to an end. Noah's feeling better about himself, and he realizes he's got people. He's got Luke, he's got Maddie, and he's even got Lily -- but heaven will only know how he feels when he finds out that the supposed "good" man he's been defending all this time is a cold-blooded killer, the killer of his mother, no less.

The acting has been continuing to impress me as far as this storyline goes. I think Jake Silbermann is doing a top-notch job at portraying what the closet can really do to someone. Van did a really good job yesterday and today too. I felt so bad for Luke yesterday. Not only having the argument with Luke but the scene with Maddie. And again, Alexandra Chando did a really bang-up job. And also again, Daniel Hugh-Kelly is amazing at playing one evil effed up dude. I'm impressed with the acting except for one little thing... Grayson McCouch (Dusty, the guy Win's framing for Cheri's killing) needs to work on his fainting skills. I know it's not supposed to be amusing, but when he faints for whatever reason, it's hilarious every time. It just seems like he does this little dance or something on the way to the floor. It's very overdramatic and it just comes off as humorous.

There are days when I worry about how the show is going and then there are the past couple of days that show that a good episode or two can be pulled out with great effort. If only 95 percent of the other storylines were this good, the show would be on easy street.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Eagerly Awaiting More "Nuke"

I've mentioned the pros and cons in a previous article, but I'm still enjoying this storyline very much on As The World Turns.

As of last Friday, it has finally hit the fan! Maddie finally found out that her boyfriend Noah is gay. I totally wanted to cry for all three characters. Noah had that huge argument with Luke at Emma's kitchen about everything, and of course, the big scene with Maddie where they broke up. Alexandra Chando really shined during her scenes. I swear, she was so good at showing her emotion. First showing the fact that she was mad over the fact that Noah used her to please his dad, and then showing that it's okay if he's gay or bisexual, and if he's got feelings for Luke, there's nothing wrong with it. And telling him that he doesn't have to be with a girl to prove he's a man. He already is. And that is so true. So true.

And Lily's talk with Luke about what's been going on was much better than the one with Holden. It was nice that they wanted to do a scene with Holden and Luke, but they were both really like "I don't wanna talk about my problems" right now. Luke, of course, with Noah, and Holden with his being upset over Lily keeping things from him.

The character of Winston still makes me want to reach into the television and strangle him, so I know that Daniel Hugh-Kelly is still doing his job and doing it well. He's a really fine actor. I've enjoyed him on Ryan's Hope as well. Winston's really a cruel dude. It's not okay for his son to like boys, but he can murder someone? Pretty much everyone else hates him too. The nicknames speak for themselves. "Daddy Dearest." "Colonel Creepy." The list goes on.

And the previews for tomorrow look awesome. I just know Lily's gonna rip Winston a new one after reading her the classic "oh-I-know-your-son-is-trying-to-turn-my-kid-gay" balderdash riot act. And Noah finally admits that he is gay. Yay for him! I wanted to throw confetti in the air when I saw that, no joke.

I know one way of how I'm really liking this storyline again. I've always hated portmanteaus featuring couple names, celebrity or soap opera, with a true passion. I mean, I really loathe them. "Bennifer," "Brangelina," "Tomkat." The loathing all started with Bennifer. These are very common and popular in the soap world. For instance, "Jeva" (Josh and Reva, Guiding Light), and "CarJack" (Jack and Carly, As The World Turns). I didn't think I'd like the idea of "Nuke" either. I mean, I was initially thinking, "Why in the world would someone name this couple after something you do to a frozen dinner in a microwave?" But for some reason, in my mind, I've been saying "Nuke" more often than I should. A minor sign indeed, but a good sign that I am fully invested in this. However, "Gwill" (Gwen and Will, As The World Turns) still sounds majorly icky. And "Shimi" for Shawn and Mimi of Days of our Lives is just hilarious.

Things are getting so much better, if only they were featured a bit more as some of the other characters are...

Remembering Another Game Show Legend: Brett Somers

The game show community has suffered yet another major loss this year. Born Audrey Johnston, to us known as Brett Somers, who was best known for her appearances as a regular on the 1973-1982 versions of Match Game, has passed away over the weekend. She died from complications of stomach and colon cancer. She was 83.

Fans of The Odd Couple would also recognize her recurring appearances as Oscar Madison's ex-wife, Blanche Somers-Madison. Madison was played by her husband, Jack Klugman. It wasn't the idea in the beginning to have Brett on as a regular. But in the very beginning Jack was on the show and suggested that Brett should be added, and soon after she was, and magic would soon be in the air once more at Television City.

Several months ago, another Match regular, Charles Nelson Reilly, also passed away. Brett and Charles are one of my favorite television duos and game show panelists of all time. They both had their ways of making us laugh with their answers with questions filled with titillating innuendo, sometimes at her expense. For example, "You may or may not believe in reincarnation, but listen to this. In a previous life, Brett used to be a ________. "And stints like "lower tier imitates the upper tier." And it's always fun to see them make fun of each other's horrible answers.

I'll be watching the GSN marathon of Match Game episodes this coming Saturday, and the rare ABC Password episode from 1971 with both Brett and Jack appearing later on with a heavy heart as we say goodbye to yet another game show legend. I'm sure Brett, Charles, Gene Rayburn, and Johnny Olson are together again somewhere, known as Gene himself would call it sometimes "The Big Match Game in the sky."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Let's Do Merv Griffin's Crosswords!

September 10, 2007 marked the national debut of legend Merv Griffin’s final creation before his passing, Merv Griffin’s Crosswords. Not too much was known about this show when it was first being sold into first-run syndication, except that it had gone through a couple of title changes, originally being called Let’s Play Crosswords, and then, Let’s Do Crosswords.

The game play is very engaging and easy to understand. One thing I really love about the writing of this show is that the clues for the answers aren’t that difficult. This can be a thought-provoking game without being too difficult, unlike on GSN’s Camouflage, in which I feel like an idiot when most of the answers are finally revealed. It’s a bit unfair during the Spoiler round of the game, though. I mean, I’d be a bit upset if I spent most of the game working hard and gaining money amounts in the four-figure range along with a couple trips only to have someone who’s done little to nothing take that position away and all I'd get is a Croton watch. I think the Spoilers should have to do a bit more. The payouts for the show are a bit low, but, hey, this could change overtime.

The host of the show is Ty Treadway, formerly of SOAPnet’s Soap Talk and ABC's long running daytime serial One Life to Live. There were worries on message boards that he probably wouldn’t do well as an emcee, but I honestly had faith in him from the beginning. On Crosswords, he’s really good at having control of the game, he cares about the contestants, and he shows emotion without going over the top. Ty in my honest and humble opinion is a perfect example of how a newbie game show host in a post-2000 world can show to have promise in what he‘s doing.

On minor notes, I am also very impressed with the set. It looks modern without being too modern. GSN’s Chain Reaction could really learn a lesson from them about set development. And hearing a more updated version of the “Buzzword” car cue from late 1980’s and early 1990’s Wheel of Fortune as the theme was a very nice surprise. I was honestly expecting some piece of garbage that sounded like it was thrown together in about five minutes that repeats itself every four to seven notes (Lingo‘s 2002 theme, I‘m talking to YOU). I’m glad to say this did not happen.

I was for the most part impressed with this show. Like I mentioned above, I think the spoilers should do a bit more and overtime the payouts can go up a bit. Hopefully this will happen when the show becomes a true success. All in all, I found it to be a really good half-hour of game show fun. Merv truly had a creative mind and it certainly shows here. I truly recommend any fan of Crossword puzzles or word games to give it a shot.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Goodies from GSN’s vault replace a couple nights of PlayMania

I was ecstatic to hear that GSN would be replacing a couple nights of Playmania with some true goodness from inside their vault. The shows would be airing early Monday and Wednesday mornings. They are Super Password (NBC 1984-89), Double Dare (CBS 1976-77), Beat the Clock (CBS 1979-80), Body Language (CBS 1984-86), Trivia Trap (ABC 1984-85), and Now You See It (CBS 1974-75).

One of the reasons why I am happy about this is that everything was done logically. They’re continuing to air the SP episodes that were skipped back in 2005. It being apart of this block really compensated for the hour on Sundays being replaced for the seemingly forever repeating Dog Eat Dog. Then Body Language came back after about a five month hiatus, and they started right from where they left off. I feared so much that they would start all over from the beginning, and it‘d take forever to complete the run. Now it’ll take a while, but not quite as long to continue on. Beat the Clock with Monty Hall hasn’t been aired in nearly ten years on GSN and same for Double Dare, so it made sense to start from the beginning with these shows. Though a lot of us online were expecting them to start about in the middle of the Clock run.

Monty Hall’s version of Beat the Clock is probably most known for one thing, reverting to all-star status permanently within a couple months of the show’s run. Now, personally, for the most part, when it’s done only a few times out of the year, or every other year or so, I love all-star special shows. They can really be a lot of fun. Especially on shows like Password, Pyramid, Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy. But some shows in the past had a major problem with this, and the problem was that it became an everyday or every week scenario. The prime examples of this are the early 2000’s American prime time versions of Millionaire and Weakest Link. I admit this was fun at first, I mean, I loved seeing the soap stars and comedians on Link, and the funnymen and supermodels on Millionaire, but this became such a habit, and it was becoming more tiresome than enjoyable, and eventually the lot of us got sick of it and we’d want to see the regular contestants again. Especially on Link. It was like they were just throwing together any theme week or special they could come up with. It really helped both shows lose their magic. But for some reason, 1979’s version of Clock was different. It was fun seeing the celebrities sometimes get a little dirty and do the entertaining stunts. The magic was still in the air, even though it remained on CBS's airwaves for a very short time.

Now You See It, Body Language, and Double Dare were also short-lived CBS daytime game shows, while Trivia Trap aired on ABC. Now You See It was a word search game at its absolute best. It's just like the announcers Johnny Olson, Gene Wood, and in 1989, Don Morrow say in the opening spiel: "Every answer is right before your eyes."

Language had celebrity-contestant teams of two doing charades, and it was similar to a short-lived show on ABC, Showoffs. Though the difference between the two shows were that Language's acted out words all fit into puzzles. For instance: If you look SUSPICIOUS as you (PASS) through (CUSTOMS), they might STRIP SEARCH you when they STAMP this BOOK. The answer: Passport. This show had some great stars on, including loyal game show friend and true legend Betty White. Other guests would include Charles Nelson Reilly, Vicki Lawrence, and Soupy Sales. The words were difficult to act out sometimes, but it's still fun to see the stars and the players act them out. For instance it was truly classic watching Lucille Ball act out the phrase "toss and turn" and Melody Thomas Scott of The Young and the Restless act out "raid the refrigerator." And their partners guessed those correctly, too. Tom Kennedy was a great pick as a host for this show. And before I forget, the words in parenthesis are un-acted.

The Double Dare that aired in 1976 would be completely different than the version that premiered ten years later on Nickelodeon. It involved daring, but it was a trivia game. I admit, it was hard for me to grasp at first when I saw the 1977 finale. But after watching more episodes, I can get the hang of it more easily. The host Alex Trebek has been known for saying that he enjoyed doing the show, but he also thought it was too difficult for daytime.

Trivia Trap was another trivia game, as you can plainly see. This one is really fun, well at least the first format was. It was about eliminating the wrong answers. And the categories were rather enjoyable. I preferred the original format over Fact or Fiction. The host was Bob Eubanks. And I must say, he was a GREAT fit for this show. And I know some people did not prefer him on Card Sharks. And for those folks I say, you should really like him on Trap.

These blocks along with ABC Millionaire on Tuesday replaced a couple nights of the GSN late night interactive show. Where do I begin with this show? You know, I admit, I did not watch the show every night around its inception, but I did support and respect this show initially. It was a success in the beginning, as it was much easier to get the opportunity to call in and win. The games were more fun to participate in. Unnecessary drama wasn’t added to make the game more crucial than it was supposed to be. But somewhere along the line, GSN decided to change things up and split the series up into two different shows, 100 Winners and quiznation.

100 Winners was a horrible show. The ambiance of the show was way too cold. But the major problem with me was that the questions were so ridiculously easy a 5 year old could answer them. On the first night, I could have sworn I heard the question "What's the color of an orange?" No, I'm not kidding. The prizes were also a major step down. Now, no doubt about it, the original Playmania's prizes and cash awards were never on the lines of Super Millionaire, but they were certainly not as low as say, $10 or a cheap GSN cap. The fun of the show was gone, too. This was one of the things that made Mania such fun to watch. They had e-mails from viewers, and they even got to interact with the callers a bit more. On Winners, it was all "Come on, for Pete's sake, no time for talk, let's hurry up and get it done already! We've got better things to do!"

quiznation seemed to have been alright. The fun and the interaction between the hosts and the viewers which was known on the original series stayed, and some of the newer games required a bit more thought. I like Alphabuck$ and Crossword. But that's not the problem I have. You'll see in the next paragraph.

Now, I've checked the show out recently to see how it is, since I've heard they're getting close to reverting the format (even the set looks more like the original show) and I've literally wanted to throw a brick at my screen in frustration because of how horrid things are now. It's just not fun anymore. Why is there any need to count down several minutes on a clock for ONE person to call in at a single time? Do they seriously know how many games could be completed in a night if they eliminated this inane feature? Also, the unnecessary drama that builds up after it's been over a half-hour, an hour, or even longer since the game was first initiated. The cheesy Millionaire-wannabe music in the background, with the host of the night whispering "You gotta call in now and get this right." Are they serious? For heaven's sake, this is an effing CALL-IN show with games where you can win between $50-$4,500. This is not Greed or The Power of 10. And while this show has much more fun than 100 Winners did, this is a big portion of the show, and the fun can easily be sucked away. Drama is not needed for this show. Period. It's GSN's own fault for messing with something that didn't need to be messed with.

This viewer has only two things left to say to GSN about this chain of events. One, for the next time they have a hit on their hands, PLEASE, PLEASE, leave it alone. As the age old expression goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." And as for number two, thanks for replacing these nights with something special. The majority of the replaced shows have not aired in a long time. And thanks for using logic in these blocks, and not just flip-flopping and playing musical time slots like they've done the past several schedule changes. Good job on their part.

As The World Turns: There's Romance in the Air

I am so excited right about now. This serial is underway of having one of the first gay love stories with two men to ever air on daytime television.

Now, that is not to say that this storyline hasn’t had its fair share of bumps and bruises. There have been several things that have irked me, some of them really annoyed me, some of them, not too bothersome, and some, excellent. Let me make a list of pros and cons.

PROS:


  • Luke is being played by gifted young actor Van Hansis - I’m not going to compare him to Jake Weary since I have not seen any of his episodes yet, and it’d be unfair to place any bias. But I do like Van a lot.
  • The other actors involved in his storyline are also good
  • Luke masquerading as Jade’s boyfriend to hide the truth from his parents - Okay, not a GOOD thing to do by any means, but it was well played out.
  • Luke’s coming out to his friend Will Munson - A top-notch scene of someone so afraid to tell his friend the truth about himself, he does it, and everything goes fine. Will took it great, like any friend should. He even advised Luke to come out to his mom and dad!
  • Luke’s coming out to his parents - This was a really good scene. Though one of my favorite scenes regarding Luke’s parents finding out his sexuality ahead of time was before this, when Holden was enacting two scenes in his mind about confronting Luke about this. In the barn, he had two scenes. One where he asked Luke if he was gay, and the other one being Luke telling him himself. Though sadly, Lily doesn't take it as well in the beginning.
  • The drama that ensued during Lily’s reaction - His biological father Damian visiting, creepy ass Ross Kreeger and his “straight-camp”, Lily and Luke’s fight that lead to her tragic fall down the stairs, while she was pregnant, mind you. Again, I wouldn’t wish this stuff on anyone, but VERY well played out. Great drama.
  • Luke and Lucinda’s WONDERFUL few scenes together - She should really be used more in this storyline, in my humble opinion. Lucinda has a really good way of cheering Luke up when he needs it. And I love Elizabeth Hubbard.
  • Luke’s coming out to Kevin - Of course, Kevin was a complete jerk to Luke after he came out to him, calling him names like “freak” and “faggot” but after saving his life at Raven Lake it seemed like Kevin learned his lesson. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to last long during his recent brief comeback. But this happens in real life, too. All the time. Every single day. Someone who is gay or bisexual wants to come out to their best friends, acquaintances and family members. They do so. And it doesn’t go as well as planned. The friend who you thought was your friend unfortunately isn’t the supportive and understanding friend you thought he or she would be. It happens all too often. When Kevin’s character came back for one day on ATWT after the prom nearly a year later, he was civil with Luke. They had an OK conversation. But the strong friendship they seemed to have before really looked to have dramatically weakened after Luke came out.
  • Luke’s friendship with Maddie - I prefer Maddie and Luke being friends A LOT more than him being friendly with Jade.
  • Noah and Luke - There is a con or two, but I’ll post them in the appropriate section. The good parts of this is that I definitely do think that Jake and Van have some awesome chemistry. And it’s good to know they know each other much more than before. And when Luke said he was done with Noah, Noah asked Luke if they could be friends. I thought the writers would screw this up and he’d be like “yeah, okay” but instead he pointed out they were never really friends to begin with.
  • What’s currently going on with Luke, Noah, and Maddie - There are some positive elements going on here as far as how I’m receiving this storyline. One thing being, Noah’s denial. Jake does a pretty good job at displaying the classic sadly-all-too-familiar case of the closeted teen. He knows he’s gay, and he’d rather be with Luke, but he so wants to please his homophobe of a father, his only family. As I mentioned above, masquerading a girlfriend to help hide your true self is not a good thing and is something I don’t recommend (and it‘s also something I swore to myself I would never do). But it happens in real life. Noah feels that if he were to lose his faux-relationship with Maddie, he’d lose any respect he gained from his dad. And Maddie’s being drug into something she really does not deserve. Especially after the rape and Raven Lake drama last summer, and her ex-boyfriend Casey‘s incarceration.
  • Noah’s dad in regards to his son - Okay. I’ll just put it out there right now. Noah’s dad Winston is an ASSHOLE. Plain and simple. He’s a total jerk who does not respect his son’s feelings and his homophobia and selective morality is nauseating. It’s NOT okay for Noah to be gay, but it IS okay for Noah and Maddie to have premarital relations and move in together, and he can (technically) pay for their furnishings?? Is he serious?? And if he is responsible for murdering Cheri, well, then, let me say, having a gay son will be the LEAST of this man’s problems. But this is in the PRO section simply because, sadly, in real life, stuff like this does happen. Homophobic and unaccepting parent finds out their child is gay. Homophobic and unaccepting parent freaks out. Homophobic and unaccepting parent gives child an ultimatum, or worse. This is a real scenario that occurs everyday, so it’s nice to have realism in this storyline. Even if it’s not all too nice. That part is well done, even though I hate Colonel Winston Mayer and how he behaves. It’s sad how he treats Noah. Being strict and wanting the best for your child is one thing, but Winston is just a complete ass. It’s the point though. We’re supposed to hate him. So yeah, I’ll give them praise for this. Though I’m still mixed about his possible involvement in Cheri’s murder.

CONS:

  • Lack of screen time - This is seriously annoying, especially last summer after Luke came out to Kevin. That was IT. For months, buddy was GONE and the storyline came to a screeching halt. There was so much more that could have been done with this. We could have seen Luke deal with his coming out at school with more of his peers reacting. We could have seen Kevin deal more with Luke’s revelation, after all, they were best friends. And what bothered me even more was that Luke could have been used more than he was during other family scenarios too, and he wasn‘t. There was also a major lack of air-time during the beginning of Luke and Noah’s time on the show together. There could have been much more dialogue and interaction between the two of them than what was actually seen. The show is suffering right now of a major lack of balance.
  • The beginning of Luke and Noah’s relationship - There was a problem here in the start. Noah and Luke’s first day together. What happened was that Luke was supposed to be annoyed with Noah showing up late at WOAK for the first day. This did happen, and this made a bit of sense. But lack of substance seemed to follow for a while afterwards. I think they should have made a bit more of a friendship after a while together, after they seemed to get along more at WOAK. This would have helped out a bit more. Also Luke’s scene where he says “I’m falling for the wrong guy” to Jade came a bit too early. This should have been said AFTER the towel scene or AFTER their kiss. They did try to rectify this by having a couple more scenes of them talking and getting to know each other better, both of which took place before the towel encounter and the kiss, so I’ll praise them for fixing this. The scenes afterwards made more sense. However, this problem wouldn’t have existed in the first place had they done this more correctly in the beginning.
  • Not many scenes with Will and Luke together in the past year - I know, I know. We’ve had way, way, WAY too much Will and Gwen lately. But on the flip side, Will is Luke’s friend and they’ve hardly shared any scenes together after Luke came out to him. And the majority of any of these can be done without Gwen (who revolves around most of the W/G related stories recently anyway).
  • No mention of coming out to his brother Aaron - This was a major gaff from the writing staff. His brother Aaron returns to Oakdale after several years, and they hardly share any scenes together in the beginning (This is another problem with the writing to me; there’s not as much character interaction from other people not in the immediate storylines as there should. I mean some of them are FAMILY members for heaven‘s sake, and this is supposed to be a family-heavy soap and these kinds of scenes don‘t happen as much as they can), the first scene they share, it seems 100% clear and obvious that Luke is not out to Aaron. Then the next scene they have together, it’s like bad editing, as the exact opposite mood took place. Out of the blue it seemed, Luke was out to Aaron. No coming out scene was done. We don’t know what happened. We don’t know how Aaron found out. We don’t know if Luke told him himself, or if Holden or Lily did. And it didn’t have to be this huge deal either. It could have been a more casual “‘I’m gay.’ ‘Oh.’” I mean, don’t get me wrong, the scene in which Luke was out to Aaron and they were talking about Noah was commendable, but it was like they went from step A to step C.


There are folks who sit here and say “oh, you just want to see this because the people are gay.” You know what, yeah I won’t deny that I started watching the show again because I heard Luke was coming out of the closet, and I did want to see how this was going. Sue me. And I watched the show in the 1990’s off and on so I wasn’t too unfamiliar with some of the cast. I was thinking also “Oh, Holden and Lily, and Lucinda, I remember them! And oh, there’s Carly!” And I figured, “this was done so well, why don’t I re-explore the soap genre, to see what I missed. After all, it had been at least 4 years since I watched a soap on a regular basis. Guiding Light, another show I hadn’t seen in a long time would be next at 3 PM, so I started watching it to see what was going on, and I soon started watching daily, and as of now I‘ve watched almost every show for over a year. More characters I remembered from past viewings. “Josh and Reva, wow, I remember them, too!” Then after that, I started watching more of the other two CBS soaps Though I admit, I’m not as hooked on Y&R and B&B as much as I am with the other two, though I do watch from time to time. And I love classic TV, so I had to see if SOAPnet was airing any classic soaps, and I found out that they were airing Ryan’s Hope and Another World. I picked RH to check out first, and it took some time, but I wound up loving it (more on RH later), and same with AW, and I was mad as hell when SOAPnet took it off. The Cass/Kathleen/Frankie triangle was REALLY starting to heat up, as well as the “Who shot Jake?” storyline and the whole scenario with John, Sharlene, and psycho bitch Taylor Benson. When I heard Stefano DiMera was coming back to Days of our Lives, I figured I just HAD to check the show out again. This was another soap I watched during the late ’90’s and early 2000’s. Some days are good, and good as in some REALLY feel like good old-fashioned soap story telling, some days are so-so. Now I’m trying to get into Port Charles. And it’s so much easier to do so, now that it’s back on 5 days a week. I’ve been downloading old soap episodes from the internet to enjoy the early years of the genre. It’s official. Thanks to Luke’s coming out storyline, it helped me get back into soap operas, and I’ve been trying to catch up on what I missed. So to people who give me grief for this, don’t even start with me. I don’t want to hear it. And if other people watch for this reason, there's nothing wrong with it.


And for all the ├╝ber-conservatives and religious people whining and moaning about the supposed lack of morality that exists in this storyline, where was the outrage when Will had an affair with Jade? When Eve stabbed all those teens to death? When Carly went off with Simon and left her three kids and Jack behind? When Emily was a prostitute? When Casey broke in and stole from his own grandmother’s club? When Adam tried to rape Gwen; not once, but twice? When Allison came back to Oakdale and it was found out that she had a drug addiction, and was also a porn star? Where was the moral outrage when the sex tape of she and Dusty doin’ the nasty found its way on the Internet for all of the town to see? Seriously. If people want to talk about moral outrage, particularly on daytime soaps, they need to go way back. I’d post more examples, but I don’t have the time. Immorality is pretty much a regular way of life on a soap opera. If they could sit through all that and more without batting an eyelash, how does watching two guys kiss for a few seconds have them feel like the world is coming to an end, that all hell has broken loose? I don’t get it. As John Stossel of ABC News would say, "Give me a break!"

Remembering legend Merv Griffin; Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy

On August 12, 2007, the world lost a major legend of the entertainment industry, Mervyn Edward Griffin, to us known as Merv Griffin. Merv was a talk show host, game show host, entertainer and raconteur.

One of the things I’ll remember Merv for most fondly is his contribution to the game show industry, specifically the hits that are Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I remember being very young and watching Wheel everyday with my grandmother and the rest of my family. Learning how to spell with the letters, being amazed by the wheel and its amounts.

On the Saturday after his passing, GSN aired a marathon of Wheel of Fortune episodes. One of them was a very early NBC daytime show, from June 1976 with Chuck Woolery as the host and Susan Stafford as the hostess. I’ve seen several episodes with Chuck under the helm and I must say, what an incredible job he did. He had the perfect amount of energy, had a wonderful sense of humor, and really helped make the contestants feel at ease. Viewers wrote in complaining about how he hugged the contestants after they won a round. He told them he didn’t care. “I’m a hugger, and if you were here, I’d hug you too.” Susan was also there to encourage the contestants and had a really good rapport with Chuck.

Now this is not to say that Pat Sajak does not do a good job on Wheel. He and Vanna White are very enjoyable to watch. And Pat does have a good job of displaying his drier brand of humor. And he does help make the contestants feel at home also.

Speaking of Pat Sajak and Vanna White, GSN also aired Vanna’s very first episode from December of 1982. I love Vanna. She seems to be a real people person who is very down to earth. She made it very easy for America to warm up to her after Susan’s departure. I love how nice she is with the contestants (she even meets with them ahead of time), and her positive attitude.

After the first syndicated episode, it would be the first episode where they went to all-cash in the syndicated era from 1987. Before this was shopping, where after contestants solved their puzzles, they’d go “shopping” for prizes. These would include trips, furniture, cars. And at the end if they didn’t have enough to buy anything else (usually when their amounts were in the
double or single digits), they’d be asked to either put their remaining monies on a gift certificate or have it put on account. The gift certificates were always seemingly to somewhere fancy (i.e. Gucci, Tiffany’s). I never understood the point of that. What could you do with a $12 gift certificate to Gucci? Or a $5 gift certificate to Tiffany's? I’m mixed about the concept of shopping. It doesn’t sound too bad to me, but some of the prizes were God-awful (ceramic Dalmatian anyone?). Yeah, I’ll stick to cash, thank you.

Jeopardy is another show that I’ve grown up with over the years. After getting over my fear of their theme music and electronic sound effects as a very young child, I managed to learn a lot. I learned about geography, some history, and subjects of that nature.

I haven’t had the chance to see many episodes with the original emcee, Art Fleming. But from what I did see, he did do a nice job as host. Very friendly, serious when it came to the game, good when the tension was high. Really cared about the contestants. Everything you could ask for in a host for a show like Jeopardy.

I am much more familiar with current host Alex Trebek. Alex is just a powerhouse at this show. He works really hard, researching the material used for questions. He goes in the office early in the day so he can practice pronouncing the difficult terms so it sounds very smoothly. A friend of mine went to a couple tapings several months ago, and one of the ways he described it was that it was being “run like a well-oiled machine.” And Alex is another example of a great game show host at their absolute finest. He knows when to be serious, and when not to be. This really proves well if you were to find an episode or two of his old NBC show High Rollers. That was one fun show and he was so upbeat and lively. Sometimes people say they don’t care for him that much because he’s too down on Jeopardy. But what they’re probably not realizing is that on Jeopardy, you need to be serious and into the game. Jeopardy is fun in itself, but it’s not as lively as High Rollers.

As for more about Merv, I wish I could have seen more of his talk show. He had so many wonderful guests on over the years, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Joan Crawford, Soupy Sales, Rodney Dangerfield, The Supremes, Tony Randall, Orson Bean, Betty White. The list goes on and on. Real and true legends. Merv was a truly remarkable man. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gilmore girls

Gilmore girls was a show that ran on The WB for the first six years of its run, and on the CW for its final year. I never got to see the show much originally, but I did occasionally. And I have been watching the reruns on ABC Family for a good while now daily and I really like this show a lot. It took no time to get hooked and I’m glad I did.

One thing being the very strong mother-daughter bond that the two main characters Lorelai (the mother, played by Lauren Graham) and Rory (the daughter, played by Alexis Bledel) have. This is one of the best family relationships I have seen on television in a long while. They do a lot of things together (shop, watch TV, talk) and they make it really look like fun. Seeing this show makes me wish I had a stronger relationship with my own mother sometimes, especially as a teen. I say this even as a guy. I mean, I never hated my mom or anything, but looking back, I would have loved to have been as open with her as Rory is to Lorelai. The bond is that good between them. They tell each other EVERYTHING. They have so much fun together.

Another reason I like this show is that it has really likable characters that are very easy and fun to warm up to. One of my favorites is drama queen Emily Gilmore (Lorelai’s mother, played by Kelly Bishop), who is awesome. Another character is Dean Forester (Rory’s boyfriend for about two or so seasons, played by Jared Padalecki). I swear, this guy was THE perfect boyfriend. How could Rory let him go?! Not only is he cute and adorable, but he really understands Rory as a person. Unselfish, has a well-described sensitive side, responsible, and respects Rory’s feelings. This is everything you can ask for in a guy, in my humble opinion. And I’m glad that as the fourth season continues on, they remain to be good friends. That is much more that I can say for him than Jess Mariano (played by Milo Ventimiglia), who pretty much treated her like garbage towards the end of their relationship. Jess was cute too and he shared Rory’s interest in books and things, but he was really not a good boyfriend.

Another reason to like this show is the clever, brilliant writing. The pop-culture references are done much better than most of Family Guy’s recent references. Family Guy’s are good too, but the problem now is that on newer episodes, to me, a lot of them just seem way too random and out of place. Every one I’ve seen on Gilmore girls definitely fit in with the show.

I know there are some people out there who often complain and protest about the lack of “family values” on TV shows, especially in a 2000 world and beyond. I’ll just put this out here and now -- if you’re one of these people, THIS is the show for you. It’s fun for people of all ages to get into. I can definitely say this because I’m 21 and enjoy this show. I also have friends near the same age who love it, too, and there are also many other teens who love this show, and older people enjoy it also. My mother loves this show. This is the show for you. Great family fun for an hour without being overly cheesy or smarmy. Watch it on ABC Family. Buy the DVD sets. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Introduction

Hello all!

I’ve devised this blog to help practice my opinion writing skills on my interest of television. I once had a document that just had my opinions on soap operas, but I’ve now expanded and made a new document to include my opinions of all my TV interests: soap operas, game shows, sitcoms, other dramas, etc.

I’m really nobody that special, just posting what he thinks. :)