Thursday, December 20, 2007

ATWT: Damn the Mistletoe

For December 20th:

I’ve been trying to think of a way to keep these entries shorter than they usually are; so instead of typing a summary, I’ll just link to today’s scenes at YouTube: Part 116 Part 117 Part 118

You know, I cannot begin to tell you how disappointing the pan-up was. It’s not that it happened, but that it happened so FAST. That kiss was not only a normal show of affection, but that would have been the PERFECT ending to a PERFECT show with these two characters. I really hope the haters are happy. They’ve won. They want to cry moral outrage at this? Where’s the moral outrage at the ex-hooker being involved with her hostage? Where’s the moral outrage at Cole walking out on Sofie and her baby? Where was the moral outrage at the attempted rape scene with Adam and Gwen? Where was the outrage at ex-porn star and druggie Allison? How can anyone even try to tell me that Luke and Noah kissing for five seconds is worse than any of that? Why is it okay for everyone to kiss and hug but these two? Why was it okay for Noah to kiss his beard, Maddie, over and over? Why have Van and Jake do kissing scenes if they will just be edited down or out entirely? Why tease the fans like this after such buildup? This had to have been one of the best romantic buildups I have ever seen on a show and I am VERY disappointed at what happened at the end of today‘s show and so are a lot of other fans. Some are even in tears. These are the things that GLAAD need to be worried about, not banishments of Match Game reruns from 34 years ago. What kind of message is Procter & Gamble sending? What a slap in the face to the fans. That it’s okay to be gay but you can’t kiss? Procter & Gamble are getting a very strongly worded letter from me, that’s for sure. I really wanted to eat my words from last week. I hate sounding like a broken record. I hate being negative, especially about things that I love. An excellent point was brought up at the forums: us gay fans (and allies) have to deal with homophobia every day. We can’t escape that for one little hour? The dialogue ruled today, but it wouldn’t have been as disappointing if there wasn’t such buildup. Do they know how completely appropriate it was to show a kiss scene today? Do they know how completely happy I and probably a lot of other Nuke fans would have been at the whole entire thing if they just waited about 10 seconds? If they had kissed like a normal couple all this time or even last week, I wouldn't have been as let down as I am about the end of the show yesterday.

Everything else was perfect though. I was so moved by Luke walking in front of his family, Emma toasting to both Luke and Noah, the scene with the card, both of them saying “I love you” to each other in their own ways. I love the fact that Noah wanted to write down his feelings. When he was with Maddie, he blurted it out because he thought that what was to be expected. But he loves Luke so much and so genuinely that the words are difficult to say aloud. I found that truly touching. And Luke's line of "When I came out... it was fine... but I was lonely." Gush! I repeat the dialogue was great. Even Holden as a husband didn't bother me.

Van and Jake, as well as the rest of the actors delivered so well as always. Even the writing was perfect. I found no flaws with the dialogue today at all. None. And considering this writing team’s track record for the past year and a half, that’s not something that happens all the time. It was nice seeing the characters be happy for a change. These two are really in love and you hardly see scenes like this with other couples on soaps. It’s just the end of the show just leaves me wondering “WHY?!?” The whole day's not ruined for me entirely; the dialogue about how they care about each other truly and everything else was very wub and guh-worthy, but I'm still miffed about the ending. That part was a slap in the face.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Yearly Review: GSN

While GSN did several things that I didn’t care for, I find that they’ve pleased me much more as a cable network this year than SOAPnet.

Some positive items are definitely in the classic variety. Firstly, I’m glad that more rarely aired series have gotten dusted off and are being seen. Most late nights for an hour are two are very enjoyable for this night owl, including Super Password (1984-89 NBC), Double Dare (1976-77 CBS), Body Language (1984-86 CBS), Beat the Clock (1979-80 CBS) airing on late Sundays, and Trivia Trap (1984-85 ABC), Now You See It (1974-75 CBS) on late Tuesday-Saturdays.

We have had some well thought out marathons, especially the Viewer’s Choice Marathon last month. And marathons earlier this year on Saturday nights from 8-10 PM.

I give major praise for the tributes that aired this year on the network. Especially Merv Griffin’s in August. Considering GSN’s seemingly bum deal with the Sony owned shows, I was not only surprised and overjoyed that there would be a Wheel of Fortune marathon but that there would be so much variety, even including three NBC daytime shows. It was one of the best marathons I have ever seen on GSN; too bad the circumstances were they way the were. The Jeopardy! marathon wasn’t as good to me, still from the same 2001-02 season that has aired since 2005. However they did air the Million Dollar Masters tournament. So at least they picked the most significant episodes of the season to show. We also had the Kitty Carlisle, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Brett Somers tributes this year that were well done. It’s nice to see the celebrities remembered and to see them at their best.

And bravo to the GSN promotions department for starting to promoting the daytime schedule as well as nighttime later on in the year. To me it’s only fair to give every show or “block” on the schedule a fair shot when it comes to on-air promotions.

One negative definitely involves the now-defunct PlayMania. I still insist that changing over to 100 Winners/Quiznation with lackluster formatting was overall a bad idea and I’m not surprised that the show eventually would disappear on Halloween. Here’s a tip for the folks at GSN next time they have a hit on their hands: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Without Prejudice? was another letdown. This show could have been much better than what it was by tackling the societal issues like racism, homophobia, etc. but it was just another forum for people to shout at the top of their lungs and say offensive things just for the sake of doing it without anything else getting done. And of course GSN had to take the low road and promote only the outrageous stuff and not really for the message the show was trying to give. I think the show was obviously there to not teach us to judge folks by first impressions, but it was just executed badly. I wasn’t sorry to see this go.

As far as acquiring shows went this year -- I’m glad to see that GSN has the rights to air Let’s Make A Deal again. I could have done without Show Me The Money. All that promoting about how they were going to air ALL of the episodes including the two that ABC didn’t show only for it to bomb in the second night. What a waste. I hope this teaches them not to acquire anymore recent primetime bombs. As far as them getting the rights to Richard Karn’s Family Feud… I don’t really think it was worth it that much. I liked him more than Louie, but after seeing John O‘Hurley, I find Richard mediocre, and having Dawson and Combs on GSN to me is enough for one show. O’Hurley’s version of To Tell The Truth I am on the fence about -- I wouldn’t have picked it up, but it could have been worse. They could have gotten Card Sharks ‘01 or some other bomb from around that time, so if they were to pick up anything from the late ‘90s-early ‘00’s era, I’d rather it be this or 2002’s Beat the Clock. The rest I can do without.

I would definitely give GSN a solid “B” for the year. While there are things that I could have done without, especially Catminster (which obviously belonged on Animal Planet), I really appreciate them going all out for tributes this year, it only makes me wish that the marathons occurred under happier circumstances. I also am glad that they’re focusing more on actual game show formats again for original series (Grand Slam was another good one). And they’ve done a good job at pleasing the oldie fans in my book.

I’m already looking forward to next year. According to advanced Zap2it listings, Wheel of Fortune and Tic Tac Dough should be back early next month, and the hour-long black and white block is back to 7 days a week by January. With having over 700 episodes of the original What’s My Line? (1950-67 CBS), it only makes sense to air that more than once a week.

Here’s looking forward to another good year for GSN, and hopefully they’ll continue to stick to the good game show ideal.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yearly Review: SOAPnet

Sadly, there's really not many positive things for me to say about SOAPnet this year.

There are two things that I was really entertained by though. One being the Emmy marathon back in June. I imagine that they went a bit out of their way getting the episode of Guiding Light and two episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful, and the idea of seeing the actual full episodes that made the cut for Best Drama is a really good one. The second thing was the Days of our Lives marathon back in October that had episodes from Marlena's possession. It's always a good idea to me to dust off the classics from the vaults and holidays and special occasions are really good times to do such marathons. And I wish they would take more advantage of this aspect. It's nice to revisit some of these series when they were written better.

April really ticked me off. By then for a while Dallas was on 4 times a day; no show should air that much daily. Another World would be gone, and Ryan's Hope and Port Charles were only airing twice a week. Luckily after a couple of months Ryan's Hope was back in its old time slot. I've become a big fan of that rather quickly and two episodes a week drove me insane. It took longer for Port Charles to come back to 5-day-a-week showings. I'm not as into Port Charles, but I still feel bad for the fans as I notice in December they got screwed again as the weekday episodes were taken off once more and again only the two weekend episodes remain. I'm sorry, but you don't air a show that has produced over 1,000 episodes twice a week. You just don’t do that. Anyone with common sense would know that. They also did nothing for Port's 10th anniversary. And you can't even begin to imagine my frustration to find out that Another World would not only be gone but replaced with One Tree Hill. And The O.C. does not belong on this network in my eyes either.

My problem with The Fashionista Diaries coming in August is very plain and simple. It is not a soap opera. And while I'm no big fan of either I Wanna Be A Soap Star, Soap Talk, or Soapography, at least they have something to do with the genre. Why is a network called SOAPnet, and using their old slogan, "devoted to soaps and soap fans" airing a show that has absolutely nothing to do with soaps? If fashion was the big deal, they could have called up CBS and tried to pick up same day/week rights to air The Bold and the Beautiful.

Just because it's either simply a drama or a show that has conflict between the people on it, that doesn't mean that it belongs on a network devoted to soap operas. If conflicting people was all that was needed, then they might as well pick up reruns of any courtroom show or Maury since they have "conflict." As a fan of One Tree Hill, I will still watch first-run episodes on The CW and buy the DVDs. If a more appropriately fitting network picks it up and I have the channel, then I'll be glad to watch the reruns. Same with The O.C. Nothing against it at all. I'm sure it's a decent show. I’m just not watching it on SOAPnet out of principle. When you've got these shows, and more primetime dramas on in the other time slots, and a show like The Fashionista Diaries on, and seemingly paying more attention to these shows than focusing attention to the actual soaps themselves, and you're called SOAPnet, that my friends, is pretty sad.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

ATWT: Luke and Noah Disgruntlement

You know, there can be days where there are scenes between Luke and Noah which can be without a doubt pretty much always well-acted even when the writing is not up to par or for some reason irks me, just simply because Van and Jake can act and have such amazing chemistry. And there are the days when the writers do their job and follow through with these two and it is all perfect for that day. However, lack of affection is really, REALLY starting to get on my nerves. Really. I was content with the hand-holding for a little while because at that point it had been so incredibly long since they’d done THAT, so I was going to take all I can get. But I’m in total 100% agreement with many other Luke and Noah fans now who just simply do not understand why we have gone two and a half months without any form of kissing. And it REALLY irked me Wednesday, seeing as though there were two very important scenes where any couple would have kissed at the end. They didn’t even hug! After Luke made it into Noah’s arms after walking, that was the biggest “KISS ALREADY!!” moment of all. If I walked into my boyfriend’s arms in similar way, you’re darn right I’d give him a kiss. Yeah, it was an adorable scene and I loved it, but any other couple would have kissed, even briefly. Craig and Meg, Will and Gwen, and other couples kiss on this show all the time, countless times, on a regular basis. As far as aired kisses go, Luke and Noah have kissed twice, that’s right, TWICE, since their storyline has begun. One was proven to be edited out. I have no problem with watching straight couples kissing and embracing. None whatsoever. Kissing and showing embrace is certainly not why I’m dissatisfied with Will and Gwen’s past several storylines and character direction, or why I think that the Craig/Meg/Rosanna/Paul storyline was a complete dud.

But it’s just absolutely absurd for Procter & Gamble/CBS/Executive Producer Chris Goutman, or whoever to suggest that they’re being treated equally as any other couple when they’re a) only on once a week pretty much regularly and b) they show little to no kind of affection. Not to mention that with two kisses, one was proven to be slightly longer, and another short one was edited out. These are supposed to be two 18-year-olds. The lack of kissing and even hugging between them is just completely and totally unrealistic. I’ve never in my life watched an actual couple on a show and at the end of every romantically ending scene chant “KISS, DAMN IT!” at the television in frustration because it’s not happening. Again I ask what is the deal? This storyline has gotten SO much positive attention since the start. Even before it started. Van and Jake have no problem doing kissing scenes. They’ve also said they’ve gotten way more positive than negative responses. I’m not asking them to rip their clothes off and for one of them to throw the other on the dining room table and go at it like rabbits every time they’re at the farm -- I’m asking for a peck on the cheek, a peck on the lips. Kiss each other goodbye. A hug when Noah walks in the door. Simple things like that. That is not too much to ask. And it also doesn't help that certain scenes are just so obvious.

I was impressed and shocked with the fact that the show had them discuss them actually having sex (even with suggestive eye movement to Emma!), but how can this couple discuss that and the powers that be seemingly balk at the idea of kissing? Sex is without a doubt a much bigger deal and is more important in a relationship than kissing. So why is kissing between these two somehow frowned upon? It’s just obvious these two characters are macking off screen. Wednesday had some awesome scenes with Luke, Noah, Emma and Holden, and I am eternally grateful for this show to have a love story between two men. And I'm also glad that Noah will spend the holidays with Luke and that things are going great for Noah. Yesterday's stuff with them was so good. But at the same time I think it’s just sad that Noah has kissed Maddie more than Luke. Just sad. There’s no other way to say it. I am a pretty easy person to please and I really don't think I'm demanding too much. This is one out of a number of things that As The World Turns in general really, really needs to work on.

It seems that sexuality on American TV is progressing backwards instead of forwards. To me that is just pathetic.

ATWT: Noah's Coming Home For Christmas

Summary and analysis for December 12.

At the Snyder farm in the kitchen, Luke and Noah are doing homework at the table. In walks Emma and Holden who say that they are off to fix a broken door and offers them cookies. Luke insists that Emma’s cookies are worth eating. After they leave, Noah jumps up in front of Luke and excitedly says “They’re gone. Are you ready?” He then says to “do it like he did last night.” And Luke stands up in his wheelchair and proceeds to walk! After walking into Noah’s arms, Noah excitedly tells him “You did it.” One can’t help but tell how teasingly close they are.

Next they are back at the table eating cookies. Noah asks Luke when he’s going to tell everyone that he can walk again. Luke’s not entirely sure; but he’s thinking about making it a Christmas surprise. Noah just knows that they will all be so happy, but it’s not going to be the same with the divorce. Noah mentions that Lily would want to see him, but Luke then reminds him of what went down on Thanksgiving. Luke asks Noah what he’s doing for the holiday; Noah says he’s checking to see if the dorms are open during the break. Luke asks him if he would stay for Christmas. Luke asks Noah if he’s sure and of course Noah is, under one condition. That Luke does not hog all the covers. At this part I would be squealing happily if my voice octave would go that high.

Emma returns and notices that the cookies are gone. Noah raises his hand and stays with him. “I guess I just can’t say ‘no’ to your cookies.” Emma implies that he is a smooth talker and asks if he wants to stay for dinner. Noah accepts her offer and Luke waves his hand to leave the room for a minute. After Noah leaves, Luke thanks Emma and mentions that Noah had a great time at Thanksgiving, and Emma says that he is welcome anytime. Luke asks Emma if he can stay for Christmas. Emma’s not sure since they have a full house. Luke says “it’s okay, he can sleep in my room,” complete with menacing eye implication.

Luke’s upset because Emma basically said no and thinks that she might not be comfortable with he and Noah “being together.” Later on, Emma’s with Holden and she worries that she handled things wrong with Luke just then. Holden says that she’s acting correctly and she’s treating them the same.

Emma goes outside where the boys are sitting. She then asks Noah if he wants to stay for the holidays. Noah, of course, happily says yes. But Emma has certain ground rules. Noah’s to sleep on the couch in the parlor and that Luke’s room is off limits at all times. She’d treat anyone the same way; it’s not just because they’re gay. Especially since Noah is so handsome. Luke agrees; with both parts, mind you. She thanks Noah for being there for Luke and helping to change his attitude, and says that it’ll be lovely to have him over for Christmas.

Later while Luke and Noah are still outside, Noah mentions that he can’t help but notice how nice and kind Emma is. And honest. He grabs Luke’s hand and says that he’s happy to spend the holidays with Luke and that it’ll be the best Christmas ever.

Firstly; oh my God, Luke is walking again! Yay! Soon that damned wheelchair and paralysis plot will be a thing of the past! It’s about time that he can walk again.

Second, all I know is that I’m 22 and I know I’m not as gutsy as Luke. There is no way in hell I’d be comfortable and all “Yeah, he can just stay in my room,” complete with menacing eye gestures with one of MY relatives, especially a grandparent. Then we add the fact that half the cast stays at the damn place (lack of sets; another rant for another day). The more and more I think about it, I’m surprised he would think that she would be down with that. I was glad that Emma was being the good old-fashioned grandmother as always. It showed that while she’s new at the concept of having a relative, especially a grandson, who is gay, she’s dealing with it and handling it well. She was only sad when she found out that Luke was gay because at the time, she was the last in the family to know. I’m glad that she also thanked Noah for being apart of Luke’s life and remarking that he‘s handsome. The Snyders have really been treating Noah like a member of the family and bravo to them. And the “who ate all my cookies?” scene was just oh-so-adorable.

We also had likable Holden!!!! How rare is that these days?! The first time in a while when he’s not in a scene with one of his kids that didn’t make me want to reach into the television screen and shake the bejesus out of him. And Holden and Emma talking about the family being together for the holiday towards the end of the show. That scene was nice as well.

I was disappointed with the fact that the scenes were somewhat choppy; choppy as in as far as editing goes.

As for something else that I was NOT happy about… well, see my post called “Luke and Noah Disgruntlement.”