Thursday, January 31, 2008

ATWT: Scab Power

Even though I’m not wowed with the overall Dusty storyline, I am glad that Luke and Noah are now at the point where they are interacting in other people’s storylines. And poor Luke. He needed a hug so badly from Noah -- and he got one, too! The acting was pretty flawless with Van, Jake, and John Hensley. Though I’m not too worried plot wise. If you’ve read my previous ATWT entry, you know I don’t think Holden killed anyone. It would have been nice for Noah to have had more lines, but also at the same time, there wasn’t much that could have been said by him. I’m sure that there will be other occasions in the near future. And what about Lucinda and Noah in the same room. Wow. Can we have more scenes with them together? Please?

It’s only been less than a week and I am already sold on the scab writers for the show. I’m still not impressed with many of the overall storylines, save for Luke & Noah‘s and Barbara‘s cancer storyline. For instance I feel that while Wally Kurth is a good actor, the Sam the ventriloquist story is an embarrassment. As much as I’m glad to see Will and Gwen be happy for a change, I do think they are too young to have a child. And I mentioned before how I’ve felt about the story regarding Dusty’s death. But it seems that the day to day dialogue is much better than before.

Also, the characters seem to have gotten out of their individual isolation bubbles and are interacting with each other, and about history too. I was floored when Casey came back to town to see Will and Gwen, and Will actually talked about his time in the mental ward while Casey talked about prison. Then during Jack and Carly scenes, they mentioned history too and it was important to the scene. Carly also KNEW Rosanna was sick again. I also don’t think we would have seen Lisa and Casey reunite so soon if the regular writers were in charge.

Now that the day to day stuff is getting better, I just wish that soon enough the character assassination will stop, and I am waiting patiently for Sam to be gone. And not only should Luke and Noah get more airtime, but what about Henry and Vienna? I’d like to see them do more besides just pimping other people’s relationships. But the dialogue is improving. The scabs did their homework on the history show or something, but whatever it is, I hope they keep it up. It’s Even better than compared to two weeks ago and also definitely one good thing that’s happened because of the strike and it makes me wish that Passanante never comes back. Ever. To the rest of the soap business, I ask, please, PLEASE stop hiring this woman.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Still In Shock

It has been an extremely sad week for Hollywood. It’s really bizarre.

Brad Renfro (1982-2008)

First, finding out about Brad Renfro’s passing. And at such a young age, 25. I remember him best for his role in The Client with Susan Sarandon. I remember getting cable for the first time ever in 1995 and seeing The Client on HBO. I really enjoyed that movie. He also did movies Sleepers, Tom and Huck, and Bully.

Allan Melvin (1923-2008)

Allan was known for his various appearances on many television shows, including The Phil Silvers Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C, The Brady Bunch, All in the Family and Archie Bunker‘s Place. He also did cartoon voices, one of which being Bluto on Popeye. I remember him best as Sam the butcher on The Brady Bunch.

Lois Nettleton (1927-2008)

Next I heard of the death of Lois Nettleton. I’m not quite as familiar with her acting work as I am with her appearances on the various incarnations of Pyramid, but I do remember best for her guest shot role on The Golden Girls. From what I’ve seen she was a really good actress and a really good game player. I’m sure acting wise she’s probably most remembered for her role on “The Midnight Sun” episode of The Twilight Zone. She’s also been on Cagney & Lacey, In The Heat of the Night, and Seinfeld.

Suzanne Pleshette (1937-2008)

Man, I really didn’t see her death coming. Like many people, I remember her best from her role as Emily Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show. I really loved that character. I’m not as familiar with her movie roles. I have seen The Birds but it was a really, really long time ago. I also loved seeing her on Good Morning Miami, Will & Grace, and 8 Simple Rules. I remember thinking that I wished she had stayed on the latter show longer. I knew Tom Poston had lung cancer, I didn’t know she had it either. I’m sure she’s reunited in heaven with her late husband Tom.

Heath Ledger (1979-2008)

And on Tuesday evening I just could not believe it. At around 5:00 PM a good friend of mine had IM’d me and said “Heath Ledger from Brokeback Mountain died.” Heath’s, like Renfro’s death, I found to be one of the more shocking. Pretty much all of them to me were to some degree, but as of today even though it’s been almost a full day since I’ve found out, it’s like my brain is just not computing this. Part of me knows it and is heartbroken, but my brain right now is just having a difficult time still trying to understand all of this and thinks someone with a sick sense of humor trying to play a joke set all this up. It’s like the sentence “Heath Ledger is dead” doesn’t make any sense to me. And it’s really sad because he had a two year old daughter and now that poor girl will never know her father. He just had a movie completed, and it really seemed like he was on top of the world. I didn’t know he and Michelle Williams had a separation. Also like Brad, he had his whole life ahead of him. Talk about someone with such potential.

I cannot believe in a period of a week (through the 15th-22nd), we managed to lose five actors, and two of them were in their twenties. And these deaths came out of absolutely nowhere. This is insane. Hard times indeed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

ATWT: Whodunit?

First, the Luke and Noah scenes from January 18 (these are all thanks to LukeVanFan who does a great job at editing and uploading the stuff regularly). - Part 122

And since the show revolved more around other things, I might as well talk about them here. Dusty Donovan has been murdered. And this has to be one of the most badly done murder mysteries I have ever seen.

First of all, I understand why Lily would want to cause harm to Dusty after what he did lately, but at the same time, she freaking OVERDOSED on pills and booze the night it happened! How in the heck did she manage to be able to leave her hospital bed and then wind up on some stairs? She looked as though she could barely talk, let alone move.

And let’s not forget the extremely poor job done at trying to revive the guy. According to Margo, they were there trying to revive him for 15 minutes with only doing chest compressions. I'd understand if this was in the middle of nowhere, but for heaven’s sake, this is supposed to be a hospital! Where were the electrodes? It’s funny how a guy can croak in the hospital and hardly anything is done to try to save him.

And most viewers already know why certain people would want that man dead. We didn’t need to have extra conflict scenarios written in just to see who would want to off him. We didn't need them all saying things not dissimilar to "He'll never interfere in our lives again. "We know the guy’s name too. It seemed every suspect when angry with him for the last time, was basically shouting, “I’m gonna get you Dusty Donovan! You’re gonna pay for this, Dusty Donovan!” We’re not idiots, writers! It's also pretty obvious that Chris' puppet Evan did it too (I'll be willing to eat my words if I'm wrong, but with this, I doubt anyone else did it), because Chris couldn't do his own dirty work to silence Dusty about what he did with Bob. And Chris apparently gave his own father something to induce his stroke? As if Chris wasn't already bad enough lying about the argument the two of them had before Bob collapsed. For the love of God, please stop the character destruction!

Even The Simpsons managed to do a much better job with “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” keeping more dramatic effect and had viewers abuzz wondering who did it. They did an awesome job with the drama aspect and they’re a sitcom. I’d honestly be more addicted playing Clue! I imagine that Dusty’s death and the events surrounding it would have been much better if it were written and edited decently (we didn‘t even see Dusty fall to the ground!). And that’s just it. Most of the faults lie in the dialogue. Some actors like Dylan Bruce and Grayson McCouch I’m not sold on. But I think most of the other ones in the storyline did a decent job, and I’m glad vets are doing something. But as a whole could be handled so much better even if they just paid attention to details, because even the little things help make it a bit more addictive and realistic.

I hate to sound biased, but it really seems that despite some issues I have with how Luke and Noah’s story’s being done, it seems to be written a lot better, especially lately, than the rest of the show. Although they need to work on minor details with them too. Luke was without his cane, which is nice, but I’d think that we’d see celebrating the day this took place. Watch the next time they’re on, and he’ll be back on it again. He didn’t even limp! Though I loved the "boys are yucky" scene with Faith and Natalie. And they hugged -- AGAIN! I think the folks in charge are finally getting the message.

It’s past that time again where in some cases, if Luke and Noah aren’t on that particular day, I’m probably not going to watch. And if I am, I’ll watch it either out of habit or to see just how insanely bad that day in question is and get a good laugh. Those last two reasons to watch are NOT good signs. What happened to nearly two years ago when I first started watching the show again and I was able to get into the whole thing?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More Details About The Best of The Price Is Right DVD Release

More details have arisen recently about the new Price Is Right DVD release coming March 25th.

We should be getting four Bill Cullen era shows, Bob Barker’s first show, several 1970’s episodes and Bob’s final week.

I have to say two things I was pleasantly surprised to hear about, one being that there would be any Cullen shows. I love that era so much and I’ll be buying this set for those episodes alone. I was also surprised to hear that the first show should be included, which considering the fact that Bob wishes that his earlier episodes that featured furs as prizes were to never be rerun, that was something to hear. The restriction didn’t really start to bother me until I realized that several pricing games debuted on episodes with furs, one example being Clock Game. I think most people realize that Bob didn’t become an animal activist until the 1980’s, so watching fur episodes from before that shouldn’t make people suddenly think he was some sort of hypocrite on that matter.

I was hoping that we’d see more episodes from the 1980’s or maybe some from the Tom Kennedy era. And I have to admit that while I had the inkling we’d see Bob’s last show, I didn’t think they’d put on the whole final week. But this set still looks promising and I love the 1970's era of the series.

Since there were no real problems reported with the All-Star Family Feud set, BCI seems to have fixed whatever disc problem they had with the Match Game set. I was so excited to get my best of Match Game DVD set only to test out disc 4 and realize that it didn’t work. The picture pixilated and the sound failed and so did the photo gallery. I was so furious since I had this problem with two new sets. A lot of other people had this issue too. I’m glad this problem was taken care of.

Here’s hoping to a good DVD set. Cheers to game shows being released on DVD! Whoo-hoo!

New GSN Promo Rises Some Questions

I have to say that it is really nice seeing GSN continue to promote their classic and traditional game shows more and more lately. And now it looks like they’re spicing them up somewhat. Good to me, because while I appreciated the effort, I was honestly getting tired of the laughing promo on weekends.

There’s a new Twilight Zone-esque promo that talks about overnights on GSN. And there were two things that generally got my attention. One, the fact that there were clips from Winston-sponsored years of I’ve Got A Secret. Now for those who do not know, GSN had decided to no longer air episodes of their black and white series sponsored by cigarette companies, a decision made after some form of viewer complaint. Either someone said something after a Winston-era Secret clip was featured on Game Show Moments Gone Bananas, or someone did it after they aired Two for the Money episodes just over two years ago, where a cigarette company was the secondary sponsor. The FCC had nothing to do with it since this is a cable channel. So it looks like this could possibly be coming to an end. If so, I’m glad to hear it. I’m as anti-smoking as the next person and love most classic TV, but you can’t model your life after what people did on 40 to 50+-year-old television series. You wouldn’t get the idea to see Ichabod & Me on CBS the next day or Walter Cronkite talking about the first ever space shuttle launch the following night, so how can anyone think that people will want to smoke after watching an episode from a series from that time period? I mean, what’s next, ban episodes of Match Game which featured Charles Nelson Reilly or Richard Dawson smoking on-set? Come on! If this ad means the end of this “ban,” then I’m glad. The black and white archive is already limited to some degree, since CBS won’t allow them to air any Cullen episodes of The Price Is Right (even though this version aired on NBC and ABC), so why restrict themselves even further?

The second thing I noticed is that there are also clips of the 1972 era of I’ve Got A Secret. I’m guessing that by the time they reach the final episode of the black and white era, they might choose air the 1972-73 version in its place, then start over with the original. Not a bad idea in my opinion. The show only lasted 39 episodes, so it wouldn’t take that long to cycle back to the original. And while I prefer Garry Moore more as a host than Steve Allen, Allen’s color version to me was still very entertaining and had some great guests.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How Much Is Enough?: Debut

Tonight marked the debut of the first new game show for GSN of 2008; How Much Is Enough?, which tests contestants against their appetite for greed, hosted by Corbin Bernsen.

I have to say I really was not impressed with the format of the show. All there is to every round is a money clock counting up or down and people ringing in, with the ring-in factor alternating. Every other round changed from ringing in last or first being the most important. I really wish there was more to it than that.

The budget didn’t really even bother me. I mean after all, it’s a cable game show so I’m not expecting millions of dollars to be a focal point of the show. And even that wouldn’t save the fact that I found the overall format very uninspired. The bonus round works, but EVERY round is essentially the same, and I’m not a fan of that.

It’s sad, too, because I liked almost everything EXCEPT the format. I do like Corbin Bernsen as a host. I thought he was good at interacting with the contestants. And he worked well with what he had. And for once on a newer show, especially of GSN’s lately, the contestants didn’t annoy me. There was also none of that fake “animosity” between one another which I thought was cute on Weakest Link, but can’t stand elsewhere and was glad not to see it here. There are no insane gimmicks and no drama is forced. Even the set was appropriate. It’s just the format for the majority of it to me was so unentertaining.

I really found it like Friend or Foe minus the trivia and bitchiness. I would have much rather seen a second season of their version of I’ve Got A Secret.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

ATWT: Noah Has The Key

Analysis and links for January 8th’s show. Part 1 Part 2

I have to say that I was really impressed with Jake’s acting today. He's good at showing vulnerability.

There was a big continuity error today. Luke says he’s going back to school and is even picking courses for the new semester, and the big problem with that is that we’ve seen him doing homework in the past several months at the farm. I can understand that he’s pretty much saying that he can physically go back to school since the wheelchair is now gone, but today it seemed like he was just starting school entirely.

I have to admit, the actual scenes with Henry were much different than I thought they would be. You know, at first I didn’t mind Dusty talking with Noah or giving advice to either one of them, but investigating his character has definitely changed my mind. Oh well, he’ll be gone anyway. It’s nice to see that things are going okay with Maddie, and that she, Luke, Noah, and Henry are fine with everything now. If any other adults besides Holden are giving Luke or Noah any kind of advice, I hope it’s someone like Henry, or Lucinda. Emma would be good too.

After what we’ve been used to in the past couple of months, I simply could not believe my eyes when Luke and Noah actually HUGGED right after Luke gave Noah the key. It’s nice seeing that being in a relationship for someone he really loves and being with the Snyders has such a good impact on Noah.

Today with these characters was rather good. It does, however, make me wish we could get to know Noah a lot more than we have and hope that these storyline plans they apparently have in the recent future show this. I think that’s one of the biggest problems this storyline has. And I hope they start interacting with more people. It's about time.

Monday, January 7, 2008

GSN's January Schedule

More changes for GSN’s schedule started today and some are already in effect. For those who have not seen them yet, they are as follows, all times are Eastern:

11:00 am Wheel of Fortune (replaces syndie Match Game)
11:30 am Tic Tac Dough (replaces Super Password; though Super Password stays at Noon)
1:00 pm Match Game (replaces Jeopardy!)
2:00 pm Jeopardy! (replaces Password Plus)
2:30 pm Password Plus (replaces Match Game)

1:00 am Twenty-One (replaces Trivia Trap/Now You See It; though both shows remain on weeknights at 1-2 am)
2:00 am Body Language (replaces Let’s Make A Deal; though it remains on weekday mornings)
2:30 am Beat the Clock (replaces Let’s Make A Deal)

12:30 am Super Password (replaces Double Dare)
1:00 am Double Dare (replaces Body Language)
1:30 am Double Dare (replaces Beat the Clock)
2:00 am Body Language (replaces Anything to Win)
2:30 am Beat the Clock (replaces Anything to Win)

3:00 am What’s My Line? (replaces The Amazing Race)
3:30 am I’ve Got A Secret (replaces The Amazing Race)

Most of these changes I’m really satisfied about. It’s nice to see more Sony-owned series out of the vaults. I love the fact that Wheel of Fortune is back on the line-up. The season they’ve chosen to air is 1994-95. While I’d love to see an older season (basically anything except 1988-89), I’m really glad they didn’t go modern and air a 2000+ season like they’ve done with Jeopardy!. By the new millennium, Wheel to me begins to lose that level of simplicity and starts to focus more on its own glamour. It’s really obvious if you see a first-run episode today. I can watch new episodes every once in a while, but the “gotta watch every night” feeling is gone now for me. And I’m not sad about it replacing the daytime syndicated version of Match Game (1979-82), GSN has rerun that a lot in the past 3 years; including an instance where they were airing it at three different times at three different positions of the run. Weekends only with that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I’m impressed that they’ve gotten Tic Tac Dough (1978-86) as well; the season they are airing is 1979-80, so we‘ll be seeing champ Thom McKee soon. Double Dare (1976-77), Beat the Clock (1979-80), and Body Language (1984-86) each get one extra airing on the weekends. What’s My Line? (1950-67) is now back on 7 days a week again as of last week. A great decision to me that’s long overdue; the once-a-week airings for over a year drove me insane. You don’t put a show that has over 700 existing episodes on once a week. And The Amazing Race is off GSN and remains on Fox Reality Channel, a much more appropriate network. Then after What’s My Line? is I’ve Got A Secret with Garry Moore.

The only thing I’m truly not happy about is the fact that Ray Combs’ era of Family Feud is disappearing yet again as of next week. And it’s really not the fact that it’s being pulled, but more about how they’re in the final season and it would have been really nice to see the finale before it left the schedule. It will be replaced by the Dawson era.

Other than that, I’m really excited about the majority of the new schedule, mostly the additions and changes. Seeing more Sony shows these past several months are always a good sign. Hopefully they’re getting a bit of a better deal from them. Not only do they own good game shows featuring the likes of Pyramid, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and The Joker’s Wild, but they have a great library filled with all kinds of classic shows and I wish that it was easier to get these shows in syndication and on DVD faster than they already are.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hope Everyone Had a Nice Holiday Season

Just wanted to say that I hope everyone had a great holiday season.

I wish I had remembered about the Price Is Right Christmas shows. I normally don’t forget but this time I did and didn’t get to see all of them. I’ll have to keep this in mind next holiday season, because that just screams “We’re Christmas episodes, review us!” And it completely passed my mind that they would air a new show on the 25th, not only was it new, but a Plinko record was set. What a bad game show fan I was to miss that. If I had known, I would have taped it along with the 1995 episode of The Young and the Restless and the 2003 episode of The Bold and the Beautiful that aired the same day. Watching those two older episodes made me realize the one pet peeve I have when it comes to watching one older random episode of a soap opera. Of course, it’s not knowing all the history. I soon found out that Nicholas Newman on The Young and the Restless was framed for murder, and that’s why he was in prison on that show, but I’m still wondering why Sally Spectra was so depressed at the beginning of The Bold and the Beautiful episode. However, tiny pet peeve aside, it’s always nice to see older episodes of the genre when the shows were better written as a whole and were good every single day. There was also the marathon of A Christmas Story on TBS. I made sure to watch that at least twice. I really am not a big fan of modern-day TBS and don’t watch regularly anymore; but I’m happy that they keep one tradition. I made sure to see Elf on USA as well for the first time in full; not a favorite but it wasn‘t bad to me. I’m glad NBC is keeping up with the tradition of It’s A Wonderful Life. And last but not least who can forget the animated classics? Seeing A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, and Frosty really help put me in a good mood for the holidays if I‘m not already in one.

On New Year’s Eve I noticed that Sci-fi had the Twilight Zone marathon. Not that big a fan of that show but it’s nice that a network is keeping a tradition alive for the fans. I wish I had WPIX-TV. I hear that they had a great marathon of The Honeymooners. Also there was the $100,000 Pyramid marathon on GSN. While I wish that hopefully they’ll get the rights to another season, the episodes they picked were good. Speaking of Pyramid, its original host and master of the game was back for the Dick Clark New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2008 special. It was nice seeing him again, and I noticed that he has movement in one of his arms again, but sadly his speech was still somewhat slurred from his stroke in 2004. This man is one of my favorite celebrities of all time and I truly respect and admire his braveness and willing to continue being apart of helping America have fun in bringing the New Year. I wish him all the best and a continued recovery.

New Year’s Day had the Let’s Make A Deal marathon. I wish I remembered to tape the whole thing. It was unique in the fact that they were all apart of the final season, when they taped at the Las Vegas Hilton.

I’ve got to do better at this marathon thing lately. Normally I try not to lag. Not only is this stuff a lot of fun to watch, but at the same time it also just screams “we’re marathons, review us!”

ATWT: A Victorian Christmas and a Metro New Year

For the episodes that aired on December 21 and December 28.

December 21st: part 1 part 2

As far as the Victorian Christmas show went, It was nice seeing the whole cast, even the vets on as well for the Christmas show. I was also surprised that considering what happened the day before that they actually hugged each other when they greeted. Why can’t we see more of that in the present day story? My only big complaint is that I just wish that the episode didn’t focus so much on the Paul/Rosanna/Craig/Meg story more than the others. Enough already with that! And of course, considering the time period that this was set, I can’t say I was surprised that Luke and Noah were both closeted and from the looks of it, couldn’t really pursue their relationship. And may I be superficial for one minute and just remark at how fine Van and Jake looked in those tuxes? And despite my annoyance with more attention paid to the quad story, it’s nice to see a current soap go all out for the holiday.

December 28th:

In the past year and a half, several important characters have been on the back burner or have been completely destroyed (e.g. Adam Munson), but if there’s one thing that hasn’t been massacred, it’s Holden and Luke’s father/son relationship. I never tire of it and the New Year’s Eve episode is another example. It’s also nice to see more of Luke walking. My problem with the debut party at Metro was that there really weren’t enough people there. Where was Henry and Vienna? Where was Lisa? Where was Lucinda? And of course, while I liked seeing Luke and Noah happy, would it kill the powers to be to them to have them interact with more of the characters? And, go, Noah. on getting your gay merit badge!

As far as affection being shown is done, I will still not give up. After calming down to a rational level, I decided that instead of just sitting in front of my computer bitching about it, I chose to actually do something about it. So after a day to relax, I sat down and wrote Brian T. Cahill of Procter & Gamble. I did mention how grateful I am for the storyline, how good the actors are in the storyline, how Luke’s coming out last year helped me get into the genre full swing again after a four-year drought. But I did mention that I’m dissatisfied with the lack of decent airtime and affection and that they‘ll please consider the two negative things I and other fans had brought up to their attention. I can keep writing when the time comes. This is the second time I’ve ever written to a company about any kind of dissatisfaction about what’s happened; the last time writing to SOAPnet about them pulling Another World. So it’s obvious that I don’t have much experience in this field. I’ve also signed a petition with over two thousand signatures, and try to vote in the Soaps In Death, Soap Opera Digest and polls of the like regularly. Of course I want a bit of change, but I want to remind myself as well as others that the show is taped well in advance; and to see that these changes take effect we have to be a bit more patient. They say that there’s a big storyline cooked up for them in the coming year. I’m interested to see how this goes, especially since the writer’s strike is still on. It appears that Christopher Goutman is now fully in charge with writing as well as far as I know since Jean is not there.

All I can say now is that I hope that 2008 will be a great year for Luke and Noah and let‘s hope the show as a whole gets better.