Sunday, April 26, 2009

Remembering Bea Arthur

I was totally not expecting to go online yesterday afternoon to hear about this. And like every other fan, I had no idea that she had cancer.

I have not seen much of Maude, but what I have seen I’ve enjoyed a lot; and I can’t imagine anyone else playing her. It was great that her potential was seen on All in the Family for her own show. To make us laugh. To tackle the serious issues. To make an impact.

As I’ve mentioned before, The Golden Girls is one of those shows that I can watch many times and enjoy seeing it as much now as the first time. Bea’s portrayal of Dorothy was one of the biggest reasons why, and she was my favorite character. So full of razor-sharp wit. So full of stamina. I loved her sarcasm. I remember her saying on the Lifetime reunion special a few years back that she considered not doing another sitcom after Maude. I’m so glad she changed her mind.

There’s something else regarding her that really caught my attention. In 1985, she appeared on the Today show for an interview back when The Golden Girls was brand-new. And considering how demo-obsessed television is today, one of the things she said really stuck out. When the subject came up, this is one of the things she said: “I think the success of the show is simply due to the fact that it’s funny and bright and witty and wonderful and I don’t think the age group matters at all. I think we could be babies or we could be where we are now.” That will always stick with me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Online Pick of the Week: Ryan's Hope (4/24)

This week’s online of the week revolves around a favorite daytime classic show of mine, Ryan’s Hope, the soap opera which revolved around an Irish-Catholic family from Riverside in New York City that ran on ABC from 1975-89.

It’s amazing how well written this show was, at least at this point in the run. Right now SOAPnet is airing shows from January 1979. The writing makes sense, even if I don’t like a particular storyline as much as another, I don’t hate it so much that I skip an entire episode to avoid it like with another certain soap *cough* As The World Turns *cough*. It's so worth setting a tape every day at 5 am to see it.

Something else I’ve noticed, from the point of the show’s beginning, I hated character Delia Reid Ryan Coleridge. I mean, hated. I mean, so whiny, so pathetic, so manipulative. Even co-creator Claire Labine referred to her as a manipulative bitch in 1976. I felt this way all the way through towards the mid-1978 episodes, where Delia finally gets the help she needs and starts to behave like a mature adult. Even with a few relapses here or there, when she found out the hard way that she wasn’t fit to raise her son Little John, I actually said “aww,” a word that I NEVER thought that I would ever say to her on this show. Ever. She was just way too horrible for me to do this in the past. Pushing former husband Frank Ryan down the stairs on the first episode and nearly killing him, and after realizing what she had done, told no one about it at all. Getting pregnant on purpose and faking a miscarriage so she can marry Pat Ryan. Faking blindness. But then, the show took a character I hated and made her evolve into someone that I actually enjoy seeing. I don’t know if it’ll last long, but the point is that the character made a turn around at least briefly and it wasn’t forced. We saw her mature when she was seeing a doctor. She started taking care of herself. Even though she never worked but relied on investments in commodities, It felt really, really natural.

There’s also the good family drama… “family drama” being based on central families on the show. Of course, the Ryans, and then there’s the Coleridges, and the Reids. We have the standard soap storylines of cheating, kidnapping, etc., but it’s handled so brilliantly that it comes off as very original.

The clip featured is of Kate Mulgrew singing the song “Memory Book,” which reflects on her character Mary Ryan’s relationship with Jack Fenelli. While the show had very strong writing, one thing I have noticed is that the recasts did become common ground and could be rather frequent. And I think that the Mary Ryan character is one of the ones that suffered the most with the recast factor. To many people including myself, there is only one true Mary Ryan… and she was played by Kate Mulgrew. The occasional unfavorable recast aside, Ryan’s Hope has really become a favorite of mine relatively quickly, and it’s definitely one show that many heads of current soaps should look at every once in a while to see how well a soap can truly be.

Primetime Millionaire Returns In August

I am really excited about this. I’ve always felt ABC was incredibly stupid at some points in handling this show. For one thing, it was stupid to air the show up to three nights a week. It was stupid to have frequent all-star episodes. All it did was turn viewers off. And then several years back, I remember hearing that they let the Millionaire contract lapse and I thought this was also nothing other than incredibly stupid. But now they’ve finally done something right!

According to what’s known, Millionaire will contain a format based on the original version combined with elements of the new format used in current first-run syndication. It’ll be interesting to see which elements are added. I wonder if they’ll use the time limit. Or if they’ll use the Ask the Expert lifeline.

And what’s more, Regis will be back! I love Meredith to death, but with her demanding schedule, it’d be pretty impossible for her to host the nighttime show. And it only makes sense for Regis to come back to the nighttime show. I hope this does not mean that Million Dollar Password is definitely dead, but sadly I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. It was pulled and never talked about again.

But back to Millionaire. It’s coming back! And so is Regis! Yes!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ATWT: Shut The Hell Up, Holden

Wednesday, April 22nd:

It’s been a really long time since I have enjoyed a show that Luke and Noah were not even on. What fun it was to see Lisa, finally! She had appeared on the show before a week or two prior and I was thinking they might not even use her for this storyline. Great job taking advantage of veteran characters! Same goes with Lucinda. Though we really should be seeing more of how she’s handling her cancer.

Holden is just starting to remind me of a dog now. Every time someone even mentions his name, he gets pissed enough and it’s like hearing a dog snarl or bark in response.
I was realizing that I had become nervous and anticipated about the next day, but that is how I’m supposed to feel when watching this.

Thursday, April 23rd:

Does someone seriously have a chew toy to toss to Holden here so he’ll stop this hell-bent behavior towards Damian? If he hadn’t interfered with Lily and Damian’s plan, it would have worked. And Lily apologizing at the end? Ack! Why?! I love you, Holden, but geez!

Loved the dialogue between Luke and Noah when they were trying to escape. Bondage-y Luke and Noah was fun and a little hot even, but Z-squared need to pay for shooting Noah now. Okay, I guess you can tell where my mind’s been.

Overall though this was a step down compared to the three previous days. Details were not really paid attention to. One example being that Lily must have hit her head on an imaginary rock, because there was nothing hard on the ground that she hit after Zoe pushed her.

ATWT: All Tied Up and No Place To Go

Monday, April 20th:

Poor Luke. Understandably, he’s in a mess because of what happened with Noah. Makes you just want to hold him and tell him it’ll be okay. Of course Noah couldn’t have been THAT upset. And Holden… why, WHY would Damian fly all the way to Lisbon and come right back just to act innocent? It just doesn’t make sense.

I really loved how everyone is concerned for both Luke AND Noah. And loved Noah’s disgusted face when seeing Zac and Zoe kiss. And Zac referring to Luke as Noah’s wife? Ass.

Tuesday, April 21st:

I don’t know what it is, but lately with the Oakdale PD… let’s just say that if I was in Oakdale, I wouldn’t feel much safer knowing that a case I need solving is in their hands.

Zoe is such a bad liar. Soon it became so obvious that she was not telling the truth.

I loved, loved, LOVED, LOVED the last scene with them at the end. Van and Jake handle schmoopiness so well. Today was no exception.

I’m glad that Luke realizes now that Damian wasn’t responsible for the kidnapping.

Monday, April 20, 2009

ATWT: Sponsored by the letter "Z"

Monday, April 13th:

Hotness aside, more proof that Zac, as well as sister Zoe are up to no good. And damn the two of you for possibly interrupting some Nuke lovin’!

Yes! Another Noah/Damian scene! Love it! Though I’m pretty sure today is another sign that we will never see Noah call Luke Luciano in bed. No matter how hot that sounds; again it’s pretty safe to say it ain’t gonna happen, folks.

And what was up with all the times the letter Z was spoken today? Honestly, at the end of today's show I was expecting a sponsor tag with the letter featuring Big Bird.

Wednesday, April 15th:

Okay, this makes so much sense writing wise that it scares me. Noah disappears without warning for over a day, so of course their rather minor tiff from the other day is brought up, something of which that it does not make sense for Noah to just simply leave over. And what’s more, it doesn’t make sense and it’s NOT SUPPOSED TO. The disappearance over the tiny argument is written logically this way.

It’s one thing to suggest Luke has a few Grimaldi-like traits, but if Damian thinks that Luke would do all this to destroy his own foundation, he’s got a screw loose. All the other stuff aside, this would mean that he’d also possibly had himself hit by a car, and that‘s just crazy. It’s like someone insisting that Damian would stab himself with a knife.

Great job by all involved today. I prefer my evil characters a bit less cartoony and it could stand to be a bit of a slower pace, but it’s great seeing Noah/Jake continue to be used more, and finally a story that revolves most around the characters than the plot.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Online Pick of the Week: The Weakest Link (4/17)

My online pick of the week for this week is something else from the United Kingdom that I’ve wanted to see for the longest time; an episode of The Weakest Link hosted by Anne Robinson.

It took time for me to enjoy Anne’s version of the show when it first started here. But overtime, I was able to love the cold persona that Anne displayed. I normally can’t stand it when there’s frequent sniping and back-and-forth conflict between the contestants, but in this case, with this show, I found it to be rather fun to see. Perhaps because a show like this is made for it, and with other shows like 1 vs. 100 and Catch 21 (as much as I love the former show), I find that the ribbing with those shows seem to be kind of forced in an unnecessary atmosphere. It’s a shame that the frequent celebrity versions destroyed this show. And don’t get me wrong, as I’ve mentioned before, I LURVE me some all-star specials and themed shows, but the NBC era took it above and beyond.

I admit, I was so disappointed and upset by how things ended with the NBC version, so I didn’t give George Gray’s version a chance when it debuted. But in seeing the reruns now, I do like his style, and I can see how someone can prefer him over Anne. Her show personality was very cut-throat and icy. George, however, while he still was able to rib the contestants and the conflicting atmosphere was still there, the teasing from him was much more light-hearted and comical. My favorite host is Anne, but I can definitely see the George preference depending on what you prefer comedy wise.

It’s funny though. I am denouncing the use of frequent celebrity episodes, but the full UK episode I’ve found on YouTube is none other than a celebrity edition of the series.

The Weakest Link, my online pick of the week! G'bye!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Online Pick of the Week: GSN Live (4/10)

I meant to post this online last week but I totally forgot. Bad blogger. *slaps wrist*

The moment for this particular week came from GSN Live last Friday, April 10th towards the end of the 12:30 half-hour. I’m sure you’ve probably seen it by now, but if you haven’t, you’re in for some hilarity.

While I think Fred handles himself rather decently on this show, I’ve never been a huge fan of his nor have I found him to be a favorite. But there’s something about this clip. Something about it, the way he reacts to the contestant’s language. From the “no-no-no” to “Denise, for the love of God, pick a consonant!” I swear, from now on every time I see someone on Wheel of Fortune playing badly, I will think of this moment. This is just too funny. And what I love is that I’m sure this isn’t the only time he was at least thinking it, and honestly, I’m in the same boat. While I haven’t gotten EVERY SINGLE answer right with these play along games, for me, 99.999% of them are pretty easy enough to get rather quickly, so sometimes it seriously boggles me when someone doesn’t get something.

And well, obviously, be warned. If you haven’t seen it, it contains a naughty word. Which starts with the letter S and ends with “hit.”

This moment from GSN Live is my online pick of the week for April 10th!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ATWT: The Z-Kiss

Tuesday, April 7th:

Noah continues to see the potentially good side of Damian while Luke and especially Holden remain cautious. No surprise there.

Luke is so like Holden here it’s not funny. I can see Holden walking in on Damian and throwing the same fit.

Ha, I love how freaked out Noah was when Zac planted that kiss on him, and he told Luke right away of course. If I didn’t know how weird they were to start with, I could swear Zac and Zoe were on something.

Thursday, April 9th:

Totally agree with Noah when it comes to the posters. I can guarantee that many people wouldn’t be so forgiving (eventually at least) like Damian if it were their faces on a poster like that. Luke is being much more calm than I would be when it comes to Zac kissing Noah. If someone kissed my boyfriend, I don’t think I’d be taking it as coolly as him.

Zac and Zoe are just channeling their inner 6 year olds. And where was this computer magic when there was a problem with accessing the funds… oh yeah, Zac was too busy playing dumb. It’s obvious these two are up to no good.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Catch 21 Season 2 Premiere: Review

New set introduced for season 2! I do like it, it looks a bit better than last season’s.

Format is still the same. Pretty solid. Like last year, I have no issues with it.

My biggest problem with the show is the same from last year. The volume is just way too high. Alfonso and the contestants are just practically at the top of their lungs, and it irritates me to no end. I expect excitement but this is just over the top. My problem with Alfonso’s hosting is still here. I still think that if he were to dial it down a few notches, he'd have the capability of being a really decent host. But it’s like watching Todd Newton on Whammy!, still.

I’m sure it’s a fun experience, and for the contestants really nice getting some questions right, and it must be a blast to win the game, and as far as Alfonso goes, fun to host it; but please, tone it down, people! Stop screaming so much!

The Newlywed Game (2009): Debut

The Newlywed Game is one of my favorite Chuck Barris Productions, so I was rather excited to hear it was coming back, though worried a bit at how it would turn out.

Carnie Wilson’s a pretty okay host. I don’t really have any issues with her. Not bad for her first day as an emcee.

Even though there are only three of them, I do find that the couples are fun to watch. Even if I don’t like a version of the show that much (see Gary Kroeger's ‘90‘s version), they are still enjoyable. The questions were pretty good too.

While I usually like it when a revival tries to pay homage to its previous eras, I’m not a fan of this “Goldy-wed” bonus round. I just find it to be pretty dull, and that background music is just not necessary at all. For the love of God, current light-hearted game shows, stop trying to make things more serious than they should.

I don't consider this revival to be a must see, but at the same time I have no hate for it. I'd say it's not a bad catch when nothing else is on.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Online Pick of the Week: The Price Is Right

After all that’s been happening in the television world lately with news of Guiding Light being cancelled, knowing that Supernatural will end next year, ER ending, and even What’s My Line? and Card Sharks being removed from GSN; just all of it. Anything that’s either been disappointing, upsetting, saddening, or deemed negative in any way; I just needed something positive and light to enjoy, and to take my mind off of it all for a bit. So herein lies my online pick of the week for the week of March 30-April 3: this year’s Price is Right April Fools show.

This had to have been one of the most awesome and funny shows I have ever seen of Price. And seeing it again, I'm enjoying it just as much as I did when I first watched it. It was handled perfectly, from the Bill Cullen mention in the opening, the Come on Down’s in foreign languages, Drew with the Groucho glasses, the Match Game theme music, the odd wheel sound effects, right along to Kathy Kinney modeling the prizes as Mimi.

This season of the show seems to have gone through a rather bumpy ride; from the retired pricing games to the atmosphere that was too laid back even for my tastes. But since the end of December, the show in my eyes seems to be picking up much more again. Instances like the disappointing pie-throwing showcase show that comedy does not always bode well, especially when it just seems unprepared and random, but I enjoyed the April Fool’s showcase very much. This was just the right instance to take a beloved show and add some silliness just for fun’s sake. And Drew is back to the way he was before this past fall.

The 2009 Price is Right April Fool’s episode, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Z-Squared Edition

Tuesday, March 30th:

Okay, not only is it that Noah tries to see the good in people, but this definitely has to do with his own fatherly issues. It’s obvious: his father has died (well at least we THINK so), so he knows he has no chance to change their relationship in any way for the better; however Luke’s bio dad is. So he thinks it could be possible, even not knowing any other drama that took place. But there’s also the fact that Noah’s dad tried the same approach of “accepting” Noah’s sexuality, which could have easily killed his boyfriend… it’s all just very… oy.

Thursday, April 2nd:

I didn’t read all the information about Zac and Zoe beforehand, so I had no idea they were twins. And, well, gosh… this show loves its family connections. I loved Luke and Noah’s “what the eff?” faces and reactions more than the two characters themselves. They are just too wacky to take seriously.

After all that Damian’s done over the years, I can certainly understand Holden being suspicious of Damian’s motives, but he’s just being way over the top. Suspicion is one thing, but I seriously doubt Damian will stab HIMSELF in the back. He needs to dial it down a notch. Also going beyond Damian, it may be hard to believe with some people, but sometimes the hate or negative reactions to someone coming out does heal overtime.

Of course, I love that Noah is getting to shine in this story just as much as Luke is. The affection was great too. It’s nice to see it between Luke and Noah, in good times and bad.
My only serious problem, get ready for it: too damned fast.

Remembering Andy Hallet

Earlier this week the Joss Whedon fan base lost a beloved actor. On March 29, Andy Hallet, best known as Lorne the host on Angel, died at the age of 33 of heart failure.

After recommendations by online friends, I had recently gotten into reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on FX and Angel on TNT. And one of my favorite elements of Angel was Lorne the host. I loved how he would always be so upbeat with his love for music and with his demon-friendly karaoke bar. One of my favorite funny moments from the show was when Angel himself was singing at the bar. Lorne was definitely great addition to the series.

Andy will be sorely missed.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

GL: 72-Year-Old Serial To End In September

With how the show’s been handled in the last year with the new production model, you have no idea how much I wish I could say I did not see this coming. Though still, it breaks my heart. And of course this has to happen when the show starts to improve. Grady is gone, Phillip and Edmund are back. There are still things that make no sense (e.g. how can Reva Shayne be pregnant?) but at least I have some desire to watch these days.

This should be a big wake-up call for As The World Turns. To the heads up at this show, you need to get on the ball. Do something to improve this show and make sure said improvement is consistent. Guiding Light’s cancellation proves that the occasional good day with plenty of other bad days in between just does not cut it anymore. Goutman needs to stop with this “I don’t listen to the fans” garbage. If it weren’t for us, you wouldn’t have a job. And after how fast the show reacted after Luke and Noah were not kissing for months and the response of them getting more airtime last fall during the election storyline after fans campaigned for it, there’s no way in hell he could convince me all that was nothing but sheer coincidence.

Give Luke and Noah more airtime. End this Paul/Meg/Dusty insanity. Do something about this Parker/Liberty mess. Write in ways that respect not only women on the show, but in ways that respect all of the characters. Go back to writing character-driven stories. It’s been proven that plot-driven storylines on this show just do not work. History is an important thing to consider; it’s there for a reason. Use it; it’s your friend. Reunite Jack and Carly and end this break-up nonsense, a couple should not be apart for this long. Use more veteran characters and use them often; give a couple their OWN storylines for a change. Where is Lisa Grimaldi? Susan Stewart? Nancy Hughes? Bring Martha Byrne back. Even with mostly undesirable days, in the several months before her departure, the show’s ratings were still pretty strong at #3. Do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to keep the consistency. Make fans like me want to watch every day. I shouldn’t want to skip an entire episode because of what’s going on one particular day. I guarantee that if the show was good every single day, more people would watch like before.

As for Guiding Light, Brian Cahill of Procter & Gamble/Telenext is saying they're trying to shop the show elsewhere. If this is not just lip service, SOAPnet, this is something that needs to get your attention. It's about time in the past two years that you picked something up that was either a soap opera or related to one.