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Oakdale Confidential:
An As The World Turns Novel

Monday, January 22, 2007


Blog on temporary hiatus due to:

Aries Camille
Born 1/16/07
7 lbs. 11 oz

In the meantime, please visit the PGP Classic Soap Blog at http://pgpclassicsoaps.blogspot.com/ for all your soap news and gossip needs.

Friday, January 12, 2007


In the mid to late 1980s, at the Academy Awards, Chevy Chase (you know it was 20 years ago because not only was Chevy asked to present, he was allowed a couple of minutes to ramble freely) did a bit pondering whether film-critics, as children, were told, "Son, when you grow up, I want you to spend all your time going to the movies, then telling people what a miserable time you've had."

Well, thanks to the Internet, "everybody's a critic" is more true now than it's ever been before. And a majority of these newly minted experts do seem to get off on telling people what a miserable time they're having.

Take the "fan" message boards for every television show in existence (and a few that were cancelled seasons ago). Easily eighty percent of the messages are people going on and on and on and on about how much they hate, hate, hate watching the show in question.

I'm sorry, are they all at Abu Grahib and this is their daily torture session? Does their television set only broadcast one channel for one hour a day? Are they under house arrest wherein their ankle bracelet offers electro-shock if they attempt to exit the reach of their cathode ray?

Why are people watching shows that make them so unhappy? (For the record, these are the same "fans" that cheer when the show's ratings go down -- for it proves what they've been saying so insistently, the show sucks and fan fiction is obviously the only way to save it; and are downright glum when the ratings go up; but -- but -- but, how could that be? How can anyone anywhere be enjoying what's being broadcast? Don't all people want exactly the same thing out of their entertainment?).

All this carping not only makes "fan" message boards a bummer, it does something far worse: it makes them dull. The same people posting the same thing, often three, four, five times a day, beating the same horse until it's not only dead, but stripped and reduced to powder, isn't my idea of a good time.

But then again, I'm one of those weirdos who, when a show I love goes bad, at least for me, (Chicago Hope, Buffy, Desperate Housewives, Battlestar Galactica, Seinfeld), I simply switch the channel.

Or delete a message board's URL from my favorite places.

Monday, January 08, 2007


This isn't The Santa Clause 2. It's isn't even Groucho and Chico Marx's bit about "Sanity Clause." This is the clause that, in the 1970s and 80s, several actresses had put into their soap contracts, stating that they could not be made grandmothers on the show.

Eileen Fulton (Lisa; ATWT)... demanded that a "grandmother" clause be put into her contract stipulating Lisa never have a grandchild. When Lisa's son Tom and daughter-in-law Margo suffered through a miscarriage in the mid 1980s, Fulton was flooded with hate mail, although she had dropped the clause years before the storyline occurred.

GH's Denise Alexander (Leslie) also had the clause in her contract. (No wonder Luke & Laura had to have little Lucky off-screen).

Rumors whisper of similar deals for Susan Lucci (Erica; AMC) and Michelle Lee (Karen; KL).

If that was the case with Lucci, it obviously disappeared before Bianca gave birth to Miranda. And now that Lucci is a grandmother in real-life, it's probably unlikely to reappear.

Besides, haven't these people heard? Grandparents are hot on daytime. Take a look at how many greats some of these characters have hyphenated to their names:

GL's Alan Spaulding is a brand new great-grandfather now that granddaughter Lizzie has given birth to little Sarah.

ATWT's Nancy Hughes would have been a great-great grandmother if Gwen's baby with Casey had lived.

Asa Buchanan on OLTL is grandfather to Kevin who became grandfather to his ex-wife, Kelly's son, Zane, courtesy of Kevin's late son, Duke. Making Asa Zane's great-great grandfather.

DOOL's Alice became a great-great grandmother all the way back in 1977 to little Scotty Banning. He was played by Rick Hearst in 1989, so it's very conceivable (pun intended) that he's had a passel of kids by now (off-screen), making Alice a great-great-great grandmother.

And they all look great!

Must owe it to a terrific moisturizer.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


While the producers of ATWT and GL are always listening to fan feedback about their shows -- they read their mail, monitor message boards and regularly hold focus groups -- recently, a group of viewers seem to have overestimated their immediate influence on the goings-on in the town of Oakdale.

On December 15, Broadway World.com ran an interview with several young stars of the musical, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! One of the actors, Daniel Manche, the recently SORASed JJ, was quoted as saying that he had just filmed a scene where JJ killed his on-screen brother, Parker.

The ATWT message boards lit up with outrage and fury about the upcoming plot twist. Which turned out not to be true. Within days, the story was amended to read that "Daniel said he'd just filmed a scene where he beats up his on-screen brother."

While a majority of posters understood that a mistake had been made by a reporter unfamiliar with the show, a small group decided that the revised story was merely P&G spin and that, in response to their vocal uprising, the story of JJ killing Parker had been quickly scrapped.

This may -- may -- have been a possibility if the plot were still in long story stage. Less likely if it was in the breakdown stage.

But, if the scene had already been filmed, that meant it was, at most, six weeks from airing. (I'm not even factoring in the time that must have passed from the interview being conducted to it being posted; let's be generous and say it was a one day turn-around on the writer's part).

To kill the story based on fan uproar, ATWT would have had to mutilate a good chunk of an episode that was ready to air. They would then need to film new scenes to fill the gap.

Furthermore, since a story like JJ killing Parker would hardly have played for one day and never been mentioned again, that meant they would have had to rewrite weeks of scripts already in the can, not to mention possibly cut and reshoot several more episodes (all during the holiday season, with its multitude of vacation days, to boot).

ATWT loves their fans. They care what their fans think about their show and its direction.

But no way would they -- frankly, no way could they -- kabosh a major story in a few weeks under the above circumstances. No matter how loud an outcry.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Tis time again for The Battle Over Christmas, as airports take down their decorations and put them up again, and carolers are hushed to protect a figure skater with a Jewish last name who doesn't mind in the slightest (Sasha Cohen, by Jewish law, isn't even technically Jewish, since it's her father who is the Jew, not her mother).

As part of an interracial/interfaith family, I tend to look upon this annual hysteria with exasperated amusement.

If my three year old knows that, "some people believe in Santa and some people don't," you'd think it wouldn't be that hard of a concept to grok.

Also, as someone who has often been chastised for marrying a non-Jew, I tend to be rather intolerant of intolerance. (I also have trouble with dairy products).

Amusingly, the majority of people who judge my life choices are unmarried, Jewish women.

It is at this point that I like to smile pleasantly, nod, and, in my head, sing a few bars from The Music Man:

When a woman's got a husband, and you've got none
Why should she take advice from you?
Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare
And all them other high-falutin' Greeks.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Over on the Amazon.com site, four readers are upset that Oakdale Confidential: Secrets Revealed turned out to feature the original text of Oakdale Confidential, with only a new prologue, epilogue and photo insert.

While I am sorry that people feel they were misled, I'm not sure how the additions could have been made any clearer.

Besides what I wrote on this blog, there is the book's cover, which says: Now expanded for the new season/Contains new epilogue and photos," and the Amazon website itself, which says: "Now expanded with a note from the author, 16 pages of photos, and a startling new epilogue that everyone in Oakdale is talking about!"

On the show itself, Lucinda kept asking Katie for new pages, saying how the books was an expanded edition for the holidays.

Was there more we could have done to make it clear?

Thursday, December 07, 2006


As Y&R's new Executive Producer, Lynn Marie Latham, and Co-Executive Producer, Josh Griffith, get settled in nice and cozy to Genoa City, I have but one small hope:

That neither one of them has off-spring.

Because while I have many quibbles with The Young & Restless in general (if the show moved any slower it would come to a dead standstill, for instance), one specific, multi-year objection of mine is how the producing and writing regime seems to feel entitled, nay, obligated, to foist their untalented progeny onto our television screens.

It all started, I suspect, with Lauralee Bell. Creator Bill Bell's daughter came on the show in the 1980s as a teen model named Chicklet (sorry, sorry, I know it's Cricket), and proceeded to stand around waiting for all the young (and not so young) male characters to fall in love with her. Eventually, she went by her real name, Christine, and became a lawyer, but the standing around and waiting to be worshipped never really ceased.

Then we had the Alden children. Headwriter Kay Alden's son, John, played a pre-teen, nasal Nicholas Newman for many years, while Alden's daughter, Conci, thankfully walked through a much shorter stint as Paul's whiny little girl, Heather.

Supervising Producer Ed Scott's daughter, Jennifer, played a recurring baby sitter named... Jennifer. While Jack Smith's daughter, Asia Ray, was Sierra.

Lest anyone think I'm a child hater in general, I would be happy to provide a list of pint-sized actors I've adored over the years.

Jonathan Jackson (Lucky; GH), Ashley Peldon (Marah; GL), Rachel Miner (Michelle; GL), Jason Biggs (Pete; ATWT), Trevor Richard (Kevin; AW), Jason Zimbler (Jamey; EON), Omri Katz (John Ross) and Joshua Harris (Christopher) of DALLAS, I could go on and on.

But not one of them is the offspring of their shows' production team.