The Virtual Soapbox
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Apr 7, 2010
I noted in my March 16 entry that it seemed like the horrific story of Kristina's abuse on GENERAL HOSPITAL was basically written to endear Ethan to viewers and to remind us that while Sonny may be a violent thug, he's a good father. And, weeks later, I still ain't buyin' it. I still think Ethan is a walking retcon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroactive_continuity) that ruins what few good memories people have of Luke and Laura's happy times. And I totally cheered when Dante punched Sonny yesterday. I may have, in fact, yelled, "Hit him again!" at my TV. Because this lame party line of "he's a good father" doesn't play when Sonny's idea of good parenting is shooting cops or ordering hits on those he perceives as hurting his kids. Violence is not the answer, it's part of the problem! And Sonny doesn't have enough self-awareness as a character to realize that. If he did, then I think that viewers like me — and characters like Dante — might actually be able to cut him some slack.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Apr 6, 2010
I have a dent in my head from where I just smacked it into my desk...thanks to this article at TV Guide Magazine discussing the OLTL Kish-off.
The major source of my head-desking? This: ABC Daytime PR chief Jori Petersen now says “The Kish story did not have the appeal we hoped it would. We are going to spend our time on stories that have a more favorable reaction from our audience.”
I know that ABC Daytime faced a lot of opposition to Kish...much of which the average viewer isn't even aware of. But is the show really going to elicit a "favorable reaction" for the stories they're focusing on right now? One only has to step back and look at the massive changes in Llanview these days. It's not the same show it was a few months ago. Is this the network's idea of appealing to their target demographic?
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Apr 5, 2010
Okay, it's not NEARLY time for the afternoon soap block yet, and I'm already bouncing in my chair. I've been giddy ALL weekend about ATWT. Folks, Friday's episode was awesome. It was Hughes family-centric, with just enough non-Hugheses — like Susan and Ali, Katie, Henry and Reid — to give viewers a sense of community. All the actors were at the top of their game. I mean, Kathryn Hays? How freaking awesome was she as Kim? It amazes me that shows back-burner their vets or bank their characters' fire after they hit a certain age. Hays certainly proves that Kim can still set the town aflame with her wrath! And if I were Bob, I'd be taking a few weeks off to spend some quality time with my lady, because she don't mess around!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Mar 18, 2010
This is likely not a surprise to anyone, but I really enjoy ATWT's Reid. The character isn't just a "breath of fresh air," he's a gust of wind knocking everybody in Oakdale off their feet — especially Luke. Of course, the fun thing is that Luke has his own method for keeping master of snark Reid off-balance — doing it literally! I love that he shoves Reid around when he gets all worked up by their exchanges. (Let's face it, that's the kind of thing a male/female relationship can't quite get away with. The misogyny policewoman in me would be screaming if, say, Jack did that to Carly.)
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Mar 16, 2010
You know what? Maybe GH just needs to stay away from stories about violence against women. Because they're not doing ANY better with Kiefer beating Kristina than they did with the retread of Elizabeth's rape during her affair with Nikolas.
I can barely watch this storyline...and not just because poor Lexi Ainsworth's face looks like raw meat, but because it's a storyline all about the men involved suffering. It's about Ethan being wrongly accused by a liar, about Sonny flashing back yet again to the tale of Deke beating Adella. It's about Sonny's fury at Ethan. Hell, it's even about Sam's guilt over Kristina following in her footsteps and her needing Jason to absolve her of said guilt! It's about everything except the young girl who is the victim of violence. She's a prop, so we can have Dante soften towards Sonny and have fans empathize with Ethan — who still hasn't been fully accepted as Luke's love child with Holly.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Mar 11, 2010
I know daytime is in a tough position. Believe me. I see every day that we're amidst a sea of sinking ships. But OLTL dumping three of its best young actors is not going to help keep it afloat. Scott Clifton (Schuyler), Scott Evans (Oliver) and Brett Claywell (Kyle) aren't dead weight. They're ballast, keeping the enterprise equalized and steady with talent.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 23, 2010
I was feeling claustrophobic and bored on the subway this morning, so in an effort to distract myself, I decided to cast the UberSoap. Yes, folks, this is my ultimate fantasy soap. I've tried to think of everything that comprises an average daytime town, and any oversights are not intentional.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 17, 2010
Hi, my name is Mala, and I'm addicted to MAKE IT OR BREAK IT. My colleague Joe Diliberto was feeling alone in his love, so I decided to reveal that I, too, have fallen under the spell of this cracktastically awesome show.
It's probably no surprise to anyone that ABC Family, the network that has sequel-ed BRING IT ON and THE CUTTING EDGE into oblivion, has its own snarky, drama-filled show about teenage girls involved in competitive sports. But what may surprise you — and certainly caught me by surprise — is how soapy it is.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 9, 2010
You know what frequently drives me crazy on soaps? The concept of what defines a "real" parent. Often, daytime television tells us that only DNA matters. Just look at GH's Sonny, who thinks that learning Dante is his biological son automatically means they have a bond and a relationship...despite the fact that he pumped a bullet in him because he was an undercover cop. The audacity of him stammering "Tell my son I love him," as the police dragged him away was pretty astounding. Hours before, you hated him for betraying you and were willing to turn him into worm food. Now, you love him? Because you found out you were a glorified sperm donor? I don't get it!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 1, 2010
In the words of Harry's father from NIGHT COURT, "I'm feeling much better now." So here's 5 things I LIKE about GENERAL HOSPITAL.