The Virtual Soapbox
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Dec 7, 2009
I watched VENICE, GOTHAM and WED-LOCKED this weekend, and while it's great to see actors branching out with indie projects, I'm not ready to throw a ticker-tape parade and cry, "Hooray, soaps are saved!" just yet.
First things first, despite the fact that I practically live on the Internet, I'm a traditionalist. I prefer to hold a book in my hands rather than reading it on an Amazon Kindle, and I only watch TV shows on my computer out of necessity, not enjoyment. So even if these Web shows wowed me to the very depths, my instinct would still be, "Man, I wish I could watch them on television." To me, that should still be the daytime industry's goal: to keep us viable on TV. I think the day that we look to the Internet as our solution and savior is the day we lose a huge battle. Yes, it's the future of media, but until there's technology in every single household for Internet-based shows to be broadcast on your 35-inch Toshiba, I'm going to be cautious.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Dec 4, 2009
So, apparently James Franco joined GENERAL HOSPITAL as a form of performance art. He proclaims that it's about making the audience suspend their disbelief. Not for nothin', Mr. Franco, but have you ever watched a soap? We viewers suspend our disbelief every single day.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Dec 3, 2009
ATWT is awesome right now. I mean, we know me, right? I'm the channel-flipping, two-timing soap tramp. But for almost three weeks straight, I have not cheated with DAYS or OLTL! And it's more than me being a veritable paragon of monogamy (GH's Liz should take note!): WORLD TURNS is finding its groove and returning to the classic soap so many of us have loved for years.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Nov 24, 2009
A lot of mainstream critics are weighing in about James Franco's first few days on GH, so I guess it's my turn! First, I think it's terribly sad that, in GH's shot to draw in new viewers with Franco's guest appearance and the surrounding media blitz, the hospital has not been shown once so far. If that isn't an indicator of just how astray this show has wandered in 10 years, I don't know what is.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Nov 20, 2009
Today I was completely enthralled by a highly-anticipated character being introduced via an art show. No, I don't mean James Franco on GH. I mean Paul Leyden's Simon Frasier on ATWT! Franco may have that appealing mop of curls, a darling smile, and the ability to portray a vicious edge with ease, but expert thief Simon has been stealing daytime hearts for far longer!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Nov 19, 2009
As much as I adore B&B with every fiber of my being, it annoyed me a little this week to see Ann (the fabulous Betty White) get dropped off at Paradise Cove by a South Asian cabbie.
I know what you're thinking: "Mala, shouldn't you be happy there was a brown person on the show? And one who had lines, at that?" Okay, yes. It's nice. But it's also really frustrating because B&B's idea of proper representation for a person of color is...as a cab driver? That's the natural assumption? Let me clarify: This is like when Marcus showed up at the Forrester mansion last year and Eric thought he was a waiter. It's relegating characters of color to a socioeconomic status "befitting" their race or ethnicity. Like, "of COURSE a Bangladeshi/Indian guy is going to be Ann's taxi driver."
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Nov 18, 2009
So, GH has James Franco for sweeps, and Y&R, which has been teasing a recast of Malcolm Winters for months, brings in...Darius McCrary?! (Better known to most people as Eddie, the not-so-bright son on the '90s sitcom FAMILY MATTERS.) I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with the role, but still...huh?
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Nov 4, 2009
GLEE is preempted for baseball tonight, and that totally bums me out, because it's my mid-week pick-me-up. Think about it: It's funny and daring, there's singing and the cast is diverse. It's SO a "Mala show." I mean, all it needs is a baby in a hat! And, well, if the Quinn/Terri baby switch story keeps playing out, I may just get that, too!
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Oct 27, 2009
Yes, today was the day that "Elizabeth's first love" returned on GH, and I'll get to that, but let me talk about OLTL's Kyle's first love, Fish, first!
I'm a sucker for two characters really digging deep into the core of their relationship. And, as we all know, I'm a sucker for Kyle and Fish in general. They could sit around reading a milk carton and I'd be entranced. Luckily, OLTL gave us a little bit more than that to work with! As Fish pleaded with Kyle today not to marry Nick, both Scott Evans and Brett Claywell delivered their signature heartfelt, organic performances. Evans imbues Fish with such vulnerability — my heart broke for him when he wept alone in the hallway — and Claywell's hoarse voice and thickening drawl so effectively conveyed Kyle desperately trying to push Fish away rather than let himself be hurt again. "You're not ready for me!" Kyle cried, urging Fish to go out and try gay bars and dating. "Then wait for me!" Fish begged, but it was clear that Kyle can't. He's already waited too long for Fish to walk beside him hand in hand.
By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Oct 21, 2009
"Elizabeth's first love is back," touts an ABC/SOAPnet promo for Jonathan Jackson's Oct. 27 return. (Check it out here) Uh, guys...? Elizabeth's first love NEVER LEFT. He's right there. In Port Charles. Wearing Greg Vaughan's face.
I mean, I can only imagine how hamstrung the ABC/SOAPnet promotional department was, realizing that they couldn't go "the real Lucky returns!" route — darn all those fans for finding that genius move for AMC's Greenlee offensive! — but was it necessary to sit around and think of something just as bad?