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April 24, 2014

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Soap Operas' Strangest Plot Twists

by AOL TV Staff, posted Jun 18th 2008 2:19PM
Deirdre HallEvil clones, friendly vampires, secret islands and much, much more.

When something's overly dramatic, we call it a soap opera.

And no wonder -- only in daytime serials do we find such plot twists as people we thought were dead being held captive on islands (that's actually happened more than once), characters coming back from heaven, comatose patients astrally projecting themselves.

We're not making any of these up -- these are our favorite crazy, wacko soap opera story lines.

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TV Squad Soap Report: Dead but not gone

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 17th 2008 4:21PM
soap reportDeath on a daytime soap is kind of like death in science fiction: it may be the real thing, but then again, maybe not. Fans of One Life to Live were recently stunned by the death of Nash Brennan. His was truly a case of sudden death. One minute he was a vital part of the scene, negotiating to keep the land for his vineyard, the next he was taking a swing at Jared, falling through a skylight and fatally injured.

The chances that Nash's death is not the real thing seems remote. He was shown on his deathbed in the hospital, saying goodbye to his wife Jessica, making a heart with his finger to show her that he'll always love her. It was sad and poignant and final. At least, I think it was final. You can't always be sure on soaps, as I said.
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One Life to Live plans amazing 40th anniversary shows

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 12th 2008 4:41PM
logoI don't know about you, but I was kind of ticked off that General Hospital decided that 45 years on the air wasn't a good enough reason for a special episode. They had a cake -- good for them -- but generally speaking, the media celebrated the GH anniversary more than the show did. Well, ABC and One Life to Live are doing just the opposite for four decades of broadcasting. One Life to Live will celebrate its 40th anniversary -- officially July 15th -- with three special, out of this world storylines. It all starts on July 21. How out of this world? Well, it will be celestial.

Headwriter Ron Carlivati told TV Guide that his plans, which are extensive, include sending Viki back to Heaven. Longtime fans will recall that in 1987, Viki "died" and went to Heaven, which was inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and looked very sci-fi.
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TV Squad Soap Report: You judge the Emmy submissions

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 5th 2008 11:02AM
TV Squad logoThe Daytime Emmys are coming. The nominations have been announced and ABC plans to broadcast the award presentation on June 20 at 8 p.m. (EST) with Sherri Shephard and Cameron Mathison sharing the hosting duties. One of the things that invariably drives soap fans nuts is not being able to see the Emmy submissions; that is, the actual shows that the Blue Ribbon Panels are seeing when they choose the Emmy winner from the set of nominees.

Well, in a landmark move -- one more reason to love the web -- the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has teamed with YouTube to create venue to see most of the nominating clips and judge for yourself. That's what I've done and I've decided to handicap the big Daytime Emmys contests. Tell me what you think, if you judge these clips the way I have.

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Cyndi Lauper to sing on As the World Turns

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 1st 2008 8:31PM
Cyndi LauperCount Grammy and Emmy-winner Cyndi Lauper as a fan of As the World Turns' gay couple Noah and Luke. Like the dedicated "Nuke" lovers out there, Cyndi's been anxious for the duo's romance to move more swiftly on the soap. She's decided to do something about it -- and promote her new album at the same time. Cyndi Lauper will appear as herself on the July 3 episode of As the World Turns, sing a couple of songs and subtly let Luke and Noah know that she supports their relationship.

The controversy surrounding Nuke's soap story
-- that their romance is moving too slowly because they're not heterosexual, but homosexual -- has vexed fans. Lauper told Entertainment Weekly, "I think they're young, these guys, and they're sweet. They're taking their time and struggling with the heart issues, which is even more endearing than just being like the straight couples, half-naked and having sex all over the place. The best way to people is through the heart, and that's why I think it's kind of interesting the way they've done it. It's about love.''

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TV Squad Soap Report: Let's hear it for good kids!

by Allison Waldman, posted May 29th 2008 10:24AM
TVS logoWhat constitutes a good kid these days? I ask because if I go by the standards put forth by some of the daytime soaps, it's a pretty low bar that's been set. Take, for example, a good kid on Guiding Light. Daisy, Harley's daughter, was told last week that she would not be allowed to graduate with her high school class. Her mother was dismayed. How could they do that to her daughter? Daisy is such a good kid, Harley said again and again. She'd worked hard to get her grades up and she deserved to graduate with her classmates.

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TV Squad Soap Report: Inspired storytelling?

by Allison Waldman, posted May 20th 2008 2:03PM
TVS Soap ReportSoap operas thrive on drama and they're not above borrowing from other sources. You could say it happens all the time, because it does. Of course, you can also go by that old Hollywood axiom that there are really only seven stories and they're told over and over again in a variety of new and different ways. Be that as it may, a look at some soap stories going on now will remind you of some other media.

For instance, on All My Children, you might look at Erica Kane's incarceration for insider trading (or whatever she was supposed to have done that was criminal) and think it's reminiscent of the Martha Stewart case. After all, like Martha, Erica is host of a TV show and an entrepreneur of the highest order. But the part of Erica's story that made me giggle was when she was on the run from prison with fellow con Carmen. Being handcuffed together was right out of The 39 Steps (the Hitchcock movie and now on Broadway) and The Defiant Ones, but the two women from different worlds clicking was more like Ugly Betty. Remember, last season when Claire Meade escaped from prison chained to a tough girl named Yoga? Think the AMC writers were taking notes?
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TV Squad Soap Report: One Life is soaring

by Allison Waldman, posted May 13th 2008 4:41PM
One Life logoSometimes you have to call it like you see it. Last week, One Life to Live staged a bachelorette party for Adriana with a surprise appearance (not to viewers, but to the characters) by Snoop Dogg. I was skeptical. This sounded like just another shoe-horned, topical musical guest starring role to throw a spotlight on the show. Well, it was to a point. It was a publicity stunt. However, the way One Life put the show together, this intervention was something to shout about. It was a superb hour of music, comedy, drama and soap entertainment. If you're going to be cast in a bright spotlight, you better shine, and that's just was One Life to Live did.
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TV Squad Soap Report: Two of daytime's all-time best

by Allison Waldman, posted May 8th 2008 11:06AM
TV squad soap report logoThere are many, many good actors and actresses in daytime. Some shine brighter than others simply because they are so supremely talented that they raise the level of the drama they are creating. There are two women I'm writing about now. They are both daytime actresses of the highest order. One celebrated her birthday yesterday, May 7th. She's One Life to Live's inimitable Dorian Cramer, actress Robin Strasser. The other, I'm sad to report, passed away last weekend. The incomparable Beverlee McKinsey was famous for two characters: Iris Carrington on Another World and Alexandra Spaulding on Guiding Light. Ms. McKinsey, who'd retired from daytime -- and acting overall -- in 1992 (except for a brief cameo on General Hospital) died on Friday evening from kidney failure after undergoing a transplant.

I remember vividly watching Another World when Beverlee McKinsey was front and center. She was a dynamic actress, a real scene stealer. She commanded your attention as the spoiled, grown daughter of millionaire scion MacKenzie Cory, Iris, on Another World. Her voice saying, "Daddy," is embedded in my memory.

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Another fave returns to One Life to Live

by Allison Waldman, posted May 4th 2008 9:21AM
Thom ChristopherIs that Carlo Hesser I spy? It looks a lot like Hawk from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century? Actually, it's both, and his name Thom Christopher. The veteran character actor, who most recently was Colonel Dax on Guiding Light, is coming back to the soap that he's best known for, One Life to Live. In 1992, he won a Daytime Emmy for this role. Soap Opera Digest reports that Thom's will resume the role of Carlo Hesser, evil-doer extraordinare, on June 27.

Christopher's comeback comes on the heels of the major announcement, that is the return of Andrea Evans as Tina Lord Roberts after a nearly two decade absence. And One Life isn't done with the splashy returns. Susan Haskell, another former Emmy-winner (for her role as Marty Saybrooke), is also finding her way to Llanview. Never mind that her character plunged off a cliff in a van last year (when Christina Chambers played the part). You'll see, she was thrown from the vehicle and survived somehow. Trust me. Like sci-fi, soap opera deaths are not as final as you think.

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The Daytime Emmy nominations announced

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 30th 2008 2:02PM
EmmyThe Daytime Emmy nominations were announced this morning on The View. My initial reaction is this: there are so many repeat nominees! This list is filled with actors who have won multiple times. Are the Daytime Emmys in a rut? I'm afraid so. This list seems very stale to me, not that many of these performers aren't worthy, but a lot of other worthy actors were completely overlooked. Again. Emmy could use an overhaul, but we'll discuss that another time.

Here are the main nominees -- and some comments -- and you can check out the complete list and a photo gallery of the Daytime Emmy nominees at AOL Television. On Friday, June 20, ABC will broadcast the awards in primetime (8-11 p.m. EST) from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

Outstanding Daytime Drama
General Hospital
Guiding Light
One Life to Live
The Young & the Restless


Here we have the usual suspects. Last year, Y&R and GL shared the prize. My choice would be OLTL this time around -- they had a great year and have been on the uprise. However, Y&R has a lot of actor nominations and that could mean another Emmy for the Bell show. I'd be flabbergasted if either GH or GL win. Both shows have received critical blasts this past year.


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TV Squad Soap Report: The retro Days of Our Lives

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 16th 2008 1:40PM
days logoLet me start this TV Squad Soap Report by saying that I have a soft spot in my heart for Days of Our Lives. It's the first soap I remember watching as a kid and I've always stuck with it, even when it's gone through some dark times. And if you're a Days fan, you know just what I mean (more on that later).

Right now I'm beginning to see a pattern on Days of Our Lives that's kind of upsetting. The show seems to be stuck in retro mode. They've been bringing back characters by the boat load. This is nothing new. All soaps do it. On All My Children, they just brought Cady McLain back -- and her character Dixie, who's supposedly dead. One Life to Live is resurrecting greatest Tina of all, Andrea Evans. So what's the big deal with what Days doing it? Nothing. It's perfectly legitimate. I support it...to a point. When it reaches a point to where new characters are not taking hold and more and more of the past is becoming the present.
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Andrea Evans returning to One Life to Live

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 10th 2008 5:27PM
Andrea EvansOn July 15, 2008, One Life to Live will celebrate its fourth decade on the air. As part of the festivities, a long-time fan favorite is returning to the fold. Actress Andrea Evans is coming back to One Life to Live as Tina Lord Roberts, a role she's played in two stints on the show, 1978 to 1981, and again from 1985 to 1990. Other actresses have played this part at other times, but for die-hard fans, Andrea Evans is the real Tina. She's the one who survived a plunge down the Iguaza Falls in Argentina, the one who romanced Max and Cord, the one who drove Viki crazy. In short, this is a very welcomed return. She'll begin appearing in early June.

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ESPN turns to the soaps to sell fantasy baseball - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 6th 2008 8:54AM
ESPN Did you know that baseball players are big-time soap opera fans? It's true. All that time they spend hanging out in the clubhouse during the day, they have the soaps playing in the background. Not all, but a lot. That said, it'll be interesting to see if the same things that sell soaps -- the drama, the relationships, the never-ending stories -- work for ESPN in selling their Fantasy Baseball League. They're calling the series of commercials "Endless Drama."

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Jay Leno apologizes for gay remarks from Phillippe interview

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 2nd 2008 11:38AM
LenoYou would think since Don Imus and his dumb attempt at humor got him kicked off of MSNBC that TV personalities would think before they joke. You would like to think that's true -- but it's not. In the latest bit of amazing insensitivity and stupidity, NBC's Jay Leno has apologized for a gay gag.

The star of Tonight was chatting with Ryan Phillippe the other night about the star's new film Stop-Loss. Thanks to some crack researcher on the Tonight writing staff, Jay decided to ask Ryan about one of his earliest acting jobs -- playing Billy Douglas, a closeted, gay teenager on One Life to Live struggling with his sexual identity. In a flip way, Leno asked Ryan to show him what it was like when he was playing gay. He said, "Can you give me your gayest look? Say that camera is Billy Bob... Billy Bob has just ridden in shirtless from Wyoming."

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