Wednesday, July 29, 2009

simply what i end up watching when i'm not home

i had said i'd write this up a long time ago...there is something shall i say, special about television viewing while away from home. when i'm traveling for work, staying at hotel rooms all across the country [a sampling of the cities i've visited since january this year: san diego, cincinnati, chicago, las vegas, new york, philadephia, detroit, denver] life takes on a sense of unreality. channel line-ups are so weird in hotel rooms and so often it is impossible to find a piece of paper telling you what the channel line-up is so you have to go through every channel available in order to find the one you want.

and this may be just me, but i can honestly never remember the channel numbers in hotel rooms. it's weird, it's like you can only ever know two channel line-ups at one time. i know my parent's television channel line-up and i know mine [obviously we live in different states], that's it. so in a hotel room, even once i've found a channel i like, when i accidentally start flipping because of a commercial break, it usually takes me so long to find the channel again that i end up missing a chunk of the show.

i find i miss my dvr incredibly while i'm away. i like fast-forwarding through commercials [or even scenes that i find incredibly boring or storylines that don't interest me] when i'm traveling during the regular television season i've ended up staying up late to watch new episodes of my favorite shows online on my laptop.

i forget when things are on, you see, and i miss the convenience of being able to watch whatever i want whenever i choose to watch it. when i do watch the television in the room, i'm often stuck watching "hannah montana" [a show i've never watched while at home, i can honestly say that the only time i've watched it is while traveling. and actually, i've kind of enjoyed it in that it reminds me a lot of watching "saved by the bell" in it's acting style and production values.] or "law & order: svu" [which i usually find too grisly and usually have better alternatives to watch while i'm at home.].

all in all i end up watching things while i travel, but it definitely is an odd mix of things compared to the things i usually sit down and watch at home.

print versus screen: confessions of a shopaholic

so i recently watched confessions of a shopaholic, and well, it wasn't good. having read the books [at least the first three in the series] i knew that i couldn't expect too much of the story or the characters, but i love isla fisher, so i decided to give it a chance anyway.

i often wonder at how popular this series is. i mean, the books themselves are not badly written, but rebecca bloomwood has to be one of the most singularly idiotic characters ever written. from book one she has a hard time managing money, goes to crazy lengths to hide the extent of her shopping addiction and inevitably ends up hurting the people she is closest to and then making it up to them. [even bridget jones exhibited some growth in edge of reason.] and then becky does the same thing over again in shopaholic takes manhattan and in shopaholic ties the knot.

the thing is, if it were a novel about drug or alcohol addiction where the character struggles with relapses and destroys their life without everything coming up rosy in the end it would be one thing. but her addiction is played for laughs. it's serious and yet not so serious. becky never learns anything from her mistakes because there is always another credit card or another person with money willing to bail her out.

granted, i'm not sure what happens once she has a baby and finds her long-lost sister, but i can't imagine anything changes.

anyway, even though isla fisher is really charming, and hugh dancy is super-cute, the problems with the story are still there. becky is a liar and she's inconsiderate of others, she does a lot of unforgiveable things in both the books and the movie. and if i did like her better in the movie it was only because i happen to love isla fisher.

interestingly, the movie changed the setting to new york city from london, which does actually happen in the second novel. but becky was also made american instead of british. this is really only interesting because isla fisher herself is british, so i find it amusing that they had her lose her accent for this. particularly because even though it takes place in new york it really could have taken place in any big city. so why not london? there must be something with american movie audiences not going to films with british leads speaking in their british accents, because that's really the only reason that would make sense and would mean anything. since as we learn in the movie, everything is about money.

so i didn't love the movie, but i liked it better than the books. so i guess that says something.

♥♥ out of ♥♥♥♥♥♥

Friday, July 24, 2009

seriously romantic: the introductory set

so there are these three books that appear early on in my grandmother's collection of harlequin romances that look slightly different from the rest. and as i was reading another of the books [love is eternal by yvonne whittal] i noticed a blow-in advertising an set of four harlequin romances to introduce new readers to the series. the cover images on the ad looked pretty familiar! and when i looked a little closer, lo and behold, three out of the four books in the introductory set matched ones in her collection. i can only assume that she didn't particularly like the fourth book [she used to throw away the ones she didn't like, however due to the wonders of ebay i've managed to track it down and will post about it once i've had a chance to read it].

from what i've gathered from her collection, she must have bought a few one-offs before subscribing to the service.

#884 cap flamingo by violet winspear

back cover copy:

"you must marry me right now!"

fern gazed at ross kingdom disbelievingly.
she couldn't just marry him because a few
people mistakenly thought they'd spent the
night together. marriage was sacred; not
meant to be a cover up for scandal.

but then, ross was a well-known journalist; his
sister was a movie star. anthing that happened
in his family made news--the kind of news
that could ruin fern's reputation forever.

"all right," fern said quietly. "i'll marry you!"

originally published in 1964 by mills & boon ltd [a uk romance publisher that is now part of harlequin enterprises, the companies maintained an informal arrangement until harlequin acquired mills & boon in 1971], violet winspear's cap flamingo is a fascinating read. the story itself is a pretty standard tale of romantic heroine and hero get caught in compromising position and must marry, a series of obstacles and misunderstandings take place and then in the last few pages they finally admit that they love each other. what makes this so interesting to read has to do with how much society has changed since this was written.

in perhaps the most shocking [for me] instance, early on in the book, fern is talking about one of the house servants:
"a few minutes later edwina rang for a servant to show fern to her room. a
dusky, turbaned negress appeared and edwina boomed at her: 'delilah, doesn't
this child look exactly like mama used to look in her magnolia print?'"
i was definitely startled by the description as i was reading. but then when i reflected on it further i realized that when this was written, negro/negress were the politically correct terms to use to describe someone of african descent. there was nothing implicitly or explicitly racist about the story, if anything the book was more about the struggles between different socioeconomic classes, but even then there was nothing overtly classist in the story. there are many harlequin romances about poor, working-class girls finding love with rich, upper-class men.

i was also surprised by how closely [plot-wise] cap flamingo resembled a regency historical romance. ross is caught spending the night in fern's room--in her capacity as a nurse, she had given him some medication for a headache that put him immediately to sleep--and an ill-mannered gardener/fix-it man begins to spread rumors that culminate in ross proposing to fern in the scene quoted on the back cover.

all things considered, the book was a pretty fun read and even though it felt a bit like a blast from the past, it put me in the mood to keep reading my grandmother's books.

#1302 teachers must learn by nerina hilliard

back cover copy:

"on ladrana island laurel fell in love

stephen barrington and his sister, anthea,
were descendents of portuguese overlords and
pirates. so laurel wasn't really surprised
when stephen stole her heart. or when anthea
maneuvered laurel and stephen into an engagement.

stephen, laurel believed, was aware that anthea
wanted to deter roberta fransom from making
a play for him.

but laurel knew that to roberta she was no
deterrent at all!"

this is a slightly less memorable novel. originally published in 1968 by mills & boon limited, the plot follows a young teacher taking a break at her brother's home on a tropical island named ladrana. orphaned at a young age [and this is a classic plot device for these harlequin books] laurel and her brother, kennedy [known as ned], manage to get entangled with the barrington family, namely siblings stephen and anthea, who in spite of their very english sounding last name are actually of portuguese descent. laurel and stephen find each other at cross-purposes, but when anthea decides to pretend they've gotten engaged to discourage one of stephen's previous girlfriends, they are forced to spend time together. the usual misunderstandings of who feels what about whom take place, and are only resolved after laurel and stephen perform a dance as persephone and hades.

like a lot of the harlequin romances from about this time period there are some [shall we say] old school ideas about a woman's place in the world and how being married is the state of being that one should aspire to. but you can see the changes coming, anthea is very much a free spirit, she has many boyfriends and doesn't want to settle down much to poor ned's dismay.

nerina hilliard is the smallest name in the introductory set. anne hampson, anne mather, and violet winspear were among harlequin's most prolific authors. so it is fitting that this book seems to be the lesser of the four included in the set.

#1451 the arrogant duke by anne mather

back cover copy:

escape! juliet savored the word

for years, juliet's father has used his wealth,
power and influence to rule her life. but now
she was free to make her own decisions. she had
assumed a new name and identity, and had run away
to a job on this beautiful west indian island.

but had she jumped from the frying pan into the fire?

bad as her father had been, her employer, the
duque felipe ricardo de castro, turned out to be
even more domineering. and what was worse
--juliet fell in love with him!

anne mather was a pretty big name back in the day [and now, she's actually still writing]. she's the author of the first harlequin book made into film leopard in the snow [my goal is to track down the film so that i can do a print versus screen blog about it]. i always think that the spanish hero books are kind of silly [technically the duke is portuguese, but the same ideas apply]. the heroes end up being super macho and it plays to latino/hispanic stereotypes that i can't say i am fond of. also i can't help but think of the three amigos whenever someone calls a character the duque. [i know the bad guy was el guapo, but the way i read the duque in my mind sounds like the way everyone talks about el guapo in the movie].

but anyway, originally published in 1970 by mills & boon limited, this book follows the adventures of a rich girl named juliet, who is tired of being a lazy socialite and decides to use her friend's passport [and name, she pretends to be one rosemary summers] and take a job as a paid companion to a young girl who recently lost her parents in a car accident and hasn't walked since. the young girl is the duque's niece, and she is bizarrely in love with her uncle, as is her aunt [who isn't related to the duque]. the duque is oblivious to all of that, instead choosing to focus on rosemary/juliet since he is [rightly] convinced that she is hiding something.

eventually, juliet makes progress with the girl, encouraging her to walk again and let go of her silly infatuation. the duque discovers juliet's real identity and when she runs away confronts her and confesses his love. [which she of course reciprocates, her being in love with him the reason for running away when the truth was threatened to be revealed.] and the aunt gets left out in the cold, her machinations exposed.

the story itself is enjoyable and juliet is surprisingly a great lead character. so many times in these harlequin books, the heroines are a bit too demure, too retiring, [or if they aren't they tend to be a bit too argumentative, too prideful]. because juliet is actually interesting, the story itself becomes more interesting. which really goes to show the importance of liking the lead characters. you have to like the leads in order to care about what happens to them. and anne mather does a good job of this here.

and there you have it, the introductory set to my grandmother's collection. i definitely enjoyed reading these books. even if i'd read them before [and that may have been over 15 years ago], they have been a pleasure to rediscover. i'll certainly be reviewing more as i continue my quest to read her collection.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

simply why watching sometimes feels like a chore

i've caught up on a week's worth of episodes of "general hospital" and have to admit that it is always a roller coaster ride. [except the more i think about it, the roller coaster would be a pretty terrible one that mostly stayed straight and close to the floor and had an occasional loop that would exhilarate you and then nauseate you just a quickly.]

from the sublime:

robin and patrick singing "i had the time of my life" was possible one of the most enjoyable things to happen on gh in a long time. the best thing about the whole karaoke evening was that you could clearly see how much fun everyone was having. you could see that these people genuinely enjoy each other's company. there's not often a lot of joy on gh so every little bit of it counts.

and picking a song from dirty dancing was actually genius. song choice being key to every karaoke perfomance, both kimberly mccullough and jason thompson sold it. i started watching gh the summer karen, brenda, jagger, and jason were all hanging out by the lake. there was romantic tension the time jason and karen were sort of dating, but karen was starting to fall for jagger...but it was also fun and frothy and sweet. sonny and the mob weren't really in the picture, action usually took place at the hospital, elq, the quartermaine mansion, kelly's, and the brownstone. the show's palette was much lighter then. and it wasn't like it was all so innocent...there was the whole thing with ryan chamberlain, serial killer...and several marriages were on the verge of imploding...but it all felt soapy. and the shows leads weren't criminals.

it's still hard to think of the darkness that would come and how much the show has changed since those days. it's frightening for me to realize that it was almost twenty years ago that i started watching!!

to the ridiculous [and i'll begrudgingly admit, cute]:

i wish i could like this pairing. this whole scene was very sweet. but i just don't see it long term. i would like spinelli just a little bit more if he were just a little more self-aware. in fact, during his bouts of self-awareness, like when he realized that he was a terrible singer after overhearing maxie on the phone talking about it, he actually becomes more tolerable as a character. his speech is less convoluted, his facial tics are less spazzy, he shrieks a lot less, that old adage of less is more really rings true here. also, i have to admit, i have no idea what age he's supposed to be playing.

maxie was maybe six years older than lulu, she was also at least four years older than georgie. those age differences were erased in later years, so she may now be a year older than lulu and georgie. but now it's like she's the same age, and i think spinelli is the same age as lulu and georgie. but for a twenty-three to twenty-four year old it's like he has been living in a cave his whole life. he has no social awareness at all. very limited social skills. the fact that he lives with a brain-damaged mobster and he comes off as the one who needs to be taken care of is rather frightening.

what does he think is going to happen if he and maxie get married? they move into jason's apartment? spinelli doesn't seem like a fully functional adult, able to live independently. he needs twenty-four hour care. maxie can't and shouldn't provide that. she's going places, her promotion to assistant editor at crimson is wonderful. as a character maxie has been redeemed so as to be one of the more enjoyable and refreshing elements of the show. why can't the writers give her a romance worthy of that. as cute as spinelli and maxie are together i just don't buy it as a long-term thing. mostly because spinelli doesn't have the capacity or maturity to be in a long-term functioning adult relationship.

and the absolutely terrible:

there are no words to convey how wrong this scene is. or even the scenes that follow:

more than anything, these scenes creeped me out. mostly because they were so demeaning. the women are merely victims. the men are users and abusers. i don't want to watch this. what woman wants to watch this? who thinks that this is okay behavior? it's scenes like this that leave such a bad taste in my mouth that i think, yeah, maybe i won't keep watching. and i'm sure that many other of the female viewers still watching this show feel the same way.

viewership has been on a steady decline for soaps in general. more tellingly, general hospital is only bringing in more viewers than two other soaps [and one of those will be off the air permanently sometime this fall], this was not the case several years ago [okay, so i just checked again and it looks like the three abc soaps earn more or less the same number of viewers with minor shifts that cause all three of them to rank in different order, so basically there are the top three soaps (y&r, dool, b&b), the abc soaps (gh, oltl, amc), and then atwt and gl]. what needs to happen before the show tries to fix things? because the way things are headed, everything just looks terrible. so many squandered opportunities. the cast is talented and all that talent is being wasted on lazy writers with no creativity in their souls.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

slightly silly: a review of "the proposal"

i'm the kind of girl who needs to go to the movies with people. i don't like to go by myself. since most of the movies i enjoy don't require a big screen for maximum enjoyment, i have made a habit of watching things on dvd or on-demand. but every once in a while, especially when i have the rare opportunity to spend time with my best friend (we live in different cities), i actually make my way to the theater.

over the july 4th weekend, while visiting her in manhattan, we decided to go to watch the proposal. most of the reviews i'd read were positive, but beyond that i had a feeling that this film would become a favorite. how could a movie with ryan reynolds, sandra bullock, and betty white not be enjoyable? i mean betty white is just plain awesome. ryan reynolds is a cutie and was so dreamy in definitely, maybe. and sandra bullock was in one of my favorite chick flicks ever, while you were sleeping.

i don't know what it is about romantic comedies, but even though i know where the plot is going, and even though i can predict what is going to happen next, i love watching them. i always feel good and happy and fulfilled. [i get the same warm fuzzies from romance novels.] i watch movies like this and i immediately want to watch them over and over again, because there is something about watching characters fall in love that i love. it doesn't matter how trite and predictable the story is, it doesn't matter that i know the actors are really married to other people/gay/hate each other off screen, if they have the right kind of chemistry i am happy to watch them on film for hours at a time.

ryan reynolds and sandra bullock have the right kind of chemistry, and say what you will about the movie and its plotting, this chemistry really makes the movie. mary steenburgen, craig t. nelson, malin akerman, oscar nuñez, and the fabulous betty white round out the cast and work together very well on screen. i really think that the main reason i enjoyed the movie so much is that the cast was so very genuinely likeable.

a few final observations: 1. sandy b. can really shake her booty, 2. ryan r. is ripped, although the scene where he drops trou makes absolutely no sense, 3. malin akerman's character doesn't make a lot of sense in the movie especially since she adds nothing to the central conflict, 4. i really love ryan r's voice, 5. i don't know how sandy b. made it through production wearing those ridiculously high stilettos, though they were amazing looking, 6. i also really love ryan r.

grade: ♥♥♥♥♥♥ out of ♥♥♥♥♥♥

images courtesy of jaunted, cinemaspartan, and grit.

Friday, July 10, 2009

seriously romantic: what happens in london

i've written about julia quinn's books before. when he was wicked is probably one of my all time favorite romance books, it is one of the most poignant, most emotional books i've ever read. quinn's ability to express the constant yearning, the aching sadness her two leads live with is actually surprising, because when you consider the bulk of her oeuvre she's well known for her characters' witty repartee and comedic situations. i loved, loved, loved when he was wicked and i know that a lot of people don't, because they read for happy stories.

and that's usually why i read too, but i also like the stories to evoke something. and while quinn's other novels are amusing, i'm not usually laughing out loud. except i totally did while reading her latest novel, what happens in london, a delightful romantic comedy that leaves you just feeling happy at the end. we had first met the bevelstoke clan during the secret diaries of miss miranda cheever, quinn's first book post-bridgerton. at the time, i don't recall being particularly enchanted by them, because i know i haven't reread that particular novel and i continue to not have much interest in it. i think i found miranda cheever annoying. but that's beside the point.

this encounter with the bevelstoke clan showcases olivia, a delightful young woman who is blessed with uncommon good looks and a sharp mind. she isn't necessarily smart, but she is not the average debutante. our hero, harry valentine, is a war veteran whose knowledge of russian is integral to the plot. harry moves in next door to the bevelstoke's and when drawing room rumors prompt olivia to spy on harry who catches her at it pretty immediately, the story starts moving pretty quickly. olivia is suspicious of harry, harry thinks olivia is a bit of an idiot, but the more time they spend together [as in all romance novels] they come to realize that their first impressions shouldn't stick.

a running joke throughout the book, harry gifts olivia with a terrible gothic novel entitled miss butterworth and the mad baron, which previously made an appearance in it's in his kiss. [the smythe-smith girls and their musicales make another appearance here too, and the bridgerton family gets a small mention in a throwaway line.] the gothic novel ends up not only shedding light on the leads characters and their likes and dislikes, but also on the character of some of the supporting players. in a hilarious drawing room scene the book ends up being read aloud and much silliness follows.

interestingly, the person initially set up as the villan of the piece ends up coming off better from all the silliness and by the climax of the novel is revealed to be a non-threat. this is perhaps the only plot point that didn't work. harry and olivia were initially thrown together because of this, but the threat is dealt with rather quickly and the kidnapping and resolution all come off haphazardly and rushed. and the person ultimately revealed to be the bad guy is someone we never even knew was a threat.

the proposal at the end ties things together nicely, and i hope we get some more books set in the bevelstoke-valentine corner of london. some of the supporting players showed some hero/heroine potential. especially sebastian grey and winston bevelstoke, they seem as if they might be dreamy.

also, here is something i thought i'd share, apropos of nothing other than the fact that julia quinn is quoted in this usa today article. it's highlights that there are some seriously educated people writing and studying romance books. i think that this is really a great thing, and i can't help but love the fact that in spite of ted* [or maybe due to ted], harlequin is seeing sales growth.

images courtesy of

* ted=the economic downturn

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

slightly silly: a review of "if lucy fell"

sometimes trying new things on on-demand doesn't pay off. but i was bored and there wasn't anything on that i was truly interested in and i figured that i didn't have to finish watching it if i hated it. and well, i didn't hate it.

but it wasn't good either. if lucy fell is the story of two college friends who find themselves approaching thirty and not having grown much since college. lucy [played by sarah jessica parker] is a commitment-phobic psychologist with daddy issues who's idea of true love involves her partners passing a hug test and answering yes to questions like "would you drink my spit?" joe [played by someone not all that attractive][eric schaeffer who is the lead actor, writer, & director of the film which makes him an artiste and also explains a lot as to why this movie isn't very good] is a loser art teacher deeply in lust with the next-door neighbor [elle macpherson].

lucy and joe have a death pact dating from their time in college, where if by the age of thirty [specifically lucy's thirtieth birthday] they haven't made progress on their life goals, they will fling themselves off the brooklyn bridge. predictably they set out to reach their goals, discover that their dreams weren't all they were cut out to be and realize that they are actually in love with one another.

there are no plot elements in this story that would make it interesting. and because the attractiveness of the two leads is suspect [personally i like sjp, i'm just never sure where to rate her on the attractiveness scale], there isn't really a reason to watch the film.

however, if you happen to be a huge scarlett johansson fan or you need to watch every movie ben stiller has ever been in, i guess you will want to give this one a shot. scarlett plays an art student of joe's and her signature raspy voice is in evidence even at such a young age. ben stiller on the other hand plays a zoolander-like buffoon, an artist that is set up to be a rival of joe's though the rivalry isn't really the main focus of that particular subplot. i personally am not a fan of the zoolander-like buffoon type that stiller so often plays. i like him much better when he is being mostly normal.

grade: ♥ out of ♥♥♥♥♥♥

images courtesy of geocities and impawards.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

simply catching up on all things general hospital

hmmm, it's been months since i've blogged about gh. partly this is due to the fact that i fell behind while i was traveling. partly because all the outrage lapsed into disinterest when i realized i couldn't bring myself to care anymore and everything that was happening was just so trite and boring.

some days i still feel that way. and there are still whole storylines that i either hate or just fast forward through. but there are some good things too. in no particular order, here are my thoughts on the goings-on in port charles:

1. soras [and why re-casting roles works on soaps even if you do miss the original actors]:
the new, older versions of sonny's kids are turning out to be quite enjoyable. [although hilariously, cameron whom i believe is older than molly is now younger. and because cameron is so cute, i'm kind of hoping they won't fix that. we also haven't seen spencer in ages, so he may be approaching 50.] in any case, at this point we've only seen michael, morgan, and christina age up. and as much as i loved the old morgan and kristina, i think the recasts were all really good.

drew garrett has been really good as michael, and as annoying and angry as he is, he's playing a teenager who has lost a year of his life really well. i know a lot of people miss dylan cash, but i think the new guy is doing a really great job, and i think that aging michael up provides a lot of good storylines for everyone involved. and drew garrett has been great, he's played off all the major players really well. the kid has chemistry with everyone [more on that in a second], and he's a cutie as well.

lexi ainsworth has also done an admirable job at portraying the rebellious kristina. i'm really enjoying getting to know this character and think the casting department did a good job here.

and as much as i loved old morgan, the new morgan is cutely dorky. his scenes in the woods with dominic were priceless.

i can't wait to see the new molly. i think the recasts and the aging of sonny's kids are likely to be good things.

the only slightly creepy thing about the recasts are the crazy amounts of chemistry evident between michael and kristina. and i was also recently reminded of the fact that michael and kristina aren't related at all. which has me slightly worried that we will see a weird romance a la justin and rebecca on "brothers & sisters" in the future.

2. who killed the mayor's mistress
i'm as happy as the next person to have alexis on the front burner, but does it have to be at the expense of her overall intelligence as a woman? to be fair, she has had an atrocious track record when it comes to the men she is attracted to. but i still don't see why alexis needs to be involved in the mayor's downfall. although, i am looking forward to scenes between nancy lee grahn and martha byrne. somehow i think that that might be spectacular. [i might have just jinxed it.]

but anyway, it's cute watching maxie and spinelli and robin and patrick working together on the mystery. and i'm also happy that matt is somewhat involved in a front burner story. i like matt hunter, and i really want to know more about him. i'd like it if they integrated him more into the cast and gave him a real storyline. instead of just giving him a twitter feed.

3. maxie and spinelli

kirsten storms and bradford anderson are very cute together. but first there was the essential person thing, and now there is this courtly love nonsense. i mean, maybe this makes me shallow and all, but i'm with maxie--sex is important to relationships. and the fact is, maxie may love spinelli, but she isn't attracted to him. so their romantic relationship is doomed from the get-go. and it's very sweet of maxie to try and be the person spinelli wants her to be, but she is doomed to fail. you can't change who you are for someone else. and that's why i don't like this pairing.

personally i think kirsten storms and brandon barash are great together, but i also really like james cook. i'd be interested in seeing maxie and johnny or maxie and matt try things out. and maybe with his heartbreak spinelli can grow up a little bit. he should be old enough to take care of himself, he should be able to function as a slightly awkward member of society, but the way he is written sometimes it feels like he's mentally deficient.

i can't remember if it was on night shift or regular flavor gh, but there was some hint that perhaps spinelli was mildly autistic or had asperger's. that storyline would [in the hands of good writers] provide bradford with some really good material, as well as some really good material for maxie and jason. too bad it won't happen [and even if it did, the whole storyline would turn into some insane parody of itself considering the current gh writing staff].

4. ethan, rebecca, nicholas
this is the most boring love triangle. on the one hand, i definitely hate ethan a lot less than i did when he first started airing. i may not agree with what they've done to rewrite the spencer family history, but i'm happy to accept him as a spencer and move forward. i just can't stand rebecca. i can't stand rebecca and nicholas. in part because willful stupidity isn't fun to watch [see the latest episode of the bachelorette for something similar.] this whole storyline is a mess and it makes less and less sense as it progresses. although i should probably admit that i haven't actually watched it in its entirety since i tend to fast forward through all the nicholas and rebecca scenes, though i maintain that i haven't missed anything by doing so.

the sad thing is that i really loved nicholas and emily together. and having this emily lookalike storyline-love interest is really killing any residual affection i had for the couple.

5. johnny and olivia
i know a lot of people hate olivia. but i've actually liked her a heck of a lot more than i ever liked kate. and i have to say that this johnny and olivia storyline is hot. i'm really enjoying them together and can't wait to see what happens when dominic is revealed to be dante, her long-lost son with sonny. [right? that's where this is going...i haven't read spoilers, but it seems the most obvious plot twist.]

6. claudia
some days i think they are redeeming this character just a little bit, and then she acts like a hateful shrew. i just don't know what to think of her. i love sarah joy brown. i wish that the writers would pick a side, she's either consistently good and misunderstood or consistently bad to her zacchara core, but the way she flip flops and schemes and generally does insanely stupid things is enough to drive any person mad. also, she could maybe mix up her wardrobe a little.

i have this coworker who only ever wore black, gray or white, and then decided she would add a color to her closet and chose brown as the color. i want to say to claudia what i wanted to say to this coworker. a little bit of color can do amazing things. claudia would look amazing in a bright, bold [non-red] color. she doesn't always need to look like the angel of death/sex.

7. ric's departure
i'm glad he didn't leave in a body bag, and am especially glad that the actor got out of dodge before the show further wasted his talents. too bad that the show was just starting up something interesting for him to do. [though rick hearst totally made the right decision. i hope they treat him well over on "the bold & the beautiful"] though why he couldn't say goodbye to alexis or molly on-screen goes a little beyond me.

8. stuart damon
so happy for him that he can finally say farewell to the tracksuits. after being unceremoniously fired from "general hospital" during the metro court crisis, he's back on soaps in a new role on "as the world turns". good for him.

photos courtesy of zinester, soapoperasource,,,, and soapnet.