Happy New Year, dear readers!
Wow, 2008 is here, and hopefully it will be a good one for you — and our beloved soaps.
Anytime our new year comes around, I always think of the Chinese New Year. Other cultures and their traditions never cease to fascinate me.
The Chinese New Year doesn’t start until Feb. 7, 2008, but I wanted to see which animal got top billing this year. (For those not familiar, Chinese New Years rotate among 12 animals. Click
here for a better explanation than I could give!)
This year, it’s the rat. People born under the year of the rat are supposed to be charming and good leaders, among other positive traits.
For the purposes of this blog, though, I’m going to invoke the more Americanized meaning of rat. You know, the word we use to refer to those sneaky, trouble-makers, the type of characters that scurry about on soaps?
Aren’t they awesome?
So as an homage to the vermin who make soaps so much more interesting — and who make our heros and heroines all the more heroic — here’s my list of some of the top “rats” in daytime:
1. Adam Chandler on All My Children. He might just be “The King” of rats. I mean, how long has this devilish tycoon been causing trouble in Pine Valley? Long. Time. Just when you think he can’t do anything worse … he does. Just ask little Jenny Martin. She’s only capable of googoo, gaga, but trust me. She knows.
2. Richie Novak on AMC. He’s pretty new to the canvas, but he’s made up for limited airtime with maximum evil. The guy’s not just bad; he’s crazy. Yikes.
3. Trevor Lansing on General Hospital. This guy gives me the full-body heebie-jeebies. Someone needs to eradicate this rodent ASAP. Yuck.
4. Ric Lansing on GH. I used to think he was a big rat (like a ROUS), but after meeting his father, I’ve categorized Ric back down to standard size. Portrayer Rick Hearst somehow manages to make me feel sorry for his character, even when I know I shouldn’t. But he’s still a rat.
5. E.J. Wells on Days of Our Lives. Yeah, he’s tall, dark and handsome, but a rat is a rat, no matter how fancy, charming and appealing it might sound with a British accent.
6. Jared Banks on One Life to Live. Simply put? “Uncle” hitting on “niece” is just … ewww. I’m not even sure “real” rats are into incest. Just sayin’.
7. Alan Spaulding on Guiding Light. OK, this guy gives AMC‘s Adam serious competition for the crown as “top rat.” Really, though, Alan reminds me more of a cockroach. You think he’s taken care of, and then you turn on the lights to the kitchen one night and there he is eating your crumbs. But since there is no year of the cockroach, welcome to the rat pack, Alan.
There you have it. Some of the top rats in daytime. (Yeah, I know, they’re all men. What can I say?)
Who would you add?

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kkitts

Sometimes its seems like there’s a lot of complaining in the world of soaps, especially online. I’m as guilty as anyone, so I thought it would be good at Christmas-time to talk about what I’m enjoying on my favorite daytime dramas.
OK, here it goes …
Jason and Elizabeth on General Hospital.
Lucas found a backbone on Days of Our Lives.
Little kids doing the darnedest things. (Did you see Summer dipping her fingers in Phyllis’ eggnog on The Young and the Restless? Too cute.)
All My Children‘s Aidan finally discovering a true-love match in Greenlee.
Greenlee and Zach realizing they may have been wrong about each other.
John and Natalie reconnecting on One Life to Live.
Steve Burton‘s haircut.
Steve Burton.
Langston on OLTL. Portrayer Brittany Underwood is something else.
Y&R‘s Melody Thomas Scott allowing her alter-ego, Nikki, to look pretty darn ragged while she grappled with daughter Victoria’s coma.
The vets on Days are part of major storylines.
Steve and Kayla and Bo and Hope on Days. They prove that true love can win out, and isn’t that what soaps are all about?
GH‘s Spinelli.
Guiding Light‘s Kim Zimmer and the return of the complicated, fabulously interesting Edmund, played by David Andrew Macdonald.
Terri Columbino‘s Katie on As the World Turns (no matter who she’s paired with).
And finally …
GH‘s Sonny found someone his own age.
So there you have it. Some of the things I’m appreciating on soaps.
It’s kinda nice to focus on the positive, dontcha think?
Um, Santa? Can you take me off the naughty list now?

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kkitts

There’s been some big news in casting the past couple weeks.
Sarah Brown (General Hospital‘s original Carly) is returning to Port Charles, and Rebecca Budig (All My Children‘s original Greenlee) will be popping up again in Pine Valley.
Although they both launched significant soap characters, there is a difference in their returns. Sarah is slated to play a brand new role, while Rebecca will be stepping back into the part that put her on the daytime map.
My initial reaction to these ladies’ comebacks was positive. I adore both these actresses and would welcome them on my TV screen anytime. But I do have a few reservations.
Let’s start with Sarah. She is probably one of the best actresses to ever come through daytime. She always brings such passion and intensity to her roles. That fire is what made Carly such an indelible part of the GH landscape. Without Sarah, I’m not sure there would still be a Carly.
Of course, I’m not knocking her successors. Not at all.
Tamara Braun filled Sarah’s shoes admirably and even put her own stamp on the role.
Then there was Jennifer Bransford, who may not have been quite the right fit (as evidenced by her short time in the role), but she did a fine job with Carly’s nervous breakdown.
And now we have Laura Wright, who has rightly earned fan loyalty and accolades for her portrayal. She has made Carly her own, and she deserves to keep the part. Not that I think anyone at ABC even considered booting her for Sarah, but sometimes the higher ups are knuckleheads, so you never know.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m excited Sarah will be back on the GH canvas, but I’m glad someone else didn’t have to lose her job in the process.
So what’s my reservation? That she’ll come in and her story line will be a complete flop. Not through any fault of hers, I would suspect, but because soaps often make the mistake in these situations of either a) throwing the new character into a story/romance with an actor they’ve worked with before, banking on the chemistry to make it all fly, without bothering to offer a strong plot as foundation or b) making the new character so diametrically different than the actor’s previous character, thereby totally neutralizing the strengths of the actor and pretty much guaranteeing a disaster.
Did any of that make sense?
Bottom line: I’m thrilled Sarah’s coming back, but I hope GH doesn’t screw it up.
However, Sarah’s return doesn’t worry me as much as Rebecca’s.
OK, before anyone jumps on my case, I will preface all this by saying … and I’ve said it before … that Rebecca Budig is awesome. She’s cute, she’s funny, she’s a wonderful actress.
In fact, many people consider her the “real” Greenlee.
The problem is, I liked Sabine Singh in the role. Maybe I was the minority, but there you have it. Not to say I won’t welcome Rebecca back, but I think it’s pretty shabby the way Sabine got the shaft.
But you know what worries me most about all this? Where will this leave Aidan?
I thought Sabine had sweet, yet scorching chemistry with Aiden Turner. It was a big reason she was becoming more comfortable in Greenlee’s shoes. She finally had a story that was separate from everything so deeply connected with Rebecca, and it was giving her a chance to mold the role on her own terms.
And Aidan. How long have viewers waited for him to find someone worthy? Someone for the long haul? Someone you really believed he had a soul connection with?
He found that in Sabine’s Greenlee.
That’s not to say that Rebecca and Aiden won’t have the same chemistry, or even better, but it saddens and frustrates me to think I finally had an Aidan love story to invest in … and then poof!
We’ll see, though. Maybe the writers will continue with Aidan and Greenlee. I hope so. But I’m afraid they’ll throw her right back in with Ryan, and as much as I appreciate his portrayer, Cameron Mathison, Greenlee deserves better than what Ryan can give her.
That all said, I welcome Rebecca … and Sarah … back to daytime. The fact is the genre is better whenever they’re around, no matter what role they happen to be playing.

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kkitts