By Michele Dargan

WHAT has been going on with all of the actor exits on our favorite soap operas recently?????

It seems we need a scorecard these days just to keep up with who’s leaving which soap.

Earlier this month, Mark Hapka, Nathan on Days of Our Lives, got the axe after being involved in a front-burner storyline.

Now we find out that two more Days actors are leaving: Shelley Hennig (Stephanie) and Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip).

Paula, over at Paula’s Soapbox, discusses the recent DOOL exits and the possible impact on current storylines.

Click here to read her Days blog titled “On the Outs: DOOL.”

Meanwhile in the past few days, there’s been a plethora of exits on the ABC soaps.

Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Lavery/AMC) is leaving. She opted not to renew her contract.

Melissa Claire Egan (Annie/AMC)

THAT is definitely a BIG loss to AMC. Annie added so much to life to the show and Egan was so much fun to watch…particularly when she turned into Crazy Annie!

Egan posted a letter to her fans on her official website.

It says, in part: “After 4 and a half incredible years as a member of the All My Children cast, I have made the extremely difficult decision to leave the Pine Valley family that I have come to love and respect so much.

“It has been an amazing 4 and a half years for me! I have had the privilege and honor of working with the most talented and fun cast, crew, producers and directors imaginable. I have learned so much from them and am forever indebted. To wake up each morning and love going to work is a true blessing for which I am unbelievably grateful!”

And over at One Life To Live, Brittany Underwood (Langston/OLTL) has been fired.

Another BIG loss….I so enjoyed watching Langston grow from the “freak” in high school into a Cramer woman.

Perhaps the biggest shocker of all….

Rebecca Herbst, who has played Elizabeth Webber FOR-ever on General Hospital, was let go.

Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth)

Whhhhhaaaaatttt?????

Although, I have to say, the writers have totally ruined the character over the past several years….they turned Elizabeth…who survived a brutal rape all those years ago…who used to be a strong, kind, giving person…into a jealous, insecure – and I might add annoying – character.

Be that as it may, I still loved to watch Herbst onscreen because of her talent.

Not to mention that the character is steeped in so much GH history!

Paula, over at Paula’s Soapbox, has written a blog about her take on Herbst’s firing and speculates on how Elizabeth will be written out.

Paula also discusses how Elizabeth’s exit will impact the characters in her universe – like Lucky, Nikolas, Jason and her children.

Click here to read Paula’s blog about Herbst’s exit: “Farewell to Possibilities: GH.”

By Michele Dargan

I don’t know how anyone could have kept from crying their eyes out during the farewell scenes last week between Starr and Cole.

I was so moved at the raw and real emotions emanating from Kristen Alderson (Starr) and Brandon Buddy (Cole) as they said goodbye to each other and Cole to his beloved daughter, Hope.

Brandon Buddy (Cole) and Kristen Alderson (Starr)

Let me tell you….Buddy and Alderson have grown so much as actors and in their characters together…..which seems fitting that Starr and Cole’s theme song is “Together.”

Kristen Alderson and Brandon Buddy

I have to say that when Buddy first entered Llanview four years ago as Cole, Starr’s love interest, I was kinda lukewarm to the character.

Slowly but surely….I didn’t even know it was happening…somewhere along the way, I became a Sole fan.

I loved watching Alderson grow up onscreen….from a cute little girl, to a smart-talking, reptile loving child, to a blossoming pre-teen to a beautiful and strong young woman.

As for Buddy, he’s come a long way as an actor on the show.

In his early days as Cole, Buddy seemed a bit tentative in the character.

But, in a short time, he took command of the role and brought Cole through a variety of trying and difficult circumstances…..

Remember Cole detoxing off the drugs?

He did an incredible job with those scenes.

As for Alderson…well, she’s always been exceptional onscreen as Starr and she continues to grow and mature in the role.

Another sadness added to mix is the fact that Jason Tam (Markko) also left the show.

So as Starr and Cole said goodbye to each other, they also said goodbye to their good friend Markko. And, of course, Langston (Brittany Underwood) said goodbye to her first love.

So there was a whole lot of sadness going on with the break-up of the Fab Four as they’re called.

Brandon Buddy, Kristen Alderson, Brittany Underwood, Jason Tam

Because all four are great friends on and off screen, the scenes were all that more real, particularly at the end when Starr and Cole said their final goodbyes…..

Let me say that I am especially sad that Tam is leaving, because of the goodness and honesty of character found in Markko….and, quite frankly, with the tone and tenor the show is taking lately, there really aren’t many honorable characters left in Llanview.

And, in my humble opinion, that’s not a good thing!

But I digress….

Let me close with the video below and the final Starr/Cole scenes.

But it comes with a warning….Break out the tissues before “Together” starts with the flashback montage…It’s a killer!

And make sure you watch the very last scene when Cole leaves with the tissues at the ready!

By Michele Dargan

It’s pretty sad when the only thing I like about a soap is the opening theme song.

Yes sireeeee.

I loved hearing the OLTL opening theme song – sung with the words – for those three days of the musical.

Each day the song was performed by different singers – one day it was sung by Kassie DePaiva (Blair) who has a beautiful voice.

And – I think Tuesday – the opening theme was from the late 1980’s sung by Peabo Bryson.

[NOTE: I later found out that it was Mark Lawson (Brody) who sang Tuesday’s theme song – and HUGE KUDOS to him….To me, he sounded just like Peabo Bryson!]

They didn’t use the 80’s photos, of course.

Does anyone know the reason why they would use that theme song for three days and then revert back?

I don’t know why…But I will say that it was comforting….comforting because it made me think of the good old days of OLTL.

Ah yes….The 80’s…when the storylines and writing were still good.

Sad it’s come to this…..

I’ve already blogged about the hot mess of the three-day musical fiasco.

Lots of fast forwarding for me on those days.

As far as I’m concerned, the only good things to come out of that musical are seeing Brody (Mark Lawson) in his dress whites

And having Markko (Jason Tam) FINALLY discover the awful truth about Langston cheating on him with that low-life Ford.

THAT is another one of those storylines – like GH’s Liz cheating on Lucky with Nikolas – that went on way too long!

Oh, yeah….I loved when Markko slugged Ford. Now THAT was good!

And, judging by the previews, OLTL isn’t getting better any time soon…..

Natalie and Brody getting drunk and sleeping together?????

It looks like that will happen today.

Of course, Jessica will regain her memory and John will tell Natalie he wants her back…AND Nat and Brody will have THIS big secret…

Not good, since I like both couples and, of course, they’re being ruined.

Why is it that everyone on OLTL jumps into bed with the first available body when they get upset?

Everyone wants good drama.

But gratuitous sex is insulting to the fans and ruins the crediblity of good characters.