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OLTL Recap – Dec 19 – Dec 23rd

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Viki, Noelle, Moe, Rex and Shane all go to the diner for the pie-off, and everyone bonds over their memories of Gigi…while Cutter and “Stacy” wake up in each other’s arms. She later looks through the window of the Bon Jour to see her family and friends gathered in her honor, and is deeply moved. The judge of the pie contest is none other than Professor Delbert Fina, Jr., son of the famous time travel researcher who helped Gigi and Rex find each other when he was trapped in 1968.  Everyone goes to the airport to return to Llanview, but the plane is oversold.  One of them has to volunteer to take the next plane. Rex looks in the Professor’s book and sees an important message. “Stacy” meets Prof. Fina, confides she came to Paris, Texas, hoping to find something here, but she gave up. The Professor tells her his motto. When Cutter returns, Stacy is gone.  EOD, she comes face to face with Rex. Clint confides his dilemma in Natalie.  Natalie is of course on Viki’s side. Clint accuses her of being as stubborn as Viki. Natalie says Jessica helped her see she was being unreasonable about John, she wants to tell him she still loves him, but he’s been dodging her calls. She decides she’ll go talk to him in person. Kim comes to Clint to find out if he’s made up his mind, chosen between her and Viki.  Clint’s still uncertain.  Kim plants a big kiss on him just as Viki returns home. John’s at the hospital to take Tea home. She’s still pushing him about the Todd investigation, he reminds her to keep her stress levels down, let him handle it. She asks him about Natalie, calls him on evading talking about his relationship. Todd comes in on Tea and John talking about him, and he expresses sympathy to Tea over her scare with the baby. Tea, on edge, because she knows Todd’s guilty, loses it with him. Her hostility unsettles him. Shane calls Neela, reminds her he still needs Jack’s confession.  Neela’s surprised Jack’s working for Todd now. Todd makes progress getting his relationship with Jack on a better footing, treats him and Neela to a lavish lunch in his office. Neela/Jack grow closer. He kisses her, and by EOD, is about to unburden himself to her about a secret he’s been holding in for a long time as Neela’s tape recorder rolls.

Rex encounters “Stacy” and lets her have it about her plan to take Gigi’s place.  She swears she remembers nothing. He’s affected by having someone who’s a ringer for Gigi standing right in front of him – and this makes him even more furious.  Cutter interrupts.  At EOD, he’s about to do the right thing and tell them the truth about “Stacy.” After getting Neela’s reassurance that Jack can trust her, Jack spills the whole story about his part in Gigi’s death while Neela secretly tapes him.  He is genuinely sorry and breaks down. Shane finds Aubrey decorating his and Rex’s house for Christmas.  Aubrey’s disappointed to discover that Rex volunteered to get bumped from the flight home.  They have a heart-to-heart during which Aubrey assures Shane she isn’t trying to take Gigi’s place.  Shane reveals to her that he’s hoping to give Dad the best gift ever: justice for Gigi.  He tells her about his and Neela’s collaboration to get Jack to confess. Aubrey opens a box of Christmas decorations from Rex’s storage – and finds Gigi’s Christmas stocking. Viki walks in on Kim and Clint’s kiss.  She witnesses a second kiss, and then stumbles out only to run into entering David.  She asks him to get her out of there.  He takes her away and she pours out her story.  David insists she’s better off without Clint.  She’s genuinely hurt, really thought she and Clint had a chance.  He comforts her. Meanwhile, Clint tells Kim how he really feels.

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Cutter reveals the truth. Rex accuses him of still trying to con him, make money …and punches him out. “Stacy’s” concerned for Cutter, until she learns he’s wanted for murder in Kentucky.  Stacy’s horrified that Cutter has committed such a horrendous crime.  When Stacy expresses horror over Cutter’s crime, Rex says she’s no better. “Stacy” still doesn’t remember, but also believes she never could have done something so horrible.  If only she could go back in time… and remember.   Prof. Delbert Fina appears:  maybe he can help.  Aubrey, who now knows what Shane is up to vis a vis Jack. She warns Rama to keep an eye on Neela, while not breaking Shane’s confidence.   Aubrey admits she’s worried Rex might not make it home in time for them to spend Christmas together.  Aubrey waits for Rex, and at EOD, Cutter uses his one phone call to call her from police custody.  Todd sees Jack looking shaken (after confessing the truth about his role in Gigi’s death to Neela.)  Meanwhile, Shane calls Neela, really hopeful she got a confession out of Jack. Jack and Neela grow closer as he tells her how much it meant to him to be able to open up to her about the terrible thing he did to Gigi. Shane meets Neela later. Will she tell him the truth? Todd questions Jack about his relationship with Neela.  Jack closes him down, but is grateful when Todd gives him money to buy Neela a nice Christmas present. EOD, Jack and Todd take a baby step forward when Jack invites him to spend Christmas Eve with their family. Tea is upset that Todd’s worming his way into a closer relationship with Dani. Almost loses it again, but John pulls her back, reminding her she needs to avoid stress for the baby’s sake.  Nate and Dani grow closer.   John insists Tea keep her distance from Todd, he sees her at the breaking point, and they can’t afford to tip Todd off to their suspicions.  EOD, Dani tells Tea she wants to invite Todd to spend Christmas Eve with them.

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Rex and “Stacy” are rapt and emotional as Delbert shows them what really happened on the night Gigi supposedly died.  Neela still has misgivings as Shane plays the tape of Jack confessing his part in Gigi’s death.  Shane’s hit hard all over again, but when it’s over, he realizes that this tape could put Jack in jail.  Neela tries to convince him not to call the cops, but Shane wants Jack punished!  He calls John, and John arrives. Shane plays the tape for him.  John goes.  Neela, feeling bad, needs to get home.  Shane calls his father. While Tea urges John to straighten things out with Natalie, Dani calls Starr, saying her mother could use some cheering up. Blair, Starr, Jack and Sam arrive.  They toast to Victor and to the baby of his Tea’s having. When Blair and her family leave, Dani finds a cache of gifts Victor had left for them. Todd makes it clear that he was going to visit his family whether Jack had invited him or not.  Sam is waiting for Santa to arrive the way he did last year. Blair explains the Echo DiSavoy-as-Santa incident to Todd. While Viki tells Natalie that she found Clint kissing Kim, Clint tells Jess he sent Kim away because he loves Viki. Finally, they admit their true feelings for one another. John arrives with a gift for Liam.  Natalie is about to talk to him about their relationship.

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General Hospital

GH’s Steve Burton and Maurice Benard Deliver “The Power Performance of the Week”

Last week, as General Hospital aired the final episodes they had in the can, prior to the coronavirus TV production shutdown, viewers of the series were left with a one-two punch of gut-wrenching performances from Daytime Emmy winners, Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny)

Burton, also received great news last week, when he found out he was again Emmy-nominated in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category, while Benard, told fans he did not submit himself in the competition this year, when they were wondering where his name was in the list of the finalists in the category.  However, Maurice won last year for the second time in his career, for Outstanding Lead Actor.

Courtesy/ABC

Now on last Tuesday and Wednesday’s episode of the ABC daytime drama series, Jason was trying his best to break it to Sonny that Sonny’s dad, Mike (Max Gail) is not going to get any better as he continues to decline from Alzheimer’s disease, and that Mike is waiting for Sonny to let him go.  Sonny is devastated sitting with Mike watching him being completely unresponsive.  He tell Mike he will be back to see him tomorrow, as he leaves Mike reaches out his hand slowly.

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Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) has just told Jason that she believes the signs are all there that Mike is on his final decline and battle with Alzheimers. Mike is unresponsive, not eating. and slipping away quickly. She believes he wants to let go, but is holding on for Sonny’s sake, something that tears through Jason.  Knowing Jason was told something by Elizabeth, Sonny asks what it is.  That is when Jason tells Sonny he thinks Mike is waiting for Sonny to let him go.

An overcome Sonny tells Jason that he worries that Mike might still want to fight, but for what? He is a shell of himself and has no memories.  It is then that Burton as Jason, in a touching performance, tells Sonny what he’d want if he were in Mike’s place. Jason reflect that he wouldn’t want machines keeping him alive or his kids having to go through what Sonny is having to deal with right now   Jason goes on to say that even when Sonny put walls up between himself and Mike through the years, that Mike never stopped trying to break them down.

Photo:ABC

Once Jason leaves, with tears running down his cheeks, Sonny sits with Mike trying to come to terms with what he must do now.  Will Sonny let Mike die and spare his father any further misery … or will he try to prolong whatever time Mike has left?

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These scenes for anyone who has endured or lived through losing a loved one battling through Alzheimer’s and having to make a life and death decision, and the emotional turmoil and sadness it causes a family, could feel the pain and heartbreak played  by Burton and Benard. That is why Michael Fairman TV gives Steve and Maurice the honors of The Power Performance of the Week.

Watch a few scenes from part of Steve and Maurice’s ‘Power Performance’ below

Then let us know, what did you think of Steve and Maurice’s performances in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Comment below.

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All My Children

ABC and PEOPLE’s ‘The Story of Soaps’: What Was Your Review Of It?

Tuesday’s night airing of ABC and PEOPLE’s two-hour special The Story of Soaps featured many notable daytime and primetime soap stars, past and present, clips from backstage to classic memorable moments, and some participants who were providing commentary on the erosion of the daytime soaps in our culture.  Still others, maintained and realized that everything today is serialized from the news we watch, to some of Netflix’s most binge-watchable series, and of course, the birth of reality-programming.

Throughout the airing of the special, The Story of Soaps was trending on Twitter and social media either at the #2, #3 or #4 spots for the entire duration of the broadcast presentation, and the cancelled and beloved All My Children was also at one point trending.

However, known soap writers, journalists, ardent fans, and actors of the genre, were all on Twitter last night live-tweeting their thoughts as the special went down, and there was definitely mixed reactions and reviews, when all was said and done.

What the special did not shy away from, but tackled, was Luke’s rape of Laura at the campus disco on General Hospital. and how that moment now, as Genie Francis (Laura), so eloquently put, would be considered as ‘date rape’ in our culture.  The series even included a pivotal moment where Laura addresses Luke (Tony Geary) about the rape years later, after helping Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) through her rape ordeal.

John Stamos (Ex-Blackie Parrish, GH) got a bevy of “Right On’s!” for his comment that the soaps do not get the credit that they deserve and clearly came through as one of the soaps greatest supporters, as did former The Doctors and Knots Landing star, Alec Baldwin.

However, throughout the two-hours, Andy Cohen’s commentary was thread throughout; mostly citing soap’s demise and the creation of reality-programming and his “Real Housewives” franchise, that the special touted as the new soap operas.  It continued on the narrative that people preferred to see real-life drama then made-up drama on a fictional soap.  And while, that has been a trend in American culture for decades, the commentary came off as often out of place in a celebration of the soaps; and bringing in a lot of negativity to the special that soap fans were tired of hearing.

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In a lighting rod moment, Cohen stated: “I know Susan Lucci doesn’t agree with me, but I think that the Housewives have replaced soap operas because truth is stranger than fiction. Soaps became kind of unnecessary because you could do it with real people, and they’re writing the drama themselves.”

The special did also address the cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live, (which many were not sure they were going to do – given this special was airing on ABC), where One Life’s leading lady and six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki) said what we all wanted to sa ywhen the ax fell on the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, “People were horrified”.

Clearly, OJ Simpson and his murder trial and reality-programming were also given a chunk of time to show where the once mighty landscape of daytime soaps which once had 13 shows on the air, dwindled town to 4.  But, it would have been nice to see more time spent on how in this day and age, the people in this current landscape of the genre work so hard to get episodes done at an unbelievable pace, and how in that climate the performers still deliver gut-wrenching performances.

Photo: ABC

Former Loving, OLTL and Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston, did point out how the once powerful soaps, just don’t have the dollars they used to, and need to, to help with production costs and their taping schedule.

Viewers were reminded of soaps’ socially relevant storylines including hankie-inducing moments from: Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Stone’s (Michael Sutton) HIV/AIDS storyline on General Hospital, to Billy Douglas being a gay teen coming out on One Life to Live, played by a young Ryan Phillippe.

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There also did not seem time spent on the contributions of William J. Bell; one of the most prominent writers of the soap genre of all-time.

For many commenting on social media last night, there seemed to be a feeling of some glaring omissions of participants who could speak on this genre, who have been in the trenches as soap producers, soap writers, pundits, actors, and more, who were not included in the special.

So, what was your review of The Story of Soaps? How would you grade it? Do you feel it accurately reflected the history of the genre?  Were you happily surprised,  or when it came to the end where you over it, or somewhere in between? Sound off in the comment section below.  Below are some tweets from notables who have worked as an actor, a writer, and a journalist in the soaps.  

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Linsey Godfrey Deliver ‘The Power Performance of the Week’

Fans of Days of our Lives knew when the mother of all showdowns was going to go down, it would be the payoff they had waited for – the rightful bio-mom would finally hold her baby in her arms!

In emotional and top-notch performances from Stacy Haiduk (Kristen) and Linsey Godfrey (Sarah), Kristen finally comes face-to-face with baby Rachel, who Sarah had kidnapped, although Sarah believed for so long that she was raising her daughter, MacKenzie.   When she learned the bombshell truth, that the child was not hers and that her baby died, she took off with the little one to Europe.

On last Tuesday’s episode, an overwrought and pissed Kristen tells Sarah: “Where the hell do you think you’re going with my baby?”  Sarah calls the child her daughter.  Trying to reason with her Kristen knows Sarah loves Rachel.  Then, Sarah goes on how she was there from the beginning and helped the baby through cancer.  Kristen knows and appreciates that, but also says it should have been her that was doing all of that, and all of those moments and more were stolen from her.

Sarah calls out Kristen and says she is incapable of being a good mother. Cornered Sarah says she will scream if Kristen tries to take Rachel out of her arms.  Kristen relates that her baby is alive and she’s so very sorry that her joy is Sarah’s mourning. Kristen truly thanks Sarah for everything she’s done the entire time to raise her little girl,  But, she asks Sarah to please hand over her child.  Sobbing, Sarah finally does just that.

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Next, Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Xander (Paul Telfer) show up at the scene, and for the first time, Brady and Kristen hold their daughter. Their joy turns to more sorrow when they realize Kristen can never go back to Salem. If she does, she will be sent to prison for stabbing Victor (John Aniston).   When Brady agrees to disappear with her, Kristen won’t  let him do that.  Brady says that if he has to let her go to protect her and their child, he will step aside.  In another heartbreaking moment, Brady tells Rachel he loves her and says his heart will be with her, always.  Kristen promises to give her the life she deserves and the two say goodbye!

Later, Sarah returns to Abigail and Chad’s apartment where she tells Rex (Kyle Lowder) what happened and that she handed over the baby. She cries as Rex holds her as Xander (Paul Telfer) arrives, and Sarah is not-to-pleased to see him!

All complex emotional scenes, that is why Michael Fairman TV names Stacy and Linsey are Power Performances of the Week.  Let us know what you thought of their big scenes via the comment section below.

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Power Performance

Steve Burton as Jason & Maurice Benard as Sonny

General Hospital

Airdate: 5-19/20-2020

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