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As The World Turns

Want to Know What's Good on the Soaps? – Power Performances of the Week!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

For all of those naysayers in the world who say that soap operas are the poor step children in the entertainment medium, and that the performers in them are just churning out the same ole’ same ole’, day in and day out, one can look no further than this week on daytime.  There were so many riveting moments performed by some of the best that soaps have to offer, that when everyone in the mainstream says there is nothing left in soaps anymore, and they are an eroding commodity, they should have witnessed what many fans saw.   Our Power Performances of the Week, include five actors who each gave us chills and made us reach for our hankies.   Let’s begin in Port Charles with General Hospital’s Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson.   As Robin and Patrick, the betrayal and disintegration of their marriage began, when Patrick fessed up to Robin he cheated on her with nut job Lisa, while she was away in Africa.   After having been backed into a corner due to Lisa’s machinations, he had no choice but to admit to Robin his infidelity.  McCullough, whose performance was so powerful when she realized that Patrick shattered their marriage, showed us once again how given the material, she can hit it out of the park every time.  And, the writing of these scenes was also spot on.  Robin was all at once strong and that hurt little girl we have watched grow up before our very eyes for decades.   We never want to see our Robin hurt.  When it does, it’s a major moment.  On Friday’s episode, McCullough did it again when she struggles to come to terms with Patrick’s betrayal, realizing she wants to work things out.  Jason Thompson, what can I say?  One of soap operas best leading men. And, perhaps can out cry any male actor on daytime with real tears, and real emotion.  As Patrick, Thompson played his embarrassment, betrayal, and disgust of the situation with Lisa, and what he had done to his beloved wife, and their child, Emma to perfection.  It looks from where I am standing and from what we know is to come – a special return from Michael Sutton, as Stone Cates in the month of September – that old heartfelt wounds between Patrick and Robin, and the impact of the memory of Stone, will play out.

Courtesy/ABC

Crossing over to Llanview, Robin Strasser (Dorian) reminded us all of how to chew the scenery, and still make everyone around you, and the audience at home, believe every single second of it.  When Dorian’s big wedding day to David Vickers (aka Buchanan) arrived, and the duo had finally gotten past their mistrust of each other and got over themselves, and truly admitted their feelings for one another, it looked like this match made in heaven was going to endure.  Ah, but not when Tuc Watkins (David) is involved, because he had to be written out to go star on Desperate Housewives for awhile.  So Ron Carlivati and the One Life to Live writing team came up with a perfect plan that gave Strasser her moment to shine.  Dorian receives a letter that David is standing her up at the altar for the second time!  Reeling from the news, humiliated, and embarrassed, Dorian retreats to her room and bit by bit comes unglued, destroying everything in her path, and ending up on the floor clutching a pillow, and reminding us that there is a fragile little girl inside Dorian.  But wait!  When Viki (Erika Slezak) comes to help Dorian, literally and figuratively pick up the pieces, Dorian lays into her nemesis and blames her for the whole thing… classic Viki/Dorian!  Later, as Langston and Starr brought Dorian back to La Boulaie, the intensity and the emotions of the abandonment and betrayal were brilliant played by Strasser yet again!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

As we head over to Oakdale, it was truly a gift from Jean Passanante and As the World Turns writing team to give Colleen Zenk (Barbara) an episode that truly showed her remarkable talents.  It was truly, I believe, a love letter to Colleen and Barbara for 32 years of bringing a one of a kind character to the small screen.  As the series ends it’s remarkable run of 54 years on September 17th, Friday’s episode was the beginning of the can’t miss episodes that will tie together, and give closure to a myriad of the key characters.  But it started with veteran Zenk.  As Barbara and Henry struggled to come to grips with whether they should marry one another with the Stenbeck curse hovering over them, Zenk played it to the hilt.  In a part “cougar” storyline, Barbara wondered if she was too old, not pretty enough, or was it her past evil skullduggery that was making Henry not commit?  But it wasn’t.  It was the curse of the Stenbecks that had this man, who was formerly scared by his own shadow, wanting to run to the hills.  But after an emotional and convincing speech by Barbara about their unorthodox and bizarre life and love, the wedding was a go and it was to happen right away! In the second half of the episode, that is when Zenk really shined.  Realizing her family would probably never show up for a wedding of hers and Henry, she was shocked when they all did! And, in bittersweet and emotional moments with the core characters of her family and extended family, back-history was subtlety played, and rivalries were subdued, as everyone was there to support Barbara in her big moment.  When it came to the vows – hankies!  Colleen, tears flowing (and reminding us all of Barbara’s and Colleen’s real-life cancer scare and the true meaning of getting a new lease on life), delivered a monologue to Henry (Trent Dawson) that without a doubt was one of the finer moments.   Bittersweet, joyful and life-affirming, Zenk did it all throughout the episode devoted to her.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Finally, Days of our Lives James Scott (EJ Dimera) did not disappoint, and showed us the gamut of emotions behind his dark, brooding, and yet romantic character when the truth came out at EJ and Sami’s (Alison Sweeney) wedding day!  Many have known for months that before Labor Day, all of EJ’s lies would spin out of control once Rafe (Galen Gering) had the evidence to bring him down for his hideous plot to make Sami believe her daughter, Sydney had died!  Let’s not forget EJ was behind the baby girl’s kidnapping in the first place, and concocted all of this to exact revenge on Sami and everyone that wronged and betrayed him in the first place. After Rafe broke up another one of Sami’s weddings (the gal at this point should never get in a wedding dress again!) with the evidence of EJ’s deception, the sexy Dimera’s house of cards came tumbling down.   It was then we witnessed another superb performance by Scott.  Knowing he has been caught, EJ reveals he did it all, but he truly and deeply loves his Samantha no matter what he had done. EJ begs her to marry him, forgive him, and to stay with him, as he is now a changed man.  And, he does this with tears in his eyes!  Only James Scott can pull this off and gives so much dimension to this character that in the hands of anyone else, it could come off as just an evil sonofabitch with one black heart, and no redeeming qualities.  Later, after Sami lets him have a piece of her mind and kicks him to the curb and takes his kids out the front door, it’s daddy Stefano who lays into him for being so stupid to open his big mouth in front of Nicole, which caused his downfall.  Looking completely disjointed and unnerved by the disappointment of his father, and the shock of losing everything he fought so hard to get back, EJ ends Friday’s episode with one final thought:  “I’m going to kill Nicole”!

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

On-Air On-Soaps says “Bravo” to all the above talented men and women who make watching daytime still a fun and emotional rollercoaster!

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dinah
dinah

2 and 1 man women was the Performance of the Week for me 1st Alison Sweeney(days) Kimberly McCullough(GH) “the only thing was good about Gh this week” And Maura West and Michael Park(Jack and Carly) the always the best!!!

Cindy
Cindy

I totally agree about James Scott’s perfomance for the week of August 23rd. He did indeed show every emotion possible. And one thing that makes EJ DiMera so compelling is his vulnerability when it comes to Sami and his children. He bleeds with love for them and when the week ended the only things in life that really matter to him are gone. How often is it that an actor can say so much with his demeanor and his eyes? I cried along with EJ this week and expect to be doing more of the same in the coming weeks.

Eileen
Eileen

KIMBERLY McCULLOUGH IS AWESOME. Since she was a child, to a teenager and now a young woman she continues to amaze with her talent and beauty. She always brings it even when the material isn’t there but when it is she flys. And she always brings out the best in her partners – she did that with Michael Sutton ( looking forward to their reunion ) she did that for Steve Burton ( who is now a one note actor with the same expression on his mug 24/7 ) and she has certainly done that with Jason Thompson. He is a good actor whose gotten better thru’ the years but he continues to be at his best when he’s with his “perfect partner. “

LaTasha
LaTasha

HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOU!!!!! 🙂

sharon
sharon

So true, Eileen. Agree with you!

LaTasha
LaTasha

KIMBERLY McCULLOUGH AND JASON THOMPSON WAS AWESOME THIS WEEK!!!!! THEY SURELY HAD ME IN TEARS JUST GREAT!!!!!!! 🙂

hannah
hannah

Wow! I would definitely love jason thompson and kimberly mccullough performances in # GH . I enjoyed watching the revelation scene. It’s so awesome! and the emotions that are coming out such a real emotions with two married couple who are dealing with crisis with their family life. Kimberly McCullough emotions are so amazing, she handled her emotions so real and natural, she delivered the betrayal, being cheated , looking such clueless of this cheating stuff… Jason thompson did a great job as always , he is giving his best whatever material or story giving to them. I can see how good he was on his own way. Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson always good when they are good and they keep doing their acting so well. They know how to play any scenes no matter how bad it is they will make it good. Both these actors gave their own best when they had a great story on the show… They bring each other’s best! I am loving this sl in gh for now and it’s keep getting better and better… This is the only story that appealed me on the show right now….. Kudos to Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson for doing this story so great! 🙂

Cakelover20
Cakelover20

Jason Thomspon and Kimberly McCullough were definitely awesome this week.
It was great to see this two nail the emotional scenes that they shared. I have enjoyed watching Kimberly since she was a young girl. But the character of Robin gained a new fan this week when she uttered the words – IF YOU COME NEAR MY DAUGHTER AGAIN, I WILL KILL YOU MYSELF. I love when a female character does not play the victim. And yes she was betrayed by her husband, but her first instinct goes right to protecting her child!!!

Colleen Zenk Pinter has always been my a favorite character of mine. I did not watch the scenes, but I will be sure to track those scenes down.

Thank you for sharing. I hope that all the soaps realize that there are soap viewers out here that want to see good soapy stories.

sharon
sharon

I have to agree about Kimberly and JT on General Hospital! They are in a class by themselves as far as I’m concerned…delivering spot on performances every time. I just wish the show would realize how special they are because they rarely give them the air time they deserve especially considering this is supposed to be a frontburner story.

Robinegg
Robinegg

I just finished watching yesterday’s episode of ATWT – everything you said is true! Colleen has been a delight to watch for years. While some of the show’s writing leaves a lot to be desired, it is wonderful what they gave to Barbara to complete her story. She and Henry are a fine match, as proven in their vows. 🙂

Catherine
Catherine

I cannot get over how amazing Jason Thompson has been through out this story, I think in my personal opinion he is one of the best actors on daytime. He brings his heart to the set no matter what he does. Kimberly McCullough was fab on reveal day such heartbreaking emotion.

cheryl
cheryl

James Scott is the best actor on Daytime TV and I don’t know any actor on DAYS who is supposed to be a bad guy, but you root for him to get the girl. To bad TPTB don’t realize who the true HERO on DAYS should be. James totally made the scene bareable for me to watch. It was so heartbreaking and cruel what Sami did to him when she took his kids away. Especially when she didn’t allow him to say goodbye to Sydney. I cried right along with Ej!

Judy
Judy

I totally agree with you! Just remember, Sami did it to EJ first, with the original sin!
So why does she have all the sympathy?

Tish
Tish

I love how James Scott never disappoints!! He always does an excellent job! I was feeling EJ’s pain right along with him this week.

Tina
Tina

James Scott is amazing …and Ali Sweeney is no slouch either. I’m more convinced than ever this is an Ejami story. And James will rock it for all it’s worth.

Helen Zeller
Helen Zeller

Colleen Zenk was wonderful. Barbara was real, one of us, flawed and yet thankful to get a chance to do it better. The wedding storyline was perfect. Trent Dawson and Colleen Zenk pulled it off so well I heard myself think… wonder if they are a real couple? I love all the characters on ATWT. I am going to miss my escape of reality. These people have been in my home over 35+ years. I’ve never been to NY. Never seen a studio or movie set. And up till mid Sep, I have washed my clothes, iron and folded while my TV was on CBS. Guess I’ll turn it off and just put the radio on the oldies station.

cher62
cher62

Isn’t it about time Robin Strasser’s Dorian and her fans got a romance written for the character that didn’t hinge upon the availability of Tuc Watkins? Strasser always rocks. She was exceptional with the material she was given. But I am tired of the Dorian and David rerun.

mmc
mmc

Coleen and Trent as barbara and henry were fabulous together,And when vienna lied to henry and pretended to be pregnant I cried for him.But finally Barbara and Henry got together…she is so beautiful, and he is so adorable and he finally grew up.Their wedding was so touching…i could see them together as a couple. in real life..anyone else agree?

Sheree
Sheree

James Scott is a brliiant actor and my main reason for still watching this show. He shows Ej so complex and passionate and the love he has for his darling Samantha and his beautiful children. I cried right alongside him when she took the kids away from him. JS is a wonderful actor he should be leading romantic man, Ej is so charming and oozes romance like no other on this show. Look at his proposal with the dinky fishing hat!! He needs to be with the leading female character Sami. Jamison have amazing chemistry, why waste this. Other shows would kill for what Days has with Jamison.

ME
ME

Nice to see JS receive much deserved praise for his amazing acting. He is one of the best actors on Daytime. He draws you and and makes you feel everything he’s going through good, bad or in between. Never in all my years of wathcing DOOL did I imagine rooting for or loving a Dimera as I do EJ. JS has done an outstanding job with this character.

annie
annie

have to agree with all the praise for James Scott. He is beyond awesome and my only reason for even tuning in when I know he is on, dont want to miss anything that down the road will be considered an Emmy worthy consideration.

thank you for recognizing him and his talent and his strength as a romantic leading man.

As The World Turns

ATWT and ‘Vampire Diaries’ Alum, Zach Roerig Arrested For DUI

Another actor has been arrested for a DUI, and this one happened over Memorial Day Weekend.

News out of TMZ is that former As the World Turns actor, Zach Roerig (Ex-Casey), who went to appear in CW’s Vampire Diaries was taken in by the cops.

According to the report: “Zach was busted Sunday around 2:30 AM in Montpelier, Ohio. Police tell us, officers noticed Zach’s pickup truck did not have a front license plate, so they pulled him over.”

Apparently when the officer went up to the driver’s side window they noticed that Zach’s slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and say he, “reeked of booze”.

Roerig was arrested for  for a misdemeanor and was held overnight in a holding cell.  He was later released.

Photo: JPI

Zach’s arraignment is set as of now for June 4th.

ATWT fans will remember Zach as part of the younger set in Oakdale comprised of: multi-Daytime Emmy winner Jennifer Landon (Ex-Gwen), Jesse Sofer (Ex-Will) and Alexandra Chando (Ex-Maddie), all who went on to primetime fame during their careers.

So, what do you think about the latest past or present soap star receiving a DUI? Remember Zach on ATWT? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

Michael Swan and Margaret Reed Set For ATWT Reunion

More As the World Turns former cast members come forth during the COVID-19 pandemic to participate in Alan Locher;’s weekly ‘Locher Room’ virtual chats.

Newly announced on Thursday are former on-screen lovebirds, Michael Swan (Ex-Duncan) and Margaret Reed (Ex-Shannon).

Look for the twosome to appear on the upcoming Thursday June 4th edition of the reunion series, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a. m. PT.

To log on for the time of the conversation click here.

Remember Duncan and Shannon’s ATWT love story? Looking forward to seeing Michael and Margaret? 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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