cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (all the space between us doesn't matter)
The Greenlee and Leo scenes, specifically.

Fucking killed me. Killed me. It was so intensely emotional that I cried through the whole thing, even all the smiles and laughter and happy memories. I've been waiting since 2003 for that scene, and it was gorgeous and heartbreaking and perfect and NOT ENOUGH. Greenlee and Leo, the couple that drew me into soaps and made me love them, and then went away, never to return. Until now. For just this one little moment. It actually felt like a miracle.

Thank you Rebecca Budig and Josh Duhamel for having the most amazing romantic chemistry in television history, and Lorraine Broderick for knowing how to write for a soap, especially this soap, and this couple. The only thing I want that you didn't give me is more.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (putting on my face)
Wow, when I read those spoilers about Adam walking in on Annie cheating on him, I thought it sounded kind of contrived--the previous bout of adultery with JR aside, she's been crazy devoted to Adam for a while now, and serious about her marriage to him--but Jacob Young and Melissa Claire Egan sold the hell out of the scene leading up to it. It was disturbingly hot: Annie shoving at him and yelling, "You sick, sick son of a bitch!!," JR physically picking her up and throwing her onto the bed--I said it was disturbing--both of them reacting to the high emotional content of the moment and succumbing to their (surprising) physical chemistry--hotter this time than the last, by my lights--going for sex, and then, of course, in walks Adam, just in time to see his young wife and his adult son rolling around on the bed, pulling their clothes off, doing exactly what it looks like they're doing.

Not bad.

I'm not an old-school fan, and I've never particularly liked either JR or his current actor (Young), who is really not one of daytime's most talented performers. He did have pretty strong chemistry with Alexa Havins' Babe, though, and so far as I have given it five minutes of thought, I wonder what the hell the writers were thinking when they a) introduced Marissa, who is among the most boring characters I have ever seen on television, and b) married her to JR--the actors are totally devoid of any chemistry whatsoever; JR and Babe were a strong, if somewhat loathsome pairing, and the producers must have been fucking desperate to even have tried JR and Marissa as a couple. I have no idea why they've stuck with them so far, when it's painfully evident that it doesn't work. But now! Though Young and Egan don't have the most spectacular physical chemistry I've ever seen--I mean, I've seen some reeeeally good stuff--it's pretty good, and the characters themselves have a classic soapy dynamic (good ol' hate/love, JR working overtime to destroy Annie, but getting caught up in the wake of her crazy intensity, plus the kinky pseudo-incest of an adult child with an agemate step-parent--ahhhhh, soap, which loves to go there). I don't think I've ever enjoyed Young's JR more, and Egan can sell anything, including a smoking hot affair with JR. When you throw in the additional drama of Annie's previous, never-made-it-to-an-affair entanglement with JR's sexy, tall cousin Scott, you have a great soap scenario. Bring it on, AMC.

But please ditch Marissa. She's godawful, okay? Just own it and move on.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (greenlee and david)
You'd basically have to be dead inside not to love watching li'l Budig scampering around on those especially click-y heels--so inappropriate for a woman supposedly recovering from major back surgery--and struggling, adorably, to open the heavy wooden lid of a crate to reveal exactly what Adam did NOT want to see: David Hayward, the snarkiest ethics-challenged cardiologist on the east coast.

(By the way, smuggling your husband-of-convenience, who's wanted by the police, from the office of your cosmetics company back to the mansion of the corporate mogul--who he's been doctoring on the down-low--in a giant wooden crate that's disguised as a shipment of make-up samples supposedly meant to demonstrate the new line for the corporate mogul's fake multi-million dollar investment in your company is

a) PURE SOAP, and

You cannot get this on prime time.)

And David and Greenlee, standing side-by-side behind the crate and cutely poking at each other as they failed to blackmail Adam, induced some kind of petit mort of the entertainment muscle in me. If Budig and Irizarry weren't having a blast during the filming of that scene, I will eat my big floppy green straw hat, which I just pulled out of the closet on account of it's definitely now spring. (It's past the vernal equinox, it's been warm on and off for weeks, and the crocuses are up. The calender, the weather, and my aesthetic sensibilities are all in alignment on this one.)

Re: attic scenes, wherein David tries to convince Greenlee that it's time to give him up to the cops, and she refuses: David is toooooootally falling in love with Greenlee. His self-sacrificing impulses have kicked in, and that never ever ever ever ever ever happens with David unless he loves someone. Greenlee isn't in love with David yet, but the depth of her emotional investment in keeping him around makes me squee inside. She's right, her stubbornness is her best quality.

So I guess that Greenlee is still staying at Wildwind? Weird. For the better part of a decade, she's been in that same apartment, with a revolving door of guests, lovers, roommates, and occasional tenants. (Although, come to think of it, she was probably in Ryan's apartment in the years they were married...most of which I skipped, thank god.) Anyway, it's nice to see her on a new set, although how in hell David got Wildwind, which last I had heard belonged to Maria and Edmund, is beyond me. Was it something Anna-related? I'm also not clear on why David's so obscenely rich these days, although I'm willing to roll with it. When you take yearlong+ breaks from a soap, these things happen.

Note for the day: I so dig that in between all of her futzing around, aiding and abetting her awesome criminal spouse, Greenlee actually LOOKS like she's working her ass off on Fusion business--not just showing up at the office to order around the staff, but also hauling around paperwork wherever she goes, generally looking like she knows what the fuck she's doing, and reminding me eerily of a former store manager I once worked for, who was equally tiny, stylish and insanely competent. She had that same air of drive and intelligence, and the same vaguely brittle quality. She was the best manager I've ever worked for, and I would have walked across hot coals for her. (Unlike Greenlee, my ex-manager never yelled at the staff for dumbshit mistakes--though I think she sometimes wanted to--because an employer's verbal abuse, a la The Devil Wears Prada, is something less than entertaining in real life.)
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (greenlee and aiden)
I don't know what was awesomer about the Greenlee-at-the-Chandler-Mansion sequences today and yesterday:

A) Greenlee and Adam arguing! Rebecca Budig and David Canary in the same room? HOMG. Why didn't anybody think of doing this before? I literally cannot remember the last time they shared a scene, and I bet it wasn't a scene like this--one where they get to snipe and scheme and generally clash like two really willful people with overabundances of personality and a very small set of intersecting goals should. I pray for many more such scenes.

(And even if the idea was just a ruse, Greenlee and Adam as business partners would rock so hard that the structural integrity of the Chandler mansion might actually be compromised--please, please, PLEASE let Greenlee decide to actually badger Adam into investing in Fusion! Just think of how many people it would fuck up! It could put Greenlee back in Scott's orbit--I never saw any of their original interactions when Greenlee first came to the show to make Scott's life hell, but it could make for fun times now!--and in the vicinity of craaaaazy Annie,* who hated her with a literally murderous passion. Even if Adam is going to leave the show, a partnership with Greenlee now could set up some awesome shenanigans for later.)


B) The way that David and Greenlee are gradually moving beyond "touchingly sweet familial friendship" into "surprisingly affecting romantic partnership." It totally makes sense to me that David would start to fall first (Greenlee's still got feelings for Ryan, gag, even if she's done with him), that he might kiss Greenlee in a moment of delighted inspiration, while Greenlee likes things the way they are right nor--platonic and simple and trustworthy. But Budig played the scene where Greenlee found David with such a genuine want to see him, relief at finding him, and determination not to let go of him, that it really feels like deeper, more romantic feelings could follow naturally on that foundation. Man, Irizarry and Budig are so frickin' good together! I loved that scene.

*And I must say, while even as a Greenlee fan, I WTFed over the crudeness of the writing that torpedoed Annie as a character in order to free Ryan up for Greenlee, the fallout of that was that Melissa Claire Egan got to play a hell of a lot of really interesting stuff. It was watching Annie spin out of control that made me a fan of both Egan and her loon of a character. I can't help but feel that a decent writer could give both actresses and characters some worthwhile scenes with that history, if they wanted. Assuming Ryan was left out of it. He's toxic to both of them.

Side notes:

1) It's just incredible how gorgeous Rebecca Budig is. When she was in her twenties, she was very pretty, but she's thirty-six or thirty-seven now, and she's stunningly beautiful, more beautiful than I can ever remember her being before. She's one of those lucky people who looks ten times better without the baby face of a teen.

2) And I keep meaning to mention how much I fangirl Greenlee's ridiculously enormous rings. I have rings like that, too! I can never get married, because there is no way I could work a wedding ring into my Ginormous Ring rotation. I generally totally dig her style--the wardrobe they've provided for Greenlee in this stint and during the last one has been insanely flattering (although her wedding dresses for the weddings to Ryan were so hideous it was hard to imagine anybody as stylish as Greenlee permitting anyone to put them on her body, much less actually having picked them out).
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (greenlee and david)
I, the enspoiled, thought David was in the the Chandler Mansion tunnels during that match-striking-maybe-a-Greenlee-metaphor-episode, but it turns out that he was actually in Leo's tomb (sob). Oh, Leo. Never gonna get over that. David's mournful mien in that scene is now doubly justified. For good or for bad, they never did recast Leo, so he never had the chance to be trashed, although he is largely forgotten, which merits a grudge on my part towards the producers.

So David was hanging out, all sadlike, in his dead brother's tomb, and it was wicked mournfully understated, for Leo has been dead now for most of a decade (sob). I love you, Lorraine Broderick. I bet this show will suck again once you're gone, but you're here now, and we love you for it. There is absolutely nowhere in the universe better than the sadly departed Leo's grave for his self-centered-traumatized-spitfire-cosmetics-exec widow and his manipulative-amoral-fugitive-from-justice-cardiologist brother, now linked by a convenient marriage, to meet up. Are you made of magic? Soap magic? Did you meet with a soap unicorn, and frolic, and go on to bear soapy centaur offspring?

David has finally made it to those Chandler mansion tunnels which I was spoiled unto--once again, anyone know what up with them? I mean, just, why?--while the delightfully bitter-and-broken-yet-unstoppable Greenlee is waging snarky corporate war on her mortal enemy, Erica, being aided by Greenlee's lawyer bio-dad, Jackson, who is a) Erica's ex, three or four times over, and b) the (woulda-been-awesome) father Greenlee never knew as a child (because Greenlee's mom was a jerk who married a jerk, and Greenlee is exactly the kind of fab soap diva who merited a few of the retcons that help to tie her permanently onto the soap's canvas).

Even when they aren't on screen together, David and Greenlee are both so hot that I worry that, like soap-vet-corporate-mogul-Adam, I will develop an accelerated heart rate and someone will need to shove my head down into ice water to slow my racing pulse. Nothing this good can last.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (greenlee and david)
Sez a YouTube commentor: "rebecca budig´╗┐ u were born to play greenlee smythe...u r carry this soap on ur back right now, girl. "

Truer words were never typed.

David, if you keep standing around the Chandler Mansion tunnels with that match, you're gonna get burned. As burned, physically, as you already have been, metaphorically, by all the gallivanting the fuck around town you were doing 'afore Rebecca Budig came back to the show to play Greenlee and save you from the deep dark hole the crapass writers put you in.

But I get that you are now symbolically sittin' alone in the dark with only that match you just struck to guide and cheer you, and the currently-much-better writers may or may not have intended said match as a metaphor for the-very-very-intense-Greenlee, she who lights your way through the blackness now, but may not last the night, on account of she burns her candle at both ends.

Oh, but, man, she gives you a lovely light.

P.S. Why does the Chandler Mansion have tunnels, anyway? Anybody know?
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (tra la la)
Rebecca Budig has come back to All My Children. I care, but I know you don't, so I am cutting this.

Read more... )

The other day, I saw, somewhere on the vastness of the internet, someone complaining about TV in public, specifically in re: TVs in public are always tuned to things like soap operas--yeah right--which apparently offend his delicate masculine sensibilities. Oh yes, they offend him. Dude, aside from being a sexist twit, you're at least a decade out of date, and if you really wanted to keep your cultural elitist cred, you'd be bitching about reality TV or Fox, not daytime soaps, which are a) dying and b) still more awesome than anyone you will ever know.

I can pretty much never take soap-haters seriously, because the things they say they hate about soaps are pretty invariably either not actually universal characteristics of soaps, or are perfectly unexceptionable genre characteristics (a strong emphasis on personal relationships, decompressed serial storytelling, etc), and thus are silly to hate. Like hating musicals because they're full of people singing. And that's just. So! Offensive! How dare they! If you want to hear some good reasons for hatin' on a soap, go hang out on a soap message board and listen to the complaints of people who watch them. You will learn more about the genre and what makes it tick (and what makes soaps fail) than you ever knew you could.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (woman with hamster)
I mean, we're talkin' major time commitment, here. Even with fast-forwarding, or in my case, skipping around on YouTube for the clips I want, this kind of thing adds up, and daytime soaps are generally on five days a week, with about thirty-five minutes of content, maybe a little more, every day that they're on. But yeah, I kept seeing all those damned promos for the epic Dante/Sonny shootout thing on General Hospital, and instantly fell in love with Dominic Zamprogna, and the next thing I know, I'm reading the Dante Falconeri--great name, by the way--bio on Wikipedia and digging back through GH clips from last June, obsessively following his storyline. He is like the hottest sexiest good cop character on TV, and I am massively in love with him. Last year it was Jessica on One Life to Live, and Rebecca Budig just came back to AMC, and that makes three soaps, THREE, and I am NOT ALLOWED TO PICK UP ANYMORE SOAPS. If/when Dante leaves the canvas, I'll probably be able to drop GH without any regret, though (the same way I drop AMC whenever Greenlee leaves)--people are not kidding when they talk about how misogynistic and violent it is, and mob worship is not my bag.

This always happens when I'm in the middle of writing a paper. I have seriously come to believe that developing a sudden new fandom crush seems is a part of my writing process.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (moonlight)
Anytime I feel like I need the catharsis, I go watch Youtube videos of Bree Williamson as Jessica on One Life to Life, and spend a few hours bawling. Holy cripes that woman. Somehow, perhaps by art, perhaps by science, she has hit upon the method by which she smiles, and the world smiles with her; she weeps, and the world weeps with her. Weeping is more dramatically arresting than smiling, so she weeps more than she smiles. She ought to have a few billion Emmys.
cerusee: a white green-haired girl sitting on top of a white brown-haired boy and strangling him (love is trust)
Soap operas can be hauntingly beautiful. American TV soaps air about forty minutes worth of content for most of the three hundred and sixty-five days in a year, so they have a lot of filler; they recast frequently, they retread ground often; they revisit the spectacular enough to choke on it. But they still sometimes achieve moments of haunting beauty, as in this scene here, at 3:48.

It's a very sad scene (in the verbose, drawn-out style of soaps) and probably would seem to sad to anybody, given that it's a conversation about the miscarriage of a wanted pregnancy, but what gives it spectacular kick is the audience's knowledge of the background. This a conversation between an ex-husband and wife who once loved each other intensely, but whose relationship crashed and burned in a spectacular and emotionally scarring way, with lots of guilt for both parties; they refer several times to incidents from the process of that breakdown. Both are now married to other people; she's in love with her new husband, but he's publicly known to still be in love with her.

It's such a gorgeous thing, the interplay of emotions--her, almost at peace with the past, with the mistakes she made and the wounds she suffered, trying now to comfort him; him, feeling raw, guilty and exposed by the collapse of his present marriage, and the miscarriage just suffered by his present wife. Although she loves him, she's trying to keep those feelings under control, so as not to torpedo her current, happy life, yet everything he says is the stab of a dagger--every confession of guilt for his failures of his present wife is also a sorrowful apology to her for having made them first with her.

It's a beautiful dance, graceful and poignant, danced with elegance by people who stumbled through the steps years ago, and now, somehow, find themselves dancing it again. They know the score, know how it ends, and are trying so hard not to move to that rhythm again, but are propelled onwards by the weight of intimacy, the memory of deep feeling.

It's sort of fucking awesome.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
I've not been reading much this month, first because I was in Austin, visiting my parents and hanging out with no-longer-expat Mikke, and more recently because I've been catching up on six months worth of All My Children via YouTube. Rebecca Budig is like my cocaine, man; I got hooked on Greenlee by reading soap mags way back in 2000, and I've never been able to kick my addiction to her feisty, self-absorbed shenanigans for more than three months since. She is more entertaining than...really, most things.

Novels/prose books:

Heyer, Georgette: The Foundling
(barely a romance. It's more about 20-something Gilly, the Duke of Sale, breaking out of the protective shell of his overbearing family and having an adventure that helps him cross the line into adulthood. This is not a complaint! Gilly's just adorable in his vulnerability and growing sense of confidence. It never entirely gelled for me as a book, but I laughed a lot and wibbled a lot and really enjoyed it).

Ranpo Edogawa: Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination
(oh boy, I dig it. And I love short stories in general. But for the love of god, don't read this while eating. When will I learn never to read gritty detective fiction while eating?).


Okazaki Mari: Suppli vols. 2-3
(Tokyopop has probably already axed this, although it looks like it could be years before we actually know for sure that they've axed and what they're still planning to publish. I was more okay with the thought of this being dropped until I read these volumes, because I am falling in love with this work-romance soap josei manga. The josei niche in America is so, so tiny; I can't abide the thought of it shrinking before it's ever been able to grow. I want to read comics about women my age struggling to balance their professional and personal lives! I want to read comics about Japanese women who want real careers! I want comics with genuinely post-adolescent soap opera! And this is so beautifully, wistfully, illustrated. God, I'm getting depressed).

Watanabe Taeko: Kaze Hikaru vol. 9
(speaking of soap romance, lol@the guys' obsession with the status of Sei and Soji's relationship).

Nishi Keiko: Promise and Love Song
(man, shoujo comics can be dark sometimes. I wonder at what point that realization no longer surprised me?).

January 2017

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