In this month's Busted to Blissful, Soapdom's Lesleyann Coker is fed up with every single soap for one reason or another, but despite a few shortcomings, she couldn't be more delighted with Passions. What is it about the goings on in soapdom that busted her bubble and what's so wonderful in Harmony that has put her in bubblicious bubble bliss? Read on!
Observations from May Sweeps
1.) Did anyone else notice ATWT’s Paul Ryan (Roger Howarth) had long blonde highlighted locks one day in his hospital scenes with Susan and Emily, and the next - which was supposedly the same day in Oakdale - his hair was short and not as noticeably blonde? This improbable change occurred in the middle of the very same scene! Paging the continuity police.
2.) When did Emma Samms (Holly GH) morph into Linda Dano? Enough said.
3.) How is it possible Passions made Brook Kerr (Whitney) unattractive? The wardrobe department must have borrowed Deidre Hall’s freaky blue glazed contacts from when Marlena was possessed by the devil on Days!
4.) Why does Brooke’s Dad, the nuSteven (Patrick Duffy), look younger than her lover Ridge (Ronn Moss) on B&B?
5.) What’s up with Parent/Child Duos being attracted to other Parent/Child Duos? There’s Krystal and Babe married to Adam and JR on AMC; Jackie and Nick attracted to Steven and Brooke on B&B; and Passions features the especially intertwined family of mother/daughter Ivy and Fancy being with father/son Sam and Noah, as well as Ivy’s son Fox engaged to Sam’s daughter Kay. There’s plots with fathers and sons in love with the same woman, such as GL’s Buzz and Frank in love with Olivia; OLTL’s Kevin and Duke in love with Kelly; and also the occasional man who has slept with both mother and daughter like GH’s Sonny with Alexis and Sam; and Y&R’s Brad with Nikki and Victoria. Does anyone do this in real life? This is a ridiculous trend soaps should stay away from.
6.) Was Dixie 15 when she had JR on AMC? Cady McClain doesn’t look like any grandmother I know!
7.) Did anyone else find it creepy after Nikki was shot on Y&R when Victor (after head butting the carjacker) fell to his knees whispering, “My sweetheart, my little sweetheart,” in what I guess was supposed to be an endearing voice, but instead sounded quite menacing, like Eric Braeden doing his best imitation of Count Dracula? This was after he had told Nikki not five minutes earlier her place was as “his wife” and nothing else, and that life was easier when that’s “all” she was to him.
8.) Is there anyone in Pine Valley who doesn’t want to kill Dr. Greg Madden? Why do I have a feeling there’s a whodunit on the way for this AMC villain? Could they be any more obvious?
9.) Does anyone get pregnant at the same time as their mother like Lizzie and Beth on GL?
10.) Why is OLTL so afraid of showing a love scene with the hunky Michael and lovely plus-sized Marcie? Since Michael has been pulled away from his wedding night to treat Sweeps tornado victims, I hope he gets to make it up to Marcie later - onscreen. On the flip side, will someone please tell B&B’s Brooke to put on her clothes? While Katherine Kelly Lang has an amazing body, enough is enough. Brooke was almost a grandmother twice over for heaven’s sake (Rick’s stillborn baby with Amber, Bridget’s with Nick). We’ve seen Brooke in lingerie so many times the appeal is all but gone.
I’m surprised to find myself enjoying the new mystery on Passions. Usually when Passions does stunts, like the earthquake/tsunami last summer, and the Passions Red mystery in the fall, I find myself bored and uninterested. However, Passions grabbed me almost from the beginning with their Passions Vendetta campaign. I’m sure part of my interest is due to its similarities to the blockbuster novel and upcoming movie, The Da Vinci Code.
The first element to catch my eye was the monk who appears to Whitney but never faces the audience. Whitney is convinced he’s God, and his chilling monotone adds to the suspense. He has directed her to do some pretty odd things, such as disguising herself to creep through the underbelly of Rome wearing a virtual-reality headset. The monk’s mission is to rescue a chalice from the Pope’s private chambers, which he says will somehow save his church, and Whitney’s soul in the process.
Upping the ante, half the denizens of Harmony have converged on Rome for various reasons, and Luis and Chad discovered a fresco in the catacombs they believe to be 2,000 years old, that features an image of Whitney. They also encountered such strange religious phenomenon as walls appearing to leak blood, a monastery filled with blind monks, and a nun who talks in cryptic codes about the end of the world and rescuing the “innocent one.”
In the midst of these strange occurrences, Paloma and Simone are searching for clues to a symbol they found hidden under Whitney’s bed. It just so happens the symbol is the same one Spike (who works for Alistair) forced Jessica to get tattooed on her lower back. The symbol has also been appearing on doors leading into the catacombs for Chad, and on the walls of the Pope’s chambers in Whitney’s virtual reality “game.”
The Da Vinci Code knock offs don’t end there. Before “God” spirited Whiney off to Rome, she believed she had to atone for her sin of unknowingly committing incest, by whipping herself on the back until she bled.
Passions has increased the intrigue factor for curious fans who want to learn how everything is connected, by creating an interactive game on the www.passionsvendetta.com website. The site includes puzzles and secret codes that can only be solved by deciphering clues found on the show.
To enjoy and participate in Passions means sometimes overlooking the cheesy production values, such as the Rome set and the catacomb set looking like they were left over from the Passions adventure in the mineshaft and Hecuba’s lair several years ago. It also means cringing when some day player tries to do an Italian accent as our Harmony heroes interact with the “locals.”
These oversights and Brook Kerr’s (Whitney) bad blonde wig and blue contacts that make her appear possessed aside, there’s some interesting things happening on the show. With the Da Vinci Code being as popular as it is, this seems the perfect time for a shameless rip-off Passions style. Which is to say Passions is the equivalent of a beach read in the summer - something campy where part of the fun is to not take it too seriously.
Lesleyann Coker is a contributing columnist for Soapdom.com, and co-author of Boob Tube, a satiric novel currently being shopped to publishers that examines what really goes on behind the scenes of the soap opera industry. She is a former reporter for Soap Opera Weekly magazine, and has interviewed over 200 daytime and primetime actors during her career.
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