In this month's Busted to Blissful, Soapdom's Lesleyann Coker is fed up with General Hospital, but she couldn't be more delighted with Days of our Lives. What is it about the goings on in Port Charles that busted her bubble and what's so wonderful in Salem that has put her in bubblicious bubble bliss? Read on!
GH's Quickie Romance
The romance between Sonny and Emily on General Hospital is out of left field. Emily was still involved in a triangle with her ex-husband Nikolas, and his new paramour Courtney, when half of Port Charles began telling her she had feelings for Sonny, and should stay away from the notorious mob boss. At the time, Emily was helping Sonny take care of his children while their mother Carly was in a mental hospital.
Within a span of a few weeks, Emily went from telling everyone they were crazy and that she and Sonny were just friends, to getting tipsy on wine and professing her love for him over a romantic dinner. What's even more crazy, is that Sonny suddenly realized he had feelings for her too, and was soon trying to deny his love in order to insure her safety.
This flash in the pan romance doesn't work for several reasons, not the least of which is its abrupt emergence. Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Natalia Livingston (Emily) possess special chemistry, but why did the show's writers feel the need to force feed fans this new pairing? Fans were deprived of a chance to watch a romance between the two popular actors' characters unfold. Where was the buildup for Emily's feelings -- except for a few dreams she had about kissing Sonny which lasted all of a couple of episodes? If Emily was allowed to slowly come to the realization that she had feelings for Sonny, and fans were able to watch Livingston go through the emotions of discovering a new, forbidden love, this relationship could have had potential.
Instead, watching Sonny pine for Emily and wanting to sleep with her is unnerving. Not only is their relationship rushed, but Sonny has watched Emily grow up. When Amber Tamblyn played the role of Emily, the character was a kid involved in her first tween romance with Sonny's stepson Juan, and Sonny was already an adult. How convenient that both Sonny and Emily are ignoring this bit of history, as well as the fact that there should be a substantial age difference between them.
The main obstacle the writers have chosen to emphasize, is Emily's brother and Sonny's right hand man Jason's, objections to his little sister involved with a mobster. Every time Jason gets in Sonny's face about how dangerous it is for Emily to be exposed to his lifestyle, I keep waiting for Sonny to tell Jason he's a hypocrite. After all, Jason married Sonny's sister against Sonny's objections for the same reason. It just doesn't work to have Jason as Sonny and Emily's sole impediment to happiness when there are more obvious complications.
While it's a pleasant change to see Emily grow a backbone and defend her choices to Jason and the rest of her friends and family, her efforts are wasted on Sonny's behalf. One can't help but notice she protests too much in saying she doesn't love Nikolas any more, as well as note the red hot chemistry she shares with the new doctor in town, Patrick Drake. Emily's other romances are more interesting for viewers to watch, instead of having a manufactured one between the pre-med student and the mob boss shoved down our throats.
Do you like Sonny and Emily together? Would you rather see Emily paired with Patrick -- or someone else? Visit the Soapdom Message Boards under Lesleyann Coker at http://www.Soapdom.com and tell me your opinion.
A Tragic Loss on Days
I wouldn't call it entertainment to watch a storyline about the death of a child, but the current plot of Zack Brady's death from a hit-and-run driver on Days of Our Lives is riveting.
The best part about the story is its pace. Zack's father Bo signed a temporary driving permit for his daughter Chelsea, even though she'd been in a car accident and was taking driving lessons. Bo still let Chelsea borrow his SUV, and she promptly hit Zack. Not knowing she'd hit a child, she drove away from the scene and Bo helped her cover the fact his car had been in an accident. Within a span of less than a week, Zack died, and Bo and Chelsea pieced together the awful truth -- she was the one responsible for her half brother's death.
When Chelsea's mother Billie heard the real story, she confessed to killing Zack in order to save her teenage daughter from jail. As more and more people learned the truth, Bo struggled with his decision not to tell his wife Hope -- Zack's mother-- what really happened that fateful night. The secret was taken out of Bo's hands when Billie's boyfriend Patrick uncovered who Billie was protecting, and spilled the beans to Hope.
All of the action took place in a span of three weeks, which for a soap that's known to drag its plots out for years, is a remarkable thing. For the first time in a long time Days needed to be watched every day, or else you would miss something. Each twist and turn happened one right after the other. Most soaps would have had everyone else in town know Chelsea was the driver, but leave Hope in the dark for months or years on end. Instead, everyone in Salem immediately discovered the truth, only to be followed in quick succession by Hope.
The fast pace of the plot was only outdone by the terrific performances from the actors. Veteran Days stars Kristian Alfonso (Hope) and Peter Reckell (Bo) showed again why they're two of the best in the business. Alfonso's grief was everywhere. The strain was evident on her gaunt face before she became hysterical after Zack's death was confirmed. Reckell was understated and subdued as you watched him struggle internally with first his grief, and then his guilt over his role in his son's death.
Newcomer Rachel Melvin was excellent in her role, making Chelsea appear selfish and unsympathetic, as she whined all the while allowing her mother take the blame for her crime. Julie Pinson also shone as she finally made the role of Billie her own, by playing Billie's martyrdom to the hilt.
Now that the cat's out of the bag, it will be fascinating to watch the performances of Alfonso, Reckell and the other actors evolve, as Bo and Hope's once idyllic marriage shatters under an impossible weight to bear. Hopefully, they will be remembered with Emmy nominations next year.
Visit the Soapdom Message Boards under Lesleyann Coker at http://www.Soapdom.com and let me know what you think.
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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