July 2005 ~ AMC and GL

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Baby makes three or odd couples. What's better?

In this month's Busted to Blissful, Soapdom's Lesleyann Coker has a bone to pick with All My  Children and couldn't be more pleased with the way things are going on Guiding Light.  What has busted her bubble, and what's put her in bubblicious bubble bliss?  Read on!

Do You Agree? Dish Busted to Blissful with  Lesleyann Right Here!

Busted ~
Greenlee Makes a Baby on AMC

After the infamous turkey-baster storyline on the now defunct Sunset Beach, and the Young and the Restless plot several years ago of Ashley stealing Victor’s sperm to impregnate herself, I hoped soaps were finished using unconventional baby making for entertainment.  After all, a viewer can only be subjected to so much talk of sperm during their lunch hour.

Unfortunately, All My Children has jumped on the sperm band wagon in a big way.  It’s to the show’s credit that they’ve avoided having the actors say “sperm” whenever possible, and instead, relied on dialogue about “little swimmers.”  The characters also never used the word “vasectomy,” and for weeks referred to it as a “procedure.”  This caused me to wonder if the ever present censors like sperm but have something against vasectomies?

The genesis of this slimy story revolved around Greenlee.  Out of left field, she became bound and determined to claim what was rightfully hers by stealing her husband Ryan’s “little swimmers” from a sperm bank.  Ryan used a “procedure” as an extreme form of birth control -- without his wife’s knowledge -- because he was afraid his offspring would inherit the messed up genes that run in his family.  His father and two brothers were sado-masochistic abusers, and one was even a rapist.

Ever since Ryan shot and killed his brother in self-defense, he has exhibited some violent tendencies of his own.  Greenlee was convinced that the only way for Ryan to get in touch with his sensitive and loving side again was through fatherhood.  Hence, the sperm bank heist.

It’s difficult to imagine why the writers thought this was a good idea.  The twisted plot has stained the once likeable characters of Greenlee and Ryan.  There were plenty of other obstacles the writers could have thrown at this happy couple to create friction and avoid the age old soap rule that a happy couple is a boring couple.  The key to Ryan and Greenlee’s relationship has always been their honesty with each other.  After lies destroyed Ryan’s relationship with Kendall, he is the last person to resort to keeping something as large as a vasectomy and his addiction to Fight Clubs a secret from his wife.

Greenlee is no better.  If she wanted to become a mother so badly that she was willing to lie to Ryan and put her marriage on the line, the least she could have done was become pregnant by an anonymous donor -- just in case Ryan is right about the rage gene being passed down.   After witnessing Ryan in action at his Fight Club, and then going ahead and using his deposit to create a child anyway, Greenlee is plain foolish.  Not only will Ryan go nuts when he discovers the truth, but Greenlee could be carrying a mini-monster.

Rebecca Budig has the unenviable task of making Greenlee’s recent actions seem plausible.  Budig is able to generate sympathy for Greenlee with the desperation that oozes out of her big brown eyes, and every once in awhile Greenlee’s unwavering conviction in her ability to save her husband seems heroic.

Cameron Mathison has done his best to convey Ryan’s pain and rage.  He does it so well, you can feel the intensity of his anger pulsating through the television screen.

Greenlee’s two side kicks, Kendall (the always captivating Alicia Minshew) and Simone (the hilarious Terri Ivens), generate some much needed humor into the slippery proceedings.  Kendall’s concern for her on again-off again friend/enemy Greenlee is nothing less than touching.  The antics of the three girls is a bright light in an otherwise dark tunnel.

The only saving grace in this unsavory mess is the performances of the aforementioned actors.  They can’t be pleased with the turn their storyline has taken, but they’ve done their best to make the sticky material swim.

Blissful ~
Odd Couples on GL

Two couples on Guiding Light are really clicking for me right now.  One couple because they radiate sexual heat, and the other because they are forbidden young lovers.  Of course I’m referring to Jonathan and Dinah, and Coop and Lizzie.

Jonathan and Dinah, whose portrayers Tom Pelphrey and Gina Tognoni are a couple in real life, appear at first glance to be an unlikely pair.  She’s rich and has parents who love her.  Her parents are also involved in her life despite her many mistakes.  He’s poor and was abused by his foster father, before reuniting with his long-lost birth mother, Reva.  However, at the heart of these two characters lies a misunderstood schemer who longs to be loved.  Jonathan and Dinah understand each other in a way that no one else can.  The walls they’ve erected to avoid being hurt, and the tough pretense they show the world, come tumbling down when they’re together.  They know how to cut through each other’s bull and uncover the real person underneath.

In spite of their bond, or maybe because of it, they’re not yet an official couple.  When Jonathan discovered Dinah wasn’t pregnant -- she’s supposed to be carrying Edmund and Cassie’s baby as their “gestational host” -- he seized the opportunity to turn her predicament to his advantage.  Dinah has now promised him as much mindless sex as he can handle if he keeps her secret.

The hot twosome sizzle in their sex scenes, but there is also an unexpected tenderness between them.  One such moment found Dinah clad in a pair of skimpy underwear and a bra, cutting Jonathan’s unruly, long hair (I wish she’d given him a shave while she was at it).  During his haircut, they discussed how families create happy facades and there’s no such thing as a perfect family.  It was a sweet moment in its simplicity, and all the more so because of what they didn’t say.

It’s only a matter of time before Dinah realizes Jonathan possesses everything she ever wanted in a man.  Hopefully, Jonathan will stop pining for his cousin Tammy soon, and can appreciate Dinah as more than a sex partner.  When that happens, sparks are bound to fly between them for real.

Unlike Jonathan and Dinah, Coop and Lizzie are already a couple.  Though both relationships share the element of rich girl/poor boy, everything else about these dynamic duos is different.

Coop and Lizzie are a modern version of Romeo and Juliet.  If her grandfather Alan has anything to say about it, their romance will also come to a tragic end.  Coop and Lizzie still think they’re pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes by pretending to hate each other, and have no idea Alan is on to them yet.

The new couple has vowed not to let the long standing bad blood between their families, the Coopers and the Spauldings, change how they feel about each other.  After months of fighting their true feelings, they have finally admitted the truth, and are planning a weekend trip together.

While persuading Lizzie to go away with him, Coop reiterated his commitment to her with some unusual endearments.  Holding her close, he said, “You may be a spoiled rich little brat, but you’re my spoiled rich little brat, and I’m not going to let anyone come between us.”  It might not be the most romantic thing to say to a girl, but in this case, and with these characters, it worked beautifully.  Coop’s sentiments had the desired effect on Lizzie, because she decided to keep lying to her family about their relationship.

Adorable soap newcomer John Driscoll (Coop) is a real find.  He gives as good as he gets in scenes with the spunky, Emmy-nominated Crystal Hunt (Lizzie).  You can feel the electricity between them every time they’re in a scene together.  Whether sparring or flirting, these two have what it takes to become a super couple for the next generation.


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.