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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Early Thanksgiving

So it's been kind of a downer around these parts, huh?

Let's throw some positivity into the mix, shall we? Here's five things right now that currently have me bouncing on my couch... the five things that have inspired me lately, as we head into Thanksgiving next week.

In no particular order…

1) The New Blog - So far, I've gotten numerous e-mails saying how glad people are that they don't have to join MySpace in order to leave comments for me. And my stat counter is much higher here than it was over there. (Sorry, MySpace! I still love you! You gave me a hundred thousand hits!!) PLUS, I got my first (drum roll, please) HATE MAIL just today! I love it! Not once over on MySpace did anybody leave a comment shooting me down - and within a couple of days, I've officially got a dissenter! No, I'm not being sarcastic - I kinda like it. It reminds me how many different perspectives there are out there, and who doesn't need that kind of kick in the teeth every so often? I know I sure do. Sure, I haven't worked all the kinks out yet, but I do feel like the last few days have felt like starting the blog all over again. I'm digging it - and I welcome any and all soap fans who want to critique me. After all, if I can't take criticism, than what the hell have I been doing in the entertainment industry all these years?

2) The Last Two Weeks of Young and the Restless - Okay, I know. Truth be told, I owe MUCH more than just a paragraph to this show right now. And I will get to it next week, I promise. But I just have to say that Kay's funeral has been nothing short of genius. Any show can bring back a bunch of old-school characters for a couple episodes, but to play them IN CHARACTER without making them glorified extras is something you don't see every day. It's soapy, it's moving, it's historical, it's nostalgic, and I'm totally on the edge of my seat. Whatever combination of writers were a part of this - from Maria and Hogan, to the breakdown writers, to the script writer, to the script editor, I salute you. I will have more to say on this come next week, but unfortunately, I've been busy preparing for Reason #3...

...3) The Futures of Entertainment Conference at MIT - I'm alternating between excited and petrified out of my mind for the conference this weekend. But no matter how I end up coming across, just the fact that this school has enough faith in me to include me with so many fascinating and amazing people who hold positions all across the industry spectrum blows my mind. Whatever comes of it, just to be in the same room with such a myriad of talented and intelligent people is enough to make anyone full of glee. It's an honor, and I'm just thrilled to experience it - even though at the moment, it's terrifying to even think about what Saturday will be like.

4) The Many PodCasts of both BlogTalkRadio and Daytime Confidential and Marlena Delacroix - What a strange, wonderful world world we live in. Never before have online fans been so vocal, been so eloquent, so cerebral and ground-breaking. Lately, I've been spreading the word to colleagues and friends about the many PodCasts being led all over the web, as well as some of the discussions on SON and Daytime Royalty. They've been nothing short of stunned at the back-and-forth conversations going on regarding all the soaps. (And no, they're not posting, as far as I know) Clearly, there is a bit of a revolution going on - the fans who crave story and character and passion are flocking to these boards, are studying nuance, are analyzing motivation. They’re asking the questions many others won’t ask, for fear of rocking the boat. They’re debating each other intelligently and calmly (for the most part) and they’re proving just how strong the daytime legacy is. Even when I don’t necessarily agree on a personal level with the things they might be saying, I love the Art of the Great Debate. And I salute them - I only wish some of the shows were taking it to the next level the way a lot of these fans are.

And finally…

5) Bianca and Reese on All My Children - Okay, I’ll admit that I have many issues with the plot surrounding these two. The Baby-Out-of-Thin-Air, the Off-Screen Coupling, the Completely-Out-of-Character decisions Bianca has made. But putting all of that aside for a second, I am completely enthralled with what Tamara and Eden are accomplishing on the screen, not to mention how far AMC is pushing the envelope. I think this is one of the only times in my life I can say there’s a touch of sexism from the networks… only here, it’s in favor of the women. Because I can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s okay for Bianca and Reese to be as affectionate as they are, when Luke and Noah are still struggling for anything over in Oakdale. But in any case, these two actresses are embracing it whole-heartedly - and what can easily be misconstrued as an attempt to shock-and-awe the audience for no other reason than a ratings spike, is being played beautifully, passionately, and damn near perfectly.

No matter what you may think, I do think it’s important to balance the positive and the negative, especially in these troubling times. If you look back at my past entries, you’ll see the most embittered posts are usually followed by ones full of praise. It’s not back-pedaling - it’s more about not drowning in the dark. Millee Taggert always encouraged “Write towards the light”. Sometimes, we in the industry forget that. And when we get bogged down in any kind of somber writing - be it dead babies on the air, or dying soaps in our blogs, it’s important to remember why we’re all in this business. We write stories about families coming together in times of tragedy, friendships falling apart but always resurrected stronger than before, true love always finding a way, and good always triumphing over evil.

That’s a lesson I never want to forget - no matter what I’m writing. We write for the light, and you watch for the light.

Even if some days we have to look a little harder for it than others.


n69n said...

i *urge* you to add PINE VALLEY PODCAST
to your listening list!

they are toooooooo funny...& *WAY* more entertaining than the actual AMC!!

MarkH said...

We needed that positivity. What a great list.

Yes, your move to Blogger is so much better IMO. Myspace isn't really meant for the kind of column-and-open-response that you have evolved into doing.

Thank you for sticking with our community!

As for Nuke...I got the same feeling after watching Kevin and Scotty having another scene last Sunday on Brothers and Sisters. Kevin was shirtless in bed, woken by Scotty's late return home. They had a conversation, and finished in a clinch. It was fairly chaste...but revolutionary. This would NOT be too much to ask for Nuke. That said, the new darker Van Hansis is a lot of fun.

shallotpeel DonnaB said...

I love Millee Taggart.

I also love Nancy Curlee, who you mentioned within the last 2 days!

I agree with your thoughts on Bianca & Reese. I don't think they have sexism in favor of them going on, though! That would be making a negative out of a good thing that AMC is doing. I think AMC is just getting it right, although Sara Bibel recently blogged an important criticism that I agree with about not having Bianca & Reese reunite with a kiss!

I've tried over & over again to figure out what happened wrong over at ATWT with my cutey patootie Gay Luke (or Luc). I don't know. They got it right for his coming out, although they did couch it in terms of him & his family dealing with full-blown crisis time - which was both good & bad. But, they've been making mistake after mistake since we moved into Luke Gets a Boyfriend territory & issues outside of family & homophobic high school teacher. I keep coming back to conclude that things are sour at the top.

Sara Bibel said...

I love the new blog! Good luck at MIT. I'm sure everyone will love you. Engineers respect us creative types (I'm extrapolating from my relationship with my cousin.)

rocio said...

Tom thank you veru much for your insight Y&R needs some serious work and i think you could do it if given the opertunity i would like to see you as head writer i have mentiond this to MAB and barbara Bloom in emails to them you can save Y&R i trust you and i have confidence in you . from rocio