This Week in Prospect Park
Last week, rumor had production company Prospect Park offering contracts to cast members of “All My Children,” with Susan Lucci being offered a salary roughly equivalent to what she is currently making. According to Soaps in Depth, the cast was actually presented with Prospect Park’s initial offer to AFTRA, the union which represents soap actors. Details of the proposed deal are unknown, but there is a big difference between scale — the minimum union wage for actors — and what a daytime A-lister like Lucci would earn. If Prospect Park’s offer is significantly lower than what daytime actors currently earn, the negotiations could go on for a while, particularly since the union could be setting a standard for all future hour long internet programs. Stay tuned.
Welcome to the Internet, E.J.
Were you confused and intrigued by the incongruous non-sequiteur scene of E.J. (James Scott) shooting what appeared to be a video blog in the middle of Monday’s episode of “Days of Our Lives“? The lighthearted sequence featured E.J. complaining to an unseen person that this was going to be ridiculous, then looking directly into the camera and greeting his audience. Given that E.J. spent the rest of the episode agreeing to a truce with the Kiriakis family, it almost seemed like footage from another episode was accidentally spliced into the show.
Actually, it’s a teaser for E.J.’s upcoming storyline. (Spoiler alert: He will be running for mayor of Salem, thereby disproving the axiom that politics is showbiz for ugly people.) The show has been running what I thought were classic clips in its midshow bumpers for the past couple weeks to promote the September returns of Marlena (Deidre Hall), John (Drake Hogestyn), Carrie (Christie Clark) and Austin (Patrick Muldoon). Apparently, my recollection of 1990s DOOL is poor. That was actually new footage. DOOL is now running what it terms “mini-plots” previewing upcoming storylines during the commercial breaks to whet everybody’s appetite for the show’s September reboot.
As a big supporter of innovative marketing, I love this concept. The clips remind me of the “Easter Eggs” that are hidden in some video games, and gives viewers who are disenchanted with the show something to look forward to every day. I do have one suggestion should anyone who works at DOOL read this: make the mini-plots available as separate, labeled clips on-line so that they can actually go viral.
A Hate Letter to Sonny Corinthos
There are characters I love, and characters I love to hate. “General Hospital’s” Sonny (Maurice Benard) is becoming the character that I love to watch being hated. After about a decade of having everyone in Port Charles writing “I Heart Sonny” on their Trapper Keepers while he killed, bombed and extorted a significant portion of the population. His attempted murder of Jax by tampering with the instruments on his plane — which Sonny is spinning as an attempt to prevent him from leaving town — has succeeded in turning every single person who has excused his behavior against him. It is a joy to watch Carly (Laura Wright) and Robin (Kimberly McCullough) yell the same things at Sonny that I do.
Robin, who has always cut Sonny slack because he took care of Stone when he had AIDS finally turned on him when he fired a gun in her house, which hit a lamp, which cut her arm, which scared Robin’s toddler daughter. This convoluted scenario gives Sonny the technical out of having not actually shot his longtime friend because the show is still trying to protect Sonny to a certain extent. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to hear Robin say, “You wanted to kill Jax and you did not care who got caught in the line of fire or who may have witnessed a shooting. Really, if you wanted Brenda, why didn’t you just make it simple and go after her?”
Sonny’s reply should land him a spot in the smug jerk hall of fame: “Because I might have come back in a worse mood.” Wow, you are hilarious Sonny.
Sweetest of all is Carly’s hatred of Sonny, as hypocritical as it may be. She did, after all, tacitly approve of everything Sonny did to frame Jax (Ingo Rademacher) while she was fighting him for custody of their daughter, as well as every other awful thing Sonny has ever done. But killing her baby’s father was the straw that broke the mob worshipper’s back. Watching her unleash her anger at Sonny instead of his enemies is a thing of beauty. “You lost Brenda. But you could damn sure get rid of Jax once and for all. So how do you feel? Do you feel like a big winner? Or the little boy that you are?… I don’t want to get past it. I will not lose another person, not someone who was shot, caught in an explosion, or died because of you… You are unbelievably self-centered. You walk around the world and victims just fall all around you, and it just rolls right off your back. I mean, the dead don’t matter as long as Sonny gets what he wants.”
Finally, Sonny is being called out for something. I recognize that this is in all likelihood a short term development so that Sonny can hit rock bottom, realize the error of his ways, and vow to become a better person. That is, frankly, something that needed to happen if Sonny is going to continue to be the show’s leading man. Personally, I would prefer it if Sonny continued to be written as a villain who was hated by much of the town. When Sonny was a bad guy, he was both more interesting and more sympathetic, specifically because he never got away with anything.
Sonny will probably be absolved of everything when Jax makes it known that he is alive and well. In fact, Jax may be painted as the bad guy for letting Carly think that he is dead. But for now, I am enjoying my daily glass of Sonny haterade.