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News for the week of 13-Oct-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

When Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) first heard there would be a new Jason, she felt nervous. She admitted to Soap Opera Digest recently that she tends to be nervous outside of her comfort zone — familiar people, familiar situations. For years, she enjoyed on-screen pairings with actors she’s friends with in real life. But once she met and began working with Billy Miller (ex-Billy, Y&R), who plays the new Jason, all her nerves went away. Miller is a genuinely nice guy and very professional, she said. This bodes well for her character and new storyline, too. “It’s good for Elizabeth because there is so much history and a lot of her current storylines, the writers have exhausted them right now. It’s definitely good for me to be working and good for Elizabeth to have some life going on in Port Charles,” Herbst said. “I’m really happy with the way they’ve decided to make Jason totally new. He’s not the same character, so I think the opportunity is there for Elizabeth to fall for this new guy, because he is new! He doesn’t know who he is. Nobody does. So, I think that even if you weren’t a ‘Liason’ fan or a fan of Jason’s at all, this character is new and people will take to him. As I said, I was nervous, but I think people will be able to accept him and attach themselves to him.”

Michelle Stafford gave lots of behind-the-scenes insight into her character and co-stars in an October 6th video interview with Michael Fairman. Stafford said the scene where Nina took the liberty of touching Ava’s pregnant belly cracked her and Maura West up. They could barely film it. Stafford also has been encouraging Linda Elena Tovar (Rosalie) to ratchet up the Mexican in the character and win the beats over Nina. As for her two closest co-stars, Michael Easton (Silas) and Roger Howarth (Franco), she’s over the moon about them. She said she never worked with anyone like Howarth before, he really cares about the material, and he’s wonderfully unpredictable. “You do something that’s out of the norm and he will do something with it… He really cares. We will discuss how bad we were for a good 10 minutes… He’s just an extremely intelligent human being. Michael Easton too. They’re really [lovely], intelligent actors. I trust them both.”

Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda), Donna Mills (Madeline), Lindsay Hartley (ex-Cara, AMC), and Crystal Hunt (ex-Stacy, OLTL) are among some of the soap stars participating in a new docu-series called, Queens Of Drama, coming next year on the POP Network (formerly TV Guide Network). Queens Of Drama isn’t another Dirty Soap, however. The series is about soap stars trying to get a pilot. Zzzzzz.

Gossip for the week of 13-Oct-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

If you haven’t read The World According To Mandy’s October 8th blog yet, go now. Unless you’re a diehard, rabid supercouple fan in the business of solely promoting the mere appearance of your favorite fictional characters, you will completely agree with her “Five Reasons I’m No Longer A Daily General Hospital Watcher.” Like most long-time viewers, Mandy stopped watching after awhile, because she’s bored out of her skull. Cartini’s GH isn’t giving the soap audience what it wants: love, romance, friendships, caring, bonding, characters who make sense. Most of all, head writer Ron Carlivati seems to enjoy throwing plot after plot at the characters, expecting them to react in a vacuum. This:

>> 4. Plot driven: I understand you need plot, but I also understand you need more than plot. We want to see these characters bond. Some of my favorite all-time scenes involve characters chatting and having fun – not jumping from plot point to plot point. Examples: Brenda finding out Robin is HIV positive, Jason carrying Robin off the stage at the Nurse’s Ball, Sonny and Luke taking Lucky camping as a kid, Alan and Monica freaking out (and Luke and Laura being proud) when Emily and Lucky ran away together), Lucky’s reaction to finding Liz in the bushes, Luke helping a shot Nikolas, etc. It was the human emotion attached to these stories – not the plot of these stories – that drove the narrative. How about a little of that back? How about a realistic conversation between Liz and Lulu about Nikolas, Lucky, AJ and Ric? How about Anna and Alexis getting drunk and talking about the Cassidines? How about Liz and Carly getting drunk and admitting all of the awful mistakes they’ve made? Just … something that’s not a plot point being driven home in our heads.

Robin will end up at the same asylum the real Luke Spencer is. She will then realize the Luke out there in the free world is fake.

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