Shake ups! Drama! What the hell is in the water at ABC right now?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or, you know… have a life or something. Hey, what’s that like, by the way?) you’ve probably already heard the big news:

Not only is Jill Farren Phelps out as exec producer after 10 years, to be replaced by One Life to Live‘s Frank Valentini (!), and not only will OLTL head writer Ron Carlivati (!!) be taking over from Garin Wolf  as of January… but now it seems Brian Frons (!!!) is out as well!

So after nearly a decade condescending to and denigrating his own shows’ fans, demonstrating a fundamental contempt for and misunderstanding of the soap genre, and turning SOAPnet into the place where syndicated Lifetime movies of the week go to die, the Frons is finally out. Glory freaking hallelujah! But… he’s also leaving of his own volition, and they’re replacing him with someone focused on “non-scripted lifestyle and health.” So this feels like even more of a death knell, sadly.

Thankfully, the other news is pretty much unqualified awesome. I won’t say getting Valentini and Carlivati makes me glad the Prospect Park deal to take One Life to Live online has died, because I would honestly trade OLTL — even in online form — for General Hospital in a heartbeat right now. But it certainly does help lessen the sting of that loss to know that the team that’s been turning out such incredible soapy goodness in Llanview will soon be in charge of Port Charles.

(Especially coming on the heels of their respective Thanksgiving offerings, in which  OLTL viewers were treated to a holiday that was alternately funny, moving, focused on family love, and ended on a killer cliffhanger… while over on GH, half the town celebrated off screen as a brain damaged hit man had a literal tantrum over his wife’s mayberape. Holiday cheer, everyone!)

(Also, his pain is much worse than hers, did you know? Oh, of course you did. You’ve watched this show before.)

ANYWAY. The point being that if anyone can turn this half-sunk ship around enough to at least let it sink with dignity, it may be this team. And without the influence and biases of Frons’ meddling to muck up the works, even if/when the new Daytime management cancels the show, is it too much to hope they’ll leave the creative team alone so we can get an ending worthy of this show’s entire 50 year history? Fingers crossed!

Fingers also crossed that this might stem the tide of vets fleeing like rats off the Titanic. Although that damage might already be done. With Kimberly McCullough joining Jonathan Jackson on the express train to OH GOD, ANYWHERE BUT THIS CRAPFEST, I’m kind of living in terror that they’re going to kill off Robin. Because let’s face it, young, female legacy characters do not exactly have the best track record for leaving town alive on this show. Oh, and also, Robin has started talking to Stone on their bridge and making cryptic, tearful references to her own inevitable death and IT MAKES ME VERY NERVOUS.

(Does it even need to be said that KMc has been absolutely killing it the last few days? No, of course it does not. Because she always kills it when they give her halfway decent material.)

On the one hand, Robin succumbing to AIDS would certainly be a less character-destroying exit than her deciding to just abandon Emma and Patrick for some contrived reason. And with a rising perception that the virus is somehow no longer a big deal (which shocked me, honestly, that people could be so blasé about something that was such a specter of my childhood, but apparently this is a thing now? Where people really think having safe sex is just too hard? WTF, people) highlighting the reality that AIDS still kills might actually be one of the only socially conscious stories they’ve done in the past decade.

On the other hand… if they kill off Robin effing Scorpio in a cheap rating stunt this truly will become The Show That Joy Forgot. Also, I will cry a thousand tears and there will be a great rending of garments and wailing from the battlements and I might chuck a shoe at my tv.

So there’s that.

Meanwhile, has someone been slipping douchebag powder into Monica’s coffee? When did she become such a judgmental asshole?

First, she basically implies that daycare is akin to child abuse:

MONICA: We have to call the police. If a child is brought in with bruises, you can’t rule out the possibility of abuse.
STEVE: My sister would never raise a hand to her children.
MONICA: Well, I’m talking more about neglect. Elizabeth is not the most mindful of parents.
STEVE: If you’re suggesting that Jake’s death–
MONICA: I’m suggesting that she wasn’t paying attention when Jake walked out that door.
STEVE: She was distracted for a second. It happens to everyone!
MONICA: Especially when you let other people take care of your kids most of the time!

And then — and then! —

ELIZABETH, already recovering from a near-death experience, wants to go to her sick infant: He needs me. As a mother, you understand that, right?
MONICA: Don’t–don’t play the mother card with me.
ELIZABETH: What? Oh, my God, are you still angry about Jake?
MONICA: Yes, I am. But I am not using my grief as an excuse to latch onto a married man.

OH NO SHE FUCKING DIDN’T.

First of all, no one who “raised” her children alongside a spouse and extended family in an honest-to-God mansion staffed with cooks and butlers, and who still couldn’t manage to do it without banishing them to boarding school for most of their childhoods should ever, ever get to sneer at a single mother using daycare and occasionally accepting help from her family to take care of her kids:

(Also: no one who’s parenting record is three dead and one brain damaged hit man really gets to throw stones at anyone else’s parenting techniques. Just sayin’.)

(Also, also: Jason’s shirt in that last clip? May be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Except, perhaps, for his hair.)

Second of all… look, Monica. I realize that your own inability to refrain from having an affair with any man who crossed your path (including your own nephew) might lead you to believe that everyone treats their marriage vows like a joke. But maybe your son is actually capable of offering comfort to a woman he cares about without unzipping his pants?

And hey! Maybe it’s actually more his responsibility to stay faithful to his wife than it is Elizabeth’s? Just like it was his responsibility to tell you about Jake? Because he’s the one that actually owed you something? Just a thought.

Also: SHUT UP, MONICA. GOD. When I said I wanted more Quartermaines, I didn’t mean Quartermaines behaving so obnoxiously that I wished they were back in the Veterans’ Closet.

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9 thoughts on “Shake ups! Drama! What the hell is in the water at ABC right now?

  1. Yeah I am kind of regretting ever wanting to see more Q’s at this point because Monica has been absolutely vile since she came back. to almost everyone except Jason and Sam and I think the only reason she isn’t vile to Sam is to suck up to Jason. *sigh* I need Elizabeth to at least one time get to point out what a hypocritical bitch she is.

    OTOH YAY and Cheers and Summersaults about FC, FV and of course that bastard Frons being out the door! I know they said it was his choice but I totally believe he was pushed out the door. Corporate America usually doesn’t fire the high profile (well except in case of huge scandals) they ‘retire’.them. IMO he was pushed and hopefully it was as ugly and demeaning and hurtful as possible behind closed doors. It def is in my mind :))

  2. I would venture to guess Frons was offered a “lesser” position and chose to leave rather then accept a demotion. Another favorite path of Corporate America, rather then publicly admit they made a mistake. One of the View’s hosts left a few years ago, a black lady (don’t recall her name) but she refused to spout the company line and told the fans she had been fired – live on The View. It was quite a show.

  3. I’m sad that OLTL is not going to continue online but happy that RC and FV get to continue in a genre that they both love. Maybe the duo will shake their heads that GH does NOT have any families expanding different generations (Viki, Natalie, Ryder or Blair, Starr and Hope).

    Monica probably needs some hot loving since it’s been four years since Alan’s death unless she’s getting all freaky, deaky with Edward!

  4. I’ve actually heard not so great things about Ron Carlivati. But Wolf is pretty bad so . . . I guess it’s six of one, half dozen on the other.

    • Not knowing what you’ve heard, I can only say that there’s never going to be any head writer who’s perfect all the time. I can’t say I love every character and story on OLTL right now, but that was never the case even in the glory years at GH, you know? The trick is, he seems to be able to manage balance and pacing so that on any given day, there’s at least one thing I care about. And the good FAR outweighs the less good.

      Plus, there are veterans actually getting airtime, history getting referenced instead of mangled, awesome female friendships, multi-generational umbrella stories, and tons of soapy goodness. If he can bring any of that the GH, I’ll be over the moon.

      • That would definitely be nice, if he could do that! :)

        When I asked at TWoP they said specifically he likes people going crazy and rape. Of course, you know it is at TWoP, we tend to view the glass as half-empty. Hopfully at least the new writer won’t show one set up characters every day for three weeks and then have them disappear for another three weeks.

        • Well, I know a lot of people are so disgruntled about one particular dickish character’s (Ford) undeserved rehabilitation/canonization that it seems to have poisoned them against all the other good stuff that’s happening right now. Which is a shame.

          But as a relatively new returned viewer, I’m really, really loving the majority of the show right now. I am sad every day when OLTL is over, and frequently on the edge of my seat! It’s a weird thing to experience, heh.

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