We've put together a special year-end list of the top ten most-read Two Scoops columns over the past 12 months. To check out the list and see what came out on top, please click here.
I know it's a new year, the time for optimism, idealism, and forgiveness for our "transgressions." (Sorry to steal your word, Tiger Woods.) But it's difficult to look to the future of this year in daytime television when one realizes that As the World Turns will no longer be a part of the daytime genre, after 2010. I usually use the New Year column to write about what I hope to see happen to my favorite characters in the coming year, but it's hard to do that when, come September, these characters will be finished, forever. I'm quite certain I'm going to need a grief counselor to get through this transition, or maybe a truckload of Henry's martinis.
I know it's not likely that another network will pick up the show. Guiding Light couldn't find a home elsewhere. Neither could Santa Barbara, Another World, and several other soaps that have been shown the cancellation door. So, I guess the first step is acceptance. But how do I do that? There is so much life in Oakdale right now that I can't wait to watch the show every day, something I haven't done in years. Craig, Carly, and Jack are electric. Simon is back. Henry is front and center, as are Barbara, Katie, and (gulp) possibly James.
Woe is me. I want to be popping a champagne cork to celebrate new beginnings, but for me, the television landscape already looks bleak, and this cancellation is just one more dark encroaching cloud. I'm slowly making my way through the seven stages of grief for my show: Shock and denial (This must be a joke!) ; Pain and guilt (Maybe I shouldn't have been so hard on the writers?); Anger and bargaining (All My Children had an awful year and IT'S still on! As for the bargaining, see my last column and my letter to Santa.); Depression, reflection, and loneliness (That's where I am now.)
I'm not sure I'll ever make it through the last three grief stages, which involve an upward turn, working through the grief, and final acceptance. (Call me stubborn, but I'm still mourning the loss of Another World.) So, there it is, Scoopers, my take on a Happy New Year isn't exactly leaving you all tingly, is it? Sorry to be a buzz kill, but the thought of never again seeing Henry throw out a one-liner, Carly dress down Jack, or Craig deliver a sarcastic barb makes me want to give up on soaps forever.
This year, when you sang "Auld Lang Syne" at the stroke of midnight to symbolize endings and new beginnings, I hope you thought of As the World Turns and days long ago. "Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?" Not if they're our family from Oakdale. So, grab a glass and let's "drink a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne." And despite this historic loss, do our best to have a happy new year.
• It was a short week for soaps and we only got to see three days of As the World Turns, but come on folks, couldn't at least one of those days have given us a glimpse of Simon or Henry or Katie? Happy New Year? Not yet .
• I know many of you are rooting for Jack and Carly to reunite. Others are on board with a Carly/Craig pairing. But I have to say that after watching this week's show, once again I'm reminded that my favorite couple in this love triangle is actually Jack and Craig. Those two make me chuckle like no one else, with their constant insults and bickering. Check out the Best Lines of the Week section to see some of their zingers.
• Nancy Hughes was on this week, and I felt like the Grinch with my heart growing three sizes. Nancy warms my heart, and her touching scenes with Casey, where she gave him her engagement ring, were superb. It's too bad I don't think the Casey/Ali coupling is worthy of that ring. Ali and Casey are no Chris and Nancy. Sorry.
• I'd like to say a gigantic "THANK YOU" to the hair department for giving me a great Christmas present. Jack got a great cut and no longer looks like he just rolled out of bed. Dusty also had some scissor time, ditched that awful hair gel that made him look 10 years older, and is back to his gorgeous self. And Alison is back to her best color: blonde. Yay!
• It's no secret that Dusty has been wandering aimlessly from woman to woman for years (Meg, Bonnie, Lily, Jennifer, etc.) So imagine my shock when I realized that I think I actually like him with Janet. Yes, I know she's married. But someone should tell Jack that. Janet doesn't deserve the treatment Jack is giving her. So, I wouldn't mind Janet kicking Jack to the curb and taking Dusty out for a test run. I wish she would have waited until she was divorced, though. That good Catholic girl is going to have serious guilt about hitting the sheets with Dusty, while still married to Jack. Janet said she doesn't believe in divorce, though, so I'm not sure how this sticky situation is going to resolve itself.
• As for Jack, I know he's had a tough year, but his obsession with Carly has reached new heights. His marriage is circling the drain, and all he was concerned about was getting Carly away from Craig. This doesn't look good for Janet for two reasons. First, Carly is single. Second, Jack finally admitted that his days of sitting in judgment of Carly are over, which is the one thing that always drove them apart. If Jack can learn to accept Carly with all her flaws, I think these two could make it. That doesn't bode well for poor Craig, though.
• Call me crazy, but I'm starting to believe that Mick is actually James. Mick and Barbara certainly have chemistry, and he's as good as James at manipulating people. Maybe I've been slipped the "ju-ju" juice, but I'm starting to believe this guy could actually be James. It's crazy right? Maybe my grief has gotten the best of me.
• If the sight of naked Craig in a bath tub doesn't teach Jack Snyder not to meddle in Carly's business, nothing should.
• It looks like beloved geek Maddie may have met her perfect match in Hunter. I'm not so sure, though. These two are very much alike, and you know what they say about opposites attracting.
• Meg is finally locked up, but Damian had better watch his back. I think she may actually be a little crazy.
• Several of you have written to me asking how I want the show to end. I'd love to be able to respond, but I can't. I haven't accepted the news yet, so I cannot imagine how I want this book to close. Stay tuned.
• And speaking of the end of an era, when As the World Turns airs for the last time, I will be writing my final column, too. I've been giving you my Two Scoops since 2003, so it will be tough letting go. I will officially be unemployed when the show goes off the air, so if you know of anyone looking for a writer whose only goal is to entertain and improve the quality of television, let me know.
Best Lines of the Week:
(Carly, Craig, and Jack are stranded in a snowstorm at a cabin.)
Craig: "Jack, why don't you go out and see if you can flag down a truck. (Pauses.) You might have better luck if you stand in the middle of the road."
Jack: "Believe me, I'd rather get hit by a truck than be cooped up all night with you."
Craig: "Heaven is right outside that door."
(Farm boy Jack goes out in the woods to cut and gather firewood, but returns in only five minutes with several cut logs.)
Craig: "What did you do? Gnaw through the trees with your teeth?"
(Carly blames Craig for messing up his wedding to Rosanna.)
Carly: "Rosanna called off the wedding after she caught you giving me the fish eye, before the ceremony."
Craig: "It takes two to give good fish eye."
(Hunter finally tells Maddie his real name and why he was embarrassed about it for so long.)
Maddie: "I think Lyon Hunter is a very charming name, especially if you work at the circus."
(From Two Scoops reader John )
(In reference to the Best of/Worst of column) Great review. (But) I feel Carly's alcoholism was the best (storyline.) I'm not a Brad fan. However, the December 24th episode will not be leaving my DVR. It was Austin Peck's finest performance of his career. The scene with Janet was my favorite.
(From Two Scoops reader Stacey)
I've never read your column before and rarely go to websites like this, but stumbled upon your 'Two Scoops' and must say as a long-time viewer and fan of ATWT I had my head shaking yes on every part of your column... except one. The "Best New" category you mentioned, I couldn't disagree more and do feel that in just a month or so you will have changed your mind about Tom Pelphrey's character. I watched him from his beginning at GL and have followed his work at his Apothecary Theatre Company. This actor has a fire in him that will leap. Give him a chance, you are going to see him years down the road. I know it. Great column. Yes, yes, yes on EVERYTHING else.
(From Two Scoops reader RW)
Hi Jennifer, I know you liked Spencer Grammer more, but actually the consensus was that Sarah Glendening did a better job as Lucy, albeit still some bad storylines. However, I don't know why Lucy had to leave while Alison gets front burnered year after year with some wretched stories and pairings. Seems unfair to me. The Lusty fan base is doing a campaign to bring Lucy and Peyton List back for the show's finale. List has had the biggest Lucy fanbase, and I'm sure more folks and the cast/crew would welcome her presence. Surely the writing won't be any better, but if it is the show finale, how bad could it be? Lucy has never known Dusty was going to propose to her and she needs to know it. Since there was a very recent Lucy reference by Craig/Dusty, I guess they still recall Lusty.
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.