For The Love Of Soaps: What Now?

Days Of Our Lives: What do you think happens when someone dies for a few minutes? Many people have reported "out of body experiences" where they recalled their entire body overlooking the scene of their unconscious rescue in real-time. There are stories of heaven and meeting loved ones; however, the medical community stands tall in their assertion about near-death experiences—it's all in our heads. Well, this week we not only get to see how DOOL writers answer the question of what they think happens during a near death experience but we are also confronted with their portrayal of heaven—which turns out, is a parlor room.

In my opinion, they spent too much time with Marlena's purgatory crossroad battle. There she stood at the crossroads between heaven, hell, and her old life. Her old friend Tony's was waiting to con her straight into hell; Gina was there too, Hope's evil twin sister—too many evil twins in one room if you ask me. So there they all sat, in this off-white parlor room, showing Marlena her worst and best moments. Reminding Marlena that even though she's not perfect, many people need her to pull through; and that she did, despite Diana's greatest efforts Marlena is alive and well. Meanwhile, Leo, Diana's son, has not changed one bit since the grand reveal of his true father—and here I thought he was redeemable. As soon as Brady didn't give him what he wanted—a seat in the company—Leo took whatever insider information he could muster from Brady's phone call and went straight to the competition, Stefan DiMera—who's a whole new man by the way, but we'll get into that later. Leo, not knowing that Brady and Gabi are working together to take down DiMera Enterprises, gave Stefan faulty information that cost his company a new business acquisition. Stefan is pissed and out for blood—but what's new there.

Leo isn't the only person who can't change, Claire is beginning to act more and more like Eve, and the fact that it took Eve half a lifetime to become the villain she is today really speaks on Claire's character—I mean she's too young to be this vindictive. For anyone who missed last week's tea, Claire ratted out Hayley being at her loft to Eve. Hayley was arrested and now has 30-days to leave the country. Heartbroken JJ, who still can't get over the fact that it's his dad's entire fault, suggested they get married. However, as soon as Tripp got a whiff of JJ's plan, he immediately stepped in to play hero. And for the life of me, I can't understand why perhaps he really does assume Claire's hand in all this and wants to drive the truth out of her—he about to make her crazy show, that's all I know, but I'm here for it.

I'm here for it all, especially the cliffhangers at the end of the week—I have a love-hate relationship with them. Who doesn't love/hate a good cliffhanger? It's a relief to know that some people in Salem can see through the fallacy. Seems like Tripp isn't the only person questioning the woman in his corner, John had a mysterious suspicion that it was Diana who tried to kill the love of his life. Once Diana found out that the police were going to pull prints off Marlena's IV, she went straight to the police department—with that overused journalist lie. Right when she picked the lock in an attempt to dispose of the only evidence that revealed her true desire to get the man she loved in her youth back by any means, guess who was waiting for her? Mr. John Black himself—even I didn't see this coming.

General Hospital: Even if we do the wrong things for the right reasons, we must face the repercussions of our actions. Every choice has consequences; whether good or bad, responsibility must be had. Even choice made with the best of intentions can still be selfish in nature. The nature of something, whether good or bad, is usually decided about how it impacts people. Take Dr. Kevin Collins and his decision to protect his brother, Ryan Chamberlain, was inherently selfish. It was a decision that was not his to make. Was it out of brotherly love or due to his over-inflated ego? Well, whatever the reason, Kevin still has to deal with the aftermath of it all.

Dr. Collins spent this week on an Apology Tour, making his stops to the people he felt were affected the most. But sometimes a simple ‘I'm sorry isn't enough. And it sure isn't enough for Kevin, despite his wife being Mayor; the DA is still pursuing charges against him—which makes all the sense in the world. Kevin had an active hand in Ryan's murders; everything could've been prevented if he would've just released his brother to the authorities. Kevin seems to have accepted his fate, but has Laura? What measures will our new Mayor take for her husband?

Willow, on the other hand, is ready to throw her entire life in Port Charles away if it means she'll be free from Shiloh. Willow is definitely that ex-factor character, one minute her storyline is boring and drab, the next, she has my eyes glued to the TV. Seems like Shiloh and Willow had more than just a mentor/mentee relationship back in the day. Shiloh might just be the crazy baby father that scared her into raising Willy in the first place. Yeah, Julian pushed her off the edge— by getting her to give up her baby—but who brought her to the roof in the first place? Shiloh's day will come, and when it does, I'll have a glass of wine in my hand and a bowl of popcorn on my lap.

It seems like the wicked are still roaming the streets, while men like Dr. Collins are in police custody. Shiloh has his claws in Kristina so bad that Sonny just might have to get involved. Ryan is still alive and well, from that mysterious call Ava received. And while we've been so preoccupied with everything, we forgot to check in on Griffin, who has been in a downward spiral since Kiki's murder. He resigned from the hospital and went on a drunken rage looking for Kevin. Will Ava and Griffin be able to find comfort in one another? Will Kevin really go to jail? Are Shiloh and Ryan going to evade the authorities forever? Honestly, I got nothing. Until next time.

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Performer of the Week: This week I must give recognition to the new Stefan DiMera on Days of Our Lives. This new guy, Brandon Barash, had pretty big shoes to fill. He not only replaced a huge character but at the end of the week—on a Friday nonetheless. Personally, I'm not too fond of Brandon—there's something about his face, I don't like it. Regardless, despite the tremendous pressure, he pulled through. He took all the criticism to the chest and delivered a pretty decent Stefan. I am going to miss Tyler Christopher. The news on the street is that Brandon was supposed to be a temporary replacement because Tyler had to deal with "personal issues" but it's looking like this switch is more permanent. What happened? I don't know at the moment, but I will definitely find out something. So stay tuned for the tea.

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Women in Soaps: Soap Operas have been around since the dawn of time--at least that's how it feels. And who doesn’t love a good romance drama? But how much of the romance is centered the female needing to be saved or conquered? Soap operas are great but how many female role models can we take from the roles they give us? 

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General Hospital: Jason has saved Carly so many times that even Sam is worried eventually his feelings might waver for her. Like many women, Carly is the delicate flower that constantly needs to be rescued. And yes there are times when the women get to play hero and save their man; like when Sam dove into the harbor in a wet suit to search for Jason's body. Moments like that are so far and few between that you forget they even happened. But is it really anyone's fault, even primal physiology gives us roles to play. Is it a woman's duty to protect her child, and a mans duty to protect both? Are these roles changing in the 21st century?

I think overall there are two types of female roles to fill; you got the good girl and the bad girl, but the same goes for male characters as well. Soap Operas are so concerned with the drama that lies in between the dualities of life, their writers lose a realistic quality to the characters they create. People are more than the stereotypes they succumb to.

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Days Of Our Lives: Deep down everyone just wants to be loved. Does loving someone make you responsible for them? Why does it always seem that the men tend to take responsibility for their women's physical well-being, while women tend to take accountability for everything else? When Marlena found herself in the purgatory parlor she was faced with more than just the love of the people around her, Tony emphasized how much everyone else still needed her- that was the triggering sentiment that brought her back to life in the first place. Marlena wanted more than love, she wanted to be needed; and while I'm sure that was the writers attempt to display her character's significance, but there are better ways to do that. Why is a woman's worth boiled down to how much she's needed?

Of course, men are needed to, but mainly to provide finances and a show of bravado every once in a while. Men are given roles that demonstrate their masculinity, anything less would be considered weak, right? At the end of the day, men have certain unattainable expectations as well. While in the same respect, you'll never really see a main female character demonstrate dominance and strength without her tinkering on the edge of villainry-and usually due to the obsession of a man. Take Claire and Eve for examples. It seems like Claire has always been ready to sell her soul for a man, at this point its way past her jealousy towards her cousin, Ciara. Claire's entire storyline is based on her relationship with men. Something her and Eve have in common; yes you could say that Eve is using Jack to get back at Jennifer. But her entire plan relies on Jack, and his rise, even as a villain, she's in the shadows of a man.

Times are changing; romance and dating are changing too. Women hit on guys and they buy them drinks too. Sometimes it's the woman running away from a relationship because of her own internal conflict or her own dangerous history. Women are showing more masculinity and men are getting in touch with their feminine side. People are learning to adapt to the times, daytime television should get with it. We need more modern romances. What if Sonny from General Hospital were to meet a Turkish female underground boss while on his trip? Women can run illegal export businesses. Women can be more than what they are needed to be. They can be whomever they want, but that choice can be made without a man in mind.