Soap Opera Actors: Why Are You The Way That You Are?

My mom watches Young And The Restless. I remember doing homework at the kitchen table and listening to Victor and Nikki break up for the 500th time or something like that. It’s wild that now, all these years later, I’ll go downstairs to get a snack during work and there’s Mom watching the show still. Victor and Nikki are on their 800th breakup now, I think.

Soap operas fascinate me. They’re on the air for decades, with new episodes almost every single day, and the stories are so ridiculous, but people love them. Quality drama shows get axed after a season or two on primetime TV, but some evil twin coming back to life to marry the stepbrother you found out you had two weeks ago does numbers on daytime. Insane.

It's Crazy GIF.

They’ve got a cult following of sorts, but it’s an age group that overall isn’t exactly young anymore, so I can’t imagine that in twenty years, there will be many soaps on the air still. Also, the majority of the main actors are on the older side too…

Which brings me to the point of this post. What kind of fascinates me the most about soaps is that there are actors who essentially spend their whole career on that one show, just filming decades of episodes. The grind seems constant, but they stay. It seems so different from other non-soap actors who are constantly joining new projects and telling new stories. I imagine that all actors get into the biz because they love storytelling and playing a variety of characters, but some of these soap actors just seem to, like, stop wanting more after that early role. It goes against everything we seem to know about actors.

I think about all the primetime TV shows that have lost a beloved character late in the show because the actor/actress decided they wanted to do something different and couldn’t wait for the show to end. I feel like a bad person for thinking about it, but if some of these soap actors can play a role for 25 straight years, surely this other actor can stick around for this last and final season, right?

Disappointed Gif 0144 - PNGDir | PNG Image Directory

On the other hand, maybe acting is just a job like any other, and as long as you like your coworkers and make enough money and have a work/life balance, you’ll stay forever, so maybe soaps are just specially designed to be such good environments that people are willing to dedicate their entire career to it. If they’re happy, then good for them, I guess. Plus, it’s not like they don’t do any other acting. All of the main Young And The Restless cast do have many other credits, but usually for only one episode or in a movie no one’s heard of. Again, if they’re satisfied, then go for it, I guess.

Good For You GIF.

In the grand scheme of things, the mindsets of soap actors mean very little to me, but I do spend a lot of time pondering this every time I see my mom watching good ol’ Y&R, so now hopefully you get to think about it a bit too.

That’s all for now!



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Let’s Predict New TV Show Fates!

May is a big month for TV. Every Twitter notification I get on my phone from TV Line raises my heart rate a little. This month, any shows that have not yet found out their fate (which is most of them) do, and all the TV networks debut the trailers for new shows at the Upfronts.

I love watching the new show trailers. I watch them all, even if I know it’s a show I won’t ever watch. I read up on them all. I share them with TV-loving friends so we can discuss them.

This year, I thought I’d make a bit of a game of it.

NCIS man saying 'game on!' gif.

Just like with movie trailers, sometimes you can watch one and just know the show will flop. And sometimes the show runs for ten years and becomes a beloved favourite. Predicting these fates based on the trailers really serves no purpose but I think it’s fun and do it already, so I wanted to get more people in on it. I reached out to a few other bloggers who I know also keep up with TV a lot because I want to compare with people who I knew have the same level of passion for this, but I also wanted to open the fun to anyone who wanted to try!

The TV bloggers, in case you’re looking for some quality blogs to follow, are Georgia’s Favourite Things, World’s Common Tater, The Leasure Time Blog, and Life And Other Disasters. I have a whole list of great bloggers here, actually.

So here’s how it’ll work, if you want to play. I have a Google Spreadsheet here all set up for it. All you gotta do is claim a column and make your guesses. All the trailers I can find are all linked there. I implore you to do as I instructed the bloggers, which is to try and guess simply based on the trailers, so no reading comments or seeing what Twitter has to say or what the TV Line writers think. Just your immediate response. And then next May when all the fates are all revealed, we can see who predicted the best.

i'm a little competative gif.

Of course, I should mention the slight asterisks with things like this: coronavirus. As we’ve seen in the 20/21 year, the pandemic affected a lot and disrupted TV for everyone, and while I think we’re in a decent place where production is safe enough and will only get better, there’s no guarantee that it’ll all be fine in the next year. Just something to keep in mind. I actually wanted to play this last year and had the spreadsheet all ready to go, but most shows never finished filming a pilot, and Upfronts kind of never happened.

Anyway, I’m sharing this now, but I know that not all the trailers are out yet, so this is a live document that I’ll be updating as fast as I can. Bookmark it and come back if there are gaps you need to fill in later! When things are all filled in, I’m going to try and lock the column.

oh it's on gif.

I hope you join in! You don’t need to be a blogger, but I hope you’re a TV lover and I hope you have fun! If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know!

Again, the link to the Spreadsheet is here. Enjoy!

That’s all for now!


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Short Reviews Of All The TV Shows I Binged While I Was Unemployed

Since you’re reading this, I am no longer unemployed! I started my new job officially at the start of January. And that means that I can now share this post that I’d been working on for a while. I love TV shows, and I really jumped into a wide variety of them during my unemployment stint. Obviously, I have thoughts and recommendations, so here we go!

And as a disclaimer, this lengthy post makes it seem like I did nothing with my time but binge TV, but that’s not at all true. I watched almost all of these at double speed, and almost all of these shows have short seasons (8-12 episodes), so each season took me less than a day.

Schitt’s Creek (seasons 1-5)
It’s a Canadian show about a rich family that loses all their money and has to move to a small, nowhere town called Schitt’s Creek. I binged the first five seasons and then watched its sixth and final season in real-time, and this was the one show I really regretted not starting sooner, but I’m making up for it by telling everyone I know to watch it. It’s so funny and heartfelt, and you really root for this family as you see them grow into better people and make friends with the townspeople. Go watch ASAP.
ALEXIS ROSE | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (seasons 1-4)
I was bracing myself for Riverdale garbage, but this was decent. Sabrina is a teenage witch forced to deal with evil witchy business she was born into and a desire to be a normal teenage human. I liked the characters, and Sabrina’s habit of calling out her coven’s questionable rituals and stuff in the first two seasons was relatable to me as someone questioning the Catholic Church. As the show went on, it all got sillier and the writing and development went downhill (though nowhere near Riverdale levels of bad), but despite the eye-rolling aspects of the show, but I didn’t hate it at all.

The Boys (season 1)
Amazon’s big summer hit about superheroes that have been commercialized and corrupted was good and a fresh take on the superhero genre, but I didn’t love it. 8 episodes was doable, but by the end of the first season, not much was resolved. If you can handle gore and want some more superhero content in your life, then give it a go, but it’s not revolutionary. I also watched season 2 when it came out but it was released weekly so I didn’t binge it.

Swamp Thing (season 1)
RIP to this show that was cancelled before it really ever began. It really is a shame because this DC show really wasn’t that bad. Scientist Abby returns to her hometown to deal with some concerning environmental issues that lead to the creation of a swamp monster. I thought the plot was interesting, but it wasn’t as much a superhero show as it was a supervictim show. I found Abby’s desperation to find the dude she talked to for one day kind of weird, and due to the show’s production complications, the ending was sudden and unsatisfying, so I wouldn’t say it was worth a watch, but I don’t regret it.

Carnival Row (season 1)
In a world where humans and fairies and goat-men and a handful of other creatures exist, there’s still racism! If you want to see that, as well as the breasts of almost every female character, then this Amazon show is the one for you! The plot was unique, but the worldbuilding was poor and I just did not care for any of the relationships or characters. It’s cool that there are fantasy shows on the rise and the CGI in this one was good, but I was not impressed with this show.
AHS 1984 – Geeking Out about It

Barry (seasons 1-2)
This show was getting a lot of praise online, so I gave it a go. I was a bit disappointed, though. It’s about a hitman who heads to LA for a job but ends up falling in love with acting and is torn between these two very different career paths. The plot is unique and I think Bill Hader plays the role well, but I just didn’t find it very funny and I never really liked any of the characters. I’ll have to decide if I want to keep going with season 3 when it’s out.

Red Oaks (seasons 1-3)
This show aired on Amazon from 2014-17 but was really under the radar. So much so that I had never heard of it when it was recommended to me. About a handful of employees/patrons of a summer country club in the 80’s, this is a feel-good light show. It wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but it was fun to see the characters come together at the club.

Succession (seasons 1-2)
I caught up with this show halfway through season 2. It’s an HBO show about a family who owns a Disney-like company and the adult children vying to take it over from their aging father. The drama is interesting in a Kardashian kind of way where you kind of dislike every character because they’re so unrelatable and desperate, but it’s still wild and entertaining to watch. Not a favourite show of mine, but it’s well made and I’ll keep up with it.
Kieran Culkin Hbo GIF by SuccessionHBO

Dickinson (season 1)
This was one of Apple TV’s headlining shows. It’s about Emily Dickinson as a young woman trying to become a poet and not marry a man. It’s set in the 1800’s when Dickinson was alive, so there’s old-timey dresses and standards, but it has modern dialogue and music, and I found the contrast very fun. Hailee Steinfeld was a good lead. I’d recommend this show. Season 2 started this month and is being released weekly.

Modern Love (season 1)
I didn’t technically binge this show because I watched it with my mom over two weeks, but still. Each of the 8 episodes told a story of a different relationship in New York City, so it was easy to watch and fresh. There were happy stories, sad stories, awkward stories…every episode was different, and I can see this show lasting several seasons. Plus it’s led by John Carney, so need I say more?

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (season 1)
Some friends recommended this to me and mentioned it was a little weird, but it was too weird and silly for me, so I stopped after forcing my way through season 1. It’s about a seemingly normal guy named Todd who gets roped into joining a quirky guy named Dirk as they investigate Todd’s connection to the CIA. Gonna be honest, the plot was kind of messy and I was just not into it. I regret wasting a day on this. I do not recommend.

The Politician (season 1 and 2)
I watched this show for the cast. Ben Platt, Gwenyth Paltrow, Zoey Deutch, Laura Dreyfuss, Lucy Boynton…like, yeah, okay, sold. In S1, Ben’s character Payton is a high school senior determined to win class president, but he and the other students involved act like they’re running for the real American presidency, which was both interesting and annoying because it was wild to see them talk about undecided voter stats in a hallway with complete seriousness but their dialogue was just so…unrealistic for teenagers. In S2, he runs for governor of NYC with the same passion. It’s a decent show and it has legs for a couple seasons, even if it is Ryan Murphy quirky.

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Queer Eye (Season 5 and We’re In Japan)
Like all the Queer Eye seasons, this was full of heart and style and happiness, which was great to watch. No complaints. As for the Japan version, because of the language and cultural differences, the Fab Five had to change up how they did things a bit/get extra help, and it kind of took away from the format, so I didn’t love this season as much as regular ones, but it was still great.

Runaways (season 3)
Marvel dropped the last season of this show all at once, so I binged it. Overall, this season was pretty good and closed up the show pretty well. I didn’t love Morgan LeFay, but it was interesting to see the little alliances formed between the kids and the parents as they deal with it all. Also, I liked the crossover with Cloak & Dagger. I’m not surprised the show got cancelled, but I’m glad the final episode was satisfying no matter what. If you haven’t watched Runaways, I recommend it.

The Morning Show (season 1)
I also watched this one with my mother. I was worried it’d be too political and preachy, but it wasn’t at all. I think the show did a good job of showing all sorts of sides in a sexual assault/harassment/misconduct case and how things can be misconstrued. I think it was at points, especially towards the end, a bit too dramatic, but overall, it was interesting, and I’m looking forward to the second season.

The Morning Show gif.

Spinning Out (season 1)
Netflix basically said, “Hey, are you secretly a little sad that Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir aren’t actually getting married to each other? Well here’s a figure skating show featuring actors who look a little too much like them!” and a friend and I said, “yes, thank you.” Only there was hardly any skating at all in this show! Just a bunch of annoying drama from a bunch of really annoying characters. I do not want to watch the main character’s bipolar mom cause family drama when off her meds. I do not want to watch a bartender who has nothing to do with skating overcome racism. I want to watch two people learn to skate nicely with each other and also fall in love. Major disappointment.

Upload (season 1)
The trailer for this show was giving knock-off The Good Place vibes, but the show really was a lot more than it seemed. It was a fun, techy take on the afterlife with a mystery subplot to boot. I can’t say I loved the characters and it wasn’t as funny as I expected, but at only ten 30-minute imaginative episodes, it’s worth a watch.

The Bletchley Circle (Season 1 [San Fransisco] and Season 1-2 [UK version])
In early Coronavirus time, I found myself in my curling club’s unofficial book club, and The Secret Lives Of Code Breakers is the book they chose to read. I did not read it and instead I watched all three seasons of the show. While it wasn’t bad, I would not recommend them as they were kind of boring and I found the code-breaking parts rather weak.

Departure (season 1)
It’s like Manifest but shorter and without a sci-fi element. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t anything special. Manifest is better.

Dash And Lily (season 1)
This was a cute concept but it was just obnoxiously YA through and through. These teenagers were too unrealistic. Lily was a sigh-inducing mix of Manic Pixie Dreamgirl and Not Like Other Girls. But the show was short so if you’re bored and looking for something mindless for an evening, it’s fine.
Dash & Lily gif.

I also watched three episodes of Pennyworth and Merry Happy Whatever before getting bored and quitting.

Aaaaand that’s it! Have you seen any of these shows? Is there another show, based on what I did like here, that you think I’d enjoy?

That’s all for now!


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Streaming Services At The Emmys

In recent years, there’s been some discussion about if streaming service movies should be allowed in contention for Oscar wins. It’s a large debate with even some big-name directors jumping in with their thoughts.

But no one batted an eye when streaming service shows made their way into the Emmys.

It’s no secret to anyone reading this blog that as much as I love TV and do use streaming services (and do enjoy many original shows and movies from them), I’m not thrilled with the general direction that TV is going. I’ve spoken before about how Netflix is on thin ice and how I feel that expectations are not met from streaming services, but today I really wanted to look at the Emmys in particular. I know this year’s Emmys were a month ago, so the nominees and results are not at the top of your mind, but I’d like to bring it back into focus a little.

Lets Chat Shall We gif.

In a normal non-pandemic year, I watch a lot of TV, but I won’t pretend I have superior taste and everything I watch deserves awards. I will also not pretend I know everything about how a show/actor gets nominated or voted for. But what I do know is that streaming shows are completely overtaking the awards, creating almost an elitist environment amongst the viewers, and I’d imagine between the actors and networks too.

I have only a little shame in admitting that I’ve seen Apple+ shows and HBO shows and Hulu shows despite not paying for those platforms (not that I could pay for Hulu anyway given how Canadian I am). I understand cable is expensive and people are moving away from that traditional means of TV, but I just simply don’t think it’s fair or reasonable that if people want to watch Emmy winning or even nominated shows, they likely have to subscribe to not just one or two but around six streaming services. Even if you do the math and say that all the services combined are still cheaper than cable (which I believe, again, given how Canadian I am), it’s still an inconvenience and I don’t like how that’s supposed to be an option. Broadcast channels are mostly free if you have an antenna or something, are they not?

How did it come to this? gif.

But that’s my opinion (shoutout to anyone who heard the Vine in their head) so I also wanted to show some numbers to get this point across. Here are screenshots of Emmy winners from 2006-2010 and 2016-2020 that I colour coded by platform. These are only the biggest awards, but I can assume that similar ratios are found if you looked at all the winners.

I count HBO as a streaming service—even though it wasn’t considered one a decade ago—because it was a premium add-on that you were paying extra for specifically. So, as you can see, in the span of a decade, streaming services really have taken over, going from 6% of the winners to 72%. Even if you combine broadcast and cable, it still doesn’t compete.

And before you say, “well, so streaming services won, but surely other broadcast/cable shows were nominated“…here are the 2020 nominees for the same seven categories.

Streaming takes up 58% of the nominees, which isn’t that bad, but still. Especially considering that it’s not like broadcast has been putting out less content since. There are still full lineups of shows, some of which I believe to be quality, that aren’t getting any recognition.

I will say, because I’m not a completely negative person, that it does seem that since there is so much more content in competition there are fewer repeat winners, and I do like that the success is spread around.

Perhaps there needs to be a separate award show for streaming content (which would solve the Oscar issue too) or separate categories for that kind of content.

Modern Problems gif.

Or maybe no one else but me cares about this.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, though, even if you don’t watch the Emmys.

Related but unrelated: what are your thoughts on ‘movie’ actors starring in a limited series or shorter streaming shows and winning over the people whose whole careers have been mostly in TV?

That’s all for now!


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Forgotten Canadian Kids TV

I am Canadian, which means my brother and I grew up absorbing both Canadian and American entertainment. Of course, we didn’t really know it. TV was just TV. I think we just kind of assumed most of the shows were American, but we didn’t care.

Except recently, I was thinking about some old show we would watch after school and it led me to a wild 3am rabbit hole of TV shows I had completely forgotten about.

I forgot all about that gif.

See, in Canada, kids/teens had a few options for TV channels. There was Treehouse and TVO and morning CBC for really young kids. After a while, you become a kid and a tween and teen and move to Family, YTV, and Teletoon. All these channels were Canadian but they played both Canadian and American shows. The American shows were the ones that still live on in infamy. Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, iCarly, Hannah Montana, Ben10…we all remember them and you’ll still sometimes see references online to these popular shows even though they don’t air anymore.

All the shows I rediscovered at 3am that night were Canadian and had fallen right off the face of the planet. No one remembers them. No one talks about them. The live-action ones starred Canadian actors who didn’t go on to bigger and better things, sadly. And it’s so weird that that’s what shaped my childhood in a way.

So here’s to Canadian kids/tween shows. The shows that won’t get rewatched on Disney+. The shows that future generations of children will probably never see. The shows that I may never again think about. I’ve made a collage of them just because, so take a look.

collage of canadian kids/tween shows

This took me a long time to put together, but it was a fun time as I got to relive this little bit of my childhood. And there are probably still more out there that I really do not remember. Also, there’s a chance that some of these shows did make it to America or other countries (like everyone’s favourite bald kid Caillou), but I can confirm that they’re all Canadian. If you’re looking at this collage and not recognizing a thing, let me tell you that you missed out on some quality programming and I’m sad for you.

I know I’ve complained before that Canadian-made media isn’t as good as American media overall, but children’s content is the exception. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed American/other countries’ shows growing up too, but some of these shows shown here were so good and made such a mark on me that I’m not afraid to say that they’re better.

To any Canadians in and around my age reading this, I hope you got a huge kick out this post and I hope good memories came flooding back.

HIMYM canada gif.

That’s all for now!


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