Wednesday, July 01, 2015

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: TOP 5 SOAP OPERA 4TH OF JULY EPISODES

Back in the day when summertime was soap-opera primetime for hooking new (younger) viewers, the Fourth of July was the perfect opportunity to detonate some storyline fireworks that would continue to pay off into the fall and keep fans tuning in tomorrow (and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow; hat-tip to William Shakespeare).

In honor of those days, we asked fans to tell us their favorite Fourth of July episodes. Now, here are the top five vote-getters:

Find out who made the cut at Entertainment Weekly!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

WAS THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB THE FIRST REAL HOUSEWIVES SHOW?


The Astronaut Wives Club, a limited run series based on Lily Koppel’s book of the same name, premiered Thursday, June 18 on ABC (right before the network’s 2-hour season 3 debut of Mistresses, which offered a pretty good idea of where ABC expected The Astronaut Wives Club to fit into its line-up demographically).

I flinched a bit when one of the very first scenes featured Alan Shepard’s wife, Louise (Dominique McElligott), exchanging stink-eyes with the female yeoman she “caught” sitting on a couch in her husband’s office. The yeoman gave back as good as she got, instantly setting up the single v. married/working v. housewife & mom dynamic. (Louise also laments to her husband that now that he’s in the space program, “I’m about to be forced into bridge and bake sales with a bunch of wives.”)

It didn’t help when a few moments later, a pair of the titular wives went head to head, comparing their husbands’ career trajectories, flight-hours, and qualifications for becoming the first American in space. It was amazing they didn’t pull out rulers.

Read my entire post at Blog Her Entertainment: http://t.co/UQckBKiwbt

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

EW: WHEN SOAP OPERA GREEN-CARD MARRIAGES GO WELL... AND WHEN THEY DON'T


Last week, on The Bold & the Beautiful, Liam married Ivy in order to keep her from being deported back to the horrors of Australia.

Forget that Ivy’s father is American, and she should be a dual citizen. (The show attempted to tap-dance around that by saying her flake of a dad – he is played by Fred Willard, after all – failed to fill out the proper paperwork.)

Forget that Ivy is a cousin of the mega-rich Forrester family, and working for their company, to boot, which means they should be able to get her an H-1B special talents visa by snapping their fingers – and throwing a bucket-load of money at the problem.

The important thing to focus on here is that Liam married Ivy, whom he’s been dating for months (see their romantic trip to Amsterdam), only to suddenly decide that he’s still in love with his ex-wife, Steffy. The same Steffy who, a few weeks ago, Liam was swearing he had no feelings for. But, you know, things change.

Currently, Ivy is swearing to Liam that she understands their marriage is merely a business relationship and that nothing has to change between them, while Steffy is ranting that she will not be Liam’s second choice (again), and wants nothing to do with him.

Right.

We’re all experienced soap viewers here. How long do we really expect those respective stances to last?

We’ve all seen our share of “business arrangement” daytime drama green-card marriages that turned into something else.

The most famous example is probably General Hospital’s Robert and Holly. Back in the 1980s (when all soaps were better, let’s have no arguments on that point), Holly’s love, Luke, was presumed dead in an avalanche (Luke’s love, Laura, had earlier been presumed dead after disappearing off a pier – neither death stuck). Holly was pregnant with Luke’s baby, and in danger of being deported back to England (a place obviously as horrible as Australia). Luke’s best-friend, Robert, nobly stood up and married Holly in order to keep her in the country, much to the dismay of his girlfriend, Jackie (played by Demi Moore; and we all know what happens when Demi Moore gets dismayed).

Holly lost Luke’s baby, but fell in love with her husband (overall a fair trade), only for Luke to return, alive. Munch angst ensued but, in the end, Holly chose Robert and, for many years, they were the prototypical example of that rare species: A happily married soap-couple who didn’t have children over whose paternity there was always a question, but, instead, chased criminals together, him as the Port Charles Police Commissioner, her as his unofficial helper. They even left town together to presumably live Happily Ever After. But, we know how that goes on soaps. (And if you don’t, click here for the depressing answer.)

So that was a green-card marriage gone right. (Luke didn’t mourn Holly for long, as Laura returned soon after, and the reunited couple moved on to their own aborted Happily Ever After.)

There are many more examples of a green-card marriage gone wrong.

Read all about those at Entertainment Weekly: http://t.co/4Qh0rTrZIC

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK - BY DESTROYING YOUR CAREER

A. Michelle Blakely, the SF Small Business Examiner, has 44 Ways To Market and Sell Your Self-Published Book.

Among them is mine:

Can you write in front of an audience? I am promoting my romance novels by writing my next romance novel live at www.AlinaAdams.com/live and taking reader feedback on where the story should go next. No one else is doing anything like it, which gives me a promotional hook. Alina Adams, www.AlinaAdams.com 

(The part about destroying your career is optional, but always a possibility.)

Read all the tips, here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

THE APPEAL OF MEDICAL ROMANCE

Thank you to Anna Bowling of Buried Under Romance for mentioning me in her post this Saturday, The Appeal of Medical Romance:

The Mammoth Book of ER Romance hits readers hard and fast with an abundance of tales where time is of the essence in love as well as medical care, and no wonder that it’s a winning combination. Stakes are never higher than when a loved one’s life is on the line, and there’s an immediate trust a patient and their family must put in the doctors, nurses, paramedics and technicians whose job it is to keep the grim reaper away and remain calm while doing so.

There is a commonality in the medical world; we are, after all, all the same beneath the skin, and anyone who’s been in a major hospital, even to walk through the halls, will know that the medical world is diverse. Readers looking for characters from different walks of life may well want to give medical romance a try. Alina Adams, herself a Soviet immigrant, infuses her Jewish Russian-American heroine and Russian hero with some of her own heritage. Dyann Davis gets real with the romance between African American nurse, Heaven, who is Christian and Pakistani physician, Hamid, who is Muslim, in Let’s Get It On.

Read the entire post at: http://buriedunderromance.com/2015/06/saturday-discussion-the-appeal-of-medical-romance.html

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ALICIA COPPOLA (LORNA; AW) HAS A BONE TO PICK WITH ME


Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post lamenting soap-operas' troubling tendency to reform bad girls into good girls via rape.  A reader took offense with my interpretation. Anyone who writes regularly is used to that. But this particular reader happened to be actress Alicia Coppola, who won a Soap Opera Digest Award for playing Another World's Lorna, one of the characters I name-checked in my piece.

She wrote a very heartfelt, very gut-wrenching response. Read it at my latest for Entertainment Weekly: http://community.ew.com/2015/06/16/alicia-coppola-jericho/

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WHAT 'ODD MOM OUT' GOT WRONG ABOUT APPLYING TO NYC KINDERGARTEN (AND HOW YOU CAN AVOID MAKING HER MISTAKES)


In my Kveller review of the new Bravo series, Odd Mom Out, I mention that the show about life on the Upper East Side of Manhattan got some key details wrong about the admittedly very complicated and stressful process of applying to NYC Kindergarten. (I also helpfully mention that I've written a book on the subject. Buy it now on Amazon! Subtle, I am not.)

What exactly did they get wrong? Behold!

***

To crib from Senator Lloyd Bentsen, I’ve applied my kids to NYC schools. I’ve blogged for Kveller about applying to NYCSchools. I wrote an entire book on applying to NYC Schools. Odd Mom Out is not how you apply to NYC Schools.

The major flaw in their “applying the twins to Kindergarten” story is that the twins have an older sister. Where does she go to school? Why can’t her siblings go there? Even if she goes to an all-girl school, at least her sister can attend, which means they only have to stress over placing the brother. And since it’s been established that both parents grow up wealthy in NYC, where did they go? Why aren’t their kids legacies?

That said, the moment when their preschool director tells Jill, “Your children are young 4s, given their late July birthdays. So unfortunate…” rang extremely true for me. NYC private schools prefer children to be on the older side when they start Kindergarten, which is why they are reluctant to accept summer birthdays, especially boys. Jill tells the director they’re applying to both private and public schools. But then the birthday cut-offs wouldn’t match. With summer birthdays, you often have to go through the public school process one year, and private the next.

(Another, non-school related nitpick is Jill’s claim that “Getting a sitter on two hours notice is like the Triple Salchow of parenting. It can’t be done.” The Triple Salchow is actually the easiest of the Triple jumps; it’s being performed by juniors these days. I wrote a book on FigureSkating, too. Which you can also buy on Amazon. See? Not subtle!)

But, you know what? The above really doesn’t matter. It’s a sitcom, and the most important question is: Is it funny? 


ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CLASSIC SOAP OPERA SUMMER?


Monday on The Bold & the Beautiful, Steffy lamented to Wyatt, “Honestly, I just really want a summer of fun and romance and love and adventure.”

Wouldn’t we all, Steffy? Wouldn’t we all?

While, initially, soap-operas were created to sell products (and to entertain – in that order) housewives and stay-at-home moms year-round, by the early 1980s, they’d become summertime must-see-TV for kids home from school and college.

It all began with General Hospital’s Luke and Laura on the run in 1980. She was married to a nice, young lawyer (yes, latter-day fans, Scotty used to be the nice one), he was presumed dead after escaping his own marriage to the mob, they had a stolen book of clues, there was a left-handed boy, and a hit-man dressed in drag, and farmers, and a blanket between their beds and you really had to be there, because it was glorious.

The following summer, no longer married (not even to each other), Luke and Laura embarked on an even grander adventure, stowing away on a luxury yacht to an island where an evil mastermind was planning to freeze the world using synthetic diamond dust (Mikkos Cassadine tried to warn us about global warming, but did anyone listen?). This time, there was a dashing, Australian super-spy (a.k.a. Robert Scorpio, known to most fans now as Robin’s dad… or Emma’s grandfather), a spoiled movie star, Days of Our Lives Tony DiMera under another name, the original Baltar from the original Battlestar: Galactica, tropical fevers, and a very, very obvious password to stopping the doomsday machine that all of us at home were yelling the entire hour it took Luke to figure it out. It was even better than the previous year’s caper.

With the explosive success of GH’s summer adventure, other shows quickly followed suit. DOOL had Bo and Hope fighting communism… on ice (details, here), and Kimberly and Shane dealing with drug-dealers in Florida (must see video of the cast in full Miami Vice mode, complete with Phil Collins soundtrack, here). All My Children’s Jenny and Jesse fled to New York City, and even the more traditional soaps ventured outside of small-town America. On As the World Turns, Tom and Margo, after battling South American rushing rapids and snake bites, found themselves in a castle booby-trapped with explosive, poison darts in themed rooms referencing Alice in Wonderland, among other literary classics. Their torturer was a drug-dealing, evil dwarf. For the record, the entire storyline kicked off with a little girl putting on the wrong hatband.

Meanwhile, over on Search for Tomorrow, Travis and Liza faced danger in Hong Kong, where evil people of indeterminate agenda (possibly more drug dealers) were intent on stealing Liza’s jade necklace, for equally indeterminate reasons. The only thing known for certain was that this was SFT’s big summer, adventure storyline. To drive the point home, they made sure that Travis sported a blond perm identical to Luke’s on GH.

Clearly, summer was the time when soap-opera producers were intent on hooking young viewers, who might then grow into lifelong fans (this was back when soaps weren’t being cancelled right and left, so you really could watch one show from cradle to grave).

To read more about soap's classic summer storylines - and why they seemed to have come to an abrupt end in this century, go to Entertainment Weekly at: http://community.ew.com/2015/06/09/soap-opera-summer-stories/

And to go behind the scenes with some of soaps' best summer - and year round - storylines, check out Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments. Response was so terrific to me making the book FREE to borrow on Amazon, that I've decided to extend the freebie for another month. Don't miss getting your copy, today, here!