Monday, July 27, 2015


Anyone who knows me, knows that I can talk soaps - past, present, and future - endlessly.

Which is probably why my interview with "TV Source Magazine" had to be two parts. I talk a lot.

It was also the first time I ever shared the below, publicly:

I have this very controversial theory which I have no evidence for that I want to share with you. You’re getting an exclusive – well, except for everyone that I’ve just sort of expounded to. I have a theory that soap operas don’t want longtime viewers. Soap operas are designed to sell product. Commercial television is called commercial television; it’s not a negative thing. They’re designed to sell product. If you have been watching the show for 20 years and you have not started using Crest, it’s highly unlikely you’ll start using Crest. So you’re a useless audience member. Soaps want new viewers who will tune in and buy Crest. If you are not going to buy Crest, you mean nothing to them. So a longtime viewer who hasn’t switched to Crest is worthless. The only viewer that’s worth something is the new one that can come in and you can pitch product to.

More on that, here:

And here is some controversy from part #1:

TVSource Magazine: Speaking of Agnes Nixon, she was always very great at weaving current issues into soaps and even touching on a lot of topics that many people were scared to do. In your own blogs and a lot of your interviews, you do the same thing. You’ve spoken very openly on racial identity, your interfaith family, et cetera. Would you say soap operas these days are missing a beat by not touching on these issues?

Alina: Are they missing a beat? Yes. Would I say they’re doing the wrong thing? I don’t know. And I’ll tell you why! I was at As The World Turns during the Luke and Noah storyline. And Guiding Light at the same time was running the Olivia and Natalia. Which were very different and good in their own ways but here’s what happened! Because they were running gay storylines, they got a lot of flack from everyone who felt it should be A, B, C and D. The shows that were not running gay storylines got no flack! 

Nobody called The Bold and the Beautiful to say, “You’re in the fashion industry in Los Angeles!” I always describe Bold and Beautiful as the show set in the fashion industry with no Hispanics, Jews or homosexuals. 

And that’s the thing! No one was telling Bold and Beautiful they were doing something wrong. No one was giving them crap or threatening to boycott The Bold and the Beautiful. Where As The World Turns, which was telling the story of Luke and Noah, but maybe not the way some would like, got crap! So I don’t necessarily know that the soaps are doing the wrong thing. There’s no benefit to it. There’s nothing to gain and everything to lose.

When I wrote my book on soap operas greatest moments, there was a lot of feedback I got from fans about Natalia and Olivia. They would say that [Otalia] made coming out to my family easier. Some people would say they saw homosexuals in a different way. These are all wonderful things but they don’t move the ratings needle and they don’t put money in P&G’s coffers. I’m not saying these as negative things, they’re a business. So I don’t necessarily know that the soaps not tackling social issues is a bad thing for them. For society? Yes! For them? Not necessarily.

Read the entire interview at:

Friday, July 24, 2015


You think you have all the time in the world to start applying your child to Kindergarten. After all, he/she isn’t even 4 years old yet. It’s not even the first day of Pre-K. What’s the rush?

Here’s the rush:

You live in New York City.

In New York City, the Kindergarten admissions process starts 18 months before your little darling ever steps foot into their classroom.


And mark your calenders, I'll be giving a FREE talk on "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten" on Tuesday, September 29 at 6 pm at: Spire Group Real Estate on 20 West 23rd Street.

Space is limited, so click here to reserve your spot now! I'll be answering questions you didn't even know you had to ask about the whole application process, including public, private, charter, gifted, magnet, dual language and unzoned schools in NYC!

Check out my book below!

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Primetime Emmy nominations came out last week, and Empire creator Lee Daniels responded to his breakout, unabashedly soapy hit’s lack of laurels in the Outstanding Drama category with a profanity-laced tirade that he later clarified was just him “having fun.” 

I believe him. Any serious fan of soap-operas – primetime or daytime – has to know that the former should never expect any love come Emmy time.

Even when “Who Shot JR?” was the hottest question around the world, Dallas, the show that spawned it, only managed a single win in 1980, for Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie) as Outstanding Lead Actress. It was the show’s only trophy in a major category for the duration of its run.

Dynasty, which ultimately bested Dallas in the ratings, only ever won one Emmy – for Costume Design. The top 10 ranking Knots Landing and Falcon Crest scored one win each for Music Composition.

To reiterate: Emmys don’t like soap-operas.

Find out why, this year, they may just have to, anyway (hint: Taraji P. Henson's performance in Empire) at:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I am offended.

Watch this interview about me, my kids, and my parenting style at:

Monday, July 20, 2015


“Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera,” played six performances at the New York Musical Theater Festival in New York City this past week after a run of sold out performances in Boston, Portland and Los Angeles.

The 90-minute production endeavors to capture the media circus that played out following the backstage attack on Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

To its credit, the show is not just for cheap laughs. The production does not make fun of skating or the people who love it but rather has fun with it — and us. The creators of this production have taken the motivation and desires of the characters seriously.

“People tell me: ‘I was so obsessed with that story,’ like they want to tell a secret,” said Elizabeth Searle, the show’s concept creator and lyricist. “In terms of why, that’s something we ask at the end of the show. Tonya and Nancy have moved on. It’s us who haven’t. Even the recent Olympic coverage, closing night, they had an hour on Tonya and Nancy. Incredible! It was one of the most watched sporting events ever. People still remember. It really struck a chord.”

Were you one of the people obsessed with Tonya and Nancy back in 1994? (I was actually in Detroit when it happened, and I never dreamed it would become as big as it did). Then read the rest of my review at "International Figure Skating Magazine":

Friday, July 17, 2015


What are the odds that two new TV sitcoms would premiere in the same summer, both of which feature the micro-issue of applying children to NYC’s ultra-competitive private schools as their underlying premise?

Now, I know a lot about applying children to NYC schools. I did it three times. I even wrote the book about how you can do it, too.

But I never thought I’d see a sitcom about it. Much less two. (Though, for the record, there have been several documentaries on the subject, including Getting In… Kindergarten and Nursery University, as well as two independent feature films, The Kindergarten Shuffle and The Best & the Brightest, the latter starring Neil Patrick Harris, no less.)

Nevertheless, both Bravo’s Odd Mom Out, which premiered on June 8, and The Jim Gaffigan Show, debuting Wednesday, July 15 on TV Land, each put NYC private school Kindergarten admissions front and center during their pilot episodes – and beyond.

Besides the obvious mistakes (if writers put what kinds of hoops NYC parents really have to jump through in order to apply their kids to school – private or public, for that matter – no one watching at home would believe it), what struck me most was the different manner in which the parents’ efforts were judged.

How different were they? Find out in my BlogHer post:

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Except, it seems, on a soap-opera.

Last week, on General Hospital, Luke (Anthony Geary) asked Holly (Emma Samms) if she’d ever met his late cousin, Bill (also played by Geary from 1991 to 1993).

Holly said, “No.”

The Twitter-verse went mental.

Not only did Holly know Bill, but they had a romantic relationship, complete with the mandatory wacky adventure including art theft. Bill cheated on Holly, and when she walked in on him and another woman, Holly smashed all the precious wine bottles in Bill’s cellar and vowed revenge.

In other words, they’d met.

Read more at: