Back to tv: AMC and Santa Barbara

[For those who do not know this, AMC is the abbreviation for All My Children, a daily soap that has been on American tv for more than forty years – so, why don’t you know that?!]

So, thanks to afterellen.com, I have a new obsession: Minx. Minx is the portmonteau for two characters on AMC, Bianca Montgomery (who is called Binx by her sister Kendell) and Marissa Tasker – played by the equally beautiful and charming actresses Christina Bennett Lind and Sarah Glendening respectively. Just look at them:

ADORABLE!

It is a lesbian storyline on a daily show (unfortunately after 41 years, AMC has been cancelled and will end by the end of this week) which is a big thing. I don’t know if you have ever followed an American “story” but it is usually a heteronormative – and often a homogenous – space in tv and there are not many exceptions. Of course, Binx has been out for some time (she came out back in the days when Eden Riegel still played her) and has had some relationships with women but most of those seems to have played out off-screen and in Paris. This time, it’s on and it’s on tv and it’s lovely and heartfelt and adorable and actually well written.

Soaps are not always praised for having realistic portrayals of anything or anyone, let alone lesbians, but this one is actually really good. And so is the acting. I was surprised myself when I first watched a clip.

The concept of soap operas is not a new one in my life and I was so obsessed with one when I was a teen that I never got over the recasting of one of my favorite characters. Watching the Minx storyline on AMC, made me realize that I actully missed having that connection to a “ship.” So, I got into a youtubing mania and dug up some old footage of Julia & Mason from Santa Barbara.

Coming out as a lesbian, one is always looking for clues that may have told us that we were homos before we came out. And I naturally assumed that Nancy Lee Grahn was the real – the only – reason I shipped Julia and Mason. It is so easy to forget that there were actually two people in this that I adored, two characters that fascinated me. Watching those old Santa Barbara clips made me realize why I fell for Lane Davies just as hard as I fell for Nancy Lee Grahn: he was witty, charming, had the most soulfoul brown eyes, and he was tall and lanky and I really dug him with a beard… yeh, I had a crush on that man and today I am not ashamed to admit it…

I am being nostalgic again, very sentimental. So, I spent my time watching youtube videos (I have been watching about 14 hourse of Minx vids in one night, so, obsession is the right word for it) but I am aware that this is not as it used to be. Comparing those feelings I had when I was 14 to what I am feeling now, now falls short. No more sweaty palms in anticipation, no more tears, no more heartbreak when I miss an episode… still, Minx makes me squeel in delight and make snarky comments at Marissa’s ex-hubby JR (Jacob Young).

Being part of a fandom today is certainly different from being a fan before the invention of the internet. I know that, I am a Xenite still and always. But it is a little overwhelming to be able to watch Minx make out in HD and then going to watch Julia and Mason’s (awesomely silly) wedding vows that’s been copied from a video tape that’s more than 20 years old. Ah, the wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze me.

Since AMC is picked up by an internet broadcasting company, there is still hope that we may watch them for a little longer. But knowing what is sometimes done to soap supercouples, I am not even sure  I want to stick around and see them get broken up again – loving a soap couple is not for the faint at heart, and I feel that I may be one of those.

And here’s a great idea for a t-shirt…

[It reads (front): TEAM MINX, (back) #lesbianbatsignal It’s okay to put it up…]

Update: The first episodes of Prospect Park’s All My Children will be broadcasted this spring – and Eden Riegel will return as Bianca Montgomery. Since the storyline picks up five years from when it ended, there’s no word of whether Minx will return… and if who will play Marissa.

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‘Cause she’s awesome – Robin Wright

Since I am doing what all bloggers do and visit my blogs about 20 times every day, I am not entirely happy with seeing the name [of that bad actor I was blogging about last] every time I do that. So, because there are bad (male, whatever that means) actors and because there are just awesome (female, whatever that means) actors, I am now opening a new category and it is about awesome actors.

Some people might wonder why I start with Robin Wright. I could have started with Nathalie Portman who just won an Oscar, or maybe Katharine Hepburn who is the most awesome person ever to walk infront of a camera but I start with Robin Wright. One of the reasons is that I just watched a trailer to her new movie The Conspirator. It looks great. Make sure you stop by imdb.com later and check it out if you haven’t already. Another is because I remember her when she looked like this:

This is a publicity shot for Santa Barbara where she played Kelly Capwell. I was obsessed with that show, not because of her (I might write a post on the significance of that show one day but this is not it) though.

I also think that she is underestimated as an actress, maybe because of her ex-husband’s fame. I mean it is not a rare occasion that a female actress is known because she married someone famous and after her divorce gets more famous than him (hello, Nicole Kidman). And with her it would be deservedly so.  I haven’t seen that many movies with her but everytime I saw her she impressed me. There is a raw quality about her that gets more intense as she is getting older (which in her case also means more beautiful… I think, she is stunning).

Even in Pippa Lee which has the drawback that it is about a woman who lived for her husband for twenty years, she draws a character out of a non-character. The skill she shows at her craft is amazing. Luckily, since I have not seen that many movies with her there are plenty out there that I can watch now.

Here we have an amazing actress that is greatly underestimated. I cannot wait to watch The Conspirator (also because I love that part of US-history, not necessarily the killing of Abe Lincoln but the time, the controversy, the sheer madness of it all) and that is in great part because of Robin Wright.

‘Cause she’s awesome!

RMB: TV shows and the women I watched them for

Ah, tv. It is a beautiful thing after all. I mean, most of the time there is nothing on and when something is on it sure as hell is not what you wanted to watch so mainly tv sucks. But over the years – and I am beyond 30 after all – there were some good things on. We had good times, me and my tv set – back in the days when I still had one that is.

I don’t know how we got to this topic but my sister reminded me of some male characters on tv I had crushes on (like a million years ago) and I told her that it was mostly the women I watched shows for even if I did not know it then. This is not to say I only watched those shows for the women – at least I hope I never did that… much – they were good shows, I think. Of course, good shows before Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and after those shows are two different things but let me reminisce some of them.

Moonlighting – Cybil Shepherd

Don’t tell me this wasn’t one of the best shows ever! I loved it. I still hate Mark Harmon for it – or rather the role he played in it. And, of course, I had a huge crush on Cybil Shepherd. The thing is that I never was into Bruce Willis. With this show I actually never pretended that I liked the male character because I was so into Maddie Hayes. I did not question that back then, I was in my teens, I had no clue, mainly.

The show was fun, I am sure it was sexist on more levels than I dare recall right now. But what wasn’t during the 80s?

Santa Barbara – Nancy Lee Grahn

This was a daily soap during the 90s. Most people were absolutely enchanted by the Cruz-Eden-vehicle (played by Marcy Walker and A. Martinez – and yes, it sometimes scares me that I recall all those names from the top of my head). But I have always loved lawyers (and lawyer shows) and so it was Mason and Julia for me. He was an alcoholic, she was  tough on the outside but insecure inside. And she was hot – still is (with dimples!).

I was, again, head over heals but talked myself into believing it was Mason AND Julia, the chemistry between them. So, my sister still mocks me for having had a crush on Lane Davies (I mean, he’s not that bad as men go but…).

Cagney & Lacey, Sharon Gless

Ah, back in the 80s when cops were still writing things into notebooks and did not have cell phones but walkie talkies! Good times, good times. And let’s face it, as far as cop shows went, Cagney & Lacey was the best. I have just bought the first season on DVD and though sometimes you have to roll your eyes at the machismo of the male colleagues, Cagney sure was butch and had some machismo of her own.

Of course, I liked both women but since Lacey always reminded me of my mom having a crush on her would have been sooo wrong in sooo many ways. The show’s pretty conservative but still it had two female cops who worked well together, there was little jealousy (unless you believe in subtext – I do needless to say), they genuinely liked each other, they had great chemistry. Try to find something like that on tv today!

L.A. Law – Susan Dey

I did not watch this show often – since I was mainly too young for it – but I loved it. And I loved Grace Van Owen (I actually did not remember the actress’ name but had to look it up). Together with Julia Wainwright (Santa Barbara), Nelle Porter (Ally McBeal), and Olivia Novak (Street Legal) she was one of my favorite lawyer characters.

I like to remember L.A. Law as one of the shows I was not supposed to watch but did when my parents were not there. I always remember that I know many actors from this show like Susan Ruttan, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, Jimmy Smits and Corbin Bernson and Harry Hamlin (I still knew all of these names but I always think of the character Susan Dey played rather than herself). Good show, good characters.

I guess I could make a series of this topic since reminiscing makes you remember more things than you bargained for. For example, I just remembered Cynthia Dale who played lawyer Olivia Novak on Street Legal, a Canadian show. She was not only hot but I actually loved her name so much that I used her family name for a character in one of my stories. Not to mention that I took the actress’ family name for my first pseudonym: Grace Dale. Man, all those shows, all those crushes, the thoughts evolving around characters… I was destined to become a Xenite, and a fanfiction writer… there are things you simply cannot escape.