As a hardcore soap opera fan, I found DIRTY SOAP to be a riveting look into the lives of soap stars. However, I do wonder if it could hook a viewer who doesn't already "Love Soaps"?
I'm a long time GENERAL HOSPITAL guy, so I was thrilled that Kelly Monaco (Sam, GH) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie, GH) were front and center. Kelly seemed like the kind of rough and tumble girl I'd like to party with, and Kirsten seemed to have an interesting edge to her that she was trying to hide.
While watching Kirsten with Kelly, I was reminded of Farah Fath’s (ex-Gigi, OLTL; ex-Mimi, DAYS) observation that when Kirsten is your friend, she also wants to be your boss. Kirsten was scolding Kelly for not yet throwing out her boyfriend’s belongings after an 18-year relationship. "Toxic relationship" (Kelly’s words, not mine) or not, it’s hard to let go of something that has been a part of you for 18 years! Relax, Kirsten.
On the other hand, Farah shouldn’t throw stones. Watching her with her boyfriend (and co-star) John Paul Lavoisier (Rex, OLTL), she didn’t seem to like him very much, let alone love him. Which is sad, because he seemed like a fun, wacky guy who likes to enjoy life. As far as I can tell, the only thing that Farah wanted to do was complain about--well, about everything--to her snide gaggle of gays.
When Farah and JP were looking at that god awful…and wait, let me say it again…GOD AWFUL house in LA, I was under the impression that this was the first house that they looked at. Farah was pushing JP to buy it, and yet, when he expressed concern about the power lines practically falling into the pool, and he had questions about the windows, she acted like he was breaking up with her. His questions were reasonable, Farah! Anyway, why in the world would he want to buy the first house he looked at? Farah needs to give the guy a break, and let him adjust to the idea that he is making a major life change.
The remaining four cast members are the couplings of Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe, DAYS) and Brandon Beemer (Owen, BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFL; ex-Shawn, DAYS) as well Galen (Rafe, DAYS; ex-Luis, PASSIONS) and Jenna Gering. Nadia and Brandon are a delightful couple. Both (obviously) are gorgeous, but they also seem refreshingly grounded and well-adjusted in the world that they live in. Galen and Jenna, however... don't they seem out of place, just being on this show? I wanted to pick up my shoe and throw it at the screen when Jenna was bellyaching about Galen’s upcoming love scenes!
Oh boy. He has been a soap star since 1999, Jenna. You just have to get on board. He is going to be making out with beautiful co-stars. I found Jenna grating, and I hope that they also show other sides of her (and I’m not talking about her sulking-in-the-corner side, the one we saw at Nadia’s going away party). Galen didn’t seem like a great fit either. When he came to her dressing room to give Nadia a going away gift, part of me wondered if he had ever spoken to her before the show. Heck, I wondered if he had ever spoke to any other person, ever. The whole encounter was awkward and uncomfortable. Even Nadia didn't seem to know quite what to do. I have to admit, though, there was a part of me that liked it.
Much of the episode focused on Nadia’s last day at DAYS. A bevy of familiar soap faces popped up at her going away party, and for me, a highlight of the show was my impromptu game of "spot the soap star!" I caught a glimpse of the delightful Molly Burnett (Melanie, DAYS), Ron Moss (Ridge, B&B), and Christian J. LeBlanc (Michael, YOUNG &THE RESTLESS). Eagle-eyed viewers may even have caught Ron Moss canoodling with someone in the background as Nadia lovingly watched Farah toast her. It was all rather ridiculous... and I re-watched it three times.
So, yes, I think DIRTY SOAP is off to a good start. What am I most looking forward to? To be honest, I'd like to get deeper into the rivalry between Kirsten and Farah, one-time best friends who now seem to be bitter enemies. Can I be completely honest? Well, okay. I’m hoping that Jenna either gets her act together, or descends into a full blown meltdown. There, I said it. I want a meltdown! As any honest fan will tell you, that’s what we really want from our reality shows. I think DIRTY SOAP just might deliver.
Brian Hewson contributes primetime reviews for We Love Soaps.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Take our DIRTY SOAP survey here. Closes Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET
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UPFRONTS: NBC FOX Univision Telemundo ABC CBS TBS/TNT CW USA
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