Monday, April 16, 2007

13 Questions With...Marlena De Lacroix

Marlena DeLacroix is a true legend in soap journalism, with more than 20 years of experience as a soap writer, editor, and, most importantly, soap fan. After wrapping up her most recent stint in conventional media at Soap Opera Weekly, Marlena boldly took on the Internet (and is thriving!) with her take-no-prisoners blog, "Savoring Soaps."

At Soappipe, we are flattered to have Marlena as a reader, and honored to have her tackle our 13 Questions With...Marlena DeLaCroix. Hi, Marlena!

What’s the name of your blog? "Savoring Soaps"

If I had to describe my blog in one sentence it would be...a continuation of my "Critical Condition" column, which I wrote weekly from 1989-2001 in SOW.

What appeals to you most about daytime soaps? Throughout all the phases of my life -- college, careers, graduate school -- I could always go back to soaps. They're home.

Do you have an all-time favorite storyline? "Alice-Steve-Rachel" (Jacquie Courtney, George Reinholdt, Robin Strasser) on ANOTHER WORLD circa 1969. Never has a heroine cried more tears, never has a villainess been more delicious, never has a hero's face been so perfectly chisled. All written to utter perfection by Agnes Nixon. Years later, I almost fainted when Reinholdt sent Marlena a tribute poem.

Do you have least favorite story? Anything with "Sonny and Carly" (Maurice Benard and Laura Wright) from GENERAL HOSPITAL. It is not romance, it is not love It's a sick never-ending obsession between two psychologically impaired people. Whoever writes them knows nothing about truth or real relationships.

Of the younger stars out there (say, 30 and under), who do you see as the future of soaps? If they're extraordinary they'll move on, as all young soaps actors always have. Examples: Jennifer Landon, Jeffrey Carlson, Bradford Anderson. What young actors of today will endure in soaps? Those that were cast because of the acting talent and training, not because of beauty or muscles.

Of today’s crop of actors, executives, writers, etc. who do you predict will be remembered as a future "great" in soap history?
The crop of execs and writers that will be remembered are the greats I got to know in the 80's and 90's: Nixon, Mr. Bell Sr., Monty, Labine, Marland, Malone, Rauch, Reilly. No one from today soaps. Anyone who is still around is strictly in survival mode, not creative mode.

Do you watch any of the nighttime serials (
Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, etc.)? Do you have a favorite? I watch the news, BBC-America programming and the games of my husband's favorite baseball team, The New York Yankees. The last truly good nighttime soap was KNOT'S LANDING.

“My readers get most riled up when…” I keep noticing that the ones who hate their soaps the most (
General Hospital in particular) persist in continuing to watch them.

“My readers love it when…” I reminisce about someone or a show I got to deal with personally over my many years soap journalist. Do you know that the recently departed Larry "Bud" Melman (of the David Letterman show) was the world's biggest soap opera fan? I always used to see him (real name: Calvert De Forest) enjoying the free food at soap parties here in NYC . He had the WORST breath I have ever encountered!

“If I could bring one soap (daytime or nighttime) back from the dead, it would be…” EDGE OF NIGHT, the best, most integellent mystery soap ever. Its late headwriter, Henry Slesar, and exec producer Nick Nicholson were two of the classiest men I have ever met.

If you had to give soaps one piece of advice to stem ratings fall-offs, what would it be? Stay intelligent! Write stories solely from character! Let women characters have careers and brains! Ban catfights! Don't hire Megan McTavish ever again!

Finally, if Soappipe.com readers want to visit your blog, what’s the URL?
http://blogs.mediavillage.com/savoring_soaps/

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