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LYNDA HIRSCH ON TELEVISION -- Q AND A

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Q: Who do you think are the best soaps opera columnists? I never know whom to believe. — Rhonda in Oxnard, Calif.

A: Modesty aside, you won't go wrong reading "Lynda Hirsch on Television," I replied humbly. Now for the rest of the best.

When I grow up, I want to be TV Guide's Michael Logan. I have known him for decades. Sorry, Logan — it has been that long.

He gets it first and best almost all the time. He never writes an item based on how the person may feel. Logan's belief is, "They said it." He is never cruel, he just is truthful. His spot-on interviewing technique gets the stars to say things that they may have wished they did not. Logan, God love him, is not there for the performer, he is there for the reader. TV Guide has gone way up in price, but it is worth it just to read Logan's column.

On a personal note, Logan is loyal — he will do anything for a friend. He is so good at sarcasm, he could teach it to "The Big Bang Theory's" Sheldon Cooper.

Soap Opera Central, which just celebrated its 18th birthday, is the best website. In full disclosure, I do post a weekly column, "Lathered Up," for Soap Central. I have done it for two years.

Over the years, I was asked to write for several soap sites. I always said no. When Dan J. Kroll, the creator of the site, asked me to join, all I could think of is, "What took you so long?"

The story behind Soap Central is inspiring. Kroll was a medical student at Temple University. While waiting for a subway train, he was savagely beaten. After the near fatal incident, he had an epiphany: He did not want to be a doctor. What did he want to do? Run a soap site about his favorite soap opera, "All My Children." Over the years, it expanded to covering all the soaps.

Soap Central is a wonderful site. It has great visuals. Its profiles on the characters and the actors are excellent. You can get recaps on the shows from 1994 to the present. The site is snark free. From news, to opinion, to information, Soap Central is the go-to Internet soap site. It has been the template for most soap-centric sites.

Jamey Giddens' "Daytime Confidential" blog is a hoot. The information is great, and just as great are Giddens' wisecracks. Reading his blog is liking sitting next to a wonderful raconteur at a dinner party. It is so much fun and tells you things you did not know.

Even if the food is bad, you will savor the flavor of tasty soapy tidbits.

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators web page at www.creators.com.

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