By Lynda Hirsch

September 21, 2019 4 min read

I know nothing about Brexit, Bitcoin or economics. Do not try to explain them to me. Like algebra, no amount of explaining will turn the lightbulb on in my head.

I do know what makes soaps good or bad. Every soap has both. So I will cover each of the shows on the air and some of the most idiotic from soaps of the past. I call those soaps stories that sent soaps down the drain.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: For now, it is on fire. Yes, some of the stories are campy, like Kristen/Nicole. This is "Days," and they love to have fun. The show is great at turning bad boys into good boys: Ben, the serial killer with a heart of gold, and taking Xander from villain to someone who's trying to be a better man for the woman he loves. On the negative side, I know soaps have budgets, but they dumped three wonderful characters: Tripp, Lucas and Chloe. Its love stories are epic — Will and Sonny, John and Marlena, Kayla and Steve, Jack and Jennifer. Why are they dressing Kayla like a 60-year-old hausfrau? Marlena in ill-fitting clothes. The actresses who have the parts are stunning. Why are they dressed as if they raided their great aunt Tillie's closet?

GENERAL HOSPITAL: One trait is both good and bad: all those new characters. They're good because the same 12 people on most soaps are having almost incestuous relationships. The dialogue is crisp and cunning. It also has some baffling things. They never solve anything. The Jason return was stunning. For some reason, they appear to have dropped it. They have turned Jason into "here I come to save the day" Mighty Mouse. Too many "solve it already!" plots.

BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL: The baby switch was wonderful. They wrapped it up in warp speed. That was great. Now it looks like it's back to the same old, same old. I call it the carousel of love. The same three people keep falling in love. Also, the characters disappear — for example, Sheila, Taylor.

This week, Thorsten Kaye — Ridge — was spellbinding. The child playing 5-year-old Douglas — just give him the best younger actor Emmy.

YOUNG AND RESTLESS: The show deserves some slack after the debacle the former head writer and executive producer savaged the show. On the other hand, the show keeps doing the same old, same old. Victor is always on the brink of death: heart transplant, epilepsy and now a horrific unnamed ailment. Just stop the Sharon "I am nothing without a man" zombie.

Here are the "wait, what?" plots:

On "Days," Marlena was possessed by the devil. Check YouTube. On "Young and Restless," there was the search for a reliquary at the edge of a volcano. What the heck is a reliquary?

Now for some soap killing plots.

In "Search for Tomorrow," Ellie ran off with chef. At the time, the head writer told me they were just goofing around when they did that. It was akin to my great grandmother turning out to be a serial killer. "The Doctors," set in Wisconsin had a hurricane destroy the town. It destroyed the soap. Tornado, yes. Hurricane, no. The best of the worst go to "Guiding Light." Dolly the cloned cow was a major news story. They cloned Reva. At the time, the producer said no one had ever done the storyline. There was a reason. Now "Days" is touting that it's doing a new twist it has never done before. There was a reason: They were terrible. Some say it will be a time shift that would be terrific.

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Bokskapet at Pixabay

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