UPDATED 6-04-07



Evangelizing 4 Evangeline

My readers spoke out this week, saying I was wrong for criticizing Renee Goldsberry's letter to her fan club members. Even without that controversy, it seems REG and Evangeline Williamson remain the primary interest of the fans... despite
the fact that she has left the show.

Okay, I got the message: You didn't like my comments from last week regarding Renee Goldsberry's letter to her fan club members. I printed just a fraction of your letters in the Mail Box section below. It might seem redundant to print so many of them, but that's practically the only thing people wrote to me about this week. Truthfully, I found your letters to be very stimulating and in a few cases, profound. I even had some very deep dialogues with a couple of you (you know who you are). Even though I think I am probably at the polar opposite end of the social blue-red spectrum as some of you, I am sincerely impressed by your expressiveness and passion. Especially to those of you who made me think this week - thank you.

I will address the REG fan club letter in length further down in the Mailbag section. But first I would like to apologize to Ms. Goldsberry and to any of her fans who may have taken my criticism personally. By no means did I believe REG would ever purposely insult any of her fans or mean to exclude them. I was trying to make a point that - sometimes without having any idea - people in important positions who are part of a majority viewpoint (including religion) tend to express themselves in ways that make others with minority viewpoints feel excluded or not good enough. I believe many people in positions of power - such as politicians and celebrities - use their supposed religious viewpoints to make themselves appear to be "good" when they probably don't even adhere to the doctrine of their religion. However, I also realize there are many devout people whose spiritual life is inseparable from their public life. While I do not identify with this or understand it, I can respect it. What I was expressing last week was a frustration based upon my own personal situation that should not have been directed at Renee Goldsberry. I was using her letter to try to make a point but instead seemed to be accusing her of something which in all probability, she would never be guilty of. I apologize and hope that I have adequately explained myself.

To help make up for frustrating so many of you, I have decided to make this column primarily about Renee Goldsberry and Evangeline in honor of the actress and character who were both so shamefully dumped from the show without so much as a trumpet sounding. But after this week, I am going to attempt to move on and leave this character behind - if that is even possible. With the upcoming return of Todd to the canvas, and the painfully long and drawn-out Jessica triangle coming to a close, I have high hopes that the summer months will bring a fresh mix to the canvas. Chances are, I will be disappointed by this hope, but without hope what do we have (aside from sagging ratings and overall displeasure)? Speaking of Todd Manning, I was absolutely delighted to speak to Trevor St. John this week on the phone. He had some very interesting things to say about REG's exit and the show/genre in general. I am truly honored that Trevor chose to speak to me instead of the mainstream soap press, who treated his contract negotiations like a tabloid expose (my words, not Trevor's). So look for that interview soon right here at Soaptown USA (and more exciting interviews with the stars of OLTL are on the way!). Now, on to the show!

A CLOSER LOOK: Thursday, May 31st

This episode caught my attention mainly for one reason: Nearly all of the scenes were enjoyable character-driven interactions. I found myself enjoying character pair-ups that I previously thought of as nothing but boring. Again, I think this must be Ron Carlivati's influence on the show coming to fruition - because this all-important element has been lacking for the majority of Dena Higley's tenure as Head Writer. Let's break down the interactions:

Viki/Clint/Jessica: I loved these scenes because for once, Clint was acting in a respectable manner. And for the first time since Jessica's perilous health situation began, I believed that Clint was truly afraid to lose his daughter. Jerry Ver Dorn finally portrayed sadness and fear, after weeks of playing only anger. The way Clint has taken out his anger by being cruel to Viki has turned me off more than I can express. What did Viki ever do (besides cheat on him eons ago) to deserve such insensitivity on Clint's part? In any case, I was relieved to not hate Clint for once. I also saw the potential for Viki and Clint to truly bond over this situation. For a change, the Dorian/Clint/Viki triangle seems full of potential and actual adult conflict.

Antonio/Nash: Another tired combination that strangely enough had me compelled. In case you haven't figured it out yet, Kamar de los Reyes hasn't been one of my favorite actors on the show. Similarly, I have never liked Antonio. Strange then, how during his first two days back on the job after briefly being replaced by Robert Montano (doing the most accurate if not flattering imitation of Reyes' usual style of acting), Reyes won me over with a performance far more subtle and mature than anything I've seen him do. The lip quivering, shouting, and posturing were gone. Instead, a detached and pensive man emerged. I was fairly impressed by both Antonio's and Nash's maturity while trapped together on that plane, all things considered.

Layla/Vince: As a couple, they never excited me much. I thought, "TPTB are making them the token black couple, just because." Maybe I was right. Then Vince dallied with Natalie in the romantic sense, but that seems to have been completely dropped. If I'm being honest, I have felt much of the time that Tobias Truvillion's Vince is a useless character; ill-defined and mumbling. Surprisingly, and seemingly with little effort, Layla and Vince have reconnected during the loss of Evangeline - and even more surprisingly, I'm liking it. I still think on the surface, they are being put back together just because they're the two black actors left on the show. But on the other hand, they do have chemistry and work well together. After this episode, I feel confident that this couple will work better than Natalie/Vince - and that has nothing to do with race. I'm ready to give this pair a second chance.

John/Cole: Wow. There is something about the John/Cole relationship that has me hooked. Not only is it interesting from a character point of view (John has never interacted with someone in a fatherly role - aside from Natalie of course), but it's interesting from an actor point of view as well. What I mean is, both Michael Easton and Brandon Buddy shined in these scenes. Easton has shined before, on rare occasion - but Buddy hasn't. These were the first fully successful scenes from Buddy - ever. In essence, these two actors have chemistry together - which is a great thing when you consider that building a relationship between John and Cole has alot of potential, aside from and including a John/Marty pairing. Buddy and Easton were both funny, entertaining, and even touching. Are they the next Bo and Rex? Maybe not, but the fact that they work well together is a boon.

Blair/Cris: There is still something about these two together that is Cringe-worthy (no pun intended!). But for the first time, I didn't mind their scenes together. They were inoffensive. And I am starting to actually buy a Cris/Blair friendship, something I didn't think worthwhile or possible after their one night of utter whoring together. I am also not a big fan of the constant singing on the show, including Kassie DePaiva's singing (nothing against her, I just don't usually see it as an asset to the show). This time, however, I thought her vocal performance was great and the song quite good. The lyrics were poignant (although I did have a big laugh at the opening lines... "I ain't drunk but I ain't really sober," or something like that, which seemed highly appropriate for Blair) and touched on several of the storylines presented that day. This led to a decent musical montage. The montage has become a bit of a lost art on OLTL, and it's nice to see one actually serve the story well.

Bo/Paige: I was most shocked at myself when I realized that I was not wanting to fast-forward the Bo/Paige scenes. Paige will never excite me, I'm afraid - but she really treats Bo well and keeps an eye out for his well-being. I thought she'd be off the show by now, but it looks like she's staying. I think I can handle her in small doses, though I wonder where this leaves Lindsay and Nora. It's time to bring on a new man to mix things up with those two.


- Bree Williamson is doing the best work of her career. Jessica's farewell tape to her daughter was painful to watch for all the right reasons.
- I like John and Talia's scenes together. Before we jump too hastily into Talia/Antonio and John/Marty couplings, can this please be explored?
- I don't understand why Marty would go along with Miles' blackmail when a stolen, confidential tape could never be used in court.
- Huge thumbs up to Nora's Holocaust moment. Finally she is being written as an actual Jewish person, not just a token minority.
- Tuc Watkins. Amazing. 'Nuff said.
- Loved the Cris/Jessica scenes. How rare that their history is brought up - must be Carlivati's doing!


Summing up the Vanishing Vangie, by Traci

With the utterly despicable and demise of OLTL character, Evangeline Williamson into the unimaginative "coma", so ends my 30 plus year viewership. I began watching OLTL on the day it premiered. The stories held my interest in varying degrees, but were always cutting edge and sometimes controversial. The introduction of Evangeline Williamson was such an exciting addition, that I began to faithfully record OLTL or watch SoapNet and talked about the character so much that friends and co-workers began to tune in. Evangeline made Llanview sit up and take notice as she defended Mitch Lawrence. What an introduction to Llanview! Her character took no prisoners and all without a backwards glance to her detractors. Pairing Renee Goldsberry with Michael Easton was a refreshing surprise. The moody McBain actually relating to another adult... McBain had a sparkle in his eye and was so alive! Much to my surprise an adult couple that was attractive, volatile and didn't agree on every topic was being featured on OLTL! A believable couple that discussed their differences and valued each other. Such potential and lo and behold, a change in head writers was the beginning of the end of this couple. McBain reverted to a mono-syllabic direction-less character. With Evangeline, McBain knew what direction he needed to focus his energy. The new head writer destroyed a pairing that was constantly evolving to placate an unhappy fan-base. More debasing was the fact that ABC's Daytime Head of Programming reduced this couple to being no more than "hot sex!" How demeaning to the actors and to their fans. No plausible explanation was ever given for the break-up. Way to go ABC Daytime!

Team player Renee Goldsberry waited a full year to be paired with another character and unfortunately it was the awful pairing with David Fumero's Cris Vega. Evangeline would never seek a romantic relationship with a client, let alone an unemployed, ex-convict, former boxer and ruined artist. What a couple. I have to applaud Ms. Goldsberry for putting her all into this ridiculous pairing. Evangeline/Cris had the chemistry of a beet! Bless Fumero's heart, but he is not her acting equal. He is absolutely gorgeous, but were the viewers supposed to forget that he couldn't act because he's handsome? Evangeline's friendship with Todd began to be explored. Evangeline/Todd had an easiness in their relationship that was absent from Vangie/Chris. This relationship had potential after Todd's pairing with Blair for much too long! Well the writers once a gain sacrificed Evangeline for Blair. Ever honest Evangeline confesses kissing Todd to her lover, Cris. Cris transformed into a barbarian who became abusive to Evangeline. Vega's abusive nature erupted at his loft and at the hospital when he physically shoved her and also in the park when he grabbed a bag from her that contained a pregnancy test. Pardon me, but there was nothing appealing about this version of Cris. I was glad that Evangeline had someone to talk to. Todd was by no means an angel, but he truly cared for his protector and friend, Evangeline.

Viewers were once again supposed to believe that Evangeline accepted Cris' behavior, forgot about Todd, and realized that she was in love with Cris. Please excuse me, but I'm still recovering from a severe case of whiplash and lack of continuity in Llanview! So viewers are supposed to accept that the volatile Cris changed his mind about Evangeline and revisited his love for her just prior to being gassed? So where was all the emotion about possibly losing a girlfriend? Nora and McBain showed more concern than Cris. As for her sister, Layla, who seemed to have a comment for every day of the week, but couldn't visit her sister without Cris and is now leaning on McBain and Vincent! If Todd was in Llanview, is there any doubt that he would be seated at her bedside and valiantly searching for the culprits?

Aside from Evangeline's character being victimized by a head writer who did not value her character, Renee Goldsberry was undergoing contract negotiations with ABC Daytime that made it clear that the talent and vitality that she brought to OLTL was not valued or wanted. As punishment for not accepting their contract terms, the character of Evangeline was not allowed a good bye scene with her sister and friends. As I recall, Michael Easton did not initially re-sign his contract, but his character had a major send-off! So Ms. Goldsberry's fans are supposed to accept the plot device of a coma as the end of her character. How unimaginative and how demeaning to her legions of fans. If nothing else, Ms. Goldsberry's treatment clarified how little the demographic to which I belong, is valued. Ever the class act, Ms. Goldsberry had nothing but positive comments about her time with OLTL/ABC Daytime. It's a shame OLTL/ABC Daytime didn't show her the same courtesy.

Excellent points. The lack of continuity in Evangeline's character has been a major problem for a year or more. But it became laughable towards the end of her run on the show. Her comments about wishing she had been knocked up by Cris were preposterous for that reason. They were the ultimate manifestation of the lack of continuity from the writers. Evangeline had previously stated that she did not want any unplanned children, and that she wanted to be married and settled and PLAN her first pregnancy. Then just weeks later, she was disappointed not to be on her way to becoming a single mom? I don't think so. If she were to have a Crave baby (perish the thought), she would first want to work through her problems with Cris and reunite with him. It would be a year or more before she would even start to think about children (there's also the question of her career). For the writers to make her say that she was sorry not to have Cris' baby inside her was a joke. Not just because Cris has been unemployed or in jail for the past five years, but also because Evangeline would NEVER say that about ANY man unless she was in a secure relationship and most likely, married.


"Jeremy, come on. Away with the political correctness BS! I'm usually with you on most topics, but not this one. Why is it that a person can't be who THEY are, not who SOMEBODY else is? If people are not into the God thing or the Christian thing, that's their prerogative. It is also the prerogative of the people who ARE into it to say it. Renee feels and I do, too, that God is the one who has helped her, through her fans and people like you (yes, whether you want to admit it or not, you are a wonderful instrument for good in the hands of God). Man, if I wanted to be offended by every little thing that I disagreed with on a daily basis, I would never turn on the TV, or radio, or internet, or come outside my house. But I allow people their views just like I want them to allow me mine." - Carol

I agree that everyone has the right to express themselves - including Renee AND including myself. I never meant to imply that she or anyone else shouldn't bring up religion. But why is it acceptable for religious people to bring it up when it is not acceptable for non-religious people to speak against it? I'm not suggesting she was trying to argue religious points, obviously. But if she or anyone else is going to invoke religion in an assumptive manner, then I can certainly express that I find it annoying. And I do find it annoying. But it doesn't offend me per say. I just wish people could express themselves more generally when referencing their spiritual beliefs in a public forum, so as not to alienate people like myself who may not see things the same way. True, her letter was not addressed to me as I am not even a member of her fan club. Even so, when people insert their religion into something like that it distracts from their actual message (unless you have the same religious viewpoint, in which case it heightens the message). In other words, her letter seems to be addressed only to Christian fans. Leaving a non-Christian fan, quite likely, turned off. I really wanted to express that because it's something most people don't think about. But by no means did I mean to imply that Renee would ever do that on purpose.

"Dang, if I ever need an advocate, I'm calling you. If I ever need someone to help me come back at somebody with an "in-your-face" response, I'm executing a contract with you. Kudos, my friend!" - also Carol

It would be my pleasure to advocate for you, Carol.

"I'm an avid reader of your column, and have been for some time. I think you do a wonderful job and you should keep up the good work. That said, I was dismayed to read your comments about Renee Elise Goldsberry's letter to her fans which referenced her belief and faith in God. I myself am a Christian, but completely understand your point of how those that may not share that faith are often overlooked. I would like to point out however, that I read Renee's words as a personal statement of her own journey, not a slight against those fans that do not share her beliefs. Mrs. Goldsberry is a Christian woman, and she should not have to hide that fact in some attempt to portray herself to her fans as anything but who she is. I'm sure the same has been said of one time or another of many groups in this country (atheists, homosexuals, Jews, etc,) forced to hide who they really are out of fear of alienating fans who did not share their views, beliefs or their lifestyle. I don't think any person, famous or not, should have to censor important parts of their lives in order to appease those who don't agree or cannot understand what they believe or who they are."
- Rejena

Again, I never for one second believed that REG would ever purposefully slight any of her fans. My point is that language like this UN-intentionally slights people. That said, she (or anyone else) absolutely has the right to express herself as she sees fit. By no means is she the only celebrity who uses such language. And in all likelihood, most fans probably enjoy it since they share the same perspective. You're right though that no one should have to hide who they are. And just because someone is a Christian, that doesn't mean they should be clumped together with other Christians. Christianity covers such a wide spectrum of people, opinions, and viewpoints. I do realize that. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that and in this case, Rejena has done me the favor.

"I've read your article, 'The Case of the Vanishing Vangie.' Evangeline was my favorite character, and I agree with the actress when she writes that her fans helped her break a glass ceiling. For the first time, I saw a female lead of color that was a credible factor in several storylines with her white colleagues. I saw a female lead of color who was often among the top 10 in terms of airtime. And I saw a female lead of color who consistently received attention through the show, through the Internet, through the soap magazines, through mainstream press and through her outside projects. Given the abysmal nature of OLTL's writing staff, certainly much more could have been done, especially in crafting a suitable send-off for Evangeline. Alas, Evangeline fell victim to what every character on OLTL falls victim to - shoddy writing. With all that being said, Renee was kind enough to send a letter to her fans about her departure. America is a democracy that gives its citizens freedom of speech and freedom of religion. In fact, were those things NOT so, YOU JEREMY, would be unable to spew your one-sided, venomous diatribes against OLTL, its characters and sometimes the actors week after week. You consistently write things that offend some readers, yet you wag a finger at someone else who, unintentionally I'm sure, offended you? Hello pot, meet kettle. OLTL did its part in attempting to diminish Renee's value and now so have you. It was inappropriate of you to disparage Renee's letter given the circumstances surrounding it. Is your heart so cold that you cannot wish an actress well upon her departure without slinging mud at her on her way out?" - Bethany,  Disgruntled Reader

Like I said before, she did not offend me. It's VERY hard to offend me. Mostly, stupidity and ignorance are the things I find most offensive in this world - and I don't think Renee Goldsberry is either one of those things. It amazes me, though, how making one little criticism about the wording of religious ideas leads people to become so riled up. It's true, I knew printing that would be controversial, and I think I realized that most of my mail this week would be negative. Some of the mail made me think. Some of it made me even more convinced to stand my ground. It's a confusing issue that is complicated by so many things... all I can say is that mixing that with the business of this column was probably a mistake. However, REG's letter is the thing that invoked religion first, not me. And I'm sorry, but reading that letter, the only thing I could think about was "God" and "Him." I felt that I was not a part of the audience of that letter because of those words. Why shouldn't I say so? Isn't it a valid viewpoint, if not a popular one? Even if ultimately I am the one with the shortsightedness, even if I am the one with the issue to overcome, isn't the fact that her letter alienated me a valid thing to address? I should have saved myself the headache and not brought it up, but I REALLY felt like I must since I believe people rarely criticize anything having to do with the majority viewpoint. As I stand by the notion that I brought up (that sometimes people in a majority inadvertently alienate others without realizing it), I also stand by my apology to REG and her fans, and I also stand by everyone's right to express themselves however they see fit. Ultimately though, my criticism should have been more general and less directed at REG. I love her, you know.

"While I understand your comments about the Christian references in Renee's email, I want you to understand what I believe was her intent. As a Christian, there are many times when I do not completely understand why my life has taken the path it has. As a result, I look for answers, as many of us do. The entire relationship between a person and God/Jesus/etc. is one that for me is based on open dialog. It is an essential part of the comfort and guidance we are looking for. If you believe that your steps are directed by God, then following His will when it is time to move is even more important. In life, we spend so much time validating everything and everyone. Why shouldn't honor get paid when the belief is that God is leading us in a direction? Should you hide behind vagueness because you don't want to offend anyone or just remain true to yourself and believe that those around you will appreciate your honesty? If not, can't you at least remain honest and deal with the criticism that comes with that honesty? Every day I struggle to remain honest with myself and true to who I really am and would like to be. All of that means, that there are times when someone isn't going to like what I say and how it is said.

So I guess my entire email is to say, I'm glad you questioned her statements. It means they did what they were intended to do, which is convey how she felt as honestly as possible. I love your column and the fact that you do respond to what is being said. Keep doing what you do and I will keep reading." - Tricia

I think this e-mail is extremely profound and explains Christianity in a way that is so rarely seen, that for someone like me it soothes whatever issues I have with it and makes me respect it more. Thank you, Tricia.

"I do understand what you are saying about REG and her Christian beliefs. Maybe it bothers you and you do have a right to say so. I however find it heartfelt and inspiring when actors thank God for their blessings. Personally I do not find it bothersome - it's obviously very important to her and she has a right to say what's in her heart. I think it's important to be tolerant of both Christian and non- Christian views in this world.
Maybe if we all listened a little more to each other we could all learn something after all." - Corey

Amen. I guess it's just that in this country, you grow up seeing people constantly thanking God or Jesus (even artists who rap or sing about bitches and ho's and shooting people thank Jesus, which is highly suspect). You don't see people thanking their Kaballah teacher or Buddha or the vast expanse of the universe. It just makes it seem like people (namely, rich celebrities) think that their God is rewarding them with material wealth because they are special, when tens of millions of people are dying of starvation and are lucky to make it past the age of ten. I know that's not how it's intended, but it does sometimes come off that way.

"I don't have a problem with REG's references to her religious beliefs or her supposition that her fans believe the same. I think there are instances where you have to be tactful about how you present certain things but I kind of think that you sometimes have it just put it out there and if someone doesn't like it then they don't and they probably won't find it extremely offensive because it's about what she thinks and feels and not about the fans to whom she's directing her words, i.e., she's not saying this is how you should think or feel. If there is irony in this to me then it comes in a couple of forms which are 1) why would someone devoutly religious have a fan club anyway? (I'm not well versed in these matters but if the honor and glory is supposed to go to God then you may see where I'm going with that one), and 2), she wasn't playing a morally devout or pious woman so I'm not getting where God had anything to do with it (though I get that she was blessed with an acting job. I'm thinking it must be tough to practice religious beliefs and work in the soap industry or Hollywood period for that matter). Then again I'm not sure how liberal some religion is and people do apply it differently which is why I could be way off base in my thinking." - Justine

It's true that the tendency is to assume that religious people are conservative. There's some truth to that, but you'd be surprised - at least here in Chicago, I've met some extremely liberal people who are devoutly religious. It's impossible to pigeon-hole people just based on a label they have given themselves. Poor REG - if she read this she would probably be dumbfounded that all this attention is being given to an aspect of her letter that wasn't even the point of it. I'm sorry about that. I should have kept the focus on her sentiment towards her fans. I should have saved my point about religious references for a blog... but I don't blog. Maybe I should. Anyway, we'll stick to the soaps from now on... I promise!

"If Renee Goldsberry is into the God thing, then SHE'S INTO IT and its a part of who she is. Now, for her to mention this doesn't mean that she's excluding those individuals that perhaps like her work, etc., but aren't into religion. Matter of fact, that would be down right prejudice OF A FAN to be so uptight, as to not be able to tolerate what makes another individual tick. I think a lot of us have a center, a source that we draw strength from and makes us shine to the world. If it's Renee's belief in God that makes her work shine, then so be it. As a fan, I simply enjoy her work. She has no other obligation towards me, in the way of making me feel excepted, included, etc. Her performances drew me in and I willingly looked forward to her performances on my own accord. She's also friendly and gracious when met in person." - CJ

You're right. I think my reaction to the letter was valid in its own way, but at the end of the day you are right.

"I think you have missed the mark a bit on Renee’s letter to her fans as being a platform for her to push her religious beliefs. I think there are some important distinctions that need to be made. First, she was not explicitly sharing any particular religion. Rather, she seemed to be expressing her spirituality. Second, I do not think it was her intention to isolate agonistic, atheists or any other fan that is perhaps uncomfortable or unappreciative of the use of spiritual language. I think she was expressing her authentic self, part of which is her spirituality. Unlike some of the phonies out there spewing hate in the name of religion (that ostracizes people and breeds fear), I think she was being genuine and did not intend to be preachy. I appreciate it when people are being genuine even when I may disagree with them." - Nic

I never said she was pushing her religious beliefs. I just find religious references to be distracting but that's probably because my ideas about that subject aren't quite in the mainstream (though not that far off, I think). But I have no doubt that she was being genuine and did not mean to exclude anyone. She was just being herself.

"Your earlier comments did not make me angry, but made me also think and question how I would have responded if the actress had been Muslim and wrote a letter referring to Allah in the same manner." - Iboga

Thank you. My point exactly.

"Oh, how they disrespected Renee and her fans with the Evangeline send off. I have to give props to Michael Easton. He did his best considering that he hasn't had a scene with Renee since Feb. I think his portrayal was much more believable and real than David 'the worst actor on the show next to Brandon Buddy' Fumero. Not to mention the most overpaid louse to ever get a job at ABC. He could have stepped outside of the pitiful script and evoked some emotion for a lady who carried his sorry ass for a year and whose character was totally destroyed by the pairing. I think crave fans do the terrible 'actor' a great injustice by continuously kissing his ass like he is the second coming to Al Pacino. He thinks he's actually good and it doesn't help to improve his limited skills as an actor. 'They all love me, so I must be great.' Only the Crave fans love him and really they have propped him up more than Renee. But, back to Van's send off. Michael, Tika Sumpter, and Hillary Smith did a good job in showing palpable emotions in the scenes. David was wallpaper and he was truly pathetic to watch." - Angie

Cris' lack of reaction to Evangeline's coma was very strange. Part of it was the writing (Cris was not given a bedside, teary goodbye scene with Evangeline). But the acting and directing of those episodes implied that Cris was not emotionally invested in Evangeline. And you're right - John McBain was far more effected by her coma than Cris. I found that very strange, even as someone who always thought Crave was a joke. This seemed to be TPTB admitting that.

"I don't believe that the writers were somehow punishing REG. The exit was so sloppy. Dena Higley did an interview recently about Evangeline's exit. DH pretty much said that she thought that REG was going to re-sign with the show and that she had to write her off canvas very quickly. She put her in a coma because she hopes that she will be able to write for the character again soon. DH also stated that she did not want to write a back from the dead storyline either. I actually believe just because things looked so hasitly done and the tone of the article seemed to ring true to me... I know that you are in favor of a recast. So am I. I think that no matter what Evangeline should return for November Sweeps. It's not a coincidence that this past sweeps has tanked without Todd/Van. They really carried the show and that is even more evident now. They need to audition the person with TSJ. I don't think anyone can match the TSJ/REG chemistry, but I think someone else can create a new dynamic that many of us will enjoy if they cast right. My personal choice would be Kent Masters King from GH. She is languishing there right now and she has the chops. She has also been shown to have chemistry with a lot of different actors. A role like Evangeline will be great for her." - Camille

I think your idea for Vangie to return by November Sweeps is a good one. After all, Todd and Blair will be paired together once again - something even Trevor St. John and Kassie DePaiva would agree is not going to work for more than a few months. Todd and Blair will become boring if they are together. There aren't any guys besides Cristian on the canvas that Blair could be with (and I think everyone agrees that Blair/Cris does not have that much potential), so it will be up to Todd to be torn between two women. That other woman is already in place. She's just in a coma and needs to be recast. Trevor had alot to say about this in his interview, so I'll leave it here for now and let him speak to it. But I do think Kent Masters King would make a fine Evangeline.

"As for you being the only person who didn't like Cristian's painting or all the pregnancy nonsense with Crave, trust me, you were definitely not the only one. It was just completely out of character for Van. I'm inclined to agree with you when you said it was only done as a slap in the face to REG. And while we're on the subject of Crave, Cristian's reaction to Eva's coma was umm... well I don't have the words because there are none. That's just how boring and unaffected Cris seemed to be about the whole thing. John was much more emotional than Cris was and he hasn't spoken to Evangeline in months. It was almost as if Cris just knew Van in passing, thought to himself 'oh that's screwed up' and went on about his business trying to explain to Antonio why he lied about Jessica. But yet Crave is/was this great 'love story'... Ok." - Eva in Chicago

I know. Cris seemed more upset about his painting being destroyed than he was about Vangie going into a coma.

"I am not a conspiracy theorist, however something is funny about the whole Renee Goldsberry not re-signing. First, why didn’t another show try to hire her? I would start watching ATWT to see her with Roger Howarth. Whether you like or dislike Jovan, Crave or Tangeline (my choice) she is involved in all the major romances on this show. Fans fighting for their favorite... why wouldn’t you bring her on your show and pair her with a sofa and watch the chemistry? I know ABC is nuts but if you knew the contracts for Tangeline were going to be up in April and you had not signed them why start the romance? It makes no sense. My biggest problem is with the Steven Seagal movie. She stopped filming in April for OLTL, the movie starts shooting in May. She auditioned for a movie that was shooting in May - a major role not a minor part - they did not have this role cast before APRIL. Does not make sense. It is also suspicious that they are not negotiating with her so - write her off, not a coma. Also her pics are still on ABC.COM. Remember when Todd was going to executed he came out with a statement that he would be spending more time with his family to give the impression he was really going to die? Why is there no actor outrage? Kevin was fired, other actors spoke out and protested and not a peep here. So Jeremy, what is your opinion? Am I a hopeless romantic refusing to believe that Tangeline is over?" - Thompine

Perhaps. But actually, you make a strong case for a conspiracy. The only reason I'm not more excited about it is my interview with Trevor. I think, based on that, she is definitely gone. If she's not, then her castmates are doing one hell of a job helping her pull the wool over our eyes. But you do make a strong case! I suppose it's enough to hold out some hope.

"I wish they would send Starr packing to boarding school or somewhere. I used to enjoy spunky, mischievous Starr. She was the bad seed spun of Todd and Blair, and you wanted to strangle her. She was the kid you just wanted to spank. This whiny, lovelorn doormat we now see is nothing like that Starr. Even when she was with Cole and sneaking around, she was sappy and depressing. I was so sick of the "why can't we be together, why can't they leave us alone." There was none of that defiant, spoiled, Starr, that we have come to know. And now that they are broken up, she is just depressing, with all her moping. The old Starr would have eaten Britney for breakfast, openly defied her mom and dad, and made no apologies. No one would be feeling sorry for her. Starr was never a sympathetic character. She was strong and in your face. This Starr is a wimp." - Dee

I could not agree more. This is another thing Trevor talks about in the interview!

"I know you haven't discussed this before but since I'm a legal major in college I felt the urge to express my disgust at the way the Llanview P. D. conducts an investigation. First, since when did Blair get a badge? I know Bo asked her if she had one and she basically weaseled her way into listening to the tape and was standing over John's shoulder when he questioned Miles but what she actually did was called interfering with a police investigation! Wouldn't it have been more productive to have Marty there to observe Miles instead of having Blair interfere with her stupid comments? The thought of having Marty would also allow for her and John to spend more time together and push that storyline further along. Blair is just a waste of space at this point. If she wants to badly to investigate what happened to Todd why doesn't she do it on her own and what exactly happened to chemical analysis of the paints used by the O.P.P. in a lab? Did John travel with a lab? Why didn't he tell Cris, 'We're taking your paints for evidence and we're going to get a chemical analysis'? Wouldn't that have been sensible! At least at that point when this whole thing is resolved and the head of the group is put on trial the paint evidence wouldn't be tossed out for being collected, examined and possibly tainted in the field! I'm not asking for Law and Order here but just something that remotely makes sense." - Dawn

It would be nice... but unfortunately soaps are not known for continuity or well-researched crime stories.

Please send your OLTL thoughts, complaints, suggestions, and desperate pleas to:

Robert Iger, President of Disney (ABC Parent Company)

Anne Sweeney, President of ABC

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to e-mail me.

Please send your OLTL thoughts, complaints, suggestions, and desperate pleas to:

Robert Iger, President of Disney (ABC Parent Company)

Anne Sweeney, President of ABC

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to e-mail me.




Until next time - don't forget to feel the Craze! 

Jeremy in Chicago




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