the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: soap operas

Dixie Martin: R.I.P.


The continuing saga of how Neil met Sophia on the internet has been canceled today for a special bulletin:

Dixie Martin, beloved wife of Tad Martin and mother of J.R. Chandler, died today, January 29, 2007, in Pine Valley, after eating a poisoned peanut butter pancake intended for her daughter-in-law, Babe Chandler.

This was a shock to All My Children soap opera fans across the country. Some fans are so upset they are refusing to watch the show anymore. In fact, Sophia and Neil couldn’t stop talking about it all day. Even tonight’s episode of “24” seemed to pale in comparison to the drama of AMC killing off one of the show’s most popular characters.

The producers of AMC made a big splash when they brought actress Cady McClain back to the show after a four year absence. They had spent an enormous amount of time and money to woo her back. The return of Dixie created a slew of new storylines, since her character was repeatedly said to be “the heart” of Pine Valley. Tad and Dixie seemed destined to reunite as a couple — and even find their missing baby girl that unbeknownst to them, was now LIVING in Pine Valley after her parents were killed in a car accident! But one year into her contract, it’s death by peanut butter for Dixie. What happened?

Insiders know the real story. AMC producers, desperate for more viewers, tried to use the internet to drum up interest. They gave Dixie (Cady McClain) a blog to discuss her life as a soap opera star, in much the same way as other bloggers talk about their work and families.

With their ratings low, AMC also let go many of their long-standing characters, such as Brooke English (played by Julia Barr), who was with the show since 1976 and Dr. David Hayward (wonderfully played by Vincent Irizarry for the last ten years.) While the older actors were thrown to the street, the show hired a whole new group of dopey teenage actors. “Dixie” made a statement on her blog, saying it wasn’t a good idea to fire the show’s beloved older actors. The producers apparently didn’t like “Dixie” giving her opinion on her ABC blog, so to punish her — they promptly killed her off, making mincemeat of the storyline.

When someone says they were Dooced, people understand it to mean that someone was fired because of their blog. From now on, when someone is “killed off” because of their blog, I will use the term “Dixied.”

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Fact-Finding Mission

Is Your Wife an Imposter?


After four long years, Tad and Dixie Martin finally encountered each other on yesterday’s episode of "All My Children."  Tad could not believe his eyes.  He thought that Dixie was dead.  Was she really Dixie?  Or an imposter?  Perhaps she was some actress given plastic surgery by Tad’s nemesis, world-renowned cardiologist (but immoral) Doctor David Hayward?

"I am Dixie.  I know things only we could know." said Dixie.

"You could have been fed that information from David Hayward."

"But would he know this…?"

She mentioned some obscure reference to "Ozzie and Harriet" that only the two of them would know  — from an episode twenty years ago, way before the actors had all their real-life plastic surgery.

Tad instantly knew this was the real Dixie.

I turned to Sophia, who was sitting on the couch with me, eating leftover matzoh.

"Make believe I disappeared for five years…"

"Where are you going to go?"

"It doesn’t matter.  I go to find myself… in Tibet.  By climbing the mountains."

"Yeah right.  You in the mountains."

"Just imagine it."

"You’d be calling me within two days, saying you lost your backpack and you need me to send you bagels."

"OK, let’s imagine you leave for five years to go climbing in Tibet.  And then you come back.  And I don’t know if you’re an imposter or not."

"Why would an imposter bother coming to you?"

"Just imagine it!  Now, what are you going to say to me to prove that it is really you?"

"I’m confused.  Who am I?   Me or the imposter?"

"You’re you.  Sophia.   And I want you to prove that assertion."

"I don’t know."

"C’mon, something only we would know.  Like with Tad and Dixie — and "Ozzie and Harriet."

"How about "bouqerones?""  (anchovies we ate during our honeymoon in Spain)

"I actually wrote about them in some comments to Ashbloem.  How do I know you just didn’t read that on her blog during your research?"

"Excuse me.  How the hell am I supposed to know you wrote about bouquerones on someone else’s blog?  How about if I just say, "Neilochka?""

"Neilochka?  Are you serious?  That’s my yahoo email address.  You could have just read the blog.  There are people in other countries that know the story behind Neilochka.  That wouldn’t prove you’re not an imposter"

"I can’t think right now.  Let’s just finish the soap."

"So, are you saying that after all this time together, you can’t come up with one thing that can prove that it is you and not an imposter when you come back after five years in Tibet?"

"Maybe if you would stop writing about everything on your blog, I would have something to say when I come back from Tibet?"

"I don’t write about everything.  C’mon, think.  Prove to me that you are who you say you are."

"I’m pretty sure that you’re never going to write on your blog about the time you xxxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx."

"Holy shit, I forgot about that.  Welcome home, Sophia?!"

"Can we go back to watching TV now?"

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