Which Soap Had the Best Halloween?

It’s Halloween, the greatest of soap holidays. It’s the chance for characters to don elaborate expensive costumes that reveal aspects of their personality and attend masquerade parties where anything can happen.  With the holiday falling on a Monday, Halloween became a four day extravaganza this year in both real life and on television. It’s unfair to issue a grade at the halfway point, but I am not going to let that stop me. Which soaps served up tasty treats and which ones were the television equivalent of the house that handed out raisins?

“General Hospital

Wyndemere is the perfect setting for a Halloween party. Unfortunately, the Cassadines have been AWOL since those strange scenes between Helena (Constance Towers) and Ethan (Nathan Parsons) a few weeks ago. No worries though, the Haunted Star is a great Halloween venue. It’s got haunted, right in its name. Too bad it’s not open for business because Luke (Tony Geary) is skulking around town in the continuation of his never ending self pity party. Lisa’s (Brianna Brown) rampage on a cruise ship would have been more entertaining — to the extent that an event that culminated with two women fighting over a syringe filled with HIV positive blood could be entertaining — if it were a Halloween masquerade cruise. Heck, costume karaoke night at Jake’s could be a hoot. Instead, GH appears to be opting out of acknowledging the holiday because it would interfere with the show’s goal of being the dullest, most joyless show on television.

Treat: Apple with a razor blade

“The Young & the Restless

Sharon (Sharon Case) wore a prison uniform. Victor (Eric Braeden) masqueraded as an empathetic person, proclaiming, “I always feel very bad when I see homeless people.” The orphanage resident  turned billionaire did not go on to say that he offered any help to homeless people he encountered.  Kevin’s bone marrow continued to disguise itself as Billy’s bone marrow, because though Victor has compassion for strangers, he does not have any qualms about keeping a little girl with cancer away from her father. So perhaps Victor’s costume is The One Percent. In other words, if there is going to be Halloween in Genoa City, it will come Monday. That’s disappointing because Y&R has gone all out for Halloween in the past. I would have liked to see Ronan (Jeff Branson) take his seeming callousness to the next level by dressing up as a transplanted liver, but he decided to bail on dinner with Nina (Tricia Cast) and Chance (John Driscoll), a scene I’d been waiting months to see, to have casual sex with Phyllis for no apparent reason. A show with so many murders and psychotic women ought to have been able to come up with a spooky Halloween sequence.

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Treat: granola bar

“The Bold & The Beautiful

The giant Purple People Eater that Ridge (Ronn Moss) wore around his neck is, without a doubt, the best Halloween costume of 2011. Unfortunately, it was just supposed to be his normal clothes. B&B had dozens of elaborately costumed extras partying at Bikini Bar. They made for an amusing contrast to Thorne (Windsor Harmon) who was wearing his regular clothes as he flashed back to past conflicts with his brother. Most people find themselves thinking about their families on Thanksgiving and I assume that there will be a real Halloween party at Bikini Bar on Monday featuring the main characters getting all dolled up. I will take back every mean remark I have ever made about Hope (Kim Matula) if she mocks her pro-abstinence campaign and wears a chastity belt.

Treat: candy corn

“Days Of Our Lives

“Days of Our Lives” had a real Halloween. All of Salem gathered for a party in Horton Square. There were funny costumes. E.J. (James Scott) and Nicole (Arianne Zucker) as Vegas Elvis and Priscilla Presley were made of win. It was relatively amusing that E.J.’s nemesis Rafe (Galen Gering) was 1950s Elvis. If DOOL weren’t justifiably hellbent on making the audience forget about the last year, they could have had Rafe wear his own clothes and say he was his evil lookalike.

DOOL also made good use of the holiday to advance storylines. Chad (Casey Diedrick) accidentally kissed Melanie (Molly Burnett) instead of his girlfriend, Abby (Kate Mansi), because they were both wearing identical French maid costumes. That’s a big stretch, given that the actresses look nothing alike, but stranger things have happened on DOOL. John (Drake Hogestyn) covered his face so that he could take a break from house arrest and enjoy a night out with Marlena (Deidre Hall). It seems obvious that the masked man following Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) around is Jack (Matthew Ashford).

They also took advantage of having most of the cast in the same place to facilitate a lot of conversations that might not have happened otherwise.  Marlena, being Marlena, saw the Halloween party as an occasion to tell Sami (Alison Sweeney)that she is the worst person in the world for not being convinced that John is innocent. Melanie was able to overhear Maggie’s (Suzanne Rogers) conversation and inform them that Lillian Parker was Daniel’s mother, making Daniel (Shawn Christian) Maggie’s long lost biological son. I can’t say that I’m thrilled with this twist, but at least it was revealed quickly.

Treat: mini-Snickers and Milky Way

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“One Life To Live

OLTL loves this holiday and made the most of it. Earlier in the week we got to see little Hope dressed as Mr. Peanut, a nice nod to Todd (Roger Howarth) nicknaming his granddaughter Peanut. Todd also expressed surprise about the rise of peanut and gluten allergies during his eight years in captivity. A trick or treater on Friday’s episode announced that he could not eat peanuts. At least one of the writers is obsessed with peanuts.

The main Halloween action surrounded Tina (Andrea Evans) throwing Natalie (Melissa Archer) and Brody (Mark Lawson) a Halloween engagement party. Everyone mocked Tina, but I think an engagement masquerade is a legitimately great idea. Tina’s initial idea of wearing an old wedding dress, in the hope of reminding Cord (John Loprieno) of their glory days, was not. Fortunately, they ended up wearing cute matching cowgirl and cowboy costumes. Brody and Natalie looked every bit as great in sailor outfits that paid tribute to Brody’s time as a Navy Seal. Best of all, baby Liam was a Baby Seal.

Even my least favorite storyline, the resurrection of either Gigi (Farrah Fath) or Stacy (Gacy? Stigi?) got a little more interesting when Cutter (Josh Kelly) persuaded the mystery woman to disguise herself as a masked Little Red Riding Hood and go to the party. Apparently Cutter has a fairytale fetish because he suddenly found her beautiful. Meanwhile, Rex (John Paul Lavoisier) is starting to fall for Cutter’s ex, Aubrey, who was at her most likable when she dressed as one of the three musketeers along with Rex and Shane (Austin Williams). The episode ended with Rex and Gacy coming face to face, portending a more dramatic October 31st episode.

Treat: Full sized chocolate bar

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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