Phantom Of The Soap Opera by Judi Miller
The murder of daytime soap opera starlets leads to a substantive police and media response in this 1988 'horror'. Recall when daytime soap operas were a thing? People are constantly terrified and designer names are name dropped as 1980s NY's air of normality vanishes. This starts out well and turns into a recurring disappointment. One feels exasperation at this.
There are people whose offensiveness they never seem to grasp. There are grossly misjudged actions and an oppression narrative in flashback. Miller seems afraid of complexity and nuance. There is an absence of credibility.
There is acceptance of rampant sexism and toxic relationships and emotional abuse. The hottest daytime soap is celebrating 25 years on air by having a live epsiode with a wedding with a 6 foot cake. Naturally it does not go to plan as the crazy killer crashes the broadcast. It all comes to an incoherent climax. This was bad beyond comprehension. Stupidity is unrelenting and this does not have a happy end.
“Wasn't there any decency in the world?”
“I'll take that shotgun and kill you with it. I have a right to be here!”
“What's that for? Building a bookshelf?”
“Yes, that's what it's for. I'm building a bookshelf.”
“Sure, fella. We're in this cemetery. You show up early to talk to an old friend, a soap-opera actress who was murdered. What else do you do with the screwdriver?”
“It would slow things down so if she were asked to act.”
“The President and First Lady had been invited. But to everyone's relief they had declined.”
“I can't go on without my valium.”