You’re dying to know whether Erica chewed out her new husband, Dmitri, on All My Children, but your VCR went on the fritz. What to do? Don’t fret. And don’t call me either. But you can call several services that re-cap each day’s soap highlights. I dialed them and found that some rang my bell and some wrung me out.
· 900-288-SOAP: $1.30/min. Good news: It gives a preview of coming plots. Bad news: Watch your phone bill — the ”host” talks real slooow, with not enough tidbits. C+
· 900-896-2884 & 900-407-5047: 95 cents/min. These two numbers (the first is sponsored by TV Guide) give the same comprehensive detailed accounting. Good news: You get the impression a lot happens every day. Bad news: We know that’s not true. B-
· 900-454-3939: 95 cents/min. Affiliated with Soap Opera Digest, this offers a $100 prize if you correctly answer six trivia questions in a row. Good news: only six questions. Bad news: The questions are impossibly tough. Who were Claudette’s parents on All My Children? Jeez. A minor character from 1980! Give me a break. And my money back. D
· 900-740-5000: 75 cents/min. Run by ABC, this service breathlessly covers the network’s shows. Good news: Host Gary Warner (an ABC historian) obviously has fun doing this. Bad news: Gary, this is not CNN — those fictitious ”reports” from ”Pine Valley” gotta go. A
· 900-600-4NBC: $1.00 for one minute. This is NBC’s service. Good news: Another World, the undeservedly lowest-rated soap, needs the boost. Bad news: It’s available only on weekends. No grade (Hey, nobody pays me to work weekends.)