WHEN YOU’RE DREAMING, you use a sort of “logic” that defies all logic.You’re at a horse race with your cousin Harry and then, without even a quick fadeout, you’re smoking cigarettes with Elizabeth Taylor in her living room. And you accept it all as fact; you never say, “Hey, wait a minute, I don’t smoke! I don’t even know Elizabeth Taylor!” And that’s what’s so great about daytime television. It’s one of the few times when you can be awake and still see dream logic in action. The five women on ABC’s “The View” make their entrance and are greeted with a standing ovation. While you’re still trying to ponder the “logic” of that, the first words uttered are from Meredith Viera: “I have Renee Zellweger’s underpants in my hands!” Star Jones confides that “the only reason” she wants to get married is to have sex on a regular basis. All five regulars participate as Joy Behar’s dog is married to another pooch in an elaborate ceremony, complete with top hat and “tails” for the groom. Did I dream all this, or did this really happen? Over on another channel, did Martha Stewart really say that making my own hand-dipped chocolates would be “festive” and “simple”? And did I believe her at the time?
ON A RECENT EPISODE of the syndicated “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” substitute host Marie Osmond explained that Rosie couldn’t be there because she had injured her hand. The audience groaned in sympathy, but no one questioned the dream logic wherein an injured hand could prevent you from sitting behind a desk and talking to people.Osmond interviewed Tom Green. He decided that, since O’Donnell was out, it would be fun to hide grapes on the set, and see if she could find them upon her return. Osmond tried hard to look amused. I tried hard to figure out: If I’m dreaming, why can’t I come up with someone funnier than Tom Green? But nothing points up the dream logic better than the Daytime Emmys, which will be handed out on May 18. In one category, Judge Judy is competing with “Pop-Up Videos.” In another race, “AMC’s Tribute to Hollywood’s Disabled” is up against “MTV Movie Awards Uncensored.” But of course, when you think of Daytime Emmys, you think of soaps. And the four nominees for best drama are stellar: “All My Children,” “As the World Turns,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless.” But the problem with awards is limiting the nominations to only four. Other daytime dramas also feature exciting plotlines, like “Port Charles” (Rex gave poison to Lucy, and hid the antidote in Serena’s favorite toy, Dirty Kitty) and “Bold and the Beautiful” (in Vegas, Deacon and Amber had a bet over whose life was more pathetic; after summing up their childhoods, he won, so Amber agreed to get a tattoo). And then there is “Passions.” The show features the usual heightened drama (“Don’t give up on Sam, Grace. He loves you!”) but has some extra touches — like winged gorgons, zombies, a blind priest and, of course, witch Tabitha and her companion Timmy, the talking doll. Though the series was not given its proper Emmy recognition in the major categories, it takes talent to write and deliver lines like “Miguel went back into the fires of hell to save Charity!” (Miguel, not surprisingly, became trapped in the jaws of a giant serpent, but Angel Girl miraculously appeared and helped free him.) At least I think all this happened. Maybe I dreamed it.
WHEN YOU’RE TALKING about logic, though, it’s hard to beat ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” When a flummoxed guest wants to use a lifeline and telephone a friend, host Regis Philbin has barely finished the phrase, “Our friends at AT&T will get him on the line” before the phone is ringing. And as soon as the host identifies himself, the lifeline friend inevitably says, “Oh, hi,” as if a call from a TV superstar were an everyday occurrence.But the show works at another level of surrealism. It’s nominated for seven Daytime Emmys, even though it’s never aired in daytime. But then, that’s the great thing about daytime TV. It’s all a dream. I hope.