Ok…I’ll play, All My Children

It’s interesting how the slightest bit of dialogue can divert a viewer like me into a place where she creates her own dialogue.  Last week, Kendall opened the door to Ryan-self-styled-god-of-all-men-gift-to-all-women Lavery.  He opened with the statement… “Am I…?”… how he finished that statement is a mystery to me, because immediately in my mind I envisioned Kendall completing that sentence with:

a tool?  Yes!

a boil on the ass of humanity?  Yes!

the man any woman would punish herself for waking up next to?  Yes!

a narcissistic son-of-a-bitch darkening the doorstep of all decent townfolk? You betcha’!

I spent much of the time following his opening statement continuing with a  list of what I thought of as appropriate responses to his query.  Unfortunately, by the time I woke up from the haze,  Zach was nuturing “poor Reese” and my stomach muscles gave way… making it possible for me to relive my lunch.  The next time some says “better going in than coming out”, I’ll know FIRSTHAND what they mean.

AMC has a curious problem.  Great characters, save a few, an incredible history, and like GH, probably one of the most recognizable soaps in daytime.  People who’ve never seen a daytime soap have probably heard of Erica Kane, the show’s signature diva.  They’ve at least heard of  Susan Lucci if they’re not sure of the character she plays.

So why the commitment to such SUCKAGE!?!??!

David and Krystal?  They WORK as a couple.  I don’t know why –  other than the fact that both are a little bit/whole lot sleazy and always seeking to prove to others that they’re not.  Maybe it’s that they’re both equally deluded about Babe’s status as a (once) living saint – that’s a lot of deluded thought between the two of them.    David and Krystal don’t need the added stupidity of trying to steal Little A away from JR (throw in a “Spike” here and a “Greens” there and the writers should really rethink the nicknames for their characters).  It’s tired, it’s old, and the idea that they have to wrest custody of  ‘precious’ away from ‘the Dark Lord Sauron” keeps me from tuning in more than a day or two at a time.  AMC is just too painful to watch!

I don’t know if the writers are intentionally playing this storyline for comedy but it’s working as comedy for me.  David, probably the biggest sociopath in AMC history,  is concerned about JR raising his grandson. Heaven forbid that JR only teaches the kid to drink excessively rather than how to slip drugs to unsuspecting women, among David’s other fine acts of ‘heroism’.  JR has had fits of madness on occasion, but he’s a damned better person than David has ever been.  And speaking of what once was:

The current show makes me long for:

  • the days when Brooke English and Erica Kane were chewing scenery in a knockdown drag out.  I think it’s time for Brooke tocome back, adding a bit of dignity to this show, and to have the upperhand on Erica.  It’s time!
  • the possibility of seeing anyone named Tyler!  I miss the Tyler’s and the expanded Martin clan.
  • Tom Cudahy.  I want him back full time as well.  What conflict would there be with Tom and Brooke remembering Laura, and his current relationship with Olivia (are they still together)?    Wouldn’t JR’s drinking storyline make more sense if he was mentored by someone who’d been there an survived alcoholism?
  • the days when AMC didn’t destroy it’s glorious ground-breaking history.  I’d accept any storyline to undo the unabortion.  There’s just NO WAY Erica’s child came back from an abortion, NO WAY.
  • Nina and Cliff (no need for Bobby to return).  I want them around either full time or visiting frequently.
  • Opal and Palmer on frontburner, and possibly Daisy making trouble in their lives, but not because she wants Palmer, but because she believes she’s entitled to half his estate and we find out she actually is!  Imagine some odd couple sistuation in which Daisy and her new love live with Opal and Palmer until the legal mess is resolved.
  • a reach back in AMC history.  I wonder if Devon an Lynn ever met up in another place, at another time.  Are they together, now?  Could they return to Pine Valley and have NEITHER of them fall in love with Zach or become pregnant by him?  By AMC standards, the lesbians like ‘the Zach’.  Apparently they have to work hard to resist him.
  • Where is Mark?  Shouldn’t Erica have more family around her now?  She’s lost so much, and stands to lose more the way this show is going.
  • Dixie!  I want her back with Tad.
  • An Erica romance.  I want Erica Kane Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Roy Roy Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery to find happiness, at last.  How could Eric possibly do better than to be with Jackson Montgomery?

In short, I pretty much want anything other than most of what’s airing now.

Sex changes everything

In the BnB writers’ zeal to shock fans with the latest piece of schlock storytelling – they’ve managed to change the face of the show forever. Steffy Forrester sleeping with Rick Forrester was an act of unadulterated self-indulgence and pure contempt for anyone who’d ever cared for either of them (onscreen or off). New rule: if you share the same name and were raised in the same family: HANDS OFF! If ”hands off” is the rule -bumping uglies is definitely off the table. The former niece and uncle, raised in a family in which paternities change almost annually, decided to damn the fates and move forward into a sexual relationship.

That one act means that the writers can never undo the show’s biggest retcon ever…making Ridge Forrester (Rick’s once biological brother/Steffy’s father) Massimo Marone’s son and not Eric Forrester’s prized firstborn.

For fans like myself, we’d long suspected that Ridge had to be another man’s child. It was the only thing that made sense of Stephanie’s suffocating love and ”protection”of Ridge to the detriment of her other children. Simply having her exposed for the person of easy virtue she so smugly accuses others of being was enough. It was always possible for the writers to undo the retcon – until now. The writers were so committed to the uncle and his niece having sex that they’ve left no other choice but to keep Ridge biologically tied to a character who no longer exists.

At the same time, Eric and Ridge are still bonded as father as son in their hearts. Both Rick and Ridge call him dad. It’s what makes the act between Rick and Steffy so difficult to understand. It’s hard to believe that the writers chose to permanently alter the fabric of the show for two remarkably worthless characters as Steffy and Rick..

Aging Daytime Style

I remember when the great Michael Zaslow had to make the heartbreaking announcement that he’d been diagnosed with ALS.  A daytime exec who deserves to remain nameless, in my book  justified the firing of Zas from The Guiding Light by commenting how vibrant a man Roger Thorpe (the character Zas turned into daytime phenomenon) has always been.  It was further stated that Roger Thorpe should not become a ‘wizened’ old man.  It was probably one of the cruelest blows struck against the daytime legend and the fans who adored him.

I thought about that comment, yesterday, while watching GL’s Buzz Cooper(played by Emmy winner Justin Deas) and Alan Spaulding (played by Emmy nominated Ron Raines).  The lifelong onscreen enemies were locked in yet another battle, this one an actual fistfight, until Alan began having a heart attack.  Buzz just minutes later, also began having a heart attack. 

I couldn’t make up my mind if the scene was meant to make Buzz and Alan  realize how silly and pedantic the ‘war’ between the powerful and upper income Spauldings, namely Alan, and the middle income/working-class Coopers has been.  More likely than not, the scenes were supposed to be funny.  For me, they weren’t.  If it was a joke, it fell flat.

This feels, to me, like the work of GL’s   “Team B” (if there are two writing teams heading this show).  “Team A” seemed to resolve the issue of Remy and Christina’s marriage of convenience.  They weren’t ready for a full commitment, but they were growing closer.  “Team B” trotted out the same old conversation about the “faux marriage” concerns from months ago.  It’s the first time in a long time I actually yawned during an episode of GL.

“Team A” gave us Phillip’s glorious return, a return that started dragging the Guiding Light out of the ratings basement and signaled to fans that there is still a lot of life left in this show.  “Team B” managed to take two of the show’s most vibrant and alluring men and created ‘wizened’ creatures out of them.  David and Goliath storylines don’t work when even David is diminished in stature.  (To be sure, I’m not stating that anyone who has had a heart attack is ‘wizened’ or weak, I’m commenting on how GL writers used the illness to illict a laugh, but only succeeded in making Buzz and Alan seem weaker, somehow).

I still love the new GL, I just love it more when “Team A” takes control.  I’m hoping that “Team B” is up only to give “Team A” time to recharge its batteries and give us more of the great storylines they’d started telling just several weeks ago. 

I will give “Team B”  this much credit:  I enjoyed the scenes between Beth and Phillip – not an easy feat since Beth is at the bottom of the list of characters that I couldn’t care less about.  Phillip sees a new Beth.  She’s not the same frightened “little  woman” in need of constant rescue, as she’d always been in the past.  It was one of the most annoying aspects of her relationship with Coop – that she needed the 20 something year old Coop to ‘rescue’ her from big bad Alan.  “Team B” established Beth as the rescuer, this time.  Phillip needs her.  She may just end up being his caretaker.

OLTL, you like me, you really LIKE me

It’s like someone woke a sleeping giant!  OLTL is showing big love to its fans once more!  Prior to this lasted set of arcs, this show was on a huge downward shame spiral for some time now.  The storylines stopped making sense, the characters became unlikable – or worse, BORING, and watching OLTL began to feel more like an obligation.  Hey, I could have trashed the show without watching it, but how fair would that have been?

Trash it?  Oh no, I’m here to PRAISE it!  This show has found its mojo and it’s paying off in SPADES.  My biggest gripe with daytime is that so few writers seem to do the unexpected any more.  Most writers’ moves are telegraphed and therefore yawn producing.  OLTL writers seem to be determined to offer viewers the unexpected.  Fans have wondered if David’s conversion was real.  Had he become a better man, or was this yet another Vicker’s scam?  I’ll admit that I was waiting for the scam – when isn’t David pulling a con?  We got our answer. 

THIS time David is for real.  He not only doesn’t want to harm the Buchanans, but the revelation that BO, not Asa is his father has led him to change his mind and being entitled to the Buchanan money.  The old David would have fought tooth and nail for that money and not given Bo a second thought.  David isn’t willing to hurt his family just to become a wealthy man.  He wants to create his own life.  He wants to feel good about who he is and not owe anyone anything.  Of course, it sucks that we learned it as he was on his way out the door (Tuc Watkins why do you keep breaking my heart with each goodbye!?!?!) but we can’t blame the writers for that.

I’d expected Rex  to somehow turn out to be Bo’s son (not Mitch Laurence’s- if the mystery man really is Mitch Laurence).

I never expected Bo to be so callous in learning about David’s paternity (WTH was that?  Having lost one son, you’d think that Bo would have been reluctant to get to know David, but to want to know him anyway.)

I expected David to turn out not to be Asa’s, but instead to be Ned Truman’s son after all.

At the very least, I expected David to stick it to Dorian, who’d waged war against him during his marriage to Addie, by having her give up her fortune and then claiming his and not marrying her.

I’ve been happy to be proven wrong at every turn. The show is far more interesting this way.

Daytime’s biggest losers at love…

The following characters aren’t losers, per say… they’re just perennial losers at love.  It’s not clear whether some characters are privately the running jokes of their shows’  writer’s rooms or if writers just have a hard time breaking bad habits, but DAYS’ Lucas, BnB’s Bridget, and GL’s Frank are all one more bad relationship away from being institutionalized.

Days of Our Lives:  Other than its classic couples, DOOL no longer does  ‘love’.  Now that TPTB have gotten rid of most of their classic couples, they’ve replaced them with a number of incredibly superficial, temporary,and highly sexual pairings instead.  Considering Chloe’s tumultuous relationship with Brady, her brief liaison with Phillip, and her flirtations elsewhere, who actually expected her to stay with Lucas  for longer than a few months?  I certainly didn’t.  She and Phillip were perfectly suited as the show’s top horndogs.  It’s why they couldn’t stay together and why a relationship between either of them and any other person, will never work.  Lucas (the show’s lovable loser) was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

 How is it possible for a man as loving, kind, and as caring as Lucas to continue to fall for women who will either never love him, or who will love the devil himself before putting Lucas first?  Remember when ex-wife Nicole kept him drunk so that she wouldn’t have to have sex with him?  How about Sami making him think that his brother was Will’s father, so he’d never know Will was his child? Sami topped that act by ‘falling in love’ with EJ Dimera,  the man who raped her (by TPTB’s own account), and left her pregnant with his child.  She’s now had a second child with EJ.  Nice.  Chloe sleeps with the man who saved his mother’s life and helped her recover from cancer.  While Lucas and Kate were showing Daniel their gratitude, Chloe was showing Daniel that fidelity just isn’t a word found in her vocabulary.  Of course, because she was doing the naked pretzel with HIM, behind Lucas’ back?  It’s all good.  

When written well, Lucas is the ultimate package.  So why have the writers turned the character into the show’s punchline to a not so funny joke?  I wish I knew.  Phillip-The-Oil-Slick has poor Melanie willing to debase herself just to have him breathe in her direction.   EJ has the woman he sexually assaulted pitted against his wife, who genuinely loves him despite his sleazeball past.  Daniel is the ultimate untrustworthy noncommittal jerk who started out by coming between a grandmother (Kate) and granddaughter (Chelsea), now between Kate and her once-future daughter-in-law, Chloe.  Lucas?  Despite his commitment and genuine affection, he gets to have what’s left over – served cold, at that.

Get on the ball DAYS, and give this guy the love he deserves.  I’ve grown fond of Rafe and Sami, but I’ve been hoping that Sami comes to her senses and realizes that forced sex at gunpoint is NOT love (buh bye, EJ) and that Rafe deserves better than someone who is still hung up on her ex-husband (hello, Lucas!).  While they’re at it?  Cut the biological ties between Sami and her rapist, EJ.  Make all of her children Lucas’ children.  Do something different, let a show have soul mates whose children all have the same parents.  It’s old-fashioned, I know, but I think fans could live with it.

Guiding Light:  Poor Frank Cooper!  Talk about a man whose love life consistents of having whatever woman is running from other relationships!  Has Frank EVER had a relationship with a woman who was in love with him and only him?  Loved him FIRST?  Eleni, mother of his only child, was brought to the states for an arranged marriage to Frank and fell in love with Alan-Michael Spaulding, first.  Olivia wasn’t really in love with him, and their relationship never felt real (though her relationship with his father, Buzz was SMOKIN’ hot).  Now Frank sleeps with Natalia, and she goes home to cry about how she’s made things in her life WORSE by being with him.  She CRIES?  Clearly she’s in love with Olivia and Olivia was the love she was running from, poor Frank wasn’t the love she was running to!  She CRIED!

Holy cow, *I* wanted to sleep with Frank after that, it was so awful.. but alas, I would only be part of the problem.  I’m not in love with the guy, either… oh, and then there’s that pesky problem that he’s not real, but that’s not the point.  How could Frank’s life get any worse?  Women are now CRYING after having sex with him!!!  Another soap character who’s become the punchline to a not so funny joke.  At this point, the writers are going to have to decide if they’re committed to this character or if it’s time to either let him go, or keep him out of the GL dating pool.  It’s just painful to watch.

What would take the sting out of the writers making Frank Cooper such a loser at love?  How about making him a winner at life?  He’s both a loser at love and probably one of the least effective police officers in daytime (and given daytime writers’ penchant for making idiots of the good guys and geniuses of the baddies, it takes some doing for Frank to be among the most ineffective).  This is one fine piece of man meat, writers, why not finally give this character an edge?  Why not have Frank become one of daytime’s finest?  Given the Cooper’s on-again hatred for the Spauldings, isn’t it time for someone to dig up something real on Alan to take him down with?  Shouldn’t Frank be that man?  Love just isn’t in the cards for Frank, so adventure might as well be. 

The Bold and The Beautiful:  Ah, Bridget Forrester!  Life has not been good to her, EVER!  The man she called dad turned out not to be her father, her grandfather was her biological father.  Her first love , Deacon Sharpe, was a user who married her in order to gain leverage against her family and  to get custody of her nephew (his biological son). She overheard him tell her sister-in-law, Amber, that he thought of her while in bed with Bridget – this after deflowering Bridget on speakerphone to taunt her parents and brother.  That little confession led to Bridget getting into an accident that nearly took her life, trying to get away from Deacon and Amber.  You’d think that was bad enough, right?

HA!  You don’t have the same sense of ‘humor’ as the BnB writers.  Bridget’s mother, who initially hated Deacon slept with him and had his child – all while confessing her love for him to Bridget. Her mother slept with, married, and then divorced her second husband, Nick Marone.  She ends up being asked to be maid of honor at her mother’s wedding to Nick, months after burying her child with him.   Her mother later had a child with Nick (through a surrogate – who just happened to be Bridget’s former sister-in-law and who was married to Nick, as well).  Just before she remarried Nick, her aunt slept with him, too, and also became pregnant by him.  

 She ends up crashing her aunt’s wedding to Nick, only to get the smackdown from Granny Logan.  Her grandmother (biological mother to her mother and aunt) has sided against her and has effectively labeled her a loser who deserved to lose her husband to her aunt.  Why not just strip the poor child naked and make her stand in the middle of downtown at rush hour?  She couldn’t be any more exposed and exploited than she has been by members of her own family, and it’s only the beginning (thank writers)!

Bridget’s big life change doesn’t seem to be working out for her.  She’s decided that saving lives isn’t exciting enough and is trading in her career as a physician for a career as a fashion designer.  That much proximity to her family, through working in the same industry, can only prove to be the source of more pain for her. 

“Spumors” (spoilers/rumors) suggest that the man with whom she’s shared a brief flirtation will end up with her niece, as part of a love triangle between her brother Rick, their (non-biological niece) Steffy, and hottie Owen Knight.  WOWZA!  Shades of Phoebe and Shane?  Phoebe and Constantine?  Even Bridget’s teen nieces are getting more action, from men her age who often stay devoted to them until the end.  I have to believe that there’s some backstage contest in which the writer who comes up with the next tortured storyline for Bridget wins some sort of grand prize. The collected works of the Marquis de Sade, perhaps?