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.

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What is the point of gay characters in daytime?

There are signs of progress and regression in daytime regarding sexuality . Writers have shifted from introducing gay characters and then writing them off shortly after, to keeping gay characters onscreen longer and developing storylines around them.

AMC’s Michael Delaney and Devon McFadden, ATWT’s Hank Elliot, and OLTL’s Billy Douglas and Daniel Coulson have become AMC’s Bianca and Reese and ATWT’s Luke and Noah. Progress.

Regression is evident in the lack of commitment to gay couples. By keeping gay chararcters on longer writers appear to be confused about what to do next. Gay doesn’t even mean happy for such characters as writers have decided that all should be deeply tortured about their sexuality even when in loving relationships – adding a layer of psychological distress their straight counterparts don’t have to deal with. Others struggle in the midst of primarily unrealized relationships, where there’s love without loving touch, or romance without commitment.

I’d given AMC’s writers high praise for making the commitment ATWT’s writers seemed to be afraid to make. Then both storylines regressed to nearly the same point. Luke questioned Noah’s sexuality without cause to do so, Reese is now physically attracted to Zach.

Even the now defunct Passions, a show that arguably had the highest commitment to advancing relationships between its gay characters, wrote one of the partners as intersexed, living as a female at times. The other partner was happily married -while on the down low.

. While some daytime execs appear to be concerned about not catering to ‘agendas’, I have to wonder if they aren’t moving too far in the other direction. Do they run the risk of promoting the false beflief that sexuality (but only as it pertains to gays and lesbians) is flexible? ‘

If the point of creating the new class of gay characters is to celebrate diversity and provide an accurately reflective image of real life, take a big girl/ big boy pill and do it.