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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Kendall-Ryan-Emma

Ryan is THAT man.  You know the one, the man who can never be alone for long.  It makes him edgy.  Every time you see him, he’s with someone new and he never seems to think it’s strange that the paper towel sitting on your kitchen counter has outlasted the last three relationships he’s been in.

Ryan and Kendall weren’t playing it for comedy, but it sure as hell didn’t stop me from laughing as they told Emma about Greenlee’s death.  Cam Mathieson is pretty damned hot, but the whole weepy cow-eyed thing he does when Ryan is “sad”?  EH… I could live without it.  But that’s not what gave me the big giggles.

The whole time I watched Kendall and Ryan break the news to Emma I wondered how much better those scenes would have been if Emma looked up at Kendall and asked her if she was going to help her daddy put Greenlee’s things in a box, just like daddy and Greenlee put her mommy’s things in boxes.   That’s the natural progression of a relationship in little Emma’s life, thanks to daddy.  Of course, it doesn’t bode well for Kendall that every woman who loves Ryan ends up with her things in a box ready to be shipped to soapgod knows where.  But he is Ryan, and that’s not supposed to matter.  He’s special.

Emma lost her mother when Annie was locked away in an institution and was almost immediately given a ‘new mom’ in Greenlee.  Greenlee dies shortly after and now Kendall is there, holding her, telling her that the replacement mom is now an angel (or maybe just looks like one… flying off the end of that motorcycle in a wedding gown and veil. Just sayin’).  Clearly, it was impossible for Ryan to tell Emma on his own.  He’s THAT man… the man who can’t do anything without a woman there to adore and support him.  Who knew that Annie was actually the stable one in the relationship?

The writers will probably allow Ryan to grieve, for at least a week or two.  He’ll then end up consoling Kendall.  He’ll help her ‘heal’ from her feelings hurt of betrayal thanks to Zach/Bianca/Reese.  It will be hard, at first, but his heart will go on… and then I think we’ll end up watching a love quad with Reese/Zach/Kendall/Ryan…

I should say that YOU”ll end up watching that quadrangle, AMCers… I’ll be watching The Guiding Light.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Soap couple moments I love

Days Of Our Lives

There’s something about EJ and Nicole that allows them to bring out the best in one another.  He’s STILL  a manipulative power-mad monster; his Dimera genes don’t leave him much choice.  What I love is the fact that he’s not power-mad and controlling with Nicole.  Unlike characters like Phillip Kiriakis, who dumps on any woman who dares to love him – in order to prove he’s worthy of his perpetually angry papa’s love, EJ is willing and able to put his love for Nicole first.   EJ is not afraid to stand up to his father and protect the woman he adores.

Every other woman he’s been with brings out the lowlife in him.  Nicole brings out the loving husband and father who feels secure and who can trust the woman he’s with to build a future and grow his family with… which makes it a shame that Nicole is lying to him about his daughter’s maternity.  While he hasn’t been able to tame the manipulative side of her, he at least brings out the humanity in her.  This time, she’s lies for someone else’s benefit, not JUST her own.

Guiding Light

Beth and Phillip are the best of what daytime soap couples are meant to be, even if they aren’t together – yet.  Seeing his face, all Beth had to do was touch him – the love of her life, the man she thought died and left her behind.  Is there doubt in anyone’s mind that she’s been written as a character in free fall because Phillip wasn’t there to catch her?  Every romance was an attempt to recapture the love she shared with him. All have failed.   What made Phillip and Beth great is not that she was always a stereotypic damsel in distress, in need of a knight in shining armor to save her.  Indeed, Beth has been Phillip’s rescuer for as much as he’s saved her.

How fitting that he returned to save, for now, the newest replacement soul mate she’s involved with – another relationship gone horribly wrong.  Coop’s blood on Phillip’s red hoodie, blood that ended up on Beth’s wedding gown through contact with Phillip… Coop has symbolically become yet another casualty in Beth and Phillip’s epic saga.  His return had to signal Coop’s end.  There was no other way.

 When Phillip helped Beth step out of her blood soaked wedding gown, and wrapped a robe around her, something in me welled up.  Beth stood there, half undone but unafraid. There was no shame. There was no angst. Just love and trust and comfort.  It’s been a long time since we’ve been treated to a scene like that ANYWHERE in daytime.  They don’t need words to communicate.  They just need to be together.

General Hospital

I wish I could say that the money TPTB spent on yet another helicopter… to airlift even MORE ‘stranded’ PC citizens had a positive effect on me, but it did not.  All I could think about is how GH writers are now ripping off their own  disaster moves… Hotel fire, Port Chuckles citizens running to the rooftop to make it to the waiting helicopter, not enough room for everyone to go at one time, some will have to wait…been there, done that. Some of the same citizens are involved in this one too.  What?  No PTSD?  No flashbacks to the hotel fire?  (If there were, I missed them, I tuned out most of the yawn inspiring poison gas disaster).

The couple scene that warmed my heart most happened with a couple that shared little to no screen time through most of this catastrophe.  While Patrick yelled orders, telling Sam and others to get to the rooftop and let him worry about who needed to get out next, my heart melted.  So strong, so brave, so much the man a great love made him.  Could you imagine the Patrick Drake who first came to town being so selfless?   THAT Patrick would have been trying to figure out how to get out to save his precious gift for the world.   He’d have been throwing elbows on his way up the stairs toward the helicopter (wondering about the poor heartbroken women who wouldn’t survive if he didn’t make it out of there).  Ok, Patrick was never THAT callous, but he was pretty damned close.

Love has transformed him.  THIS Patrick worried about his family.  THIS Patrick could think of the families of all of the others who wanted them back home that day.  While he was saving others, Robin was bonding with Emma – and praying that they would all be back together again.  Each in their own way recommitted to their loving family.

By the way, given the annual disaster event (or what seems like an annual disaster event), why does anyone in that town ever leave home? Why haven’t they all moved elsewhere?

All My Children

Reese touching Bianca’s cheek as she cried at the altar would have warmed by heart… IF Reese weren’t just kissing Zach a short while before that.  What do I love most about Reese?  How much she makes the audience appreciate what real women Maggie and Lena were!  Bianca’s two greatest loves, and TPTB wasted a Binks wedding on Reese. 

Rather than suffer through another eye-boink between Reese and Zach, I would have loved to have had either Maggie or Lena wiping Binks’ tears away.  Those tears would have meant something, then.

One Life to Live

Tea with?  ANYONE.  I love Tea’s chemistry with everyone she’s with, and sadly even with Todd.  It doesn’t seem likely the writers will ever go anywhere with the two… they’re past lovers who’ve developed a sibling relationship (icky as that sounds – it’s the reverse of a BnB lovestory where past siblings become future lovers once they learn they’re no longer related by blood).

Since we most likely won’t get Tea and Todd, I’m still lovin’ the Rex/Gigi relationship.  I’m not fully sold, but I love the friendship/lover vibe the two have.  Wes and Marty are equally, if not more, interesting -but for all the wrong reasons.  They’re  a trainwreck in the making!  Wes doesn’t know Marty all the well, but he’s got her number.  He’s figured out that not only is she using him to get to Todd, but to get to McBain, as well, and he’s not having it! 

Now, if only Wes would learn enough about Marty’s history to ask her how she can afford to keep drinking when she’s supposed to have Lupus.   Has Marty gone into classic soap remission?  Is it just that the writers have forgotten about Marty’s illness?  Outside of the drinking, Marty and Wes have it going on… if only it would go on a while longer… we’ll see.

Oh AMC writers, did you have to?

Soapgod knows I already hated Ryan “godofallwomenifonlyinmyownhead” Lavery, but you had to throw Reese in there too?  Let’s for one moment ignore:

1.  that Reese thought it was ok for a married man to impregnate her girlfriend without telling his wife (her girl’s sister).

2.  that she betrayed Binks with Zach and left her feeling insecure.

3.  that she even thought of leaving Binks and their daughters behind to return to Europe

4.  that she had a fiance she hid from Binks.

5.  that she snarks on Kendall as if KENDALL  has done something wrong.  She thinks Kendall hates her just because of the way she looks at her.  HA!  I look at her that way too!  I wonder if it’s possible for soap characters to catch viewers’ reflected images through the screen?  EH!  Of course not… but for a moment, I thought maybe Reese was mistaking the disgust viewers’  faces must show every time she dumps on Binks or Kendall to excuse her inappropriate relationship with Zach.

6.  Reese’s ridiculous overreaction to her mother asking if two of the guests at the bridal shower were also lesbians.  Mother Willians was curious, and she was smiling and laughing at the playful affections between the two friends.  Reese, in essence, created the picture of a robe-and-hood wearing bigoted mother who hates all others different from herself.  It’s too bad that her mother only smacked her once.  I wanted her to give Reese a slap from me, too.

Oh Reese, projection much, dear?  Worried that your mother is uncomfortable with you identifying as a lesbian, though she loved you enough to put her issues aside in order to be at the shower supporting you?

WHO, exactly, is uncomfortable with your identification as a lesbian?  Ah, that’s right, YOU are.  It’s why you keep swapping saliva with your bride’s brother-in-law.  To hear Reese whine that ‘those people’ make her question who she is is pretty much akin to nails on a chalkboard.  Maybe in her world ‘those people’ is actually code for ‘MY ACTIONS’.  Darlin’, it’s impossible for ‘those people’ to make you forget who you are.  You NEVER had an idea who you were/are/is/whatevah.

Even if we could forget all of that, is there any hope of salvaging this character?  Is there anything left to her, other than her fabulously talented portrayer, Tamara Braun?  Is it time to kill this one off and bring her back as her far more likable twin sister?  Too often used?  I see what you mean. 

It’s time for Annie to pull a two-fer, Ryan and Reese… Tamara Braun could turn up as a long lost Zacchara cousin… Could fans stand to have three of the four actresses who’ve played ‘Carly Corinthos’ on screen together?  I’m willing to give it a shot if it means we get rid of Reese!

4 words: Monkeys. Typewriters. Locked Rooms

You know the old writers’ insult, “Monkeys banging on typewriters could do a better job!” Imagine if you not only handed a room full of monkeys a set of typewriters (uh, keyboards), but you then locked them in. Well… that’s ONE way to force them to concentrate on completing your scripts, but watch out! Locking them in a room might add insult to injury and monkeys are pretty vengeful. They also have a pretty wicked sense of humor. Make sure you READ the scripts before you film and then air them for long suffering fans.

One Life to Live

Bitchy Marty, Bitchy Tea, Bitchy TeBessica… ‘effin.love.them.all.

Jessica apologizing and groveling at Natalie’s feet? No thanks. I felt sympathy for Nat “the outsider” for about 10 minutes. I’m over it. She’s still sleeping with the man who cost her sister’s husband his life. An accident? Sure… after months of deceiving him and destroying everything he’d built for his family. I’m hoping Tess and Bess have teamed up to finish taking Nat and Jared down – without plotting anyone’s death, by the way. Abject misery is enough for me, thanks. Tea taking guff from Blair? I don’t think so. Tea and Blair live different realities. Tea is a badass by nature. She’s shown tremendous growth and change and I love how spunky she is. Blair? Badass, on occasion, doormat more often than not. The woman slept with Spencer Truman just after Todd, the ‘great love’ of her life, was sentenced to execution. Despite every reasonable warning to the contrary, she made Truman a part of her children’s lives. My money is on Tea. Marty Saybrooke being left alone with Janet Ketring/Lee Halpern? Seriously, were the monkeys also STONED when they banged out that moment? Writers, keep an eye on the script monkeys, they’re making you look bad!

It’s annoying enough that Bo and Nora’s situational ethics drag every other living Llanview resident through the muck, but Bo and Tahlia leaving JK/LH alone with an angry and self-destructive Marty? The woman tried to force Todd to commit suicide for what he did to her (with JK/LH’s help). So they let her confront JK/LH, alone, wearing a coat which could very well have contained a weapon, and carrying an uzi sized purse? They actually LEFT the motel? I have to say, violence isn’t my thing, but I got a chuckle out of JK/LH cracking a vase over Talia’s head and taking off. Too bad Bo didn’t get one of those, as well! You’d think JK/LH was a witness for the defense  for as careless as they’ve been about her safety.  It must be nice to be pals with people like Bo and Nora. They use their offices to go after people you don’t like if you’re a friend, no matter how flimsy the evidence, nor the cost to the good folks of Llanview.

Oh, and locked-away-typewriter-banging monkeys? Less smug from Antonio and Nora, please. They’re on the side of RIGHT, and they leave me wanting to see Tea wipe the smug off of their faces – unless that’s what you wanted and then I feel played (well done). If I’m wrongfully faulting you and it’s the choices made by the actors, please speak to the director and ask him to handle it.

The Bold and The Beautiful

Bridget is a designer now? You magnificent vengeful monkeys, you! You really did get the last laugh, didn’t you? I wish I could laugh with you, but I can’t. It hurts. Did you have to pay the writers back at the viewers’ expense? An accelerated undergrad preMed program, supposed ‘years’ of study in medical school. Internships, Residency, saving lives, bringing babies into the world, bringing her aunt Katie back from the dead, saving her brother from jail following Phoebe’s death… and Bridget wants to give it all up to start designing for the company that just ripped off her father’s and brother’s newest collection. Bridget… giving up medicine for THAT!

She’s doodled haute couture  gowns for years and was just too afraid to tell anyone?  Her work is even better than life-long designer Clarke Garrison… stuff she sketched when not practicing medicine 23/6 and no one knew?  Uh, because despite the fact that EVERY one of her adult sibs, her nieces and nephew, and BOTH of her parents work in the fashion industry, she was too afraid to tell them she has a passion for fashion? Ok, works in your universe, but typewriter-banging-monkeys, if the writers don’t feed you, refuse to type out scripts on an empty stomach. It makes you a little loopy.

This wouldn’t hurt so bad if it weren’t a follow up to the “fabulous Paminis”… Pam Douglas, insta-designer with a CROCHET technique so secret that only Pam can churn out the one of a kind hot yarn bikinis… So what is Bridget’s Auntie Pam kicking out? 20 a day in the Forrester sweatshop? Monkeys, explain yourselves! Is there something in the air at FC that makes anyone who passes through the hallowed halls a genius in the design world (all except Clarke it seems)?

Guiding Light

Alan wanting revenge against a cheating Beth? I get that. For once in his life, Alan is as devoted as he’s ever has been to a woman, maybe the most faithful he’s ever been. (Beth hasn’t been faithful to anyone since she was a teen) She  gives birth to his child, while still raising his grandchildren and making him part of their lives.  Then she cheats on him. He now knows that he’s met his match in Beth.  No one loves Alan as much as he loves himself.  Ditto on Beth. He’s sleeping with his mirror image and it’s driving him mad, life is a cruel mistress, Alan.

I WANT Alan to make Beth miserable, and not for his sake, but because Beth is supremely selfish and sucks as a person. BUT…Alan grabbing the letter opener, TWICE (something TPTB aired when the scenes picked up with a third and fourth time during the next day’s episode, too)? Good mercy. Giving the audience the impression that he would just as soon plunge the opener into her heart because his heart was broken? YIKES!

I don’t remember Alan being violent with women, especially not to the point of contemplating a brutal death for one. He likes owning and controlling women, but he likes owning and controlling everyone. He usually shows more finesse. The old Alan would have had Coop arrested on some trumped up charge, claimed ‘Company’ for himself – leaving Buzz penniless, and set Beth up to think she was going crazy again just to get custody of Peyton. He would have done it all before lunch!  He actually would have kept Buzz on at the restaurant he stole from him and had Buzz SERVE him lunch. Alan is psychotic, but he’s no thug.

Monkeys, you owe the GL writers an apology for what you’ve done to their beloved Alan Spaulding. Shame on you.

All My Children

Zach. Killing Josh. Fathering Gabrielle. Eye-boinking with Reese. Expecting Kendall to understand. Vicious little typewriter-banging-monkeys… You’ve outdone yourselves. I actually like the potential fallout from this one. No criticism, here. This is all soapy goodness. AMC was lucky to have you on staff when you wrote that part of the plot. Kendall, forgive Binks, Reese, and Zach. PRICELESS!

While you’re at it, write that script where David Hayward is loving and unselfish, Adam Chandler has sworn off manipulating the people he loves, Erica Kane gives up designer clothes and all other perks of fine living, and JR Chandler stays sober! See how silly it all seems that anyone would expect forgiveness from Kendall? Whatever she does to them, they’ve got it coming. Maybe Zach should keep a picture of his happy parts in a safe location. The doctors will need it when they’re working on the reattachment and reconstruction!

I can’t give you a pass on Amanda’s pregnancy, however. Does anyone remember the last daytime pregnancy where the mother knew who her child’s father was (Binks excluded, of course) and there was no scandal around the pregnancy? (Whoops, Binks back in!) Why another contested paternity? It’s not like there’s been a shortage of them.

Then again, you’ve been writing for Annie and she’s freakin’ wonderful, so it all evens out in the wash!

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.

AMC – Binks the Jinx?

Frankie Stone

Maggie Stone

Reese Williams

Besides being romantically involved with Bianca Montgomery, what do they all have in common?

Each of these women seemed/s to be conflicted about her sexuality (Reese surprising me most of all – she was introduced as such a strong, confident, and self-assured woman). Bianca has a penchant for choosing women who are running from themselves – and from her to some degree!

Both Frankie, before she died, and Maggie finally came around. So where is Reese going? What is her attraction to Zach about?

Was this all planned before the character’s arrival – the reason Zach surprisingly became Bianca and Reese’s daughter Gaby’s father?

Did the onscreen chemistry between Kaye’s Zach and Braun’s Reese prove to be too tempting for the writers to pass on? After the relationships with Frankie, Maggie, (oh yes, Zarf), and now Reese, are we to deduce that Binks is mightily unlucky at love or that she’s a glutton for self-inflicted pain?

What gives? Is it time to open the door for Lena’s return – or is it safe to say that even a returning Lena won’t change Bianca’s luck?

And to think, the writers continue to commit to Ryan and Greenlee… now I’m feeling unlucky! End the misery of Rylee soon, writers, PLEASE! I don’t know how much more I can take.