August 14, 2006
Here I am again, apologizing for being so late. The best laid plans... blah blah blah. But after being on vacation, then losing Boris, I just didn't have it in me. And while I'm still not up to snuff, there is SO much going on that needs to be discussed that I'm sucking it up, for now, and diving in to discuss the McTravisty that our show has become. My tunes today are Stiff Little Fingers, Inflammable Material; Beck, Odelay; Social Distortion, Sex, Love and Rock-n-Roll; Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk; and a cd I made myself, with the oh so original title of More Punk Tunes. This Editorial reflects the shows that aired from August 7 - August 11.
Where does one begin when just about everything going on right now is either 1) dull, b) stupid or 3) a disgusting display of horrid storytelling and production. I know many of you are not pleased with the new way AMC is being filmed. Personally, it doesn't bother me so much. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. To me, AMC has far bigger issues than some new film and some occasional shakiness. But for those of you who are bothered by it, you want to direct your angst to AMC's Executive Producer, Julie.Carruthers@abc.com
What is bothering me? Let's start with the influx of newbies at the cost of important veterans. There are six, count em, six new contract players in the past few months. Jeff Martin (John James), Jamal Cudahy (Marcus Patrick), Sean Montgomery (Brent Weber), Colby Chandler (Amber Childers), Sydney whoever (Taylor Gildersleeve) and Annie McDermott (Melissa Claire Egan).
Of these characters, I count one that is necessary, and that is Jeff Martin. Then again, if they had never even approached this insanity that Josh is the Walking Talking Fetus, he wouldn't have been necessary either. But since they did, he is necessary. I hate the whole idea of this storyline. It's not even close to grounded in any kind of reality and it just smacks of an agenda to me. Ms. McTavish succeeded in undoing one of the most important and groundbreaking storylines in AMC history, Erica's abortion. She also continued her decimation of that history by changing Erica's reasons from pure vanity and self involvement (Erica was embarking on a modeling career, she didn't have time to be a mother, nor did she want to be... she wanted a career) to making her torn and confused, tossing in that her rape at a young age played a role in her decision, even though at that time she didn't even remember being raped. Ms. McTavish, of all people, should know that soap fans have memories... very long memories. To completely abandon history is not the way to keep your old fans around. But, in this instance, I was able to get past all that crap because I have been enjoying the performances so much. So, while I give Ms. McTavish no credit and continue to fault her for the ruination of such an important part of AMC history, the actors involved... John James (Jeff), Susan Lucci (Erica) and Colin Egglesfield (Josh) have risen above the crap they were given to perform and made me care about all of them and their situation. That is a testament to some fine acting. Whoever said actors are only as good as what is written for them was dead wrong. A good actor can rise above the drivel and still pull out some amazing performances.
On to the next one. Annie is temporarily necessary, but could easily have been recurring like her gross husband Terry (played by Matthew R. Walton). While still speculative, it seems clear to me that her daughter Emma will end up being Kate Martin. There is also speculation that she will be Ryan's next love interest. So the jury is still out on whether or not she is needed as a contract player. But if anyone needed a new love interest cast it's Simone, not Ryan.
Jamal Cudahy. True, the show needed more color. And true, he's the hottest thing to enter the playing field since MyJosh. But how is it that the minute Jamal is brought back to town, his adoptive mother Livia (played by the fabulous Tonya Pinkins) is bumped to recurring and we have yet to see his adoptive father Tom? I will give AMC credit for one thing, they have brought him back slowly and haven't shoved Jamal down our throats. Although I have to admit, I wouldn't mind him shoved down mine.
Sean Montgomery. I don't have much to say about this character since he hasn't really aired yet other than to sneak into Jack and Erica's house. But I'll go out on a limb and say, unnecessary.
And that brings us to the horror that is Sydney and Colby. First of all, when Liza and Colby left town 2 years ago, Colby was 5 years old. She is now about to turn 16. Fine, SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) is a fact of life on soaps. But Colby has returned without her mother for one thing, and is a total skankola brat for another. So are we to believe that Liza, who raised this child alone and on the run, spoiled her on the finer things in life as much as Adam would have if they stayed with him? Are we to believe that Liza, who raised this child alone and on the run, taught her how to be a manipulative little wench who throws temper tantrums? I guess we are supposed to believe that because that is exactly how she is portrayed, with this enormous sense of entitlement and a nasty streak. TPTB like to spin this as she is the perfect combination of both Liza and Adam, and maybe if she had grown up in Chandler Mansion, I would understand her more. But instead of coming to Pine Valley, that little wench needs to go to one of those boot camps for teenagers, learn some manners and how to act her own age. I don't find her the least bit interesting to watch. I don't find her funny or cutesy in the least. I find her annoying and when paired with Winifred's sudden niece, Sydney, I want to gouge my eyes out instead of having to sit through such inane drivel. How many times can one person utter the word "biotch" anyway!? In the latest ABC Soaps in Depth magazine, Brian Frons, President of Daytime for Disney-ABC Television Group declared Amber Childers, who plays Colby, AMC's next star. Bold claim, especially given what we have seen so far. I mean no offense to Amber, she may be a hell of an actress who hasn't yet learned how to rise above the horror of the writing. So here's some unasked for advice to ABC Daytime... get this girl some better writing, some interesting storyline, some interaction with her Grandmother Marian, who hello, is still in Pine Valley and has yet to see her or even be mentioned, and lose the Paris/Nicole act! Let's see her in situations that are Liza-esque if that's what you're going for, not this inane crap with birthday parties, and wanting a car, and picking on the maids niece because she's not as rich as you. OMG... I hadn't even thought of this, but are they trying to make Sydney into the next Jenny!? Oh now I'm sick to my stomach.
So... there you have it. The parade of mostly meaningless newbies while veterans like Palmer, Myrtle, Brooke, and David flounder on the back burner. While amazing talents like Opal, Marian and Livia are bumped to recurring status. While fan favorites like Reggie, Danielle, and Simone get nothing to do. Take a bow Mr. Frons, under your guidance, this one great soap has become 5 hours a week of meaningless drivel.
Well, now I'll attempt to talk storylines. Zach and Dixie have been arrested for Greg Madden's murder and suddenly Pine Valley jail has adjoining cells where they keep men and women together. You know why? So Tad and Kendall could walk in on Zach and Dixie canoodling. That's it. That's the only reason. Next time someone gets arrested, I'd be willing to bet that the adjoining cells are gone and they are back to being across from each other.
The interesting thing about this case is that there are many people who look and act guilty, but all have denied killing Greg. And that my friends, is the rub. Because technically, the earthquake killed Greg. So if you want to argue semantics, no one did kill Greg, nature did. So, when Babe asked JR if he killed Greg and he said no... if he and Jamie did bury Greg, it's not a lie. Because the question was "did you kill Greg Madden?" And it's the same with Kendall asking Zach if he killed Greg. I don't know who did it, I'm just saying people are not asking the right questions!
Anywho... Tad is walking around with this colossal chip on his shoulder because, while he can boink Krystal for no reason, Dixie isn't allowed to plant a kiss on Zach. Yep that is the reason. Tad logic dictates that seeing Zach and Dixie kiss means they are having an affair. One question Tad, what's it to you? Why do you care so much that you can be surly and annoying and rude to everyone? That was two questions. But I don't get it. He sleeps with Krystal, is seen doing the deed by Dixie but all he sees is a kiss and suddenly he's so pissy no one can stand being around him? And he's evasive about it. Kendall grills and grills him about what he knows and he won't come out and say it. Instead he tells her that if she keeps digging she's going to find out something she may not want to know. So far is the stick up Tad's ass that even Derek wants to know what his issue is. Tad finally says out loud that Dixie and Zach are having an affair, of course, in earshot of Kendall. She's shocked and calls Tad a liar. Zach gives Tad his best glare and then he and Kendall go into the courtroom to talk. Zach tells Kendall he has never slept with Dixie, but he does cop to the kiss. I did like how he told Kendall that Dixie was just some desperate skank looking for some comfort. OK, he didn't say the skank part. But he thought it! Kendall is not pleased and, falling back into her old Kendall patterns, insists that Zach cut all ties with Dixie. And because ultimatums have worked so well for her in the past, Zach, of course, will do no such thing and Kendall will have to deal.
Meanwhile Tad and Dixie are having a confrontation. Tad delivers this weeks LINE OF THE WEEK when he says, "I look at you now, I see somebody who's heartless, a selfish woman who obviously gets off on sleeping with married men." Oh Tad, that was a thing of beauty. And so true, but not exactly new. She's always loved sleeping with married men. Just as Brooke. So, while she has not slept with Zach (yet), the words are still very true. And Dixie responds with, "Well, then you've been sadly misinformed, because I happen to respect marriage..." So laughable are these words coming from (as we call her on my message boards, thanks to Monica) The Faithless Whore that I'm shocked lightning didn't come down and strike her dead right then and there! My deep wish is that it was JR and Dixie who did Madden in and that they can both leave and be out of my misery once and for all.
Elsewhere we have JR, Jamie and Julia on board a yacht... is it the Fidelity? Is it the At Last? Is it the Regeneration (wasn't that Madden's yacht's name?) or is it someone else's. Who knows, who cares. JR is acting as though finding Babe alive is the most important thing in the world to him. So concerned is he that he jumps right into the ocean, that's the Pine Valley ocean you know, when he sees a piece of driftwood, thinking it's Babe. My my, how far we have come from premeditated murder plots. Now he's actually trying to save Babe's life. Do we detect my sarcasm and skepticism? I hope so. Jamie jumps in after him, and unfortunately saves JR. Damn him!
Oh did I mention that MyJosh kidnapped Babe in his dad's private jet that he knows how to fly, but never thought to look and see if he had gas? Yep... that's what happened. Josh is not only a medical marvel, a whiz on Wall Street, a doctor, a TV producer, but he can also fly a plane and later he'll be an executive at a cosmetics company. He's Josh of all trades. So of course, they crash into the ocean when the plane runs out of gas. And of course, they survive and wash up on a deserted island because, well... Pine Valley Ocean is full of uninhabited islands. Then Josh professes his love for Babe, who shoots him down because she's in love with the man who tried to kill her, several times. Josh isn't thrilled but what can he do? Well, he can snuggle with Babe while she's asleep so that when JR finds them he can see them intertwined. Good Lord, who writes this trash!? That would be Megan.McTavish@abc.com. Blah blah blah, Babe jumps into JR's arms. JR and Josh trade barbs. Everyone goes home.
At the Yacht Club, Erica is waiting to hear if Josh has been found and has breakfast with none other than Myrtle. Yep you read that right. Myrtle was on this week. I know, I'll wait until you can pick yourself up off the floor after fainting from the shock. OK? OK. I have to say, one thing I am enjoying is Erica. I love her concern for Josh, her desire to have a real relationship with him. So it was nice to see the relief on her face when Jeff showed up at the yacht club and told her that Josh had been found and was ok. But when Josh arrives, he's not all that interested in talking to Jeff and Erica. It's Babe to the rescue again. She convinces Josh that he should hear Erica and Jeff out. They head to the At Last, so the three of them can try and make sense of this extremely ludicrous situation they find themselves in.
Josh informs Erica and Jeff that he wants nothing from them and he just wants to live his life, although he appreciates their effort. Erica really wants to tell Josh everything and informs him that the termination was all her decision and that Jeff never even knew she was pregnant. She wants to make sure that if Josh is going to hold it against them, that he knows it was only she who decided to do it. That is the most mature thing I have ever seen Erica do, and I have to say, I'm proud of her. Our SCENE OF THE WEEK continues as Erica continues with this new trend of being completely honest. So when Josh asks her if she has any regrets, Erica tells him that she doesn't. She doesn't regret the decision she made, and she doesn't regret that he is here now. She tells him that she made the best choice for herself at the time and pulls out that emotional past that played a part in her decision (but it really didn't). She tells him she wasn't ready to be a mother and she cannot apologize for her choice. But she cares about him and wants him in her life. This is all too much for MyJosh to absorb at the moment so he leaves.
Brooke committed coitus interruptus when she walked into Jamie's apartment and got an eyeful of her son getting his grove on with Julia. Why did she just walk into Jamie's apartment? Because like all other people in Pine Valley, he left the door open while he was doing the deed.
For some reason Adam has decided he will do anything he can to help Dixie beat the murder charges. Isn't this the same guy who, a few weeks ago, insisted that Dixie confess to get the heat off JR?
It sure seems like Adam knows Tad and Krystal did a little bit of the horizontal hula. As I've said, you can see it coming a mile away (and I'm speculating here, not revealing), it seems as though Krystal will end up pregnant so McTavish can have yet another story that centers around a baby.
When did Dixie find the time between sticking her tongue down Zach's throat, sparring with Tad, looking at pictures of children and going to jail to give herself an Ogilvie home perm?
Speaking of Dixie, she declares that it's her fault that Madden is dead. Does this mean she buried him? Not necessarily. But it is true that it's her fault. The person who did it, whoever that may be, did it for her and that was proven by the CD of Madden's last words. Which immediately rules out Erica. Why would she care if Dixie ever found her baby. She wouldn't.
The chip on Tad's shoulder grows ever bigger as he meets up with arch nemesis and other half of the Tad/David super couple, David and informs him that the woman they collectively love, is boinking Zach. David doesn't want to believe it, not his Faithless Whore, she couldn't be boffing yet another man!
Confused and upset, Josh goes to the FUSION rooftop in hopes of finding Babe. Of course, she's there. And of course, JR comes to check on her and is about to see Josh with Babe again. Then insanity ensues and Erin blocks JR from going to the roof so he can't see them together. Why Erin cares, I have no idea. JR knows Josh is up there and tells Erin that if he sees Josh with Babe again, he will toss him off the roof. Ahh yes, that's the JR we know. The violent asshole who, this time, cannot blame his rage and threats on alcohol. Erin, who wants to save JR from committing Joshicide, decides to embrace her inner slut and offers to try and occupy Josh's time, if you know what I mean, in an effort to keep him away from Babe. Turns out she will get lots of opportunity to skank it up for Josh because when they come down off the roof, Babe informs Erin and JR that she has just hired Josh on at FUSION. So much for that medical career. Jeff and Joe will be crushed! And get this, JR has the enormous balls to tell Josh that he should be in jail for kidnapping Babe! Um... pot meet the kettle! JR should be in jail for several attempted murders! Sheesh... why don't people ever learn to shut up before they sounds like complete idiots.
Zach sets out to confront Tad and makes his point very clear by punching him square in the jaw. And Kendall, who is still seething from Zach's admission that he and Dixie kissed heads over to confront Dixie, unfortunately she didn't punch her! Instead she informs The Faithless Whore that she'll take her out before she'll let her bat her eyelashes at Zach again. The Faithless Whore suddenly gets all up in Kendall's face and tells Kendall that if she wants to push Zach away, she'll gladly snap him up. She goes a step further and tells Kendall that she's so lucky to have Zach and if she can't see that, she doesn't deserve him. Excuse me, bitch!? Who are you to decide who deserves whom!? Why oh why couldn't she just stay dead!!! To make matters worse, during this confrontation, Zach shows up. Zach, who I'm having a real hard time understanding lately, watches as Kendall storms out, and then stays with Dixie. Zach, it's times like these you leave The Faithless Whore behind and go after your wife!
Back at the condo when Zach arrives home, my understanding of him is put to even a greater test. Kendall apologizes and kisses and kisses and kisses him and then tells him she will do anything to keep him from going to prison. Oh Kendall... you did say anything didn't you. You did. So get ready for a whopper. Zach's brilliant idea for a defense is to prove Tad is right and that he and Dixie are having an affair. I swear you read that right. This is Zach's defense strategy. So if they can prove that Zach and Dixie were getting their freak on the night Madden disappeared, that will prove their innocence. Kendall doesn't think anyone will buy into it because he was so committed to her, saved her and Spike's life even. But Zach's answer to that is that he thought he lost her and was looking for comfort, and since everyone knows what a whore Dixie is, she happily took him to her bed. OK, he didn't say that part, but he thought it! Kendall doesn't like this idea at all and doesn't want to have to push Zach away and into the arms of The Faithless Whore who made it very clear that she's waiting in the wings for him. Kendall asks Zach why, if he didn't kill Madden, he needs an alibi anyway. Ahh... the million dollar question. Too bad Zach didn't answer her.
Lily and Jonathan are basking in their lives together. They both have jobs at ConFusion and Lily is still planning on going to MIT in the future. She writes her admission essay and it's just so sweet. She talks about her life and how being with Jonathan has made her feel more normal. It's all so sweet that it has to come crashing down, and it does. Jack has heard Jonathan talking to Erin and knows that Jonathan has recovered. He cannot get Jonathan to admit he is lying so he has a petition drawn up to have Lily declared incompetent so he can have the marriage annulled. Oh Jack, this is so bad... very bad. We're supposed to believe that Jack is doing this for Lily's own good, that he has her best interest at heart because in his view, Jonathan is trying to hurt Lily. But we know that Jonathan is trying to keep Lily from being hurt and is willing to sacrifice his own happiness for Lily's. Is it right? No, but his intentions are good. So from my POV, Jack is doing all he can to destroy his daughter for his own purposes. Jonathan does all he can to convince Jack that he would never hurt Lily, but Jack won't budge even when Lily tells him how happy she is and how much she likes her life. Lily is so upset when Jack leaves that she wants Jonathan to hold her. She tells Jonathan that he makes her feel safe.
Erica and Ryan tag team Jack and tell him how wrong this petition is and how he will succeed in destroying Lily. Jack seems to realize that she will hate him forever, but he's willing to take that chance to get her away from Jonathan. Jack informs Ryan that Jonathan has recovered, but Ryan doesn't believe it. He tells Ryan to talk to Erin. And that is exactly what he does, at the court house when the hearing is just about to get underway. Jonathan and Erin deny the truth at first, but they can't lie to Ryan so they come clean. Jonathan convinces Ryan that he loves Lily and is only doing what he's doing to keep her happy.
Nice little bit of history here... Amanda gives Lily a coin that Trevor used during trials to keep himself calm. If you recall, Trevor was Lily's step father at one time, when he was married to Lily's mother, Laurel. So as the hearing gets underway, Erin, Amanda and Julia are all there to testify on Lily's behalf and Lily then must testify for herself. Jack's lawyer asks her a lot of questions about when she ran away and she has to relive the Terry nightmare. Jack should be completely ashamed of himself for doing this to his daughter. Jonathan can't stand to see Lily so upset so he stops the proceedings.
You'll notice I haven't named a PERFORMER OF THE WEEK or an I NEED TO BE SLAPPED AWARD this week. Never fear dear readers, I did not forget. PERFORMER OF THE WEEK goes to every actor on AMC who is forced to act out the inane words and storylines that are written for them. And the I NEED TO BE SLAPPED AWARD goes to the three people that I credit with the almost complete ruination of AMC. President of Daytime for Disney-ABC Television Group, Brian Frons, AMC's Executive Producer Julie Hanan Carruthers, and last but certainly not least, AMC's Head Writer Megan McTavish. You'll notice that I included email addresses of these people throughout the Editorial today. I personally believe that taking pen to paper makes a much bigger impact over an email, so if you want to write a letter, buy a stamp and send it to AMC, you can go here for the addresses to send to.
Now, if I were to give the usual awards out this week, the PERFORMER OF THE WEEK would be Lily. To me, a teen character like Lily (or like Reggie, or like Danielle), is infinitely more appealing than the horror that is Colby and Sydney. There is no comparison really. Colby and Sydney should be bit players. They are this years "Hot Girls."
And for the I NEED TO BE SLAPPED AWARD, Jack and Dixie were running neck and neck for who needed a bigger slap. I might have had to give it to both of them.