The Pine Valley Bulletin

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Established 1998


January 9, 2007

It's a new year... full of new hope! Right? You do have new hope for the future of AMC don't you? Do I you ask? Well I will say that since my last Editorial filled with doom, I do have some renewed hope. I'm not saying that the things I said then don't still apply. They all do. I'm just saying that with a new year comes hope because without it, what do we have? This Editorial reflects shows that aired from January 2 through January 5, with some best and worst of 2006 thrown in.

For my listening pleasure today, I have The Foo Fighters, The Colour and the Shape; The Pretenders, Singles; Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk; The Foo Fighters, In Your Honor; and The Clash, London Calling.

The week started out with Colby showing bedridden JR her surveillance of Josh's room and Babe in that room. Neither of them realize that the Satin Slayer was coming after Babe and Josh saved her, so he was checking her out to make sure she was ok. Not that they should even consider Babe getting on Josh's bed as anything else than time for another lay, but still. It was innocent, as innocent as Babe can be anyway and I'm glad Babe laid it all out for JR in exactly what had happened. Speaking of Colby, she gets this years WORST RECAST award. Granted the screeching brat aspect of this character has toned down somewhat but I still find her infinitely unappealing and pointless. Bringing her back this year was necessary why? The things she should be doing, she's not (like having scenes with Marian... she's had one and if you blinked you missed it). Which brings us to another worst... WORST TREND this year is the dismissal of veterans in favor of pointless newbies. While the talents of Vincent Irizarry (David) were dismissed, while Julia Barr (Brooke) was offered nothing more than a recurring role and sent off with not only no final scene but no party at the studio either, while Jill Larson (Opal) has made no appearances since she was bumped to recurring status back in June (she will be appearing at the end of January though!), while Jennifer Bassey (Marian) had about 2 scenes this year, and while Michael B. Jordan (Reggie) disappeared never to be seen again, we are treated the parade of newbies ... Annie, Sydney, Sean, Colby, Jamal. Characters and actors with staying power are let go in favor of giving contracts to newbies that have little going for them. Jamal is already gone and it seems that Sydney has gotten herself lost in the Martin attic (wonder if she saw Reggie up there). Out of the five, the one keeper is Annie. The rest can go. Heck if need be she can go too, just leave that adorable Emma (Lucy Merriam) with Ryan since we know he's her father. Out of all the children on All My Children this year and there are many (Emma, Miranda, Spike, Little Adam, and Kathy, not to mention Krystal's baby) she is my favorite. That child can melt your heart, make you laugh and make you cry all in a matter of minutes. So she gets the BEST CHILD ACTRESS award.

Back to the show... I'm trying hard to care about Zach's connection to the murders at FUSION, but considering that at the moment, it makes absolutely no sense at all why someone would be killing innocent women in an effort to get to Zach, it's hard to care. So far we know that Zach's mother died with a white ribbon and gardenia, just like Simone and Erin. We know Zach's mother fell to her death off a balcony when Zach was just a child. We know that Zarf is not the killer. Zach thinks that maybe he pushed his mother over the balcony but he doesn't know for sure. We don't know who the killer is, how they know about how Zach's mother died, why they care or why they are going to continue killing. I wonder, AMC brought back Kenny Adler, the lawyer Simone dated briefly, for some reason. Is he the killer or is he just a red herring?

Until the murderer is caught though, Ryan wants to make sure that Spike is safe and is going to take him to live at the penthouse with him, Annie and Emma. Kendall, who knows that Ryan is really Emma's father from a sperm donation, is not at all thrilled about this. She doesn't like Annie. She doesn't like Emma. She doesn't like anyone who will take Ryan's mind off her and her endless cesspool of need. She has no reason to dislike Annie other than her own selfishness. She doesn't want Ryan, but she doesn't want anyone else to have him either. Kendall needs to have him pining for her probably so she has someone to fall back on if things with Zach don't work out. It's ridiculous and I hate this side of Kendall. Get over yourself, concentrate on your life and let Ryan live his Kendall!

Now... should Kendall tell Ryan and Annie that he is Emma's father? Interesting dilemma. On the hand, with Ryan and Annie getting closer, it would be nice for them to know so Ryan can be a real father to Emma, if that is what they want to do. On the other hand, Ryan was an anonymous donor who has no rights to the child. All things considered, I think Ryan and Annie should know so they can decide what to do with the information. I think Kendall should come clean because, even though it's none of her business, the fact that she knows and never told Ryan will come back to haunt her later. But Kendall being Kendall, she doesn't want to tell Ryan and pretends it's because of the anonymous nature of the procedure. But her real reason is that she thinks if Ryan has another child, that child will take time away from her and Spike. Kendall, who is NOT an only child should know that a parent has the capacity to love more than one child. She is some piece of work. Josh, who helped Kendall get the DNA tests on Ryan and Emma, wants Kendall to tell Ryan and Annie because he knows what it's like to be kept from your parents. But Kendall isn't budging and in an effort to keep Josh quiet, she makes a deal that if he doesn't tell, she will help him land Babe for himself. Have you ever heard of a worse idea? Probably, but this one is up there too.

Next award goes to MOST OVERUSED PLOT DEVICE, the surprise child. This coming year Tad will have two, Ryan will have one, Dixie will have one, and goodness knows who else! The idea that someone can come to Pine Valley and not be related to someone somehow, some way is absurd to me. In fact, whenever someone new comes on it's a guessing game on the message boards to see who's child that person is going to end up being. In 2006, IIRC, Josh was the only one but he was a doozy! So desperate to find a new angle to bring in the surprise child AMC wiped out one of the most historical and groundbreaking events they ever had, Erica's 1973 abortion. And while I do enjoy the character of Josh most of the time, and I do like John James in the role of Jeff Martin, I still shake my head in wonder at who came up with such dreck. It's such an insult to viewers who have far more intelligence than we are ever given credit for. Not only was fetus transplant not possible in 1973, it's not even possible now! Get back to your roots AMC... romance, history, socially relevant stories. Get back to allowing your characters to be who they are and stop with plot driven drivel!

Sean has informed Jack that it was he and Colby who sent Erica the 12 days of Christmas gifts, leading her to believe they were from Jack. Jack is a little ticked at first, but Sean urges him to go along with it and that he did it for him, wanting them to work out their differences. Jack reluctantly agrees and plans to take Erica to the yacht for a very special New Year's Eve. But Erica overhears Sean and Colby discussing how they got Jack and Erica back together. Angered, she makes plans of her own for Jack and once they get to the yacht, the rest of the 12 day of Christmas arrive one by one. First a swan ballerina for "Seven Swans a swimming" and so on and so on. What could have been a really cute scene, one where Erica and Jack laugh and enjoy the joke and savor how much they are loved that Sean and Colby went to so much trouble to get them back together, turned into something completely ridiculous. Erica set up the 12 days of Christmas people for revenge and turned it into an anger filled tirade against Jack, claiming he didn't care enough to send the gifts himself. Erica showed her superficiality and shallowness. It was sickening. She berated Jack for doing nothing to get her to come home, but what did she do? She constantly flaunted Jeff in front of Jack and continued to do so by calling him to come to the yacht and then, right in front of Jack, she kisses Jeff. She wanted Jack to show her a gesture of his love for her, which in Erica speak means sending her jewels and gifts. And her own gesture of love for Jack is kissing Jeff. Erica made me very angry that day and I have no choice but to give her this weeks I NEED TO BE SLAPPED award. I hope Jack gets Livia to file those divorce papers now!

Random comments

I found it odd how Amanda was pushing Babe to be with Josh, and trying to keep Josh's hope alive with Babe. Granted, she hates JR and has good reason to, but it still struck me as odd.

And by the same token, Jeff urging Josh to continue to pursue Babe seemed weird to me. I guess I'm just not used to people saying it's ok to go after someone who is married.

Sean and Colby stole a limo and got arrested. I hope they both go to juvvy and are put out of my misery.


How about a couple more awards.... WORST MIRACLE goes to killing off poor little Kathy's parents so that Dixie can have her baby back. It's very clear that a lot of fans were not going to accept Dixie taking a child from the only parents she ever knew, so the only way Tad and Dixie can have their Kate would be for something terrible to happen to the child's parents. It did, and it happened while Fr. Clarence was lurking around and giving Tad and Dixie hope. Since when do angels cause accidents and death of innocent people so someone else could benefit?

WORST STORYLINE probably not only of the year, but of all time... the torture and death of Dr. Madden. Not only was it creepy and disturbing, but it brought about the ruination of Tad Martin. Tad is many things, a killer isn't one of them. He certainly isn't someone who would keep a man in a box underground for a month, which brings us to the award for WORST CHARACTER ASSASSINATION. How does Tad live with himself. Why hasn't there been more guilt, more nightmares, more pain and suffering for Tad. I love Tad, but since he is not going to pay for his crime the usual way, he needs to pay in other ways. I'd like to see Tad haunted by Greg Madden in a Telltale Heart kind of way.

That said, the MOST STAND OUT YEAR award goes to Tad Martin as well. Character assassination or not, Michael E. Knight delivered some of the most amazing performances of the year. My favorite being his testimony against Dixie and Zach on the witness stand (Emmy anyone?), followed closely by his farewell to Simone and his breakdown in Dixie's arms.

The WORST RETURN award goes to Dixie. Now most of you know I'm not a Dixie fan to begin with, but her return has made me hate her even more. She's so selfish I can't even stand watching her on my screen. First it was all about her and her child that she didn't believe Tad could ever love. Then she goes after Zach, who clearly loves Kendall but she doesn't care because according to Dixie, Kendall doesn't deserve Zach. Then she decides that she can replace Kate in Tad's heart with Krystal's baby. She's so obsessed with getting Krystal to admit that she is carrying Tad's child that she spends no time with her own injured son and has had hardly a scene with Little Adam. If this is the Dixie we get, she can go back to living in Oakdale.

Bringing us to the BEST NEW CHARACTER/PERFORMER OF THE WEEK award is Zarf/Zoe. AMC has hit the jackpot with the talented Jeffrey Carlson. At first it was hard to get a handle on Zarf, the eccentric rock star who talks of aura's and higher plains. But it was easy to see pretty quickly that Zarf's over the top demeanor was an act, a persona that the tortured soul was hiding behind. When he finally decided to show who he really was, he chose Bianca to come out to. Someone he thought was a kindred spirit. But when Zoe showed up at Bianca's door, she was stunned and angered. Bianca thought that Zarf was treating her as a conquest and dressed as a woman because she is a lesbian. It was a bit perplexing for Bianca, but soon her barriers were brought down some when Zoe explained her childhood to Bianca, how she always felt like a little girl, but wasn't allowed to have dolls and dresses. Instead her parents bought her baseball's and trucks. Zoe pours her heart out to Bianca tells her that she loves her. She explains that while her physical being is that of a man, she is, at her core a woman who loves women. Bianca is overwhelmed and cannot accept what Zoe is telling her. Zoe urges her to look past the labels of what they are supposed to be and see the woman that Zoe is. Bianca cannot, and shows Zoe the door, where she breaks down in tears after Bianca closes her out.

Meanwhile, Di and Aidan have decided to bait the killer so Di goes up to FUSION from the party at ConFusion to try and flush out the killer. But it's Zoe who shows up. Di had called Aidan when she heard a noise so when they discover that it's in fact Zarf, they are shocked to see him in drag. Zarf plays it up that it's a goof, but Aidan and Di are suspicious and urge him to go down to ConFusion and see if he can fool anyone into thinking he's a woman. Zarf reluctantly goes along with it but is clearly in pain and it goes downhill from there when Bianca spots him. Zarf plays it up, grabs a microphone and sings Falling in Love Again for Bianca. Bianca is so shocked and mortified, she cannot see the pain in Zarf's eyes. Funny thing is, Aidan can. He sees what Bianca is missing. Bianca goes to Zarf and asks him what the hell he is doing. Josh who is there, looks at Zarf and realizes it's him and sets off a chain reaction of people who then recognize him as Zarf. Zarf then delivers the LINE OF THE WEEK when he says to Josh, "Oh. Nice work, Tom Cruise. You've gone and blown my cover." Bianca is more confused by Zarf than ever as he pleads with Babe to help him. It's just then that Derek comes in and wants to take Zarf to the station for questioning. Babe goes with him. Once the questioning is over, Babe takes Zarf back to the Valley Inn and confides to her who he really is. The SCENE OF THE WEEK is Babe's no questions asked acceptance of Zoe. When she holds out her arms to her and says, "Come here Zoe" it's a beautiful moment of acceptance. It's all he wanted from Bianca and she couldn't give it to him.

The next morning Josh goes to see Bianca and make sure she is ok. She confides to Josh the things that Zarf told her the night before about his childhood and how he always felt like he was a woman. Josh remembers an odd phone call he picked up in Zarf's hotel room the night he and Babe went to pitch him the FUSION campaign. The person asked Josh what gender he was and if it was his real gender or his assigned gender. Bianca starts to wonder if Zarf was being truthful all along and feels awful about how she treated Zoe.

Random Comments...

At ConFusion, Bianca ran into an old friend named Leslie and after sharing a kiss at midnight, Bianca took Leslie home and she spent the night. This seemed a little out of character for Bianca to me, but at least she's getting some action!

Jonathan is convinced that Zarf is the killer and will not hear anything to the contrary. He's full of anger and rage and while Annie urges him to let the police handle it, I'm left wondering if the bad has grown back!


Rounding out the awards is MOST FICKLE CHARACTER award to Babe Carey Chandler. She loves JR, she loves Josh. She wants the Christmas gift Josh gave her, she crushes it under her stiletto. She pushes Josh away, she makes out with him at midnight on New Year's. She wants to be with JR, she goes out and leaves him home.

The BEST GUEST APPEARANCE goes to Jesse McCartney. What a great little twist and a wink to the long time fans to have Jesse come back and play himself. The former JR even got to have scenes with the current JR, Jacob Young and with former onscreen dad, David Canary. My favorite little wink was when Adam asked Jesse if they had met before, because he looked so familiar. Cute!

The BEST RETURN has to go to Janet from Another Planet! I admit to being disappointed when I found out that it was Kate Collins reprising the role, not my beloved Robin Mattson. Kate was always my favorite Natalie, Robin my favorite Janet. But Kate won me over lock, stock and barrel! She was absolutely wonderful and I anxiously await her return again in February! The only complaint I have about her last return was the killing of Trevor Dillon.

BEST COUPLE is, was and remains David Hayward and Tad Martin. These two played off each other so well that it will be something sorely missing on the show from now on. And considering I chose them as my favorite couple of 2006, that shows you how much real romance there was on the show this past year.

The final award goes to Brian Frons for the WORST MICROMANAGING BUTTINSKI award. My greatest wish for 2007 is that Mr. Frons will let the shows alone, let the writers write, the actors act and keep his grubby paws off our show!