July 9, 2001
This Editorial is actually an open letter to AMC.
I can't for the life of me figure it out. I'm a 20+ year viewer and never have I witnessed such shoddy and incomplete story telling. When you chose to do a storyline about a very serious real life issue, I think you have a responsibility to actually research the facts or don't attempt it at all. Laura's heart transplant was about the biggest joke of a storyline I have seen in a long long time, when it could have been timely, relevant and informative.
Let's start with before the surgery. Laura is supposed to be so ill that she was moved to the top of the donor list. Yet she swimming in the ocean (when she doesn't know how to swim!), running around in the park, and ignoring all medical advice. She is not on life support, she is rarely on a heart monitor when she's in the hospital, she has visitors constantly. Brooke keeps meeting with the people who are the next of kin to potential heart donors. She badgers and pressures these people, first the Carter's then Ryan. This storyline was supposed to promote organ donation, but what you have accomplished instead is that it probably turned people off to being a donor. It did for me! And I wouldn't be at all surprised if people who already had donor cards tore them up after seeing how a patient's mother can harass them into donating. It was a disgusting display.
Then here comes the surgery, done in record time. So fast that David never even got a drop of blood on his scrubs. And if I thought that was fast, how about the recovery! Laura is in ICU for one day, and not attached to any machines. She is awake, alert and happy go lucky the next day. She is on no IV's. All she needs is a pillow against her chest. And hold on to your hats... she gets discharged the next day!! It's mind boggling. I don't even know that much about medicine but I know that a transplant is serious and that she would not be discharged in one day. It's a joke. The writers are just too lazy to do research. It's like they are just too lazy to do something that could be thought provoking, interesting, and actually teach viewers something. Instead they throw it together in such a piss poor way that instead of giving viewers something to really think about, they make AMC a laughing stock.
And while I'm at it, if you were just going to kill off Sweeney a week or so later, why in the hell couldn't he be the donor! Yes yes, I know that Esta is on the fence about signing a new contract. I know she has expressed a desire to leave. But what if she doesn't? Her contract isn't up until August, so why is she killed off so definitively when she has over a month left to decide what she wants to do? So this character that is loved by many (a lot more than Laura anyway) is killed off to save Laura. Sure, there has been some very compelling story for Ryan here. And I have enjoyed seeing the ghosts. But I think it could have been just as compelling to have the drug dealer that Laura got her drugs from be the one to save her.
It's sad to see a soap I love get worse and worse. A soap that used to be socially conscious and tell stories responsibly. What I see now is lack of research, inconsistencies and a general lack of enthusiasm to save this soap. I see a soap trying desperately to be something they are not by continually bringing in characters from different soaps. The writers are more concerned with luring viewers from other soaps then they are with saving the one they have. And if the writers and other PTB at ABC don't want to save this soap or make it better, the fans are powerless.