This Hour Could Be Better Spent Doing Anything, Including Staring at a Wall
All My Children has been bad lately. This is an open secret. It's been painful for me to actually sit and watch it, to the point where I start coming up with things that I absolutely MUST DO at that exact moment so that I can put off watching AMC for a little while. Nails all of a sudden need to be touched up, clothes all of a sudden need to be ironed and I'm overcome with a paralyzing need to know exactly how many old issues of Entertainment Weekly I have kicking around (12, all kept for a reason that made sense to me at the time, like being part of a shrine to the cast of Freaks and Geeks or being used as evidence in my future class action lawsuit against Stephen King for crimes against humanity including Pennywise the Clown and multiple references to himself as "Uncle Steve").
Yesterday, I was priming myself to watch and then all of a sudden was struck by this unbelievable urge to know that the hell the Led Zeppelin song "Kashmir" is actually about, which led me to Wikipedia, that font of user-submitted knowledge. After reading up on "Kashmir", I took a look at the four members of the band and that taught me that Robert Plant isn't even 60 yet, which freaked me the hell out because he looks like he's at least 70, and then that made me wonder who else was born in 1948 and if they also look like a shaggy haired corpse, which led me to Mikhail Baryshnikov (who, for the record, does not look like a shaggy haired corpse), which then led me to Jessica Lange, which taught me that she appeared on Broadway with Christian Slater, and remember when he used to be famous? Those were good times, and so on and so forth, and long story short, did you know that Agatha Christie got the inspiration for Murder on the Orient Express from the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby?
Normally, I'd feel bad about wasting time on something so trivial, but, hello, my other option was sitting and watching All My Children. At least my jaunt to Wikipedia was educational and could help me later in life, should I ever appear on Jeopardy! or get targeted by a serial killer who asks pop culture questions like in Scream. What has AMC taught me lately?
- That Ryan is sexy
- That stripper poles are work appropriate
- That if you write a book in two hours and have it published a week and a half later, you may get a stalker
- That even great actors can't sell crappy dialogue and storylines consistently enough to keep a show together
None of that will aid me on a game show or help me in the hands of a quizzical serial killer, so thanks for nothing, AMC.
Let's start with the...thing that's eating the entire show. The thing that was born from either a writer saying, "You know what's always fun? A good love triangle. Remember how the last good love triangle was in the mid 90s on General Hospital? I think we could bring that back, but make it even better by adding another person and amnesia! Watch your back, Y&R! I smell a new ratings leader!" or from someone taking massive amounts of peyote. Do people still take peyote? I don't know. I'll research that instead of watching today's episode of AMC.
The first time I saw that promo, I thought I hallucinated it. And then I got REALLY scared, because I know that I can be a little bit daffy sometimes, but I didn't think my mind was so far gone that I'd imagine something so wholly ridiculous.
(Side note: why is Melissa Claire Egan's mouth like that? And did you know that she was on the cover of Girl Talk?)
There are three distinct issues that I have with this stupid quadrangle aside from the obvious fact that the official Serial Drama position is that quadrangles suck:
(1) I have no issues with Cameron Mathison, the person. He's a very handsome man, if prone to crazy eyes, and, if comments by co-stars are anything to go by, he seems like an awesome, well-liked person. So we're cool. Or would be if we knew each other. But...in the most recent issue of Soap Opera Digest, they have a spread about soap stars celebrating milestones this year and he originally joined AMC ten years ago. That's 10 years of being told how sexy and hot and amazing and perfect Ryan is, and 10 years of other characters and, like, medical science being manipulated so that Ryan has every eligible girl in Pine Valley throwing herself at his feet. That's a very, very long time to spend on the same storyline.
(2) The original Kendall/Ryan/Greenlee triangle was terrible and I have absolutely no desire to relive it. Yeah, the amnesia angle and the presence of Annie might make it different, but it brings up a lot of bad memories of those three characters at their worst.
(3) Why does Kendall even have to be a part of this story? Wouldn't it work just as well for Ryan to get amnesia and think he's still in love with Greenlee? That way they could have a Ryan/Greenlee/Annie triangle and Kendall could be part of her own story with Zach or anybody else. It's not like the dynamics between Kendall, Ryan and Greenlee are so perfect that the story would be a mess without Kendall, because they aren't. And I love Alicia Minshew to death but, you know, they could have her off the front burner for a while. It's not a necessity that she be a part of this godforsaken story.
And then it gets even more complicated when you factor in Kendall's dreamboat husband, who had a bonding experience with Greenlee, whose boyfriend had ill-advised grief sex with Kendall when they thought Zach and Greens were dead, a secret that hasn't come out yet but surely will soon and send Greenlee and Zach into each other's orbit again and--gah! It's so complicated! If you're going to write a story so convoluted that you need a rubric to follow it, can't you make it good?
I don't have the world's most glamorous job; I work in an office not unlike the office on The Office, except we sell houses, not paper. I answer the phone. I sometimes wonder if working for a fabulous cosmetics company would be better, although if they are anything like Fusion, I'd be working alongside two babynappers.
But if having a glamorous job means that there is an off chance that your boss would install a STRIPPER POLE into your place of employment and get you POLE DANCING LESSONS as some sort of team building/stress relieving exercise...well, then I'm thankful for the fact that our stress relief and team building consist mainly of Successories posters hung all over the place.
A STRIPPER POLE! It was one of those days that I was ashamed of everything in the world. I felt so embarrassed that I watch All My Children and I have to tell you that when a person who loudly and proudly watched Days of Our Lives through the Melaswen era and counts Gossip Girl and The Hills as top television addictions says she's ashamed to watch a show that that means something. And I'm not trying to be all "Tee hee", self deprecating and ironic. I'm seriously saying that I have very low standards and that watching AMC was cringe worthy in a way that Simon and Ryan's awkwardly scripted banter on American Idol is not.
I could start on a huge rant about the pornification of our culture, but I won't, because I've gone on enough tangents already. But I will ask what the hell sort of deficiencies the people at ABC Daytime have, what with the pole dancing here and the never ending parade of violence against women on General Hospital. The works of V.C. Andrews have a healthier attitude towards women.
Speaking of the myriad ways in which ABC shows respect towards their viewing audience: Kendall was nearly raped by a crazed romance novel fan. Can we please declare a moratorium on rape/attempted rape stories on soaps?
And...Charm! inspired a man to go all nutty crackers and stalk and attack Kendall in the roughly 8 days that it has been available for purchase. O...kay.
As much as it pains me to say it, I need to break up with Richie. It's sad, because I think Billy Miller is awesome, and he had such potential, but they've made him so wretched, and not in the fun way. And, okay, isn't he a convict? Like, a newly released convict? How on earth is he able to have a staff of thugs at his disposal?
I am worried about Ambyr Childers. She's getting very, very thin very, very quickly and I am having flashbacks to the Kirsten Storms/Lamp incident. Ambyr, you are adorable!
Jesse and Angie's reunion is still the most enjoyable part of the show, but it's not quite as awesome as it was a few days ago. The only logical explanation for the swift downturn in awesomeness can be summed up thusly: Krystal Freaking Carey. I swear to you, this woman taints anything that she touches. She could probably ruin Sephora and Starbucks if I let her. I feel bad because I quite like Bobbie Eakes, but whenever I see Krystal, I just have this instantaneous reaction and my eyes roll. I can't stomach her. Is it wrong that I hope Robert Gardner kills her? I know it would leave Jenny motherless, but it opens up a whole new world for storyline possibilities where, for some reason, Tad and Adam raise her together in some inspired My Two Dads homage. Think about it.