Let It Bleed
There are people in the world who work best under pressure, operating under the theory that, once you limit yourself to a tiny window of time in which to get something done, you have left yourself no choice but to do it.
I am one of those people. Why do something months in advance when you can do it in a few hours the day before it is due? I find it much easier to focus that way. I have fond memories of the fall of 2004, drinking an entire case of Diet Coke with Lime in one night while I wrote a paper on British War Poetry (...yeah. Good stuff) that was due the next morning. Granted, I was physically shaking and worried that I was going to die of heart failure when I handed it in the next morning, but I got an A, so whatever. Irregular heartbeats can't keep a good woman down!
The people at All My Children, on the other hand, are not that kind of person. This is not to say that I think they'd do a good job, per se, if they had a ton of time to do something, but if they started something far enough in advance, the law of averages says it would have to be a couple of steps up from the crap they get when they rush something.
Like, for example...Tad's reunion with KathyKate. How epically has this been botched?!
The idiocy starts at the top: in the most recent issue of Soap Opera Digest, there is an article about the big reunion with a quote from Brian Frons expressing surprise that it is something that viewers really want to see. Whenever that man opens his mouth, he says something so stupid that words in the English language don't even exist to describe it. I know that he thinks "soap" is a dirty word (hee! Because...soap is clean...whatever, I'm in a mood, shut up) and can't fathom that people tuning into soap operas want to, like, watch soaps, but how is it possible that the man in charge of ABC Daytime is like, "Ohmigod, you guys, it's the weirdest thing, people liked Tad and Dixie together or whatever and they have been waiting for a couple of years to see Tad reunite with their daughter. Can you believe that? These viewers are like martians, with their need for 'emotional payoff' and 'closing open plot threads'. Zany! Let's talk more about reality tv..."
I mean, he could not possibly care less about this. Even the SOAPNet email for this week mentioned Tad's reunion with his and Dixie's daughter LAST in their little AMC blurb:
My main question is...how on earth is Babe capable of going UNDERCOVER as a prostitute? Everything about her screams "I whore myself out to the highest bidder", from her clothes to...um, the fact that she literally does have sex with people for money, social status and to blackmail people into donating bone marrow. But my OTHER question is, shouldn't Tad realizing that his daughter with Dixie is alive and in town be kind of a big deal?
So because Frons is sick of hearing focus groups ask for it, he finally tells the AMC writers to write some sort of story that shows Tad who his daughter is.
BARBARA ESENSTEN: So we need to reunite Tad with his daughter.
JAMES HARMON BROWN: But his daughter is living with Whatshername right now.
BARBARA ESENSTEN: Damn.
JAMES HARMON BROWN: We could have Adam tell Kathy that she'd Tad's daughter and Kathy could be like "Yay! I love Tad! Whatshername sucks!"
BARBARA ESENSTEN: Or we could have Whatshername just get sick of taking care of this kid and drop her off in the park and run away and Tad and Krystal could find her.
JAMES HARMON BROWN: Or we could have aliens take over Pine Valley and transport her from Whatsherface's house to Tad's and Whatsherface could be like "Well, if the aliens want her to be with Tad, who am I to judge?"
BARBARA ESENSTEN: Or...
BARBARA ESENSTEN and JAMES HARMON BROWN: (In Unison) We should totally kill Whatsherface! HIGH FIVE!
I mean, I don't know why I am surprised. This is ABC Daytime we're talking about. You know the episode of The Simpsons where Bart and Lisa play Rock, Paper, Scissor and Lisa thinks to herself "Poor predictable Bart, always choosing rock" and Bart thinks to himself, "Good old rock. Nothing beats rock"? That's what I feel about ABC Daytime. "Poor predictable ABC Daytime, always choosing murder" and ABC Daytime is all "Murder! Woo!"
Blood lust aside...killing off Julia is really the best story here? Really?
I have no experience writing for a soap opera and I'm not sure I'd be very good at it, but all the same, couldn't they have, I don't know...had Tad get shot and grievously injured so that Adam would feel the need to tell him the truth but Julia wouldn't accept it and then she and Tad would have a custody battle for KathyKate and then she'd realize that KathyKate belongs with Tad and be completely heartbroken and leave town? What, could they not stomach the thought of Sydney Penny sticking around for a few more weeks?
So they killed her. Which is just...lazy.
Tad buried Greg Madden alive in the summer of, what, 2006? So that's just about two years that the powers-that-be have had to write a story where they reunite Tad with the daughter he wanted so badly that he buried a man alive in order to find her. And I'm going to be generous and say that the current writers only took over last May, so they have only had a full year to come up with a story that puts Tad and Kathy back together. After TWELVE MONTHS, they decided that the most emotional story they could tell was one where they killed off Kathy's current parental figure to facilitate Tad getting custody of her.
TWELVE MONTHS TO PLAN and their first instinct is "Murder! Woo!"
It's not even that I'm angry that they killed off a legacy character (which, you know, I am, because Julia and Noah ruled, and she's the last Santos on the canvas and the Santos clan makes me think of good times on this show), because, really, death is a part of soaps and if a death is really well done and impacts everyone on the show? It is phenomenal.
This death is not well done and will impact, like, two people and she'll probably be forgotten in about three weeks time. Hell, newer viewers are probably like "Why are they focusing so much on this random extra dying?"
Also, how offensive to the memory of Julia that the last things she sees before she dies are Krystal and Ghost Dixie's cleavage
and Bobbie Eakes's strangely hammy, I Love Lucy-esque facial expressions?
That's not right. RIP, Julia.
Adam admitting that Kathy is actually Kate leads us into one of the writers most favorite things: AdEVILam vs. TaGOODd, also known as All My Hypocrites.
To be sure, I do not believe that it was good or noble or anything but horrible of Adam to withhold the truth about KathyKate, if only because his son could have known his sister, who is a link to his late and now fetchingly CGId mother
So glamorous and otherworldly!
BUT! In his defense, I understand what compelled Adam to do it. Pure hatred and being screwed over at EVERY TURN and having your ENTIRE FAMILY turned against you by someone would make anybody hold a grudge and exact revenge.
Also, he told Tad that he knew where his daughter was and Tad pretty much gave him the finger and said "Eff off, effer". So there's that.
I can see Tad being furious with Adam. I can see JR being furious with Adam, what with the aforementioned link to Dixie that Adam wasn't sharing. I cannot, for the life of me, stomach Babe and Krystal being furious with Adam because he kept a child from her father. I can't. If they wanted to be angry with Adam for something else, perhaps retroactively getting angry with him for the months that he wore Cosby sweaters, I could get where they were coming from.
But for Krystal and Babe, of all people, to get high and mighty on this particular subject? Cameron says "Bitch, please". I am not even going to go into the particulars of the situation, because it will honestly bring on an anxiety attack, but I am just going to say that these two characters broke Bianca's heart and soul by letting her think Miranda was dead while they raised her as Bess, then told JR that Little A was dead so that Babe could run away with Jamie and were planning on keeping Tad in the dark about Jenny's parentage so that they could still have access to the Chandler fortunes and, in conclusion, FUCK OFF YOU STUPID, STUPID BITCHES.
Um, so obviously, this story is crazy-making and also predictable as hell. How many times are we going to watch the entire town, Erica excepted, hate on Adam? And they wonder why viewers are leaving in droves. Perhaps it has something to do that they are replaying the same story every single day?
And again, because it is really bothering me: THIS IS THE BEST STORY THEY COULD COME UP WITH? AFTER A WHOLE YEAR?