My Kingdom for a Likeable Character
I was trying to think of a way to describe the current state of All My Children, and the closest I could come up with was...okay, you know Steely Dan? I HATE Steely Dan. I know that's, like, a weird complaint for someone my age to have in the year 2008 but I have to be perfectly honest and tell you that when I hear "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", I feel like stabbing myself in the eye.
AMC circa June 2008 is what would happen if there was an all-Steely Dan radio station that was just non stop AWFULNESS. What good thing is there on this show right now? Besides Myrtle! Myrtle is the exception that proves my rule. Even Angie and Jesse, love them though I do, are having circular conversations, which give me motion sickness.
I was all set--and I am well aware of how utterly tragic this is--to look forward to Charles Pratt Jr's episodes starting to air, because surely he must realize that you can't have a soap that is just sucky people doing things suckily, but then I remembered who I was talking about, which reminds me:
Dear Charles Pratt Jr.,
Charles--can I call you Charles?--I know you probably could not care less about what I think about your skills as a writer, because I'm a lowly soap blogger and not even a Nielsen viewer, but whatever. I put up with a whole lot of crappy storylines while you were writing for General Hospital. You're lucky that I haven't filed a lawsuit on account of the PTSD I surely have from those stories. So the least you could do is listen to me for a second.
I'm actually trying to go into this whole thing with an open mind because, hello, you have to be better than Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown, right? I know that I said the same thing when they replaced Megan McTavish, but okay...I'm just going to come right out and say it: when you have a reputation for being the weak link in a partnership with the biggest hack writer currently polluting the daytime scene, it's probably NOT wise to create a new character and give her the same exact name as a character on your old, classic show. Unless this was all a ploy to get me to remember that you were a Melrose writer, because you knew that if I have a soft spot for anything, it's Melrose Place. If that's the case...nicely done, Charles Pratt Jr.
PS: Can you please change Spike's name? I mean, if the Buffy association wasn't problematic enough, he also shares a name with the biggest douchebag to ever appear on Top Chef, so please just do the kind thing and give this child a different name. Thank you in advance.
Most shows have an ebb and flow between good and bad and boring, and you can sort of deal with the boring and bad because it's balanced out by the good. Not so on AMC; if it's not horribly boring (see: today's entire episode, Adam and Erica excepted), it's just plain horrible (see: every other episode in the past few weeks). In the spirit of being optimistic, I'm hoping that things are just going to be stagnant until the new writing regime starts and is awesome and money falls out of the sky and rainbows tap dance in my front yard and serenade me.
A girl can dream, no?
Greenlee: Well, for starters, right now, you belong to Annie. I mean, you are married to her.
Ryan: Which means I must have -- I must have been in love with her.
Greenlee: Yeah. Yeah, maybe...
Ryan: "Maybe" what?
Greenlee: Maybe Annie was right. That you never really loved her. Maybe you married her just so you could keep her happy.
If I just stop resisting the idea of revisiting Ryan/Greenlee, will they stop writing them so horribly? At this point, I honestly wouldn't mind it if I turned on AMC tomorrow and Ryan and Greenlee were just miraculously back together without the audience needing to sit through their courtship.
I don't know what it is about these two characters together, but whatever it is brings out their most vile, self centered, self righteous traits and makes them absolutely unbearable.
I'm not some big Annie fan and part of me feels that the reason Ryan can't remember her (besides utter contrivance, I mean) is that she is just, for the most part, devoid of personality. Like, how would you describe Annie to a non-AMC watching friend? "There's this girl, and she's...she's there, and...she's pretty nice most of the time, I guess. She does...stuff".
But anyway, being boring doesn't mean that your husband and his friend should just completely walk all over you, which is what Greenlee and Ryan have done repeatedly, even after Annie has told them both that their relationship makes her uncomfortable, since it's the kind of relationship where she gets stood up so that her husband can go bond with Greenlee. And then Greenlee goes all Underminer McGee with her "Maybe you never really loved her". Just shut up, Booster Seat.
The way that the writers have repeatedly botched the character of Greenlee since they brought her back in May is nothing short of astounding. I used to LOVE Greenlee. She was obnoxious and self involved and kind of horrible, but she used to be written with layers. But ever since she's been back on the show, she's either been a psychotic babynapper or a strident, obnoxious bitch, and not even the fun kind of bitch. She's the kind of bitch who, for some reason, the writers want you to side with. Please see Lulu on General Hospital for another example.
Babe: Kendall, you didn't seem to have a problem letting me run the company when your boys were in I.C.U., Or when you were out looking for Zach. But now you need Greenlee's vote to make every single decision? My opinions don't even matter? That's bull. And it's insulting. Not to mention, bad for Fusion.
This is one of the many things that irks me about Babe. She's the kind of person who wants a gold star for doing the thing that normal people would do without a second thought. She honestly wants preferential treatment because she stepped in and picked up the slack when her boss's children were DYING? Really, Babe?
Oh, and also, your opinions DON'T matter. Because you are not an owner of this company anymore. You are an employee. Who is not even qualified for the job she has.
Babe: Yeah, I guess. I mean, I know what it's like to have everybody hate you. You know, you try to make things right and -- they just -- they shoot you down again and again.
Yeah, you really tried to make things right, Babe. Like when Greenlee gave you a job out of spite because she knew Kendall would hate working with you and Zach repeatedly tried to buy you out and you refused so that you could keep this job and rub your existence in Kendall's nose every day. TOTALLY making it right. And when JR tried to kill you and hurt Kendall and Spike instead and you lied on the stand so he wouldn't go to jail? TOTALLY making things right.
Eat dirt and die, tramp.
Annie: Do you not remember that she kidnapped your son, Kendall? Or since she didn't actually make Spike deaf, now that's all ok. And I'm sorry. I think it's a miracle that she made it out of that hole alive, but it doesn't make her a saint, does it? I mean, innocent of all blame?
Kendall: No. I'm not saying any of that.
Annie: No, let me finish. I have listened to you and Greenlee for way too long. What about the fact that she was gone for a year and a half? The women at Fusion were dying and she didn't come back. Her -- her company -- her baby was going under and she didn't care enough to come back and save it.
Kendall: Ok. All right. I understand that and I see where you're coming from, but that's between me and Greenlee.
Annie: Is it the guilt that's gotten to you, Kendall? Because you slept with Aidan, now Greenlee can do no wrong?
Kendall: Let's not bring up me and Aidan.
Annie: Well, I mean, how can we not? He's obviously part of the fact that Greenlee's now suddenly in your eyes -- suddenly not this she-devil you used to think she was, the same arrogant, selfish little bitch she's always been.
Damn, Annie! See, she's good for a few good truth-telling moments every once in a while. Did she not just say everything the audience has been thinking for the last few weeks? I kind of love it. I mean, she went on that rant pretty much unprovoked and seemed slightly unhinged, but I'll take truth telling where I can get it.
Of course, it highlighted the all too recurring theme that Kendall has no moxie anymore. The Kendall of Yore would have left that conversation with, "Hey, that little bland girl was right: I completely bend over backwards for Greenlee and let her walk all over me. What's that about? I'm Kendall Hart Slater and I'm too good for this shit". But not this Kendall. Sad face.
And of course Annie's moment of greatness lasted for one scene, because she almost immediately apologized for lashing out like that
Annie: Listen, Kendall. I'm sorry about before. It was uncalled for...
She was right, it was uncalled for. It was more, like, SHOUTED for.
Zach: I can't have him go after my family -- not Greenlee, Kendall, or the boys.
Oh, AC Morris, why? Just why?! Why would he say Greenlee's name before Spike and Ian? I mean, if he's mad at Kendall, he's mad at Kendall and there are issues there, but to say Greenlee before his sons? The hell? I know I am being borderline insane about this, but seriously. The line should have been "I can't have him go after my family-- not Kendall, or the boys, or Erica, or Myrtle, or Josh, or Bianca, or Miranda, or the guy who cuts my hair, or Greenlee".
Aidan: I was going to bring you a rope. I thought maybe you wanted to play that little game that you did last time where you kicked the chair with a noose around your neck.
Richie: Well, you're the moron who saved my life that day. Blame yourself for everything i did after that.
Heeeee! For one, he's totally right. And also, I like it when people point out what a dope Aidan is. Oh, Richie. Didn't we almost have it all? When you were a villain who was compelling and hadn't yet been written into a corner? I'll mourn you once you inevitably die and become the centerpiece of a summer murder mystery.