Oh, Show. Why Are You This Way?
I was recently told that I am "too judgmental", which I guess is a bad thing? I tried to point out that I am a soap critic, after all, and also, who says that judgmental people can't be awesome? Because I'm pretty sure that The Muppet Show was as great as it was partly because of Statler and Waldorf.
But then I got to wondering: what if I AM too judgmental? What if I'm expending too much negative energy? What if karma kicks me in the ass for my bitchiness?
So I decided that I was going to start looking for the good in everything, even things that I normally hate.
- Grapefruit: It has tons of Vitamin-C!
- Louis Vuitton Murakami print bags: they're eye-catching!
- Old Navy: they have JELLIES! In FLIP FLOP FORM!
- Whipped Cream: Provides an attractive garnish for desserts and frappuccinos?
- Colbie Callait's song "Realize": every time it's played on the radio means that, for a few minutes, the airwaves won't be assaulted with Katy Perry's "UR So Gay"
- Chad Michael Murray: do you know how hard it is to squint all the time without getting a headache? That's a true skill he has
- Heidi Montag: what if she was dropped on her head when she was a child? That would be sad, and it would explain a whole, whole lot
And then I tried to look for the good on All My Children and...it's like my mind just went blank. I can't even say "The show tries hard", because it doesn't. It doesn't try hard at anything but sucking. I mean, with their cast and their history, this should be an awesome show by default. Under the layers of horrible writing, asinine casting decisions, and one note performances, there's a kind of good soap opera hanging out, waiting for a moment in the sun.
I will say this for AMC, though: it's taught me a couple of things that I never would have known if I didn't watch...
PRISON IS BAD
Who knew that prison was, like, a horrible place to be? Erica knows now!
I've been in prison a while now, Sam. I know the drill. We're stuck in here because there's been some sort of an incident. They had to lock down the entire facility, because they have security issues. And when they have the problem solved, I know they're going to let us out.
Rats in a cage, Samuel. And for very, very little infractions. I mean, it's medieval. It's completely medieval. And no one, none of these women, deserve to be locked up in here like this. I mean, for -- for anything.
Look, these women have suffered terribly. I've heard their stories. If they can survive that, I can certainly survive this.
I'm not saying that they [are innocent]. But they're all human beings, Sam. I mean, take Rosalie, for example. She -- she's two cells down from me. She told me about her mother, and how dedicated, how loving her mother was. And when Rosalie got sent away to prison, it broke her mother's heart. And, in fact, she got very ill. And, one day, Rosalie was in her cell, and a guard came and left a message for Rosalie. That her mother was dead. And Rosalie was not allowed to attend the funeral. Rosalie never got to say goodbye to her mother.
No, it is cruel, Sam. And then there's Faye. Faye was in another facility, one with male guards. And one of those guards ordered Faye to meet him in this -- this deserted area of the prison where he -- ok, that went on for two years, until Faye was transferred here.
I must have missed the episode where Erica was diagnosed with GuyPearceinMementoitis and forgot large parts of her past, because I'm pretty sure she would have learned about the perils of prison when she was incarcerated following her kidnapping conviction in the late 90s. But whatever! I'm glad Erica and I are in the same boat, both living life with childlike wonderment, thinking that jail was just a fancy hotel, and guards were servants and puppies and kittens tap danced during the day for the entertainment of the prisoners.
That's not how it is, though. Prison is BAD! I'm really relieved that AMC taught me about this, because there are no news reports about disturbing prison conditions, and there aren't any shows aired CONSTANTLY on MSNBC about prisons, and there wasn't a disturbing, long-running HBO show about the horrors of being jailed and there aren't any way famous quotes from cult comedies about it.
THE HUBBARDS AREN'T ALWAYS ENTERTAINING
I'm being completely sincere. I really thought that as long as Jesse and/or Angie were involved in something, it would be great.
Nope. Because Randi has shown that the Hubbards aren't miracle workers; they are merely mortals who happen to be more awesome than most people.
What is Randi's purpose? Is it to introduce a tried and true "hooker with a heart of gold" storyline? Is it to provide the audience with a convenient few minutes per episode that they know nothing will happen, so they should feel free to go get snack or make phone calls during her scenes*? Because the way I'm seeing it, her screentime could be given to Amanda, or Josh, or random, nameless extras and the show would be better.
*Note: this theory only works when one lowers their standards enough to declare the rest of the show to be quality entertainment
ABC'S CORPORATE SYNERGY IS TRULY ASTOUNDING
I have come to expect pimping of Disney products during ABC shows: witness the performance of a Disney singer during the SOAPNet Emmy red carpet show and the One Life to Live ripoff of High School Musical.
Krystal: Oh, he cannot get enough of Wall-E the robot.
Which, okay, you know what? If you want people to go see the movie, don't have the show's most odious character do the product placement. I'm just saying. If Stuart were to subtly urge me to go to a movie, I'd do it, but if Krystal does it, I think twice.
VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER (UNLESS SONNY AND JASON AND RYAN ARE THE ONES BEING VIOLENT)
Watching Richie brutalize Babe today was...look violence is never cool, okay? I'm about one hysterical outburst about violence on AMC and GH away from becoming Helen Lovejoy. But I am hypocritical enough to admit that if Babe were to die due to Richie's evil evilness, I would not...mourn. I would not mourn.
But during those scenes, we were obviously supposed to be horrified at Richie's psychosis, but we're not supposed to view Ryan's rage attacks that way, or Sonny's beatdowns of nerdy boys, or Jason's killing people for profit, or even Zach's attack on the shackled Richie last week. ABC Daytime (Minus OLTL, okay? I know) is really screwed up.
The reaction that Greenlee and Kendall had to Babe being kidnapped was also a little screwed up, truth be told. It should have gone more like this:
Kendall: Yeah, and then we get the lights back on, and Greenlee's on her butt, and Babe is missing.
Zach: What do you mean, she's "missing"?
Amanda: She was here, now she's not.
Greenlee: Someone must have taken her -- kidnapped her or something.
Zach: Oh. Huh.
Kendall: Yeah. Do we like...do something?
Amanda: Eh. I guess we could.
Greenlee: We could. That would take effort, though.
Kendall: And she kind of sucks, a little.
Greenlee: A little? She's horrible.
Kendall: She is!
Amanda: She is!
Zach: She really is.
Kendall: So we could just...you know...sweep it under the rug
Greenlee: Yeah. Just forget that she ever worked here. "Kidnapped? Babe? Who? Like the pig? That was a good movie"
Amanda: Do you think if Babe disappears forever that I'll get her screentime?
Kendall: Probably not. It's a good dream, though.
I'm just saying.
Coming up: Mourning the disappearance of Adam's spine and an in-depth look at why, when and how Jake Martin sucks as a character (shoutout to Carl and kazou!)