I learned three major things from All My Children in 2008:
- Randomly reading Wikipedia articles in lieu of sitting down and watching AMC has totally educated me. I'm all set if I am ever called on to be someone's lifeline on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or if I need to defend my reigning Trivial Pursuit Goddess crown. Sure, those of you who watch good TV show are rewarded with payoff and great stories, but I know that Agatha Christie based Murder on the Orient Express on the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, so suck on that!
- The question of what kind of underwear an actor wearsis far more intriguing than any of the storylines taking place on the show.
- It doesn't matter which particular head writer is writing for the show--the show is going to be awful regardless.
That last lesson is the saddest lesson and yet the most obvious: I mean, if the show couldn't manage to get better after canning Megan McTavish, what hope is there, you know? The writers who succeeded McTavish, Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown, were terrible! And the current Charles Pratt era is no better and I want to know why. I demand to know why. WHY? The cast is fantastic, the characters are amazing--hello, you have Adam Freaking Chandler, and Erica, Erica Kane, you should be winning Emmys left and right, not floundering around--and yet...even "mediocre" is a lofty goal.
2008 in Pine Valley was much the same as it has been for the past few years: poorly written; lacking in sense; more than a little bit depressing on several different levels; and boring. There were some highlights, to be sure, but each of those highlights were canceled out by stories that left the "bad and boring" realm and shot way up to the level of "what in the name of all things holy was that dreck I just sat through?"
The year started with AMC and ABC making some of the boneheaded mistakes that they have become known for, starting with the obnoxious "Return of the REAL Greenlee" campaign.
I had remembered it being classless and offensive, but I had forgotten about the COUNTDOWN CLOCK. Touches like a COUNTDOWN CLOCK are a reminder that you're not dealing with run-of-the mill people who are bad at their jobs, but actual lunatics.
Aside from being crass, Rebecca Budig's return completely overshadowed the truly awesome return of Jesse and Angie. I love Greens and Rebecca Budig, but come on, in no way is she more important to AMC than Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan. Debbi Morgan's perfect skin and the fact that she looks to be in her mid-30s continues to baffle me and, even though what happened with Jesse and Angie over the course of the year was stunningly bad, the moment when Jesse first appeared in the hospital to see Frankie was seriously great. And that's to say nothing of their actual reunion, which still gives me goosebumps.
Dreamy sigh! The shrewd decision to bring them back and therefore keep nostalgic suckers like me watching despite the carnage going on all around them led me to publicly admit defeat and tell Brian Frons that he got one over on me. I'm not proud and I feel especially duped since the good writing for them stopped a few months later...