Awful Squared + Terrible x 95
I'm no math whiz, but if you completed the above equation, the answer would be All My Children.
During Friday's episode when Little A downed an entire glass of Scotch, which...first of all, I'M SO SURE that a five-year-old would even make it past the first sip of a glass of Scotch, let alone a whole glass. And do you know how it feels to spend all of your time defending JR and Adam and then they go ahead and leave a huge glass of Scotch unattended and, for that matter, keep a fully stocked bar in their home despite the entire family battling substance abuse problems? It smarts, is how it feels.
But once I got past my incredulity at how contrived the entire scenario was, I came away with one of my favorite soap moments of the year thus far, because I was incredibly moved by Little A croaking, "I wanted to be like you, Daddy"
Not because it was sad or touching, but because it called to mind one of the best things to ever come out of the 1980s:
Accidental entertainment is the best the show can hope for these days.
Actually, that's not completely true. Buried amidst the lame and the terrible was the fantastic idea to have Adam and Erica leave the country with Little Adam. Love it! I love David Canary and Susan Lucci together in ways that I can't even express, and even though this twist was to facilitate a few weeks offscreen for David Canary, I look forward to the awesomeness when he returns. I am eagerly anticipating the confrontation with David, whose arrogance when he learned that Adam jumped ship with Little A and Little Kane was overwhelming:
Krystal: I wish I could say I'm surprised, but that is typical Adam.
David: "Typical Adam's" a son of a bitch. It's about time I took him down for good.
Yeah, you couldn't take down Adam by himself, and when you throw Erica, Erica Kane into the mix, with Krystal (!!!) your only ally, I think you're going to fail in a major way and I think I am going to enjoy watching it.
For the rest of the stories, the descriptor "enjoyable" is as rare as seeing a live Elvis and a leprechaun taking a jaunty swim on the back of the Loch Ness Monster.
Even Erica, Erica Kane on her own is alarmingly...irksome.
Erica: I don't know. You in his shirt, candles burning. Not exactly a setup for gin rummy. I repeat, what is wrong with you Kendall?
Kendall: Why does there have to be something wrong with me?
Erica: You are not yourself. You haven't been, okay, ever since the coma.
I mean, I am totally with her on the whole "Ryan and Kendall possibly sleeping together" scenario being cause for alarm and judgment and horror and probably commitment to Oak Haven, BUT following up with "You haven't been, okay, ever since the coma"? Of course she hasn't been! She was in a COMA! For months! She lost chunks of her life! And her life sort of imploded all around her before, during and after her coma! And she has a new heart!
The show is trying so hard to make Kendall seem unbalanced and wrong, and aside from the rekindling a connection with Ryan, which is about as unbalanced and wrong an act as there can be, she actually factually is entitled to a few months of feeling not okay, and not like herself, without everyone around her yelling like a drill sergeant about how she needs to feel better faster.
Reese: You know what? I don't have anyone to call. You know what? Forget this.
Reese has no friends. Imagine that!
In an effort to make Reese tolerable, they put her in a scene with Brot. I don't know what it is, but JR Martinez is a miracle worker (and the subject of a very good interview in the newest Soap Opera Digest, FYI), because their scene, if not great, didn't make me want to stab myself, and that hasn't happened with a Reese scene since...November? It was good enough to make me block out the pain of Reese going crazy and throwing things in a very...melodramatic...um...bad manner.
Reese: Did you, um -- did you ever go back to the people who love you?
Brot: Yeah. But I lost a lot of valuable time.
Reese: You can, um, get used to being lonely, though, can't you?
Brot: My friend, you can get used to any damn thing, losing your face, losing your sight, but loneliness? That's a choice. You can always opt out of that.
Perhaps he can do a Linda Dano-patented trek to all of the ABC soaps, because I know more than a handful of ABC Daytime characters who could benefit from exposure to his awesomeness.
I offer the following out of context and with no comment, because it makes me laugh:
JR: I mean, how many times was Babe at some clinic...
The two sides of Ryan Lavery:
Kendall: My husband is the most generous man I have ever known.
Ryan: Yeah, generous with his sperm, maybe.
HA! I guffawed.
2.) The Worst
Ryan: That's amazing to me. In his world, nobody else counts but him.
That made me laugh (angrily) while I gasped (in shock that anyone in even a fictional world could be so lacking in self awareness) and I almost choked. Ryan Lavery almost killed me!
I feel that my surviving the choking incident is merely a temporary reprieve because the decimation of Zach and Kendall's marriage will surely be the end of me. It is so TERRIBLY WRITTEN. The thing is, there is a year's worth--if not more--of actual compelling story here, with two fantastic actors who, if you had to break them up and obviously you do because you don't know what to do with them besides writing an endless barrage of over-the-top and ludicrous storylines for them including serial killer fathers, faked affairs, maimed children, and blind lesbians to prevent them from ever being happy for more than one episode in a row, could rock the hell out of a breakup story that actually addressed the legitimate issues that Kendall and Zach have with each other. But NO, god forbid we have something deep and genuine that gave Thorsten Kaye and Alicia Minshew good material while Zach and Kendall break up and ultimately find their way back together in the kind of scenario that we call "Tried and true epic soap opera storylines" when instead we can just have another damsel in distress for Zach to focus on while ignoring his marriage and when instead we can watch another go round of Ryan being the spoiler in Kendall's relationship because that's never been done before and seriously, this show must have some sort of quota for badness that we are not aware of because that is literally the only reason I can think of for producing some of this. If it's not mandated badness and we are actually seeing work that some people believe to be quality...no words. I have no words.