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« Soap Blog Coalition | Main | I Need To Harness These Psychic Powers For Good! »

May 07, 2009

All My (Dying, Sold or Fathered by the Devil) Children

Risking my health and my sanity, I decided to have an All My Children marathon all in one sitting to get myself caught up with the boatload of episodes I had missed. That was...an unwise move on my part.

There are a surprising amount of AMC things I am enjoying.

  • Adam and Erica, as ever. They bring new meaning to the term entertaining. Like, I think they may be my favorite pair on television right now. Even more than Jim and Pam. Yeah, I went there.
  • BROT! I find J.R. Martinez to just be astounding.
  • Reese peacing the hell out
  • The actress who plays Marissa is actually really talented, and I don't just mean that in comparison to some of the other AMC cast members, I mean it genuinely.
  • The actor who plays Scott is dreamy. He also might be a giant, because there are times that he looks at least a full foot taller than his scene partners

But, because this is Pratt-era AMC, there is an unsurprising amount of crap. I took notes so I could remember what to discuss in a recap post, because I am a nerd, and by the end of the fifth episode in this marathon, the notes were illegible with irritation and hatred. Mostly hatred of Ryan: I wrote the phrase "I hate Ryan!", exclamation point and all, more than ten times. I also wrote "Who are these people?!" multiple times, but I did not give any details about my confusion. I think, though, that I was referring to the strange creatures passing themselves off as Zach, Kendall and Liza. I'm not saying I'd like a story about pod people or clone invasions or whatever, but...I'd accept it if it meant that Kendall would go back to being Kendall and not this very pretty, very Ryan-clingy being.

(I also wrote many variations of "Ugh!" "Ew" and "...", all of which took place during Zach and Liza's double entendre laden conversations, but I can't discuss them in any more detail because just remembering them icks me out)

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Today's episode went back to a familiar AMC trope: bad things happening to babies in the past, present and/or future. I say this all the time, to the point that it is becoming as overdone as these baby in peril stories, but REALLY. THIS is where they decide to take advantage of the new-fangled continuity thing?

Okay, so, when Krystal confessed her deep, dark, baby-selling secret to Tad, did anyone else expect him to say, "...and what's the shocking part of this confession, again?" Because the news that Krystal sold Babe's twin sister was not at all surprising. For Krystal, babies are just a vehicle through which she can earn money.

Marissa: Sold for Profit

Babe: Named after Krystal's aunt Arabella in an attempt to get her aunt's inheritance

Miranda: Babynapped so that Babe and Krystal could continue riding the Chandler gravy train

Jenny: Paternity lied about for months and would have been lied about for forever so that Babe and Krystal could continue riding the Chandler gravy train

The REAL shocking part of this story is that Marissa is downright enjoyable. This is a blow for the Nature camp in the Nature vs. Nurture battle, because being raised away from Krystal's toxicity did wonders for this girl.

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Jake and Amanda are seriously adorable together, but I can't get fully invested in them for some reason. I don't know if it is because Chrishell Stause is only sticking around through the summer and I don't want to fully start loving a couple only to have it end abruptly, or because I know that Evil Mustache-Twirling David is lurking around to ruin things with his Evil Mustache-Twirling, or because it is only a matter of time before Pratt pisses all over this cuteness.

Amanda: You're -- you're being all sweet and adorably romantic, and I just -- I feel like a huge blob.

Jake: But I love blobs.

See? Cuuuuuuute. I should just enjoy it while it lasts, right?

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Ian's health problems are wearing me out. There's too much sadness, and too much tension, and too much worrying, and too much Ryan. That poor baby must be like, "I'm a freaking infant and I've almost died a dozen times and my mom's douche boyfriend is always hanging around, which can't be good for my health!"

I do not want to compliment this story, because I don't want it to seem as though I am in any way condoning the cheap ploy of perhaps killing off a baby, which is the easiest way to get overly emotional viewers such as myself to weep buckets and ignore the rest of the show through our tears, and because you know that the powers-that-be are the type of people who look and see one compliment in a sea of negativity and then can ignore the negatives and say "See? They like it!" and I'm not trying to say that the powers-that-be read anything I say or, if they do, take it seriously at all, but I am saying that I feel uncomfortable putting good thoughts about this story into the universe, and...I think I stopped making sense about fifty words ago, but anyway, as much as it pains me to say nice things about this story, Susan Lucci, Thorsten Kaye and Alicia Minshew have just been amazing.

Erica: Hi, mom. I didn't know where else to turn. I didn't know who else to turn to. Kendall is in so much pain, and I have no idea how to help her. I know. Probably serves me right. God knows I gave you so much trouble, but no matter how difficult I was, you always hung in there, you always stuck with me, you always gave it to me straight, and you gave me the best advice, and I-- I ignored it most of the time, of course, but you never gave up. And I want to do that for Kendall, but every move I make is wrong. If I get involved, she says I'm meddling. If I step back, she comes running. And Ian is very sick right now. He's about to have a very serious operation, so I know that I -- I can't put any distance between us right now. Oh, how I wish you were here. You on one side and Myrtle on the other, so you could tell me how to comfort Kendall, how to help her through this. To be really honest with you, I could really use some help myself right now. It's very hard having to keep it together when I look at that beautiful little boy's face. I really -- I really want to take her back to ourtradition. I really want to take Kendall, and I want to stand her in front of the mirror and remind her of what she's made of and all the strength that you passed on to all of us. It's just -- I don't feel very strong right now myself. Mom, if you could just give me some guidance.

The fact that this moving speech was made while Susan Lucci wore a shiny, off-the-shoulder dress wholly inappropriate for the hospital elevated it to a new level of artistry.

Kendall: I'll make this quick because I know you have a lot of other stuff going on. My son, he's a very special little boy. We all love him so much, and we would be so grateful if you could help him get through this operation. It's wonderful that you welcome children into heaven, but for now, could you just bring my child back to me, to us? Please let Ian's surgery go well so he can have a long and healthy life.

Sniff. Kendall has seriously had the worst life ever since she came out of her coma. I wish the writers would let her have, like, three consecutive weeks of happiness.

Really, my biggest complaint about today's episode was...why the hell was Ryan at the hospital? Why was he not home with Emma or Spike? Why did he not listen to Erica when she not at all subtly told him to go home and let Zach and Kendall deal with this family crisis alone? Why did he run after Kendall when Kendall tearfully ran out of the waiting room? Was it just to make the audience shriek in horror and rage? Because if so MISSION SUCCESSFUL, BITCHES.

Comments

I'm so upset that Chrishell is leaving. Jake/Amanda are the first soap pairing I have genuinely enjoyed in ages and ages, and it's already doomed. Sigh.

I think someone needs to come up with something more insulting than epic douche to describe Ryan Lavery because as awesome as that insult is it's just not cutting it these days.

"See? Cuuuuuuute. I should just enjoy it while it lasts, right?"

Finally! I have been waiting for you to comment on Jake & Amanda. And yes that is what you should do. It is what I have chosen to do. It will break my heart when the inevitable end comes but I don't know how to not enjoy a couple that can make toasting milk in champagne flutes adorable & funny and not eye-roll inducing. Besides amidst all the crap on AMC, I take what I can.

Scott is cute but I need the whole feuding with JR thing to settle down. I'm so not feeling it.

Brot/J.R. Martinez is just awesome.

I like Marissa. That baffles me. I never expected to but yes the actress is good. Marissa has indeed most clearly benefited not being raised by her mother or with her sister. My only qualm at this point is that I hope gets to be appropriately ragey with Krystal when she finds out and that it doesn't pass in a week or so. I'm also uncertain how the whole Dr. Doom is her daddy bit will play out. Maybe it will make him less focused on Amanda's baby. **fingers crossed**

I don't know who that woman on my screen is but she is so not Liza. Not in 100 billion years will I ever see her as Liza.

So it wasn't just me distracted by Erica's dress? Good to know. It was way inappropriate for the setting but I also found it to be fairly cheap looking. Maybe it was the color combined with the shiny material.

Glad you are back to recapping AMC. But no props for Debbie M.? Really?

ITA with your comments. I, also, wonder why Ryan was there. He is NOT a family member. He should be taking care of Emma. He is so worried about Annie even visiting with her, yet he is never there for her. I just want him out of Zendall's orbit. Better yet, I'd like to see him gone.

The ABC "Hot Sheet" headline: The biggest death in AMC history!
Do they think that makes me want to watch? Do they have no inkling that soap fans feel like these people are their family and friends? Do they think we want to watch the biggest death in our family and friends' history? This is not CSI, Law and Order, etc.

I don't have a lot of use for this Scott. The conflict with JR is HORRIBLY contrived and the character seems to be the old cliche about the nice person who actually is not.

Watching JR just makes me furious, I am so sick of these same stories (Adam evil, Babe perfect) year after year after year after year after year.

Mallory, you and I are like this (*fingers crossed*). Well, except for the Scott thing—he's mind-numbingly dull to me, but for everything else. As a Zen fan, I can't tell you how tired I am of the constant interlopers + sick babies = "dramatic" thing. It's not entertaining. It's not even angst anymore—it's unceasing misery and torment to the point where I don't recognize the characters I love. I liked Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but that's not what I want to see on AMC. Argh.

And please, Soap Gods, could you make this month's murder victim Ryan? Please?!

Thanks for mentioning the good points, Mallory. And you can believe that no one will ever ever imagine that you're complimenting the storyline. A repeatedly sick/damaged/compromised child is never worthy of praise. Never.

That being said: Erica DID do good. She rose above the shiny dress (and the shiny, new boobs straining at the shiny blue seams) and gave a GUT-wrenching, heart-breaking plea to Mona. I defy anyone to watch it and not shed a tear or give a small snurrrrfff of snotty emotion.

Earlier in the week, Zach also had a small speech, directed at Ian: "You're just a kid -- you should be outside playing, not in here." :::sob::: Then he talks about Ian's heart and how they'll fix it, because it's important -- it's where love grows. :::sobsnurffwuff:::

All good stuff. Majorly sucktacious story, but good acting moments.

And YAY for Jake and Amanda! They have bonded in spirit and soul since she's been gestating -- they take naps together, they eat junk food, they watch SOAPS, they dance and they utilize Option #1 in times of stress. What's not to like?!!

And mine own prayer echoes Leah's above: Please let Ryan be murdered. Or swine-flued. Or catapulted to Peapack.

Mallory...I agree with you on everything...except Scott...just not feeling him. But, the rest was spot on. While the story does suck, I think we have seen some very, very good stuff from TK/AM/SL...and I believe TIIC may have thrown in some mature conversations (purely accidental, I am sure). I am on Ryan overload (nothing new there)...but, it seems to be more intense than ever, simply because his presence in any of these scenes, or the scenes with Tad, or going to the party at the Chandler mansion...none of them make sense...he sticks out like a sore thumb. He actually serves no purpose other than to be constantly lurking, hovering in the background...standing at the ready to insinuate himself into another situation where he doesn't belong.

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