Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Scenes from today's episode of All My Childrenmade me smile. And a genuine smile, at that! Normally whilst watching AMC, the only smile I can muster is of the "Let me tightly purse my lips and force a smile while I plot this show's downfall" variety.
And even more shocking, the scenes that made me downright gleeful involved Ryan, as in Ryan Lavery as in The Worst Person To Ever Be. He was only marginally involved with the awesomeness, though, and was mostly mute while Adam, Annie and Erica exchanged hilarious one-liners and cruelly taunted each other.
I don't love the fact that Erica was trying her best to provoke Annie into a full-on psychotic episode, and I don't love the fact that Adam is blindly devoted to Annie, and I don't love the fact that Annie is quite probably playing Adam, but I DO love awkward dinner parties and the way that La Lucci, David Canary and Melissa Claire Egan work with one another, and the way Annie kept eyeing fireplace pokers as possible weapons.
Three cheers for being funny on purpose!
The set up: Adam invites Erica to join him and Annie for dinner, ostensibly to celebrate, although I have a hunch that he wants to make Erica jealous and that Erica, in accepting the invitation, wants to make him jealous right back. That may not be the writers' intention, but it makes me happy, so we'll go with that. When she accepts, Erica asks if she can bring a date.
Erica: I'd love to have dinner with you and Annie. I assume I can bring a date.
Adam: Well, I assumed you were going to trot out your trusty lap dog, Jackson.
Hee! And aww, poor Jackson. He is given eight minutes of screentime every six months and he gets called a lap dog. Mean, but hilarious.
And then, Erica said she'd be inviting Ryan, because she's plotting to drive Annie crazy/crazier, and also because the writers are trying to set up the great Ryan/Erica love affair.
Adam: Oh, for God's sake, woman. I know -- I know you thrive on competition, but this is extreme, even for you.
Erica: What on earth are you talking about?
Adam: Well, you and your daughter Kendall are going to be sparring for the same man. That gives a whole new meaning to "keeping it in the family."
Equal parts, amused and nauseated, Adam neatly echoed my own thoughts (although my thoughts featured much more projectile vomiting).
When Ryan and Erica arrived for dinner, the fun really began.
Adam:Mm-hmm. How about a drink? A sparkling cider?
Erica: Thank you, yes.
Ryan: I'll take a beer, please.
Adam: Oh, well, I wish I'd known. I would've rolled in a keg.
David Canary is a national treasure. I want him to accompany places and make condescending remarks at people who deserve them, and then we'll both laugh uproariously.
Erica, Erica Kane, looked like the proverbial million bucks, BTW
(Is it just me, or have her displays of cleavage been more...extreme than usual?)
and she almost immediately started with the digs. Digs that were made all the more amusing by the fact that she is a convicted felon and has stabbed people multiple times!
Annie: Well, thanks to you, the dress was a perfect fit.
Adam: Yes, I can see that.
Erica: Oh, yes, the -- the cut, the color. The black is perfect with your ankle bracelet. Isn't it, Ryan?
Erica: And don't expect things to get better behind bars, believe me.
Annie:Oh, that's right. You're a convicted felon while I'm still innocent till proven guilty.
But Erica never lets people get the upper-hand in a conversation with her.
Erica: Well, it certainly can't help to be prepared. I mean, after all, I just served a meager four months, but Annie's looking at 20 to life.
This caused Annie to break a glass, and Adam made sure to stress that she didn't do anything wrong, giving Ryan (!!!) the opportunity to be amusing.
Annie: You're so sweet. Thank you for taking such good care of me.
Adam: You saved my life, remember? The least I can do is patch you up.
Ryan: Is this seriously happening right now?
This is probably the first and last time I will ever agree with something Ryan says, but...right there with you, dude.
Erica: Oh, I understand completely. You're concerned about Emma, but you don't need to be. You don't need to worry at all because Ryan and I are taking such good care of her....Ryan has really done such a wonderful job. And I know that it's not easy being a single father, so that's why I try to spend as much time as I possibly can over there with them. I think it's really important for a little girl to have a positive female role model.
Ignoring the fact that those are blatant lies (when he's not talking to Annie or about Annie, does anyone think Ryan remembers he actually has a daughter?), you have to admit that the pocket-sized bitch knows how to get a rise out of someone.
Annie: I'm sorry. Then what does that make me?
Adam: (scrambling to make sure the conversation doesn't, in the words of Liz Lemon, go to there) Could I get someone another drink?
Erica: Oh, I'm sorry, I should have said a stable female role model.
Adam: Erica, those comments are completely uncalled for.
Annie: Actually, Emma has told me several times that she wants to grow up to be just like me.
Erica: A homicidal maniac?
Ha! Susan Lucci did a fabulous job of being totally vicious while acting completely innocent and matter-of-fact.
Erica: Well, Emma must have changed her mind because now, I mean, she tells me that she wants to grow up and have her own talk show.
Erica: Yes. So I was thinking of taking her to New Beginnings for "bring your daughter to work" day.
Annie: You stay away from Emma.
Erica: But Emma wants to go with me. I'm just trying to help.
Annie: She doesn't need your kind of help. My God, you gave your daughter away, for God's sakes! At least I'm fighting for mine.
Then, at the very end of the episode, was a long, awkward kiss between Adam and Annie that quite nearly made me revise my opinion of the entire episode, but cooler heads prevailed. I dare say that we have discovered that AMC, too, has an Awesome Writer, because the rest of the show wasn't half bad. I'm kind of over Frankie's whining and being a dick to everyone, and I don't love Zach once again meeting a damsel in distress (do you think that's on his GPS?), but Jesse and Angie, and Zach and Kendall and North and his wife made up for it. I am going to enjoy this fleeting moment of happiness while it lasts, because I am sure tomorrow's AMC will be back to normal: despair and dreck, poorly written and boring.