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« Soap Blog Coalition | Main | The Young and the Recappy »

June 04, 2009

Is Expecting Some Sort of Planning Just Asking Too Much?

When I was in sixth grade, I was obsessed with mysteries. It wasn't exactly a new phase, because I had spent years reading Nancy Drew and The Babysitters Club Mysteries, but when I moved up to middle school, I graduated to more mature books and opted for high quality Agatha Christie novels and the, um, not so high quality works of Mary Higgins Clark. Also in sixth grade, we had a creative writing/computer/typing hybrid class, and had to write stories, possibly using proper typing techniques, a skill that I have long since lost, and, for whatever reason, I drew upon Mary Higgins Clark books for inspiration, probably because there was a formula to many of them that was easy to replicate (woman exists, bad things happen to woman, she meets a handsome man, evildoer is jailed or killed).

Over a decade later, I am still ashamed by the story I wrote. It was about a woman whose husband committed suicide and she was totally heartbroken when she discovered his body, but then her household servants (!) started acting strange and suspicious and a handsome police officer came to investigate the strange goings on and then the woman fell in love with the police officer (mere days after her husband died!) and THEN it turned out that he didn't commit suicide at all, but was murdered by the servants and buried in the backyard (yes, the same body found dead at the start of the story), and then the servants were jailed and she and the handsome police officer lived happily ever after. The story was, like, five pages long (and terrible!), which is short, yet long enough that it allowed me to throw in about three dozen formulaic cliches AND forget that there was a dead body at the beginning of the story.

Stuart's murder mystery, and the AMC writing staff's inability to handle the complexities of said murder mystery, unearthed this long forgotten memory of epic failure; the cliches, the poor writing, the complete inability to remember what happened already all scream Charles Pratt's name. I seriously hope this is the last time I ever have to compare myself to him...

There are so many things about this show that don't make sense and could probably be rectified by the writing staff paying even the smallest amount of attention to what they are doing, rather than getting distracted by shiny things. This applies to the show as a whole, by the way; their startling ineptitude isn't confined solely to the mystery genre.

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Here's a hypothetical situation: you kidnapped your daughter and ran out of town with her when she was a baby, and then when she was aged a few years, she became a rebellious teenager and ran away to reunite with her father, with whom she has been living since. And you, like, totally miss her. You're also totally old school and you feel that the best way to contact her and tell her about your feelings is to write her letters, rather than calling her or finding out her email or hiring carrier pigeons.

Years go by, and your letters go unacknowledged and you start to get suspicious. Do you...

A) Call your mother, who is married to the identical twin of your ex-husband which is kind of weird but that's something to ponder again another time, and who lives on the same property as your ex-husband and daughter.

B) Call one of your dear friends who lives in Pine Valley and with whom your daughter actually lived for a while and who has a searing hatred of your ex-husband and would eagerly seize upon the case of the missing letters as an excuse to get in your ex-husband's face and be judgmental or, to be more precise, more judgmental than usual.

C) Do nothing. With any luck, in a few years when you pop into your ex's mansion during a rainstorm to confront him about his evildoing, you'll stumble upon the stack of letters that he kept from your daughter. Problem solved!

It's possible that Liza faked all of these letters and is trying to manipulate Colby into forgiving her, because Liza does fake a lot of things including a pregnancy and the accent she had during her previous time in Pine Valley, because apparently she is southern. Who knew? I don't buy for one second that Adam would keep all of these letters rather than set each and every letter on fire while chuckling to himself.

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Really, Petey has a forensic science lab just in case of forensic emergencies? Also, congratulations on contaminating what could be an important piece of evidence! Did the Fisher Price My First Crime Scene kit not have instructions about handling evidence?

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Why is Jesse so determined to put Kendall behind bars? I know that there is evidence against her, but there is evidence against other people and he always dismisses it.

Jesse: Little Adam sees heffalumps under his bed. Not a reliable witness.

He's only unreliable if he had once again been drinking Scotch, Jesse. And he's far more reliable than Liza, whose crazy lies have directly hurt you in the past (!!!) and you had no problem believing her!

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Which happens more often: Zach and Kendall having marriages of convenience, or Zach confessing to crimes he did not commit?

Because I love Kendall, and I love Zach/Kendall, I wanted to be excited about this latest marriage of convenience, which should lead to them reconnecting and finding their way back to each other and being happy for the first time in, like, three years. But the writers can't let me have that. No, they have to include over-the-top shmoopy declarations of Kendall's love for Ryan, or Zach urging Kendall to go be with Ryan...why must Ryan infect everything good in this world?

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I was trying to think of a way to describe the Amanda/Jake/Liza/Baby story and...idiotic is kind of what I am leaning towards, but it is not quite withering enough. The stupidity of all involved is distracting, to the point where I don't pay attention to large chunks of their scenes because I am trying to think of a word that expresses the scope of the stupidity. This extends to the people in charge of Chrishell Stause's fake pregnancy belly, because it grew three times seemingly overnight.

I wish Jake and Amanda weren't coming off quite so deranged, because I find them to be cuter than cute together. Ricky Paull Goldin and Chrishell Stause work together so, so well. I just wish I could watch them together without worrying that I will catch secondhand dumb.

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[Here is where I planned to talk about the complete ruination of David Hayward, who has become so awful and pathetic that it defies reason and how it's a travesty that he has been made the sole villain in his and Krystal's relationship, because even though he is A villain, he is not the ONLY villain, because his estranged wife is a morally bankrupt, gold-digging, awful human being whose myriad--MYRIAD--sins are being whitewashed for some inane reason (who am I kidding, there is probably no reason except that the writers don't pay attention to what they do from one day to the next). However, all of my thoughts about this terrible storyline flew out of the window when BABE made an appearance as a GHOST because apparently the powers-that-be thought that we missed having her smug face on our screens MAKE IT STOP KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT]


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Erica

Is there anything in the world of soaps more amusing than Erica Kane's hilariously age inappropriate outfits? She looks like a college sophomore going clubbing!

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Poor Adam. His brother, his heart and soul, was murdered, his life is in disarray and he has to deal with Ryan Lavery barging in to interrogate him.

Adam: I've discussed this at great length with the police.

Ryan: Well, I'm asking you to discuss this with me

The obvious implication being "I am Ryan Lavery. The police work for me. You work for me. Jesus works for me. Please don't speak to me like I am just another human being--I'm not. I'm Ryan Lavery".

I hate him, is the gist of what I'm saying, and I hated watching him grill Adam with an angry look on his face (well, he always looks vaguely angry, but you know what I mean). Adam saw through his bullshit in a matter of minutes, though

Adam: You want to get Kendall off the hook and who better to take the fall than your lunatic ex-wife?

When you read it, it sounds harsh, but he said lunatic almost like a term of endearment! Aww!

Comments

OMG! We're totally like sisters! I, too, read the Nancy Drew (and Trixie Belden) and then graduated to Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark . . . even though I could pick up every MHC, read the dust jacket, and correctly pick out the killer. I won't say if I wrote embarrassingly bad short stories. Except to say that mine might've featured the Winchester Mystery House and been influenced more by Scooby Doo than bad romance/thrillers. And that's more than you needed to know from a complete stranger. But hi! I don't watch AMC and usually only comment on the GH-related posts, but I love all your snark on all the soaps, and I couldn't resist responding to your set-up for this one, with which I felt a kinship, is what I'm saying.

Carry on. *ahem*

Great commentary. But this was my favorite line of all:

"I am Ryan Lavery. The police work for me. You work for me. Jesus works for me. Please don't speak to me like I am just another human being--I'm not. I'm Ryan Lavery".

Mallory, if you're still into reading mysteries, I recommend Elizabeth Peters' novels (I prefer her earlier stuff) the Jacqueline Kirby and Vicky Bliss series are my favorites, Carol O'Connell's novels or Jacqueline Winspeare's Maisie Dobbs series. But I agree with most of your comments especially the parts relating to the mystery. I had low, very low expectations and they still didn't even measure up to those. Too many holes and instead of watching the show, I spend my time wondering why X doesn't make sense.

You know, it's mind boggling to me that tptb can't see this! Do they ever watch the show? Does anybody know what anybody else writes on any given day? You have certainly hit the nail on the head, altho' there are so many more instances. I personally only started watching this show for Zach & Kendall & gave up Y&R to do that - Yes, Y&R!- so at least I can skip it when they're not on, but I feel for those who try to watch all of it. It gives me a migraine! How can tptb not see what we see? Hello- I don't think anybody's listening.

You know I love Lavery as much as you, seriously I can not for the life of me figure out when he became so detestable to me, I mean I know the whole "souless Cancer" coments to Kendall back in the day, but I've leaped so far int the hatred. Oh there was that Jonathon, it was a tuuuumor business. Ah but I digress. What I was going to say, is why did you not post the snipet of the show when Zach sucker punched Ryan and Cam used all of his skills and just pummelled himself into Adam's door? It was a thing of beauty. I watched it like ten times in slo-mo and laughed my butt off every time.

I don't even watch AMC, but I had to comment on your "bad short story" because it made me laugh out loud hysterically!! I wrote short stories all the time in middle school, but mine were modeled after the "Firefox" teen romance novels. Eegad. So bad, but I think I read every single one. Also formulaic.

I wrote a story where the boy that loved the girl was paralyzed from the neck down and would type out love letters to the girl he had the hots for with his nose. I swear to God. I'll leave you with that much because it gives you an idea of my depth of skill as a teen romance novelist.

Sadly Jake & Amanda are the one part of the show I am enjoying. To be clear it's not because of their story. I credit Ricky & Chrishell 110% for making them good. Alas Liza is there to infect them now. *sigh*

As soon as I saw the spoiler about dead Babe, I thought of you. At least AB's Babe wasn't quite as smug so there's a little something. But seriously can I tell you how much it annoys me when grown women call their father "daddy," especially when they do it every single sentence that they speak?

Ryan is a cancer that is slowly but surely killing AMC. Adam should have punched him in the face today. I think Stuart would understand his "break" from trying to be a better man. Oh and Adam totally said lunatic with affection.

What is about Emmas on ABCD? They are so dang cute! Even if in the case of AMC, they are half-human, half spawn of the devil.

I need for Pratt to stop making Jesse an idiot or someone who runs around kissing Zach or Ryan's bums. Was there a reason poor Darnell had to repeat the line 7400 times about how if Zach killed someone, he'd be smarter about it? Head meet wall.

Great article. I wish I could express my thoughts so eloquently! Because, my thoughts completely mirror yours - I just can't express myself so well. You have a new fan! I will keep your site bookmarked!

Thanks! =)

As I read about your paper, the words that actually came out of my mouth was, "SD you're hired. Guza, you're fired." Yes, I know you're talking AMC here, but it easily translates to the REAL worst writer... er, uh, I mean script typer, in the history of the world. I did take a second to wonder if maybe Guz was in your class and just never matured like you obviously have. You may have probs with Pratt but the Guz(scientific name: Dafticulous Idioticus) will forever wear his I Heart the Mobsquad Tshirt and reign as the king of Implausible Plotland (national bird: The wild goose).

I'll bet your 6th grade story had better cohesion and substance, in spite of that wandering corpse! You should print it somewhere for those of us who are intrigued by your cliched plottage and want to know what dire grievances those servants had against the mislaid husband. (Personally, I like that the killers were plural! And probably NONE of them went to the murder venue without a weapon.)

At least tell us the name of the heroine?

Erica's age-inappropriate outfits are the best part of the show right now... Ridiculous as this whole baby s/l is, I'm still loving Jake and Amanda, though, and I'm wicked excited that Chrishell Stause renewed her contract!

I am loving the mystery novel love! Thanks so much for the recs, Birdie.

buddz, I think I actually have the story saved somewhere to make myself feel bad about my young self. I will try to dig it out and remember why the servants loathed their employer so much. And, for that matter, if they all took turns giving him his fatal blows. I wonder if they drew straws for the order?

And the heroine's name? Christabel Traymoore. ULTRA GLAMOROUS!!!

I wonder if Erica's outfits are like that because a)it's all New York & Co. had available or b) she's *Erica Kane* and therefore she is in all ways Forever 21?

Of course you already know this, but Carruthers is setting up Erica & Ryan--together! Enjoy!

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