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« Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column | Main | Completely Confusing Contrived Conundrums »

July 30, 2009

What A Drag It Is Getting Old in Pine Valley

I had a long, involved, hypothetical scenario of a future soap world and the new generation of soap viewers will pick up the terrible habit of watching the non-One Life to Live ABC soaps and notice something strange about the shows' characters.

"Why," I imagined them asking, "aren't there any old people on these shows? Are soap characters euthanized after the age of 45? What is going on?" I also imagined them wondering why Sonny Corinthos is the network's lone computer animated character, and learning that ABC Daytime was loathe to let go of their most romantic and heroic romantic hero, but they couldn't bear to have someone oldon the show, so they used the money they would have saved by getting rid of all of the non-mobbed up characters to bring us a CGI Sonny. "If they were going to go to all of that effort," the new viewer would muse, "why couldn't they hire an editor to splice his stammerings together into coherent sentences?"

But then I remembered that the future is almost definitely going to be soapless, rendering all of the above completely moot. You totally know that the thought of a soap world completely free of old people just put a huge smile on the face of Brian Frons, though.

Divider

The blatant contempt that AMC and GH have for most of their veteran actors and characters is so over-the-top that it's impossible not to notice. I will admit that AMC is slightly better than GH in this regard, as the former nearly always features Susan Lucci and David Canary in frontburner stories (whether those stories are worthy of even being filmed is a matter of debate), and the latter would rather douse itself in gasoline than do the same. But that's kind of like saying that "Riders on the Storm" is a better song than "What's Up?"--yes, it IS true because nothing can be worse than "What's Up", but that doesn't mean that "Riders on the Storm" isn't terrible in myriad ways.

What has me so heated about veteran characters? Well, I came across an AMC SPOILER that reminded me that there are no limits to how terrible this show is. After the jump, discussion of said spoiler, so don't click if you are trying to remain blissfully ignorant of what's to come.

Remember how AMC brought back Di, just to kill her? And how they brought back Josh just to make him evil and then kill him? And remember how they couldn't allow Stuart to have a happy life offscreen and sacrificed him for a sweeps story that has suddenly become more about the Zach/Kendall/Ryan triangle than it is about Stuart being brutally murdered by someone gunning for Adam?

Bearing those in mind, I guess we should be relieved that Marian is not the next character to be brutally murdered, but it's not like her exit is going to be at all dignified:

Kendall is visited by Stuart's ghost, who tells her they can all be at peace now. Zach is devastated & asks for leniency at her sentencing hearing, as does Adam (at Annie's request). Marian, however, wants Kendall to pay & fires a gun at Kendall, hitting Marissa instead. Marian is hauled to a psych ward.

Throwtv

Actually, my first reaction was befuddlement, as I misread it as "Marian, however, wants Kendall to pay & fires a gun at Kendall, hitting Marian instead", and assumed that the writers had just discovered the curved bullet of Wanted. But once I got myself oriented, my second reaction was blistering anger and the desire to break television sets, because Charles Pratt is just the worst.

We've seen Marian all of a half dozen times in the past couple of years, which was just slightly less than the number of appearances Stuart had during that time frame. What about these two is so offensive to Charles Pratt? I mean, god forbid two long-term characters be offscreen living a happy life. Like, you weren't writing stories for them anyway, you douchebag! Couldn't you have just ignored them? It's like their existence bothered him so much that he could not function with them on canvas and had to commit and murder them, respectively. "They are stupid, and old, and old and terrible and old, and I hate them! I don't want them anymore! So there!"

Charles Pratt, I hate you as much as you hate old people. Yeah, I went there, you jerk.

Comments

I can't decide who sucks worse, Pratt or Guza. Can you tell that these two use to write TOGETHER for one show? UGH!

V to the omit.

It's almost like there is a war going on between Guza and Pratt over which of their shows gets cancelled first.

Oh my god.

My blood is boiling.

I was wondering how they were going to tie up this gratuitous murder story. So they have one of the show's heroines commit what is arguably the worst murder in the show's history, and then forgive her for it by having other people misbehave?

Yup, it's GH.

E to the vil.

Why not let Marion exist? Her freaking whore/lawyer new younger and not improved daughter is even back in town. They could have lunch once a year or something. But noooooo, she's a Babe replacement or a potential hubby for Erica so she must die. Charming Pratt, you're a real sick dick!

Is the Brianna Hughes murder case going to end up w/ Edward in prison? I mean they could kill him off, but the Q crypt is already overflowing.

F to the uck this S to the hit!*!^*!$^!%#%&$!#&^!*!&^!)

ooops, I meant she's NOT a Babe replacement

I swear the soul purpose of ABC Daytime is to ruin things that were once great and piss people off.

Can't the casts of AMC and GH get together and sue ABC for purposefully trying to get the shows cancelled? I mean, surely no one can think this atrocious writing ISN'T on purpose. You have to try really, really hard to be this bad. And for Guza to have been head writer for so many years, driving ratings steadily down, his job never seemingly threatened despite the massacre of character and story on-screen - it amazes me. Other shows replace head writers if the ratings drop for six months to a year, yet GH seems determined to let Guza set the ship on fire, punch a hole in it and drag it to the bottom of the ocean. It's completely perplexing.

I've been convinced for years Pratt and Guza have compromising pictures involving Mickey Mouse and a goat.....its the only explanation I can come up with.

So, let me get this straight: Marian and Stuart had been living in some house on the Chandler grounds, minding their own business, showing up for funerals and the occasional wedding. Stuart, on his rare visit to the main house, gets shot in the umpteenth case of mistake identity, possibly by the ruler of the Pine Valley Universe—Ms. Kendall Hart-Slater. Marian, so upset by her beloved's death, jumps COMPLETELY out of character and attempts to kill said Pine Valley Ruler, only to shoot some marginal character with questionable taste in men (her dead twin's ex-husband).

This is what they think viewers want to see? This is how they treat longtime fans? I call bullshit.

O to the OMG!

AMC just keeps getting worse and worse.

As usual Mallory, you have summed up my disgust perfectly.

I'm not exactly sure of the motivation for what passes as AMC of late, but I think that Pratt truly believes that he is creating Melrose Place for ABC since CW didn't require his services. Why not just have Alexander Cambias, Sr., return to kill off everyone over 40, commit suicide, and then be done with it?

Seriously, I'm thinking about suing ABC for wasting five hours of my time each week!

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