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.
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.
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.