The Town Where Happiness Goes To Die
When Charles Pratt was named All My Children headwriter and I said, "After the reigns of McTavish and Esensten and Brown, there's nothing Pratt could do to ruin this show any further. The only way he could wind up as the worst AMC headwriter in recent memory would be if he lit fire to the set and then turned cannibal!", I didn't mean it as a DARE, and yet the show took it as such, because I can think of no better way to describe what he has done to AMC besides pyromania and cannibalism, and, if anything, that's significantly understating things.
Even the highlight of Monday's episode evoked mild annoyance; the rest of it was an ungodly mess, and when I went to WebMD to check the symptoms that I had after the show's end, it turns out that AMC may have given me an ulcer, sinusitis, an allergic reaction or generalized anxiety disorder!
Because I am too tired to be creative in framing this post, I present a list of things that I hated about this show. The list is, quite obviously, abridged, because we don't have enough bandwith for me to write down all of my complaints.
HATE: The prison notifying Zach that (Faux)Kendall was stabbed by leaving him a voicemail.
I'll let the ever expressive Mike Cutter speak for me:
Are you effing kidding me? I am foolish to even attempt to use logic when dealing with this show, but really, why would they not try calling Zach on his cell phone?
Warden Griggs: Mr. Slater, it's Warden Griggs at the state penitentiary. There was an incident tonight in your wife's cell block. I'm afraid she's been injured. A stab wound. Because of her prior heart condition, we're transporting her to Pine Valley Hospital.
I am so sure that information like that is left on answering machines!
HATE: Erica propping Ryan.
Ryan Lavery is TRULY the worst thing to ever happen to Erica. That should go without saying, because Ryan is the worst thing to happen to everybody, everywhere, but he's especially terrible for Erica in particular. I am endlessly fascinated by the large-haired, pocket-sized diva, but I've had a hard time watching her scenes lately, because she is turning pathetic. The mooning over Ryan, the making out with Ryan, the endless excuses she makes for Ryan...
Erica: Ryan, you have to stop blaming yourself. There's only one reason that Emma is in there, and that's Annie. What Annie has done to that little girl--asked her to lie, asked her to keep secrets.
Erica: Ryan, Emma was already in the crossfire, because Annie put her there. Annie has been using her own daughter as a weapon--loaded her up with lies and secrets as bullets. The only thing you have ever done is protect Emma.
Does anyone else have a craving for a Drano cocktail?
And what the hell, Erica, you don't seem to mind that Ryan's endless time spent protecting Emma (all of it occurring offscreen, natch) has apparently led to your daughter's son going missing! Where the hell is Spike? I know he's the most reasonable person in town and if any Pine Valley child could survive as a latchkey kid, it's Spike, but STILL.
HATE: What the writers have done to Jesse
One of the most frustrating things to watch is a character vehemently denying that they have done something when, in fact, they have done that something.
Adam: Just how deeply are you in this?
Jesse: Why am I not surprised that I am next on your list of co-conspirators?
Um, because you ARE next on the list of co-conspirators? I mean, conspire and break the law all you want, since it IS a soap, but dial the moral righteousness back just a little bit.
HATE: The best Kendall/Zach moments coming from episodes written by Megan McTavish
The brief flashbacks of Kendall and Zach's wedding were probably the last time the couple was actually written well and McTavish is responsible for that. If that's not the saddest sentence ever typed, it is at least in the top five.
HATE: The writers' complete lack of understanding of the medical profession
Erica: I just spoke with the desk nurse. They're closing now. Jake has been assisting the neurosurgeon and he's going to be coming down in a moment to tell us how it went.
OH, REALLY, THAT'S HOW IT WORKS?
Even more horrifying than a random doctor assisting a neurosurgeon is that said random doctor is Jake, and that everybody involved seems cool with it, whereas I'd have to say, "The man who faked a baby death and adoption and then abandoned a baby in an alley so that he could then adopt it after it went into the foster system wants to be part of drilling a hole into my child's head? Is there anyone more adept on staff who could handle that? Like, say, that therapy dog over there?"
HATE: Adam is almost certainly Stuart's killer
This is the only way I see this story wrapping up, and the hints keep adding up. Emma is terrified of him, and Scott unreservedly believes in Annie's innocence and is shattered by the truth (or "truth") that she tells him about that night. And Adam will be absolved of guilt based on the fact that he was being drugged (he will, of course, never forgive himself and the true guilty party in that case--David--will never face consequences for Stuart dying because the writers don't play that) and the writers will be able to have a major character be the culprit without having to do any real work punishing them or redeeming them, and they can all high five each other for their brilliance while I projectile vomit all over my television.
David Canary will, of course, be absolute perfection in this story, because he would be perfection in a story where he [UTTERLY IMPLAUSIBLE AND RIDICULOUS IMAGINARY PLOTLINE REDACTED IN CASE THE AMC WRITERS DECIDE TO USE IT AS INSPIRATION], but it is a terrible idea. I hope that I am wrong about this, I really do, because it's such a bullshit way to wrap this story up, and it's a bullshit way of killing off a long time, important character, but bullshit is about the only thing these writers are good at, so here we are.
(How many more times do you think I can say bullshit in that sentence? In addition to the aforementioned ailments, AMC has also given me compulsive sailor's mouthitis!)