All My Children: 2009 In Review
Back in January of 2009, I had this to say about Charles Pratt and his writing:
The saddest part of all is that Charles Pratt didn't even have to exert much effort to be better than the previous AMC writing regimes. He pretty much had to show up to work and not drool. And he couldn't even do that! EVERYTHING about this show right now is terrible.
No, January Mallory, that is NOT the saddest part of all. The saddest part of all is that the writing in January was pretty much the best writing the show got for the rest of the year and things only went downhill from there. Downhill, and then hit repeatedly with a bat and set on fire. The show was terrible, is what I'm trying to say.
How terrible, you ask? Let's reminisce. Here's a look back at the year in Pine Valley, by the numbers.
1: Double wedding where one couple was not, at the time of wedding planning, divorced from their current spouses and one half of the second couple was a complete lesbian stranger to the first couple
Zero: Reasons for Josh to come back to Pine Valley to rob Zach
Less than zero: Times I thought I'd ever be bemoaning the character assassination of an aborted fetus
1: Number of men suing for sole custody of their children because they are mad at their wife (who, mind you, was out of her mind with grief over her dead, albeit terrible, daughter) for cheating on them
12: Times I shuddered and felt dirty for even momentarily sympathizing with Krystal who, I am always quick to point out, is no stranger to keeping children from their mothers
3: Seconds it took for Bianca to revise her previous "Zach is Gabrielle's father" statement to "Zach is Gabrielle's donor" once Kendall woke up
100: Percent likelihood that said revision came because Bianca had a feeling that, muscle atrophy or no, Kendall would want to beat the hell out of her
648 (Approximate): Times I thought to myself, "Holy hell, Reese is the worst person to ever exist"
1: Times I rooted for a bigoted homophobe
1: Number of lesbians on canvas
1: Number of characters whose sexual orientation is best described as "I'm a lesbian, except that Zach is my true soulmate"
1: Number of former Passions stars who joined the show
1: Number of former Passions stars who joined the show while lying about their age (31, McKenzie Westmore?!?! This isn't the radio, woman!)
1: Heart transplant where a sister received her brother's heart
Zero: Times Kendall learned the truth about what happened to Josh
Zach: The donor was Josh.
Erica: Honey, there was an accident.
That's the best you could do, Erica? "An accident"?
2: Characters who made me pray for death (Ryan and Reese)
824: The number, on a scale of 1-10, that most aptly describes the wrongness of Reese starting to say that it would have been better if Kendall hadn't woken up from her coma
4: Months overdue Bianca's tirade at Reese was
1: Amazingly inappropriate wedding toast
Kendall:Uh, I actually would like to make a toast as well. To my new sister-in-law, Reese. You have certainly made quite an impression on all of our lives. My sister, with whom I've always felt a very special bond, has been utterly transformed since she met you. So much so that I hardly even recognize her anymore. And my husband, Zach -- well, we all know how much you've captivated him, don't we? And even though you will be moving back to France with Bianca and your adorable new daughter, I have a feeling your presence will be felt around here for a long time to come. Weddings are supposed to be about beginnings. I suppose it is for you and Bianca. However, for the rest of us, it's about endings -- mainly that we won't be seeing you around here any longer. So, here's to a safe and swift journey home. Au revoir to the both of you.
96: Percentage of the All My Children audience who clapped their hands with childish glee at said inappropriate wedding toast
1: Number of times in February that I tried to blind myself, possibly related
1: Statement from Ryan implying that he thought kissing was the same thing as sex
Countless: Number of women who quite obviously had less than stellar sex lives with Ryan
1: Number of times we were accused by Julie Hanan Carruthers of writing bizarre AMC fanfiction in our minds
Some fans were upset when it appeared that Reese might consider leaving Bianca for a man.
She is not considering it. That’s the audience rewriting what’s there. It’s not being written that way at all. Reese has never wavered in what she wants.
8: Number of exclamation used to punctuate the statement, "Suck it, JHC!!!!!!!!"
2009: Year in which daytime had its first lesbian wedding
Friday the 13th: Day in February on which said lesbian wedding occurred
10: Seconds of sarcastic clapping I engaged in to compliment the AMC writers on their clever subtlety
2: Days given to Kendall to adjust with the new world she was living in following her coma before people started bitching about her attitude.
1: Bride killed in an accident after taking a motorcycle ride in full bridal regalia
3: People Greenlee knows who were also written off the show by going over a cliff (Vanessa, Leo, Ryan)
7: Times daily I am saddened by Ryan's cliff dive not taking
4: Smackdowns where characters spoke for the audience, my favorite being
Bianca: What is it about him that is so irresistible? You know what? No. I'm -- I'm going to go now. I'm going to go now. I am going to go now, and I'm going to leave you alone, so that you can get ready for Zach. You should change into something sexy, open up a bottle of wine, wait for him to come home so that the two of you can consummate our wedding night.
Multiple: Readers stumbling on Serial Drama via the search "hate HATE ryan all my children"
2: Daughters in Paris who actually like said allegedly devoted wife (Miranda, for some ungodly reason, did like Reese and Gabrielle is a baby and babies like everyone)
Negative Infinity: Number of people in Pine Valley who liked Reese
159: Times as of March 1st that Babe (Fucking Babe!) was mentioned in 2009 after dying in October
1: Half-hearted attempt by the ABC promo man to make that sound like something worth watching
1: Blind lesbian
1: Attempt by the writers to make an awful, annoying character sympathetic
6: Letters in the phrase "HELL, NO", that phrase being the answer to the question, "Did Reese's blindness actually make her more sympathetic?"
5: Age of Little A when he downed an entire glass of Scotch
1: Callback to the greatest public service announcement of all time
Little A: I wanted to be like you, Daddy!
1: Allusion to Babe's time spent receiving treatment for multiple strains of VD
JR: I mean, how many times was Babe at some clinic...
Infinite: Enjoyment felt when JR acts out in melodramatic ways
J.R.: No, I'm not ready to go. That baby should rot in hell, too.
Amanda: Shut up!
J.R.: Because it's just like its father. You know what you did? You spawned the devil's son!
J.R.: So she can take her devil baby, go straight to hell with it, and when Hayward gets there he can do whatever he wants with them.
6: People living at Tad's following the loss of Palmer's fortune thanks to a swindler
10: Seconds I spent thinking that had potential to be enjoyable before I remembered what show I was watching
8: Number of Lubbock children on the classic sitcom Just the Ten of Us, starring Jamie Luner
8: Number of times I thought to myself, "No, no, for the love of god, no!" when I learned Jamie Luner would be the new Liza Colby
9: Months for which I managed to repress the memory of Kendall and Ryan having sex
3: Seconds I spent interested in Randi and Frankie's relationship
3: Full minutes I just spent weeping at the potential for what could have been between Erica and Adam
0: All My Children staffers who thought to themselves, "You know, a deathly ill baby actually isn't entertaining at all, maybe I should stop this"
5: Letters in "Turbo", Charles Pratt's nickname for Jamie Luner
8 (Approximate): Cast members who put Charles Pratt's photo on their dartboards after reading that they should be watching out for Jamie Luner, as if she's more talented and awesome, and are also like high schoolers
0: People who come out looking good in a Zach/Reese/Kendall/Ryan fight
1: New Chandler
10: Times I had to read the part about "bisexuals", "Anne Heche", "bouncing back and forth" and "black widows" before I understood what the hell he was talking about
2: Thumbs up for anything and everything related to Pratt Falls.
7: Seconds it took the writers to drop the "Alexander Cambias didn't kill Dixie after all" plot.
5: People I would have taken hostage if they actually made Adam Dixie's murderer.
3: Length, in hours, of the nap I had to take to cure my ailing stomach following the Zach/Liza hookup and the closeup of Liza's panties.
1: Number of times I attempted to care about Frankie and Randi before giving up for good.
18: Times I rolled my eyes when people were shocked that Krystal "Babies are like purses, but more disposable" Carey sold a child at birth.
0: Reasons for Ryan to be a part of the Slater family support team when Ian was dying.
8: Minutes spent guffawing at the sight of Ryan being sucker punched.
241: Minutes spent speechless after AMC is nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.
4: Seconds Charles Pratt spent mapping out Stuart's murder mystery
Slim to None: Odds that he had any clue who the real killer (™ OJ Simpson) would be at the time he started the story.
0: Seconds Zach and Kendall spent with their son after he was pronounced dead in order for them to run to the Chandler mansion and be involved in the murder mystery.
0: Reasons for the show to kill off STUART CHANDLER
10 (Estimated): Times Stuart has been mentioned since his (senseless) murder.
17: Years difference between Darnell Williams and Jamie Luner, who are playing high school classmates.
1: Master class performance by David Canary during Stuart's funeral.
348: Things about Liza faking a pregnancy that MAKE NO SENSE AND ARE RIDICULOUS
Many: Years Liza has sent Colby letters that went unanswered and, rather than have Marian or Tad ask what's up, Liza waits until 2009 to break into the Chandler mansion and try to steal them back.
279 (Approximate): Factual inaccuracies in the show's depiction of the legal system.
0: People concerned with finding out who really killed Stuart.
10: Number, on a scale of 1-10, that describes the wrongness of the Amanda/Jake/Dead Baby Storyline, specifically Amanda throwing David's dead children in his face.
8: Times Kendall got offended that Adam was pissed at her for (allegedly) killing Stuart, even though she actually did go to the Chandler mansion to kill Adam.
7: Full body shudders I did when I realized that they were going there with Adam and Annie.
1,000,000 (and counting): Things Ryan Lavery fails at.
2: Potentially interesting new characters in Henry and Madison North.
1: Potentially interesting new characters immediately killed off for a story that forced Denise Vasi into the limelight.
25: Laws Jesse broke helping Randi cover up North's murder.
16: Times I asked myself "What the hell is this?" when Liza was pretending to give birth.
6: Brain cells in all of Pine Valley, since more people didn't realize something was up with Liza, what with the pregnancy pad and a labor that included no blood, sweat or screaming.
100 (approximate): Catfights between Annie and Erica.
1: Child so traumatized by witnessing a murder that she went catatonic
24: Things wrong with Zach's plan to frame Annie for the attempted murder of Adam.
28934: Things wrong with Kendall's decision to confess to a murder that she didn't commit to spare her family the pain of a long trail in which the prosecutors have very little evidence.
50: Size, in square feet, of the spot reserved in hell for Charles Pratt thanks to the awful ways he treats veteran characters.
78: Conspiracy theories that ran through my head when I learned that AMC was moving to Los Angeles.
Eleventy billion: Dollars the average person would charge for going to prison in someone's place. Is Zach worth that much?!
10: Years until Zach should be allowed to say betrayal, or some form thereof.
50/50: Odds that the Kendall in a secret room story could have gone to a weird and creepy place.
Infinite: Number of flaws in Amanda and Jake's plan for Baby Trevor in which a group of adults decided that the most logical course of action was to drop a child off outside of a church and then have Opal pretend to find him and call CPS, who would then put him in foster care and Jake and Amanda would legally adopt him, because nothing at all could go wrong at any stage of that plan.
5: Years of therapy I will need to cope with the psychological fallout from Ryan and Erica's romance.
Tad: Find a way. You don't understand. Kendall and Zach? They're untouchable. Ok? They take the vow "through good times and bad" to a whole new level. I mean, they've been through comas and affairs and tornadoes and--and bomb shelters, rogue lesbian kisses...Any crisis you can imagine. I am telling you, nothing comes between Kendall and Zach. Nothing. Not even when they're apart. He's not alone. All right? She is there with him. Maybe not physically, but she's there all the same. They're inseparable, ok? Every single thing he does, every decision he makes is either for or about Kendall.
100: Years from now in which the sight of Kendall hitting Liza with her laptop will finally be old.
10: Days of the godforsaken dance marathon. Because that's what the show was reduced to: ripping off movies from the late 60s.
10: Minutes it took for Tad as the "hilarious" dance marathon emcee to drive me to drink.
8: Hours in which I'd gladly watch Angie Hubbard be awesome.
86: Times that Kendall and Zach had the same exact conversation about the mistakes they've made and brooded about it.
4: Hours spent in awe of Vincent Irizarry's complete lack of rhythm.
48: Length, in seconds, of the shriek I let out upon seeing Erica and Ryan make out at the dance marathon.
5: Notable people not going with AMC to Los Angeles--Brianne Moncrief (recast), Beth Ehlers (completely wasted on this craphole of a show), Aiden Turner (because there is no room for hot guys on this show), Ray McDonnell (who needs original cast members, anyway?) and Thorsten Kaye.
123: House number, on Douche Street, at which Ryan Lavery resides.
30: Seconds it took for the writers to come up with some boneheaded reason for Fake Kendall to leave prison (a stabbing, remember? And Zach got a voicemail about it which, I'm so sure), rather than investing time on something that made sense.
Far: How much Jesse Hubbard has fallen, with his wanton disregard for the law when it suits him (or his friends).
Zero: Amount of chemistry between JR and Marissa, who inexplicably got married and inexplicably get screentime
Zero: Stories about how freaking creepy it is that Marissa is living her dead twin sister's life, which could possibly make the girl interesting for something other than her awful hair
3: Buckets I filled with tears when it turned out that Adam was Stuart's killer. Tears of pure anger!
5: Seconds it took for Aidan to go from background character to EVIL evildoer.
0: Good evil-doing ideas that Aidan has.
30: Days Amanda would need to wait to try again at artificial insemination, which is apparently too long for her because she decided to have sex with David instead so that she could get back to Jake, as if Jake would be okay with that
100: Medical rules Jake broke when it came time to treat Annie, like...performing an examination on her while she was unconscious
21: Number of e's in the "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" I exclaimed when I heard that Charles Pratt was fired.
45: Times I said "Yeah, right" about Annie being in a coma after her miscarriage.
24: Length, in seconds, of the groan I had when Zach saw Aidan having sex with Candy, assumed it was Kendall and became filled with pure hatred.
6: Months David is claiming that he has left to live, because he's being written for by such shitty people that he has to resort to the kind of schemes that lame characters have been pulling since the 60s.
7: Number of smacks in the back of the head Amanda needs for believing that story without a second thought.
4: Minutes that Adam's trial lasted.
40-something: Age of Susan Lucci when she filmed flashbacks of Erica at fourteen. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Zero: Superspy skills Aidan put to use when it came time to menace and keep Kendall captive.
6: Seconds that Zach/Kendall's reunion lasted on the episode touted to be their big reunion.
100,000: US Dollars I'd need to be paid to wear Annie's dress at David's death party.
2: Minutes it took for Aidan's explanation of his craziness to change.
One question, Zach: What makes you think Kendall wants to be rescued? You know, she told me about you, about how when things get really tough, you just shut down. You know what? Kendall deserves better. She deserves to be trusted and loved unconditionally. The two things that you can't possibly give her. Just like when you turned up to that boarding house, and you looked through that window. You know what you saw? Two people making love. That wasn't Kendall. That was someone that looked like Kendall, and what did you do? You just -- you didn't even give her the benefit of the doubt, did you? You walked away. You walked away, and you gave up on your wife, the mother of your children, and you did exactly what I thought you would do.
Hey, listen. Just let me say something. I just want to say something, ok? Kendall, I'm sorry. I am. I'm sorry. I'm sure that doesn't mean a damn thing to you right now, but...this is not the way I intended it to go down. Ok, you're right--about a lot of things. I--I've lost it, and...I haven't been the same since Greenlee died. You ran her right off the road. And I can't forgive you for that. And I wanted to make you see my hurt--how much I'm hurt. I'm sorry for this, ok? I'm sorry. Whatever happens to me is fine. Because I'm just fed up with Pine Valley, anyway. There's too much flipping drama.
1: Character back from the dead
1: Original cast member left on the show. Viva La Lucci!
2: Fathers who abandoned their kids on Christmas
Thank you all so much for reading and making complaining about All My Children into a party. Here's to 2010! It has to be an improvement over 2009, right? Right? Because for it to be worse would...no, I can't even put that into the universe.