In Which I Turn Into Jan Brady
And scream "All we hear about is Brenda. Brenda, Brenda, Brenda!"
I was trying to think of a way to describe the show's Brenda overdose and then it hit me: the constant mentions of Ms. Barrett is like my inner monologue when I was in fifth and sixth grade.
And then it hit me again: this is karma for the span of time where I drove people, my mother in particular, crazy with breathlessly babbling about the adventures of Brenda Barrett. I dropped her name as much as Port Charles residents do, in so many conversations with people who, looking back, were blatantly uninterested. I...am cringing at how annoying I was (and clad in the best of the mid-90s fashions I was. Can we talk about that dark period in time for a while? There was the flannel, and the sunflowers, and I also remember a huge variety of slip dresses). And now that annoyingness is thrown back in my direction. I am to blame for all of this. Please feel free to pelt me with rotten fruit.
Let's take a look at Tuesday's Brendathon.
Question: Did CLAIRE talk about Brenda?
Claire, as we all heard and were appalled by, wants to keep Brenda alive because she feels that Brenda's death would put a damper on her romance with the wee one. You can tell Claire is a Port Charles newcomer, because any longtime resident knows that it doesn't take anything as life-altering as a dead ex-flame to cause Sonny to check out of a romance; he'd end a relationship because he likes someone else better, because he likes the business better, because he likes the start of the NBA season better. So cram it up your cramhole, Claire.
I still don't understand how she has the authority to tell Dante what to do, but here she is, telling him that he has to keep Brenda alive at any cost.
Dante: Sure, I suppose. Ok. But she's got Jason now. She's going to balk at the thought of having a police guard.
Claire: No, she will not. She will cooperate because Sonny is the love of Brenda's life, and you're his son.
First of all, how the hell would Claire know Brenda's ranking of the loves of her life?
Secondly, if this sweeps period must include a petite brunette being menaced by The Balkan, um...can it be Claire? I find her offensive.
Question: Did JASON and SAM talk about Brenda?
At least they are actually talking about her for a reason. Specifically, saving her from The Balkan, and it's all very dull and I am not at all invested in any of it (OHMIGOD, do you think any of the head writer's favorite characters are in danger of dying?! I WONDER!). But I did get a chuckle--nay, a cackle, at this:
Sam: Jason, you don't know how this guy operates. You don't know how many men he's going to bring there. You don't even know what he looks like. You're going to need all the help you can get.
Jason: I have Lucky.
I'll Take "Things That Were Never Spoken, Ever, During Greg Vaughan's Time on The Show For $500, Please, Alex"! Unless he was speaking of having Lucky as though it were a liability; that was the kind of writing poor Greg Vaughan got.
Question: Did LUCKY talk about Brenda?
He filled Siobhan in on the plan to ambush The Balkan with Jesus--I mean, Jason. She was rightly skeptical about this, pointing out that if The Balkan is as dangerous as everybody has been saying he is every day since Bob Guza got the bright idea to make him the show's new villain, maybe he has a plan of his own to trip everyone up. He probably does, Siobhan! Especially since he now knows that Lucky isn't Ronan after all, thanks to some spectacular failures in Lucky's undercover skills. Being undercover means, apparently, that you can have discussions about your secret identity in public places where thugs are lurking in the shadows.
Lucky: Look, I'm still Ronan until the Balkan's caught.
Lulu: So just be Lucky Spencer for one night, and you can go back to being Ronan O'Reilly.
What?! Were you all screaming "Whuuuuut?", or some variation, at how dumb that was? Well, wait, there's more: apparently when you're undercover, you're allowed to just, like, clock out for your fifteen minute break and visit your family in another public place, filled with people!
What would have happened if someone at the hospital was like, "Hey, Lucky, haven't seen you in a while?" Would he have replied, "I'm deep undercover as an assassin named Ronan O'Reilly, so..." to the obviously horrified person making smalltalk? I feel like scenes were filmed but edited out of yesterday's show--because what was the point of bringing in Lucky if we didn't get a scene with just Lucky and Luke? Isn't that why Lulu and Tracy left, to set that up?--and I'd give anything for one of the scenes to be that exact conversation unfolding between Lucky and Epiphany, because while her inappropriate attitude and lack of boundaries usually annoys me, Lucky totally deserves a lecture from her for being terrible at undercover work.
Question: Did MOLLY talk about Brenda?
Ugh, Molly. I find her so cloying and irksome. The syrupy way she says certain things, like "Uncle Sonny", is like nails on a chalkboard to me, so I always sigh in aggravation when I see her. She was talking to Michael (is anybody still questioning why I want this poor child to get a hug?!) about how he needs to urge Jason to be more pronounced with his affection for Sam, because she's probably feeling under-appreciated.
Molly: See, Jason's living with his ex-wife, who just happens to be a supermodel, and Spinelli spends all his time waiting on Brenda instead of working on P.I. Cases. Sam has to be feeling neglected. I know I would.
Shut up, Molly. I just find it weird that anybody would be discussing this turn of events like it's something Jason has welcomed into his life. Do people not see Jason's obvious consternation whenever he is in the same room as Brenda?! He's practically turning into Mr. DeMartino from Daria when he talks to her. I don't often make excuses for hired killers, but I have to take the hitman's side, here: he'd be a much happier person--well, as happy and human as he is capable of being--if he didn't have to interact with Brenda at all.
And then she introduced herself to Abby. Remember Abby, the stripper and probable call-girl that Sam brought in to get Michael comfortable with the idea of sexing? Well, the official story now is that she was never a call-girl at all, just an exotic dancer who wanted to help Michael out of the goodness of her heart. Anyway, she is (1) back (2) more talented than some of the people this show has on contract (3) lovely and (4) seriously sweet with Michael.
What does it say about this show that I am peeved every time the name of my favorite soap character ever is mentioned, but am thisclose to starting a fanboard for a character who...is she even a recurring character?
Where was I? Right, Molly.
Molly: Um, excuse me. We haven't been introduced. I'm Molly Lansing Davis*, Michael's cousin. And you are?
Abby: Abby Haver. Hi.
Molly: It's nice to meet you, Abby. And how do you and Michael know each other?
It didn't play out quite as rudely as you could read it, but still: go sell precocious somewhere else, kid.
*SHOCKED that they had her use the Lansing part of her name! I assumed they would just eventually pass Molly off as another of Alexis's fatherless daughters.
Question: Did JAX talk about Brenda?
He also talked TO Brenda, and FLASHBACKED about Brenda.
*I also need more of Brenda with Robin, and Brenda with the Quartermaines that are still alive. I mean, if we are going to get All Brenda, All The Time, can't we have some bonding that is filled with history and happy memories?
Question: Did LULU talk about Brenda?
I hesitate to even put this question out into the universe, because I just know that Bob Guza will respond by crowing "You just ain't seen nothing yet", but...how much longer can we do the whole "Lulu says something about Dante not being under Brenda's spell, when--wait for it--wait for it--Dante and Brenda actually have a past. OMG!" thing?
Lulu: Well, Brenda is, like, creeping into every part of my life--my work, my friendships. Now you're going to be spending, like, what, 8 hours with her gazing into those brown eyes?
Dante: Look, police guards--we don't gaze into eyes. We open doors, and we screen visitors, and we shoot bad guys.
Lulu: You know what I mean. I just--I don't know. I think that you're going to get sucked into the Brenda vortex.
Little does she know that he has already been...um, sucked.
I am mildly terrified at the prospect of Dante and Brenda spending more time together, either romantically or platonically. Not because I find the idea of someone being with a father and son questionable (it's a soap! It's been done! Like, by most women on All My Children!), but because we'll get more flashbacks for sure. And two airhogs hogging air TOGETHER, and then two other airhogs talking about the aforementioned air hogging in an air hoggish manner...I just cannot.
Question: Did CARLY talk about Brenda?
Answer: Um, duh.
I have to give Carly credit: when she heard that Jax went to visit Brenda and had a lengthy conversation with her, she didn't immediately curl up in the fetal position in the Metro Court lobby and sob at full volume "Why is this my life? Why don't you love me the way you love Brenda?" or march to Jason's and set Brenda on fire. No, she took the high road of listening tensely and seething, softening only when she got Jax's word that Brenda would never appear on the cover of Crimson. I wouldn't describe that as a high road for most people, but we are talking about Carly here; if there's no verbal abuse or physical violence, I consider it a mature response.
Question: Did LUKE and TRACY talk about Brenda?
Answer: No (!!) (!!!) (!!!!)
Luke and Tracy (and Michael and Abby) managed to find other things to talk about besides the world's smallest supermodel! It's just that...I hate everything about Luke and Tracy's story. All of it. It's not funny, it's not entertaining and it is an enormous waste of these two actors. Would seeing them sit and gab about Brenda for no rhyme or reason be better than this offensive heart attack crap? It just might be, scarily enough. Is that the plan? Is that how Brenda is going to completely take over the world? "Well, you said that you hated the non-Brenda story we have going, so..."