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« Math Hurts My Head | Main | A Reason To Be Thankful: Awesome Writer, Being Awesome »

November 23, 2010

The Day of the (Not So) Dead

One of the first things I did after watching yesterday's episode of All My Children was stockpile a number of phrases commonly used to express shock, including "Well, knock me over with a feather", "I am completely gobsmacked!", "IS THIS REAL LIFE?", "Oh em gee" and wordless flailing, because to my utter surprise, the last few minutes of Monday's AMC were some of the soapiest soap to recently soap.  I mean, please: Kendall breaking down as she plays and replays Zach's voicemail message, followed by Greenlee sentenced to life in prison, followed by David strolling, stone-faced, into the courtroom? PURE FREAKING SOAP.

So I eagerly and excitedly tuned into today's AMC, figuring that the writing staff would be able to sustain, if not exceed, this level of awesome and also sort of wondering what brought on this previously undemonstrated knowledge of soapiness.

It turns out that short-term narcotics of some sort were responsible because today, while filled with some compelling moments and FANTASTIC performances, was oddly...off, somehow.

We all knew there was a possibility that David wasn't really and truly dead and was merely faking his death as part of a nefarious plot on Pine Valley, so his entrance wasn't completely shocking but it was wonderfully staged. With the gasps and the hammy double-take from Darnell Williams and Greenlee and David locking eyes, and then the entire courtroom dissolving into sheer hysteria. How did they all react? Greenlee: DISGUST. Ryan: HATRED. Jake: HATRED. Liza: "How the eff did this become my life?"

Kimberlin Brown (it's still bizarre that they got KIMBERLIN BROWN for THIS role. So fantastic and so, so wasted here) confirms that David is David and he takes the stand to explain what the hell is going on, which leads to A LOT of monologuing and flashbacking and fake-flashbacking.

Short version: he despises, with every fiber of his being, Ryan Lavery and would do anything in his power to make sure that he rids the world of the unholy pairing of Ryan and Greenlee. Which...make that a campaign platform and I'd totally vote for him.

Long version:

David: Do you really need me to spell this out for you, your honor? The man wanted my wife.
Ryan: What I wanted was her away from you.
David: You made Greenlee believe you could give her the world while destroying mine in the process. Did you really think that you could get her to forget about her horrible accident? All the pain and suffering you caused? I was the one who saved her life, not you. It was supposed to be Ryan behind that table today, Greenlee. Rotting behind bars for the rest of his life. Not you. It was never supposed to be you. I could never hurt you, Greenlee. That's why I'm here today: because I would rather lose my own freedom than watch you lose yours.

I think was the problem I had with this episode: it was A LOT of David, talking, and occasionally flashing back to things that happened a few months ago. A combination of exposition and the writers attempting to rewrite things they only half-assed in the first place, and the whole thing just seemed cheesy. Like, end of Lifetime movie cheesy, with the flashbacks (the best was David lurking around in the background after his "death" wearing a hat and sunglasses) and the soliloquies.

And it just drove home the fact that a promising couple was demolished to put Ryan and Greenlee back together. Because they were promising, and I feel like there was such a fantastic story there if the show was willing to delve into their history (Leo's brother and his great love falling in love!), but...no. And as Greenlee pointed out, David's plot did nothing to kill the show's horrifying, possibly immortal villain. He made it more powerful and self-righteous!

Greenlee: Poor poor David. You got upset because I, what, said Ryan's name? You're such a fool. I loved you once, I truly did. And I wasn't leaving you for Ryan. He had moved on and I respected that. I was leaving you for me, because what we had had turned into something ugly and suffocating and I needed to get out for me. But you know what the best part of this whole thing is, David? Ryan and I wouldn't be together if it wasn't for your sick plan. So thank you, really, from the bottom of my heart. Everything you did to keep us apart pushed us together. You created your own nightmare.

Just vile.

So, yeah, David administered an herbal compound that makes blood pressure look non-existent (it's "infamous in Turkey") and blackmailed the medical examiner and watched people mourn for him. Pine Valley...did not take it well.

  • Marissa stormed into the courtroom and gave her father fakest looking slap, and ranted about how horrible it is that David did this to her and how he's dead to him with all the passion of a person who dropped the coffee filter, getting coffee grinds all over the phone.
  • Tad was a hypocrite.

David: Stealing another man's wife doesn't exactly make you good, right?
Tad: And you wouldn't know a thing about that, would you Dave?

You...are a tool, Tad.

  • Jake got owned.

David: Don't beat yourself up over missing [the fact that he wasn't, you know, dead], Martin. It could happen to any...mediocre doctor.

  • And David made me laugh.

David: In order for this plan to work, Lavery had to be angry. Well, we all know what kind of a hot head he is, so that wasn't too difficult.

I got a huge kick, however, of David, Greenlee and Ryan having these heated conversations about someone not really being dead. They've all been "dead" at some point! They really should have known this was a possibility!

So Ryan is furious, Greenlee is angry and devastated and David is going to be hauled to jail for fraud and a few other charges.

David: And if you're waiting for an apology, you'll be waiting until your dying breath. When it comes to you, I'm just sorry your sorry ass isn't behind bars.
Ryan: I'm just sorry you're still walking this earth. I guess prison isn't so bad, right? When you're in there, at least you're safe from me.

I don't think that's entirely true, because I get the feeling that Ryan haunts David's dreams...

Divider

If Vincent Irizarry was the star of part of the show, Alicia Minshew carried the rest on her tiny little shoulders. This week and, I'm sure, coming weeks are going to be filled with material for her Emmy reel. She's been FANTASTIC.

Anyone who has ever lost somebody knows, all too well, the devastation and the way the shock is just numbing at first, and she was pitch-perfect at conveying that. Refusing to go into their bedroom, not wanting to cry and throw things because she may not be able to stop...it was so sad, and so hard to watch!

Then Bianca filled her in on the David bombshell and Kendall jumped right to the FURY stage of grief, storming into the courtroom and reading David the riot act. There's no one better on this show at conveying rage.

Kendall: All of this is happening because of you.
David: I'm sorry about Zach.
Kendall: Oh, you think you're sorry now? Just wait.
Kimberlin Brown: I will not allow threats in my courtroom.
Kendall: Look. My husband went to go help a friend. He wanted to stay home with me and the boys, but he went anyway. We thought Greenlee was fighting for her life.
David: Zach getting hurt was never part of the plan.
Kendall: HE'S NOT HURT. He's not hurt, he's (Enormous gasp) gone. He is gone. Forever. He won't be there for either of our sons, ever, and this is your fault and I want you to own that. (Bianca tries, kind of weakly, to calm her) NO! No, no! I want you to sit with that guilt for the rest of your life and I want it to eat you alive from the inside out until there is nothing left. Nothing. And then maybe you will know how I feel.

Like I said, FANTASTIC. I'm not really sure what it says about me that the scenes I am most looking forward to in coming days are the scenes of a heartbroken woman grieving...

Comments

Alicia Minshew is absolutely amazing. Because she's so gorgeous, I think people often don't credit her acting talent enough. She has single handled raised AMC from asinine depths that this Ryan/Greenlee/David mess has sunk the show into. I miss Thorsten Kaye terribly, but Zach's "death" has given Alicia a chance to showcase her talent. Now, if only AMC would give her a little more respect and not restrict her to SIX minutes on the show! Instead we get endless scenes of silliness that is Rylee and David, not to mention some pretty bad acting going on in that courtroom by people not named Alicia.

Well, I'm joining you because the only thing I have left to watch in PV that I can count on will be AM's upcoming grief & if it approaches the perfection I've seen thus far, I'll be a happy camper. I'm sickened over Zach's death & planned not to watch at all when he "died" & yet AM draws me in everytime. She has been magnificent & I do hope she gets her Emmy- she certainly deserves it.

I'm watching for AM only and hopefully when Zach comes back from the dead. Nobody stays dead in Pine Valley for long.

The only reason I watch this now is for Alicia Minshew; I want this to get some ratings so she can continue to keep us wanting to watch. After being hooked on this for the entire run of the show (even when I couldn't watch with no VCR and my mother and grandmother kept me abreast of everything), this is when we should be watching and hopefully, they won't dispose of David and somehow we will get back to what is SOAP. If they can continue to have moments like this, like it should be every single day it airs, then I'll stay - otherwise, I will have to follow AM to what her next endeavor will be and I'm pretty sure these performances will help her get there. She, for me, is the only Kendall I'll remember (SMG didn't ever do it for me - she was way too young at the time and really green in her acting) - anyway, my point is clear - I love this show and I hope the writers can see their way clear to keeping at this level and it continues to get better - if not, they've lost me...

I was looking forward to David's return for some delusional reason and then Tuesday happened. Tuesday was a continuation of the first 9 months of 2010 with David/Greenlee/Ryan. Yawn. Rylee suck, that's a given; but David particularly is tedious to watch like this. A delusional, obsessive, sociopathic whiner. I'm not interested until some major changes are made in that repetitive story. If that ever happens.

Particularly due to the failure with David's return, so far, and AM's impressive performances, I'm with you. "I'm not really sure what it says about me that the scenes I am most looking forward to in coming days are the scenes of a heartbroken woman grieving..."

I absolutely love Alicia (Kendall) she is the only thing that is keeping me invested in this soap. However I have to say this is as per usual with this soap a crappy way to celebrate the holidays. Who does this gives its viewers grief for the holidays????? Idiots! I would rather have watched the Slaters enjoy the holidays together with their boys and then if they had to kill Zach off.

Alicia Minshew was amazing. Damn, I hope David wreaks havoc on Ryan and Ryan's relationship with Greenlee. I loved David and Greenlee and thought that their unanticipated love story would've been amazing, and that RB has a thousand times infinity more chemistry with Vincent than with Cameron Mathison. I too wish the writers would get their heads out of their asses and remember that David is a complex character and not just this idiotic town's blameworthy villain.

You said it, Maya - David and Greenlee had a million times more chemistry and she was turning him into a better person for the few seconds they let the romance happen. Such a waste of talent to go in the other direction.

Alicia was good Monday, but yesterday, I have to say she stunned me with that rant. She did such a good, good job and I, too, am looking forward to what's coming up. I held my own when Kendall was told about Zach's death, but when she gasped in the courtroom, I lost it. I'm devastated and happy for AM at the same time.

I can't believe we're entering the holiday season with all this grief. It's starting to resemble GH and 2007 all over again.

Aside from that pitiful slap, I actually thought Brittany Allen did a pretty good job. Considering who's replacing her, I don't yet understand the need for the recast.

I replayed David whacking Ryan with that book at least six times. Why, WHY aren't more people allowed to hit Ryan on a regular basis?

Every time Tad spoke I pointed at my tv and exclaimed, "Shut it, MURDERER!"

If this whole thing hadn't have ended in tragedy, I would so be onboard with David's mantra of doing whatever he possibly can to keep Rylee from happening, b/c that's like the best superhero criteria...ever.

AM/KENDALL was simply amazing the last couple of days. I was sobbing as she tried to make her way to their bedroom!!! But then leaning against the wall, she called Zach's phone again and again hoping he would answer.
I was not surprised to see David yesterday. I think alot of the fans felt he was not dead, and would be back. But now that David is back, PLEASE I AM SO BEGGING YOU DAVID make sure you are always right there in ryan greens face 24/7, walk into their house anytime you want etc. They were running to ZACH/KENDALL, and bugging the bejesus out of them (AND ME) now I think r+g deserve it back a BILLION times. ryan and greenlee are are boring, distasteful,revolting. TK/Zach/ZENDALL we miss you alot.

AM has been absolutely astounding...outstanding...superb...I could go on and on!

I have to say, for me, it was a very hard hit to lose TK/Zach and Zendall. To this point, AM/Kendall is the only thing keeping me tied to this show. I had hoped VI/David's return would give me something else to care about...and then there was Tuesday's epi. David is in the same place he was when he "died". "Greenlee, Greenlee, Greenlee." With a few "Ryan, Ryan, Ryans" thrown in for good measure. The lack of drama I saw in that courtroom (other than AM) was astounding. It was just a bunch of blah, blah, blahing back and forth. TK is and was my favorite actor on AMC...no matter how hard they tried or didn't try...there was nothing that would have made me hate the character...same with Kendall. David was close to the same type of character for me...and I love VI. I have now reached a point with David, where I don't hate him...I don't love to hate...I don't like him...I just simply no longer care about the character.

I will continue to support AM/Kendall...but, I will do it through clips and summaries. This show, in their lack of writing talent...in their constant shoving Rylee down my throat...reminding me DAILY what was lost with the loss of TK/Zach/Zendall...who can take a character I used to like and make him into a character I no longer give a flip about...this show doesn't deserve an hour of my time a month...let alone an hour of my time a day.

I try to avoid spoilers, so if this has already been said I apologize..... however, my theory is that Zach staged his death to save his family from whoever it was that was watching them. Just like David, he'll be back when the time is right.... or maybe this is just wishful thinking.

Great, David is back. NOT. I can't stand David's sick and twisted "I am better than anyone" attitude and his ridiculously horrible treatment of anyone unlucky enough to cross his path. Short and simple, David sucks and I hope someone puts a bullet square in the middle of his chest and hits that shriveled up prune pit he calls a heart and kills for good this time.

The only problem I have with Kendall's grief were her scenes with Greenlee & Ryan .. Greenlee who lost Leo ... Ryan who lost Gillian ... they really could help her.

As for ISAveLives Haywood .. meh .. so over his getting off free when he breaks the law .. BUT he was right all this is Ryan's fault. Had he not lied/exaggerated to Greenlee about what he saw between Zach and Reese the night before their wedding .. none of this would have happened.........I am not sure if that's good or bad soap

Once again I'm in the minority here. I watched the Kendall scenes on Hulu and all I can say is I've seen those scenes a hundred times before (wife refuses to believe her husband/lover's dead) before the truth hits her and she is forced to admit that he's gone for good. As for Alicia Minshew, for my money the less said the better (but I do have to ask why she only has two stances: arms hanging at her sides or folded across her stomach). Heaven knows that the writing on this show is doing no one any favors and I realize that not everyone can be a Debbie Morgan Olympic champion of crying, but ten minutes after Kendall received the news of Zach's "death" I began wondering why someone hadn't pointed out to AM that listening to someone sniffle for an hour isn't so much dramatic as it is just really annoying.

I for one Im glad David is back,the show has been ALL MY RYLEE and i am about sick of it..I agree with the few who mention David and Greenlee.The writers could have explored so many different layers with them but they broke them up for another RYLEE go around..I enjoy AM performance..the lash out AMC prommise between Kendall and Greenlee however was a complete disappointment!! JMO

Well, we can't have Princess Greenlee be justifiably yelled at can we? I like Debbi Morgan but her performances this year have been wildly over-rated. Alicia Minshew these last few weeks has blown Morgan out of the water. DM has been too inconsistent, sometimes verging on hammy acting. I cannot forget a few weeks ago the incredibly bad acting both she and Darnell Williams (whom I adore!) did when Angie was telling Jesse David was the reason she went blind. Those were just unbelievably bad. Alicia has been more realistic in her performance giving pitch-perfect nuances to every second from the husky voice of someone crying too much to the devastation conveyed just with her eyes.

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