A Silver Lining Shocker
To the surprise of everyone who is still watching All My Children--so, to the surprise of 18 of us--there is something happening in Pine Valley that is adorable and has potential to be entertaining. Entertaining on purpose, even!
I mean, right? She is the cutest! I have had a soft spot for Lindsay Hartley since she was Lindsay Korman and I watched Passions the summer it premiered. She's just so likable! And I feel like, convoluted and retconned backstory aside, Cara has gelled with the rest of Pine Valley (her brother? Um...less so. Actually, that's not entirely true--he's mostly fine, and I like him a lot with Amanda. I think the show should abandon their Kendall/Griffin plans, put him with Amanda and...I don't know, get rid of Jake's smug face) and with Tad, in particular. She and Michael E. Knight are just delightful together, as evidenced by their banter on Friday's episode when she accidentally outed him as a private investigator:
Cara: You deserved to lose your license because you're the worst private dick in the history of private dicks.
Cara: I got to tell you, I've always wanted to do a sting.
Tad: Technically, this isn't a sting.
Cara: I think I could be really good at the whole cloak-and-dagger thing, you know, playing a character.
Tad: You hang on to that thought, Mata Hari.
I was charmed! It's entirely possible that I have low standards (ha, I first typed "no standards" and that also fits the bill) and am latching onto something that is merely okay and declaring it great just because even mediocre stands out like a beacon of bright, shining light amidst the rest of this show. And it is entirely PROBABLE that whatever story plays out between Tad and Cara won't be even half as good as the story I have imagined (and I'm not saying that in a "My imagination is the best imagination ever", way. I am saying it in a "these writers are terrible at their jobs" way). But for now, I am cautiously optimistic. Hey, it could be good! Stop laughing at me like that! You know, bitter laughter with pity in your eyes...
You know what's even more shocking than that adorability? Really, I hope you are sitting down for this, because I never thought I'd be typing these words and I'm pretty sure you never thought you'd read them. At least not here, at any rate, and certainly not in a genuine tone: Randi made me laugh. Like...a lot. Well, maybe that's overstating things a bit, but I giggled, and it was because I was amused. Usually, it's because I'm profoundly uncomfortable by her...can I even say acting? I feel more comfortable and honest saying "by her line readings".
Randi: Who is that?
Randi: A very hot "nobody."
Randi: Madison is having your fiancé's baby. Are we all ok with that?
Randi: You know what? Give me that cupcake, because whatever sugar high you're on, I need some of that.
Denise Vasi has comic timing! Who knew?!
Lest you think All My Children is in the midst of a total upswing, there are a few constants. A few HORRIBLE constants. Ryan and Jake being the fucking worst, for example.
It all started at the end of Thursday's episode--well, that's not when it ALL started, it ALL started YEARS AGO, but for the purposes of this discussion, the latest chapter in their worstness started on Thursday--when Jake got David's test results an IMMEDIATELY called Ryan to report to him. Like, David is SO devilish that medical ethics are just not even a thing when it comes to him and it's much more important to play the part of loyal lapdog and fill Ryan in.
Ryan--say it with me!--reacted to this phone call in the douchiest way possible.
Jake: I just wanted to give you the heads-up on Hayward.
Ryan: Why? What happened?
Jake: I'm just going over these tests, and I'm going over them again just to make sure.
Ryan: Ok. Get to the point.
I would have hung up on him, but Jake continued merrily along, content in the knowledge that their mutual David hatred means that he and Ryan are totally BFFs.
Then Ryan got to a-plotting (plotting is okay when Ryan does it) and went to snark at David before ultimately dragging the heavily sedated Hayward up to the roof of the hospital to threaten him. Oh, he also took a break from all this to be gross.
Ryan: Hey. How's the most beautiful bride-to-be in the world?
It's not new, of course, that the writers paint Ryan as a hero even when he's doing horrible things. That's their thing: pretend that Ryan is the greatest person to ever walk the earth despite exhibiting exactly ZERO redeeming qualities. And fine, he and the rest of Pine Valley can hate David, because the writers obviously aren't going to let David have a friend or redemption and...whatever. I have feelings (angry feelings!) about this and how Vincent Irizarry deserves better than this writing, but that's a rant for another time because right now I am ranting around Ryan performing criminal acts with that smug fucking face of his and--UGH.