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« Whatever Happened To Predictability? | Main | Last Week in Llanview (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) »

January 08, 2011

Going Out With A, Um, Bang

Finn Wittrock and his glorious soap opera character name are leaving All My Children, which I think I have neglected to mention here (I have neglected to mention a lot of things about All My Childrenlately. My 2010 Review is still, after all this time, a work in progress and I haven't commented on recent episodes lately. I was having a hard time creating new and exciting ways to say "Alicia Minshew is as amazing as can be" and "I hope Madison hauls off and stabs Greenlee" and "El Douche then said something in a doucheish manner"). I'm not exactly torn up about this because, really, Damon was a HORRIBLE character. A history rewriting, wholly unlikable, sent to the backburner as soon as the show found another good-looking guy in his twenties character (and if I am choosing between Asher and Damon, I am choosing Asher, if only for the delightful homoerotic subtext he and Jacob Young bring to their scenes together).

Wittrock decided that if he's going to leave the show, he is going to do it AT ELEVEN. "I'm going to go ALL OUT," he may have thought to himself. "By next week, people might not even remember that Damon was a thing, but if they think about it long enough, they'll say 'The one with the yelling? And the strangely robotic arm motions?' Yeah. ALL OUT".

Damon walked in on Colby and Asher making out and unleashed on her. All those months sitting on the backburner gave him ample time to work on his hoarse with rage voice.

Damon, in a normal tone of voice: Save it. He already kissed you once. Am I supposed to believe this was just the second time? How long has this been going on?
Colby, shrilly (Just pretend that it says "shrilly" next to her name for the remainder of this entry because good lord. Natalie Hall is really great with light-hearted moments but she needs to stay away from angst): I swear to you, there is nothing going on between me and Asher. Yes, there was that one kiss,  but that was it.
Damon, still speaking normally: Okay, that makes me feel a lot better. [With barely a pause between sentences, ups the volume as though he is heckling at a baseball game] YOU WERE KISSING HIM BACK!
Colby: No, I wasn't.
Damon: I was standing right there! Before you were all [Does higher-pitched "Colby" voice] "Oh, he just kissed me, I wanted nothing to do with it'".
Colby: I didn't want anything to do with it!
Damon: Okay, but this time?
Colby: I don't know, it just happened.
Damon, looking like he's about to start breakdancing with these bizarre arm movements: BECAUSE YOU WANTED IT TO. 

Damon: Oh, so he was just really that good at making you feel all better.
Colby: You know it wasn't like that.
Damon: THEN WHAT WAS IT LIKE?
Colby: I don't know! I was upset and Asher, he was there for me.
Damon: Oh, right, right, he was just there. So if Lucretia had been in the room it would have been you two I walked in on?
Colby: You know that's not true!
Damon, as if he remembered he hadn't yelled in a couple of minutes: EVERYTHING I"VE DONE, waiting tables, getting my GED, taking that job with Liza, it was [Deafening yell] ALL ABOUT YOU [in a normal voice] to make you proud of me, to convince you that I was good enough for you. That us dating wasn't a mistake.
Colby: I never thought that we were a mistake.
Damon: Neither did I. [Scoffs dramatically] [Did you know it was possible to scoff in an over-the-top way? I didn't!] Until right now.

Then he met up with Liza, and eventually explained that his rage was caused by heartbreak (and also his ADHD, I'm guessing, since that allegedly caused all of his prior bad behavior). Now he got a chance to show off his EPIC SAD FACE.

Liza: Maybe you've lost Colby and maybe you haven't. It doesn't matter. You're still you. You're a smart, capable, hard-working guy that any girl would be lucky to have [Lies! --Ed.].
Damon: I don't want any girl.
Liza: I know.
Damon: I have to go.
Liza: Okay.
Damon: I mean, I have to go. I have to leave town. I know you're in the middle of this case, and I'm sorry, but I can't stay here anymore. I can't. I can't.
Liza: Okay, Damon, wait. Please. Please don't go.
Damon: I don't want to leave town.
Liza: Then don't.
Damon, voice breaking and then talking dramatically through tears: Like I have a choice, Liza? DAMN IT!
Liza, hugging him: I know. I know. Oh, god, I wish it could be different. I wish there was something I could do.

She might as well have added, "To your penis, in particular" to the end of that sentence, because all of a sudden, Damon sniffled and then they started making out and I was caught off guard and HORRIFIED. I knew that something sleazy and upsetting was going to happen between these two all the way back in March, but then it didn't happen and Damon's presence in Pine Valley was gradually decreased, so I forgot all about it, so I was surprised and sort of revolted by the end of the episode. "Have a good weekend, but before you go, watch something disturbing!"

Divider

Will Finn Wittrock be able to check off "Over the top soap love scene" to his end of AMC bucket list? Tune in Monday to see!

Meanwhile, there is something big brewing. No, not something on the show itself because, duh. No, like all interesting things related to the show, this is taking place behind-the-scenes, and it is a doozy of a rumor: According to our friends at Daytime Confidential, Frons is courting Megan McTavish for a return.

You know how you just yelped without realizing it, slammed your laptop shut, and ran out of the room holding back tears? I did the same thing, because referring to Megan McTavish's last stint with AMC as a reign of terror is sugarcoating things SUBSTANTIALLY. 

Except...it turned out that her writing ability (feel free to use sarcastic airquotes around either of those words as you see fit) was TOO HIGH A BAR for her successors to reach. Esensten and Brown were almost hilariously inept (not hilarious in the "Haha" way, but hilarious in the "If I convince myself that this is funny, I won't cry myself to sleep at night" way), and Kreizman and Swajeski don't seem to understand that the goal of a soap opera is to entertain and Pratt...Charles Pratt saw All My Children as a way for him to tell viewers to eat shit and die five times a week. He was THE WORST.

So compared to him, sure, McTavish seems like a reasonable alternative (the things I sometimes wind up typing, OH MY GOD), but really, how many times are we going to give writing jobs to the same hack writers? What daytime needs is NEW BLOOD. Remember how excited we all were when Sri Rao was writing the second season of Night Shift, because he had a new perspective and wasn't just ripping off stories he had done before on other shows? That's what we need!

And honestly, the show goes through head writers like I go through Starbucks lattes, but Julie Hannan Carruthers manages to stick around? How does that work? Isn't the show's rapid downturn and absurd loss of viewers at least partially her fault?

And, of course, my last, unanswerable question: how the hell does Brian Frons manage to hold a job for so long? And where can I get a job that allows me to pull a huge salary in spite of the fact that I have spent years doing everything POORLY?

Comments

The only thing about losing Damon that I don't like is that it lessens Tad's role on the show even more. That's not something I'm happy to see. As for Asher, I find him even more unappealing than Damon. His only tie to the canvas is his relationship with this fake Courtlandt, Caleb the Boor. I don't care how many times they have him talk to the picture of "Uncle Pete" - he's a fake. And duller than dishwater. Colby would be infinitely improved with a long-lasting case of lockjaw.

And the corporate incest continues. McTavish was the writer who started this devolution, although we know now, maybe more than we did then, that Frons is micromanaging AMC into extinction, with the happy help of his chief ogre, JHC.

Someone, elsewhere, suggested that McTavish might not be so bad, especially if she was paired up with a strong writer like Lorraine Broderick. That is apparently the best we have to hope for anymore, something that's "not so bad". And why would Lorraine sign on for it anyway?

Not to mention Bob Guza (different show, I know, but still!). How does HE still keep his job, year after shitty year?

Ron, I believe Lorraine was already approached about the HW job, and she refused the offer. Apparently, she has no interest in anything that involves answering to Brian Frons. Also, she and McTavish didn't get along when they cowrote AMC in the 90's, and I don't think either of them would agree to another pairing.

Obviously, LB is way too smart for the job.And McTavish has retired from the Soap World, and is now a professional dog breeder.

That last line sort of screams for a joke or a pithy remark, but I can't seem to find one, lol. The idea that McTavish is somehow the lesser of all evils scares the Lavery out of me.

AMC must be in deeper poo than I thought :(

[whining]Why can't YOU be the NEW BLOOD, Mallory? You could write All My Children scripts with all the love and respect that only a long-time fan would possess! [whining louder] You could do it! You know all the family lineages, the complicated plot points, the strengths and weaknesses of all the characters. [whining with pleading eyes] You know what makes for a good story -- and you could make Pine Valley zing with vibrant, dynamic excitement again! [whining and begging while genuflecting] You could bring new life to characters who've become trite and ineffectual with too many crimes and marriages and reincarnations.

[whining, pleading, kneeling in shameless supplication to the greatness that is Mallory] PLEEAAAASSSSE?!?

Ok, I am one of the biggest McTavish haterz in all of hatedom but she did give us Original Recipe Zach and Kendall. That was the only thing in her whole career she did right.

I feel like I should take a shower.

I guess I never understood the hatred for McT. The woman gave us Zach Slater for God's sake. She gave us the most amazing slow burn I have EVER witnessed in my 30 years of watching soaps. She should rec. a medal for that.

What did she do that was so bad?? The unabortion?? Well, this is a soap. Jesse donated his organs and yet is the PV Police Chief these days. Was it death by pancakes?? I think that came from higher up. The Carey love fest?? Okaye, I'll give you that one.

But IMHO she wrote the most amazing love story I have ever watched unfold between Zach and Kendall. The only thing I HATED that she wrote, that still haunts me today, is having Kendall jump into Ryan's arms after Zach saved her. That was an enormous slap in the face.

But talks of McT. coming back gives my hope that maybe, somehow, she will have Thorsten Kaye with her.


T

ITA with Donna....

Mallory, you should write for AMC.... I just know that in the first week the King Douchbag will be killed off in a blaze of glory for the fans and that will make the ratings skyrocket..

I don't get why Frons continues to draw a gigantic paycheck for destorying what was once a great daytime network...

I don't get why JHC is still employed.....

All I can say is they must have some great dirt on someone higher up....

The constant hiring of no-talent hacks with a track record of destruction is crap...

When LB came back to work until they found a new HW, I really didn't see anything good going on... Maybe, because Frons wouldn't let her fix McT, B&E, Pratt's mess...

Kay Alden, Amanda Beall come to mind, but I truly believe that no decent writer would work for Frons.... Because Frons is the one dictating what they write & who they write for...

Hell, if you read the fanfics on ZK Board, those writers have amazing talent & could make the show #1 in a week....but sadly, Frons wants lapdogs doing his bidding...

McT started the downfall..... Yes, she did write great Zen, but we still have Ryass infesting every single s/l....and lets not forget the unabortion & Dixie's death by pancakes...

I don't want her back....

I just don't think that Frons is serious about fixing AMC..... I think that he truly believes that the Rylee hour is amazing and that we are just too stupid to see it...

JMHO, but until Frons, Carruthers are fired... Until, they hire new blood with a successful track record of writing great stories... .Until, the characters of Ryass & GL are booted out of PV, the show will continue to suffer & eventually be cancelled..

I recently read that the character of Ryass will be involved in finding out about what really happened to Zach.... and my head almost exploded... Another bad decision, another s/l that he will suck the life out of..

CamMat already has a s/l involving GL/Maddie, but they stick him in Zendall's story again... All the while the talented Darnell Williams, MEK have nothing to do....

Wouldn't it have been nice for Kendall to investigate this with the help of Jesse, Tad, and maybe even the delightful Brot....with no Ryass infestation....but that would be a good story and Frons doesn't allow good stories...

I've stop watching so much... AM is still stellar... SL rocks, but the sight of the shirtless wonder trying to act makes my skin crawl....

Sadly, I believe we are seeing the final days of AMC.....

Maybe, we should start a letter writing campaign to AMC...

Mallory for HW.... NOW!!! Anyone agree...Although, Frons would never let that happen.... Mallory has too much talent and the Rylee, Ryass show would end....Frons won't allow that...

In total agreement Mallory....AMC needs new blood - not recycled writers with the same recycled stories. McTavish brought her own brand of horrible to the show (although yes, she did give us Zach Slater and Team Slater, so she did one thing right), but I never would have thought that she was the best out of a line of crap.

AMC's ratings have been on a downward spiral for the last few years. How is JHC still in her job?

The ratings for all ABC soaps have been down and continue to sink. Why the heck does Frons still have his job?

At what point does someone higher up the ABC food chain take notice and can these two?

Yes she gave us Zach and Kendall and I will be forever grateful and I am grateful she was one writer who actually listened to the fans and what they wanted. Because actually she was NOT a Zendall fan and preferred Ryan and Kendall and that was her ultimate goal. Happily she realized she could not block the tidal wave. In addition, I don't think that TK and McT were each other's biggest fans so I am not sure her return would do anything to the cause to getting TK to change his mind and come back

Someone new? Now there's a novel idea - and yes, why do JHC and BF still have jobs? It's a real mystery to me too. In any other situation, they would have been gone long ago..

Mallory,

Thanks for your logical and rational discussion of the inherent problem with the proposed return of Megan McTavish to AMC. The idea of Megan McTavish returning to AMC strikes genuine fear in my heart. Yes, she gave us Zach Slater, but she also gave us Babe. Yes, she gave us Zendall, but she also gave us Rylee. My point is that McTavish has given us great story lines but equally contributed to the overall downfall of AMC. I don't believe that she deserves a FOURTH chance to demonstrate (or prove) that has loss her edge.

I want TK back as much as the next person, but I'm not convinced that McTavish can or will do justice to the character of Zach Slater if given another chance. She created a complex character, but her writing for Zach was always eclipsed by her love of all things Lavery.

For instance, McTavish decided that Spike should be a Lavery instead of Madden's despite evidence that Madden was the donor for all of his "clients." Why? Because she (or Frons) loves Ryan above all else. Do we really need a continuation of the Lavery worship under McTavish after enduring this odd phenomenon in her absence?

I think not. And for that reason, among thousands of others, I simply do not wish to see McTavish EVER return to AMC in any capacity. In the infamous words of Yogi Berra, it would be like deja vu all over again. Only this time, I seriously doubt that the fourth time is the charm.

Femina

IDK how Fronsie has kept his job so long- that is a good question & I demand to see the photographs now! As for McT- well, the Zach Slater/Zen-loving part of me is ecstatic & hoping fervently she might somehow be able to sway him back by writing for him the way he was back in the beginning with all his swagger & snark! Praying to Soap gods! If only she won't give us Lord of the Douchebags up the yeng-yang, but IDK what I'm thinking- of course she will. So- I'm not sure what I think about McT's possible return- mixed bag.

Mallory
The Lord of the Douchebags will be involved in finding out about Zach's death? I agree with all the other comments, on this board why oh why??? The clown nose cape man is front and center again in Zendall story line..... I had hoped that Kendall/Tad/Jesse/Erica even Opal with her card readings ,could do some sleuthing, but NO the cape man must. I read some of the ideas for stories that people write on different boards and I wish they would get a chance to submit there story/ideas. They seem to understand the history of AMC better than any of the headwriters.... Yes McT gave us our awesome ZACH and KENDALL, but if rylee is there we know those two will, infest Z&K relationship. And still I say (like many, many others on this board and other boards) would love it if TK/Zach returned...even though I would be screaming, at the television WTF Lord of the Douche Bags/greenme leave our Zendall alone!!!!!

"Thanks for your logical and rational discussion of the inherent problem with the proposed return of Megan McTavish to AMC. The idea of Megan McTavish returning to AMC strikes genuine fear in my heart. Yes, she gave us Zach Slater, but she also gave us Babe. Yes, she gave us Zendall, but she also gave us Rylee. My point is that McTavish has given us great story lines but equally contributed to the overall downfall of AMC. I don't believe that she deserves a FOURTH chance to demonstrate (or prove) that has loss her edge."

Good point. For every good thing McTavish wrote there was something terrible.And By the end the bad was far outweighing the good.

McTavish coming back is a nightmare. She should not be allowed in the daytime industry again. The unabortion is enough to get her banned. Dixie's death by pancakes makes it much worse. Not to mention all the other mistakes she made: Remember her awful stories in 1998? Yes, I took it there. Braden Lavery, Raquel Whateverhername was, and the worse horror: TKFP (That Kit Fisher Person) aka Christine Montgomery. Shuddering in horror.

I don't care that she created Zach or Zendall. I was not a huge fan of the pairing or Zach, but I do recognize their popularity. Did she create Kendall back in 1993? I am too lazy to look it up. Either way, she has had some good ideas, but those days are LONG gone.

In terms of Damon, I actually started to like him once he was paired with Liza. I hated him with the ADHD thing and always messing up. I hated the history rewrite and hated even more that Hilary was never brought back. Ugh! His "love" scenes with Liza was horrifying, but mesmerizing at the same time. I am somewhat sorry to see him go, and I only wish Tad would go too. Yes, I know this is unpopular, but what is the point of Tad these days? Stand around and making corny jokes? He has had a rich history, but the writers aren't doing him any favors. Michael Knight looks bored in every scene. There is a rumor that he may be getting married (I won't spoil it), so I only hope that helps him.

So glad that Mallory mentioned that homoerotic subtext between Asher and JR. I love me some Jasher. They are hot. I would love to see those kissing cousins.

Today was the first day I realized how awful Natalie Hall is in her role as Colby. Not Brianna Moncrief awful, but awful nonetheless. That screeching was so unnecessary. Her scenes with Turbo Luner were equally bad as Turbo also was having an off day. I did love the end when Tad came to the door to find Liza standing their looking like shell shocked.

Ha! buddz and Lisa, I wish! I am pretty sure I've been blacklisted at ABC, though...

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