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« Angelic Hitman Says WHAT? | Main | The Failure Is Legendary »

March 30, 2011

Fascinating. Morbidly, But Still: Fascinating

If Angie hadn't delivered her baby today, marking the start of a story that could wind up being the slowest motion trainwreck All My Children has seen in weeks, I probably would have deleted this episode from my DVR sight unseen because really:

Caleb learns from Erica's maid that Erica has gone off to get married; Jesse delivers his baby; JR, AJ and Marissa reconnect.

People can't really be wondering why the ratings are so terrible, right? Because the four-letter long answer is staring them in the face: D-U-L-L (although S-H-I-T would be another acceptable answer). Much like he was with her twin sister, JR and Marissa are completely toxic together. Or at least, I experience the symptoms of a deadly toxin whenever they are onscreen, in that I instantly become listless, lethargic and find myself praying for death. Caleb? Please. I just cannot. I don't know what he said or did during his seemingly interminable airtime today, but I know that it was boring and delivered by Michael Nouri with the passion and inflection of a man reciting his grocery list.

But I just had to see the start of the Jesse and Angie story unfold, just to gauge exactly how much of a trainwreck it is going to be. And maybe I am grading on one hell of a curve, because compared to the rest of the show it was some downright Emmy-worthy writing, but it doesn't seem as heinous as I assumed. Sure, it's preposterous. And it's only JUST started, and could very well go down the drain tomorrow with Darnell Williams moving from heartbroken to "manic and also, crazy". And it might have felt more organic if the writers had just left Williams and Debbi Morgan go offscreen and get a few minutes of screentime each week just acting out random DRAMATIC scenarios for their Emmy reels.

For now, though? The performances were definitely worth watching.

Jesse: No. NO! I did everything I could. I begged you to open your eyes. I begged you to take a breath. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Oh my god, we loved you so much. We loved you!

Angie: Ellie? Ellie? Jesse, I heard our daughter. I heard her crying. Mommy's here, Ellie. Don't worry.

I mean, Jesse's look of horror and shock at the episode's end was amazing. And it's probably the same look I will have on my face during tomorrow's episode, so...

Comments

I think the writing and acting of Angie and Jessie's story was BRILLIANT. Do I think the writers are generally brilliant_ HELL NO_ but today's Angie and Jesse scenes were incredible and so well put together. I felt Angie's pleas to God for a healthy birth of her baby. Debbie Morgan took me to the edge of tears and then Darnell Williams as Jesse took me to full on sobbing. I have not emoted over a soap in years. I watched the episode twice already because of SN. Riveting, gripping, authentic. It was everything acting should be. I am completely impressed with the writing and acting of birth of baby Ellie. I will watch AMC for this story alone. In fact, this is the only reason I will watch ABC soaps as I have abandoned GH and OLTL. Carvialti and Guza should take notes. Yes, I know the writers are "show killers" but they also wrote incredible story for several years on GL before giving up. I am not an apologist for their failures, just my opinion on their successes.

Now on to the rest of it...everything else on today's episode of AMC was complete asinine garbage. I wish there had been a complete hour of Angie and Jesse (minus an ineffective Brot and the non-Black mother of that very-Black baby.)

I couldn't agree with you more with the wasteland of character that comprises Caleb. Marissa's entire existence still makes no sense to me. Why kill off Babe and replace her with essentially the same character. Babe could remained married to JR, raise AJ and become a lawyer. Babe and Bianca becoming more intimate would even make more sense. The presence of these useless characters detracts from interesting story. I am tempted to add Bianca to that mix but I still hold out hope. Only the presence of Colby, Krystal, Greenlee, Ryan and Caleb's son (whose name I cannot remember) would have forced me to record AMC to just bask in the glorious acting of Darnell Williams and Debbie Morgan. They gave hands down the best performances of 2011 (yes, better than anything on GH with Jake's hit-and-run.) The writing was pretty flawless for the Angie and Jesse scenes (although, I imagine DW ad-libbed "The where did you go?" to dead baby Ellie.) Oh my gosh, I am need to go find a Kleenex.

C'mon AMC writers, give us incredible story all around not just an one-shot deal.

Just to get Caleb out of the way - if only we could....Not to diss Michael Nouri, but without holding a mirror to his face to see if he's breathing, how on earth would anyone know? The guy is about as lifeless as Randi for God's sake. It always looks as if he's gazing off set trying to locate the nearest exit. I so wish he could find it.

I wish I felt aa you two did about today's Angie and Jesse scenes and storyline. I agree that they both gave excellent performances. They are both actors with talent, something AMC is in short supply of. Too much airtime - (as in any is too much) have been given to the witless Ryan and repellent Greenlee - so seeing Angie and Jesse in action is a gift.

But it's too little too late - and far too opportunistic for me to invest in this storyline. Angie has been made into some sort of cartoon cardboard saint - fawning worship of a woman with flaws is hard to listen to. She's NOT Grandma Kate. And Jesse has been very damaged by his utter lack of scruples since coming back to PV. Then they build up this late-in-life pregnancy with all the attendant problems, and THIS is the payoff? How idiotic did they make Angie and Jesse? She's on the verge of delivery, she's BLIND, she's having a high-risk pregnancy, and on the eve of delivery, Jesse decides to practially talk her camping?? And she's fine with it? How do we work up sympathy for such idiotic behavior? Not me.

The writers may be able to write good scenes, but they feel very hollow to me, without heart.

So am I to assume that the baby died? I haven't watched in years so just wondering.

Yep, the baby died. But as luck would have it, Brot had a spare baby he was carrying around in a box. SUCH good writing, huh???

Brot had a spare baby he was CARRYING AROUND IN A BOX?!?

I am so glad I stopped watching this show!

Not just a spare baby. A spare, female, AA baby. Gee, that's convenient, no?

They should have made the baby in the box Asian. Angie would never know the difference, and everyone in town could pretend not to notice.

I agree that DW in particular did some spectacular acting today and yesterday - possibly the best he's done since he returned. I appreciate getting to watch that.

But the storyline does nothing for me. I don't dislike it because it makes me uncomfortable, I dislike it because it's - IMO - a cheap stunt by some second-rate hack writers to create drama the easy way. It's a detour from what I believe was the original story, and it's just unnecessary. AMC is nothing but dark anymore, dark and depressing and dull. And once the surprise factor wears off from this, it'll be back to being boring again.

The bones of the story remind me a little too much of Billy and Victoria's storyline on Y&R, with their adopted baby. And they're even going to use the same name - Lucy.

I know it's partly my own stuff, because I've always thought AMC had too many dead baby storylines, starting with Anne and Paul's daughter Beth back when the show was gold. And there had even been Kitty's miscarriage before that. And then there was Donna's son. But those storylines, as hard as they were to watch, actually lead somewhere, actually progressed character development. Will this one do the same?? Somehow I doubt it.

We hardly even liked Babe. Sure as hell can't stand Marissa, the Careys as a whole unit drag down JR Chandler. That little family is the worst thing to ever happen to the character.

Annie & JR were just perfect for each other and to go from that to this? it's complete eye roll worthy and gag reflex worthy.So many other females that would have better rootable fan interest but AMC would rather tank. And I'm appalled that JR and Bianca, legacy characters to AMC have to play 2nd fiddle for this Marissa lifeless and annoying character.

Caleb is also a waste of space. Jesse and Angie's s/l actually is a treat for me to watch. Other than that you're right, this show wonders why it's losing viewers, there it is.

@SoapBaby: It's rare but even a very light-skinned black woman can have a very black baby. It's a throwback to ancestral DNA. Also, the baby's father may have been black.

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