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« Dear Afternoon Television Program, | Main | The Unbearable Darkness of Being »

March 24, 2011

Putting On A Happy Face. For Now.

I spent the better part of this week with my nerves completely frayed, worried that the rumors would be confirmed and that All My Children would be officially canceled. The show's grisly possible fate had been discussed everywhere from Deadline to The Wall Street Journal to People.com to the conversation between two women in line in front of me at Starbucks and I was starting to bug. I refreshed soap news websites about [REDACTED because it's just...embarrassing. I don't think even the cast was as into it as I was yesterday] times and found myself seriously worried! I mock it a lot--perhaps a more honest statement would be "I mock it always"--but the prospect of not having All My Children to watch (and, yes, complain about in increasingly wordy and increasingly vulgar ways) left me depressed and dejected and despairing and other painful adjectives that begin with D. 

When the official word came that AMC had (temporarily?) been spared, I decided to do something to show my appreciation. "As God is my witness," I cried, because I love grand gestures and Scarlett O'Hara impressions, "I will say something positive about All My Children EVERY DAY!"

Then I watched Wednesday's show and immediately amended that to "...starting tomorrow" because yesterday's episode was a quagmire of just boring awfulness. There is literally--literally!--nothing in the world more boring than watching Caleb navel-gazing about who even knows what, while Michael Nouri looks off-screen at something he enjoys more than being on this show. And liberal doses of Krystal and Marissa? I was in a stupor, from boredom.

But then today came and it was...a lot of the same, but also: A BACHELOR CHARITY AUCTION. It's so old school soapy and ridiculous that I can't help but love it already. It's more than a little bit silly, but in the way that basically guarantees at least a few minutes of delight.

But then a few minutes ago came and several people gave me a heads up about an upcoming story. After the jump a SPOILER. It spoils the story AND your appetite.

From soapcentral.com:

Angie's baby is stillborn. Brot finds an abandoned baby. Jesse decides to tell Angie that baby is hers. The baby is Maya's (the new young, pretty Chandler maid).

Kreizman calls this the most emotional story they've told so far on AMC; it wasn't an easy decision - pros & cons were weighed. They wanted the audience really invested in the happiness and the baby here for impact. Jesse takes Angie to the place they got married in back in 1983. She goes into labor. Something isn't right with the baby. Brot arrives on the scene. Jesse is holding the dead baby when he hears a baby cry. It's a baby that was left in Brot's patrol car. A desperate Jesse decides he has to spare Angie. Morgan and Williams are over the moon about the material. Morgan notes if Angie could see this deception wouldn't have worked. As is, she's in heaven, so happy as Jesse goes through the motions for her sake. There's a scene where Jesse returns to where he buried his child to beg for forgiveness (the cameramen were crying). Jesse wants the dead child to have the name Ellie, so convinces Angie to call the baby something else - they decide on Lucy. How long will this secret stay hidden? With David around who knows...

What in the name of fuck?

I was going to bold everything that I found offensive and/or problematic and/or INSANE, but the whole blurb wound up bolded. I mean, yes, Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams will kill it and maybe the show will surprise me and it won't be the disturbing mess it sounds like, but...I just can't. I mean, I can and by that I mean that I CAN shriek with disgust and bafflement. What I can't do is deal. Or understand how writers were paid actual US dollars for this.

Comments

Will Angie STILL be blind, though?

I don't know how many (embarrassing) times you refreshed your soap sites on Tuesday, but I was hitting refresh on Google news like it was a morphine drip. And I don't even watch AMC.

But the idea of losing another soap was more than I could deal with...

The baby is named Lucy like... the replacement baby Billy Abbott bought for his sad wife over in Genoa City. Weird.

(as if that's the worst, least original thing about this)

Your reaction is the vast majority's and sadly this is the problem with AMC. We all want AMC to succeed, but these stories are badly written, badly plotted, sometimes badly acted and either not interesting enough to justify watching or downright offensive. AMC can't make it with Kreizman and Swajeski as the headwriters. Something has to give if AMC is going to survive.

I was doing the same thing yesterday, Mallory, and feeling ill that AMC might actually be gone. I've watched for 41 years, though I can barely get through an episode anymore. And I stopped watching completely until Annie was gone. I just couldn't watch that destruction one more time.

And then this horror of a spoiler.....

This is wrong. Really wrong. Angie and Jesse's late in life baby should be the way it was for Ruth and Joe or for Opal and Palmer. If they want to go this grim, they sure shouldn't do it with this couple. If they think this will draw in the audience, they aren't considering the veiwers they'll lose for good who will be appalled by it.

I guess any shock is worth it for a short-term jump in ratings.

What was the point of this whole storyline and all the anguish and trouble they had over whether or not to even kieep the baby if this is how it ends. It's so dark and twisted it seems to be like Pratt is back in the building. If only the building would fall on whoever came up with this horrid stunt.

Maybe it would be better if the show was cancelled. Then I'd just pretend that the show's real last day was when Adam left Pine Valley with Brooke. That really is the day the music died.

First Jake Webber and now this. ABC Daytime sure knows how to brighten people's days.

You know, you warned us before the jump, but I don't think I could have EVER come up with this particular spoiler, which only means I'm slow on the uptake as far as the utter, unbelievable HORROR SHOW that the AMC writers strive to bring us every day.

I love AMC, and the thought of it being cancelled kills me. BUT...then I read spoilers like this. And think how unfair it would be to OLTL to get the ax over AMC just based on AMC's/Erica's/SL's greater name recognition. I hate to see ANY soap get cancelled, much less the first soap I started watching and the one my parents watched. But honestly? What am I supposed to do with this spoiler? Or Rylee? Or any of the dozens of other issues? GAH!

I. Can't. Even.

I read the very same spoiler yesterday, and like Ron, I have watched from the very beginning (ok, there were gaps in college and when I had no cable, but I've watched and loved). Until right now. All the crazy storylines, i.e. Erica/Bear, Brooke/Mother is Drug Dealer, Unabortion, Dixie/poisoned pancakes, The Real Greenlee comeback (twice)...

Why Angie and Jesse? And why us viewers - how can they have us live through them being later in life parents only to kill the child? Why are you making such a beloved character, who is a doctor, believe that this stolen child is hers? When will Jesse stop being so complicit in crimes that no real cop would ever do (I know there are corrupt cops, but c'mon).

I tweeted this morning that this can make me stop watching altogether - maybe I can just fast forward through these scenes...

I keep saying that I wish Lorraine Broderick would take the Head Writer position - the line-up they have now seems to just cancel each other out - DK/DS write, LB fixes their mistakes, and Esensten/Brown screw it up again? There is no continuity, people seem to have jet packs on their backs (unseen) and can get from place to place in mere seconds, scenes make no sense because sometimes it seems they play out of order (Jake and Cara arrive to work in the morning; next scene it is JR and Amanda at night, then back to the middle of the day with Ricky and Kendall...)

My family wants me to stop watching, a cousin has stopped totally and has gone over to GH - I may need to take the suggestion unless something can be done - I actually would rather it be cancelled (can't believe I'm saying that) than to watch the crazy drivel day after day.

Someone, please bring the Real AMC back!

Jake and Amanda did a similar baby switch to throw David off of the Trevor hunt less than two years ago. I was offended by Jake and Amanda's actions then, and I am equally offended about Jesse and Brot's role in this upcoming storyline. I have no confidence in Kreizman's ability to do anything but make me hate the show more when this occurs. He destroyed GL and we all know how that ended. I love Jesse and Angie, but I have no desire to see this story line play out on screen.

Seriously, do all the head writers and break down writers from each of the networks sit in the same room and brainstorm? Or do they simply SKYPE their sessions? Because the idea that so many soaps are running the EXACT same storyline at the EXACT same time seems to suggest one of two things. Either daytime writers have no imagination and share a single brain cell or there is a great deal of collaboration/collusion going on between the networks. Sadly, the material isn't even good.

And completely off topic, would somebody please tell the directors to keep Griffin's shirt ON.

I am glad AMC is not cancelled. I watched it from the beginning until the unabortion-- that was the last straw for me, but what does ABC daytime think of these grim storylines-- 1 st Jake Webber Spencer is killed off and now this-- UGH. What happened to Love in the Afternoon. Where are writers who can write --- character driven stories with depth and caring.. where? daytime tv needs better writers pronto...

"And completely off topic, would somebody please tell the directors to keep Griffin's shirt ON."

Yes. That. Please.

I had always been of the opinion that Pratt killed AMC, Kreizman and Swajeski just failed to resuscitate it. But now I see that with this storyline, this pair has just one-upped The Worst Headwriter Ever to Write Soaps at his own game. Congratulations.

I don't want the show canceled, and I really want to support it with my viewership, but I honestly don't see how I can, or how the show can survive with this kind of writing. It's a very sad dilemma--I'm trying as hard as I can, but AMC is giving me nothing, nothing to work with.

@Smooshiest: No offense to your cousin, but quitting AMC and watching GH instead seems like an "out of the frying pan into the fire" thing. Jumping ship for OLTL I could see (even though I'm 99% sure that all the storylines they're running now are going to end up making me very angry), but GH is at least as much of a trainwreck at AMC. A different kind of trainwreck, but still.

@LoriK: No offense taken; I let said cousin know my feelings about that. I do have to say that I cannot jump ship to OLTL; to me, the only good thing on that show is Tuc Watkins and he's on only sporadically. I will never, ever go to GH. When everyone in High School was so enthralled with Luke and Laura, I refused to jump on that wagon. I ended up watching their wedding when home sick from school and it cemented my decision to never watch, ever.

As for AMC and this horrible upcoming storyline: I don't think I can fully abandon the show, but I can do what I've done in the past - not watch the things that I think are dumb, i.e. the middle and end of the Proteus story, anytime Ryan is painted as a hero (oh, wait, that's every day) et al...

I am loving Tad and Cara together; I would like to see Jake and Amanda last a little bit longer - how funny is it that they all keep telling Tad that he has to commit to Cara for 3 years, but no other marriages on soaps can ever last that long, save for Joe and Ruth and Haley and Mateo...

I am totally missing Annie already; she was so much fun to watch. I'm hoping Emma hates Greenlee for longer than 3 days and I hope Madison stands her ground and keeps Ryan out of her baby's life. I am so glad Daniel Cosgrove is back because he breathes life into the most boring dialogue and I hope that he doesn't become like a Frankie and fade into the woodwork after a few months. How the writer's cannot see that the actor that plays Frankie can actually act instead of having him just berate people for sort of not being nice to Madison and drive cross country to pick up his very pregnant mother (oops, we're getting to that storyline again)...

What in the hell is going on at AMC? A bunch of high schoolers who took creative writing (or didn't...) could come up with better shit for this iconic couple than Kreizman and Swajeski! Seriously, reading this makes me want to sob uncontrollably before my head explodes. It's like they are literally trying to drive people away and get this sinking ship taken off the air. I know Debbi and Darnell will kill it in their scenes, but this piece of shit storyline is not worth it.

the first two paragraphs sum up perfectly my behavior and feelings on tuesday. i hit refresh more times on tuesday than i count so you are not alone.

wednesday and thursday were horrid but today was better. hopefully the rampant rumors make the show get in gear and focus on what's working (scott/mads, emma giving greenlee bitchfaces, tad/cara) and fixing what's broke. until then i hold out hope for a dimitri marrick return.

Ok, it seems I am the lone dissenter but I am not upset at this spoiler. And I love Angie and Jesse but this could be amazing front-burner story with amazing acting. DM and DW are powerhouse actors and their being happy with their new baby with no drama means back-burner. I will watch this story as I suspect the acting will be gripping. Risky story but sometimes you have to take a risk.

I am actually enjoying AMC more than the other two ABC soaps. I like all of the new couples. It's mostly charming. GH sucks. GH's killing of baby Jake has had good performances but it's been told a break-neck pace and misses all of the emotion. Also, killing Jake was to kill Liason, not to tell a gripping story. All of the other stories on GH are just as bad. OLTL is so lame and not worth going into. I am barely watching GH and not even watching OLTL at all these days.

I agree with you soapbaby.
Wednesdays episode of AMC was awful because nothing happened.
The Jesse and Angie storyline is at least dramatic and soapy and it will put J/A on the frontburner.

This is getting people talking and that was one of the problems with AMC, no one even cared enough to discuss what was going on.

I think what's pointed to in the press release (or whatever it was that's quoted) in defense of the story--and more importantly what isn't--says worlds about how story is generated on this show and how they go about determining what's a good idea. While I don't doubt that Darnell had the cameramen in tears in that scene in which he begs forgiveness of his dead child, great scenes alone do NOT justify a bad story decision (we can all supply our favorite example, from this show or others, of stories that gave good actors excellent scenes but destroyed their characters or wrecked the fabric of a show). Nor does the fact that the two actors are excited about the story serve as much of a justification (again, we can all supply our own examples of bad, bad stories that thrilled the actors involved, and I'll point out my own: Michael Knight was thrilled and going on and on thanking McTravesty for making him responsible for the death of Dr. Unabortion--see I've even blocked the character's name because I found the story so upsetting--which in my opinion has ruined Tad forever as a viable character, though I know the show doesn't see it that way). I'd love to know more about the "pros and cons" that were "weighed," because the only potential pro I can see is "likelihood of powerhouse performances," while the potential cons strike me as numerous. (Someone should definitely be "weighing," for example, whether deceiving a blind woman will come off as cruel rather than heroic and touching and noble, especially in the hands of writers who seem oblivious to the potential for this story going south on them.)

Sigh. I had hoped for better from Kreizman; Swajeski is and always has been a third-rate writer who relied on others to prop her up, so no surprise that she's no help and probably a pernicious influence. I'm not a big Broderick fan overall, but AMC is the one place where she's been able to write with real success, and why they aren't letting her be the headwriter again is a mystery. Maybe Frons doesn't like her. (Probably not. She's not the kind of writer he'd like.)

ICAM about the fact a great scene does not justify a bad story decision...nor does it make it a good story...it gives it a couple of good scenes. DW, I have no doubt, will give a good performance at the unmarked grave of his daughter (seriously, that is such a sickening thing to have to write). Most likely when Angie finds out the truth...DM, I have no doubt will have a few great scenes. NONE of that makes a good story. Hell, they are starting this "story" out with one of the most contrived beginnings...a "stray" baby just happens into Brot's car. Bad, bad, bad story idea IMO...and I think it is only going to get worse, as I doubt they have any intention of not dragging this out. UGH!!!

Mallory,
You about summed up my week with that brilliant post.

I was off kilter all week worrying about AMC getting cancelled, but then after watching the horrible, mind-numbingly boring episodes this week, I started to wonder if cancellation might not be what this show deserved.

These writers are HACKS - -the JR/Annie storyline is proof-positive of that. How can you utterly decimate a couple with that much chemistry and potential (while MCE was still on-screen, starting in December), and not even let JR grieve over Annie? I get that Missy Egan was leaving, but they couldn't have crafted a better exit storyline for her than the rehashed crazy-Annie drivel? And after seeing JR completely heartbroken on Friday/Monday over Annie, we get to see him crawling after Marissa both before and after those scenes? Really? Since when did Marissa and JR have any 'good' times? Since when is he back in love with her? Does he enjoy being chastised & constantly told he's up to his 'no good' Chandler ways? I want to watch Marissa and JR reunite about as much as I want to get a root canal without anaesthesia, but the writers don't seem to give a crap!

They give fans NO closure for JR/Annie and don't even let the man remember Annie when she's gone. Jacob Young asked the producers for an EPISODE where JR reflects about Annie, has remorse, and thinks about how much she meant to him. Was Monday's two 30-second blips of JR looking at Annie's picture supposed to suffice for this reflection? Why are the JR, Annie, and Jannie fans getting so utterly CRAPPED on? Do only Zendall fans deserve closure & grief?

As for the Angie/Jesse spoiler above, I HAVE NO WORDS! It is so disturbing, that I can't even comment.

David Kreizman wrote for both GUIDING LIGHT and AS THE WORLD TURNS before they were cancelled.

I smell a trifecta.

AMC....I just don't know how to feel. I pretty much gave up on daily viewing of this show in the McTragic years and completely lost all faith in the show under Pratt. I got sucked back in b/c of LB's writing return and the hotness of Jannie. But K&S are really on my shit list. I think some of their stories sound good on paper or start off well, but the daily execution and DRAMA are not there. I don't want the show to be cancelled but it's back to being an unrecognizable version of AMC after LB did such a good job early in the year of returning to the show's roots.

The Jangie stuff sounds dramatic but I don't have any faith in K&S to actually pull off a nuanced, dramatic, gut-wrenching storyline. DM & DW will bring it, there's no doubt, but I'm very wary about this development.

And [b]Dirk Mancuso[/b]! Can I just interrupt this post to say that your Y&R recaps are one of my favorite things on the internet. Everybody should get over to http://dirkmancuso.wordpress.com/ and revel in the hilarity (And, no, I am not Dirk Mancuso posting under an alias. His site is really that good.)

^ hillarious

I think its sad in so many ways but truly obnoxious in that Frons has wanted a baby swap since the dynamic duo of KWAK and Babe took/kept Miranda and that was supposed to play out 'for years to come' .. it didnt work. Fans hated it. I doubt making this baby the child of a newbie/day player will make it better .. especially if David is involved. David who was also involved in Miranda's kidnapping and who got community service for 2 seconds .. stepping off my soap box now .. I almost wish AMC was being cancelled, the show I loved for 35 yrs is no more.

why couldn't they just let Jesse & Angie have their baby. I am so pissed with this story line ! i was looking forward to watching them bringing up their baby. Dealing with Angie's blindness and watching Jesse being a father to his little girl; no we get this crap instead ! wth is with these soaps killing off children i mean really come on enough is enough then they wonder why they are losing viewers duh the writing is bad !

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