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« Quick! Start A Fund-Raising Drive For The Llanview Public School District! | Main | Interview With a Show-Killer »

April 03, 2011

As Subtle As a Sledgehammer

All My Children has never been known for its grasp on subtlety; whenever there's a situation where the audience knows a secret while a character is in the dark, the writing goes absurdly over-the-top marveling at their own cleverness. Like with Ricky: whenever he's onscreen, you can hear the writers elbowing you. "HAHAHA! Watch this--he's SO BAD, but people think he's GOOD! Oh, my, are we a bunch of cards or what?"

The writers are treating Angie and Jesse's baby-switch with similar amounts of nuance (like...none). For the most part, I do have to say that this story has had me glued to the past couple of episodes. I was appalled when I first heard about it and I think it's very dark and depressing, but I can't deny that it's compelling. And Darnell Williams has just been a revelation, with the terror and the desperation and the crushing pressure of bearing this big secret and knowing what will happen if the truth is uncovered. If the Emmys meant anything, I'd start campaigning for him now!

But. BUT!

  • Ellie? Ellie? Jesse, I heard our daughter. I heard her crying. Mommy's here.
  • But I know God would've never taken her away from us. Never, because he knew how much we needed her, how much we wanted her. Right? Right, my precious? Oh, it's ok. It's ok, sweetheart. Mommy's here. Oh, Mommy's here. Mommy's here, sweetheart.
  • Please, Ellie, it's Mommy. It's Mommy.
  • Ellie, it's ok! It's ok! Mommy's right here!
  • Baby's got strength. Our baby. Shh. Mommy's here. Mommy's here.
  • Can I tell you a secret? Mommy was scared, so scared.
  • Is someone calling for Mommy? Does she know I'm right here?
  • But I know God would've never taken her away from us. Never, because he knew how much we needed her, how much we wanted her. Right? Right, my precious? Oh, it's ok. It's ok, sweetheart. Mommy's here. Oh, Mommy's here. Mommy's here, sweetheart.
  • Jesse? Jesse, the baby. Mommy's coming. Hold on, sweet pea. Mommy's coming. Hold on, baby. Mommy's coming. See? Mommy found you all by herself. Yes, she did! Yes, she did. Mommy got you. It's ok.
  • Mommy loves you.

Good lord. I don't know how much more I can take of the "Mommy's here" and the vision of the writers saying "GET IT? Because that's not Angie's baby!" and giving each other gleeful high-fives before I just lose it.

Also? Did you know that Griffin SAVES LIVES?!?!?! I'm sure you did, since you remembered that he's a doctor and that's what doctors do, but the writers clearly have no faith that you're able to retain that information.

  • Cara: Griff -- he saved Kendall's life.
  • Kendall: Is there anything you wouldn't do to save lives?
  • Kendall: You are a globetrotting doctor who saves lives.
  • Kendall: You've pulled people out of trenches. You save lives.

On the bright side, at least the actors don't have to learn many lines...

Then there is some BIG news, courtesy ABC Soaps In Depth: All My Children is not being canceled (for now, at any rate, which is maybe a Debbie Downer thing to note in the midst of what was intended to be a celebratory opening sentence) and. AND! Lorraine Broderick is going to be the new headwriter! That's exciting, right? Her stint as interim headwriter showed us that she is an innovative thinker, willing to try bizarre things like "drawing on history" and "writing true to character", so it's possible that we could soon see a sorely needed uptick in quality. Let's all flail our hands excitedly to celebrate and ignore the fact that the past few writing regimes were even worse than their predecessors (well, almost always--nothing and nobody could ever be worse than Charles Pratt)!

Comments

I'm stumped as to why they got rid of her for the current losers in the first place. I actually started watching the show regularly again when she was there, things were so much more even and enjoyable. I get the feeling she's going to have a lot of pressure, as in, save the show or else...but I'm glad to see her back. Can't wait to see how she fixes the current messes......

When the owner of the the resturant brought the food to the park, what did the owner say "griffin saved my life. I guess he figured Kendall didn't know that griffin saves lives!!!!
Kendalll says it everytime she is in a scene with him. I think I counted at least 25 times last week alone.

Sorry to dampen your flailing, but maybe Broderick was brought on to wrap it up on a not-sucky note? And now we (well, not you, Mallory, but others of us) have to worry about OLTL!

I have to say that I tried my best to avoid watching any of this past week's episodes. Yesterday, I was so bored with other inane things in my life, that I decided to just plow through them. I'd intermittently watched Monday and Tuesday, not really seeing all of it and knowing the inevitable baby scenes were coming, I turned it off and went to Idol (why I'm watching that is a question I need to answer myself).

When I did finally sit down and Angie's labor became to hard for her to bear, I found myself turning away. My husband came in the room and wondered if there was something wrong with my neck. I told him it was paining me to see this all happen, but I gave in and watched. All the while, I knew this was the most horrible thing they could do to Jangie, but I focused on these two wonderful actors and stayed with it to see what they'd do with the horrible material. They brought it, plain and simple... am I still bothered that Brot gave Jesse a boxed baby? Yup. Can I believe that Jesse gave his wife said baby and gave Brot his deceased daughter to bury? Nope. Am I appeased by the fact that Jesse wants to investigate the earring attached to alive baby's blanket and fingerprints on the unsigned mother's note? Nope. I'm hoping that whatever DK/DS wrote to follow this up is erased and that Lorraine can fix it. I also hope that she has not accepted this position to wrap up the show. She is the only one who is able to 'try bizarre things like "drawing on history" and "writing true to character"', so I hope that continues for as long as it can.

Did need to silently chuckle at your observation that Griffin saves lives. This, if I were not at work, would have made me laugh out loud:

"* Cara: Griff -- he saved Kendall's life.
* Kendall: Is there anything you wouldn't do to save lives?
* Kendall: You are a globetrotting doctor who saves lives.
* Kendall: You've pulled people out of trenches. You save lives.

On the bright side, at least the actors don't have to learn many lines..."

Thanks for your astute recaps and opinions - I love them!

As always, I totally agree with you Mallory. The Jesse/Angie story is so heavy-handed that it detracts from the absolutely brilliant performance given by Darnell Williams and Debbie Morgan. I love Darnell and Debbie, but both can easily slip into over-the-top histrionics. But their performance so far have been virtually flawless. Now, if they would just ease up on the stupid dialogue, I might actually forgive the writers for such a contrived storyline.

As for Griffin, please let this torture end immediately! The only thing worse than the endless loop of "he saves lives" is Jordi V's performance. While Debbie and Darnell are bringing their "A" game to sub-par dialogue, Jordi still seems to be stuck playing T-ball.

I sincerely hope that Lorraine Broderick ends the hero-worship of Dr. Castillo and limits Griffin's interaction to Tad/Cara. Better yet, just limit Griffin's interactions period. Daily doses of Dr. Griffin Castillo is definitely wearing thin for me. Sadly, I believe that Lorraine Broderick is being brought in to clean-up as opposed to handling extra innings.

So far DW and DM's acting is the saving grace of the baby switch story. I like that Brot was brought into it, but hate the contrived plot. I agree that both DW and DM have had some over the top acting moments, but for the most part they have given award winning performances.I do find their dialogue too repetitive and feel that it is going to continue as the story plots along.

Dr. Wonderful is grinding my last nerve, not only as a one note "saving lives" character, but also the actor's substandard performance. How JV got a front burner story opposite a leading lady like Alicia Minshew is mind boggling. She acts circles around him and their scenes are awkward and uncomfortable to watch. Oh TK/Zach where are you???? Kendall, as well as some of us in the audience, need saving from this transparent agenda driven s/l. I hope that LB puts a stop to this Griffen/Life Saver train wreck as soon as possible and brings back Thorsten Kaye/ Zach.

I truly appreciate the performances in the dead baby storyline, particularly DW and JR Martinez. I'm sure that DM will bring it also when the time comes. But right now, I'm finding her dialogue a little too stilted. And truth be told, I can't really get into this storyline very much. It's probably a reaction to AMC's unfortunate need over the past few years to play "big drama" death and destruction storylines almost ocntinuously. For me, there was plenty of story in Angie and Jesse having a live child. There is always somebody in terrible peril anymore. It's too much melodrama constantly, for me.

Ditto that with Kendall's casino storyline - and her dreadful match-up of sorts with Griff. I can't stand the character or the actor. I'm fully expecting TIIC to decide to have him start doing his surgeries shirtless soon, since they seem to think that's the best thing to do with him. I'd like him to start "saving lives" far, far, from Pine Valley.

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