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« A Farewell Favor? | Main | How Is This Fair? »

April 18, 2011

Wholly Unexpected Silver Linings

I've spent the past few post-announcement days doing a lot of lamenting (and also, raging: mostly about Brian Frons and The Chew. I don't think I will ever be over that, frankly. Cancelling AMC was bad enough in and of itself, but replacing it with The Chew, which sounds like a SNL skit come to life--and not even a good SNL skit. More like a skit heavily featuring Chris Kattan and Horatio Sanz--is needlessly cruel. THE CHEW!)Louise and I have been commiserating about how difficult it could be to write about All My Children and One Life to Live in the coming weeks; I'm normally quick to criticize and mocking is basically a reflex, but it felt wrong, somehow, to be honest about AMC's bad writing knowing that there are only a few months left.

Tellingly, neither of us said anything like "The show could surprise us and be, like, good!" which says a lot about the show's current state, AND YET: that's exactly what I came away from today's episode saying. That it was, like, good. Now, I could be viewing the show with overly sentimental rose-colored glasses and seeing quality entertainment where none exists or...it could have actually been good. 

The majority of my positivity, as it so often has over the past few years in Pine Valley, came from Alicia Minshew, whose last scene in today's episode was just staggering. Kendall finally (FINALLY!) realized that there was something not quite right about Ricky when he hugged her and called her sweetheart. She realized, in fact, that he is EVIL and probably a MURDERER.

Ricky: I'm here, Kendall. It's going to be okay, sweetheart. It's going to be okay.
Kendall: (Pauses, raises her eyebrow and then realizes that nothing about this is all right)
Ricky: You don't look okay at all.
Kendall: (Jumping away from him like he was on fire, or diseased, or Brian Frons) Uh, um, I will be. I just, uh, I just need to be alone right now. I appreciate everything that you've done, I just need to be alone. I hope you understand.
Ricky: Of course. I'll call you tomorrow, okay?
Kendall (Trying not to be physically ill): Okay.


It was amazing--not just because it was long overdue (which it was), but because Minshew played about a thousand and one different emotions, from shock to horror to revulsion to heartbreak, to Kendall's struggle to keep it off of her face so Ricky wouldn't realize that something was up. Then, after he left, she started to cry in earnest and, almost sick, we got to see her put all of the pieces together with the help of some nifty black and white flashbacks: her telling Bianca how strange it was for Zach to refer to her as sweetheart, confessing to Ricky that she thought Zach was murdered, and remembering the time she lost the last page of the letter and Ricky sent her out of the room to go look for it and then, miraculously, it reappeared. She's dealing with enough right now, so I won't rub salt in the wound by asking her why the hell she didn't notice how evil Ricky looked during all of those moments! His glee over the fake letter scheme in the last flashback was especially epic.

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Also, Erica was kidnapped which, on paper, sounds ridiculous. And it is a little bit ridiculous to watch her be held captive in a replica of her bedroom, scurrying around in a chiffon party dress. But they've executed it really well. It's very disturbing, but in the best possible way: when the distorted voice mentioned that "[her] mother Mona liked to do crosswords and acrostics" and then forced Erica to call Jack by turning on a big-screen TV and showing her a feed of Miranda (and an off-camera Gabrielle) spending quality time with a creepy person on the kidnapper's payroll, while laughing in a really upsetting way, since the voice is all mechanical so it literally sounded like a brittle "Ah ha. Ha ha. Ha ha."? It was a little awesome and a whole lot of intriguing. I am sure this story will end prematurely when Lorraine Broderick takes over in order to start (SNIFF!) wrapping the show up, but for now, I am enjoying the ride.

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Then there were some...interesting exchanges, where I couldn't help but listen to what wasn't being said. What wasn't being said is italicized below, but you know they might as well have just included it in the show!

JR: Kids. You can't let them out of your sight for a second.
Maya: (Heaviest of heavy sighs)
JR: You know what I mean? Kids be crazy, girl.
Maya: (Even heavier sigh)
JR: You'll know one day, about kids. When you have them. Kids, I mean. When you have kids.
Maya: (Collapses on the floor in the fetal--pun intended--position weeping "I had a baby and gave it up!")

Angie: You seem distracted, like you're a million miles away.
Jesse: A million miles? No. Just, you know, wondering what prison time I'll get for this whole baby switch debacle. Nothing for you to worry about.
Angie: You remember I'm blind, not deaf, right?
Jesse: Eff.

Kendall: I'm sorry I even came here.
Griffin:  (So petulantly that I half expected him to bust out with a "I hate cursive and I hate all of you!")I'm sorry, too. I'm sorry I ever got personally involved!

Um, there was no subtext there. That actually happened, just like that.

Griffin: Be careful.
Ricky: Oh, don't worry. I'm going to take good care of her. In bed. Sexually, I mean. And then I might kill her and hang out with her corpse for a while.
Kendall: What?
Ricky: Nothing.

Comments

Mallory, talk about silver linings!

This is from the Protest ABC Across America Facebook page:

Jessica Alinovi Confirmed on Hoover's facebook page To Our Loyal ABC Soap Fans
by Hoover on Monday, April 18, 2011 at 5:21pm
To all the loyal ABC soap fans,

I want you to know from me personally that we hear you loud and clear. My wife and mother are both passionate viewers of All My Children and One Life to Live, as are many of my colleagues here at Hoover. We were and are as disappointed with this news as you are.

In fact, we will discontinue our advertising with ABC this Friday, 4/22. We're making every attempt to pull our spots from these programs sooner.

Because we feel that’s not enough, we also want to help get your voice heard with ABC. So, we’ve set up a special email address, SaveTheSoaps@Hoover.com, to help pull together the mass emotional outpouring of support for our beloved ABC soaps and get it to our contacts at ABC. Please, send your emails to us at SaveTheSoaps@Hoover.com, and we’ll get every, single last one of them to ABC.

We’re 150% committed to doing what matters most to you – so if there’s anything else we can do to help or you have any ideas, please email this address, and we will respond to you personally.

Thank you for standing up for what matters to you! We need more of that in this world.

Brian Kirkendall
Vice President of Marketing
Hoover


WE'RE GETTING THE SPONSORS ON OUR SIDE!!! KEEP FIGHTING!!!

I know where I'm getting MY next vacumn cleaner! Maybe this will snowball with the sponsors and put Frons and Sweeney in their place.

The only thing good part about losing AMC is not having to watch that baby selling/baby stealing, trailer trash tramp, circling Jackson like she is a shark who smells blood in the water. I can only get into this Erica kidnapping storyline if the skuzbucket who took Miranda is thekidnapper, and Erica and Jackson end up together. Otherwise it's all crap and AMC deserves to die, IMO. I am sick of one fan base continually getting the shaft and the losers like KWAK and Cooney winning.

Well, you couldn't have said it better. Kwak is one disgusting character, and the introduction of the Carey cockroaches was the beginning of the end.

I hope LB finally buries Kwak somewhere, or at the very least shuts that arrogant mouth of hers. What a waste of space.

Thanks, Mallory for this:

(Jumping away from him like he was on fire, or diseased, or Brian Frons)

That was gold, pure gold!

I haven't seen the episode, since I feel like avoiding watching it will make it stay on longer.

@Ron: I was jumping out of my skin when I read the Hoover news last night and I have already emailed Mr. Kirkendall (SavetheSoaps@Hoover.com) - I want and need more advertisers to follow suit; my family has made fun of me for feeling bad about this whole thing, but when corporations are stepping up and honoring viewers when networks don't, I can't feel crazy for being sad about losing AMC.

The best part for me about Kendall realizing Ricky's evil is that no one else got to tell her. As soon as he called her sweetheart she knew and put it together so fast. I was proud. I really was expecting for Ryan to randomly show up at some point to inform her about Ricky, while Kendall denied it until the very last moment before she is almost killed, just so she can tell Ryan in the end that he was right, right, right. Color me surprised!

AM was so good, esp. in that last scene. I watched it a couple of times, I was so into it.

As for Griffin.....okay, I like him, but I can't take the whining about Kendall telling Jesse about the drugs. Um, when he's been lying and keeping secrets about Zach's probable murder, what the hell was Kendall supposed to do? She should've known. End of story. It's not like she accused him of murder, but she's certainly questioning her judgement in trusting others, which I think is normal.

I like the way Erica's kidnapping is playing out so far, as well. I thought I would outright hate it. The only part I actually hate is having to endure Krystal. When will she learn she's irrelevant?

Also, Hoover is awesome!

You are 100% spot on in saying AM's Kendall was staggering in her performance!!
It absolutely took my breath away - all the nuances & subtletiest that she was able to bring to it - masterful! It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!
I'm not going there today- the sad news - just focusing on AM's stellar acting.

knew it! The minute the hidden shelf opened at the desk in Erica's fake bedroom and a tray of caviar and fresh fruit was thrown through, I suspected. But then, when the shelf blew open again and a piece of paper was thrust through, I KNEW who had Erica in captivity.

Senor Wences from the Ed Sullivan Show! He's using her like he used to use Pedro, the puppet head he had in the box. Now, if we see a hand with a face painted on it, and we hear a voice say, MEEEEESTER SULLLLLLLLLIVAN, we'll know for sure.

Speaking of a head in a box, I'm all for someone putting Kwak's in one and having Tad get out his trusty shovel. That walking STD is slithering after Jack with all the allure of 5 day old roadkill.

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