Yesterday's All My Children neatly summed up a major problem with the show lately, namely its habit of following up something awesome with something completely gut-churning and terrible.
Like, Emma's oh-so-hilarious reading of Greenlee, complete with an endless variety of side-eyes and baby bitchfaces? Awesome. Possibly even more than awesome. Like, crazy awesome. Crawesome.
Emma: My mommy told me not to trust you because you do a lot of bad things. You lie all the time. Daddy should've never married you.
How is this child descended from the Lavery bloodline?!
They couldn't just let that be, though. "It's the end of the episode," they thought to themselves. "What is the one thing that will guarantee viewers tune in tomorrow? Oh, I know, gut-churning despair!"
Ryan: We have lived through such crazy, crazy times, and we're so lucky to have each other. You're the love of my life. You're my safe haven, and I know you always have my back. You'll always be in my corner. So will you do me the honor and marry me again?
Today's episode (which, after that cliffhanger ending, I was not at all enthused to watch. Also, I am nominating the prior half of this parenthetical notation for the Biggest Understatement of the Year in some sort of 2011 Year In Review post because seriously. And to open today's episode with more of the same? Needlessly cruel) was more of the same, sort of like The Facts of Life theme song come to life.
Let's look at some dialogue, shall we? And we'll start it on a high note and that high note is Hayward (the joke works a lot better if you picture me saying "Hayward!" in a really high pitch).
David: Isn't life with Lavery the nonstop bliss you thought it would be?
Greenlee: We're solid.
David: You forget I know you better than anyone, Greenlee.
Greenlee: No, you don't me. You don't know who I am now because [adopts an almost cartoonishly smug tone of voice here. Like, the textbook definition of condescending bitch] being with Ryan brings out the best in me.
David: I suppose I bring out the worst.
Greenlee: Let's just say I like me a lot better now.
The World: Well, that makes one of you...
David: It must be tough, knowing that he will never love you for who you really are, as I did. That you will never live up to his standards. What he sees as flaws, I see as perfect.
This exchange saw David at his best. The kind of best where "son of a bitch" is a compliment, not a put-down. He was dismissive of Ryan, cynical and snarky, he did a whole lot of truth-telling and then ended on a romantic, if smarmy, note. Surely I can't be the only one who blissfully flashed back to the days that we happily, naively thought that David and Greenlee could be an actual couple because REALLY. He's right!