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« General Hospital Week in Review | Main | In Case You Missed General Hospital This Week »

June 24, 2008

My Kingdom for a Likeable Character

I was trying to think of a way to describe the current state of All My Children, and the closest I could come up with was...okay, you know Steely Dan? I HATE Steely Dan. I know that's, like, a weird complaint for someone my age to have in the year 2008 but I have to be perfectly honest and tell you that when I hear "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", I feel like stabbing myself in the eye.

AMC circa June 2008 is what would happen if there was an all-Steely Dan radio station that was just non stop AWFULNESS. What good thing is there on this show right now? Besides Myrtle! Myrtle is the exception that proves my rule. Even Angie and Jesse, love them though I do, are having circular conversations, which give me motion sickness.

I was all set--and I am well aware of how utterly tragic this is--to look forward to Charles Pratt Jr's episodes starting to air, because surely he must realize that you can't have a soap that is just sucky people doing things suckily, but then I remembered who I was talking about, which reminds me:

Dear Charles Pratt Jr.,

Charles--can I call you Charles?--I know you probably could not care less about what I think about your skills as a writer, because I'm a lowly soap blogger and not even a Nielsen viewer, but whatever. I put up with a whole lot of crappy storylines while you were writing for General Hospital. You're lucky that I haven't filed a lawsuit on account of the PTSD I surely have from those stories. So the least you could do is listen to me for a second.

I'm actually trying to go into this whole thing with an open mind because, hello, you have to be better than Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown, right? I know that I said the same thing when they replaced Megan McTavish, but okay...I'm just going to come right out and say it: when you have a reputation for being the weak link in a partnership with the biggest hack writer currently polluting the daytime scene, it's probably NOT wise to create a new character and give her the same exact name as a character on your old, classic show. Unless this was all a ploy to get me to remember that you were a Melrose writer, because you knew that if I have a soft spot for anything, it's Melrose Place. If that's the case...nicely done, Charles Pratt Jr.

PS: Can you please change Spike's name? I mean, if the Buffy association wasn't problematic enough, he also shares a name with the
biggest douchebag to ever appear on Top Chef, so please just do the kind thing and give this child a different name.  Thank you in advance.

Most shows have an ebb and flow between good and bad and boring, and you can sort of deal with the boring and bad because it's balanced out by the good. Not so on AMC; if it's not horribly boring (see: today's entire episode, Adam and Erica excepted), it's just plain horrible (see: every other episode in the past few weeks). In the spirit of being optimistic, I'm hoping that things are just going to be stagnant until the new writing regime starts and is awesome and money falls out of the sky and rainbows tap dance in my front yard and serenade me.

A girl can dream, no?


Greenlee: Well, for starters, right now, you belong to Annie. I mean, you are married to her.

Ryan: Which means I must have -- I must have been in love with her.

Greenlee: Yeah. Yeah, maybe...

Ryan: "Maybe" what?

Greenlee: Maybe Annie was right. That you never really loved her. Maybe you married her just so you could keep her happy.

If I just stop resisting the idea of revisiting Ryan/Greenlee, will they stop writing them so horribly? At this point, I honestly wouldn't mind it if I turned on AMC tomorrow and Ryan and Greenlee were just miraculously back together without the audience needing to sit through their courtship.

I don't know what it is about these two characters together, but whatever it is brings out their most vile, self centered, self righteous traits and makes them absolutely unbearable.

I'm not some big Annie fan and part of me feels that the reason Ryan can't remember her (besides utter contrivance, I mean) is that she is just, for the most part, devoid of personality. Like, how would you describe Annie to a non-AMC watching friend? "There's this girl, and she's...she's there, and...she's pretty nice most of the time, I guess. She does...stuff".

But anyway, being boring doesn't mean that your husband and his friend should just completely walk all over you, which is what Greenlee and Ryan have done repeatedly, even after Annie has told them both that their relationship makes her uncomfortable, since it's the kind of relationship where she gets stood up so that her husband can go bond with Greenlee. And then Greenlee goes all Underminer McGee with her "Maybe you never really loved her". Just shut up, Booster Seat.

The way that the writers have repeatedly botched the character of Greenlee since they brought her back in May is nothing short of astounding. I used to LOVE Greenlee. She was obnoxious and self involved and kind of horrible, but she used to be written with layers. But ever since she's been back on the show, she's either been a psychotic babynapper or a strident, obnoxious bitch, and not even the fun kind of bitch. She's the kind of bitch who, for some reason, the writers want you to side with. Please see Lulu on General Hospital for another example.


Babe: Kendall, you didn't seem to have a problem letting me run the company when your boys were in I.C.U., Or when you were out looking for Zach. But now you need Greenlee's vote to make every single decision? My opinions don't even matter? That's bull. And it's insulting. Not to mention, bad for Fusion.

This is one of the many things that irks me about Babe. She's the kind of person who wants a gold star for doing the thing that normal people would do without a second thought. She honestly wants preferential treatment because she stepped in and picked up the slack when her boss's children were DYING? Really, Babe?

Oh, and also, your opinions DON'T matter. Because you are not an owner of this company anymore. You are an employee. Who is not even qualified for the job she has.


Babe: Yeah, I guess. I mean, I know what it's like to have everybody hate you. You know, you try to make things right and -- they just -- they shoot you down again and again.

Yeah, you really tried to make things right, Babe. Like when Greenlee gave you a job out of spite because she knew Kendall would hate working with you and Zach repeatedly tried to buy you out and you refused so that you could keep this job and rub your existence in Kendall's nose every day. TOTALLY making it right. And when JR tried to kill you and hurt Kendall and Spike instead and you lied on the stand so he wouldn't go to jail? TOTALLY making things right.

Eat dirt and die, tramp.


Annie: Do you not remember that she kidnapped your son, Kendall? Or since she didn't actually make Spike deaf, now that's all ok. And I'm sorry. I think it's a miracle that she made it out of that hole alive, but it doesn't make her a saint, does it? I mean, innocent of all blame?

Kendall: No. I'm not saying any of that.

Annie: No, let me finish. I have listened to you and Greenlee for way too long. What about the fact that she was gone for a year and a half? The women at Fusion were dying and she didn't come back. Her -- her company -- her baby was going under and she didn't care enough to come back and save it.

Kendall: Ok. All right. I understand that and I see where you're coming from, but that's between me and Greenlee.

Annie: Is it the guilt that's gotten to you, Kendall? Because you slept with Aidan, now Greenlee can do no wrong?

Kendall: Let's not bring up me and Aidan.

Annie: Well, I mean, how can we not? He's obviously part of the fact that Greenlee's now suddenly in your eyes -- suddenly not this she-devil you used to think she was, the same arrogant, selfish little bitch she's always been.

Damn, Annie! See, she's good for a few good truth-telling moments every once in a while. Did she not just say everything the audience has been thinking for the last few weeks? I kind of love it. I mean, she went on that rant pretty much unprovoked and seemed slightly unhinged, but I'll take truth telling where I can get it.

Of course, it highlighted the all too recurring theme that Kendall has no moxie anymore. The Kendall of Yore would have left that conversation with, "Hey, that little bland girl was right: I completely bend over backwards for Greenlee and let her walk all over me. What's that about? I'm Kendall Hart Slater and I'm too good for this shit". But not this Kendall. Sad face.

And of course Annie's moment of greatness lasted for one scene, because she almost immediately apologized for lashing out like that

Annie: Listen, Kendall. I'm sorry about before. It was uncalled for...

She was right, it was uncalled for. It was more, like, SHOUTED for. 


Zach: I can't have him go after my family -- not Greenlee, Kendall, or the boys.

Oh, AC Morris, why? Just why?! Why would he say Greenlee's name before Spike and Ian? I mean, if he's mad at Kendall, he's mad at Kendall and there are issues there, but to say Greenlee before his sons? The hell? I know I am being borderline insane about this, but seriously. The line should have been "I can't have him go after my family-- not Kendall, or the boys, or Erica, or Myrtle, or Josh, or Bianca, or Miranda, or the guy who cuts my hair, or Greenlee".


Aidan: I was going to bring you a rope. I thought maybe you wanted to play that little game that you did last time where you kicked the chair with a noose around your neck.

Richie: Well, you're the moron who saved my life that day. Blame yourself for everything i did after that.

Heeeee! For one, he's totally right. And also, I like it when people point out what a dope Aidan is. Oh, Richie. Didn't we almost have it all? When you were a villain who was compelling and hadn't yet been written into a corner? I'll mourn you once you inevitably die and become the centerpiece of a summer murder mystery.


"The line should have been "I can't have him go after my family-- not Kendall, or the boys, or Erica, or Myrtle, or Josh, or Bianca, or Miranda, or the guy who cuts my hair, or Greenlee"."

That right there, best line ever written. Seriously. It even brought me briefly out of the catatonic state I have been in since GH won the Emmy for best show.

PS: Can you please change Spike's name? I mean, if the Buffy association wasn't problematic enough, he also shares a name with the biggest douchebag to ever appear on Top Chef"

You're giving Ilan, Betty, Flounder, and Elia too much credit.

Have you ever heard "Peg"? I don't like the Rikki song, but I love "Peg". I sing along every time I hear it.

Sorry, nothing to say about AMC right now...

Oh, wait. I hate RPG's Jake and I was incredibly offended by the way he spoke to Angie a few weeks ago, and the implication we were supposed to agree with him.

And Zach beating a handcuffed man made me sick to my stomach. This show has been sadistic for about 10 years now, but this "24 comes to Pine Valley" crap was too much.

Are you reelin' in the yeeeaaars...stowin' away the tiiiiiime...

Word, Mallory. Everything you said about this show, girl.

Zach & Greenlee lovefest..WTF is that about? Do these people ALL suffer from Ryan syndrome (where you forget what you don't like, remember what you want and make up the rest)?

And another thing...why does "payback" ALWAYS have to be the physical type? Did ABC get a super good deal on blood & bruise makeup? I am so sick of the sadistic violence (which is why I don't watch GH anymore) that TIIC seem to feel is always called for. (I still get queasy when I think of the whole Greg Madden buried alive scenario...and I'm sorry- in my world, Tad didn't do it....otherwise how could I bear to look at him?)

There are other ways to "exact justice" on someone that beating the crap out of them- or worse, if that is the path you choose.

Also....I am really nervous about Pratt's stuff...really.....really nervous........

So the Melrose Taylor McBride's middle name was Davis .. 'they' have said that this new character will have ties to someone in PV - such an unusual move, eh? - and Nick Davis popped to mind ... so maybe she's his daughter .. granddaughter ...

I'm so sick of AMC I don't know what to do with myself. My fave character, Kendall, has basically been neutered. My dog needs to get her bite back. I've been saying this for a while now, mostly to my friend that I bitch about soaps with, but AMC needs a good villain. Just a really mean person (think Kendall or Sami before they started having kids). I know that motherhood is supposed to change you and all, but damn! Kendall is Erica frickin' Kane's daughter! Erica would never allow Babe to talk to her that way. I just want to know who stole Kendall's mojo.

Greenlee, or Booster Seat, as you will now be known, please suck it up and become human again. As bad as you think your life is, it's not as bad as having your best friend steal your baby and then running off a cliff with said baby, putting your best friend under so much stress that she goes into premature labor four months early. I'm just saying.

(I apologize to talking to the characters. I know they're not real. But they are the only faces I can put with the crap that is AMC.)

Are you kidding me? Pratt wrote for Melrose when Taylor was on there? Then of course there is no originality because you know Hunter Tylo was supposed to play the role and she was (is) Taylor on B&B! Good LORD. Why must soaps recycle writers!?!...

Lisa Rinna (ex-Billie, DAYS;ex-host of Soap Talk; DWTS) actually did play Taylor. It's not like Taylor was a nobody on that show....

Not only are you right about AMC -- you're right about Steely Dan too! I don't think there's even one song I can stand listening too.

BTW, I'm dying for you to do a post about Ricky Paull Goldin's interpretation of Jake. Or are you waiting for Beth Ehler's (the other half of the self-proclaimed "iconic" duo) to debut? I keep trying to have an open mind about him but so far I'm *really* not liking Jake -- and I think a large part of that is RPG's interpretation. I don't get humanitarian. I get this snide, self-entitled ass-hat. I'm with Carl about how he spoke to Angie, as well. That was beyond awful (but that was the writing -- RPG just managed to make it a bit MORE insufferable). So please, post and tell me I'm wrong and to give the guy a chance. Or post and tell me what you think of this ABC trend of poaching entire COUPLES and hoping lightning will strike twice (GH, AMC). It didn't work with Lane Davies and NLG on GH; it didn't work with Mary Beth Evans and Steven Nichols on GH. Dare we hope AMC will be better and this new character sucking up the airtime will make RPG palatable and, yes, "iconic?"

With Charles Pratt coming on board, they might as well cancel this show now -- the ratings can't go much lower.

As Beth Ehler's character, MELROSE PLACE started sucking the very second Darren Starr left and Charles Pratt took over so I'm going to guess that Beth will be rethinking turning down that offer from Y&R in about 6 months when Pratt writes her off the show (since I am positive he has no back story or long term arc written for her -- much like the other Taylor McBride).

As for Kendall, I know I am in the minority here, but Alicia Minshew is about as compelling to watch as paint drying. The character stopped being interesting the second Sarah Michelle Gellar exited the role and ending the bad blood between her and Erica totally negated any value the character had.

Could someone please clone ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Ron Carlivati so that he could save this show, too?

I have tried to watch AMC since they brought Rebecca Budig back, but just can't. What's the saying, You can't go home again? Some, like RB, should take that to heart. There are others, like Debbie Morgan and Darnell Williams, that are such phenomenal actors, that they could make any sort of crap look and sound good. I just so wish Angie and Jessie were on any other show. I just can't believe Beth Ehlers left GL and went to a show that is so horrible.

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