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« This Show Has Hit The Motherlode | Main | Ugh In the Afternoon »

March 29, 2009

The Fact That Their Couple Name Is "Zen" Gives the Proceedings an Extra Layer of Irony

Whenever I see the All My Children promo declaring that Kendall is "caught between two good men", I always find myself thinking, "Kendall is in a love triangle with Brot and Petey?! How did I miss that?" before I remember that, in melodramatic soap promo language, "good men" is synonymous with "obnoxious, cruel and/or misogynistic men" and then I can sort of see how Ryan and Zach apply.

If ever there were a need for Kendall to take advice from Kelly Taylor, this is it. KENDALL: CHOOSE YOURSELF. EVERYTHING ELSE IS A LOSE/LOSE SITUATION!

Well, let me rephrase that: choosing between Ryan and Current Zach is a lose/lose situation. If Kendall and Zach were acting like the characters that they actually are, it would be a totally different story, but because Charles Pratt can't find his own ass with two hands and a flashlight, let alone character history, here we are.

Hating Ryan is a decades-long hobby of mine and I have to admit to enjoying the comfort that comes with being able to watch any episode of AMC from any decade and bask in the warm familiarity of Ryan hate. But Zach?! If you had told me a year ago that Kendall would be drawn to Ryan (and admitting to always loving him! !!!Vomit!!!), and that Zach would be terrible, I'd have laughed in your face (and also been disappointed in future-me for still watching this show). But because the AMC writers are on a quest to prove that there are no depths they won't sink to in order to redefine the word "crap", we have Kendall and Zach acting like their Bizarro selves.

Kendall, at least, has an excuse, since she was in a coma. And had her entire life torched by the people she loved whilst in that coma, just for kicks. And had her brother's heart transplanted into her (Yes, Virginia, Kendall had a brother!). Eighty percent of her actions since coming out of the coma can be written off as reactions to the fact that she is living in a completely new world, and the other twenty percent can be blamed on whatever wonkiness comes with Josh's heart. I grew to love that Aborted Fetus dearly (and was a little gleeful to see him on an old episode of Law & Order: SVU today), but he was in love with Babe, so obviously something was a little off and I am sure that off-ness spread to his heart.

But Zach? I am a fan of Zach, and Zach & Kendall, and yet the only reaction I had to this:

Zach: A fine day. Sun's out, it's warm, and I've lost everything. My family, my company, and my wife.

was "It IS a fine day! Sunny and warm, and the first day in months I can wear flip flops and drink an iced beverage! Hurray for spring!"

(Okay, there was also a little bit of "How the hell can Ryan take Cambias AND the casino, because I'm pretty sure those are completely separate entities and also, what the hell kind of company can be taken over in three and a half days").

Because Zach has been on a collision course with a slap in the face for a really long time.

From March 24th:

Zach: Well, I appreciate your honesty. And now I would appreciate you being honest with me and be honest with yourself. I mean, you know that this marriage was in trouble for a long time, way before Reese. And you know why. Because you love Ryan. Always have and always will.

That is...hate speech.

I love how some soap writers cannot tolerate working with characters or couples that they didn't create and need to decimate them in order to fit their "vision" (derisive air quotes used because, seriously, I don't buy that Pratt & Co. have this show mapped out past Tuesday).

Zach: But the second he was, you went to bed with him. From the morgue to his bed. I know this is an awful thing to say, but I'm glad Greenlee isn't here to see this, to see what a great friend you really are.

I don't know, about that. Greens has experience with getting together with her friends' lovers under the murkiest of circumstances...

Kendall: Including other people in our lives is not clinging to the past. I could be close with someone. I could spend time with them and --

Zach: Sleep with them.

I am no fan of Kendall's tendency to use sex as a coping mechanism and have had a hard time watching her scenes lately, because of the ook involved, but REALLY. Would you like a giant cube of sugar for the high horse you're on, Mr. "I got your sister pregnant, kissed your sister's girlfriend and killed your brother, but Jesus, can you just move past that?"?

Kendall: Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? My whole world was turned upside down.

Zach: I tried to explain to you what happened, and you shut me out.

Kendall: What did you expect?

Zach: I expected you to try.

See...I don't expect anything from people who just came out of comas, much less make huge emotional demands on them. But then again, I am the type of person who dotes on others after they have a routine cold, so maybe my perspective is off.

From March 20th:

Zach: Take it easy. Nothing to fight for here.

I thought it was "Always, only you", not "Always, only...eh, whatever".

From March 16th:

Kendall: Oh, my God. Oh, my God, you did it. You slept with Reese. I saw you. I saw you at the casino. You were going back to her room. You slept with her.

Zach: No, I didn't. But I wanted to.

So many things wrong with that statement, and not enough hours in the day to make pithy comments about them, so I will just sum up with WTF?


AGAIN, I am not on board with Kendall having an affair (and certainly not having an affair with Ryan) and if Zach wants to be furious with her because of that, fine. But he has been treating her with thinly veiled contempt ever since she came out of her coma and didn't respond well to the fact that he made a baby with her sister behind her back (during the months in which he lectured her about keeping secrets!), moved her sister and her girlfriend into their home, and had a relationship with her sister's girlfriend that was so close that it made MULTIPLE people suspicious about its true nature. He wanted her to shrug everything off and welcome Reese and Gabrielle to the family with open arms and when she didn't do that, and was a little leery, he got angry! Because she wouldn't accept the choices that he made which impacted their family right away, no questions asked! That selfish, awful woman!

(Also, HE KILLED HER BROTHER. Not that she knows that and therefore, she can't use it as ammunition in a fight with him, but I haven't forgotten!)

For me, and for the show (I think...I hope...), Zach/Kendall is endgame and this is all an elaborate way of tearing them apart to bring them back together, and if a competent writer was at the helm, I would be okay with it, but we are not talking about competent writers! We are talking about MORONS who, I think, feel like they are writing this great love story about a "good man" and that's not earth logic at all.


You totally had me ROFL at this

(Okay, there was also a little bit of "How the hell can Ryan take Cambias AND the casino, because I'm pretty sure those are completely separate entities and also, what the hell kind of company can be taken over in three and a half days").

Damn straight!!

I love your posts so much that I wanna have their babies!

Sorry, I have never seen the appeal of Zendall. I didn't hate them or anything, was just indifferent. The less said about Ryan, the better - always. However I have recently discovered that I hate Zack. He is a condescending macho pig, I was so hoping TK would come back to OLTL as Patrick despite the fact I don't watch on a regular basis! I know I should more mature but everytime Kendall appears on my screen all I can think is how terribly thin she is. TB and AM together in a scene look like "11" I know I'm going to hell, but there it is...

"How the hell can Ryan take Cambias AND the casino, because I'm pretty sure those are completely separate entities and also, what the hell kind of company can be taken over in three and a half days"

...the kind of company that is oceanfront in Pennsylvania!

They better fix Zen. I am not joking.
I just wish they would announce Tamara Braun's last day. She is absolutely not to blame for AMC's suckitude, but this show can't get back on track until her character is gone.

And by the way, they have made us hate Reese with a passion usually reserved for Laverys and Martins, so why the hell didn't they turn her into a real villian? Why is David the only black hat in town? Since we all hate Reese anyway, why not turn her into someone we love to hate?

Why? Because we're supposed to love her. Listen folks, if even blind bitch didn't garner my sympathy, it's over, it's done, stick a fork in her. The grand hetero porn lesbian threesome experiment is a massive FAIL...move on.

Brot and Petey? Thanks for that gigglefest. They really are the best men in PV. Hair or not, Kendall is not good enough for them! But that very idea made AMC tolerable for a minute.

I love "Always, only...eh, whatever." Because, seriously, if Pratt gets them back together and then tries to trot Always, Only You on us? It will be yet another log on the fire ridiculous he's been building since he took over (jackass couldn't even kill Babe right, choosing to cram down our throats how wonderful she was on a regular basis since her long overdue death). I'll accept another writer recapturing Always Only You, but not Pratt. Pratt should wear one of those dog collars that shocks him every time he tries to write it after what he's done with the two of them.
Come to think of it, if Pratt wore a dog collar that shocked him every time he wrote something stupid? He'd be sitting propped up in a corner, drooling, peeing his pants, and being fed pudding by some nurse Frons hired to feed him, change his diapers, and move his fingers over the keyboard to crank out script ideas. Hey! Wait a second....

Loved your commentary. You know what infuriates me even more is that no one on the show thinks Kendall has the right to be upset about the spawn - it's all about the friggin kiss!! Kendall tried to work things out with Zach even taking the blame(beccause in Pratt's world - it's all Kendall's fault). But what did Zach do - he walked out twice - the second time he told Kendall he wanted to have sex with another woman. Now Kendall is the one who is unfaithful to her husband and the fans are hating her for it. How is betraying your wife by having a spawn with her sister behind her back - while preaching to her about secrets - not a worse betrayal then turning to someone else when your husband walks out on you? ZACH ENDED their marriage and Kendall turned to Ryan (which is beyond sickening) but it's all Kendall's fault? I have yet to see Zach, Reese or Bianca own what they did to Kendall or try to even understand how betrayed she must feel and allow her to deal with it however she wants. They all want her to get over it - even Erica - which of all of them makes the least amount of sense since she should understand better than anyone. Until then I don't know how or if Zen can be the couple that they use to be. For that I hate Pratt. He had a dynamic couple that had enough angst thrown at them without adding the spawn or the torn between two good men crap. I have to agree with you -right now Kendall should chose Kendall.

"But he has been treating her with thinly veiled contempt ever since she came out of her coma and didn't respond well...."

Thank you. I have only watched this show for about a year & am not particularly attached to Zendall, Zach, or Kendall BUT this has stood out even to me. It's nice to see other people with different attachments than me saw the same thing.

Apart from the vortex of suckitude that is the Kendall-Zach-Ryan mess, I actually enjoy a decent bit of AMC these days. So while I understand the anger, particularly of Zen fans, at Pratt I still think he could be worse. He could be Guza after all.

"Zach: Well, I appreciate your honesty. And now I would appreciate you being honest with me and be honest with yourself. I mean, you know that this marriage was in trouble for a long time, way before Reese. And you know why. Because you love Ryan. Always have and always will."

More confirmation that Ryan Lavery-Loving moronic assholes write this awful show. They seriously want anyone who's been watching this show for more than five minutes to believe that Kendall has always loved Ryan especially throughout her relationship with Zach, what a load of crap!!

I believe Zach and Kendall will be the endgame..Problem is the Endgame will be the end of AMC

There are so many things wrong with the writing - one of which is what is happening to Zach and Kendall. The Zach I know wouldn't have fathered a baby with anyone but his wife nor would he be so comfortable with a complete stranger. The Kendall I know was over Ryan a very long time ago, and even if Zach did something to hurt her again, she wouldn't sleep with someone else. The Kendall I know moved past using sex to help ease her pain a long time ago too.

The out of character actions began with B&E and just continued with Pratt. These writers don't give a damn about character history and about writing stories that are original and oh, I don't know, make sense.

I have no doubt that this is Pratt's way of writing a romance, of taking AMC's most popular couple, ripping them apart, only to put them back together. The problem? It's not necessary. Kendall was in a coma for 3 months...why not write a story about her recovery? Her feeling different? Being timid when it came to making love with her husband? (Which we did see and AM knocked it out of the park). Why not see how Zach dealt with that? His worries and fears?

Instead, we have this sorry excuse for a story.

Let's also not forget that when Kendall and Zach did talk about Gabby and Kendall asked Zach why he didn't tell her about this decision, he said something like, "Because I knew you would disapprove and I was going to do it anyway." Um, let me just say that if my husband told me that he was going to father another child AGAINST my wishes, he'd have nothing to father that child with.

Yup, nothing like misogyny in the afternoon. Thanks, Chuck.

Simply Brilliant post! I agree with everything!Thanks! I want my old Zen back! Zach and Kendall fan always

You're preaching to the choir today, Mallory. It's as if you read my thoughts and typed it all out.

Honestly, I've never believed in couples being "endgame" on a Soap Opera unless their names were Tom and Alice Horton. So if Zendall is over... well, it's a soap and I expected it. That's why I thoroughly enjoyed them when they were good. Really good.

Watching the Jake and Amanda interaction reminds me so very much of old school Zen. Remember the days when Zach vowed to be there for her "no matter what"? Who would admit to being an ass and showed some humility on the occasion? Seeing Jake/Manda proves to me it is very possible for Pratt to write something that I truly enjoy and look forward to. I've just decided that in Pratt's sketch book of doodles, Zen aren't his go-to love story pairing. If I'm completely wrong and Pratt thinks he's currently writing a love story for the ages.... well I just don't ever see myself boarding that ship ever again.

You know... I wish I could agree with everything that you have written, but I can't. I get really tired of reading commentary after commentary where everything that is happening to Zen is Zach's fault. Zach is ""obnoxious, cruel and/or misogynistic"? Really? We must have different opinions of what those words mean. If they mean that a man doesn't sit back and call a woman a soulless cancer and then throw her across the room and is actually faithfull to her in deed if not in thought, then so be it. If they are used to describe a man who has decided that he doesn't need to sit back and watch while his wife has sex with zoo animals, then ok.

Do I agree with all the decisions that he's made (or the decisions that Pratt has made him make)? Hell no. But Kendall doesn't get a free pass here either. Waiting 5 minutes after her best friend dies to jump into bed with Ryan equals slut to me. And her uber Ryan attachment happened LONG before the coma and any test tube baby entered the equasion. And "Eighty percent of her actions since coming out of the coma can be written off as reactions to the fact that she is living in a completely new world"? Really? I don't think so. I've dealt with coma and transplant patients many times in my career. I don't know of any of them who start screwing everyone they run across as a coping mechanism for the time they missed.

Both Zach and Kendall are to blame for the destruction of that relationship. Ok, in reality it's Pratt and his merry band of hack writers, but the point is that not all of this can be blamed on just one of them. This was an equal opportunity implosion.

Agreed, again.

Zach has become such a misogynistic ass, and Kendall had to once again be turned into "the slut" so that his assy behavior could be ignored since Pratt refused to let him apologize or ever take responsibility for it.

We're reminded daily that Zach is a man and so only his pain matters. He doesn't have to show remorse. He doesn't have to admit to being wrong to his own wife.

Myrtle is being used to prop this ass, and Kendall's own mother.

I loved Zach and Zendall, but Zach is now in the depths of Sonny Corinthos hatred.

I guess he's just being a man.

Let's get Kendall a better one.

And not Ryan.

Would you like a giant cube of sugar for the high horse you're on, Mr. "I got your sister pregnant, kissed your sister's girlfriend and killed your brother, but Jesus, can you just move past that?"?

Line of the day, that one. While I agree that Zach and Kendall are "endgame," the problem is that Zach will not have to address or atone for any of his asshattery other than make sad panda eyes and blame it on not feeling worthy. Whine, whine, whine.

When someone takes responsibility for *everything* by making sweeping statements of regret, they in reality take responsibility for *nothing* because they're not forced to deal with the harm they've done and promise to do better. They use the sweeping statement as a "get out of jail free" card. (It will be more of the old, "Hey, I *said* I was sorry ... can't you just get over it?")

It's character redemption through audience manipulation and pity without addressing the contempt Zach has been dishing out since Kendall woke up from a COMA. He'll get a free pass and even been seen as magnanimous by "forgiving" Kendall for actions taken after he'd abandoned their marriage (and her attempts to reach him) no less than 3 times.

So yeah, in my book that's obnoxious, cruel and yes, misogynistic.

Oh ... and what's really irks me is that AMC's ratings are increasing so Pratt's going to take that as validation for his tripe. Grrrr ...

Yep, Pratt's a misogynistic A-Hole and he thinks all men should be like him. Technically though, AMC's ratings are NOT increasing under Pratt. They're actually doing an up and down dance. If you compare them week to week with where AMC was last year when Brown and Esensten were writing, Pratt's beating them on some weeks and he's losing to them in other weeks. He's not maintaining viewers and he's definitely not building an audience as he'll gain some viewers one week and then lose them the next.

"I've dealt with coma and transplant patients many times in my career. I don't know of any of them who start screwing everyone they run across as a coping mechanism for the time they missed."

I hate the whole Kendall sleeps with Ryan thing as much as anyone, but I don't know that sleeping with one person who she has an established past relationship with, a decent amount of time after waking up from the coma, after her husband has informed her he wanted to sleep with the woman with whom he's been carrying on an emotional affair in addition to having moved out of their home, is the same as starting to screw anyone she runs across as a coping mechanism for the time she missed while in her coma. It's not anyone she runs across, it's one person, and it's not a coping mechanism for what she missed while in the coma, it's a response to her husband's leaving her and admitting to his desire to sleep with another woman along with the heightened emotions she felt in going to identify her best friend's remains.

It's not like she's been wandering around Pine Valley all "hey, Jake, how YOU doing?" and "Aidan, you know, you aren't married to Greenlee anymore..how about we go check out some remote cabins together?" because she feels insecure about her place in life after being in the coma.

I didn't realize anyone could make AMC worse, but Pratt has exceeded my expectations. It sucks completely. I don't like Kendall, Zach or Ryan. Never have. It is not even a tiny bit believable that Ryan is capable of taking ANYTHING from Zach. Zach is an arrogant bully and a fairly despicable human being, but he's not stupid. Also, while I'm on the subjuct of stupid, no way in hell would Aidan get sucker punched by anyone, not even the great Zach Slater. Aidan would totally kick Zach's ass, if Zach's pretentious bodyguards aren't around. But I digress. Even I think this Ryan/Kendall/Zach story is utter crap with an extra side serving of suckitude.

I liked Jake & Amanda the first time around, but I hate them now. There are no interesting, watchable characters worth rooting for on this entire show. I hate to think that anything is worse than GH, but AMC actually is.

While not the deliciousness it was even recently, OLTL is the only ABC hour worth tuning in to see.

You know the sad things about all of this?

1) If Bianca and Zach had come to Kendall with a baby request before going ahead with the process, I'm 99% sure she would have agreed to it. Yes, yes, fictional character and all that, but there is a weird kind of sense to the whole thing - this way, Miranda and her sister are both Cambii, which could reduce the whole "Omigod I was conceived by rape!" horror when Miranda's old enough to understand such things, and this means that the two of them are good potential bone marrow donors for one another (and for Ian) - important in soap world. Kendall might've asked to have her own shot at providing Zach with a daughter first, but I think she'd have been more than willing to go along with the basic plan. Someone willing to bear and give her own genetic child to her best friend and ex-lover must have a fairly generous mindset about such things. But there's a difference between asking her before proceeding and presenting her a pink bundle of joy as a fait accompli.

2) Zach and Bianca are not, I think, irredeemable. Simply have Zach admit that he was dealing with major, major unresolved guilt about not stopping Michael and his father from their reigns of terror way back when and have Bianca admit that Miranda had gotten to the point of asking about her daddy and thus caused Bianca to freak out about Miranda having to suffer as Kendall did from being conceived via rape, etc. etc. But that would require the writing to portray them as being in the wrong - sympathetic, true, but still in the wrong - and I don't see that happening. That's totally my explanation for how Ryan is beating Zach in business, though - Zach is destroying his own life out of unresolved guilt, making him super-vulnerable.

Okay, time for me to remember that these aren't real people...

THANK YOU LYNN, man kendall has been on her ryan high since before the tornado, i wish poeple would admit that. what if zach were lustin afte maria/maureen and then brought her into his bed he shared with kendall then zach would be the bad guy, iam glad zendall is done, she deserves ryan and everthing he will dish out.......jmo

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