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« Why Couldn't the ABC Soaps Be Pre-Empted Instead? | Main | Our Column in the 3/31 Issue of Soap Opera Digest »

March 23, 2009

This Show Doesn't Have a Good Sense-to-Nonsense Ratio

If I had to describe All My Children in one word...

(This is a purely hypothetical situation, because nobody would ever ask me to describe All My Children. In fact, when most people find out I watch All My Children they stare at me with undisguised pity and hastily change the subject)

(Also, for the purposes of this purely hypothetical exercise, let's pretend that the one word description had to be family friendly. I don't doubt that we could all make an art form of applying the f-bomb to this show)

...that word would be baffling. Because I spend a major portion of each episode completely baffled by the goings-on in Pine Valley, both in terms of the writing quality (i.e., "How are these people employed? This is baffling!) and the flat-out illogical nature of what is on our screens (i.e., "WTF is going on and for what purpose? This is baffling!). The usual breakdown of each episode:

86% Baffled

5% Ready for the show to be over

3% Amused On Purpose (Usually by something Erica and/or Adam related)

2%Amused Accidentally (Usually Tamara Braun's blind acting)

2%Envious of Alicia Minshew's hair

1% Entertained by my imaginary "Hey, That's From New York & Company" game

1%Craving some sort of caffeinated beverage

Some of the (many) questions I have follow. In the interest of time, I am omitting the obvious "Why do any of us still watch?" question, because I fear that we will never know...



I don't mean to be judgmental or anything, but if you answered "Yes, I do" to that question: get help. You may be seriously ill.

I have hated Krystal for years, and grudgingly put up with her because I genuinely like Bobbie Eakes and she and David Canary worked well together, but I am DONE. I get all twitchy whenever she is onscreen these days, yammering in her over-the-top accent about the horrible Chandlers and how the best place for Little A is with her and David and conveniently ignoring that the last child she raised was a freaking blight upon humanity.

Not to be a drama queen or anything, but I am not yet emotionally ready for deal with Krystal taking JR's child away from him. I know, I know, the baby caper was years ago, and, you know, fictional, but I can't. Not yet.



Considering that she managed to get me to pay attention to a Frankie/Randi scene and not reach for the fast forward button once, I'd say yes, yes she does.

Angie: You're exquisite. Beautiful dress. Beautiful girl. Just -- just beautiful everything. What did I say?

Randi: Nothing. It's just -- I can't explain it.

Angie: Try.

Randi: I used to see little girls with their moms fussing over party dresses and their mothers patting down their hair, and I guess I knew I -- I'd never have those moments with my mom.

Angie: If you need a mom, I'm applying for the job.

Aww! Best mother-in-law ever, Y/Y?

Of course, I don't see her handling the elopement so well, but even her reaction to that is bound to be entertaining.



Her involvement in getting Little A out of the country and away from David's sleazy fingers was genius, and her expert takedowns of David, Krystal and the PVPD today were a sight to see.

Jesse: Obstruction of justice is a serious charge that could land you in jail, again. Now, really, is prison the place you want to be, again? 

Erica: Oh, yes, absolutely. If I'm not sent up on obstruction charges, I'm thinking of robbing a convenience store.


And using the show's actual history to get through to Jesse? Brill (although it had the unintended side effect of reminding me of the show's glory days and comparing it to now and, well, tears. All I'm saying. Tears)

Erica: The point is that David Hayward is every bit as toxic as Les Baxter was. Please, Jesse, imagine for a moment that Little Adam is your Frankie, your precious baby. Please think of -- of your baby Frankie's best interests. Where would Frankie belong?

I love her, with her itsy little self and her ginormous hair, and her sass.

I am not so sold on the marriage advice she gave Kendall (can one ever be fully sold on marriage advice from Erica? If there was ever a better "Do as I say, not as I do" situation...)

Erica: Reese never had the power to tank your marriage, all by herself.

Kendall: Fine. Fine, go ahead and blame the victim.

Erica: No, you're not the victim type, but if you wanted to be with Zach, you would be with Zach. Look, every marriage has rough spots. You just -- you just work through them.

Ryan: Rough spots? I'm really sorry to interrupt you, but rough spots? Your son-in-law is a walking black hole [Breaking News: Pot and Kettle caught in Black scandal!--Ed.], Erica.

Erica: Ryan, I-- look, I understand that you're grieving, but your bitterness is not helping Kendall right now, and I know that Greenlee is dead, but Zach is alive.

but she gets bonus points for calling Ryan bitter and reminding him that Greenlee is dead (not like he cares, because, seriously, I grieved for her longer than he did). Haha, Ryan's life sucks.



Is she a freaking superhero? And that meant that we sat through hours of...over-the-top blind acting, for something cured in five seconds? Pacing fail, AMC.

Reese: Like, if I want to get back to my family, I need to stop leaning on you. I've taken the easy route too many times. Now I need to take the hard one on my own now.

You know who has taken the hard route? The viewers. The viewers who have had to put up with this half-assed, poorly written, sensationalistic drivel for months with absolutely no payoff and no quality. Sell your sob story to people you haven't already burned, Reese.

Even her email to Miranda made me cranky:

My darling Miranda, another birthday. It seems like the last one just passed. Oh, I hope you're having a wonderful time with Gabby and Mommy. I think of you, all the time, and I wish I was there to give you a big birthday hug. Even though we aren't together right now, you are always in my heart. Happy birthday, my beautiful girl. Je t'aime toujours.

"I miss you so much! You are the most wonderful little girl. I wish I was there to celebrate with you! But I can't be because I just, you know, have so much stuff to do and, you know, France is just soooo far away. And things are just crazy here! I was blind for a little while. I know, right? Nuts! Hope you understand. I think about you all the time! Miss you tons and bunches! XOXO!"



I can't handle it.

David: Listen, get in there and amp up the pressure.

Jay: Look, I -- I can't just stroll into a police interrogation.

David: What the hell am I paying you for? You boneless sponge.

Every time he is onscreen these days, his presence squeezes the positive David-related memories from my mind, and by the end of the week, I will have forgotten every good moment that David Hayward has ever had, and I won't even be able to look them up on YouTube, because I will hate the sight of his face so much that watching old clips will cause me physical pain. Thanks again for nothing, Pratt & Co.!!!



The subject of Zach and Kendall's implosion, and Zach taking up residence at 123 Douchebag Lane will get its own (far overdue, I know. But please be patient, grasshoppers!) post, but for now: 

Kendall: I wanted to call you last night. I -- I couldn't sleep. But, um, here you are now. Zach, I want you to know that -- what is that?

Zach: Petition for divorce.

It's a phrase both overused by me and sophomoric, but I really can't put my feelings into words any other way: SUCK. IT.


I never, ever, ever thought I would wish for this, but: I sorta, kinda want a scene in which Kendall and Ryan are playing with Spike and Emma and Zach walks in to pick up Ian for a visit and suddenly feels all outsider-ish and nouveau in relation to Kendall and Ryan's history. Because at least that would resemble good soap.

Gah. When I am understanding what Kendall might see in Ryan, there is something wrong. Ryan may be a hypocrite, but he's not totally wrong about PodZach.

As for Krystal, if she had become and stayed the town pariah, kinda like David is now, after the baby switch she might be tolerable. Trying to turn her into a semi-heroine was an awful idea; having her cheat on Adam with his worst enemy just added insult to injury. Doesn't B&B want to resurrect Macy already?

Zach is a black hole of suck. That line described him so well you'd think the writers put it in there for that purpose.

I never want to root for Ryan, but it pains me to admit that he treats Kendall right now much better than her douche of a husband.

Where is the RealZach Slater? Buried under all that wannabe Sonny Corinthos writing?

I mourn the day I enjoy Ryan with Kendall and want Zach to as you put it...Suck it!

Ryan treats her better? Ryan has not slept with anyone who was not legally married to someone else in years... Ryan thinks that honoring Kendall's best friend Greenlee is to sleep with her before Greenlee's body is even cold? Ryan believes that he is giving Kendall objective marital advice..like his marriages have done so well..and like he has not made a gazillion mistakes himself.

Zach's wife just slept with another man..AGAIN. He is entitled to be pissed.

Ryan has been a third wheel in their marriage for years...Ryan never learned to respect anyone but his own selfish needs. When is Ryan going to take responsbility for anything?

And to use Kendall in bis plot to get back at Zach for the mess he has made of his own life ..is nauseating at best.

I posted this rant on another board this morning . . . . . so I'll share it here as well . . . .

Yesterday was it for me. I ffwded almost the ENTIRE show. So I'm done. Congrats, Chuck and Brian! You've officially lost a twenty-nine YEAR viewer! You must be overjoyed!

I was sick last week, and watched most of the show in real time. And I just realized that -- well, I just don't care about this show anymore. I have no one to root for, other than rooting by default because it's either this nimrod or THAT nimrod, so I'll go with THAT nimrod. No thanks.

First of all, I hate what they've done to David. One of my all-time favorite daytime characters in the history of daytime -- RUINED. And for WHAT??? Babe? KWAK? PLOT???? Ugh.

I WANT to root for JR, but I can't, because he's being written as a moron, and he still waxes poetic over his dead whore at least once a week, so I need him on mute at the very least if I even want to tolerate him.

I can't watch Tad Martin anymore. Just can't. Cause every time I see him, all I think is 'this guy KILLED a man, NEVER paid for it, and he's being all judgmental on the rest of the town'. There must be pigs flying in an ice-covered hell, cause I'm rooting for KWAK over Tad here.

But the above pale in comparison to the constant barrage of the whole Ryan/Kendall/Zach/Reese mess.

Now, I've never disliked Zach. But I've never much LIKED him, either. He's always been kind of 'there' for me. But I like Thorsten Kaye, so what the hell, I'll watch. But I've never been passionate one way or the other about Zach Slater. And I feel the same way about Kendall. AND about Zach and Kendall as a pairing. I prefer Kendall as a bitch, to be honest.

I will tell that I never liked Kendall with Ryan. But I haven't liked Ryan with much of anyone since Gillian died. Ryan and a motorcycle and a cliff is about the only pairing that has pleased me.

So let's get to Ryan, since obviously, in case you haven't figured it out, this IS the 'Ryan Show'. All My Ryans, set in Ryan Valley.

And my problem with this is -- Ryan is a DOUCHE. And ever since Gillian died, anytime he loses a woman due to death/dumping/whatever, his solution is to hop into bed with whatever walks by next. Oh, and don't forget his hypocritical tirades where he screams about morality and ethics to everyone that dares to challenge his words of wisdom. Give him a mob to run and some barware to throw and he's basically Sonny Corinthos with a six-pack.

And this is the HERO of the show, people!

Please -- Ryan is barely one step above Family Guy's 'Quagmire'. I half expect to see Asian women running out of his closet every time someone comes over.

And then there's Reese. And we're supposed to care about Reese, because . . . . . . WHY???? We have young LEGACY CHARACTERS on this show . . . . . Amanda, Colby, Petey, Frankie . . . . . that have yet to get to have a dream montage to guide them in the right direction in life, let alone the amount of AIRTIME that this character gets. And yet, on Friday, REESE gets one, complete with visits from her family members that we neither know nor care about.

WTF???????? I'm not invested enough in this character yet to watch her have a DREAM SEQUENCE. And the way she's been shoved down our throats, I doubt I ever WILL be!

Jesse and Angie are basically props to the whole David/KWAK/JR mess, when clearly they deserve their OWN storyline.

Right now the only person on this show I can even root for is Annie. And she's nuts. But at least she's entertaining. And is it wrong of me to wish for her to break free, run amok, and just kill everyone so that this show can be put out of its misery once and for all?

Go Annie! And let me know if/when that ever happens. Cause I'll be tuning out for awhile. I can get my updates on Serial Drama (Where else? ). At least I know THAT will entertain me -- unlike AMC.

I feel you on the KWAK hate. Seriously. I don't know about some people and their BabeKKAWery but I will NEVER forgive them for nabbing Miranda. I don't care that it was years ago. I don't care that Bianca forgave them or that everybody loved Babe because it was in the script. NEVER! NEVER!

It's a teeny tiny thing in the enormous black hole that AMC has become, but what is with the horrible names? Brot? Isn't that a sausage cooked in beer? And I like him! What a shame.

And Little A? Every time someone says it my skin crawls, especially Evil Mustache David and Babe (eyeroll VOM) baring Krystal, another stripper name. When that kid grows up, if AMC is still on air, are they still going to call him Little A. How about when he is 40? It's so queer.

Mallory, I hope you touch on the douchebag 101 class Zach thought today (3/24). Douchebag actually had me agreeing with Ryan.

Zach has the right to be mad after Kendall slept with another man, yes definitely. But what was his reason for being an ass to her before that when he was so totally in the wrong? Oh he explained that today, it's because everything bad he does, everything bad that happens to him and everything bad that anybody else does is her fault because she has a third person in the marriage. His preoccupations and mindgels with Dixie, Hannah, Greenlee, Annie to a point, Reese don't count't and if they did it would be Kendall's fault. She didn't send him baby gift within 24 hours after finding out about his new little girl and family, is that why he was an ass to her while she was just having human reaction to all his betrayals, not for months but a few days? She took way too much responsibility just to try to work things out with him before she did what she did and he spitted on that like it was nothing. Like he was the wronged one. Douchebag is correct.

Mallory, can't a girl be single on a P/G/F line-up? You should do a SOD column on that. Kendall needs to be free from both these guys, no offense to guys.

I find it ridiculous to even try and make sense of what Pratt is writing but I get Zach's comment about a third person in their marriage. It's not the same as Hannah, Annie, Greenlee, etc..Zach has been famous for helping ALL women and there has always been some question about his relationship with all of them when whoever was writing the script was trying to interject some unimaginative drama for Zen by sticking another women in the middle. It does not hurt that every actress that comes on the show somehow makes a comment in the press about wanting to work with TK.

But that's a whole different can of worms IMO than Ryan ..as Ryan has been a CONSTANT presence in their marriage...from even before their marriage. Zach marries Kendall and Ryan has an opinion. Ryan pretends to be dead, tells Zach to keep his secret and then later blames him for not being honest with Kendall. Ryan tells Kendall about the blackout, Ryan chases after Kendall at Divorce Island, and tells Kendall he will support whatever she decides with her unborn child and then takes her to court when she disagrees with him. As Zach watches Kendall in Coma #1, Ryan must tell the husband he is in love with his wife (just like he had to tell Aidan he was in love with HIS wife).

He must take Zach to court about terminating the pregnancy...and then he moves across the hall from them. He watches Zach and Kendall figure out the Satin Slayer stuff, while encouraging Kendall to stay away from Zach and taking Spike..and then arrives to "untie the string" so Kendall can be saved...and that was just two years ago. It continues..with Kendall's constant need to help Ryan, despite being screamed at by him that she is a busy body who knows nothing....and it's two years later, Ryan is shacking up with Greenlee less than two minutes after dropping HIS WIFE off at the mental institution and then the final straw of making up a story that he has PROOF Zach and Reese had sex,when they did not. And because Ryan told Greenlee the same lie, she went off and got herself in an accident..but it's Zach's fault..Zach causes problems whereever he is and Ryan's hands are clean.

This whitewashing of Ryan at the expense of Zach - and Kendall..is making me thoroughly nauseous. Don't get me wrong, Zach made a huge mistake regarding the baby stuff (not that I believe that Zach would have ever done that but it's part of the Ryan whitewashing so I get it) but that does not negate that Ryan has been a huge mistake since he walked into Pine Valley and there is nothing that could make me feel that Ryan even makes more sense than ANYONE else, least of all Zach.

Ryan is a douche - pure and simple. He is a manipulative, selfish, egotistical jackass. I absolutely loathe this character. There is noting noble or heroic about him. Nothing.

And here we are again. The writers need to give Ryan a story, so they decide to stick him in between Zen - AMC's strongest and best couple. For what reason?

I've yet to figure it out. Let's see, the writers blew up the Ailee so they could have Rylee. Now Greenlee is gone and gee, did Ryan love her at all? Are we honestly supposed to look at this character and feel sorry for him? While he uses Kendall to get back at Zach?? While he conveniently forgets that he is the one who told Greenlee about the kiss Z / R shared and made an assummption?

This character is an absolute disaster. It absolutely sickens me that Zach and Kendall have to be trampled all over for this character.

This is not the Zach and Kendall that Thorsten Kaye and Alicia Minshew built together. The writers should be ashamed of themselves for writing this stuff and calling it a story.

It's not. It's pure garbage. They need to get their collective buts in gear and fix the damage.

Onto other characters...no, I can't stand Krystal, I never could. With that aside, I find it horrific that to be with David, Krystal's lost all of her common sense. She is a strong character, when is that going to come back? When is she going to wake up and smell the roses?

David...it saddens me what has become of Dr. Delicious. Even though David only returned to the screen in October, I feel like he's been on for eons.....and that really isn't a good thing.

Will Jr ever get a grip and stop being so pathetic?

What is the point of Reese? This character should've left the scene when Bianca did. She's still not cool.

As a whole, this show is a mess. I have to wonder what will it take for a higher up to step in and start repairing the damage that's done?

If a commentary needs to be written it should be about Ryass. It has only been a few weeks since Greenlee went over the cliff and Ryan is already trying to get Kendall to tell him what his place is in her life??????????????

I have tuned out on this show because to watch it is too painful and mind-bogling to sit through. Ryan is upset that Greenlee is gone yet he is sexing it up with the person who ran her off the road. What sense does that make.

I agree that Dr Dave is a cartoon character and I don't think I'd even enjoy him as a cartoon.

Ughh... That's all I can say about " All My Angst" just Ughh.....

I don't even watch AMC... haven't for years, but I just happened to read this. I am laughing my ass off. You have such a way with words!!!

Mallory, I agree that Zach is a douche bag right now as is Ryan. I am beyond disgusted with Zach's "it's all your fault" speech to Kendall today. FYI Zach there have always been more than just you, Kendall and Ryan in your marriage, lest we forget the random needy females you put before your wife. Sorry but IMO Zach’s “save a needy vagina” complex is just as destructive to Zen’s marriage as Kendall’s need to save Ryan. I wanted to strangle the life out of Zach today for his lack of self awareness and blaming everything under the sun on Kendall and I also wanted to strangle Kendall as well for not strangling Zach. She was wrong to sleep with the other douche bag, but she still does not deserve to be treated with such utter contempt and disrespect by her husband.

I'm still scratching my head at how quickly ryan got over greenlee and hopped in bed with her friend. All I say is wow! he is unbelievable!

I am so tired of AMC. Ididnt watch it for 5 years and then started again when Angie and Jessie came back. Brot is the only character Im rooting for.

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