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« Soap Related Entertainment of the Intentional Kind! | Main | Family Ties and "Family" Ties »

October 13, 2009

The Town Where Happiness Goes To Die

When Charles Pratt was named All My Children headwriter and I said, "After the reigns of McTavish and Esensten and Brown, there's nothing Pratt could do to ruin this show any further. The only way he could wind up as the worst AMC headwriter in recent memory would be if he lit fire to the set and then turned cannibal!", I didn't mean it as a DARE, and yet the show took it as such, because I can think of no better way to describe what he has done to AMC besides pyromania and cannibalism, and, if anything, that's significantly understating things.

Even the highlight of Monday's episode evoked mild annoyance; the rest of it was an ungodly mess, and when I went to WebMD to check the symptoms that I had after the show's end, it turns out that AMC may have given me an ulcer, sinusitis, an allergic reaction or generalized anxiety disorder!

Because I am too tired to be creative in framing this post, I present a list of things that I hated about this show. The list is, quite obviously, abridged, because we don't have enough bandwith for me to write down all of my complaints.

HATE: The prison notifying Zach that (Faux)Kendall was stabbed by leaving him a voicemail.

I'll let the ever expressive Mike Cutter speak for me:

Are you effing kidding me? I am foolish to even attempt to use logic when dealing with this show, but really, why would they not try calling Zach on his cell phone?

Warden Griggs: Mr. Slater, it's Warden Griggs at the state penitentiary. There was an incident tonight in your wife's cell block. I'm afraid she's been injured. A stab wound. Because of her prior heart condition, we're transporting her to Pine Valley Hospital.

I am so sure that information like that is left on answering machines!

HATE: Erica propping Ryan.

Ryan Lavery is TRULY the worst thing to ever happen to Erica. That should go without saying, because Ryan is the worst thing to happen to everybody, everywhere, but he's especially terrible for Erica in particular. I am endlessly fascinated by the large-haired, pocket-sized diva, but I've had a hard time watching her scenes lately, because she is turning pathetic. The mooning over Ryan, the making out with Ryan, the endless excuses she makes for Ryan...

Erica: Ryan, you have to stop blaming yourself. There's only one reason that Emma is in there, and that's Annie. What Annie has done to that little girl--asked her to lie, asked her to keep secrets.

Erica: Ryan, Emma was already in the crossfire, because Annie put her there. Annie has been using her own daughter as a weapon--loaded her up with lies and secrets as bullets. The only thing you have ever done is protect Emma.

Does anyone else have a craving for a Drano cocktail?

And what the hell, Erica, you don't seem to mind that Ryan's endless time spent protecting Emma (all of it occurring offscreen, natch) has apparently led to your daughter's son going missing! Where the hell is Spike? I know he's the most reasonable person in town and if any Pine Valley child could survive as a latchkey kid, it's Spike, but STILL.

HATE: What the writers have done to Jesse

One of the most frustrating things to watch is a character vehemently denying that they have done something when, in fact, they have done that something.

Adam: Just how deeply are you in this?

Jesse: Why am I not surprised that I am next on your list of co-conspirators?

Um, because you ARE next on the list of co-conspirators? I mean, conspire and break the law all you want, since it IS a soap, but dial the moral righteousness back just a little bit. 

HATE: The best Kendall/Zach moments coming from episodes written by Megan McTavish

The brief flashbacks of Kendall and Zach's wedding were probably the last time the couple was actually written well and McTavish is responsible for that. If that's not the saddest sentence ever typed, it is at least in the top five.

HATE: The writers' complete lack of understanding of the medical profession

Erica: I just spoke with the desk nurse. They're closing now. Jake has been assisting the neurosurgeon and he's going to be coming down in a moment to tell us how it went.


Even more horrifying than a random doctor assisting a neurosurgeon is that said random doctor is Jake, and that everybody involved seems cool with it, whereas I'd have to say, "The man who faked a baby death and adoption and then abandoned a baby in an alley so that he could then adopt it after it went into the foster system wants to be part of drilling a hole into my child's head? Is there anyone more adept on staff who could handle that? Like, say, that therapy dog over there?"

HATE: Adam is almost certainly Stuart's killer

This is the only way I see this story wrapping up, and the hints keep adding up. Emma is terrified of him, and Scott unreservedly believes in Annie's innocence and is shattered by the truth (or "truth") that she tells him about that night. And Adam will be absolved of guilt based on the fact that he was being drugged (he will, of course, never forgive himself and the true guilty party in that case--David--will never face consequences for Stuart dying because the writers don't play that) and the writers will be able to have a major character be the culprit without having to do any real work punishing them or redeeming them, and they can all high five each other for their brilliance while I projectile vomit all over my television.

David Canary will, of course, be absolute perfection in this story, because he would be perfection in a story where he [UTTERLY IMPLAUSIBLE AND RIDICULOUS IMAGINARY PLOTLINE REDACTED IN CASE THE AMC WRITERS DECIDE TO USE IT AS INSPIRATION], but it is a terrible idea. I hope that I am wrong about this, I really do, because it's such a bullshit way to wrap this story up, and it's a bullshit way of killing off a long time, important character, but bullshit is about the only thing these writers are good at, so here we are.

(How many more times do you think I can say bullshit in that sentence? In addition to the aforementioned ailments, AMC has also given me compulsive sailor's mouthitis!)


As sad as I am that TK is leaving, I thank God he won't have to try to make sense of Chuckie's crap. I know there won't be a satisfying moment in anything involving Zen up to AM's leave. But at least I will be free. At I truly hope that Zen limp off into the sunset together, and that neither one of the come back. Who am I kidding? I pray for it!

Erica is better than Ryan will ever be. She deserves more than this.

I'm sure you're right that Adam probably did kill Stuart, but thought he was killing himself due to David's drugs. What a useless end to a wonderful character!

Scott is a fool, Jake is a tool.

Adam can get in line behind Tad and become the second casualty of legacy character destroyed in the process of making a poorly thought out murder mystery reach a conclusion.

Did any of these writers ever read a mystery?

You must be psychic. This was the exact conversation I had about AMC last night with my family. I must say I am particularly distressed over how Pratt has assassinated Jesse's character. And don't even get me started on what he has done to Zach or Erica.

It is truly a sad day when one can honestly say that Megan McTavish was/is a better writer than Charles Pratt. But based on what has appeared on screen since Pratt's arrival, including storylines for which he is willing to claim responsibility, McTavish is hands-down a far superior daytime scribe than Pratt could ever hope to be. And McTavish was the worst of the worst IMO.

My problem with Pratt is not only in poor execution of a story, but his absolute laziness in delivery. While the stupidity surrounding Jake's surgical assist and ignoring HIPPA guidelines may work on paper, eventually someone on the writing staff should recognize that NO VIEWER OF DAYTIME IS THAT STUPID!!!!!!!!!! The women of PV may be brain-dead, but this is one daytime viewer who is not!

But as much as I will miss Thorsten Kaye, I'm thrilled beyond belief that he has had the foresight to leave this sinking ship. I just hope that he doesn't have a change of heart and allow Pratt and Company to sell him the same BS that they are currently peddling to Rebecca Budig. Sadly, Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan are sticking around for more abuse and character destruction. I'd like to see them leave this morass as well. Jesse's character is looking more and more like Mac Scorpio on GH, and we all know how completely ineffective (and unnecessary) he is on the show. Oh well, at least AMC will foot the bill for their relocation to Hollywood.


I never thought I would see the day where I longed to have McTavish back as a writer on AMC. It seems as if the subsequent writers have been brought on to trash the show instead of improve it. The best part of Monday's show was the flashback to the Zendall wedding. Those were the good ole days. I'm glad TK is leaving so he doesn't have to put up with anymore of the crappy writing he's been given. I really hope Alicia decides to leave and not come back after her maternity. Just give me a happy ending for Zendall so I can be done with this show once and for all.

I think Aidan will be Stuart's killer.

Adam will just be destroyed to prop headcase Annie.

McTavish was terrible most of the time but she did have a good period at the beginning of her last run and it took her longer to screw up then it took Pratt. And its true that she wrote Zach and Kendall better than Pratt and as Esensten and Brown.

Drano Cocktail? You're killing me :-)

AMC is sinking so fast I am not sure they will have many viewers left by the time they get to LA. I can't even look at Erica anymore. Sad.

I think I've come to terms with TK's departure and AM's pending (permanent) departure. What I'm most sad about is that I know they will not get the ending they deserve. This couple has kept this sinking crapfest of a ship afloat for years. They are one of the most popular couples in daytime, and they won't get the swan song they deserve. Stupid Pratt and his stupid need to ruin all things in life :(

I'm saddened at the idea of Adam being Stuart's killer but the signs have been there from the beginning. Everyone's insistance that Annie is the killer, Adam's inability to really remember that night. Annie telling Emma to keep a secret. At least he didn't willingly murder Stuart unlike Tad with Greg Madden.

I'm glad to see 'faux' Kendall wise up. It's a pity it took a shiving to make her realize no amount of money is worth spending time in prison.

You know the saddest thing about Ryan and Erica is the fact that the IIC think they are the next supercouple, because Zen is leaving. Good luck with that Chuckie.

This show is unrecognizable under the poison pen of Pratt. I'm sad to say the best times for my favorite couple and AMC was under McT. I didn't think so then, but hindsight is 20/20. I just hope the IIC recognizes the damage Pratt has done to this show and corrects it before a lot more people are out of a job.

I'm glad TK and Lish will not have to be subjected to this garbage anymore...along with myself. Because once they are gone so am I. After 30 years of watching this show I'm DONE. Pratt made it a chore to watch not a pleasure. AMC is no longer Love in the afternoon...sobbbbbbbbbb

A-freakin-men! I am amazed constantly at this drivel. As much as I will rue the day that TK leaves, I am glad he will no longer be subjected to this hot mess of a train wreck. He deserves better. This TK fan will be going with him.

just to correct one flaw in the story. McTavish didn't write those wonderful vows you credited her with. Thorsten Kaye wrote the vows on that episode. He knows their characters better than anyone. He should be writing the show. Far superior to Pratt.

Dead on Mallory and had you gone further I would be in tears at the utter sadness of your truths. For someone to actually be paid for the destruction of a show that has been an icon and has weathered so many ups and downs there just aren't words for what Chuckie has managed to do in a very short time. I had a problem dealing when I heard TK and AM were gone I truelly have hung in here only for Zach and Kendall but now I'm glad they will be out of this hot mess that only seems to be getting worse [if that is possible] and I will also be leaving PV behind.

I stopped watching AMC many years ago. The unabort fetus was the reason for me but I am sorry to see that my once favorite soap has been reduced to this awfulness. It is a shadow of it former greatest. Good luck with the move to LA--

why is the writing so poor on daytime?

Does anyone out there use close captioning? I use it in case I miss something that has been said. The day of the shooting while "Stuart" was looking around from one shooter to another, it was Adam "thinking" about all the bad things he had done to everyone and realizing that it was his time to die. It was definitely Adam that died in that episode. Then, the next day you hear it was Stuart. Now, you're saying that Adam will be the one that did it. I think the writers need to make up their minds. That's my opinion. Is there anyone else out there that caught this?

TK is literally the only thing to keep me hanging on. Actually I stopped watching the show when they put Kendall with her abuser. I just kept up with Zach on the OTKWS and watched clips. I really thought I would go back once that sickness ended. But it seems there is NOTHING to make me want to go back full time. I've just been watching clips and getting my Zach/TK fix. You will never know how sad I am that we are losing Zach Slater. But the thought of NEVER having to see Ryan Lavery's face again makes it easier. And thanks to the internet . . . I'll always have my clips.

awesome post!!!

I could watch that Cutter reaction shot all day, which is something I can't say about any aspect of All My Children right now.

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