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« Oh No He Didn't | Main | Awesome Bitches and Those Who Need To Be Removed »

December 08, 2010

Funeral For a Friend

(I realized after I had started this post that I already used "Funeral For a Friend" as the name of a blog post, back when we saw Stuart's funeral, which was a pretty fantastic episode of All My Children. As was Palmer's memorial...and Myrtle's. For whatever reason, the AMC writers take their writing talent out of hiding and bring their A game when it comes time to bid farewell to popular characters. So when I beg and plead for a better written show, am I actually advocating for killing off much-loved residents of Pine Valley?! I suddenly have a very clear image of Brian Frons saying "Excellent" in his best Montgomery Burns voice--which, considering his skill set in most other areas, probably isn't a good imitation at all.)

Most of you have been reading this blog long enough to know two things:

1. I think Alicia Minshew is, to borrow a phrase from the 1920s, the cat's meow. A fantastic actress with a wonderful head of hair.

2. I tear up very easily. Okay, I WEEP very easily.

So I am sure you predicted, correctly, that I enjoyed the performances in today's episode and had to reach for the Kleenex a few times. I mean, please, when they teased Kendall saying "Always, only you" during the commercial break, I started to sniffle, and when Ian kissed Zach's picture and then Spike COVERED it with kisses, I was gone.

Overall, it was a really nicely done episode. There were some major exceptions to that statement including a notable, six-foot-two, Ryan Lavery shaped exception, but more on that will follow. I do so enjoy flashbacks during memorial episodes, but I suppose we got enough flashbacks during the stretch when you could almost hear the writers cackling maniacally as they drove home how happy Kendall and Zach were together and how they had such a long history and an even longer future ahead of them and "Haha, it's funny because they have no future ahead of them because Zach is going to DIE".

I toyed around with doing a full recap, but I realized that it would include the words "And then I started to sniffle" or "Tear!" in every paragraph, so I am opting instead for random thoughts and observations.

  • The first, and most important, being: Alicia Minshew owns me. I have been completely floored by her performance in the past few weeks and have found her portrayal of grief to be so painfully, horribly realistic. If you've experienced a major loss, or know someone who has, you know the overwhelming grief and the struggle to keep it together, and I think she has just been pitch perfect in conveying that. I hope, hope, hope that she gets Emmy recognition but, at the very least, she can be proud to know that Mallory at Serial Drama gives her major kudos. And that's way better than an Emmy, right? Especially because she doesn't have to sit through a cheesy awards show to get props from me...

Kendall: I love you. The first time I said those words to you I could not believe they were coming out of my mouth. I mean I was so sure I would never say them again because love, it never lasted. So I stopped trying or at least I tried to stop trying but you wouldn't let me. Crazy considering you were just as scared as I was. Yeah, you heard me, I called you scared. You decided I was worth the risk and you convinced me to take that risk with you. Thank you. So we held hands and we took a leap. We got married against all odds. You helped bring Spike safely into this world against all odds. You gave Ian the strength the keep fighting, to survive, against all odds. Everything we did was against all odds but somehow we made it work. Was it easy? No. But my god Zach it was worth it. Someone asked me recently what I thought you would want. I know you would want me to be strong and to keep on going and I will because I have to for the boys. But I won't think of you as gone forever. You've just taken another journey across the sea and I will be here waiting for you. I will never stop loving you.


  • Susan Lucci was also fabulous--I loved the little touches of Erica wiping away Kendall's tears and trying to be strong for her daughter and her daughter's sons. I also enjoyed her SPARKLY BLACK COAT. I ran into technical difficulties before I could screencap, so you'll have to take my word for it: SPARKLY.
  • On the fashion subject, I'm a bit confused by Greenlee's backless dress. And I'm MORE than a bit confused by Jack's hair starting out normal and landing on slicked back and kind of skeevy at the memorial itself. It was like he looked in the mirror and said to himself, "It's just not douchey enough".
  • Speaking of douchey, I was taken aback by the choice to cast Eddie Matos as Rev. Torres. I don't think he, personally, is a douche, but his pervy General Hospital character was and his State Farm commercials are all sorts of smarmy.
  • You can't talk about douchebags without mentioning the Lord of the Douche People.

Ryan: We, uh, certainly had our ups and downs. That's kinda putting it mildly. I mean, there were many times that we couldn't be in the same room at the same time, let alone call each other friends. But then Spike was born and Zach had my son's back from the very beginning. From before the very beginning, actually. He refused to let the doctors deliver prematurely because he was afraid he wouldn't make it. He had so much faith in you. He knew that you were going to be okay, that you were going to pull through and you did, and so did our son. Over the years, I called Zach a lot of things, a lot of them not so nice. Most of them I wish I could take back. But I was always proud to share the title of Spike's father with him, and I always will be.

Yeah, nice attempt at a save there, ass. "I hated Zach. A whole lot.A helluva lot. Actually, I prayed for his death many times. And now he's dead. Huh. I'd take it all back if I could, though. Because that's the kind of guy I am. I'm a forgiving guy. I'd do anything for the chance to forgive Zach for making me say such horrible, hurtful things."

  • While Ryan is mostly terrible, he's not wholly terrible: his scenes with Spike were all kinds of adorable, because Cameron Mathison is so charming when he's with kids. If Ryan became a babysitter and had his screentime reduced to about eight minutes a week, I could learn to stop hating him with a burning passion.

Spike, on his Redwings shirt: I wanted to wear this for Daddy Zach.
Ryan: I don't know what I was thinking. This is perfect.

And it WAS perfect. So cute! I wrote down "Spike is so cute, I can't even" two separate times in my episode notes.

  • I had some traumatic flashbacks when Greenlee started her eulogy with the words "Zach was amazing in that bomb shelter".
  • I sort of adore Christina Bennett Lind and her shiny, shiny hair but when she came out with this:

Bianca: [Zach] saved your lives. And he saved mine, too. But he also gave me life, the most precious gift. He gave me Gabby.

I started to scream, "KILL IT! KILLLLL ITTTTTTTTT!" I'm not proud. What an appropriate and not at all uncomfortable topic to discuss at a memorial!

  • The scenes with Tad giving Kendall support and advice on a subject he knows all too well were really nicely done.
  • When Bianca couldn't find Kendall (she was getting the aforementioned support and advice from Tad), Amanda tried to be helpful by asking, "Have you tried calling her?" Oh, Amanda. So, so pretty. So, so dim.
  • Does Ricky Paull Goldin add anything to this show?
  • The memorial dominated most of the episode, save for a few minutes between Asher and Caleb, with Caleb telling Asher about his mother's death. And I have to say, their scenes were really nicely done! I enjoy Asher (I enjoy him even more since his presence in Pine Valley rendered Damon obsolete) and Trent Garrett did quite well today. And--this is HUGELY shocking--Michael Nouri actually ACTED in their scenes. I KNOW! I was as surprised as you because that NEVER happens. He mostly just acts uninterested or bored.

So good, you guys. And so sad. Do you think AMC can make it two good episodes in a row? Or does there need to be another dead body for that to happen?


Kendall brought up to Tad how Zach's father killed Dixie, so I guess we're just going to pretend that the whole somebody else killed Dixie and it was possibly Adam so JR and Tad could be suspects in Stuarts murder thing never happened?

Eight minutes a week of Ryan is still too much for me unless those eight minutes involve a gory death for him. Eight seconds of him holding Spike and Emma, maybe I could tolerate. As long as it's more Spike and Emma than Ryass.

Alicia Minshew has been stellar every single day and there's no sign she's going to stop. It was a well written show. Also I liked the Tad and Kendall convo at Krystal's. I can't stand Ryan and his false grief. I'm not sure how Kendall is supposed to go on without her husband who's been built up as being her soulmate and the love of her life. I hope they don't rush her into a new romance with anyone.

May I rant about the real reason Zach is dead? Thanks. Its Ryan's fault. All of it. Lets go back to that fateful night in February 2 years ago when Ryan saw Zach and Reese barely kiss. He goes to Greenlee and tells her that Zach and Reese are getting it on .. she freaks and hops on her motorcycle to race off to confront her pal Zach .. who is in a car arguing with his wife who only recently emerged from a coma to learn her husband had donated sperm to her sister... CRASH ... off the road goes Greens and who finds her? David. We all know what happened next.

Much as I hate David never paying for what he does (does Tad know it was David who sent him off to Africa so he could steal his wife?) he is not the reason Zach is dead. Ryan got this ball rolling .. and then Frons helped by making it impossible for Thorsten to remain on the show.

Two asshats. GAH.

And Greenlee's fault and she prances around and DARES to speak at Zach's funeral. This whole show continues to be a disaster, save for Alicia Minshew's exceptional acting, thanks to Frons' obsession with Ryan and Greenlee.

It really was an awesome tribute to Zach & as a huge Zach-fan, I guess I have no complaints. I do think a few flashbacks would've been nice & I do think Biancadink was weird & out of place in her remarks, but other than that, it was amazing & I think Zach Slater would've approved! I'm still crying tho' & prob will be for a long time to come. Oh- if Kendall is only right & Zach has just gone for a long journey across the sea & comes back to her & to us! My greatest wish.

Alicia, had me sobbing yesterday. Spikey with his Red Wings T-shirt, and then the boys kissing their Daddy's picture. Man that was so sad.
Lavery talking made me CRY but not for the same reason i cried for AM/Kendall speaking to her love ZACH. That rat bastard slept with her in ZACH'S house , he was always in ZACH/KENDALL'S face etc. etc, to many things to repeat.... Then he gets up there to speak about ZACH!!! Distaseful! Repulsive!
Bianca's comment you gave me gabby had me swearing at the tv!!!!!!! Frons pet Pratt's major offensive slap to TK/AM ZACH and KENDALL's fans.
The writers were probably told by Frons they had to mention this in the memorial in order to get paid that week, because Frons had to rub that in our faces their great idea of a brother in law sperm story.IMO Rats all of them. TK/Zach please come back from your journey,where you are being keep by some very evil casino owners on some secluded island for a year or less,when we hope new writers are brought in and you will have a much better story. Just my opinion.

Mallory, I love and admire AM too, but I can't bring myself to watch any of this because it just hurts to much. I truly loved the character of Zach and haven't watch since TK's last day.

But I've read other commentaries who have blasted AMC for killing off Zach and for not trying harder to keep TK. Would you mind giving me your thoughts on the subject?? Thanks so much.

The Smarmy State Farm Guy is Pervy Professor Pete! Agghh. Those State Farm ads make me want to blow a hole in my TV a la the Wisconsinite who was outraged by Bristol Palin on DWTS. I hadn't put two and two together with the horrible GH stint, though. Nothing personal against the actor, but in all seriousness, seeing him as the minister totally destroyed the suspension of disbelief for me.

Add Bianca, Ryan and Greenlee's creepy comments, and I wasn't too impressed overall. The little boys were sweet, though. Oh, and Opal's talk about Myrtle. But the whole thing could've been better (bigger, too).

Mallory, Kudos once again... You should get an Emmy for this column.....We love it..

ITA that Alicia Minshew is just owning the show right now and making everyone around her look like amatures....

I cried my eyes out watching the memorial, but there were 3 things that made me want to break my TV set...

Bianca, Ryass, & the vile green gnat...and for all the reasons you've said...

Since Zach's death was announced, Bianca has turned back into the entitled, busy-body, selfish twit she was when she betrayed Kendall, Zach, & the boys...

Bringing up that misbegotten spawn from Pratt was a major slap... Tacky, insensitive, disgusting...

Did anyone else notice the look on SL/Erica's face when she brought that up... Priceless...

Ryass is still an idiot, a joke, a vomit inducing mess...

The vile green gnat who ate the show should have just stayed home....The hole, the hole, the hole.... Yeah right, I wish someone would tell the vile green gnat that Zach saw her & Ryass as "Kendall's needy little friends" who never go away.....

Kendall's convo with Tad was great... MEK/AM shined in that scene.... "Always Only You" meets "Together Forever"....not in a romantic way, but friends...

Instead of BB, Ryass, & the vile green gnat sucking up the air in the room, I really wish Jesse & Angie would have been there...

I absolutely loved the Zyrtle mention....

KEndall, Spike, & Ian made me break down completely...... I tried to blackout the three amigos from hell, but it's hard to do when they continue to shove those 3 inappropriate characters down our throats...

Emmy for Mallory from you fans for these great columns...

Thank you...

Alicia Minshew deserves the Emmy just for her face alone when she walks into her house & sees the pictures set up for the memorial. She was absolutely tortured when nobody could observe her & then composed herself as she turned around to face Binx & the rest. Unbelieveable portrait of a grieving woman trying to keep it together for the sake of her worried family. Outstanding acting.

"Lets go back to that fateful night in February 2 years ago when Ryan saw Zach and Reese barely kiss. He goes to Greenlee and tells her that Zach and Reese are getting it on .. she freaks and hops on her motorcycle to race off to confront her pal Zach .. who is in a car arguing with his wife who only recently emerged from a coma to learn her husband had donated sperm to her sister... CRASH ... off the road goes Greens and who finds her? David. We all know what happened next."

While I agree Ryan overreacted I wouldn't say Reese and Zach barely kissed. It was very passionate. Enough that you could almost see why Ryan thought that it could've led to sex. But it was still incredibly stupid of him to jump to that conclusion.


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