At this time I would like to give my formal appraisal of the current state of affairs on the soap opera All My Children. My history of watching the show is as follows: I watched a little in the late 80s, and stopped. Watched for about two years in the early nineties, and stopped again. Started watching again a year and a half ago, and talked about it on my blog at the end of January ’03. This was after getting TiVo, and I haven’t missed an episode since unless it was pre-empted by war coverage or whatever.
So! I will try to be brief. Any show with so many characters and so many plotlines going on at once is bound to have some plots that are more interesting than others, some actors that are more talented than others, dumb characters and meatier roles as well. I think they do very well on the whole so none of the following should be construed as criticism towards the show… I’m just giving my two cents!
* I should start with Erica right? She is a MESS right now, darling. Can you believe it took the writers this long to turn her into a plain ol’ drunk? She’s been everything else but never a drunk, apparently. Well, it doesn’t become her. She’s leading an alternate life at the moment, going incognito as a Las Vegas showgirl. Her father just died, and she’s hallucinating half the time, seeing his ghost shuffling a deck of cards in the shadows of every room she inhabits. She’s abandoned her daughters and Jackson, everybody knows she’s a drunk, and they’re all pissed. They’re not gonna put up with her in that state, and I agree with that decision. Why doesn’t this woman get herself some treatment? That’s the only way out of this dismal plotline, far as I can see.
* The Kendall/Ryan/Greenlee love triangle is really getting on my nerves. Kendall needs to go on medication just like her mother; she is not well. Other people might have great excuses to act crazy but she really doesn’t, I’m sorry. OK right, the whole world is crazy — Greenlee and Ryan’s marriage is a sham anyway, and Ryan’s so wishy-washy he probably IS carrying a torch for Kendall! But god, get it over with, people. Poor Greenlee… she really loves Ryan, she’ll get her heart broken unless Kendall backs the fuck up and quick.
* The "Lesbianca" plotline (that was Greenlee’s phrase, not mine! ha ha!) is not doing anything for me since Lena left town. (The actress left the show to do a TV series in England.) I kinda liked Lena, even if her character was a little too sticky-sweet after she turned from Evil to Good. Oh well, no Lena, and they’re not going to suddenly turn Bianca straight so they’ll eventually have to follow through with another female love interest. Maggie seems interested, and I too am mildly interested to see if she’ll explore those feelings. But I dunno. It’s already been established that Maggie likes guys, so she’s not gonna turn 100% gay overnight. I think she just loves Bianca a lot, who wouldn’t? We’ll see what happens, maybe they’ll even bring in a new queer girl. But… it’s weird because the writers left the whole Bianca/Lena thing unresolved. According to the story, Lena and her are just on hiatus… Lena’s coming back from "Poland" someday and although they aren’t girlfriends, she did leave with both of them saying they loved each other and stuff. I kinda hope Bianca shows some loyalty there even though they’re not officially "together".
* The whole Edmund-in-a-wheelchair storyline is… eh. I understand these are important issues, they’re depicting a healthy person becoming disabled and how the whole family copes with that. Still, I kinda wish he’d just get better and stop being such an asshole to everybody. I’m not sure if the writers left any loophole for him to recover on his own, or get more surgery that eventually cures him, but I hope they do it soon. Either that or quit dragging out the mental-healing… it’s his bad attitude that bugs me more than anything. At least make it more interesting for the poor suffering Maria… get her sister to take her shopping for a vibrator! Or maybe revive her old flame with Aidan, that’d be good TV. He’s got nothing better to do with only the shallow, vapid Mia vying for his attention. That actress that played Mia is gone now, I believe. Just as well since the writers pretty much confined her to being a background character ever since I can remember. Nothing wrong with the acting, but I can’t even think of one thing the character’s done that was remotely noteworthy other than cheerleading for Fusion and throwing herself at Aidan.
* Reggie and Danielle (the only two black kids in all of Pine Valley) are great characters. Good acting too, not that they have all that much to work with plotline-wise. Reggie’s in a good central-character spot, being Jackson’s son and all, but the Reggie-Danielle story is just your run-of-the-mill boy meets girl thing. Yawn. But Danielle likes to stir up trouble, so there’s hope. Maybe they’ll run off and get married or something.
* Lily (Jackson’s autistic daughter) I’m not sure about. The actress is new and I don’t remember the character from years past. I wonder what the writers are planning on doing with her. I guess it’s commendable enough that they have a couple of people with real disabilities in Pine Valley! (Her and Edmund… then of course there are all the people with more temporary mental/emotional disabilites, which is basically everyone!)
* I am not liking Liza very much at all lately, though she did score some pity-points when Tad blew her off so cruelly last week. She’s a smart cookie, I hate to see her waste her affections on Tad the Cad. He’s a slut, he always was and always will be, at least since Dixie died. (I MISS DIXIE!!!!) I’m not saying I don’t like him though… just let him dally with women who don’t require an exclusive commitment. Crystal fits that description to a T, so I guess it’s only natural they’re hookin’ up. Liza doesn’t, and neither does Simone though she likes to pretend she’s just a party-girl.
* The whole whose-baby-is-whose drama… I admit that it’s dumb, but it is fairly exciting. There has to be one really evil character now that Michael Cambias is dead, and that’s Paul. The actor that plays Paul is very, very good at what he does. He is a believable asshole, he’s nearly as vile as Michael Cambias was, so… we need this element in our drama. Seems like the writers kinda dropped the ball though, as far as showing us what’s going on with the baby boy over in Llanview… they can’t leave that story hanging. He’s gonna come back to Pine Valley in six months as a three-year-old child, you mark my words.
* Mother and daughter characters Babe and Crystal are terrific, both in the acting and the characters. Wouldn’t change a thing! Just like with Opal, they add Southern charm and "realness" (ha ha… such as it is) to a cast that otherwise consists mostly of boring upper-crust types. Even if those people are fucking insane, and hence more interesting than your average preppy-person.
One more observation: There seems to be an extremely high frequency of characters HALLUCINATING on this show. Something must be in the water, why isn’t Joe investigating this at the hospital? Greenlee regularly hallucinates a snarkier, preppier version of herself. Erica’s got her dead father flippin’ cards in the corner, and also looks in the mirror and sees Bianca and Jackson standing behind her when nobody’s there. Bianca was doing it too, awhile back when Michael was haunting her both in life and death. Ryan hallucinates Kendall every day. And Simone likes to slip into total-body hallucinations from time to time, dreaming up beefy men without shirts helping her escape from stuck elevators.
GET THESE PEOPLE SOME HELP! It is not normal to see other people who aren’t there, much less have whole conversations with them. If this happens, it needs to be reported to doctors and handled with real medicine and therapy. Whatever happened to that shrink woman Lysistrata? More people than ever are having serious mental problems, and there is not one psychiatrist on staff at PVH. If it ever comes up, they’re always conveniently out of town so Maria gets to deal with it. Bring back a real psychiatrist, and USE their services, people.
That’s all I can think of for now. This concludes my summary, thanks for coming. :-)