First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Before I get into the year's first new Two Scoops, I wanted to thank everyone for all the positive response to my year-in-review article. I'm sorry I wasn't able to write back to some of you - my holidays got a little crazy! I might use this column as an opportunity to vent my frustrations with AMC, but it's always nice to know that I'm not alone in my disgruntlement. Thankfully, 2006 hasn't given me much cause to complain - at least not yet.
It's About Freaking Time!
Personally, I couldn't think of a better to way to ring in the New Year than Zach and Kendall finally admitting that they love each other. Yes, in case you missed it, that's no typo. Zach and Kendall were honest with each other about how they feel. Better yet, they were both awake! No more fantasy-sequence kisses - this week, we got the real thing. And I, for one, loved every single moment of it.
How wonderful was it to see both Zach and Kendall actually smiling? How amazing was it to see them lower their defenses and open up to each other? And how cute were they while quibbling over resolution disclosure rules, or the finer points of building the perfect sand castle? I think I've had the same goofy grin on my face the whole week. And for a soap fan, that's saying a lot. Of course, the grin would have been permanent if we had a love scene, but you can't win them all. Patience is a virtue, right?
As magical as their New Year's was, there are real problems facing this couple, not the least of which is Ryan, who walked in on the two lovebirds while they were kissing on Friday. Some people may have been disappointed that the old, neurotic Kendall appeared so quickly, but the girl does have some major issues to deal with. Besides, Zach's words of unconditional support, encouragement and love in the face of Kendall and Ryan's impending parenthood make me optimistic about Zach and Kendall's future, as bumpy and angst-ridden as it may be - well, at least as optimistic as I can be in soap opera land.
The Thin Line Between Love and Hate
AMC's other will-they, won't-they couple, Babe and JR, swung back and forth like a pendulum this week. On Tuesday, JR was certain that his ex-wife was up to her old tricks when he found her in bed with former partner-in-crime Josh. But after finding out that Babe had been drugged and set up (and after his encounter with a very much in love Kendall threw him for a loop), he was back to wanting Babe. And that kiss they shared at the end of the week was H-O-T.
Jacob Young's performance on Friday really made me feel the JR's conflict. It's as though he has the proverbial angel and devil on his shoulders, but they're both yelling so loud that poor Junior doesn't know who to listen to. And even though Babe told Bianca that she was playing JR, it's clear that she is just as confused about her feelings.
Speaking of Babe and Binks, they had their inevitable heart-to-heart this week. We all knew this scene was coming and I wasn't really looking forward to it - my inner cynic saw this as a way to prop up Babe and make people stop hating her. And to a degree, the conversation she had with Binks was just that - how can we, the viewers, be mad at Babe if Bianca has forgiven her?
But I thought that AMC handled these scenes well. The way I saw it, Bianca wasn't absolving Babe of guilt - she made it perfectly clear that she was still angry about what Babe had stolen from her. And she didn't want to be friends again. Bianca was simply letting go of the hate because she knew that it did her no good to hold on to such toxic feelings, no matter how entitled she was to feel them. Does this mean that I forgive Babe? Hell, no. But I'm not angry that Bianca has.
A Lot Less Lavery Goes a Long Way
This was a relatively Lavery-free week, which was very refreshing. What surprised me was that I didn't mind their scenes. Erin and Aidan's little fishing party was actually pretty cute and their first kiss was sweet. I didn't even mind Ryan in his skinny-dipping scenes with Julia. First of all, it was nice to see Julia having a little fun and reminding of us of who she used to be. And for the first time in months (maybe even years?) I watched a scene that didn't make me hate Ryan more than I already do. I still despise the man, but my hate didn't grow - that's almost progress!
Speaking of progress, I am starting to feel sympathy for Amanda. It seems clear that Janet is the real troublemaker, even though everyone's accusing Amanda of her crimes. I wonder if Janet realizes she's making things worse for her daughter by causing so much mayhem? Probably not - a woman who has conversations with her mirror is likely not very logical. I'm still enjoying Janet's hijinks, though. Her drugging of Babe and Krystal was great, especially when Krystal popped out of that giant cake wearing nothing but a tiara, a sash and a confused look on her face. The reactions of the crowd at the Valley Inn New Year's bash were priceless.
Does anyone else think that Josh may somehow be working with Janet? It seems odd that Josh would re-route Erica's limousine to Janet's hiding spot just by coincidence. Plus, a few weeks back when Little Adam was found, he had a very strange reaction. Now we know he definitely has it in for Erica, after Greg discovered the bug Josh planted in her office. But I seriously doubt that he's doing all of this just to get Erica's job. And I don't think anyone believes that Greg only has a crush on Erica - it completely creeped me out when Tad found that picture of Erica as a child in his office. The Madden boys' secrets should come out soon, and it will be interesting to see exactly how they are connected to Erica - and the Martins. Remember, Erica was married to Jeff when she had her abortion...
Tad is hot on Greg's trail, not accepting the doctor's explanation about having all that info on the Martin family. But next week, Tad will likely have his hands full with Di, who was pushed into freezing cold water at the end of Friday's episode. Tad obviously has feelings for Dixie's half-sister, especially after the kiss they shared on New Year's, but he may have blown it by accidentally calling her Dixie. Talk about a Freudian slip! But I don't think Di had a right to be quite so angry, considering that she was the one who pretended to be Dixie in the first place - not to mention that she knows where a very-much-alive Dixie is hiding.
Blasts From the Past
AMC included a few references to their history this week, which happened to mark the show's 36th year on the air: Tad and Di discovered an old modeling video of Erica at Dr. Madden's office (that was classic 80s-era Erica - hilarious!); Opal and Brooke toasted the death of Ray Gardner, who was blown to bits in 1983; and Janet brought up her friendship with Erica when they finally crossed paths, reminding viewers of when the two ladies, along with Skye Chandler, buried Dr. Kinder in La Kane's backyard.
Another nice nod to the fans - when Amanda was accused of drugging Babe and her momma, she referred to Krystal as "Krystal With a K", a clever wink to Internet fans who often refer to the latest Mrs. Chandler as KWAK. Looks like TPTB pay attention to the 'net after all!
Well, that about covers it - see you back here in two weeks!