This week, I want to start with how last week ended. Now, I preface this by saying that, as a soap fan, I'm used to my intelligence being insulted from time to time. Perhaps that's even too harsh a term. Let's say I'm used to having events heavily foreshadowed, past events mentioned ad nauseum, and having things spelled out to me on an almost childish level. Often, there are semi-reasonable explanations for this - if a new viewer happens by, for example, I assume the writers want to be sure that viewer is able to pick up the story quickly.
That said, the ending of Friday's show was ridiculous. Going in, I'm certain that at least half of the audience (and that's being very, very generous) already knew that Wes, the mysterious, charming bartender that Annie never happened to run into, was actually her brother Richie. But for those who hadn't figured it out, I expected the whole "zoom in on the photo, cut back to Wes/Richie" silliness. But just in case viewers weren't paying full attention, AMC proceeded to hammer the point home again and again, using a low-rate pixilated fade in/fade out from Richie to the photo, the photo to Richie. Um, we get it! Wes is Richie! What were the chances?!?
Now you might be thinking, "Um, chill out lady! It's just one stupid scene." True, but this is the type of thing that really gets son my nerves. Give the audience a little credit, writers. You know most of us have this stuff figured out far in advance, and even if we haven't, and we miss the first, very obvious reveal, odds are we'll catch on soon enough. Sorry to break this to you, but we're just not that stupid.
I really wish I was more excited about this storyline, but about the only thing I'm looking forward to is watching Richie get the better of Ryan and Aidan. I hope he's a good, smart villain (if he's really a villain at all). We've had too many cartoonish, super baddies recently (i.e. Alex Cambias Sr., Terry the Pervert, Dr. Madden), it would be nice to have a complex guy with at least a little rooting value. Regardless of what Annie says, Richie was imprisoned for something he didn't do, so he has a right to be angry. I hope AMC doesn't take the easy road and make him a stereotypical bad guy.
The Redemption of Greenlee?
It would seem AMC is still working hard to plot the course for Greenlee's redemption. First, they paired her with Aidan, who most viewers either like or are indifferent about. Next, they have her team up with Devane to help Ryan, who is still cruelly tracking her every move, just because she happens to keep showing up near the baby she kidnapped. The nerve! Of course, all the while, we get to see just how sorry Greens is for what she's done. I mean, gosh, she was even willing to dress like a skanky biker chick to help her ex's new wife! How spunky and charming and selfless of her!
And this week, we saw the beginnings of Kendall and Zach's separate plots to take Ms. DuPres down. Call me crazy, but I'm thinking that, eventually, these little plans are supposed to serve as either a way to make us feel sorry for Greenlee ("Everyone's ganging up on the poor girl!"), or will backfire and have even more dire consequences than expected, shifting the bad karma back on the Slaters ("Well, Kendall and Zach deserved revenge, but they took it too far.")
Now, I'm sure you all know that, as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing they can do to redeem Greenlee. Call me an obsessively loyal Zach/Kendall fan/apologist if you will, but frankly, I can't think of anything they could do to Greens that would make me feel badly for her. That said, I understand the writers' need to try to redeem her in the eyes of the vast majority of viewers. (I'll ignore for a moment the fact that they are the ones who wrote the character into this little hole.)
But if their plans are indeed to make Kendall and Zach the new villains in this scenario, they are instantly alienating those characters' fan bases. You're going to have huge segments of the viewership who sympathize with the Slaters above all else, and who believe (rightfully so, in my opinion) that they deserve to exact some revenge. With post-baby switch Babe, they didn't even the score by making Bianca the bad guy. I'm not saying that was a totally successful redemption (I didn't buy it), but at least it was clear who the victim was.
No More Eating During AMC
I am willing to accept that there are some viewers out there who enjoy, or at the very least are not disgusted by, the relationship between Ava and Jonathan. I'm also willing to acknowledge part of the reason I find the storyline nauseating is because I know one of the actors is underage, even though her character is older. That said, AMC has to know there are more than a few viewers who are grossed out by Ava and Jonathan's courtship. So why, in the name of Agnes Nixon, would they choose to script a love scene in the [i]children's playhouse at Wildwind[/i]? Way to underscore the ick factor! And to make it worse, one of Ava's last lines before the lovemaking started was "Can you imagine having a Dad who would build something like this for you?" Honestly?!?!
As bad as that was, Ava and JR's "flirting" was almost as annoying. Even ignoring Ava's age, her attempt at being "sexy" was just plain pathetic. She didn't come off as a seductress, she came off like a slut. And having JR fall for it makes him look like even worse than usual. Hard as it may be to remember, there was a time when Junior was actually interesting. Now he floats between whiny momma's boy, mustache-twirling villain, or drooling sex addict. I hope that his upcoming interactions with Zach dial down the caricature he's become.
Speaking of romantic mismatches, can we skip the whole Hannah/Josh Revisited storyline? You can't tell me that a man like Josh - attractive, powerful, sweet - can't do any better than a booty call with a woman who, only months earlier, was begging his brother-in-law for a baby. I'm sure Josh will get caught up in Hannah's revenge plot, but can we skip the love scenes in the meantime? My stomach can't take the punishment. In fact, while Hannah's plotting with her mystery accomplice (Does anyone think it's NOT Adam? Didn't think so.) and Junior's chasing his jailbait-turned-it-girl, why can't Amanda and Josh spend a little quality time together?
A Few More Thoughts • Kudos to JQ DePaiva on his turn as Jason, a young boy with cochlear implants (which he has in real life). For a kid who hasn't acted before, he did a great job. And, boy, does he ever remind me of his dad, James DePaiva (ex-Max Holden, OLTL)! I'm also glad Kendall's considering the implants for Spike. Her conversation with Zach at The Comeback was very real and very reasonable. A married couple actually talking things out, just like in real life, with no serial killers or fake affairs to be seen. Imagine that. • Thanks to AMC for its apparent decision to avoid a Tad/Krystal reunion. It was pretty clear Tad was lying to Adam when he made his admission of love, but it was nice for Tad to spell it out to Joe later that day. That said, I'm not pulling for an Adam/Krystal reunion either. Once again, I'm forced to hope against hope that the real love of Adam's life, Brooke, can return to smack some sense into the old guy. • Speaking of Adam, why is it that I still buy that whole "I've learned my lesson/I'm going to be a good father" speech every time he gives it? David Canary walks that line so carefully. I know Adam's not going to change, but I manage to believe that [i]he[/i] believes it. From Skye to Hayley to Colby, he always manages to win his daughters (and viewers) over to his side. • It's official: I'm too old to get into these teen storylines. When they stop being broad caricatures of teenagers and start being real people, maybe I'll come around.
Well, that's it for me. Have a great week.