A couple of weeks ago I made the trek south of the border to attend my second SSW. (Thanks to Suellen for covering for me!) As always, it was great to get together with old friends (and make some new ones). Nothing bonds you to another person like huddling for warmth while standing in line in the surprisingly chilly Florida morning.
As with last year, SSW did not disappoint. I managed to get to see three of my faves up close and personal - Thorsten Kaye (Zach), Alicia Minshew (Kendall) and Trevor St. John (Todd, OLTL) - and caught glimpses of a lot of other stars. In general, glimpses are all I need, since I tend to lose the capacity for speech when I meet someone famous. In fact, I met Susan Haskell (ex-Marty, OLTL) in a hotel lobby where I only managed to squeak out a short 'Hello' and 'It's so nice to meet you.' Of course, if I'd had my wits about me, I would have told her she was the reason I started watching OLTL in the first place.
I did manage to have actual conversations with Thorsten, Alicia and Trevor, who I'd also met the year before, though not always about soaps. In fact, even though I am an avid Zach/Kendall fan, I managed to not ask any questions about the couple's future. With Thorsten, it was all about the hockey talk, and with Alicia, it was about making sure she was OK. She had missed Saturday's festivities while stuck in a hospital bed. You could tell she wasn't quite herself on Sunday, and no one would have blamed her for taking the whole weekend off, but she was determined not to disappoint her fans. Alicia, thank you so much for making that sacrifice. You take care of yourself!
Some Harsh Truths
As someone who is at least partially plugged in to the world of online soap fans, SSW provides an opportunity for me to see how fans in general are reacting to AMC and if that take is the same as mine. Online, fans of like minds tend to stick together, which can sometimes distort one's perceptions. Finding out what the real deal is can be a little jarring.
For instance, during an outdoor talk show, when asked who Adam's true love was, David Canary paused long enough for me to shout "BROOKE!" at the top of my lungs. "Close, but no cigar," he replied. "It's Krystal." The crown went wild, much to my horror. I guess that puts me in the minority. On the other hand, during that same show, the host addressed Alicia Minshew saying, "Kendall recently set up Greenlee for a crime she didn't commit." Again, the crowd roared (I joined in this time), but Alicia and the host were both a little taken aback. I guess the plot to generate sympathy for Greens has failed, to an extent. I was thrown off again when some ladies in front of me at another talk show cheered happily when a clip was shown of Zach getting run down by Richie.
It's interesting. Of course, these experiences don't change my own perceptions - in fact, I think they reaffirm my opinions. I was ready to defend my faves at every turn, just as those Ryan or Greenlee or Babe fans were ready to stand up to me about theirs. I guess that's what makes soap fans special. So thanks to everyone who made my SSW experience memorable, whether they agreed with me or not.
Back to the Valley
This week marked the beginning of the joy that is Zach and Greenlee confined in an abandoned bomb shelter together. It's a soap convention, writ large. If you're going to be trapped with someone, it certain to be someone you can despise. How else are you supposed to come to the grudging realization that your sworn enemy may not be as rotten as you though they were?
I've seen some really random speculation about what might happen in "the hole," most of which strains credibility at best. The most laughable example: Greenlee and Zach will fall for one another and/or make love. In my opinion, there's a better chance of them staging a production of Cats down there than there is of them becoming star-crossed lovers. At worst, they'll emerge as friends, but more likely with a hard-earned respect for each other.
While everyone thinks JR is responsible for Zach's accident (including Junior himself), Richie was the real culprit. And yet, for some reason, I'm still drawn to Richie. He mercilessly ran down one of my favorite characters and left him for dead, and is apparently falling in love with one of my least favorite characters, and yet, I still find him eminently entertaining. Perhaps its because he's completely unapologetic about his evilness. There are so many characters on this show that hide behind a thin veil of goodness and decency to justify the horrific things they've done. Richie doesn't try to justify or explain away his evil deeds by saying he was drunk or confused or had a brain tumor. He has no illusions about his actions benefiting the greater good. He's just plain bad.
It's lucky that Richie's number one enemy, Ryan Lavery, just happens to the brother of a reformed psychotic serial killer. After blowing their opportunity to get the goods on Novak, Jonathan not only offered his own unique insight into the mind of a killer, but also volunteered to lock Richie up and let leukemia take its course. Maybe they didn't cut all the bad out after all.
As always, Ryan finds new ways to annoy me. When he wasn't whisper-shouting edicts to Jonny Boy, he was making more promises he couldn't keep. If I were Annie, and Ryan told me that he could guarantee Emma's safety with Richie in the house, I'd take the little girl and head for the hills. Ryan had a team of thugs watching Greenlee, and she still got to Spike on more than one occasion after the accident. Babe displayed her trademark sound judgment when she blew off Krystal's Thankgiving party at The Comeback to spend the holiday with the extended Lavery clan. (Ryan is trying, once again, to outsmart Richie by playing nice. I'm sure that will work out wonderfully for him.) Of course, Novak hadn't made it to dinner yet, because he was trying to find the still-missing Zach and finish him off.
A note to Colby: remember who your real father is, OK? I don't begrudge Ms. Chandler her relationship with Tad, but when it comes down to it, her loyalty should lie with the man who raised her. Her attempt to bring Adam and Tad together for a neutral Thanksgiving dinner was so predictable. I'm sure everything will blow up, and poor Krystal will be caught in the middle. I am so not looking forward to this storyline. As heart wrenching as it was to watch, I'd much rather see the Kanes band together to help Kendall bring Ian home without his daddy. And Jackson? I hope he skips the festivities. I've had just about enough of his holier-than-thou attitude and insults towards his 'daughter' Kendall. Stay out in the woods with Aidan searching for your felonious daughter, Jack. [i]Please[/i].
Am I forgetting anything? Oh yes, Celine Dion showed up to hock her latest album... um, I mean, bring us an inspirational message of hope during the holiday season. I'm 95 percent certain Celine's actually a Lavery. All the chest-thumping and over-emoting gives it away.
Well, that's it for me. I hope everyone south of the 49th had a wonderful Thanksgiving. See you back here in two weeks.
Have a great week!