For me, soap operas are all about establishing relationships. I have to be emotionally involved with a character. Otherwise, why would I put myself through all the melodrama and heartache? These connections can be hard to come by. Often, connecting with a character you never thought you'd like can be a very rewarding experience. In the past few years, there have been a lot of characters I thought I'd hate for life who have won me over - Amanda, Josh, even Colby and Sean, to name a few. Unfortunately, it seems I'm having the reverse experience with many a Pine Valley citizen in recent weeks.
At the top of the list: Aidan Devane. Six months ago, you would have had a hard time convincing me that he would be jockeying with Ryan Lavery for number one on my "most hated characters" list. And yet, this week, Devane took sole possession of the top spot based on the way he treated Kendall.
I used to like Aidan and Kendall, first as lovers, than as devoted friends. I sat back and watched Aidan put himself on the line for Kendall and her family, most notably when he helped with Ms. Hart's fake wedding and pregnancy during the Michael Cambias murder affair. But now, just like Ryan before him, Aidan has chucked all of that away for his sudden true love, Greenlee. What boggles the mind is that Aidan is letting his recently developed, yet incredibly intense, hatred for Kendall prevent him from doing the one job he's so fervently dedicated to - finding Greens.
This week, Kendall demanded to join Aidan in the search for Zach and Greenlee, after having a tripped-out dream that her husband and former "sister" were together. Of course, Aidan told her to go to hell, but later relented on the condition that Kendall confess to setting up Greenlee. Hey, Mr. Special Ops? Maybe if you didn't spend your time berating Kendall and asking for specific details about her sinister plot, you'd have found your little woman already. One of Devane's best quips accused Kendall of being responsible for Greens being MIA. Yes, Kendall set certain events in motion (for what, I maintain, were very good reasons), but it was Aidan who busted her out of prison and made her a fugitive. Why exactly couldn't Greens and Aidan have worked to prove her innocence back in the Valley? If they'd waited five minutes, Kendall probably would have spilled the beans and avoided this whole mess.
While Aidan is busy bickering, his lover and Kendall's husband are still trapped in the bomb-shelter-from-hell, trying to dig themselves out. It was setback after setback this week. Zach's cell phone died, taking with it the only pictures he had left of his family, Greenlee had a trademark bout of claustrophobia, and all the two captives managed to find during their digging expedition were the remains of a human hand. It's kind of frustrating to watch these two try to work their way out of that hole while Aidan's turning back Kendall's help with snide comments and a sanctimonious attitude.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that Aidan is bring used to save the writers from the corner they voluntarily backed themselves into. They made a huge segment of the audience despise Greenlee, and now they're using Aidan to redeem her. Trust me when I say that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Those of you who are up on the latest spoilers know that the next few weeks are going to be, at best, confusing, and at worst, infuriating. Let's just say I'll have a few choice words to say in my year-end column... and they won't exactly be in the spirit of the season.
Before I start complaining about an entirely separate storyline, let's talk about what I did enjoy this week - Richie. Isn't it nice to have a charismatic bad boy who has fun wreaking havoc? Having confessed all of his crimes to Annie, Richie tried to goad his sister into killing him. Later in the week, Ryan and Jonathan, doing an unintentionally hilarious impression of FBI agents, found out that Richie has a life insurance policy that will pay out big bucks to his prison shrink if Mr. Novak should meet with an accidental demise.
Over the top? Sure. But he's just so entertaining! Watching him put one over on Babe time and time again is great. I always giggle at those who question how Babe could be so stupid. Considering her track record with JR, her falling for Richie doesn't exactly strain credibility. Novak also managed to break his father's growing bond with granddaughter Emma just to crush Annie's hopes all over again, and propelled Lily into a full-fledged breakdown after she overheard his conversations about murder. He's just plain mean. I'm sure he'll get what's coming to him soon enough - no one in Pine Valley is allowed to get the upper hand on the Lavery clan for too long - but I really wouldn't mind if AMC found a way to keep him around for a while.
I'd much rather watch Richie than see Tad and Adam fight over Krystal for the thousandth time. This week, they butted heads again when Tad discovered Adam, Krystal and Jenny together at the hospital. What else can I say that hasn't been said? I hate Adam with Krystal, and I can totally understand Tad's fears. I love Adam, but he did try to sell Jenny to the highest bidder. Of course, given his track record with JR (does everyone forget that he lied to Dixie's son repeatedly about Bess/Miranda?), his holier-than-thou attitude is a little difficult to stomach. I'm just sick of these three fighting with one another. Of course, with Tad ready to sue for custody and Adam on the verge of discovering Kathy is really Kate, there's no end in sight.
Odds & Ends
* Speaking of Adam, he needs to hire a better cleaning staff. Those adoption papers have been under that sofa for months. You know Winnie would have found them immediately.
* And, speaking of Tad, he really ticked me off during his scenes with Hannah when he implied that Zach's disappearance was actually a positive, because Nichols was at least temporarily out from under Adam's thumb. What?!
* Ava is still annoying, even if she is trying to clear JR's name. I did, however, enjoy the reveal that Amanda can easily get Junior out of jail whenever she wants, especially since she was actually the victim of a JR hit-and-run a couple of years ago. I can't wait to see her use that DVD to her advantage.
* Lily's breakdown seems to be a way for AMC to test out a Jack/Julia romance. I'll have to reserve judgment until more evidence is in, but for now, I'm not on board with the idea. Going from Erica Kane to Julia Keefer? That's quite the change. And even though I was interested in a Tad/Julia pairing, for some reason, Jack seems too old for her. We'll see...
That's it for me. See you in two weeks.