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The week of December 17, 2007
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Before I started watching soaps, I was blissfully nave in believing that couples had children out of love, out of a commitment between two people to bring another life into the world to nurture, to protect, to guide. Together, the happy family would share happiness, overcome adversity, conquer sorrow, and show the world the true meaning of 'family.'

It's a special week, AMC fans. This week you will receive not one, but two Two Scoops columns as we begin our first wave of AMC Two Scoops auditions here on Soap Central fans. In our first column, David has offered up a column for your enjoyment. Please take some time to read over it and then drop us a line to let us know what you think, whether you'd like to read more from David every week -- or if you'd like to wait to read from someone else. When you are done reading, please be sure to click over to our second column, written by Becky.

Before I started watching soaps, I was blissfully nave in believing that couples had children out of love, out of a commitment between two people to bring another life into the world to nurture, to protect, to guide. Together, the happy family would share happiness, overcome adversity, conquer sorrow, and show the world the true meaning of "family."

Again, that was before I started watching soaps.

Poor Jenny Martin wasn't brought into the world as a byproduct of love, but of an affair. Rather than bond through their child's birth, Tad and Krystal have started a classic soap opera tug-of-war; and as we know, this is the true purpose of having a child in Sudsville: to be a living, breathing, bargaining chip!

Despite many opinions to the contrary, I don't feel that Tad is being a caveman in his fight to keep "his daughter" away from Krystal. It is true that as the birth mother, Krystal has as much right to "her daughter" as Tad does, but it's very hard for me to get upset at Tad's controlling ways when he's working to protect his daughter from being near a man who tried to sell her on the black market. As much as it pains me to admit it, Babe made an excellent point on Thursday during her discussion with her Mama: Krystal isn't used to sharing her children, and needs to be more understanding of Tad's perspective.

Since Krystal has decided to return to Adam, Tad has shown himself to be the responsible parent on more than one occasion. While Krystal has spent several nights away from her home--away from "her daughter"--to visit Adam, Tad has been at home with Jenny, even going so far as to invite his current interest, Hannah, over to his place so that he does not have to be far away from "his daughter."

Not that I'm completely on Tad's side. I believe that both parents need to come to a mutual understanding that neither one is perfect. Tad is guilty of burying a man alive, whereas Krystal isn't exactly known as a role model parent, bidding her eldest daughter to keep silent for several months about the true maternity of Bess/Miranda. But, I feel it is necessary to separate the pasts of both characters from the current issue. In this instance, Tad's fears and actions are justifiable. Krystal is free to love Adam, but for her to expect Tad to be understanding, and for her to assume that Jenny would come with her simply because she is the girl's mother, is nothing short of astounding.

And another thing: can all the women of Pine Valley please cease and desist in the physical abuse of their male friends, lovers, siblings, et cetera? Men shouldn't strike women, but that doesn't give women the right to flail away at will.

Speaking of audacity, I laughed aloud when Erica accused Joe of ruining her relationship with Jackson. Like Krystal, Erica goes to lengths far too excessive to help her children. What did La Kane think would happen? Did she believe that Jack would never find out about her forged commitment papers, but if he did, he'd rush to forgive her? Sorry, Erica; this is no one's fault but your own. At long last, the inarguably most self-absorbed citizen of Pine Valley is reaping what she sowed, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Amanda's "woman scorned" routine is enthralling. Finally, Chrishell Stause is getting the screen time she deserves. However, I'm a big fan of the JR/Amanda pairing, so here's hoping that JR's alcoholism and one-night-stand with his ex, coupled with Amanda's withholding of his alibi, won't be enough to keep a good couple down.

On a similar note, I didn't realize until I saw the timestamp on Amanda's favorite home movie that a month had passed with Greenlee and Zach trapped in the hole. Such storylines constantly run too long, but I've enjoyed this unlikely duo's forced isolation. Despite their circumstances, these two needed some quality one-on-one time to sort out their many differences. I don't want to see them as best buddies after they're inevitably rescued, but a grudging respect doesn't seem too much to ask.

Despite my enjoyment of the storyline, I do share a few questions with many viewers, such as: how is that bomb shelter fully stocked if it looks to have been built in the 1960s? And, how did that snake make its way into the shelter? The former question could be easily answered: given Sylvester's paranoia, perhaps he kept items such as batteries and food in his "granddaddy's" shelter, just in case the government came looking for him. I can only assume that the shelter was his grandfather's due to the property being family owned. As for the snake, I have no answer for that particular mystery.

When Richie first appeared, it was hard to believe Annie's many claims that Richie was evil incarnate. Billy Miller's phenomenal performance lent credibility to his claim of the opposite, that Annie was the crazy sibling responsible for so much grief in the Novak family. Every time I see the two siblings together, Miller's spot-on delivery is so convincing that I can't help but believe that while Annie isn't completely in the wrong, maybe, just maybe, she is responsible for some of the past deeds for which she is accusing Richie. Even during times when Richie is overtly lying--such as when he was telling his father how Ryan and Aidan hung him, a story which was for Babe's benefit--I get the feeling that there has to be at least some truth to his words.

Sadly, all of the Richie Novak character's magic and mystery was lost when he not only ran down a total stranger, but tossed him out of a moving car and tried to ensure that he would never be found. To be blunt: Richie is a psycho, and while I can no longer empathize with him, it is refreshing to have an unabashed I'm-just-crazy character on AMC's canvas. And because any reason to bring back Kate Collins is a good enough reason for me, pairing him with Janet, even temporarily, is making for some much-needed mischief.

It's not uncommon for AMC's writing team to re-use storylines far too often, but JR's latest tumble from the wagon has kept me interested. Jacob Young's performance is one of the main reasons I never miss a single episode of All My Children. He's worked so hard to make his son proud of him, to step out of Adam's shadow--but he succumbed yet again. Such is the nature of the beast. JR will never fully defeat his disease, and accompanying the character on his journey to this very realization as he struggles to recall what he may or may not have done to Zach has been captivating and realistic.

Now if only he'd take a bit more interest in his father's new DVD collection....

Forum Spotlight

As is probably known to most AMC fans by this point, Sabine Singh has been fired in her role of Greenlee Smythe to make room for the role's originator, Rebecca Budig. I, like many, feel that Rebecca Budig IS Greenlee. For all intents and purposes, she made the character, and it is exciting to know that she will be returning to the role. [For more in Singh's firing and Budig's return, check out our News Archives section.]

However, I am aghast at what seems to have occurred backstage in order to make room for Rebecca's return. Guilty of no more than auditioning for a role, earning said position, and doing her job, Sabine Singh has practically been heaved from the set and treated so poorly that I find myself ashamed on the producers' behalf.

None of us will ever know the real story of what happened to oust Sabine and welcome back Rebecca, and I would like to make it clear that I do not blame Rebecca for what happened--at least not fully. Wouldn't she have realized that returning would have meant her character's current portrayer losing her job? Didn't the producers of All My Children beg Rebecca countless times to return, and weren't they turned down each and every time?

But I don't blame Rebecca. She didn't fire Sabine Singh; the producers did. As I said, no one but Sabine, the producers, and anyone the aforementioned choose to confide in will ever know the real story of what happened, but given how quickly everything happened, the rumors don't seem too far-fetched. Sabine was given a four-year contract, and it would seem that she did everything that was asked of her. She was fired, and why? Because she was doing her job to the best of her ability?

It's difficult for any new actor or actress to step into the shoes of a beloved character, daytime or otherwise. None of us wants to see our favorite actor leave a show, because largely, it is he or she that is responsible for our love of his or her character. I, like many fans, was beginning to accept Sabine's portrayal of Greenlee. I have thoroughly enjoyed her pairing with Aidan Devane, and her time spent in the shelter with Zach has been engrossing. During Sabine's tenure, Greenlee has perpetrated some heinous crimes--but really, who in Pine Valley or any other soap town hasn't?--but has also had some fantastic moments.

Now, knowing that Rebecca's mid-January return is confirmed, I find myself feeling a little sick to my stomach. Frankly, I'm not ready to see Sabine's run come to an end. I would imagine I am not the only viewer who feels this way. But just as sad as Sabine's rude awakening to the desperation that is the backstage environment of All My Children is the realization that anyone, anyone, could be next.

-- David

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of AMC Pages or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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