This week's All My Children must have been sponsored by the casual dining chain, Chili's. Every time Bailey popped up on screen and chattered, "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back..." I wanted to run out and get some ribs.
I can't say that the "surprising" arrival of an adopted child's birthmother is the most original soap opera idea. You sort of had to figure that Bailey would turn up in Pine Valley sooner or later. I have to say that I like the idea because it suddenly transforms the Liza storyline. She is no longer a third wheel in the Zach and Kendall plot. The twist softens Liza in the eyes of viewers because, let's face it, she's been unsympathetic and cold since her return to Pine Valley.
My concern is that the writers haven't done enough to make viewers want to feel something for Liza. Despite the fact that she had to watch her mother suffer a nervous breakdown and her current struggle to keep her child, I get the feeling that a lot of viewers aren't pulling out the Kleenex over Liza's plight. Maybe that's the point. Maybe we aren't supposed to feel that closely attached to Liza, but what do I know?
In the interest of full disclosure, Sofia Black D'Elia, the actress playing Bailey Welles, is a relative of one of my high school friends, but that won't interfere with my objectivity. So what's ahead for the storyline? I see a few possible outcomes -- and I will break them down.
Scenario #1: Bailey takes Liza to court, wins custody of little Stuart, and leaves town. Liza is crushed.
Scenario #2: The custody battle goes to court and Liza manages to paint Bailey as unfit to be a mother. Liza gets to keep Stuart, and Bailey slinks out of town.
Scenario #2A: Same as above, except Bailey sticks around and carries out her vendetta against the woman who "stole" her child.
Scenario #3: Bailey ends up with custody of Stuart one way or another and tries to raise him herself. She soon realizes that raising a baby isn't quite the same as playing with Cabbage Patch Kids and allows Liza to formally adopt the baby for good.
In my mind, I like #2A and #3. Why? Well, the first of the two scenarios allows for a sinister woman to cause trouble for a character that I don't really like (or dislike). The second would allow the writers to take a long, hard look at what it takes to raise a child. The story could almost be a stand-alone plot within the show, with touches of primetime soap "dramedy" woven in to keep it interesting. Heck, if this were summertime, it would be the perfect Public Service Announcement to young girls about safe sex and abstinence.
I have no idea when Brianne Moncrief found out that she would not be continuing on as Colby, but the young actress did a great job in the scenes where Colby learned the truth about her little brother. There may not have been a good reason to recast Colby when Brianne took over for Ambyr Childers, but there seems like even less of a reason to recast the role now.
The relationship between Frankie and Madison is turning out to be far more interesting that I thought it would be. Frankie seems to have a thing for damsels in distress. First, he rescued Randi from the throes of hoes. Now, he's poised to swoop down and save Madison from the bitches of riches. I, however, see a distinct difference between the two women. Randi never tried to ruin Frankie's life. On one hand, I really hope that Frankie doesn't end up torn between two women, but on the other hand I'm captivated by seeing exactly what Madison is going to try to pull next.
ABC certainly did celebrate the new season with a series of falls. Emma took a tumble down a flight of stairs and over on One Life to Live, Blair fell out of a window. Since this column is only about All My Children, let's look at the Emma situation. This development is going to bring about the beginning of the end of the Who Killed Stuart? storyline. Yes, finally. (You didn't know I could read minds, did you?) Annie was kidnapped by Aidan. Blah blah. Doesn't interest me. The show has dragged the storyline so much, that I no longer have a vested interest in whether or not Annie killed Stuart. Meanwhile, Kendall confessed to killing Stuart of her own volition. Sure. she changed her mind later, but it's not as if Annie actually gaslighted Kendall into the confession. You know what? I don't even want to have to try to explain the storyline anymore. It may make some sense in my head, but I'm ready to move on and I feel comfortable in saying that I know you are too.
Here is some other All My Children news that doesn't necessarily have to do with the show's storylines.
I wonder if AMC will get new opening credits once the show moves to Los Angeles. As you already know, there are several performers who will not be continuing on with the show when it relocates, so I say, let's get a new opening. Will Ray MacDonnell (Joe Martin) be yanked from the credits or will they somehow insert him into the "hall of fame" section where they have Ruth Warrick (Phoebe Wallingford)?
I've been inundated with tweets and emails that are circulating an online petition to have Charles Pratt fired as AMC's head writer. So I pose this question to you: Are you dissatisfied with the show's writing? If so, do you think that the solution is a new head writer? Do you think Pratt just needs a co-head writer? Or maybe you're happy with the writing. I'd love to hear from you, so click the email link at the end of the column to share your thoughts!
For those of you wondering, the high-definition conversion of All My Children is still on track. The new studio where AMC is moving next year is already HD-ready. There will be no out-of-pocket expense for the network to get the studio ready, so it's full steam ahead on that.
Rebecca Budig is returning as Greenlee by year's end. How many of you didn't see this coming? If you're someone who didn't expect this, please put one of your hands out so that I can give it a slap! I'm a fan of Rebecca Budig, but I'm not jumping for joy over the news. Greenlee just exited the show a few months ago. I haven't had enough time to miss her. Plus, the identity of David's mystery patient was never that much of a surprise -- when it could have been. I wonder if Greenlee will have amnesia à la Maria Santos Grey. Remember how she "died," was rescued by David, and then showed up in somewhere in the Southwest with no memory and a new name? If that's the case, I have the perfect name for the writers: Violet Lee Smith. Now AMC doesn't have to spend $3 on a box of Crayolas to get their own ideas.