Sweeps is upon us, All My Children fans -- and it started with a good squeal-worthy moment. Anyone who reads the latest soap news here on soapcentral.com knew that Kate Collins was set to reprise her role as Janet Green. I intentionally hid the fact that Janet would be revealed as Amanda's stalker, but I'm sure many of you figured that out even with my silence. Still, I wondered exactly how Janet would first be revealed to viewers. I wasn't disappointed. As Friday's show concluded, we saw Natalia lying unconscious in a closet. We knew that Amanda's stalker was near, but we didn't know who he was. Then a pair of white shoes appeared in the frame. Then a white skirt. Amanda's stalker wasn't a guy, it was a woman -- a nurse! A few seconds later, the stalker's face came into view... it was Janet.
Janet presumably escaped from Oak Haven and there are surely people who are looking for her. All it would take is one phone call to the men with the butterfly nets, and the Janet storyline would be over. So, someone obviously isn't going to do the right thing because there's no other way that Janet can possibly stick around for the next month or so.
Janet's over-the-top kookiness was such a draw when the character first appeared back in the early 1990s. When Robin Mattson took over as the surgically altered Janet, there was an attempt made to make Janet sane. Sure, there was that whole plot to assume Brooke's identity and her masquerade as Jane Cox, but we've moved past that. Well, at least for the sake of this column we've moved past that. When Robin Mattson was finally written out, Janet was pretty much normal.
Flash forward a bunch of years, and Janet killed Trevor and she arranged for the Mardi Gras ball to go up in flames. Obviously sanity is only a temporary state of mind. It will be interesting to see how AMC's writing team balances Janet's craziness with its need to advance story. With the way things have been going recently with legacy characters, I sure hope that Janet doesn't meet with an untimely end.
For your listening enjoyment, Chrishell Stause (Amanda Dillon) dropped by Soap Central Live two weeks ago, and she talked about her time on All My Children, working with Kate Collins, and she received a call from a pretend AmandaFan that she knows very, very well. Listen to the show now, by clicking here. (It will open in a new window so that you can continue reading.)
Photographer to the stars Ciro almost met with an untimely demise. Okay, I have to ask this. Who the hell marches into a place of business, points a gun at someone, and says, "This is for you." Did Ciro honestly think that was the best way to give a prop to Natalia for a photo shoot? It reminds me of all the jackasses that think it's funny to joke about having a bomb in their suitcases or underwear. Sure, the whole gunplay scene was designed to add drama to Amanda's stalker situation, but it was a bit in poor taste, if you ask me.
According to Annie, she doesn't want a new life. She wants the life she already has. She needs to work on her verb tense. The life she had is over. It's kind of disappointing to have heard her prattle on about her love for Adam for so many months -- only to find out that she loved her material gains, not the man who made them possible. Yes, I know Annie is a gold digger with a history of mental illness. But, c'mon. If you can't trust the mentally ill to do the right thing, then who can you trust?
All kidding aside, JR and Annie have become one of All My Children's most-talked about couples. I think maybe their strong hatred for each other has made their sizzle factor all the higher. I do have to wonder this (and feel free to weigh in with some emails on the topic): Do you think JR and Annie always had some sort of subconscious attraction to each other? Is it possible that their unavailability to each other was what helped to fuel their hatred?
For now, JR and Annie are keeping their... "feelings" under wraps, but JR is about to tell Marissa the truth. I have a feeling things are about to get very, very interesting.
Just a random comment while we're discussing Annie: I miss Lucy Merriam as Emma. I have nothing against the little actress who is currently tackling the role, but I really came to like Lucy's work (and I know that a lot of you did, too).
It's amazing what a little game of musical couples can accomplish. For many fans, Greenlee and Leo were the perfect couple -- and the magic of that pairing could never again be equaled. Other viewers feel the same way about Greenlee and Ryan. For those fans, "Rylee" was the be-all and end-all of Greenlee's couplings. When it was learned that Greenlee and David were going to get married, so many viewers were disappointed by yet another marriage of convenience -- or, more accurately, a marriage rooted in getting even. Somewhere along the line, "DaGree" (Yes, I just made that up) managed to win over skeptics, and now some fans are claiming that Greenlee and David are one of the hottest couples in town.
There had been buzz that David and Liza would be the ones to hook up and create havoc in Pine Valley. That seems to be on hold for now, but I wouldn't count Liza out just yet. After all, this is the same woman who matter-of-factly blabbed to Damon that Tad was his biological father.
If you believe the covers of some of the popular leading soap opera magazines, Greenlee is about to be pregnant with a little Davelette. I thought Greenlee wasn't able to have children...
Ryan, it appears, has moved on... or he will be getting ready to move on. Madison is in his orbit now, and she is a damsel in distress. Until the writers do some redemption of Ryan, I have to say that I won't be all that interested in any of his personal matters. He is due for his 100,000-mile attitude adjustment. I will say, though, that I am much more interested in Madison's other relationship -- the one she has with Randi.
It is a little preposterous that Randi would keep a woman who framed her for murder in her circle of friends, but I guess she really had no choice. She can't leave her job at Fusion. Taking that pesky little murder out of the equation, Madison and Randi make for fascinating frenemies. On her Twitter page, Denise Vasi (Randi Hubbard) teased fans that Madison would soon be "getting hers." I love a good catfight, so pass the Meow Mix!
With May being Foster Care Awareness Month, it would be nice if All My Children's new head writers would explore Randi's past in the foster care system. Randi's only link to her past, Carmen Morales, disappeared without a trace a couple of years ago.
We need to rewind it back a bit. Why are "adoptive parents" always jerks on the soaps? Kids can grow up to be miscreants without having an abusive, nasty, or otherwise crappy non-biological parent at home. Paul Miller waltzed into Pine Valley, labeling Damon a loser and Colby "the town tramp." Immediately, viewers are supposed to feel sorry for all that Damon had to deal with in his home life. A whole bunch of years ago, Theo Huxtable was diagnosed as having a learning disorder on The Cosby Show. Both his parents (though biological) had done a great job raising him, but he still acted out. I get that Paul isn't thrilled that Damon knocked up Bailey, but he is also in need of an attitude adjustment. He has his own version of ADHD -- Assy dad having difficulties.
And who will be Kendall's new partner when she returns to Pine Valley without Zach? I know, I know... many of you don't even want to think about that. But... it looks to be the new reality, so let's get to figuring that out. I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are on this. Should AMC recast Zach? Is there someone new that Kendall should be paired with that's already on the canvas? Should AMC reunite her with a past love? Or would it be best for AMC to craft a new character to sweep Kendall off her feet? Send your thoughts to me using the Feedback link below, or by clicking here.
Opal's brief appearance to lecture Erica on her constant mistreatment of Jackson was well-timed. Can Erica ever really settle down with one man for an extended period of time? It seems highly unlikely.
There were also two showdowns that I really liked this week. First, the confrontation between Natalia and Brot in the park. I am trying to figure out if Natalia really has no idea that Brot is interested in her, or if she doesn't want to allow herself to even think about that. Either way, the scene was powerful -- and memorable -- even though all the action took place in under five minutes. I also loved Damon and Liza getting into it at the yacht club. "I am not gonna remember the name of this town in 15 years," Damon snarled to Liza. "You think I'll remember yours?" Ouch!
Since we're talking about keeping things in the proverbial closet, it will be interesting to see exactly what All My Children does with Bianca now that actress Eden Riegel is a member of The Young and the Restless. The show has gone on record as saying that it will recast Bianca... but they won't say when. Any actress that is hired for the role will definitely have big shoes to fill. Eden Riegel is such a popular performer, and she did an amazing job on All My Children. I certainly hope that whenever Bianca does return, the show doesn't move away from the groundbreaking stories that it's told in the past.