Do you remember back in the day when Amanda's only storylines had to do with falling in and out of bed with someone? I have to admit that I've always liked Chrishell Stause, but for the longest time I felt that her talent was being wasted by writers who either didn't know what type of story to craft for her or writers who felt that a pretty face couldn't have a meaty role. It wasn't until the drama of Amanda not knowing who had fathered her child that I think viewers really got a sense of what Chrishell could pull off as an actress.
That being said, I am very disappointed that Chrishell didn't get an Emmy nomination this year. I thought that the episode where Amanda had to give up her baby and pretend that the baby had died was... great stuff.
So now we're getting to see another dimension of Amanda -- the side that is either legitimately losing her grip on reality or the self-fulfilling prophecy side that thinks she's crazy and is therefore acting that way. I have to say that I am not sure which one we're seeing. I don't think Amanda's left our orbit, but I think she's so afraid that she might be a Jan-lette that she's made herself believe that she's cuckoo. Either way, Chrishell is turning in some really good performances. I'm so glad that she hasn't left the show.
When Chrishell was a guest on Soap Central Live a few weeks back, I asked her if she thought that Amanda feared that she might have some sort of hereditary mental illness. At the time of her appearance, she was probably taping the scenes that we're seeing on-screen right now -- so her response is interesting.
"I definitely think that's always been in the back of Amanda's mind. We saw several years ago Amanda having to say, 'I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy' That's the kind of thing that it could be genetic, you never know," Chrishell told me. "As much as she wants that normal life, there's always gonna be that fear in the back of her head, wondering, 'The monster that's inside my mother, who I love, could that ever come out in me?'" [Click here to listen to the entire interview with Chrishell -- and Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake Martin).]
There's no questioning whether the monster inside David Hayward will show up. That monster's been running amok for years. It's more like a question of when will the monster next make an appearance. I don't know if we can blame it on heredity, though Vanessa Bennett certainly did have a mean streak. All these years later, I still don't believe that the woman was really an infamous drug dealer and crime lord.
While I don't like that David continually gets away with breaking the law -- it's a bit much -- I do have to say that I love the slimy way he always manages to get the upper hand on people. Plotting to gain control of Pine Valley Hospital just to stick it to Angie and Jake was genius. He then saw Madison as an easy target and blackmailed her into seducing Ryan Lavery. As an aside, I'm sure some of you are thinking that you wouldn't have had to have been blackmailed into sleeping with him. Madison, though, didn't seem to have eyes for Ryan and grudgingly agreed to try to get him into bed.
Greenlee claims that she's over Ryan, but I don't believe it for a minute. The look on her face when she heard Ryan proclaim that he and Greenlee had no future... well, it told the whole story. I thought it was cute that the props department created a little Portuguese home pregnancy test. Then again, I am amused by the little things in life. Speaking of amusement, I was tickled when Greenlee pleaded with Jack to side with her over Erica and called him "Daddy." Jack cocked his head to the side and asked in astonishment, "Daddy? Really?" I love the chemistry between Rebecca Budig and Walt Willey, though Walt seems to have chemistry with just about everyone. Isn't it time for Mary Smythe to make an appearance? Did anyone ever tell her that her daughter rose from the dead? Come to think of it -- did anyone ever tell Mary that Greenlee had died?
David has really put some of Pine Valley's female residents through the wringer. But has David met his match in Madison or does Madison just not know who she's messing with? I haven't decided.
It was rather gutsy for Madison to spill the beans about David's scheme to Ryan. Now that I think about it, it was also a bit surprising that she told Randi. When Madison said that she didn't want to cause more trouble (than she had) for the Hubbards, was that the truth or some sort of "poor me" routine? It is still so strange to me that Randi even tolerates being anywhere near Madison. Randi was a prostitute -- didn't she ever have to cut a chick? Or maybe she was more the Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman kinda hooker. So much is unknown about Randi's life before she showed up battered in the hospital. Maybe her mother will show up. Or maybe Randi has connections to a character from the past... like Jack's adopted son, Reggie.
Another thing I cannot figure out is where Madison fits into future story. Now that Madison had blabbed about David's plan, we don't have to endure Madison and Ryan really falling in love... and then Madison's secret coming to light. You know, happy couple learns that their relationship was built on a lie. There are no other men in Madison's orbit... and I don't think that the new writers will reveal that Madison has been hiding that she's really a lesbian. Maybe her mother will make an appearance and she can blame all of her troubles on her. So what's next?
There are a lot of "what's next"s for characters. Scott hasn't really had a storyline since he returned to Pine Valley. If JR and Annie end up together, where does that leave Marissa? Krystal has been without story since that hellion Kathy tried to kill her. The Hubbards haven't had story in months, even though there have been numerous promises that "the big one" was coming soon. I was really looking forward to seeing Frankie as a drug addict, but that never seemed to pan out. Maybe Victoria Rowell does need to join AMC for a brief spell as she alluded to two weeks ago when she was my guest on Soap Central Live. Remember when David told Angie that he had someone waiting in the wings to take over as Chief of Staff? Maybe it's Victoria Rowell. Ooh, seeing Debbi Morgan and Victoria Rowell square off would be juicy with a capital "ooh."
Erica is about to be involved in a big plot. As you may have read, her plane will crash in the middle of nowhere by week's end -- and it is no accident. There, she will encounter Grousy (real name Caleb) McGraw, our very own Grizzly Adams. I wonder if there will be a kitschy nod to her infamous bear stare-down from the 1980s. She is Erica Kane, and some of the pictures paint Caleb as a "filthy beast," so that line could very well resurface.
It is way too soon for any sort of assessment of the new head writers' work. On the plus side, it's been nearly a week and we haven't yet had to endure a danceathon. I really do hope that David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski have been poking around in our Who's Who section and reading up on some of the characters. There is so much history to mine and plots don't need to be rewritten. Many of the show's previous writing regimes have left huge holes in some of the storylines. Fans always claim that writers are "sloppy" for leaving certain things unaddressed. Maybe they just do so intentionally so that there will be places to dig in the future. Or maybe I am just giving credit where it doesn't belong. I try not to be too negative and find the proverbial silver lining as often as possible. I blame my mother.