When Mary Fickett retired from All My Children, the show quietly recast the role. I remember that the recast caused a lot of confusion for viewers. First, the Internet wasn't nearly as popular then as it is now - and a lot of AMC fans had no idea why the role was recast. Most thought that Mary had passed away. Other viewers thought, believe it or not, that the new Ruth, Lee Meriwether, was too sexy to be the Martin family matriarch. Lee was, after all, a Catwoman on the old Batman series, and a former Miss America.
I've always enjoyed Meriwether's appearances on AMC, but it never seemed like the writers knew what to do with Ruth 2.0. Until last week. For the first time since Lee Meriwether took over the role, the writers allowed the actress to have an intimate storyline and not a little face time for viewers to say, "Oh, look! Ruth is here!"
Denean dropped me a line and seems to agree with me: "Dan, I just had to write and say that today, June 8, was the first day I truly felt that Lee Meriwether is Ruth Martin. She looks fabulous, and there was just something about her and the way everyone else around her acted -- to me, she was finally 'Ruth,' and that makes me happy."
I've been trying to figure out a way that the writers could keep Ruth in Pine Valley without Joe. As you know, Ray MacDonnell retired earlier this year when AMC moved to Los Angeles. Joe and Ruth were relocated to Florida. Short of having Joe and Ruth divorce or having some sort of medical catastrophe hit Joe, I can't come up with a way for Ruth to stay in Pine Valley solo that makes sense.
I've already mentioned one of the emails that I received, but I do read all of them. A surprising number of people are continuing to write in about Jake and Amanda's public displays of affection. There are also cries for Jake to see a barber.
"There is NO way that I would ever go to a doctor like Jake Martin in real life," Sue told me in feedback. "Shaggy, dirty hair, unshaven, shirt all wrinkled and not tucked in... and he is at his wedding rehearsal. Yuck."
In fairness, a lot of the doctors in Pine Valley have questionable track records. I don't care what you look like as long as you can keep me well and don't dump horny juice in my kombucha.
Speaking of doctors, I'm worried about Angie. This is a soap, so there are only two things that could be wrong with her: she's pregnant or she has a brain tumor. Or she has a weird disease that no one has ever heard of. Okay, so there are three options. People don't sneeze or pee on soaps unless they are near death.
Am I the only one that rolled their eyes when Ryan and his go-go-gadget arms were able to pluck Amanda's wedding ring from the air duct at the casino? First, yuck. And second, he got it on the first try thanks to Greenlee's well-chewed Bubble Yum. Third, I don't think that casinos have floor-level air ducts, for security reasons. I'll have to look when I'm in Las Vegas later this month for the Emmys. I'm sure casino security will love me poking around.
I may have to revise my old standby advice of "When in doubt, hire a hooker." It now has to be something like, "When in doubt and you hire a hooker who is afraid of being arrested by the chief of police, suck it up and do the seducing yourself." I have no children, so I will defer to those of you out there who are moms and dads. If you didn't like the person your child is dating, would you try to sleep with said person in order to break them up?
Though extremely cliché and sappy, I have to admit that Amanda's attempt to play matchmaker at her wedding was... cute. I also like that Greenlee saw through the games and told Amanda to butt out. Another amusing bachelorette party moment was Randi getting very excited when there was a knock at the restaurant door. "Must be the stripper!" she chirped. Then the other women got into the giddiness... until they saw Tad at the door. It was like someone let the air out of their balloon. Aww... poor Tad. Meanwhile, we learned that Jesse "is a man who rises to all occasions." All right, now! Get it, Angie!
I am also moved that Chrishell Stause and Ricky Paull Goldin apparently wrote their own vows, or rather ad-libbed them, for the wedding ceremony. The vows were touching, funny, and definitely heartfelt. Jake's mention that he gets grumpy when his soap operas are preempted was hilarious. Also cute was Amanda pointing out that there were seagulls serving as witness to their wedding.
Am I the only person in the world who has no idea who Dave Barnes is? Oh, I must be getting old. Ironically, if you look at the cover of his new CD, the color-coded letters spell out "Ban da verse."
I missed commenting on something last week that I really need to address right now. I absolutely howled when Erica muttered "smartass" under her breath at Caleb. I rather enjoy Susan Lucci having a chance to be comedic.
Did Erica's limp switch legs mid-week? Either way, she is the most glamorous crash survivor ever. And for living with all the crawling around in the brush that Caleb seems to do, he is awfully clean, too. Caleb has issues. He has issues with money. He has issues with society. He definitely has issues with Erica. That locket also seems to indicate that Caleb has lost someone.
So as we roll into a new week, things are looking up. Damon is blackmailing Liza, Greenlee and David are in trouble for the place crash, (a new) Bianca is coming to town, Angie has a mystery illness, and Erica is headed back to Pine Valley. It's taken a few weeks, but I see some drama coming to the TV screen, and I am looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.
I think the seagulls are, too.