I know that there is a perception that soap fans are impossible to please. And while a quick perusal of Twitter or message boards might give you some good, incontrovertible evidence to make that argument before a judge -- it's not entirely true. Strangely, the same group of fans who might expect the moon from their favorite soap can be sent over the moon by something others would see as an innocuous, throwaway reference.
For me, I really appreciated the attention to detail that was paid during Dimitri's return to Pine Valley. In the first few minutes, we learned that Finola Hughes will never be returning to All My Children. I'm sure that this has nothing to do with any sort of squabble over the rights to a character. I mean, c'mon. Who expected Finola to take a break from General Hospital to return to the valley of the pines? (Even if that would've been cooler than cool.)
The unlikelihood of Hughes returning isn't the issue. The fact that the writers thought enough to mention the little nugget that Dimitri and Alex had divorced was spot-on. This is what people do when they haven't seen each other for years -- they catch up. I don't know about you, but before Dimitri even made mention of Alex, I was already wondering about the rest of the Marick family. And I'll admit that I was expecting that the writers wouldn't make more than a passing reference at best if they did.
I love nothing more than to be proven wrong, because that wasn't all. We heard familiar names like Wildwind, Sam and Maddie, and even Edmund. I was saddened to hear that Sam and Maddie are estranged from their Uncle Dimmie. I do hope that is foreshadowing to their eventual returns and -- dare I say it? -- maybe Prospect Park will reach out to Eva LaRue about making a short-term return as their momma, Maria Santos. While the Sam and Maddie part of Dimitri's update was kinda sad, I sincerely appreciated that it was said that Dimitri made his peace with Edmund -- even if it had to come after Edmund's (unnecessary) death. For me, Michael Nader will always be associated with a very magical time on All My Children. Cinderella weddings, epic Hungarian remotes, gothic storylines. I was saddened when that all came to an end, presumably because of some of Michael Nader's personal issues. We've all made mistakes, gotten into some unfortunate situations, and ended up with regrets. Without sounding condescending, I have to say that I am proud of Michael for getting back on track and being able to come back to our AMC family where he belongs. I hope I am not alone and that other viewers welcome him back, too, since families -- even unconventional ones -- are supposed to have unconditional love.
Gosh, this three-hour time difference out here in Los Angeles has me all soft and mushy. So before I put readers into sugar shock, let's up the spice a bit with the remainder of the column.
While I understand that something needed to be concocted to get Dimitri back into the mix, I am not sure if it makes sense to have him head the new media division of Chandler Enterprises. Apparently he answered Brooke's email, so at least we know that Dimitri knows how to get on the Internet. Maybe I am just bitter because I was hoping that when Brooke said she was looking for "someone who has talent, who has a spine, and who has instincts to make it a success," I thought she was talking about me.
That Colby Chandler has some mouth on her. Oh, no -- no, no. Not like that. Although I did muse on Twitter that I was going to call this week's column "Peter Cortlandt: The other white meat." But I refrained. What I meant to say about Colby is that she is awfully sassy -- and just a total troublemaker.
I feel that I need to clear up some of my comments regarding Colby from my last column. I said that I don't like her. I still don't. She's spoiled and a brat, and I suspect that something is going down, um, between her and David. The wind completely fell out of my sails when we learned that Colby needed the $20,000 to pay off credit card debt she'd run up. Yawn. So many of my Twitter and Facebook friends thought that maybe Colby had accrued some gambling debt.
I did chuckle that she conned David out of an extra $10,000. Who knew David (still) had that kind of money? There were not any on-screen mentions of strings attached to David forking over that much money to Colby, but I suspect it's only a matter of time before David calls in his marker. Or maybe he already has.
That said, I do think that Colby is just the bit of pop that the Pete/Celia storyline needs. I appreciate that soap opera bitchiness that Colby brings. It doesn't mean that I'm going to cheer her on, but I am secretly rooting for someone to put Colby in her place. Unless Celia grows a backbone, not only is she not suited for the position at Chandler, but she also won't be the one to stop Colby.
Of course, every supervillain or supervillainess has a secret weakness. But don't stock up on kryptonite, garlic, or silver bullets, with Colby all you need is a little geek speak. The scenes in which Colby formatted Pete's hard drive was one of the most talked about scenes in recent AMC history. While it didn't make national news, it certainly did have fans talking.
Other web sites have gone the route of tabloid sensationalism, posting headings asking if AMC has gone too far. Personally, I don't know if I would say it was "too far" in the sense that it was explicit. We didn't see anything. However, this is definitely not something we'd have seen in the days of Phoebe Tyler's Daughters of Fine Lineage.
I saw the schools of thought about this on social media, in my email box, and on the Soap Central message boards. Most didn't seem fazed -- or at least they didn't mention it. Several were quite upset, like Pam, who said, "If I wanted to watch porn I wouldn't be watching AMC. I am so saddened and heartsick that this is the direction that they are choosing to take my beloved AMC." Frannie echoed the sentiment, "I'm very disappointed that the writers choose to go that route by having the characters simulate oral sex. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think that was necessary at all. All My Children is better than that."
Was it necessary? That will be the subject of debate. I think that it was in the sense that we needed to get inside Colby's head, so to speak, to see what she is capable of. Maybe it didn't need to be as in-your-face as the way it was shown on-screen. There was, however, another school of thought. On my Twitter feed, I saw that one AMC viewer thanked AMC for the scene because it apparently led to a boost in his/her personal sex life.
While we're discussing personal, intimate relationships. If Opal ever has any future plans for finding a companion, she needs to burn whatever that tai-chi outfit was that she was wearing. She also needs to stop inviting relative strangers into her home. Maybe Celia doesn't qualify as a complete stranger, but I found that whole exchange a little weird. "Hey girl my son used to date -- but not really. Come into my home so I can hear you talk about what a dog my son is!" I suppose that the only reason for that was to show us that Opal's spidey senses were set off after she hugged Celia. I am guessing that now Opal has "sensed" that something isn't quite right with Celia. I didn't need to hug Celia to know that, but hey -- everyone has their own technique. I am wondering, though, if Celia's vision man has now been passed off to Opal like a game of tag. Will Opal now be seeing the mystery man at every turn? Will the creepy man possess Opal's body, leading to an iconic, "Celia, you in danger, girl!" scene?
As a random interjection, I like Heather. She's sort of like the love child of Maim Bialik's Blossom and General Hospital's Spinelli. I have no idea if the show plans to make actress Stevie Steel more than a sidekick, but I really like the way Heather interacts with others. She's a good friend to Celia, she is a good new pal for Miranda, and she's amusingly goofy when she's trying not to flirt with AJ.
It looks like AJ's steroid storyline has become JR's steroid storyline. I have to admit that I really didn't see that coming. I was so worried about AJ becoming an addict that it never occurred to me that I needed to be on the lookout for his dear old dad. It does set up an interesting possible future story.
JR claims that post-coma he is a better person -- and maybe he is. One of the side effects of steroid use, according to Cara, is violent mood swings. It's possible that JR's dabbling in performance-enhancing drugs will end up making it appear that he's the angry, violent JR of the past... and that gives all of us a chance to see the writers revisit that former storyline. I have no idea if Ryan Bittle can do "angry JR" in the way that Jacob Young used to, but I think it could potentially be fun to watch.
I typically avoid the controversial comment until the end of the column. Brace yourself, because this is a doozy. I think I like Uri. I don't like the human trafficking and all that horrific stuff, but I like the way that he is playing Jesse. I mentioned last week that Jesse was playing a dangerous game by engaging Uri, and Uri proved that right by having Jesse unwittingly get Zach arrested for Uri's non-murder. That was, as the kids say, a "boss move."
Not sure that I really saw that one coming either. I suspected that Uri would find something else that Jesse would have to do in order to secure Cassandra's freedom, but I didn't think that Zach would get roped in. I like it. It's a good use of the characters that are on canvas, but I do suspect that the Koslovs are running out of time. I have an inkling that the Koslovs won't be apprehended, but rather they will disappear so that they can potentially return in the future should the proper storyline come up.
I really wish that AMC had zoomed in a little closer on that wall of mug shots of Pine Valley's Most Wanted. I thought one of the sketches looked a little like Brian Frons.
And when you speak of Frons, you speak of things ending -- and spookily enough, that will bring us to the end of this week's Two Scoops. I had originally planned to not write a column this week, since I was traveling for the Daytime Emmys, but there were too many things to talk about. I will say that it is weird knowing that All My Children is not a part of this year's Daytime Emmys. There are no AMC actors to root for, no behind-the-scenes people to cheer on. Oddly, though, there are AMC vets just about everywhere on the ballot. Former casting director, Judy Blye Wilson, was named Outstanding Casting Director -- for her work on The Young and the Restless. Jeff Branson, Melissa Claire Egan, and Billy Miller all received acting nominations... um, for their work on The Young and the Restless.
Y&R has stolen all of our favorite people! Well, now this is really the end of the column because I need to plot a way to infiltrate Genoa City and bring these people home to Pine Valley. As long as I don't get arrested, I'll be back here again next week.