Knowing when to throw stones at glass houses

For the Week of July 8, 2013
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Knowing when to throw stones at glass houses
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Soap operas are rich with history. To tell a good story, there is always a chance to include a little history without getting hopelessly stuck in the past. But those who forget soap history are often condemned. This week's Two Scoops looks at AMC past, present, and future.

We love to hear your thoughts on All My Children. If you want to weigh in on storylines, characters, or anything else you can use the email link to drop our Dan a note, and you can also call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and record your thoughts on AMC. And now if you have a Facebook account, you can scroll to the bottom of the column and leave your comments right here on this page!

I'm still not a fan of Dr. Anders. I know that I didn't complete my path to practicing medicine, but I sure would like to think that I'd have a better bedside manner than this guy. I cringed when Anders remarked that he doesn't "pamper" his patients. I wouldn't let this guy deliver any news to patients. Heck, I wouldn't even let him deliver a tray of food to patients.

Of course, I know that there's a reason that he's being written as a jerk. It's all part of setting up his backstory. Some of Tad's private investigating skills must have rubbed off on Dixie because she had all the dirt on Pine Valley's newest physician. Sadly, we didn't get to learn all of what she knew other than Anders had previously been practicing in Denver.

Skip over this paragraph and jump right to the next one if you're a spoilerphobe. I had been torn between whether Anders lost someone he loved or if he made the wrong call in a patient's treatment and turned into an emotional and professional icebox as a result. Both make for interesting possible story. Then I remembered the casting call for the role that said that Anders was mourning the loss of his wife, whose life he felt he should have been able to save.

One thing I didn't miss was Anders' throwaway line after being quizzed by Dixie. "You are, by far, the most attractive therapist I've ever met," he replied coldly before walking off. It seemed highly analytical and without any emotion behind it -- sort of like something Data, the android on Star Trek: The Next Generation, might have said. The question now becomes, with that comment out there and with Tad orbiting some other planet, is it only a matter of time before Dixie and Anders find themselves battling a mutual attraction?

You never know quite what's going to happen during a live interview. Trust me. After four years of hosting Soap Central Live, and 18 years of doing interviews for, I've learned that anything can -- and usually will -- happen. Interview subjects who you expect to be chatty end up being introverted, and getting them to say something -- anything -- is like pulling teeth. But the worst thing that can happen is to lose control of the interview, and I think that's exactly what happened to Brooke during her Talk Tempo interview with David.

Brooke went into the interview with a little Jerry Springeresque motive. It reminds me of how Liza Colby ran WRCW back in the day, drooling in anticipation of something scandalous happening. This definitely wasn't one of those "reputation repairing" interviews that Oprah was known for.

There was one moment during the interview that literally made me gasp. As he defended himself in a line of questions about shooting JR, David fired off, "If a person killed your child right before your very eyes, could you honestly just stand there and do absolutely nothing?" This bothered me immensely because it either showed that whoever wrote the scenes had no working knowledge of AMC history, or it was just plain sloppy.

Long-time AMC viewers know that Brooke has lost a child. Her daughter, Laura, was killed by a drunk driver. Brooke may not have been there to see it happen, but there is no quantifying whether one person's loss of their child is greater than another's. But past Laura being killed, Brooke also lived through learning that her adopted daughter, Laura Kirk, had been the victim of a child pornographer. In that situation, Brooke shot and killed the man.

There was an amazing opportunity for David to fire off a "people who live in glass houses" stone at Brooke, but we got nothing. The interview just ended. I understand that we couldn't see any of the older scenes as flashbacks because of the ongoing legal woes between Prospect Park and ABC, but there wasn't so much as a post-interview moment of Brooke recalling what she had personally experienced. Considering the way that the writers had, up until this point, been paying attention to AMC's past, this was a wasted opportunity that the show will never get a chance to redo.

All My Children has, however, been able to make the most out of its "new" storylines. The human trafficking storyline has had some of the most incredible moments of any soap so far this year. Cassandra's nightmare was no exception. The different camerawork tipped me off that we were seeing a dream sequence, but there was a split second moment where I wondered if maybe Uri was really tormenting Cassandra in person.

I highly suspected -- as I am sure you did -- that Cassandra would not escape unscathed from what she had to endure during her time in imprisonment. While I am certainly glad that she has apparently not contracted any diseases, I have mixed feelings about her being pregnant. Obviously, one of the potential resolutions to the storyline could be Cassandra choosing to terminate her pregnancy.

Daily headlines remind us that abortion remains a divisive topic. AMC has already been battling controversy. I don't know that the show should shy away from it, but at the same time, I don't know if embracing it is the way to go either. Neither Jesse not Angie seem to want Cassandra to remain pregnant, so I don't see this resulting in a battle between them.

Alternately, Cassandra could choose to carry the baby to term, which would be reminiscent of past AMC storylines involving Erica and Bianca, both of whom became pregnant after being raped. Assuming that this is the path the story takes, it provides for a potential story intersection should Miranda learn that truth about her father.

As a third possible outcome, Cassandra could suffer a miscarriage, and the life versus choice argument would be rendered moot.

Celia is still moping around and letting Colby stick it to her at every turn. I suppose that since Celia is inexperienced when it comes to the whole dating and boy-girl relationships thing, I can't expect her to know what she should and should not be doing. If she were able to use her wayback machine to travel back five years in time, here's what I'd tell her if she showed up at my door.

Dan: Who the hell are you, and how did you get past security?
Celia: I'm Celia. Celia Fitzgerald.
Dan (reaching for a crowbar): I have no idea who...
Celia: I'm from Pine Valley.
Dan: Oh, well why didn't you say so? Um, you can't come in because I don't know you, but I'll step outside, and we can chat.
Celia: I need relationship advice, and I saw on the Internet that you had pearls of wisdom for me. So, I really like this guy, but he is such a player! And there is this girl who did dirty things under the covers with him that I could never do!
Dan: Because you don't want to or because she's just so good at it?
Celia: Both! I mean, well, I haven't actually ever done anything with a boy.
Dan: Are you a "friend of Bianca?"
Celia: Montgomery? I know her daughter, Miranda.
Dan (sighs): How long have you known this guy that you like?
Celia: A really, really long time. It's been almost two whole months!
Dan (rolling eyes): Two months, huh? Here's what you need to decide: Is this the be-all and end-all of guys? If so, you need to grow a pair -- but not in a Zarf way -- and fight for the guy. But I think the best thing for you to do is to stop being mopey dopey and get on with your life.
Celia: But I love him!
Dan: Then why are you here if you know all the answers?
Celia: My guardian won't let me formulate my own answers.
Dan: Your what?
Celia: You know, a guardian. Someone who I've never met who takes care of everything for me. My bills, my education, who I can hang out with, what color panties I can wear...
Dan: You know that's creepy, right?
Celia (whispering): And... I see dead people.
Dan: Uh huh. Has anyone ever mentioned the names "Janet Green" or "Leslie Coulson" at any of your family reunions?
Celia: I don't think so. I mean, I don't have any family except for Evelyn. My mother and father were both killed.
Dan: Is Evelyn your grandmother?
Celia: No.
Dan: Your sister?
Celia: No.
Dan: Some random, overbearing woman that looks like Kitty Cole and Kelly Shea, yet no one has mentioned it?
Celia: Yeah, she is kina overbearing, but who are Kitty and Kelly?
Dan: Oh, I'm sorry! We're out of time for today... so back in your little time machine you go.

That's probably not exactly how it would go, but it's pretty close to what I see playing out. There are aspects of Celia that are fascinating to me, but mostly she just bores me. Then again, I'm not exactly making anyone's list of the most fascinating people. Maybe Celia's friend, Heather, can talk some sense into her or at least point her in the direction of someone who can. Evelyn certainly is doing everything she can to keep Celia's life as monotonous as possible. I think it's somewhat selfish for Evelyn to put Celia into the state that she's in, because what would happen if Evelyn were to die? Celia has been so sheltered that I don't know if she'd be able to function.

Speaking of functioning, I'm curious if anyone's viewing habits have changed now that both weekly episodes of AMC are available on Monday. I thought that I would watch both in one sitting, but I've decided to watch one on Monday and one on Tuesday. That helps me have an AMC fix more throughout the week. I then watch One Life to Live on Wednesday and Thursday. I think I'd go crazy (and maybe see dead people of my own) if I had to wait an entire week to catch a new episode of AMC.

Now it's time for a little YouScoops, some of the messages I've received from you over the past few weeks. If you'd like to share your thoughts and have them possibly appear in a future column, just click here to send me an email. You can also post them below in the Comments section if you are a Facebook user. I'll be back here again next week with more of my Pine Valley musings, so I hope you'll join me then. And if you've missed any of my columns since AMC returned, you can catch up with them in the Two Scoops Archives by clicking here.

    I don't care what Billy Clyde is after, I love to watch this man. He seems to want to become Palmer -- maybe he's after Opal. Nice touch having Palmer's picture still around in the house -- Susan

    Alec/Jane McIntyre ~ Oh yes! They did say all the new characters were intertwined with old ones! I'm trying to remember all the things he did that would make Jane come to PV. -- Anne

    I am so happy AMC is back and you are back writing the two scoops!! When AMC was cancelled on the network that shall not be named, I wasn't just sad to be losing my show, I was sad to be losing your two scoops comments every week. You make me laugh and I look forward to reading the column every week. Keep up the great work!!! -- Marnie

    Colby reminds me of a very young Erica Kane. That may be why I had such a visceral reaction to her. Back in the day, we loved to hate Erica. Eventually we had sympathy for her as we began to understand her back story. Maybe that will come with Colby, too. The most obvious difference between the two is that Colby is from a wealthy family, but like Erica, she has "daddy" issues and her needs (emotional and material) run deep. -- Frannie


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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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