And the ratings aren't getting higher. Ratings are what drive the decisions to keep or eliminate shows. This past year was a bleak one for our show as AMC has lost more percentage wise than any other soap. This spotlights the inadequacies of the writing team and the higher ups as they allow the poor writing to continue. My January 3, 2005 column (you can click the link to review it) brought to the forefront my thoughts on the matter of why AMC was doing poorly a year ago. Now I'll expound further.
Characters that used to be enjoyable have become almost unbearable --- prime example --- Ryan Lavery. Considering that when Ryan left he was most beloved but since his return he has alienated most everyone watching. I feel for Cameron Mathison as he really puts his all into fan events and doesn't deserve to have his character trashed. Not only that, but the Laverys are thrust at us almost every episode. If we were given a break from them for a while it would help.
Another unpleasant character seen pretty much daily is Krystal. As I've mentioned the past 2 years, for some reason McTavish dolts on Krystal and decided to pair her up with Adam. I for one find this more out of character than anything. Yes, I remember Palmer and Opal which was an unlikely successful pairing. Krystal has slept with everyone and anyone that can promote her or her daughter's agenda. She even orchestrated the whole drunken marriage. Adam has been "dumbed" down as there is no way he wouldn't have gotten the marriage dissolved immediately. Unfortunately for us the decision to keep Julia Barr around for another year has not resulted in the pairing of Adam and Brooke. Brooke is the most talented underused character around, which I've said before and will say again.
Another non-existent character this year would be David as he has been moved to the back to make way for such nonsense as Jamie's lifelong dream of becoming a doctor which could only be accomplished by acquiring Phoebe's money. I miss David being a doctor. Everyone knows he's one of my favorites and quite frankly should have a love interest. I do miss Ruth Warrick (Phoebe) who has gone to a better place. Her memorial service was heartfelt. It was so good to see all the old characters return and made me long for the good old days of AMC.
Long time PV resident Edmund was killed off after he was changed into a vindictive and mean-spirited character. I always enjoyed Edmund and found his transformation heartbreaking. Julia was brought back and while I loved Julia the first time around she appears to be a fish out of water currently as she's floundering. The whole Dragon plot was haphazardly put together with no anticipation. Plus for a mastermind that had kept Julia and Noah on the run for so long the organization and Garrett sure went down quickly.
Greenlee chose to leave PV but her selfishness and spiteful nature came out as she left and lingers since her shares of Fusion now belong to Babe. Babe is another character that is in redemption mode as Babe is young and her many mistakes can be partially due to her youth as well as being badly influenced her whole life by Krystal. Plus Alexa Havins is a remarkably talented actress, so instead of destroying her character (which they did with Jonathan) save her before it's to that point of no return.
Di was introduced as Di Kirby/Henry and decided to hoodwink the residents of PV especially JR into believing she was the "not" dead Dixie. I never bought into that and now we have the pure joy (for me anyway) of a Cady McClain return. I say this with trepidation as I've yet to see a successful return under the guidance of McTavish. If Dixie's return is not done well, there is no going back and "rescuing" her. Dixie has always been well loved and should be a breath of fresh air to the show.
Del Henry was recast and could he be the culprit behind some of the bedlam that is happening in PV. He certainly has the strength to hoist Kendall up and a grudge to bear. Will this be the end of Del?
More newbies were brought onboard with the sole purpose of changing history as we will soon see with Dr. MADden and Josh. Josh sabotaging Erica has been done before by better folks such as Kendall and the fake Silver. Amanda is a return of a character that has been such a disappointment. Janet came back and could have been there as a help to her delusional daughter but instead has reverted back to a crazed and desperate "Janet from Another Planet." I love Kate Collins and she is doing such a great job, however, the writers didn't have to have her relapse back to that stage of her life. Also, we are kept guessing about if she has killed off Uncle Pork Chop. I was loving Janet when she drugged both Krystal and Babe at the New Year's party and she has set up Babe to look as if Babe and Josh slept together as JR walked in. I believe JR will believe Babe's innocence after much convincing on her part.
All that being said there was some joy in PV this year as Erica and Jackson finally got married. This was a dream for many of us for so long. Unfortunately, they were then immediately put on the back-burner. This could be about to change as Jackson gave Erica a house for Christmas which means they'll all be living under 1 roof. It's about time! Bring on some romance between these two is all I have to say. This would be a treat for all viewers as they have chemistry to spare.
There could be some more joy with Kendall's baby on the way. Please, let this child come into the world and be healthy for a change. Who will Kendall end up with - Zach or Ryan? Time will tell. Kendall definitely has chemistry with both Zach and Ryan but Ryan continually turned his back on Kendall so would she in reality go to him again? Is he her sole mate or is he just past history? So many folks want Zach and Kendall together yet there are still those that want the reunion of Kendall and Ryan. I was one of those Ryan and Kendall fans as some of you know, but Ryan's return and hateful nature towards Kendall after the trial and subsequent marriage to Greenlee soured me on Ryan. That said ---- it was sooooo obvious the chemistry and magic is still there between Kendall and Ryan as they shared screen time in the church. Goodness if they had Ryan slowly become the Ryan of old, then I'd prefer the union of Ryan and Kendall again. Yes, I see those Kendall and Zach emails on their way especially after her declaration of love to Zach and that passionate kiss!!!!
I look forward to AMC in 2006 for better storylines. What I'd like to see: Ryan redeemed --- slowly repenting and remorseful while Erin and Jonathan leave the canvas. Speaking of leaving my list would also include Krystal and Amanda, perhaps even Josh and Dr. MADden. As I wrote last year I'd like more visibility of the veterans --- the Martins & Brooke still have many fans. David needs to be showcased as well. From what I've read, McTavish does plan on adding much romance in 2006 and that is very greatly needed and appreciated. Romance and veterans could be the answer to change the ratings from down, down, down to up, up, up.
I wish everyone a prosperous and safe 2006. Happy New Year to all! One more note - keep those pets safe and inside during fireworks --- away from the noise and confusion.