Yep, I'm back! Suellen pinch hit for me last time, as I was headed down to Chicago for - you guessed it - an AMC-related trip. Jetting to personal appearances is officially my new addiction. As I write this, I'm mentally packing for a trip to New York City next week, a fundraiser where I hope to get a moment or two with the likes of Thorsten Kaye (Zach), Alicia Minshew (Kendall) and Aiden Turner (Aidan), to name a few. I'll share a little more about my Chicago trip at the end of the column, but for now, let's dive into the matter at hand: the week that was in Pine Valley.
It's Called Karma
Krystal and Tad started out the week desperately trying to get Janet to relinquish Jenny, who was trapped in a doll warehouse with Amanda. You know I love Tad (even though he seriously gets on my nerves sometimes), but I loved watching Janet torture Krystal with questions about her parenting skills. Even Krystal's "moving plea" fell on deaf ears. All I could hear was my own inner monologue - [i]she stole Miranda, she stole Miranda, she stole Miranda[/i] - over and over again. Of course, I was happy for Taddy when they found Jenny safe and sound, thanks to big bro Jamie's impromptu pen-based medical procedure. Sorry James, it wasn't as impressive as Josh's straw-tracheotomy on Erica during the Mardi Gras ball last year. You don't quite make the Martin Medical Miracle Worker list yet.
The best part of this whole "dramatic" rescue was the aftermath, when a furious Tad looked past his rage to forgive an obviously insane Janet, even thanking her for stopping Adam's planned black market adoption. Both Kate Collins and Michael E. Knight did a great job - I even teared up a little when Janet told Tad what a great father he'd be.
While everyone was rejoicing in Jenny's return, Adam was being treated for a heart attack. Of course, before losing consciousness, he managed to squeak out "Krystal," which everyone took as a sign that he wanted his wife by his side. Personally, I prefer to believe he didn't finish the sentence - he meant to say "Krystal is a tramp" or Krystal - make sure that slut isn't at my funeral" but got cut off before he could get the words out.
Of course, JR decided to take advantage of the situation, trying to trick Adam into a deathbed confession. "Hey Dad, looks like you're going to die. Got anything incriminating to tell me? Huh? Well? Do you?" God bless Adam for seeing right through that garbage. Maybe if I'd believed for one minute that JR gave a damn about his father, I'd understand. Ditto for Junior's half-hearted apology at Dixie's grave later in the week. JR kept quiet to score points with Babe. He chose to ignore his mother's dying wish, first to blackmail his wife, then to win her back. I wanted GhostDixie to show up and smack him upside the head.
Where Have All the Chandlers Gone?
Colby was the only one who really gave a damn about Adam, choosing to return to her father's side when everyone else abandoned him. I know something's wrong when Colby is my favorite Chandler child. That said, if she refers to Jenny as "our baby" one more time, I'm going to reach through the screen and choke her. Once again, despite every evil thing Adam did, I feel the worst for him. It's the same stupid writing formula they used with Babe and JR. First, the Carey woman does something horrible to unsuspecting (read: suddenly moronic) Chandler man. Chandler man finds out about this horrible act, only to deservedly lash out at the Carey woman. Then, the Chandler man does something horrible and is labeled as the ultimate villain. The pitch: the Careys do what they do for a reason; the Chandlers are just evil SOBs bent on wreaking havoc and destroying lives. Whatever.
It's a lame attempt to shift sympathy to the original sinners and I'm sick of it. Take this line from Babe to Colby: "Colby, if Adam would've pulled off his plan, it would be Mama that would be going home alone. She would never see Jenny again, none of us would. You have to think about that." Honestly, how was Babe able to say that without getting struck by lightning? I guess Babe let Bianca [i]see[/i] Bess... uh, I mean, Miranda, and she's super-duper-mega sorry with cherries on top, so it's all good. ARGH!
OK, before my head explodes, I'll move on to Jack and Erica, who continued their we're-getting-divorced-even-though-we-love-each-other dance this week. It's a good thing they keep showing those old clips and pictures because, to be frank, I'm having a real hard time remembering why I want these two together. All they seem to do is talk about how they can't understand how everything went wrong, without [i]actually addressing what went wrong[/i]. And the fact that they're doing this all on New Beginnings is just so cheesy. I hate watching La Kane when she's "on." Having heart-to-hearts with Sean? Fine! Strolling down memory lane with Jack? Great! Butting into Josh's life? Super! But doing her full-on Erica-Kane-on-TV act? No thanks. Hopefully, the upcoming Jack/Erica story will have more comedy this time around - teenage drama only really works with, well, teenagers.
We Are Gathered Here, With a New Greenlee...
This was the first week we saw "NuGreenlee" prominently featured in scenes with current cast members, as Greens was discovered by Kendall and later tried to crash Ryan's wedding (otherwise known as CheeseFest 2007). Turns out that Annie and Ryan did manage to get hitched, thanks to Kendall locking Greens in a playroom.
I am trying to reserve judgment on Sabine Singh (who took over from the amazing Rebecca Budig) for a little while longer, because, to be honest, my initial reaction to recasts is always negative. You would think after more than 25 years of watching soaps I would be used to the recast factor, but truth be told, I am almost always resistant to a new face in a familiar role. It's tough to make that connection, having Rebecca's performances so fresh in my mind. I'm not even a Greenlee fan, per se - in fact, by the time Greens ran off, I had pretty much had it with her. But on soaps, you need characters you love to hate and she can certainly fit that bill. I feel like I need a few more weeks with this one until delivering a verdict. I mean, I never thought I'd accept anyone except Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kendall - and I just flew over 400 miles to chat with her predecessor.
One thing I do know is that Greenlee's still the spoiled, entitled little girl I remember. She waltzed back into town thinking everyone was waiting with baited breath for her return. "Sound the trumpets! Greenlee's home!" What makes it all the more hilarious is that she expected Ryan Lavery, the king of fickle declarations of love, to sit by and wait for her to change her mind. Sorry Greens, he's had two "loves of his life" since you left. That said, I'm sure it won't take much to change his mind back again. I did feel badly for her when she found out about Emma. It's got to sting. Ryan faked his own death to avoid having kids with her - kids she couldn't have anyway, because of a medical condition - and now he has two. Wait until she finds out he had his vasectomy (the one he had behind Greenlee's back) reversed so he could have a whole litter of Laverys!
Monday's confrontation scenes should be interesting, or at least unintentionally funny. I did enjoy watching Ryan get hauled off for bigamy at his reception. At least it broke the ooey-gooey-romance for a little while. "Oh Ryan, you're my prince, I'll love you forever!" "Oh Annie, for the first time, I love completely." (Cue Gillian rolling over in her grave.) As with most Ryan/Annie scenes, it was far too cutesy. Maybe if it were a different couple, I wouldn't have been so nauseated... but it's not likely.
Of course, we had the not-so-long-awaited Ava-impersonates-Lily scenes this week, on which I don't have much of an opinion either way. It was just... blah. The best part of the wedding was Zach and Kendall's romp on the bridge. What better way to get your wife's mind off her troubles? There were more sparks in those two minutes than there would be in a thousand Annie/Ryan beach romp music montages. Of course, with Hannah cozying up to Greenlee, I'm sure there'll be trouble ahead (again) for my favorite couple. Just let their baby live, please!
Tales From Chi-Town There's nothing better than meeting someone you admire and finding out that they are really worth admiring. That pretty much sums up my experience meeting Alicia Minshew two weeks ago in Chicago. I had the pleasure of talking with her once before at last year's Super Soap Weekend and couldn't have been more thrilled with the experience. So the prospect of meeting her again was too tempting to pass up. This experience far surpassed my first (a tall order, believe me). Along with a few close friends (love ya, ladies!), I got to spend more than a few minutes with Alicia, during which time she was just as cheerful, funny and gracious as I remembered. She had a smile and a kind word for every single person who approached her and you could tell by the looks on their faces that she had made their day. I know, I know, I'm gushing, but I can't help myself. Bottom line - if you get a chance to meet her, take it. Hopefully, I'll have some NYC tales to share in my next column.