I've yelled a lot of things at my television during my more than 25 years of watching soap operas, many of which are not suitable to print in a civilized opinion column. In the past six months in particular, as All My Children's storylines and ratings continued their freefall, the expletives have been flying at a record pace. It's during times like these that I'm thankful for acronyms-because this week had more than a few WTH (What the heck?!) moments.
The gold medal for gall goes to...
Good old Greenlee, of course. Fresh off her boyfriend's award-winning stupidity a couple of weeks ago, she takes a prize herself. Even if you're a fan, you had to have done a double take when Greens dropped a particularly hypocritical mini-rant on her distraught pop, Jackson. "Well, (Erica) broke the law," she said with a straight face. "Why is everyone treating her like she's Mother Teresa in four-inch heels? Last time I checked, she wasn't dishing out any alms to the poor." The topper: "All I'm saying is, do the crime, do the time."
Wow. After my blood pressure returned to relatively normal levels, I was forced to wonder about the writers who crafted those sentences. Were they drunk? Sleep deprived? Certifiably insane? They did seem to realize the lunacy of that little proclamation, because Jackson quickly (though quite subtly) scolded Greens for her hypocrisy. But if Greenlee is, in fact, supposed to be one of the show's heroines and we're supposed to believe she's reformed, how could they possibly put those words in her mouth? I almost wanted a SORAS-ed Spike to barge into the courtroom and yell, "Um, HELLO?!?" before smacking that little girl upside the head.
Of course, Greenlee dropped a few more bon mots before the week was out, letting it slip that Zach already knew about Kendall's second meeting with Ryan in Los Angeles after Mrs. Slater had 'fessed up to her hubby. An accident, I'm sure. This leads me to my next WTH moment(s).
No more secrets? Yeah, sure...
Everyone knows I love Zach and Kendall, but even I had to throw up my hands during the scenes they shared this week. It was infuriating to listen to Kendall rationalize keeping another secret from her hubby, especially when it's a relatively harmless one. And it's just as difficult to listen to Zach preach about "no more secrets" when he didn't just tell Kendall he knew about that rendezvous with Ryan. I know it's a particularly bad week when I can't even find much to enjoy in a Zach and Kendall scene. Writers, please drop the one-night-stand bombshell soon. Play your fallout, spin the couple wheel and then get to fixing the mistakes you've made... before more people bail on the few things that still manage to work on this show.
If the writers want to try, once again, to redeem Ryan, they'd be well served to drop this amnesia storyline. All its doing is reminding viewers of what a tool this guy can be. I suppose his defenders might argue that by faking his recovery, he's actually trying to do the honorable thing-leaving Kendall and Greenlee alone and working to repair his fractured marriage. In my opinion, all he's doing is trying to make the best of the hand he's been dealt. If he had even the slightest reason to believe Kendall would come back to him, he'd drop Annie and Emma so fast their heads would spin. Never mind that he just tried this strategy and failed miserably. If he respected Annie at all, he'd be honest with her and try to get to know her, not rifle through old photo albums trying to blink those memories back into his thick skull.
I am glad that Greenlee's in on this little scheme though. As much as they made me sick to my stomach, 'Rylee' is the lesser of the many evils in the potential couple shuffle AMC has in the works. It keeps Ryan away from Kendall and Greenlee away from Zach. Annie and Aidan may be collateral damage, but personally, I'm more than willing to live with that. This sets up Greenlee as Ryan's confidante, the person he'll cry to when his little plan blows up, someone who will reassure him his intentions were good and he's a decent man. Go for it, Greens. Have fun.
Keeping Greenlee occupied with Ryan and Annie should also keep her our of her father's hair. I have no real rooting interest in a Jackson/Erica reunion, but even I was angry when Greens urged her daddy to start dating other women mere seconds after a handcuffed Erica was led off to jail.
Speaking of Erica, while I appreciated her scenes with her kids, I wish she'd stop treating Kendall like she's ready to jump any available man who crosses her path. Otherwise, seeing Josh and Kendall wish their mother well was nice-well, as nice as a sentencing hearing can be, I suppose. I'm not sure I'm ready for the wacky adventures of Erica and Carmen, though. Time will tell. If La Kane and 'Sugar' take some screen time away from the Babe/JR/Richie triangle, I might be able to get behind it.
I was sick of watching Babe and Junior about two years ago, so the fact that they're still going around in circles gets more infuriating by the day. I thought the addition of Richie might make things a little more interesting. It was definitely funny to watch Junior try to intimidate Novak, considering Chandler seemed far more scared than the cool-and-calm leukemia patient. It's just not enough, though. I've also given up on my quest for JR to cut his hair; I'll settle for him washing it for now.
The incredible screaming supercouple
I'm not here to rag on Angie and Jesse, but enough already with the constant yelling! I know Jesse feels guilty about putting his family in danger and I realize Angie's terrified of losing her husband and son, but the screaming has to stop. I can only imagine how many freaking exclamation points in those scripts. Now, a couple of weeks of shouting could never ruin Angie and Jesse for me, but I have to wonder what newer viewers think of them.
Hopefully, the major drama will be over relatively soon now that Uncle Robert has made his first major move, kidnapping Frankie and Colby. The fallout has been a bit lackluster, though I do like bringing in a very determined Adam. Watching him interact with Tad and Jesse was great; I didn't even hate Adam's interaction with Krystal. Well, I hated the way she and Tad kept quiet, but I did appreciate David Canary's work, pleading with Krystal to help him find his daughter. Friday's episode was decent, though the ending was a little cheesy. And is it just me, or is Robert's voice very recognizable, even when distorted? His accent and delivery aren't really covered up by going an octave or two lower.
Well, that's it for me. Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend. See you back here soon.