I'm sure you're all familiar with that old expression, "Ask and ye shall receive." For months -- make that moooonths -- I've been asking what the writers have been thinking when they've made certain plot decisions. And I know that you've been asking them, too, because I've been reading all of your emails. Well now, it seems that some of our many questions are finally being answered. Sure, it may have taken longer than we wanted, but I'd rather have late resolution than no resolution. So that being said, I hope you'll follow along with me as I get us some answers!
Remember about two months ago when it was announced that Stephanie Gatschet (Madison North) was moving to Los Angeles and we wondered how the show was going to find a way to keep the murdering bad girl around? Well, last week we got our answer. In a scene that was reminiscent of when Jackson Montgomery nearly mowed down a then-blonde Laurel Banning, Ryan and Erica came across a badly beaten Madison on a darkened street somewhere in Pine Valley. Like Laurel, Madison is also apparently involved with an abusive man. Exactly who that abusive man is remains to be seen, but I admit that I have my theories. The minute Madison was taken to the Miranda Center, I looked at the television screen and nodded my head. "Ohhh, so that's how they're gonna do it," I said to myself.
Rather than keeping Madison as a one-dimensional bludgeoning hussy, the writers are going to turn Madison into a victim. We've known for some time that Madison was involved in a loveless marriage. There was also that touching on her gambling addiction. I guess with Thorsten Kaye leaving All My Children, his casino will be going out of business. Since Madison won't be playing cards, she'll obviously need to find something else to play with... and I am guessing that she'll soon be playing spoiler.
Frankie and Randi have overcome a lot to get to where they are. There was that whole hooker thing, the nasty pimp, and a pesky not-quite murder. Now, in soap opera terms, Frankie and Randi have become an old, boring marriage couple. They've been happy for all of, what, a month? Surely, it must be time to break them up. So here comes Madison. Everyone together: Ohhh, so that's how they're gonna do it.
You can see Frankie and Madison on that collision course to... something. I'm not sure that it will necessarily be love, but Frankie has that DIDD. No, not multiple personalities; that's DID. Damsel in Distress Disorder. Frankie sees a woman in distress and he swoops in to save her. He did it with Randi. Of course, he is in good company. Many of the classic soap hunks and heroes have had the very same disorder. Dimitri had it when he fell for Natalie. As mentioned earlier in the column, Jackson suffered from it when he was involved with Laurel. To a lesser extent, Tad caught it a few times with Dixie.
Now, Tad is mateless. Whatever he had with Taylor was nipped in the bud. There for a minute it looked like Tad would be headed right back to Krystal. Long-time readers know that I really don't care for Krystal, though she was one of my favorite characters when she was grieving for Babe. I thought Bobbie Eakes turned in Emmy-worthy performances then. But here's what I take issue with. Putting Tad and Krystal back together like they are some sort of star-crossed lovers just doesn't fly. Tad and Dixie are the star-crossed, star-wishing All My Children supercouple. Tad and Krystal -- whether you like them together or not -- don't have that kind of history. I don't care about them overcoming insurmountable obstacles to get back together.
Thankfully, that appears not to be the case. Tad revealed that he and Krystal have some sort of challenge where they've dared each other to get back out there and start dating. So with few women of a certain age for Tad to date, I wondered what they were going to do to make Tad happy. Then a sexy little bamboo plant entered the picture and suddenly -- Ohhh, so that's how they're gonna do it.
Tad and Liza have been a couple before, so there is definitely history between them. Of course, that was with Liza 1.0 -- not the current version of Liza. So that might take a bit of getting used to. New Liza in the form of Jamie Luner doesn't look like she went to high school with Angie, Jesse, or Tad. And there's nothing wrong with that. But you'd have to be watching another show not to notice that Tad and Liza are suddenly sharing more than a joke and chuckle. Tad was there for Liza after she "gave up" Stuart and now he's there with a plant. Even if Liza would have preferred flowers.
David didn't seem too thrilled with the bamboo, either. Oops! At least it wasn't a rubber tree plant. David is continuing to inject himself with who knows what in order to feign illness. When this man gets an idea in his head, he really goes all out. I have to give him credit for that. He is either stubborn as hell or he just has way too much time on his hands. I've gone on record as saying that I could never be a stalker because I have other things that need to be done. I can't sit outside your house all day waiting for you because there is stuff that I need to be doing. David? He is something else. Does he even know that whatever crazy stuff he is ingesting and injecting is completely safe?
Since it looks like my idea that Amanda learns that Trevor is Jake's and then finds out she's pregnant with David's baby isn't going to happen, there will have to be another way to get Amanda out from under David's thumb. I would think that it's going to come out eventually that David isn't really dying. At the risk of sounding insensitive, at some point, people are going to start to wonder why David is still breathing. I would also suspect that in freeing Amanda from David, there will need to be another love interest introduced for David. At one point, I thought that would be Liza.
Will the writers really have Tad and David squaring off over another woman? Oh boy, I hope not. Maybe Annie will find her way to Haywardville, though I think the safer bet might be that she and Scott end up together. With so few characters on-screen over the age of, say, 35, it makes romantic pairings very limited. I'm sorry folks, but unless they bring in some new characters (or some old ones), I have no idea how they're gonna do this.
So let me get this straight: Marissa thinks that asking Liza to tank Annie's case is showing her mean, evil, nasty Hayward side? I bet she tears the tags off of mattresses, too!
I was amused by Fred the drunken homeless guy. His tale of seeing Madonna run someone over with a car had me in stitches. It reminded me of an old episode of The Practice where a questionable witness took the stand and had some, um, colorful testimony. There hasn't been this type of humor on AMC in such a long time. I'm glad to see it back.
Over the next two weeks, I will be back with the special year-end columns. Next week is the Best of 2009 and the following week is the Worst of 2009. I have a feeling that it's going to be a very interesting set of columns. Before I look back, let me take a quick look ahead. Someone will soon be given the monumental task or uprighting All My Children. I hope that whoever is given this job of guarding the AMC legacy takes it seriously and that they have a long-term plan for how things will play out. I want someone who will sit down with the writers and the cast and crew and say, "This is how we're gonna do it."