For the second week in a row, we were presented with just four original episodes of All My Children. Last week the show was preempted for coverage of the horrific oil spill and this week we were shortchanged because of a Memorial Day repeat. I hate to say this, but it didn't really bother me that much.
By now, everyone reading this knows that All My Children is my first love. It's the soap that started me down the path that is Soap Central. Though the show is entertaining and very watchable right now, it's not gripping. There isn't a sense of urgency that makes a viewer have to tune in every day.
Jake and Amanda are getting (re)married. I love a good wedding -- especially a soap wedding because you just know that something crazy is going to happen. I'm trying to recall the last few weddings that we've been treated to. David married a mystery bride that -- surprise! -- turned out to be the presumed-dead Greenlee. At Angie and Jesse's wedding, Julia was shot and killed, ghost Dixie made a return, and Jesse went lunging off a skyscraper. For this wedding, the big hubbub seems to be whether or not Tad, Liza, and Krystal can be seated at the same table.
Another thing that troubles me about the current state of the show is that Amanda doesn't seem to have any friends that she can call up to be a part of her bridal party. Everyone seems so segmented into their own individual storylines. There are few friendships anymore. Many of the characters on the canvas don't even interact much unless they are thrust into the same storyline.
For fans of Damon and Colby's forbidden love, I don't know if questioning if and when they'll finally get together is enough to keep a fan of that story tuning in every day. I'm all for star-crossed lovers, but seeing 20somethings lament that they are being treated like little kids doesn't quite work for me. If you are living at home under your parents' roof, you follow their rules. As I'm sure everyone has heard their mom or dad say, "If you don't like it, get out."
I've been wading through all of your emails, and quite a few of you want to see a Damon/Liza/Colby triangle. I haven't really wrapped my head around that yet, but I can tell you that the original version of that story, the one that involved Liza, Tad, and Marian, didn't seem so taboo at the time. Now, for whatever reason, seeing Liza and her daughter fight over the same guy seems a little icky -- but I'm sure that I'd tune in to see what happens.
Erica's wilderness stint also lacks the drama that it should have. I do enjoy seeing Greenlee and David stew over the possibility that Erica might be dead. They don't seem that torn up about it, though. Greenlee showed a flash of remorse... but that lasted only a beat or two until David showed up and snapped her out of it. Meanwhile, we know that Erica will be back to normal in a matter of weeks. Her leg injury will not result in her needing to have her leg amputated. Her infection won't kill her or render her deaf. This is the same woman who had half her face torn off in a car accident a decade ago. For any readers that think Erica might die as a result of her crash landing, please send me your contact information. I have some beautiful oceanfront property here in Pennsylvania that I'd love to sell you.
Just a quick random aside, hallucinating Erica is funny. She coos and moans for Jack and pictures Greenlee gagged and tied to a chair. Next, the Wicked Greenlee of the West appears to cackle and make fun of Erica. "Auntie Em! Auntie Em! Bwahahaha!" Oh, the Wizard of Oz references never cease to entertain me. Wait until next week when Erica sees her grandc -- um, her daughters' kids standing in the doorway with oversized lollipops and slicked back hair.
"How the hell can a plane just disappear?" David hollered to an unknown person on the other end of his cell phone. Hasn't he seen Lost? Perhaps Erica can become queen of a tribe of pygmies or train some wild rabbits to do her evil bidding. Okay, okay. I'm reaching. I'm just trying to come up with an idea for a story that will get people talking.
Speaking of people talking, I took a lot of heat for my column last week from readers who thought that I was singing the praises of Caleb. Let me clarify what I said last week: I haven't decided if I like Caleb yet. What I liked was his introduction and barrage of zingers. Many of you also said that you don't like his treatment of Erica. I agree that it seems very erratic. To me, that means that Caleb knows Erica and has some sort of personal grudge against her. If Erica crashed somewhere near Pigeon Hollow, maybe Caleb is a Cortlandt, scorned by Palmer for some reason and furious because of Erica's relationship with Palmer.
I'm starting to miss crazy Annie. Oh, leave me alone. I can change my opinion! Have you noticed that now that Annie isn't insane, she's been sexed up a bit? Annie's gone from being cuckoo to being cuckoo for Chandler puffs. The problem is, she just doesn't know whose puff she wants. Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide if I care. JR and Scott are both without storylines, so a love triangle seems to be the only way to go for them. Somehow having JR on sentry duty to make sure that no one steals expensive pieces of crystal doesn't make for must-see-TV.
What I would like to see is for the show's new writers to have characters involved in more than one storyline. In life, problems usually come all at once. I don't think that we, the viewers, are so attention-challenged or simple that we can't follow more than one plot at a time. When a particular character pops up on-screen, viewers shouldn't automatically be able to say, "Oh, here comes the kidnapping story" or "Oh, this is the evil twin." Why not keep everyone guessing and mix things up a bit?
I like that All My Children continues to use humor appropriately. Sure, this is a drama series, but that doesn't mean that everything has to be heavy-handed. For example, it was funny when Colby show up at Krystal's/BJ's and announced that Liza had tried to pay Damon to stay away from her. "How much?" Tad asked before realizing that his three-second filter was on the fritz.
I also laughed at Annie seductively telling Scott, "Do me." Scott, who was already mentally removing what little was left of Annie's skimpy bikini, was noticeably taken aback by the comment.
Marissa sought out advice from daddy darkest, David, on how to send Annie packing. "Okay, look. I didn't come here to bond, David," Marissa snapped when David tried to offer her praise. "We all know that you're a pretty lousy father, but when it comes to getting what you want, you're the best." David's comeback was equally funny, "Not exactly Father's Day card material, but I guess I'll take what I can get."
I also got a good chuckle from Jake's reaction to Amanda's suggestion that they not have sex until after their wedding. Amanda was so excited by the idea, but Jake... not so much, as the kids say. Apparently, though, at least one reader wants an end to the Jamanda public displays of affection. Jan wrote, "They have been together long enough to cool down some." Wow. I didn't realize that the passion had to die that quickly!
Hopefully our honeymoon isn't over and you'll be back again to read this column next week, with just as much an enthusiasm as last week!