It's been seven or eight months now since All My Children landed in Los Angeles, so I suppose that I should be used to all the new little persons (that's the polite term for kids, I am told) that are playing the Pine Valley kids. I'm not. The "new" Emma isn't really Emma for me. The same applies to not-so-little Miranda. She's a cute kid, though, and that is saying a lot because you guys have to know that I hate cutesy child actors like the ones that appear in commercials for a popular grape juice.
Am I the only one that questions Bianca's judgment for allowing a complete stranger to have free reign around her children. Sure, Caleb is one of Palmer's relatives -- but that doesn't mean he's not some dangerous pervert. Stranger danger aside, Caleb and Miranda's interactions are cute and kind of funny to me. When Caleb muttered "Damn!" under his breath, Miranda was right there to "Oooh" and let him know that he'd said a naughty word. More than that, it amuses me that crotchety Caleb doesn't appear to like having kids around him -- and that each and every one of his grumpy old man grumblings is met by giggles from Miranda.
One of my favorite Calebisms of the week was, "Who named it tweet?"
For so long, Tad Martin has been the town cad or goofball -- with the exception of that time he (oops!) killed Greg Madden. Oh yeah, and when he was parading around town telling lightbulb jokes. I have to tell you, I was absolutely riveted during the scenes when Tad was giving Liza a piece of his mind. "I told you before," Tad growled. "Don't ever, ever screw with my family." Sure, the HBO version would have used a different word, but Michael E. Knight's inflection, expression, and delivery was way better than any four-letter word.
Meanwhile, back in the questionable parenting column, let's take a look at Liza. In an effort to make Damon appear unhinged, she stole his ADHD medication. Okay, so maybe that will make him do something that will turn Colby off. But, um, hello... did it ever occur to Liza that her pill-nabbing could actually harm Colby? What if Damon did something reckless while driving Colby somewhere? What if Damon said something smart to the wrong person and they pulled a gun?
I think Marissa needs a motivational speaker -- and JR needs to stop trying to "help." After Marissa tanked her bar exam, JR cheerfully told her "It's not set in stone that you have to be a lawyer." Why not a "You'll get 'em next time, sweetheart!?" Sure, later JR gave her a quasi-pep talk, but it was too little, too late. Marissa is being really hard on herself, but I suppose that JR has a good point somewhere in his Debby Downer-dom. I see Marissa as someone who should go into social work... or some sort of advocate for those who don't have a voice loud enough to be heard by the masses. She has that compassionate, caretaker vibe. Not that there's anything wrong with being a lawyer. Unless, of course, your name is Caleb Cooney.
Frankie and Randi, a married couple, attempted to have sex last week. What a novel concept. While I am sure that in the off-screen moments, they eventually did get to enjoy each other's company, it does prompt a question. Many soap fans watch the soaps for the romance. It seems like the romance is g-o-n-e. There are very few love scenes anymore. Is this all still a result of Boobgate? That incident was back in 2004. Are you tell me that networks are still afraid to show people having sex because of that?
Apparently Angie and Jesse are finding time to make love, unlike the fictitious "What If..." segment that ABC showed last week. It's a bit interesting that we went through the drama of Angie possibly being pregnant a bunch of weeks ago, only to have it happen now when no one expected it. I'm pretty sure that I am not the only one who feels that this storyline isn't going to have a happy ending.
I'm torn about the baby storyline. I'd love to see Angie and Jesse go through the process of raising another baby. They didn't really get the chance to do it with Frankie. Well, Angie did, but Jesse was "dead." I have to wonder, though, if Jesse and Angie were to become Pine Valley's newest parents, would that then be the one fact that defines them. It took long enough for the Hubbards to get a storyline, and I am not sure if I would want their entire presence on-screen to be about being a mom and dad. I say that because I am not confident that the current writing team would be able to develop two different storylines for any one character at a given time.
Speaking of sex, do you remember the fifth time that you lost your virginity? I'm sure Colby will. So much was made about Colby and Damon's "first time," that there was some mistaken publicity released that this was Colby's first time having sex -- ever. Astute viewers will recall that Colby had sex with Sean Montgomery back when she got drunk and crashed a yacht. Of course, that was also two Colbys ago, if I remember correctly.
Before I wrap up this week's column, I wanted to give you an update. Last week, I had a little fun at AMC's expense by joking that some of the show's storylines were more like reality television than daytime drama. Well, this week I want to report that All My Children took a surprisingly big leap into making one of its storylines much more realistic.
During Ryan's recent hospital stay, AMC employed a cutting edge, real-world medical device to make his medical condition more realistic. Ryan was treated with a Hummingbirdô Synergy multimodal catheter, which, in easier-to-pronounce terms, is a device that monitors and relieves brain swelling. I did a little research (Hey, remember I did go to med school!) and found out that the new device only requires one hole being "drilled" into a patient's skull -- apparently before patients with traumatic brain injuries needed multiple holes. So that's pretty cool. It may not seem like a big step at first, but how many brain surgeries have we seen on soaps in the past where the patients didn't even have their heads shaved? I am thinking that, perhaps, AMC execs wanted to make Ryan's experience more realistic, since society as a whole became aware of brain aneurysms through the recent near-death experience of rocker Brett Michaels. So I give the show a thumbs-up for wanting to make a soapy storyline a little more like what happens to people in real life.
I'll leave you with a question: What has been the most recent realistic story or event that you've seen play out on All My Children? Wrack your brains, Friends of Pine Valley, and drop me a line. I'll be anxious to read your thoughts.