I love going to the amusement park. There aren't a whole lot of rides that I won't go on - except for maybe the ones that repeatedly turn upside-down... over and over... The first few turns are okay, but after that it starts to make me and my belly very unhappy.
That's the way that I've felt about all the Internet chatter over the past few weeks. It's always a difficult decision to try to determine what news I need to pass along to you, the readers. It doesn't do anyone any good to perpetuate a rumor that doesn't have an official standing - but you can't ignore something that's so obviously out there running amok in the zeitgeist.
After TVGuide reported on April 1 -- that's right, April Fool's Day -- that ABC was about to cancel both All My Children and One Life to Live, I didn't think I'd even bother to put together a column for this week. I admit to having been totally defeated, and I don't consider myself someone who gives up easily. The soapcentral.com message boards were littered with zombie-like posters who weren't quite sure what to do with themselves.
Now, as I am writing this column, ABC is preparing to officially announce that Lorraine Broderick has signed a multi-year deal to serve as All My Children's head writer. If you'll allow me to tweak my ego for just a second: I'm so glad that someone has finally taken some of the advice that I've been offering up for free in the column. Sure, I know that my gentle nudging probably had nothing to do with this decision, but that doesn't mean that we all can't have a moment of silliness to celebrate the change.
Lorraine Broderick started at All My Children in 1979. She disappeared from the show in the 1990s when she wrote for a handful of other soaps, but she has an extensive history with the show. She's worked with Agnes Nixon, the creator of All My Children, so I would have to think that would give her a stronger connection and commitment to all things Pine Valley.
I know that there are skeptics out there who believe that Broderick has only been brought on to wrap up All My Children and help it go out with a bang rather than a faint whimper. I'd prefer not to associate with that negative energy and focus squarely on the fact that there will soon be some renewed energy from a woman with a skilled, caring pen stroke. Or keyboard tap. I'd have to imagine that there aren't very many writers out there anymore who actually use a pen and paper.
I'd imagine that the challenge any writer has - aside from any interference from the higher-ups - is caring about the subject matter. I could probably write a decent Two Scoops column about The Young and the Restless, but it wouldn't be the same passion as someone who has watched the show since its first episode. I suppose that's why it is easier for writing teams to bring on new characters, characters of their own creation. There's no history to worry about. No pesky character traits to monitor.
So many of you have written in over the past year or so to say that everything about Jesse Hubbard has been uncharacteristic. He covered up the murder of Henry North, and now he's passing off someone else's child as his own. It doesn't seem to match up to someone who has been a pretty upstanding guy, devoted to his family, and sworn to protect and serve the people of Pine Valley as their police chief. Well... I guess you don't know what you're capable of until you're in any particular situation.
There is no denying that the scenes
It seems that everyone was (or is) expecting a twist. As one of this column's readers, Evelyn, noted, "I thought Angie would incur a medical problem during the birth, get special medication, and regain her eyesight." Others wrote in to say that they thought Jesse would tried to pass off a Caucasian baby as Angie's - and that when Angie miraculously regained her eyesight, she'd know that something had happened to her baby.
I've let it be known that I am not really in the Caleb and Erica camp. It's not that I dislike them. I've just never been given a reason to root for them. While I am still firmly in Camp Jerica (Jack + Erica, apparently), Caleb did win me over with a sweet line - even if it was sort of creepy and stalkeresque. After telling Erica that she made more of an impression on him that aliens from outerspace ever could have, Caleb explained that he was a changed man because of her. "I've waited a long time to feel alive again," Caleb said calmly. "I can wait for you."
Whoever directed the scenes featuring the flashback Angie and Jesse's marriage deserves a huge pat on the back. It was a very well-thought out decision. Viewers knew that these scenes existed, and there may very well be some newer AMC fans who never saw them the first time around. The dialogue and emotion was on point. Even the orchestration was stunning. It's like the "anthem" they play during the lifetime achievement awards at the Oscars or during the trailers for epic feature films.
ABC seemed to all about the musicals last week. In addition to the much-hyped musical "event" on Grey's Anatomy, the network also launched a new season of Pine Valley Idol. I knew that Natalie Hall could sing because I had the opportunity to see her perform on-stage at last year's ABC/Broadway Cares event. There are only so many seats in a theatre, so I know that not every AMC viewer has had the chance to see Natalie sing. I guess now everyone has - and that's not a bad thing. However, the scene was awfully jarring - it came out of nowhere. At least when Tom Cruise was home alone singing in his "manties," there was justification for it. Other than popping Asher in the face, there was no reason for that scene.
How depressing what Colby's lock up your heart speech? Don't fall in love. You'll get hurt. Loneliness and bitterness totally, totally rock, dude. I must be out of whatever age demographic that comment was supposed to appeal to because it just depressed the hell out of me.
But there were moments of levity. I'm a sucker for a good double entendre, and JR delivered quite a doozy as he tried to make some headway with an injured Marissa. Marissa urged JR to go out and find other women to date - like some of the waitresses at the restaurant that he'd reportedly been eyeing -- because trying to get anywhere with her would be like banging his head against the wall.
"All the banging with you means more to me than all the waitresses," JR squawked. Though very, very soapy, I was amused by Krystal falling into the water. She made a whole hoopla about having traveled to Africa with Erica and then SPLASHDOWN! It also set the stage for a classic Erica vs. Another Woman showdown.
Meanwhile, L.B. wrote in to ask if anyone noticed that the