Great WTF? Moments in All My Children History

We start here, but, rest assured, there will be more:

The Satin Slayer – not that the serial killer storyline isn’t a great device for trimming down a bloated cast, but come on… Alex Cambias, Senior… who died… and was cremated… was actually still alive and was the lunatic murderer? Please. He plunged chemicals into the necks of unsuspecting women all over Fusion just to get back at his son, Zach Slater, who had nothing to do with Fusion save the fact that his wife, Kendall Hart, was co-owner of Fusion and was married to Zach instead of to Alex’s Man-Crush, Ryan Lavery? Really? And they had to kill one of the most beloved characters in daytime television history in Dixie Cooney-Martin to accomplish this lame-o storyline? Not only that, they killed her with pancakes? Pancakes?! Peanut butter-banana pancakes?!?!?

Um, WTF?

The Idiots in Char- er, the production and writing staff at AMC decided this would be a great idea for a retched storyline. Kill off an idolized and much beloved character to give the sinking (stinking?) plot a lift. Well, it gave it a lift, alright, sending loyal viewers into a frenzy and causing them to bolt the show in droves. Tad and Dixie fans were outraged, long-time viewers furious. And recently, Producer Julie Hanan-Carruthers admitted she made a mistake when ex-headwriter Megan McTavish came to her with this moronic idea and she let her actually write it!

So, death by pancake it shall be.

Then they proceeded to toss a red herring at us and let us mistakenly believe that Babe Carey-Chandler-Chandler had become a victim of this heinous killer (oh, would that it were). At this time, when Babe lay in a make-shift hospital bed in the basement of the Seasons Casino, because I understand many casino basements are quite sterile, the much-beloved town lesbian Bianca Montgomery comes to a realization. You know, she thinks, it wasn’t all that bad that Babe took my child and raised her for 9+ months, letting me think my baby was dead and that this incredible bond I had with Babe’s child was just one of those things. (Babe actually thought the way to make this all better, without revealing the fact that Baby Chandler was actually Miranda, was to make Bianca the Godmother to her own child. Yep, that’s good enough for me!) So she rushes to Babe’s side and forgives her. Forgives her for stealing her child! Are you kidding me?!? Too bad that while Bianca was there forgiving Babe for this slight indiscretion, she couldn’t have poked around in the corners of the basement and looked for the pod that contained the real Bianca, because the sane viewers who were still watching AMC at that time really missed her. (I could really get into the whole forgiving of Babe and not giving Maggie the time of day thing here, but that’s another story for another day)

Anyway, back to the Satin Slayer (which, I still can help but laugh whenever I say that… seriously, if you were a maniacal spree killer, wouldn’t you be furious if the press anointed you the Satin Slayer? “What?!?! They’re calling me the Satin Slayer?!? I sound like a weenie!!”). So, dead and buried (and cremated) Alex Cambias, Sr., comes back from the dead and buried (and cremated) to exact his revenge on Alex Cambias, Jr. (aka Zach Slater), for faking his death, lo, those many years ago… Alex, Senior, thinks Ryan Lavery is more of a man than Alex, Junior, and is literally a god in human form (and, apparently, so did Megan McTavish, because she shoved this information down our throats on a repeated basis), so to get back at his son, he started killing random women… Yeah, I think he had a shot at that insanity defense even before he got gunned down. You know what, Senior? You love Ryan so d*mn much, why don’t you marry him?

While the entire town is on the hunt for the Satin Slayer (*giggle*), resident Transgender Rock Star Zarf/Zoe goes to the cemetery to visit Babe’s grave (Zarf/Zoe hasn’t been let in on the secret that Babe’s still alive and kicking over in the Seasons basement) and gets beaten to a literal pulp by, presumably, the Satin Slayer (*snicker*). During said beating, Zarf/Zoe looks up at his/her attacker and says “You!” as if he/she knows who is delivering such a vicious beating. Well, the interesting thing here is, Zarf/Zoe didn’t know who Alex Cambias, Sr., is or was. So how did he/she recognize that it was Alex Cambias, Sr., laying such a beat-down on him/her?

Really… WTF?

This storyline was riddled with holes and implausible moments. I mean, okay, I get coming back from the dead, a favorite plot device for bringing back beloved characters and the actors who portray them, but most of these haven’t been cremated! And Alex Cambias, Sr., wasn’t on the AMC canvas in recent months- or years, if you want to really pick nits- let alone a beloved character. Let’s face it, other than to explain what Ryan had been doing while gone from Pine Valley and siring both evil Michael Cambias and gorgeous Zach Slater, what importance did Alex Cambias, Sr., himself ever add to AMC? (well, other than Ryan’s God-complex and Miranda’s inheritance)

And when Alex, Sr., was on AMC, he was a benevolent man who was mortified by son Michael’s actions and regretted until his dying breath what Michael had done to Bianca, Erica and the entire town of Pine Valley. So, now he comes back to terrorize the very same city? Because his other son, who never even lived there until a couple years ago, pretended to be dead? Just… out of the blue (and after years of being dead) he’s become a murdering sociopath?

Really?

WTF?

I can just imagine what happened in the warroom when this storyline was introduced.

Headwriter: Okay, we’re going to do a serial killer storyline because I think it’s time.
Writer 1: Who are you killing off?
Headwriter: Oh, just a couple of dead weight characters.
Writer 2: Oh, okay.
Headwriter: Yeah… Oh, and the much beloved Dixie… and the beloved Simone… yeah, and Erin Lavery…
Writer 1: What?!
Writer 2: I think I’m going to call in sick the day you write that one.
Writer 1: Who’s the killer?
Headwriter: Well, I don’t want to waste any of my pets- er, anyone valuable on the show, so I’m going to bring back a character that no one will expect.
Writer 2: Why?
Headwriter: Because it’ll be a big surprise!
Writer 1: So, who is it? Oh, I know, Petey Cortland!
Headwriter: Nope.
Writer 2: Greenlee!
Headwriter: Oh, no, I’ve got plans for that character! BIG plans! Everyone will hate her when I’m finished with her!
Writer 1: So, who is it?
Writer 2: Yeah, who’s the killer?
Headwriter: They’re going to be called the Satin Slayer-
Writer 1: What? Are you kidding?
Writer 2: That’s the stupidest name ever!
Headwriter: Stop laughing!
Writer 2: Tell us, we promise to stop laughing.
Headwriter: It’s… Alex Cambias, Senior!
Writer 1: *blink* Who?
Writer 2: Wasn’t he cremated about 4 years ago?
Headwriter: Back from the dead!
Writer 2: Wait, he was cremated! You know, reduced to ashes and put in a little can?
Headwriter: Yeah, and Erica had an abortion once, but that changed, too, didn’t it? What’s your point?
Writer 1: WTF?

Yeah… Seriously… WTF?

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Line of the day from All My Children 5/29/08

Kendall to Greenlee on how she (Greenlee) should deal with the one night stand between Kendall and Aidan, instead of bossing her around, asking to give up Fusion.

Kendall: Suck it up and put on your big girl pants.

Ah… the lunacy that is Kenlee on AMC.

Finally, some balance on All My Children

I know I should bite my tongue now, but I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Finally, some balance on AMC! Yes, the last couple of days have been some of the best writing I’ve seen on All My Children. It all began with the preparation of Jesse and Angie’s wedding (or rather, the day before the wedding), all leading up the the life-altering events and the aftermath that I’m sure will be felt across the Pine Valley canvas.

The high point of it all had to have been Friday’s (May 23, 2008 ) episode confronts Robert Gardner (from here on, referred to as Uncle Papel). Actually, the confrontation began the day before, but the climax was on Friday’s episode which led to the infamous Friday cliffhanger (and really, a cliff-hanger… or should it really helicopter-hanger).

While the central event was Jesse and Angie’s wedding reception, all the events going on around it just fed to the balance of the episode. It was nice seeing the veterans in the fold, such as Opal, Joe & Ruth. Add to that, Greg Nelson, who really should be brought back full-time because the PV canvas could use a wonderful character and actor, Laurence Lau.

As many know by now, Julia Santos Keefer was a casualty of Uncle Papel’s craziness, because he walked Angie through the reception and fired his Transformer .9mm (thanks MB) point-blank, the bullet hitting Julia. Another shot was fired on his way out, grazing Greg on the arm. Julia was critically wounded and eventually died at PVH, because the gunshot fatally damaged her liver.

Meanwhile, on the rooftop, Frankie, Jesse, Jake and Tad follow Uncle Papel and Angie, in an effort to keep the lunatic from escaping.  During this melee, as Uncle Papel tries to make his daring mistake, he fires his gun (the one loaded with unlimited bullets) and Tad becomes his next casualty.  Jesse runs for the ‘copter, grabs onto the bar and wrestles Uncle Papel out of the ‘copter (because good ol’ Uncle Paps wasn’t wearing his seatbelt) and we see him go *thunk* on the roof. Of course, being the stubborn villain he is, Uncle Papel is still alive, without a broken bone. The ‘copter lands safely (with the skills of Jesse, who had no idea what he was doing) and almost kills the geezer but Frankie persuades him not to and urges his dad to let Uncle Papel rot in prison. Jesse agrees… Uncle Papel is hauled off.

Meanwhile, Tad is being tended to… it’s bad… it’s painful and it looks like Tad may die if he isn’t brought to PVH stat. Frankie and Jake airlift him to PVH and this leads us to yesterday’s episode, possibly one of the most balanced ones I’ve seen in a while.

Most of PV made their way to the hospital and waited until they heard any news on either Julia or Tad. Sadly, we all know Julia didn’t make it and Tad is in critical condition. Different feelings are expressed by different characters, most notably by Frankie and Jesse. Frankie regrets letting Uncle Papel into their lives . thinking Uncle Paps was a good guy and Jesse has a regret of coming back from the dead because it resulted in Julia’s death and Tad being shot.

It was nice to see the residents of Pine Valley gathered at PVH because of what happened. Everyone wore an anguished look on their face as they all hear Julia did not make it. Perhaps what made this a balanced show was the fact that even though the sextet of Kendall/Zach/Greenlee/Aidan/Annie/Ryan was touched upon, at least the current tragic event was weaved into what was going on. No matter where any character was, the news of Julia’s death and Tad being shot was injected into the scene. No one scene took precedence over another, which is probably what made the episode so well done.

Finally, some balance. It’s been a while and I hope this trend can continue. Ironic though, that Esenstein and Brown were responsible for the last few episodes, some of the best of AMC in a long while, considering everything between the crash storyline and what happened in the last few days has been sub-par.

Imaginary Bitches 1×04 – Sexy Single Chicks

What else can be said about “Imaginary Bitches”? The series just does not disappoint. Every episode gets better and better, there are more laughs in each one and it leaves viewers always wanting more. I have to applaud creator/director Andrew Miller on a job well done so far.

In episode 4, titled “Sexy Single Chicks”, the character, Jessalyn is introduced. The talented Jessalyn Gilsig plays the role of Jessalyn and let’s just say, if we thought Heather and Catherine were bitchy, Jessalyn plays bitch well, too.

In an effort to provide Eden with an environment for single people, Jessalyn invites her to a party at her place where other single people are present, because seeing Eden with her friends that are in serious relationships kind of turned her off.

Looks like Eden found a new friend, a single friend and one that isn’t imaginary. Did the bitches have anything to say about it?

Yes, they sure did.

But let’s just say Eden’s got her hands full now with Jessalyn in the picture. Watch and see:

Line of the episode: “We’re like the Black Panthers…”

Episode 5 of Imaginary Bitches airs this Friday, May 30, 2008 at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 p.m. Central and 8:00 p.m. Pacific. Catch it at http://www.imaginarybitches.com

Another WTF? Moment from All My Children

So on Tuesday’s episode, May 27, 2008, the action/adventure edition of All My Children is in full swing. Tad has been shot by his dear old Uncle Robert (nothing says “family” like a .9mm slug to the chest), Angie is in a spinning helicopter with Uncle Bob and Jesse makes a death-defying leap from the roof of the Seasons Hotel and Casino to one of the chopper’s landing skids in an effort to save his beloved Angie’s life. (hey, they just got remarried, I guess this is his way of saying he’s committed to making the marriage work this time)

On a related note, Julia Santos-Keefer is at Pine Valley Hospital with a mortal gunshot wound to the abdomen and will die today. But since that kind of makes me mad and sad at the same time, I will ignore it for today’s WTF? segment.

Let me preface this by saying that, as far soap opera action/adventure sequences go, this was quite well done. The helicopter, Jesse’s leap from the hotel roof to the chopper’s landing skid, the city scene below the spinning chopper, the action and the acting was all very, very good. And the episode as a whole, save for Greenlee laying a big ol’ wet one on Zach, was very well done, especially the aforementioned death of Julia Santos-Keefer… and the fact that Tad was really in pain from a bullet wound and going into shock, much how I imagine getting shot must really be like. Unfortunately, all it takes is one WTF? moment to throw the rest of the show off kilter…

And away we go…

Anyway… back the Seasons Hotel and Casino, which, I had no idea was so tall and could accommodate helicopters landing on the roof, but I digress. As the cliffhanger picked up on Tuesday, Jesse made the leap by his fingernails and clung to the chopper as Uncle Bob spun it in circles, obviously thinking this is the recommended method for chopper lift-offs from hotel roofs while your kidnapped bride co-pilot screams like a little girl (which, granted, I probably would do, too, after puking on Uncle Bob’s shoes, but, again, I digress). Jesse manages to haul himself up on the landing skid, yank open the door and pull crazy Uncle Bob from the chopper, sending him flying through the air with the greatest of ease until he lands with a “thud” on the hotel roof below. (This also allowed Darnell Williams to deliver the best one-liner of the day as Robert Gardner fell: “You shoulda used your seatbelt!”)

Meanwhile, back on the roof, Tad’s gunshot wound is quite grave and he’s lucky to have not one but two, count ‘em TWO, doctors right there with him and they rush to save his life. Dixie descends from the heavens right about now, imploring her beloved Tad to hang in there, not to die, that their daughter needs them, all the while staying well out of the floating way of Brother Jake and Frankie Hubbard.

Across this same roof, Uncle Pancake- er, Uncle Robert has awakened from his helicopter plunge-induced nap. At this point, it appears safe to say that the man has very bouncy internal organs since he has survived an approximately 75-100 foot fall from a spinning airborne helicopter onto the uneven, tar paper and HVAC unit-covered roof of a luxury hotel without so much as a scratch. And, yet, this is not the actual WTF moment…

No, my friends, this is merely the beginning…

As Uncle Robert regains what little senses he once had, he begins crawling towards his gun… Which has magically transformed from a .9mm Sig Sauer P229 (official FBI issue service weapon, so kudos on the research here) into a .357 Magnum revolver. (kudos revoked on the continuity here)

Uncle Robert’s pistol, a standard issue Sig Sauer, has morphed into Dirty Harry’s weapon of choice. So, he went from a capacity of 20+ rounds (which is approximately what he fired off on Friday without reloading, yet another delightful AMC WTF? moment) to a 6-shot revolver… I’m assuming this is his gun because there was no one else firing back at him during the so-called gunfight on Friday’s cliffhanger episode, which would make him the only armed person on the hotel roof.

So, um… WTF?

On Friday, Robert Gardner is an FBI agent with an FBI-issued .9 millimeter pistol. I know it’s a .9 millimeter because I saw it in his hand as he was firing off shots at anything that moved. And through the magic of WTF? he was also able to load much more ammunition into said semi-automatic pistol because he squeezed off way more shots than even the extended 15-round magazine a Sig Sauer P229 can hold. Then, on Tuesday, after a death defying plummet from a gyrating helicopter and it’s slice-and-dice spinning rotors to a roof top about 75-100 feet below, in which he failed to stick the landing, his gun became a 6-shot .357 Magnum revolver… Which, by the way, should have been empty of live rounds anyway, since he fired the .9mm before its magical transformation way more times than a .9mm is even capable of!

He did not appear to be injured, not even bleeding from the nose or mouth (what, he didn’t even bite his lip by accident upon impact?) just a little stunned. He fought with Frankie Hubbard for a few moments until all the excitement finally caught up with him and he got very tired, especially after Frankie delivered a perfect headbutt (which, I guess, is rather understandable, considering he’d had such a busy day), and he was finally apprehended by the PVPD, who had finally shown up on the scene… Late as usual…

So… apparently, Cambias is working on a Transformer .9mm Sig Sauer* to go along with the transporter they have nearly perfected to get people from one side of the planet to the other in a matter of minutes. I’m assuming that this new breed of weapon will also transform into a yellow Camaro and you can drive away in it when need be.

I guess this feature is still in the developmental stages, otherwise Uncle Robert would be on the highway to Darfur by now…

*Also comes with a full- jointed Shia LeBeouf action figure, Josh Duhamel figure sold separately…

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Imaginary Bitches – 1×03 – Girls, Girls, Girls

In last Friday’s episode of IB, Eden was confronted for the first time by best friend Brooke about her imaginary “friends” Catherine and Heather. Unable to avoid the truth, Eden admits she has these 2 hanging around, but insists they’re not her friends but rather “horrible bitches.” It seems that Brooke accidentally ran into Waiter Guy (okay, not so accidentally, it was at the café where they initially encountered him) and he explained about having an argument with Eden and Catherine. Eden initially tried to deflect the reason that relationship ended (“It’s bad enough he has sex with me and never calls, but now he’s making up crazy stories about me, too?”) but Brooke doesn’t buy it and point blank asks Eden about her Imaginary friends. Eden relents and grudgingly admits to having these two bitches for friends.

Brooke has mentioned this to her therapist, which mortifies Eden; “How comforting! At least I wasn’t making up the fact that I’m crazy.” Brooke; however, blames herself. Eden made up these friends because she, Lizzie and Connie were in committed relationships and bailed on Eden just because she’s single… Eden, on the other hand, insists that these two are not her friends but they give her someone to talk to about boys, dating and other things. Brooke declares war on Heather and Catherine, boldly stating she is going to “Reclaim” Eden. She makes plans to spend the evening with Eden and the other two, doing whatever it is they do, in order to send Catherine and Heather back to whence they came.

But when Brooke arrives at Eden’s it is much to the surprise of Catherine and Heather, who were certain she wouldn’t show. Brooke tells them they need to get used to disappointment. As they settle in to an evening of Grey’s Anatomy, Brooke is curious to know if “they” are talking about her. Eden says they are and relates the snarky things being said. Catherine thinks she’s a fat, selfish bitch who takes Eden for granted, and Heather wouldn’t mind taking Brooke’s boyfriend Michael for a “spin”, so to speak. Brooke is very earnest in her concern over Eden and the “friends” she’s conjured up, taking everything very seriously. Almost too seriously.

She takes charge, jumping to her feet “You know what? Screw you guys!” she exclaims. In order to prove to them that she has always been there for Eden, she proceeds to list off a series of embarrassing events, like when a boy she was dating announced to everyone that Eden let him get to 2nd base… or the time she failed her drivers test. Or when she failed to mention she was taking antibiotics, got drunk, then puked all over Brooke and Lizzie? She informs them in no uncertain terms that they can go. She will always be there for Eden. She is not leaving.

Unfortunately, she does just that a few minutes later. After Eden informs her the “girls” are still here, that they stay with Eden because their relationship is more real, because if they wanted to they could be anywhere. Drinking wine in Paris, chasing butterflies in Costa Rica… having sex with Michael.

Brooke chokes momentarily on this news. “What?!” she exclaims. “My Michael?” She’s amazed that they are so obsessed with him. As she prepares to give Catherine a piece of her mind, Eden blurts out that Catherine is suddenly gone. Brook is totally flummoxed… “What?” she practically squeaks. Eden doesn’t know where she is, but she’s gone, even though Heather is still there. Brooke has a moment to think and realizes something… grabbing her purse, she states that her work here is mostly done and she’s going to go see what Michael is doing. (Or more importantly, who he might be doing) With a parting “I love you” to Eden, she bolts.

Eden sits in stunned silence for a moment then hits the DV-R, restarting the show, so that she and Heather, who is still at Eden’s side, can watch from the beginning. If nothing else, there is one friend who has not abandoned her…

The episode ends with Eden eating a healthy bite of chocolate before looking at the TV. “Oh my God, what did she do to her hair?” The camera pans over to Heather, then back to Eden, who perfectly deadpans: “I know… she looks 40.”

This episode was wonderful with the introduction of one of Eden’s real friends with her two imaginary ones. Like the movie Lars and the Real Girl, it seems that her real friends are completely buying into these new acquaintances and are more than willing to interact with them. Instead of telling Eden to grow up, get over herself or act like an adult, they are willingly playing along to help Eden through this obviously rough time when she’s just not a full member of the group anymore.

Eden, on the other hand, as a ginormous attitude problem built up in her subconscious. Deep, deep, deep, deep down inside Eden resides an incredibly nasty, funny, barb-tongued beyatch. Catherine and Heather are allowing her to voice these barbs, insults and wickedly snide remarks at the abandonment by her “real” friends for their men while maintaining a charming and innocent facade. The wholesome, winsome, engaging face of Eden.

Brooke Nevin’s nonplussed responses to Eden’s commentary from Catherine and Heather, plus her brave attempts to stand up and drive the two out of Eden’s subconscious and her life was great work. The scene in which she almost hurt herself bolting Eden’s to get back home and save Michael from Catherine’s clutches was gold. And Eden, again, shines with her ability to play opposite a chair or a pillow and make it utterly and completely believable, convincing us with her portrayal that someone is truly there.

This series has such an endearing quality to it, tapping into the subconscious of us all in some fashion, because we’ve all been in this position at some point in our lives. Plus it delivers a wicked sense of humor that, as Brooke would say, “doesn’t mince any words” at all.

I just wonder how Eden’s other friends will react when it’s their turn to be skewered by Catherine and Heather…

Episode 4 of “Imaginary Bitches” airs this Friday, May 23rd at 11 p.m. Eastern, 10 p.m. Central and 8 p.m. Pacific.

Watch it at http://www.imaginarybitches.com or at http://www.youtube.com/user/ImaginaryBitches .

The Magic That is Angie & Jesse

Finally, something I can rave about.

Angie & Jesse

Yesterday, on All My Children, Angie and Jesse’s wedding ceremony was held. In all actuality, this was the second time they were getting married, since the first time was 20 years ago or so, and it was a simple wedding in front of the Justice of the Peace. There weren’t any spectators, it was just them, the judge and the wife. 

Fast forward to the present… yesterday they pledged their love for one another all over again, in front of their family and friends. It was a sweet wedding and definitely the one thing AMC has done right, in a long time. The whole episode was focused solely on the occasion (minus that small segment or two of Uncle Rob looking for that cheesy elephant) but on a whole, it was an episode to enjoy.

There was a lot of love in the room and the highlight of it all was watching the love between the Hubbard family, especially Angie and Jesse. Jesse is the epitome of a romantic guy, as he pulled out all the stops for a wedding to remember. From surprising his bride and step-daughter with bracelets to having Ne-Yo, Angie’s favorite singer perform… it was simply perfection.

If there’s one bright spot on AMC these days, it’s watching Angie and Jesse on screen. Somehow, some way, every time they’re on, they catch my attention and leave me captivated and wanting more.