An All My Children Evaluation

Let’s play report card right now for All My Children. It’s time to evaluate the current storylines and/or characters on screen. But first, the Head Writer, Charles Pratt Jr. deserves an evaluation.

Apprehension is the first word that came to mind when news broke that Charles Pratt Jr. would be taking the helm as Head Writer for All My Children. It’s no secret that the show has been in a writing turmoil since the the babyswitch storyline reached its climax and wrapped up. Ever since then viewers of AMC have been subjected to one outlandish story after another (hello, Josh the unabortion…) and in turn one new head writer after another. Last year, it was reported that Charles Pratt Jr, would be taking his pen to AMC. Again, it’s no secret that apprehension broke out among the faithful viewers, leaving many to wonder if AMC would turn into some hybrid form of the shows he’d already written for. Shows such as Melrose Place, Desperate Housewives and General Hospital, whom he co-wrote with Robert Guza Jr. Some chose to give him a chance and see what he could do, while others chose to tread carefully, not wanting to put all their faith in him.

At first, his writing showed promise, given the tornado that hit Pine Valley in October, but it seems as though everything else slowly whirlpooled down the drain as the months progressed. One of the most glaring miscues, aside from the hyped-up first lesbian wedding on daytime (which only lasted a day, barely…) was the dismantling of Aidan and Greenlee in order to make way for the second-time around pairing of Ryan and Greenlee (Rylee). Apparently, Mr. Pratt did not get the memo that Rylee was not a huge hit the first time around, because this second go-round didn’t work and ultimately had Rebecca Budig opting out of the contract and leaving the show after just a one year return.

Currently, the storylines playing out on AMC have this tendency of good days and bad days, but there hasn’t been a steady progression in story itself. It has been said Mr. Pratt likes to leave the audience guessing or the characters guessing what they’ll be doing next, but that method doesn’t seem to work. These characters are meant to be predictable in a way and not give the viewers whiplash with their actions. For example, on General Hospital, when Carly gets upset about something, viewers will almost assume she will run to Jason for consoling, because that is what her character does. It’s predictable. On AMC lately, it’s as though some characters’ actions leave the viewers going “Huh?”. One character whose actions have left viewers doing that is Kendall Hart-Slater.

Lately, it seems as though Kendall cannot make up her mind on what she wants. One day she wants to work things out with Zach, but the next day or within the same episode, she’s with Ryan. It’s confusing trying to figure out who she wants to be with. And if that wasn’t bad, her sleeping with Ryan and saying that it’s because they’re mourning the loss of dear friend, Greenlee really takes the cake. Kendall would never do that, regardless of how hurt she was at the time over Zach’s actions. A month hadn’t passed and those two were already bedding each other, out of anger towards others. Spoilers for the next two weeks report that Zach and Kendall will finally separate, but the actions after the fact don’t make for good story down the road. One can only wonder what Alicia Minshew, Thorsten Kaye and Cameron Mathison are thinking as they receive their scripts.

Taylor and Brot, although may have seemed like a good idea on paper, isn’t all that tantilizing on screen. Taylor (and Beth Ehlers) seems to have more chemistry with Tad (and Michael E. Knight). It’s understandable in a way that the writers were trying to show some sort of love story/coming back together between Taylor and Brot, but these days, there’s no sizzle, nothing to draw in viewers. Perhaps these two are better as friends. Also, Brot (and JR Martinez) had better screen presence with Colby (and Brianne Moncrief). It could be the fact that the two actors are closer to age in real life, as opposed to the age difference between Ehlers and Martinez.

Frankie and Randi — snooze…

Adam and Erica — intriguing. It’s good to see Erica having her hands in two stories right now. She has been consistent in her involvement regarding Kendall and Zach. But it’s also interesting seeing her in cahoots with Adam Chandler.

Jake and Amanda — Disliked it at first, but surprisingly have grown to like at the present moment. It is unsure where or when it happened or even how, but these two work right now and it’s better than seeing Jake Martin troll around town and having a casual drink every where he goes.

Pete and Colby — still a work in progress and there isn’t any clear direction on these two. It’s clear Pete will not give up on Colby, but will Colby ever give in to Pete?

David and Krystal — Can we end the Babe mentions now? No one cares about Babe, no one care when she died and no one will ever care. There is no need to invoke her name everyday. She wasn’t a saint and never brought anything good to Pine Valley. David, when acting human like last week before operating on Ian is good. But when he reverts back to his “twisting the imaginary moustache” and constantly proclaiming revenge on the Chandlers, it gets really old, fast. Krystal… well, at least she isn’t crying 24/7, but her blind love for David isn’t very enthralling to watch. And that is all that can be said on that for now.

Much credit goes to the actors who day in and day out put their efforts into acting out the writing that is handed to them.

Now, this isn’t to say everyday feels like a whirlpool where everything is simply spinning around and there isn’t much improvement.. but these days, AMC seems to be on a step forward, step back pattern. Good day with writing, giving viewers an entertaining episode, only for the next day to have subpar writing and leaving viewers wondering what happened and where the continuity went.

Overall grade for AMC as of today — C+/B- (yes, that’s being generous.)

This is just an evaluation of the show for now… Check back for another report card in the coming months, where hopefully there has been some progression and less whiplash.


5 Responses

  1. That is a generous grade….I’d give the show a D. I was one of the few who wanted to give Mr. Pratt a chance – an opportunity to see if he could turn things around.

    The twister hit and it was good……too bad Twister Pratt has done more damage to the show than his fictional one did to sets.

    What’s happened to all the characters thanks to his poisenous pen is horrific. All Mr. Pratt seems capable of doing is throwing in plot point after plot point, showing absolute no respect for the characters and their history or the viewers. His re-visionist history is destroying this show.

    Zach and Kendall, Jesse and Angie are AMC’s best couples. Why not write for them as a couple, instead of throwing in the unnecessary and out of no-where plot points? Soaps are still about romance and couples facing difficult situations together.

    As Kendall came out of her coma, the story should’ve been about Kendall’s recovery, finding her place in her life again, and Zach helping her through it. Sure, they could have disagreements out of frustration and pain, but it could’ve been good drama. Thorsten and Alicia are phenomenal together and literally light up the screen. When are the folks in charge of this show going to get it right? Stop messing with this couple – write for them and let them be who they are – Team Slater.

    Jesse and Angie, I’d still love to see a story that focuses on how they’ve changed and how that impacts their relationship now. They were apart for 20 years…it’s unrealistic to me that they wouldn’t have issues.

    Aidan and Greenlee was popular…..and if that was a no go, then I think Mr. Pratt should’ve tried Jake / Greenlee. I believe Ricky Paul and Rebecca had chemistry. That pairing had potential – especially since it would’ve moved Greenlee into a different sphere and that would’ve been a good thing.

    Adam and Erica are fun. David and Susan sparkle together. I’m not sure that I want a romance for them, but I do enjoy their friendship and the fact that their history seems to be respected.

    I love me some Dr. Dave – but the only times I enjoy him now is when he is with Zach, Kendall, and Erica. it is when we see David’s heart. The rest of the time, it’s made David into a joke.

    I agree about Taylor and Brot. I don’t know if it is the age difference between the actors or not, but I don’t find their story interesting or romantic. Brot and Colby were fun together – and I did think that the actors had a little spark. Now, they are simply ff material.

    Annie’s story is insulting and sick. If Mr. Pratt wanted to tell a story about mental illness, then tell it and be respectful of it. This is more FF material for me.

    Nobody liked Babe when she was alive, what makes Mr. Pratt think we want to memorialize her?? If he loved the character so much, why kill her off? Enough of the We Love Babe. It’s time to move on.

    The best thing that can happen to Ryan is that he is written off the show. Let Cameron find a full time hosting gig and take his exit.

    Frankie and Randi….more FF material.

    Instead of fixing the mistakes left by his predecessors, Mr. Pratt took them and made them worse. It is clear he doesn’t have a clue as to who these characters are, what they stand for, and how they would react in any given situation. If he can’t come up with a motivation for a character’s actions, how can the actor play that? And then how can the viewer buy it?

    We can’t.

    I do feel bad for the actors of this show when they receive their scripts. One minute their character is in character and it’s right (like Zach and Kendall this week bonding over Ian and David struggling with his memories of Leora), and the next, we’re back to more plot points, character assassination, and garbage.

    Twister Pratt needs to go. And this time, so do the folks that approve these stories.

  2. Thank you for your comments Kristen and you do bring up some very valid points. I can honestly say I was being generous, because I am still trying to find some of the finer points in the show.

    I, too, was one of the people willing to give Pratt a chance and I still have that sliver (and it’s very minute) that something will turn around, but it gets harder and harder everyday and I find myself yelling at my television screen more.

    And in the end, I can’t help but still watch because this AMC is something that was passed on to me. Sadly, the best times I have seen were the mid-90’s when I first started watching. Ever since the year 2000, things have been on a spiral with the show in general.

    Appreciative of your thoughts and thanks for taking the time to read and contribute.

  3. I think the grade of C/B- was being VERY Generous. I kept trying to put my finger on what has been missing from the show since Pratt took over and it finally ocurred to me that AMC has lost it’s HUMANITY. I find myself constantly, frowning and wanting to throw something through the tv more than anything when watching. I grew up on this show and I have never felt the need to turn the channel or just not watch because the plots are so ridiculous. I agree that Kendall is acting really OOC and it is horrible at how Zendall has been decimated so deliberately and the explanation is that 50% of viewers wanted a Rendall redux. Huh???? So basically Pratt is rewriting the love story of Zach and Kendall and saying that none of it was really true because Kendall wanted to be with Ryan. Huh??? That explanation of why Pratt has been using Zach and Kendall as target practice for his pen had me scratching my head. I fear that Pratt wants to do his own version of GH’s Sonny and Carly which is why he did that whole confused lesbian storyline with Reese . Pratt had an agenda and I have no doubt that it Tamara Braun had signed a longer contract that Zach and Reese would be the new couple and he would have thrown Kendall at Ryan to get her out of the way of his vision of Zonny/Carly vs2. Since that didn’t work he has called upon Jamie Lunar to fulfill his agenda and thinks it will stick better with viewers since her character will have ties to others on the canvas.

    I am one of those who was very afraid for AMC when Pratt was announced as the new HW because his tenure on GH is one of the main reasons that I no longer watch GH. Sadly, GH is really taking a beating and I fear the same will soon happen to AMC as far as the ratings go. It seems Guza has run out of shock and awe and plot points and the viewers are sick of it. The same will evenutally happen with Pratt and I fear AMC will be the next cancelled show. When I watch AMC nowadays I am reminded of Melrose Place with the bedhopping and outrageous plots and with the latest promo introducing MP alum Jamie Lunar I believe it’s about to get worse.

    I truly believe everything started going downhill when Pratt wrote the Bianca/Zach storyline and legions of fans cried foul for the OOC behaviour but that was just the beginning. I miss AMC so much because what I’m watching now is not the show and characters that I grew up watching through pre-school, middle school, high school and college.

    For that I give Pratt a F because he has taken away the humanity of a show that focused on strong women and family relationships.

  4. I’d have to say that you were way too generous giving AMC a C+/B..

    I give AMC/Pratt and F- and that is being generous

    AMC has not only lost it’s humanity, but Pratt has destoryed it’s heart & soul.

    He’s traded romance & love in the afternoon for cheap & sleazy.

    Aidan having sex with an insane, unstable Annie in the nuthouse is sick & disgusting, not romantic.

    Kendall having sex with her abuser makes my skin crawl.

    Zach having sex with Pratt’s cheap/sleazy version of Liza isn’t hot, sexy, or delicious as JHC describes, it’s just plain disgusting, and damaging to the character of Zach.

    David getting Krystal hooked on pills and having sex with her is vile.

    I barely recognize any of the characters and I loathe Pratt’s idea of couples.

    Pratt has destoryed/damaged mostly every single character on the show, starting with Bianca.

    Bianca was trashed with the BOB s/l, which wasn’t needed or wanted, and everyone acts like it didn’t happen or exist.

    Pratt has proven himself to be a liar. The not so ground breaking story about a same sex couple that never was is disgusting. He wanted a way to introduce TB/Reese in the hopes that fans would cheer for a Reese/Zach pairing. Thank goodness TB had the integrity to fight for her character, along with ER/TK.

    The disgusting, repulisive, constant Ryan infestation in the Zendall story, in everyones stories proves Pratt can’t write his way out of a paper bag and will destory any and all characters just to showcase Ryan.

    None of the characters look good in this one, especially Frons golden boy.

    Ryan/Kendall are a story of abuse, not romance.

    The nonsense that Kendall is suddenly torn btw two men, Zach the man she finally found “REAL” love with and Ryan her abuser is a slap to victims everywhere.

    The whiplash writing is driving viewers away.

    Ailee started to grow on people, but they destroyed that for Rylee and it was all about sex, cheap, disgusting, insulting sex.

    The character of Jackson Montgomery is non-existant. Greenlee dies and instead of having a story about her father, grieving for her and Erica helping him through it. We get another story about Ryan Lavery and his rage.

    Jesse/Angie are wasted on playing supporting roles in others stories.

    Pratt has traded romance and class for cheap/sleazy..

    Pratt is destroying AMC and turning it into his cheap/sleazy version of MP.

    Pratt’s inteviews outrage viewers. He insults the amazingly talented cast, while pimping his newest pet, which will only make me tune out when JL/Liza starts to air.

    I find Pratt’s writing not only offensive, disgusting, and vomit inducing, but I find Pratt offensive.

    AMC will not survive under Pratt…F- is generous considering what he’s done to AMC since he put his evil pen to paper and starting destorying everything good on this show.

    The show was in trouble when Pratt showed up and now it’s tettering on the edge of destruction with no one stepping into stop it.

    Pratt/Guza turned me away from GH and now Pratt is turning me away from AMC.

    I’ve watched this show since almost the beginning and it saddens me to see the once beautful, classy AMC turned into a cheap & sleazy remake of MP.

    I miss AMC…… I would love to tune into again, but this isn’t AMC, this is Pratt’s sick, twisted experiment and it’s not working…

    Again, F- is being way too generous….

    Sweeney needs to stop the madness and fix what is destroying this show….Fix it by firing Pratt, Frons, Carruthers…


  5. I just wanted to add that I was a child when I saw the first episode of AMC and the last thing I would ever watch then or since would be a soap (with the exception of ‘Dark Shadows’ ; ) And I think this is true for a lot of AMC fans. I don’t think the crowd is the typical person who watches soaps. So that’s very telling of just how much of an impact the former days had both in casting and in script.

    I just read Lisa’s comments above and I agree. Well stated. I too like so many miss the AMC we all fell in love with. If it is to continue in it’s burning spiral then I would rather see it end now by having ABC cancel it than to continue to degrade the actors that are left who have been with the show since the early days. Let them leave at least with an ounce of dignity in tact. Otherwise, it would take a serious miracle to save it at this stage. Get rid of Pratt and bring a lot of people back from the dead! Agnes Nixon along with many others who made this show what it was deserve so much more.

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