Liza Colby, Pine Valley & Jamie Luner

I waited until Jamie Luner’s first full episode as Liza Colby aired before making any commentary on her portrayal of the character. As a viewer who was only exposed to Marcy Walker’s portrayal of Liza Colby, and as someone who has watched All My Children for the past 15 years, it’s going to take some time to get used to someone else playing Liza. And seeing Luner in the flesh on my screen with the red hair makes me think she would have been better as Skye recast.

Kudos to Jamie Luner for taking on the role, stepping into some challenging shoes to fill. Her initial appearance on screen was quite intriguing but something about it bothered me. The voice. Marcy Walker’s voice was somewhat low also, but Luner’s has a huskiness to it. For some reason, it just bothered me. Again, just another thing to get used to with this nuLiza, along with the possibility that the character was de-aged, based on appearances.

Apparently, during her time away from Pine Valley, Liza has obtained a law degree. Most likely, she did this after Colby ran away from her. So now we have Liza Colby, former executive (but probably still has it in her) and attorney. Liza Colby, Esq.? Sounds sassy, but let’s see what she does with that law degree besides handle Amanda’s adoption. Judging from yesterday, she has some dastardly plan up her sleeve concerning Amanda’s baby and it probably has to do with exacting revenge David Hayward.

One thing that was unnecessary was the casino sex with Zach. Really, did it have to happen? Clearly, it was just another plot device to tear apart Zach & Kendall even further.

Now, Liza and Jake having a chat, that was a nice throwback, considering they have always been friends and Jake was almost Colby’s father. Of course, that harkens back to the days of Michael Lowry and J. Eddie Peck’s portrayal of Jake Martin opposite to Walker’s Liza Colby. The only odd thing was seeing two very different actors playing these characters, Ricky Paull Goldin and Luner. Not sure if there was any chemistry between the two.

Two days isn’t enough to judge Luner as Liza Colby. No impact made. Let’s revisit this in a month when she’s had more interaction with others.

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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.

Jake & Taylor or Jake & Amanda?

Okay folks… who you prefer?

-Jake & Taylor

-Jake & Amanda

-Neither

If you want my opinion, I’m not quite sure who I prefer. Sure, Jake Martin is pretty much the only eligible bachelor in Pine Valley right now, but he really doesn’t have much of a choice in women right now either except for those two. And if you really look at both pairings, Jake & Amanda don’t make sense, agewise.  Isn’t Jake just a bit older than Amanda? Or maybe it’s just me that feels that way.

By process of elimination, that leaves Jake & Taylor. To me, ABC is trying to capitalize on the popularity Beth Ehlers and Ricky Paull Goldin had on CBS. Question is… will it work? Just because it worked on CBS doesn’t mean it’ll translate on ABC. It’s a bit of a gamble, but one I’m willing to watch play out

Taylor seems a bit puzzling right now to me. What’s her deal exactly? We know she wants go back to Iraq, but hasn’t been medically cleared to, which has her living in limbo in Pine Valley.  But there’s more to the story here that hasn’t been told yet.

Also, let’s remember, Jake is still harboring a secret, or at least it seems so. He was very closed off on his return to town and has yet to really open up about his work in Africa. Could Taylor be the one to help him do that?

Okay, so I guess I do have a preference.  Jake & Taylor all the way.

Memo to Soapnet

To the Execs at Soapnet:

Next year, when planning your Red Carpet show, please take the following two things into mind.

1. It’s time to stop with the non-soap affiliated people co-hosting the show. Stick with the people who really know who they’re talking to and what they’re talking about, like Finola Hughes, Rebecca Budig and Ricky Paull Goldin. I give those three, 5 out of 5 stars. Lawrence whateverhisname is 0 out of 5.

2. The technical difficulties… get it together next time.

Thank you and see you in NYC next year.

 

Greenlee and Jake? Possibility?

Is there a guy on the Pine Valley canvas that Greenlee hasn’t been with? (Tad, Adam and the older sector of Pine Valley excluded from the list.)

In today’s ever going merry-go-round of Greenlee’s woes on AMC, she is seen with Jake Martin. Now, if you recall, Greenlee and Jake were an item a while back. They broke up for reasons this writer cannot remember and now they’re sharing a screen again. Could today be the setting for another opportunity at the coupling again? Who knows… but if the chemistry is there, All My Children should seize it.

Forget Ryan and Greenlee 2.0.

Forget Aidan and Greenlee.

It’s time to give Greenlee a chance with a man outside of the infamous sextet that has been gracing screens for the past six months. Unfortunately, it leaves the dashing Aidan Devane out of luck once again, (poor guy never has any luck with women) but it gives Greenlee an opportunity to be outside of the orbits of Ryan, Kendall and Zach, for a period of time.

Ricky Paull Goldin and Rebecca Budig have the talent, the looks and the chemistry to pull off this pairing. If anything, Jake’s edge right now (which RPG is playing so very well) is probably one of the reasons why the pairing would work. Greenlee needs a man in her life that can put her in her place every now and then. Aidan did a little bit of that to some extent, but after a while, it seemed like he became a puppy dog to Greenlee. It’s time for another man to try his manly hands with the high-maintenance woman.  It’ll be interesting to see what AMC can do with the two of them and how everyone around them reacts.

Let Greenlee break out of the sextet orbit. Give Greenlee and Jake a chance.

What’s eating at Jake Martin?

Well, Jake Martin is back in Pine Valley… too bad he really doesn’t want to be there.

Apparently, he’s harboring a secret and that was evident all throughout yesterday’s episode as he gave Tad and Joe a cold attitude. Question is, what exactly is Jake keeping from them?

Rumor is Jake may be HIV positive, but that’s just something I read off a message board.

One thing is for sure, he’s keeping something from his family and it’s only a matter of time until it is revealed.

It better be good… because AMC needs some juicy, groundbreaking drama. And maybe this time around, the story will be done right. Ricky Paull Goldin is doing a great job so far, though.