Pratt Falls: Episode 10 – Chuck & Julie talk relationships

Not quite sure where the post went… since I am sure it was blogged on Sunday night. But here goes again.

Ellen & Portia are at it again, this time they have infiltrated the lair and overheard Chuck and Julie talk about the relationships on AMC they think will “sizzle” this summer. Yeah… “sizzle”

Also, Julie busts a move talking about how she wants to make the fans wait…

Today’s WTF? moment on All My Children…

Earlier this week, Jake Martin was in the hands of Sudanese rebels in Darfur. Zach Slater sent Aidan Devane to rescue Jake Martin, since Aidan used to be MI-4 or 5 or one of those numbers in Her Majesty’s Secret Service before giving it all up to become a small town PI in Pine Valley, PA.

Tuesday of this week, Aidan and Jake were both captives, since Aidan’s a little rusty on the whole spy thing, it appears, and the rebels were on a satellite feed to Zach demanding 5 million bucks for their freedom. I know the rebels were serious because they told Zach more than once that if they did not get their money, then Jake and Aidan would die. They even made a point of telling Jake and Aidan that if they didn’t get the money, Jake and Aidan would die. They told anyone and everyone that if they didn’t get the money, Jake and Aidan would die.

In case you didn’t get the word, these Sudanese rebels who are holding Jake Martin and Aidan Devane captive are demanding 5 million dollars or Jake and Aidan will die.

Through the miracles of modern technology, these Rebels apparently have really good Wi-Fi and lightening fast DSL in the middle of nowhere and have been having face to face conversations with Zach (and Ryan, who apparently is now a trouble-shooter for Cambias, but that’s another story) way back in Pine Valley, where they made their demands for 5 million dollars or, say it with me, Jake and Aidan will die. Zach, of course, demanded to speak to his man Aidan, which, after threatening Zach with Jake and Aidan’s death a couple more times, the Rebel leader allowed to occur. At this point, Zach tells Aidan that they’re wiring the 5 million and the rebels will have it in approximately 30 minutes (30 minutes, emphasis added by ZS). Aidan gets the hint that Zach is throwing him and mere seconds later, the rebel camp is rocked with an explosion.

All hell has broken loose in both Darfur and Pine Valley. The feed has been lost and Geek Squad member Ryan is trying to re-establish contact. Tad has arrived to find out if Zach has heard from Aidan (um, yeah, Tad, he’s going to die unless these Sudanese rebels get 5 million dollars), Greenlee is freaking out because she’s already lost Leo and Ryan (kind of, if anyone remembers Ryan’s motorcycle jump off a cliff) so she’s in a serious state of denial.

As Tad rips into Zach and Kendall about sending Aidan to rescue Jake, there’s a lot of accusations being made about why Zach sent Aidan (the whole Kaidan sex while Zachlee was stuck in a hole thing, which I don’t understand how Greenlee didn’t hear them talking about this, since she was probably less than 15 feet away and Tad wasn’t trying to keep his voice down, but I digress), and Tad stormed out, snapping that he had to go tell his parents that their son was dead. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t he have waited a few more minutes before leaping off the Cliff of Conclusions? (especially knowing it literally was only a few more minutes before baby brother landed back in the Valley of the Pine)

For some reason, though, Tad storms off to the Comeback Bar instead of Pine Valley Hospital where his father, the chief of staff, and mother, a head nurse, are gainfully employed. While at the Comeback, Angie, who is there with her newly back-from-the-dead husband Jesse and their son and her daughter, gets a page to get the PVH stat for an emergency.

Ryan gets the feed back from the Rebel camp. Apparently, someone accidentally unplugged the cable, but quickly got it plugged back in… The smoke is clearing after the explosion and gunfire. Greenlee sees something… It’s the watch she gave Aidan, which I think Aidan was using to free himself and Jake. She’s despondent now…

Angie gets to PVH for the emergency and goes to see the new patient who has just been brought in… it’s Jake… It’s Jake!!! It’s Jake?

Back at Zach’s office, Greenlee is leaning on Kendall’s shoulder, telling her about the first time she told Aidan “I love you”. Kendall asks Greenlee what Aidan said and they hear the answer coming from behind them…from Aidan!

So Jake and Aidan are already back at Pine Valley? When they were just being held captive in Darfur? Africa? And they’re back in Pennsylvania? Right after the explosion at the camp where they were being held captive? In Darfur? Already?

Um… WTF?

So… is Cambias Industries working on a transporter? And, apparently, they have enough Dilithium Crystals to beam Jake (and Aidan) back from Darfur to PVH in his injured condition that quickly? You’d think with a transporter like that, Binks would visit home more often. Scottie could beam her over for a few minutes each day… She’d be able to visit Momma Kane in the Big House…

Or does Pennsylvania border Darfur? I mean, since apparently everything else in the world is close to Pine Valley… like the ocean, the mountains and the beach… All within driving distance… heck, walking distance!

I realize there’s a suspension of disbelief inherent in all soap operas, but this is ridiculous. We’re supposed to believe that Zach’s men not only got Aidan and Jake out of a rebel camp on the other side of the world, but they got them back to Pine Valley before Zach, Ryan and the gang even finished their “business” over the Internet with the rebels who were demanding a ransom? Amidst rebel violence in a country that has real problems with American’s? And that from the time it took Tad to arrive at Cambias, tell Zendall off, leave and arrive back at the Comeback, thinking his brother was dead, his brother was arriving at Pine Valley Hospital? Already ensconced in a hospital bed?!?!

We’re talking a 30 minute timeframe, here, people!!! Zach told Aidan the 5 million dollar ransom (or Jake and Aidan would die) would be delivered in the next 30 minutes. Seconds after that statement was made, there was an explosion and the feed was lost, then gunfire… then some fumbling, some soul-searching, some confrontation… then… Jake and Aidan are BACK IN PINE VALLEY!!!

Wow… I mean, seriously… wow… that’s just bad. Bad storytelling, bad plotting, bad writing, bad, bad, bad…

Just… WOW

And where the hell is Jamie? Wasn’t he with his Uncle Jake earlier this year? Did he get bored with medicine or did he meet some chick with the Peace Corps and follow her back to her homeland? Which, with Jamie’s luck, was probably Sweden…

Lt. O’Binka ready for transport…


*special thanks to Donna Pool for the wonderful image of Bianca as a Star Trek communications officer*

ABC Daytime’s Curious Influence on Prime Time Television… Speculation or eerie fact?

Okay, so, I’m watching Psych the other night, the season 1 finale entitled “Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast”, when I noticed something… while one of the characters in the episode was named Bianca (that being the name of former character and daytime icon Bianca Montgomery from All My Children) there was another character on the show, a tall, slender brunette who’s name was… EDEN… the name of the actor who played Bianca on AMC. As in Eden Riegel, Emmy®- Award winner for Best Younger Actress in a Daytime Drama (which, by the way, was long overdue, if you ask me). Eden Riegel, who is also, curiously enough, a tall, slender brunette… hmm…

So… tell me… Coincidence? I think not.

Even more coincidental is the fact that the character of Bianca was fried in a tub with a toaster. Not that Bianca on AMC was similarly dispatched, mind you; as a matter of fact she’s actually not even dead. She is; however, just a memory since she has departed the Valley of the Pine for the City of Lights (and, presumably, a reconciliation with her soul mate and life’s love, Maggie Stone – at least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). Anyway, what I’m trying to say is… both Bianca’s are no longer on the respective shows on which they appeared…

It just seems to me that it’s a little more than a fluke that two characters on the same show, in the same episode, carry the name of an All My Children actor and her character’s name, as well… Sheer happenstance? Pretty curious, if you ask me.

I point all this out (well, not that stuff about Bianca and Maggie because that’s irrelevant to my point, but I digress, which I have a bad habit of doing… but you’ll eventually get used to it), because it seems that there are a lot of TV and, more specifically, CBS writers, out there who must be closet AMC and/or ABC daytime drama fans. For example, one episode of CSI:Crime Scene Investigation featured a character whose name was Kenli… which, rather ironically, is the nickname fans have given to the coupling of two of the funnier female characters on All My Children, Kendall and Greenlee, or… Kenlee… Maybe it’s “pairing” instead of “coupling” though, since they really don’t couple all that much. Anyway… fans have christened them Kenlee, which is incredibly similar sounding (no, actually identical sounding) to CSI’s character named Kenli.

Coincidence? I think not.

As a matter of fact, I would be willing to bet the word “Kenlee”, or “Kenli” as spelled on CSI, was initially created at the exact moment when AMC fans bestowed it upon the twosome…

And one night on CSI:Miami (where Eva La Rue, formerly Maria Santos-Grey of AMC, now resides), the killer in the case was named Todd Manning, the name of a leading man on One Life to Live. On another episode of CSI:Crime Scene Investigation, the dead boy’s name is Tad. And his dad was portrayed by Jon Lindstrom, who played Kevin (Doc) from General Hospital. His character’s first name was Martin… You put Tad and Martin together and what do you get? AMC character TAD MARTIN!

Coincidence? Again, I think NOT.

And lastly, Elizabeth Hendrickson appeared on CSI:Miami this past season as well as another CBS crime-drama, Criminal Minds (hmm, former AMC’er getting work on multiple CBS shows… coincidence?). Elizabeth, as you may recall, portrayed con-artist Frankie Stone and her bi-curious twin Maggie Stone on All My Children, who like Bianca, was a much loved character on the show, as a matter of fact, her character was much loved by Bianca… and vice versa, but again, I digress… Anyway, her character on this particular episode of CSI:Miami, brutally murdered after the opening scenes, was named Rebecca. An homage to Rebecca Budig, half of the Kenlee duo on AMC, perhaps?

Hmmm, you decide…

Oh, wait! Rebecca also appeared recently on CSI:Crime Scene Investigation. Her character, too, was brutally murdered, albeit after Rebecca flashed a goodly amount of skin, in a similar fashion as Elizabeth’s Rebecca… slashed incessantly with a knife…

Again, coincidence? Not a chance…

Imaginary Bitches, Episode 1 (1-01)

photo courtesy of the Imaginary Bitches MySpace

The opening “credits”, if you will, are airy, fresh-faced shots of series star Eden Riegel; sunny, seemingly innocent images that evoke the openings of long ago sit-coms like That Girl and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. That peaches-and-cream naiveté that is so familiar. That image will be irreverently shattered approximately 2 minutes later…

The episode itself begins with Eden and her friends, Liz, Connie and Brooke, enjoying lunch in a sunny café. Each of her friends are complaining about their significant others while Eden sits in rather uncomfortable silence, either because she has nothing to contribute or because her friends complain incessantly about innocuous things, like boyfriends forgetting dinner parties or only finding interest in blow jobs, which, well, duh, Connie… Eden then finds an interest in “Waiter Guy”, catching his eye for a refill on her water and exchanging wonderfully coy glances with him.

Cut to the next morning, as Eden lies awake in bed with a grin on her face and looks over her shoulder to find “Waiter Guy” confidently drooling a puddle the size of Lake Michigan onto his pillow. Still pleased with herself, she scurries out of the room to call her friends, ostensibly to alert them her dry spell has ended in spectacular fashion.

Sadly, her friends still have those significant others. Liz and Jake are off to Couples Pottery (really? WTF?), Connie and Aaron are having sex, at that very moment (but how typical that a woman would answer the phone during the act, proof that once again, men have no idea what they’re doing), and Brooke apparently regales Eden with yet another “adorable” story about her boyfriend, something that Eden has obviously heard one too many times before, if her scanning through a magazine as Brooke prattles on is any indication.

Excited about the previous night’s activities and with no one to share the story with, Eden hangs up the phone and blurts out: “I had two orgasms!” with a self-satisfied grin (er, no pun intended). Image handily and significantly shattered. But it’s at this exact moment, when Eden so badly wants a friend to confide in, that one shows up for her… Catherine, no, Caitlyn, no, it’s Catherine. Who’s imaginary… Not really there… Made up… Fictitious… And a raging bitch.

Seemingly popping out fully formed from Eden’s subconscious, this “friend” immediately engages Eden in conversation. A bitch from the get-go, Catherine tries mightily to take the bloom off Eden’s rose over the previous night with “Waiter Guy”. Eden, for her part, staunchly defends herself. They argue for a moment, Eden informing Catherine in no uncertain terms that she and “Waiter Guy” had made a connection, both while awake and asleep.

It is at this unfortunate moment that “Waiter Guy” appears, catching Eden in the midst of her confrontation with Catherine, wanting to know who she was talking to. Attempting to cover, Eden flashes a look that mixes pure panic with just a hint of madness. Eventually unable to sell the lie and backed into a corner, she blurts out that she has apparently created an imaginary friend who is, honestly, a bit of a bitch. It’s at this point when Eden really sells it, relaying Catherine’s comments to “Waiter Guy” as if she actually is right there in the room with them.

“Waiter Guy” actually buys into it for a moment, both distressed and appalled that Catherine has remained in the room even after he arrived and is still doling out criticism and snarky attitude! Eden then informs him that Catherine thinks the shirt he wore the previous night was horrible and made him look gay and that he should burn it or come out of the closet. Eden then delivers a wonderful double-take to the pillow and mouths “What the f*ck?” to the obnoxious imaginary friend, knowing suddenly that this is not going to end well. “Waiter Guy” quickly regains himself and the best exchange of the entire show ensues:

WG: Wow… I mean, you’ve gone from really cute to, like, bat-shit crazy in 5 seconds flat!

Eden: Well, that’s two seconds longer than you lasted last night!

Uh-oh… Argument and budding relationship over…

At this point WG calls Eden a freak and storms out of the room. Eden explains in exasperation that it’s not easy to make imaginary new friends and is left alone to wonder what might have been… or what the hell she just did…

And that’s how the first webisode ends. Eden has herself a new friend. And because of that friend, she had a one-night stand instead of the beginnings of a new relationship…

Ain’t that a bitch?

———-

This is a series that shows an inordinate amount of promise, if the premiere episode and two previous teasers are any indication. Too many times we see trailers for shows and movies where the best scenes are included in those previews. Not so this time. The show delivered well beyond what we were teased with in the weeks leading up to its premiere.

It’s well-paced, well-written and directed by Eden’s husband Andrew Miller, and, to this point, wonderfully acted. Eden sells the conversations with Catherine so believably I fully expect to see Catherine sitting there dishing out her opinion. It’s got to be one of the hardest things in acting to do comedy and to do it opposite an empty chair. And make it seem very real. The eye rolls, the indignation, the “That’s bullsh*t” responses bring Eden right down to earth, effectively tearing away the saintly exterior bestowed upon her during her run as the sweet, put-upon Bianca Montgomery on All My Children. Suddenly, she’s human and we can identify with that.

That Catherine made her “appearance” so early was also wonderfully done, seemingly appearing out of necessity. I look forward to Heather’s introduction since bitches like to travel in pairs, it seems.

The dialogue is snappy, snarky and witty. The editing, done by Academy Award ® nominee T.S. Riegel (yes, a relative of Eden’s [her half sister, in fact] – this is, if nothing else, a labor of love and a family affair) is smart and crisp, especially in the scene referenced above and Eden’s well-timed comeback.

There is one drawback to this wonderful little series. The premiere episode was only 5+ minutes long. I could very easily sit and watch another 10 to 15 minutes on my laptop, because when you’re laughing that much, time passes very quickly.

It’s hard to believe this show is being shot on a shoe-string budget (or rather, almost no budget) with its polished look and feel.

What’s not so hard to believe is just how well it’s being done.