For the week of March 5, 2006
Scene: A cozy kitchen.
Two friendly looking women standing in front of the sink.
Woman on the left: Hello I am Mary Fickett.
Woman on the right: And I am Rosemary Prinz. Please join us on our new show, All My Children.
Yes, it’s true; I have been watching AMC long enough to remember a commercial asking me to tune in. I have watched all the ABC soaps from their beginnings. Except for The City and Port Charles; I would have watched those too except my local affiliate chose not to carry them. General Hospital was my first soap, ever. My lifelong crushes on Tom Berenger and Tommy Lee Jones began on One Life to Live. And I truly loved Ryan’s Hope until Claire Labine left the first time.
I enjoyed all of the above immensely. Yet, I was able to stop watching them occasionally for various reasons and varying lengths of time. I cannot remember the last time I watched a full episode of either GH or OLTL. To me it’s feels like they are men I used to date, and have fond memories of, but can find no reason to Google them.
It’s clear that All My Children is my true love as far as soaps go. I got my husband, my other true love, to watch AMC with me. I have written over 250 All My Children columns for EOS. Lots of evidence there to support my claim as a loyal viewer.
For the first time, ever, I am considering removing AMC from my DVR list (and not just because my DVR implodes on a regular basis).
The main thing I have always loved was that AMC was pretty much based in reality, as far as soaps go. No underground cities. No nefarious plots to freeze Pine Valley. It was as if we were spying on our neighbor’s except in Pine Valley everyone’s life was a bit extreme in one way or another. For a voyeur like me it was a perfect soap.
True, Bobby Martin went to camp decades ago and no one has yet to notice. True, people return from the dead on a regular basis. True, for years every time we turned around JR Chandler looked different. True, Erica once got a bear to turn tail and run away. True, Mrytle had a love affair with Santa Claus. To a large extent we can ignore these things because they really are not off the charts in soapland. And any story that puts Myrtle on the front burner is fine with me.
Now, for me, it feels like they have gone too far. This sounds like it is leading up to a clown nose joke but it isn’t. I wish that it were.
Like many viewers I am appalled at the way the story of Erica’s abortion has been re-written. That story was one of the most “real” stories to have ever been portrayed on a soap. It was gutsy, it was shocking, it was socially relevant, it was AMC.
And now we are being told that Josh is Erica’s son because Greg implanted the fetus into his wife. Sigh.
I could probably even get through that by pretending I am watching Days of Our Lives while that is being discussed on screen.
What I cannot get past is the way Erica’s motivation has been rewritten. One of the most shocking things about the abortion story was not the abortion per se, but Erica’s reasons for having one. Erica had not been raped. The pregnancy did not put Erica’s life in danger. Erica decided to have an abortion because the most important thing in her life was her modeling career. Nothing was going to stand in the way of her ambitious dreams, not even a child.
Now we are being told that it wasn’t ambition that drove Erica to have the abortion, it was panic. Panic and fear caused by her repressed memories of her rape and Kendall’s resulting birth.
I can accept that Erica was raped and Kendall was the result. The main reason being that all that occurred before we had even met Erica.
It’s not just that this rewrite changes the eventual outcome of the abortion story; it messes with who Erica was at that time. The narcissistic Erica we see today has nothing on who Erica was as a young woman. Her narcissism and ambition knew no bounds. No one was allowed to get in her way.
As a long time viewer I watched that story unfold on my screen. It’s unfortunate that Megan McTavish did not.
In the true spirit of AMC, Dixie has returned from the dead. Technically though, is it really a return if you spend most of your time lurking in the woods or chatting up perfect strangers in the cemetery?
I have never liked Dixie, save for that brief affair with David. I did not enjoy Cady McClain either, until I saw her on As The World Turns. On ATWT there was a depth and consistency to her performance that I had never seen on AMC. I hope she brings those skills to this reincarnation of Dixie.
Performance issues aside, Dixie is really annoying the hell out of me. With apologies to the much beloved and much missed Billy Clyde Tuggle, I am changing Dixie’s nickname from Dixie-Bird to Dixie-Bitch.
Right after the explosion, we saw Dixie do nothing, absolutely nothing, as David toyed with Palmer’s life.
Then we saw Dixie do nothing, absolutely nothing, when JR, her supposedly beloved son, was spilling emotional blood over the kidnapping of his son. Her grandson.
And this week we were treated to Dixie peeking through a window, seeing JR holding a gun on Krystal, and doing absolutely nothing. Now I want Krystal dead as much as anyone, but what mother does nothing to prevent her son from committing murder?
Yep. DixieBitch she is and DixieBitch she stays until proven otherwise.
One thing Erica and Dixie have in common is that neither of them has ever worn an ugly tie. The only PV resident to do that was Trevor Dillon. Now there is a body in the freezer wearing an ugly tie. It cannot be anyone else but Trevor.
We were all right about Trevor being dead and that makes me sad. Sad because how much longer will Janet be able to stick around now that she is responsible for several deaths? Remember, she is not a Lavery!
If Janet really did kill Trevor, it’s easy to figure out why, because he wanted to have her committed again. (Janet does seem to have an awful lot of commitment issues, doesn’t she?) The question remains, how did she do it?
Janet certainly seems to be well read. Perhaps she read Roald Dahl’s story, Lamb to The Slaughter. That story was published in Harper’s in 1953 and later was an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Mary Maloney is the story’s protagonist. A pregnant Mary is very unhappy to learn that her husband plans on leaving her. So unhappy that she takes a frozen leg of lamb and knocks him on the head, killing him. Clever girl that she is, Mary then roasts the leg of lamb and serves it to the detectives investigating the murder. I can see Janet doing that. It is easy for me to picture because my mother often used that story as a reference when planning to kill my father. She never actually did kill him, but like Janet, she was crazy. Sometimes it is a bit creepy to me how much Janet and my mother have in common.
Not creepy enough to get in the way of my worshipping Kate Collins. She is doing a great job of not crossing the thin line separating character from caricature. Yes, I mention her performance in every column but one day she will be gone. Then I won’t able to talk about her at all. The thought is enough to make me want to quicksand someone.
Now for the non-sequiturs portion of this week’s column:
How come Julia had to pass an exam before being reinstated as nurse, while Josh, who has been out of medical school for years and years can start as an intern tomorrow? Could it be because he is a Martin?
Erica’s hospital room was bigger than my first two apartments in NYC. Put together.
I almost always get the chills when watching Kendall. Not because of the story or the acting but because she is quite often running around half-dressed in the Pennsylvania winter.
Zach had me at “I’m sorry son.”
Someone, perhaps Myrtle, should explain to Kendall that death trumps a broken heart every time. For at least three weeks, then it would be OK to beat on Zach.
Did anyone bother to inform Simone’s father that his almost-son-in-law was dead?
“What part of the concept of truth serum don’t you understand?” I love David, even though I did laugh the second time Janet conked him on his head.
“Put me away before I torture anyone.” Babe shouldn’t that sentence have been, “Put me away before I torture anyone else”?
“A short time ago we came..” I do not know how Adam finished that sentence to Krystal because I was laughing too hard. (Yes, sometimes I behave like a 12 year old boy, is there anything wrong with that?)
And yes I did laugh even more when JR said, referring to Babe, “I’ve never been sucked in … by that beautiful mouth.” Then why, JR, were you so eager to remarry her?
Kendall’s and Ryan’s kiss made me almost as sick as the thought of Jonathan “teaching” Lily about sex.
I enjoy Spotted Dick, I really do. Yet his delivery of the Jonathan as innocent victim speech sounded like a child being forced by his mother to say something he doesn’t believe.
Let me see if I have got this straight: Joe is adamant that the truth be told because Josh deserves to know who he is. Yet it is was OK when Little Adam was never ever going to know that JR is his father. Wait, I have straightened this out, it’s because Martin = Righteous and Chandler = Evil, isn’t it?
Amanda did not even get the chance to turn the other cheek before Simone slapped that one, too.
“not that much older, honey.” When Zach said that to Dixie I loved him even more.
You would think Kendall would be a little angry with Ryan considering she had to move most of her clothes out of her apartment so he could move his vast array of clown noses in.
“Maybe I could lie” I guess Lily’s life skills class has yet to teach Lily that if a relationship makes you lie, it’s probably not a relationship worth having.
I enjoy Olivia, I really do, but I wish she had something to do besides being everyone’s confessor and therapist.
Babe is an idiot. If she wants to pray, fine, but couldn’t it have waited til she and her son made their escape? Furthermore, you do not drop your child out the window and then take time to straighten the room before following him. I half expected Babe to find a Swiffer and start dusting.
I now know how to secure my fortune. I am moving to PV and becoming a really lousy person. Then eventually someone will give me large amounts of stock in a really successful company. Hey, it beats actually working for what you have. Just ask Babe and Ryan.
In his afterlife, I hope Ethan stops by Hell for a brief visit with his grandfather. He can then see that Cambias-the-Senior was not the sweet kindly old man that Ethan believed him to be.
Let me see if I have got this straight: there was nothing wrong with Krystal holding a gun on Adam but it was all kinds of wrong for JR to hold a gun on Krystal. Wait, I have straightened this out, it’s because Carey= Righteous and Chandler = Evil isn’t it?
I loved Simone’s funeral dress almost as much as I loved her Gala dress. It conveyed a tragic romanticism that fit the mood perfectly. Where does this girl shop?
“We defined ourselves by our actions.” How could Ryan try and make that sound like a good thing? After all, he was talking about himself and Ethan.
Watching Kendall trash Zach’s condo I was reminded of Ryan trashing the hotel room. I think Child Protective Services should take custody of their son the minute he is born.
I don’t blame Jack for showing signs of PRIMAL FEAR during Jonathan’s visit.
Does the thought of next week’s spoilers make you feel fearful or not? Maybe if we read them together it won’t be so scary.
How long does Lil’A’s mother remain a Babe in the Woods?
JR is finally convinced that Janet has both Babe and their son. He tells his security team not to hurt Babe.
I do not like it when JR makes it difficult to like him.
Jamie reassures JR that Amanda is really on their side.
“You want proof JR? Just look. See? Amanda is wearing her “I am on your side” panties.”
Amanda remembers something about Trevor having a cabin near Pine Valley. In order to jog her memory, she agrees to have David drug her.
I am feeling really left out because I seem to be the only person who doesn’t own a cabin near Pine Valley.
Jamie comforts JR when he falls apart.
Want to start a pool on how long this brotherly reunion lasts? If it lasts until the end of the episode I will be amazed.
Meanwhile Dixie seeks Zach out to treat her gunshot wound. Then she and Zach head out to track down Janet.
She may be a bitch but she’s a tough, clever bitch. She got down the mountain, looked up Zach’s address, found him and all without anyone seeing her. Or following her trail of blood.
Dixie finds that kismet can be a bitch when she almost runs into Tad.
The thing I like about kismet is that she is a bitch with a sense of humor. Kind of like me.
Tad and David encounter each other at the well where Janet hid Natalie. Turns out they disagree about which one of them is responsible for Dixie leaving town.
The fact that Dixie turned to David for help in her hour of need tilts the scales towards Tad, doesn’t it?
Zach averts a bad situation by helping Dixie hide from Tad.
Am I the only one who hopes Zach throws Dixie down the well?
Meanwhile at the cabin:
Janet explains why she killed Trevor.
“He always did like Nattie best.”
Babe tries to convince Janet to accept her as her new daughter.
OK, Janet has done some really horrible things. Maybe she deserves prison. Maybe she deserves to be locked away in a mental hospital. But no way in hell does Janet deserve Babe as a daughter, real or fake.
Janet decides she will be Little A’s new mother.
Sure at first glance it seems like a bad idea, but think of all the cool Halloween costumes Janet will make him.
Babe disagrees with Janet’s new plan. Janet then clobbers Babe and puts her in the freezer.
So much for Janet’s insanity plea, that action seems perfectly rational to me.
JR, Jamie, Tad, Spotted Dick, David, Adam, Derek, and Krytal arrive at the cabin.
Well as long as the whole town is going, what about Myrtle, Winifred and Alfred Vanderpool ?
Brooke drives Amanda up to the cabin.
On the way will she try to distract Amanda by telling her how Janet once became a redhead in order to steal Brooke’s life? Maybe that’s not such a good idea after all.
Amanda tries to convince her mother to let them know where Babe is. Just before she completely breaks down, Janet says that Babe is in the freezer.
“Babe’s between the ice cream and Trevor.”
Babe is rushed to the hospital where, like it or not, she recovers. JR immediately proposes.
Hopefully Babe will do something stupid to make him rescind the proposal.
Amanda is overwhelmed at the news of her father’s death.
I wonder if anyone thinks to call Tim, so he can be overwhelmed by his father’s death, too.
Over at Zach’s place:
Dixie tries to talk Zach out of shooting himself. He replies that he doesn’t deserve to live. Dixie decides to try and save Zach from himself.
Isn’t that what she tried to do for Tad? Save him from himself? And we see how well that turned out.
Dixie decides not to let her family know she is alive. Zach reassures her that he has plenty of experience with people who are pretending to be dead. Zach watches Dixie while she sleeps.
And then he discovers Dixie isn’t perfect, she snores.
Other stuff happens, too:
Krystal finally admits that she tricked Adam into marrying her.
I hate that she tricked Adam into doing anything. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
Adam surprises Krystal by saying he wants to stay married because he loves her.
I sure could use a drink right about now. I wonder if they have any of their wedding moonshine left.
Up in the tree house, Lily agrees to marry Jonathan. Jonathan is wondering if she is telling him the truth about why she wants them to be married.
Well, Jonathan, that’s what happens when you teach a girl to lie.
Erica remains determined to get Josh out of Pine Valley.
Do you think telling Josh to visit his father in San Francisco might tip him off that something is not quite right?
Kendall and Ryan think about trying yet again to be together as a couple.
This time however, they decide to move slowly. Yep, they decide to take it one clown nose at a time.
Kate's Archives For This Column for 2006