For the week of September 10th

What a joy it was discovering that so many fellow AMC viewers love and miss Billy Clyde Tuggle. An unapologetic reprobate, Billy Clyde did what he wanted to do and damn the consequences. No one ever testified that “Billy Clyde is love” although he did have soft spots for wife Eh-stelle, daughter Emily Anne and his Dixiebird/belle. No one ever called Billy Clyde a “walking miracle” even though it was miraculous he was never beaten to death by a fellow pimp or stabbed in the night by one of his “employees.”  No one ever viewed Billy Clyde as their savior and if someone, like Emily Anne, did that delusion did not last for long. In retrospect it was wonderful that the writers never tried to redeem Billy Clyde by making him anyone’s hero. More importantly they never had otherwise sane people worshipping him and holding him up as an example others should emulate. Billy Clyde was a character we loved to hate and certainly not one we hated to watch.  Billy Clyde was not tainted by hypocrisy nor did any anvils fall trying to make viewers overlook his misdeeds. The writers never destroyed Billy Clyde by trying to change him from a sow’s ear into a silk purse and I appreciate that. (For the record I would like to state that I refuse to believe Billy Clyde is dead. In my fantasy world he and Roger Smythe are somewhere playing poker. Both are cheating.)

Over the past few years we have seen some of our favorite characters destroyed or nearly destroyed in favor of making a plot work.  For brevity’s sake I won’t list them here, we all know who they are.  We have also seen potentially interesting new characters destroyed by ignoring or worse yet, excusing their miserable deeds.  TPTB at AMC seem to think we are too stupid or too unsophisticated in our thinking to accept a leading character as someone we love to hate. They have underestimated us; just because they are not bright enough to create those characters does not mean we are not bright enough to accept them. I am not referring to the writers but to those at ABC who have no basic understanding of soaps but micromanage them anyway.

I just realized that in my head I am hearing this column in a New Orleans accent. Perhaps I had one too many Mimosas for breakfast.

A character can be changed in a way that is positive. Josh, for example, is transitioning from loathsome to likeable in an almost believable way. No anvils needed to fall, just a few changes in Josh’s environment and his reaction to those changes was all that was necessary.  Removing him from Babe’s orbit did wonders for him.  In addition, removing him from his father’s, Dr. Jeff “any married woman is fair game” Martin’s influence didn’t hurt, either. With those bad influences gone, Josh was able to move in a direction that was not merely positive but also more interesting.  Josh is developing a good relationship with Kendall and Zach. His devotion to Ian is a wonderful surprise. His apology to Julia seemed heartfelt.  It’s as if Josh realized he was a jerk and that he could choose to live his life differently. It also helps that Josh has been a bit back burnered; it makes his changes easier to accept because they are revealed to us a little at a time.  I will never forgive nor forget AMC’s rewriting of Erica’s abortion and its result, but not having it shoved in my face every day makes it easier to accept Josh as a character unto himself.

On the other hand, Ryan has passed the point where redemption would be possible or believable.  I mean seriously, would you want your daughter, sister or even a stranger married to him?  Would you want to work with him? Would you want him as a neighbor (oh, the shouting)?  A recent New Yorker cartoon shows a man shouting at a woman, “Go ahead. Blame the victimizer.” I thought that summed up a lot of why I don’t like Ryan.

I am concerned that Annie is about to be destroyed unnecessarily. Annie having a deaf father is interesting enough for now.  Why do they have to take Annie, one of the few adult behaving people in Pine Valley,  and have her be yet another character who might be nuts? Is Annie telling the truth, is she leaving out parts of her story, or is she AMC’s latest homage to The Bad Seed ?  Is Annie not being what she seems a way to banish her from the Valley, thus paving the way for the inevitable Ryan/Greens coupling? It would be better and more satisfying for Annie to leave Ryan of her own volition and move on to someone better. Let’s face it, finding someone better than Ryan wouldn’t be that difficult.

The current writers have said the SpikeIan saga is be an umbrella story that will change many characters’ lives. Does this mean everyone will be as they are now, huddled tightly together under the umbrella? I hope not because they need to people move away from the huddle (but not into insanity) fairly soon to keep viewers interested.

What else. What else.

Aidan talking about mercy sex had me saying “Mercy, Aidan, I beg you, please show me some mercy.”

“You reach for lipgloss and you get used gum.” Perhaps Fusion’s next product should have lipgloss at one end and a used gum container at the other. With Ava as the FACE OF FUSION they will sell millions, I tell you, millions!

“Your mother would be ashamed.” Well, what mother wouldn’t be ashamed to have Ryan as a son-in-law?

“Because we’re wrong and you’re right.” Yep, Zach, that about sums up marriage to a Kane woman.

“Ava is the reason Fusion has become a monster.” JR had that backwards. Fusion is the reason Ava has become a monster.

 “After everything you have taken from me.” Ryan, could you please give me give me an itemized list? I would like to know exactly what you believe Kendall took from you.

“Everyone in town looks at me and sees the angry maniac.” And the problem with this is what exactly?

“You’re a scammer. You got caught. End of story.”  Amanda summed it up completely without making JR feel eternally guilty. Good job Amanda.

“I was going to write you a fairytale.”  Another reason I don’t want Annie to be nuts is because I am enjoying her friendship with Zach. It’s a pleasant change having adults becoming friends without benefits.

“I don’t want you ever bad mouthing Greenlee again because right now you are just like her.” And you, Ryan, are just like your father. Just because you refuse to admit it doesn’t mean there isn’t an abuser hiding underneath your saint’s clothing.

“Ava’s not exactly a troll.” True enough, Amanda, but that doesn’t make her a supermodel, either.

“I’m not Ryan.”  Beautifully put, Zach, beautifully put.

“Who’s that guy with her?”

“Jonathan Lavery.”

“The murderer?”

And here you thought I was kidding about “FACE OF FUSION HAS SEX WITH SERIAL KILLER.”

“Because I killed her.” Years ago Ronnie and I were at a dinner party where the subject of mothers came up. One woman said, “I killed mine.”  Got to tell you, that’s a real conversation stopper.

“I’m being a complete bitch.”   Well what woman married to Ryan wouldn’t be?

“Let’s not dig that up again.” Oh, Zach, you little minx.

Greenlee finding Annie’s locket could not have been more contrived. Still, it could have been worse, she could have found Jonathan’s used condom instead.

Will this week’s spoilers have us begging for mercy or not? Let’s see:

The Comeback patrons stop and reflect when they realize it’s the anniversary of 9/11.

Remember what AMC did just after 9/ll happened?  There were flags everywhere. On character’s houses, through the windows at the Valley Inn. No one ever mentioned the flags, they were just there. It was subtle and realistic and moving. My only hope for this year’s remembrance is that Krystal plays a very minor part in the episode. (Yes, I realize this is a false hope.)

This week is a bit different for the Slaters. And by a “bit different” I mean the sad and upsetting things that happen this week is a bit different than the sad and upsetting things that happened last week.

Kendall thinks Spike cried out because his hearing has returned. She rushes him to the doctor. Not only does the doctor tell her that Spike remains deaf, but Spike stops breathing during the examination.

It’s probably too much to hope that Spike stopped breathing for a benign reason, like not caring for the doctor’s cologne.

It turns out that Spike stopped breathing because he had an allergic reaction to Dr. Don Rasputin Hilliard’s vitamins.

But they’re all natural! And organic!

Kendall feels understandably guilty about the vitamins. Erica tells Kendall that it was Greenlee who had Rasputin Hilliard contact her.

Erica proves once again that Hell hath no fury like a woman whose child and whose child’s child has been hurt.

Kendall confronts Greenlee and tells she is not going to waste any more energy on hating her.

Considering it’s Kendall and not Bianca, I doubt she will be testifying that “Greenlee is love” any time in the near future.

Kendall “kangaroos” Ian for the first time.

At last, at long last.

Like his wife, Zach decides he needs to concentrate on the truly important things, so he returns the Chandler McMansion to Adam. Adam continues with his plan to take back CE.

Of course he does, he’s Adam Chandler. If positions were reversed, Zach would do the very same thing.

Zach heads to the office to check on things. He finds Hannah waiting for him.

I liked Hannah up until the “you owe me a baby” scene. I want to like her again and hope she isn’t back in town to announce she’s pregnant with Zach’s baby or pregnant with a baby she’ll try to pass off as Zach’s or kidnaps Ian because he is Zach’s son.  I would much rather see her as Adam or Zach’s partner in corporate capers. 

It’s not all sunshine and fairytales for the Laverys, either.

Annie finds her locket in Greenlee’s purse.

It could have been worse, she could have found Jonathan’s used condom instead.

The locket finds its way to Aidan. Later Aidan is attacked and the mugger takes the locket.

With Annie’s brother in prison are we supposed to think Annie mugged Aidan?  That would be impressive because Aidan is one big serving of Spotted Dick.

Ryan heads to prison to serve a life sentence for being Ryan. If only. Ryan heads to the prison to see what’s what with Annie’s brother.

Because why should Ryan take his wife’s word for anything?

Dr. Hadley, the prison therapist, tells Ryan that Ritchie isn’t the crazy one in the family, Annie is.

I’m not quite willing to believe this for two reasons. One, I like Annie. Two, it’s not that difficult for an insane person to make it appear like another family member is the one who’s really nuts. At least based on my personal experience.

Ritchie warns Ryan about Annie.

“Be careful, Ryan, because if the writers do decide Annie is nuts, the viewers will be paying even more attention to her instead of to you.”

Other stuff happens, too.

JR offers Jonathan the opportunity to do business together. Jonathan declines the offer.

Oh boy, I cannot wait for Jonathan to act morally superior to JR, can you?

JR gives the tabloids an earful about Jonathan’s murderous, woman abusing past.

Another example of why it’s impossible for me to hate JR.

Ava is rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.

Will this be a regular emergency appendectomy or a Billy Clyde style emergency appendectomy?


Oh those AMC actors.

Alexa Havins’ Babe leaves AMC on October 8th.  Amanda Baker’s Babe first appears on AMC the same day.  The switch takes places during a Krystal/Babe scene. Krystal hugs Havens’ Babe and when the hug is over, it’s Baker’s Babe we see.

Wouldn’t it be more fun if we saw some guy hit the Pine Cone’s sheets with Havins’ Babe and then when the quickie is over he’s in bed with Baker’s Babe?

Here’s to another week in the Valley!

Kate's AMC Spoiler Archives For 2007

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Kate's AMC Spoiler Archives For 2006

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