June 5, 2006

“Well, slap me naked and call me Mama.”

                                  Arlene Vaughn

What a wonderful way to express total surprise; I used it myself during last Monday’s AMC. What caused such surprise? Jamie was the most interesting character in a scene. As if that were not enough to elicit surprise, Justin Bruening was the best actor in a scene.

Of course, I am referring to the Jamie/Julia beach scene. The last time I encountered such awkward passion was when I lost my virginity. At least I can claim inexperience as an excuse.

Let me be clear about something: I have nothing against an older woman/younger man pairing. My husband and I are proof that it happens in the real world; in fact I wish it happened more often in the soap world.

It was that, umm, how can I say this? Julia just came across as pathetic. Her attempts at being coyly kittenish were embarrassing. The last time a sex scene made me laugh that hard was during Body of Evidence. (Insomnia makes one do unbelievable things, such as watch Body of Evidence.)

Obviously, AMC does not know what to do with Julia. Bringing back a fan favorite only works if the return story is interesting. True, Noah’s widow slayed The Dragon, but did anyone really find that interesting?  Newer viewers had no idea who Noah was. Older viewers soon realized the best thing about Julia had been Noah.

This week it dawned on me: Julia has become Anita.  Like her sister, Julia chastises people by saying, “This is a hospital. We have lives to save blah de blah blah blah.”  Like her sister Anita, pair Julia with a man and he instantly becomes less desirable.  In addition, Julia’s lines seldom flow naturally. As an example I offer Julia’s delivery of the line “get your schwing on.” Yes, it was a poorly written line but the delivery made it even worse. Julia sounded like she had stayed up late reading The Oldsters Guide to Sounding Hip.

Julia and Jamie had a cute elevator scene a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it. I thought I might enjoy seeing them as a couple from time to time. The beach scene killed that notion.

Jamie can recover (insert erection joke here) from that. He is a member (insert another erection joke here) of two core families. (Yes, I persist in the delusion that the English family is still core.)  As Josh’s cousin he needs to be around for that reveal. Not only that, Justin Bruening’s acting seems to be actually improving. Marginally perhaps, but still improvement can be seen.  I expect soaps to hire inexperienced actors (they’re cheap). I have come to accept that most will not be as talented as a Josh Duhamel or an Amanda Seyfried. What I do reasonably expect is, after a period of time, to not cringe every time one of them is onscreen. I no longer cringe when Justin/Jamie is onscreen.

I do not think Julia can recover from Monday. There is no reason to save her. Julia has no real ties to the Valley, except for her involvement with the Maddening story.  Julia could kill Greg and be sent to prison. Or Greg could kill Julia and I would applaud. Or Julia could quietly disappear like Anita.  Anything that causes Julia to disappear is fine with me.

Back to sex.  The Erin/Aidan car sex scene was only marginally better than the Jamie/Julia beach sex scene. It’s a sad day when soap sex is so damn dull. If only the writers had stumbled across “erotic” while looking up “schwing” in the dictionary.

When they are done looking up words, perhaps they could take a few moments to revisit the baby-stealing story. Then maybe we wouldn’t be subject to nonsense like this:

“You’re a sick, sick man, JR. I have known that ever since you kept my baby from me.”

Bianca has every right to be furious with JR. His drunken stupidity almost killed Kendall and Spike. Bianca can slap him for that. She can curse him in both French and English. She can even give him a groin kick or two. She can get a restraining order.  She can key his Daimler.

However, what Bianca cannot do is blame JR for keeping Miranda from her. JR had no reason to believe Binks was telling the truth about Miranda being hers. After all, this was the same woman who had stolen the baby from the hospital nursery.  JR had every reason to believe that she was trying again to steal his daughter.  No wonder he shoved her when Bianca went for Miranda. Yes, he shoved her out of fear for his daughter but he did not push Bianca over the balcony.

Even more than that, Bianca cannot blame JR for keeping Miranda from her for a few days while he is standing next to the woman who kept her from Miranda for over a year.

Be warned, I am on a rampage now.

Someone really needs to remind Bianca that she manipulated JR into coming to Florida. Why did she manipulate him?? So she could help Babe steal Miranda for herself. That plan was only truncated because Babe found a baby she liked better, Little A.

I used to like Bianca a lot, then I sort of liked her, and now I pretty much cringe when she returns to PV. Frankly I am surprised Binks has not had “Babe est l’amour” tattooed on her forehead.

I am loath to admit this, but Maggie returning to PV would cause me less pain than Bianca’s returns do.

That makes me sad, because I like Eden Riegel.  She brings out the best in her fellow actors. She and Kendall are a perfect fit as lovers. Sorry, I meant as “sisters”, really I did. Eden plays Bianca as a very believable blend of Travis and Erica. It’s the writing for Bianca that makes me furious, not the acting.

Maybe throwing out some random AMC thoughts will help me calm down.

“Your mother’s going to love me all over again.” What’s next for David, humping Dixie’s leg?

I do not pretend to know the proper way to behave in every difficult situation. However, I am fairly certain that you never, ever tell a husband whose wife is near death that you are in love with his wife, too.

Lily and Jonathan could afford new clothes but not a pair of sunglasses or two for the wedding?

A fun part about being married is telling people how you met your spouse:

Lily :”When I first met Jonathan, I did not meet him exactly. It was more like watching him kill someone. I got to know him a lot better while he was holding me and my sisters hostage. I grew to love him when he taught me how to lie to my father”

Jonathan: “I first saw Lily when I looked up from bashing Edmund’s head. I got a better look at her when I was holding her hostage and tormenting her. I thought, “Gee, Lily’s pretty, too bad I might have to kill her. But now I am glad I didn’t. Have to kill her I mean.”

“Hi, honey.”  That line came closer to making me cry than anything else during this coma story.

Remind to never go to PVH for surgery. Maybe I’m picky but I really like my surgeons to close the incision as soon as the operation is finished.  Call me weird, but that’s just how I am.

“I hope their parents taught them manners.”

“I will not pretend that you know what you’re talking about.”

“…this holier than thou Martin stuff”

The more I know Greg the more I like him and the more I appreciate Ian Buchannan’s portrayal. It’s not just his droll deliver of lines. I also appreciate the way Greg’s mouth may smile, but his eyes never do.

Before leaving Maine I hope Tad and DixieBitch pick up a few lobsters for the Slaters.

Who knew Erica carried ponytail holders in her purse? I sure didn’t.

“Hose killer.” See, Aidan, agrees that sex with Erin just isn’t sexy.

“I want another thing.”  That line proves Miranda is a Kane through and through.

“He (Joe) takes the Hippocratic Oath seriously.”  The writers made a mistake. That line should have read, “He (Joe) takes the HippoCRITIC Oath seriously.”

Aidan calls his car “Norma.”  That endears him to me even more, maybe because my car also has a name (“Gina”).

“I’ll have what she’s having.”  Let me if I have this straight, on AMC sex is boring but C-sections are orgasmic? I was actually getting a little warm listening to Kendall in the OR.  I thought there was something wrong with me until I replayed the scenes several times. OK, maybe there is something wrong with me, but there is a hell of lot more wrong with whoever directed that scene.

Finally, my favorite scene this week:

Josh: Come on, Dad. I can smell it in the air -- fear and panic. That's not like you.

Greg: What you smell is stale air. Pine Valley has outlived its usefulness to me.

Josh:  Actually, Dad, what you now smell in the air is the burrito I had for lunch.

Greg: Oh, Joshua, how many times have I told you not to eat in the hospital cafeteria?

Well, that’s how the scene played in my head.  

And that’s all this Cynic has to say for now. 

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