Commentary By Kate Brown
All My Children reminds me of a former boyfriend. Great foreplay with disappointing follow-through.
Recently, AMC has had stories which begin with great promise, only to let them peter out (pun may, or may not, be intentional).
Take David and Greenlee. I had longed for them to have a relationship ever since Leo died. Their chemistry had always been wonderful. Their mutual grief made it impossible to deny. Should they have gotten involved right away? Of course not. Even in Pine Valley that would have been unseemly.
So I waited. And waited. And waited. Vincent Irizarry left and returned. Rebecca Budig left and returned. It was a long wait.
My patience paid off. David and Greenlee married. Not for the most romantic of reasons but nonetheless they were married. Finally, David had a partner who understood him and loved him anyway. The same went for Greenlee. They didn’t love each other in quite the same way but strong marriages have been built on less.
The Smythe-Haywards were a force to be reckoned with. Pine Valley had been without a fun, devious couple for far too long. The Smythe-Haywards fit the bill perfectly.
Greens asked David for help in regaining control of Fusion and he was happy to comply. Sure, cooking the company’s books was illegal but it was fun watching them do it. Greenlee asked David to keep Erica away from PV and he did it. Sure, making a tiny adjustment to airplane’s engine wasn’t the best idea, but then Erica refusing to wait for a maintenance check and refusing to file a flight plan wasn’t all that bright, either.
Greenlee had no illusions about David. If she didn’t want the kind of help David was likely to give her, she shouldn’t have asked in the first place.
When Erica’s plane went down, Greenlee took no responsibility. She became just another one of David’s “innocent” victims.
What promised to be a great couple with the potential for lots of intriguing stories, ended moments after it began.
And for what? So Ryan and Greenlee could reunite for yet another doomed and boring go ‘round?
And to introduce Caleb, a remarkably uninteresting character ?
Let’s sigh for what might have been.
Now on to Annie and JR. Their sexual heat is palpable but that isn’t the only thing the relationship has going for it. A couple who starts out hating each other and then falls in love is a soap staple. What’s intriguing about Annie and JR is the reason they hated each other- when they looked at each other they each saw what they most hated about themselves. They are liars and manipulators. They lie and manipulate because they don’t know how else to get what they desperately want-to be recognized and appreciated for who they really are.
They are the perfect storm of coupledom. They love each other. They hate each other. Just a shared glance steams up the TV screen.
Sure, they’re doomed but why not let them run Pine Valley for awhile? Oh, how delightful that would be!
Instead, JR is inexplicably sniffing around Marissa. And Annie has been reduced to being the other woman.
And why? So JR can go back to trying to be good enough for a Carey? Or, so that Annie can go back to being crazy? Granted, Melissa Claire Egan is great at playing cray cray but she is equally as good at playing other things, too.
Let’s have another sigh for what might have been.
And then we have Kendall. It’s no secret that Kendall has annoyed me more often than not. Her whiny, obsessive behavior about Ryan and Greenlee shredded my last nerve.
I wasn’t looking forward to her Pine Valley return. Well, was I in for a surprise or what?
Sure, she started in with all her “Greenlee and Ryan are destined for each other, blah, blah,blah” crazy talk. Only this time she kept it in perspective. Kind of.
Then, sadly, Zach “died.” (Does anyone really believe he’s dead?) A miracle happened-Kendall grew up, almost overnight.
She had the bearing of a woman, not a girl. Her voice became stronger. The voice of a woman, not a girl. A woman slowly accepting that her life had changed in an unimaginable way. She was a widow with two young children. She was no longer the child who needed protecting, Spike and Ian were.
She made a clean and understandable break with Greenlee. A break that was long overdue. She no longer had the time or energy to micromanage Greenlee’s life.
It is odd to say but Zach’s death breathed new life into Kendall.
Kendall was determined to grieve in her own way and to take her time doing it.
Wouldn’t that have been wonderful? To see grief realistically portrayed? I was looking forward to it.
And then before I had time to settle in for some good story watching, Kendall came out of her “funk” and forgave Greenlee.
Why? I have no idea. Except that AMC is afraid of taking a bold course.
David and Greenlee together and making trouble for everyone? Bold.
Annie and JR being Pine Valley’s newest power couple? Bold.
Kendall’s story being told realistically? Bold.
Yet. AMC has not chosen to take a bold path with any of these stories.
As I said, AMC gives great foreplay but has really lousy follow-through.
On a brighter note, I was in South Carolina last month. I brought back something for those who love Jackson as much as I do:
Yep, it’s the town where the Montgomery boys were born and bred.
Turns out, according to my South Carolina born and bred husband, the Montgomery’s never pronounced their hometown’s name properly.
Proper pronunciation: ed-e-sto
Montgomery improper pronunciation: e-dee-sto
A small, but apparently important, difference.
Katrina will be back next week to give you her take on Pine Valley and its denizens.
Thank you for reading what I write.