SIMONE’S NOT ENOUGH FOR THIS SHOW
almost every major character on ALL MY CHILDREN. I don’t understand why
everybody hates or ignores supporting characters like Zach, or Simone. And
I really wish the stalemate aftermath of the baby-switching story would
move forward. For starters.
“Yeah, the odds have been against me a long time, I’m used to it.”
to Zach, AMC, 6/1/05
After the June 1st episode, I took ALL MY CHILDREN off my replay program. I may tune back in from time to time, but unless a miracle happens and this show returns to families, friendships and romance, instead of the focus on complete assholes in denial… forget it.
I’d just about had enough of Ryan acting like GENERAL HOSPITAL’S Sonny Corinthos, all tough, dark and dangerous – think Barney, the purple dinosaur in Michael Jackson’s music video, “Beat It,” and serious about kicking some ghetto-blaster’s ass – appropriating Jonathan’s tortured insanity when all evidence points to the sad, sorry contrary. Ryan’s quite normal, boringly, commonly so.
In a bizarre scene from outer limits, Ryan struts into Zach’s casino and challenges him to a … Black Jack game to prove his manhood. Boy, there’s only one man in that room and it ain’t your trifling ass. Zach toyed with Ryan, as a genius toys with a lobotomized mouse, fucking with his remaining two brain cells, pretending, IMHO, to share a common bond, that family curse, but really mocking the wannabe with innuendo way over Mr. Clueless Kiddo’s head. I almost puked when Ryan rode on Zach’s coolness by jumping on a comment about the odds, “Yeah, the odds have been against me a long time, I’m used to it.” I’m surprised Zach didn’t laugh the boy out of town. Those must be some goddamned stacked odds, to be born white, tall, built and handsome, to have inherited the good fortune of people and millions, not to mention the love of three beautiful women, all of them loaded. Ryan, I’m betting, doesn’t have a deep thought in that beefcake.
His conceited twit of a wife, Greenlee, just about worked my last nerve at the tail-end of Jackson and Erica’s wedding, after the happy couple left for their honeymoon. Picture this: Kendall just got dumped by the love of her life, Ethan, after she already married his father Zach, believing Ethan would never give up Cambias Industries for her, but he did, too late. She’s at the lowest point in her life when alleged best gal pal, with her bug eyes and her pursing, twitching lips, skips in to the hotel room, practically doing a fucking jig. Instead of sitting at the foot of Kendall’s hotel-room bed and quietly listening, maybe even embracing her with compassion, Greenlee starts strutting around bragging on her husband – Kendall’s ex-fiancé – Ryan, how great he is, what a perfect specimen of manhood she scored, Kendall should be more like Greenlee and aspire to her and Dynamite Kiddo’s grand romance.
Jeezuz Fucking Christ, will someone load the AK-47?!
At this point, 3/4ths of the female viewing audience is about ready to strangle Greenlee to death with her own 3rd grade ruffle party dress, not to mention blast the sanctimonious bitch out of the water with Ryan’s ultimate betrayal. I had to hand it to Kendall; the girl tried to refrain for longer than I would’ve.
Later, Greenlee went apeshit at the doctor who performed the vasectomy on Ryan, then Maria, treating them both as impediments to her fantasy fairy tale of a marriage with her idea of the perfect love god. In a fitting summation of all that Greenlee is, and that ain’t much, she archly informs Maria that if the good doctor can’t help her bring Ryan’s equipment back, thus giving Greens what she wants, that elusive happily ever after with her prince, then Maria should shut the fuck up and disappear, Maria is of no use to Greenlee.
That’s Greenlee in a nutshell. Greenlee’s about Greenlee, and about Ryan. You either worship at her and Ryan’s feet, or do everything you can to provide her and Ryan with Nirvana with which to lord over the lesser, single mortals.
Then I have to listen to Jamie throw Babe in everyone’s faces, using her as his champion, bait and blackmail. His asinine mantra is: If you don’t approve of Babe, you’re out of my life. Even Babe tried to get Jamie to give her up in order to give him a better life.
In another bizarre scene, Brooke shows up with JR of all people, hoping to talk Jamie into accepting the terms of Phoebe’s will, dump Babe and become a doctor.
There are several problems with this (repetitious) scenario:
Oh, right. Tad’s too busy abusing Di and anybody who gets in his way of the Dixie reveal. Maybe most of the town and most of the audience view Tad as this tragic hero, but I see him more as an abusive pig, as close to his biological father, Ray Gardner, as he can get, without the rape charge. If McTavish wanted to grab my attention, earn Michael E. Knight an Emmy and turn the town upside-down reasonably, she’d have the balls to acknowledge Tad’s physically abusive tendencies, and go all the way with them. Turn Tad into the living embodiment of what Ryan fears he’s become. Have Tad beat the shit out of David, rape Di, and torture Jamie with no remorse.
I mean, look at the guy, spitting, sniveling and snarling at Di even AFTER the poor girl collapses in a heap in JR’s arms. He still doesn’t believe she’s ill with fever and worse. Not even when two doctors, including Dr. Joe Martin, informs them at the hospital later that Di is indeed sick and could have a kidney infection, does Tad feel at all shitty for being shitty to Di. He’s too fixated on his precious Dixie’s resurrection.
I hope, for the sake of all that is holy and right with the world, that a) Cady McClain never reprises her role as Dixie on this godforsaken show, I’m sick of her coming and going and bragging about her free spirit, and b) Di turns out to be a long-lost cousin or some shit, because, for the record: I HATE DIXIE COONEY AND I ALWAYS WILL.
Dixie was, is and will forever be a sanctimonious, prissy, hypocritical, useless bitch who sorely needed a beating from Erica or Brooke. I cannot believe the revisionist history of these mental morons, going on as if Mother Teresa herself passed on in their midst. Dixie was about as much a saint as Maria is.
If you want more rationalized revisionist history, check back with Jamie and Babe. If these two want absolution for their crimes against the Kane family, they can start by acknowledging the truth of their shared history with JR. Babe was no babe in the woods. She was a slut who opened her legs for any guy in the vicinity. Nobody has explained yet, to my satisfaction, why the bimbo gave it up with JR at first sight, then turned around and gave Jamie’s cock a whirl. As JR continued to blindly fall deeper in love with his wife Babe, she screwed with Jamie by treating him like some guy who raped her coming back for seconds, not secretly the love of her life.
So it doesn’t surprise me that she told Amanda – and what a goddamned piece of work this psycho is, was she brought on just to visually fluff the male breeders in the audience? – that JR used her in the first place, never loving her, forcing her to take a blissful out with Jamie.
I hate these people. They take up most of the spotlight day in and day out, and I would like to know why.
And why Simone, Zach, David, Reggie, Lily and Sam can’t even buy a sidebar, when they’re far more interesting, complex and compassion-worthy.
Wait a minute. Lemme think. Greenlee’s probably going to steal Ryan’s frozen sperm from the fertility clinic and inject her vaginal canal with a few melted squirts, turkey baster in hand, while Di does turn into Dixie (or maybe her cousin when Cady McClain reprises Dixie herself), Krystal remains behind bars for the rest of our and our grandchildren’s lives, and Jamie and Babe are still on the roof fixing their rusted pipes.
Never mind. I know why.
I warned you guys Jennifer Bransford would kick major ass as Carly III within days. She’s more than the tough Sarah Brown and the volatile Tamara Braun facsimiles. She’s actually, toe-to-toe, Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) equal.
“When we were good— ”
“-we were the best.”
–Carly and Sonny, finishing each other’s sentences,
May 30/31, 2005
(I’ll also allow that Kirsten Storms [ex-Belle, DAYS OF OUR LIVES] has achieved the impossible, suddenly, easily slipping into the role of an engaging, gutsy Maxie, on the brink of life and death.)
She has done what predecessors Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun never could. Bransford has made me laugh with sudden shock until I’m dry-heaving yellow bile down my shirt, and made me cry with sudden abandon, as if struck from behind – without plot devices, shock value, stunt casting, on-location shoots or fancy designer frocks.
I knew her capable from her OLTL period as the seemingly nice Georgie, who went nuts over her boss’s husband and went fatal attraction on him. But I never knew her capable of topping two extremely popular actresses, both newcomers to the field.
Slowly, others have come around. There’s a building fan base for Jennifer Bransford that I daresay will surpass those of Brown’s and Braun’s. Well deserved.
Besides affecting comedy and drama with seamless aplomb, Bransford takes the new material, the insurmountable challenge of taking on a beloved role from an icon in a genre known for fierce unfailing loyalties, and the input from co-stars and the former Tamara Braun herself (via phone call), absorbing them all instantaneously, then fairly exudes an awe-inspiring masterpiece.
I’m not kidding.
Her scenes with Maurice Benard (Sonny) the week of May 30th were palpable, gripping, and most of all mature, Sonny and Alexis mature. Whoever wrote the dialogue as Sonny and Carly came to grips with the permanence of their relationship’s end knew just how to word their good-bye, spare, real, without a hint of pretense or supercouple affectation, and with an incredibly astute awareness bordering on clairvoyance of the innate essence of the two strong, powerful main characters.
Together with the actors Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Jennifer Bransford (Carly), the writers managed to give me two battle-weary warriors, emotionally ravaged souls, well-meaning parents and scarred human beings, resting their weapons for a moment, who spoke more with the force of their eye contact, react and response, than decades of flimsy excuses to put them in a room together.
The director wisely zoomed in on their faces, as I could literally see Benard fall apart helplessly in the helpless regard of his acting partner, as she exuded Carly deeper and better than anybody before her and anybody since.
This Carly doesn’t try to cry with her whining voice first. This Carly can’t fake desperate, lonely need and earned respect, devotion. It’s either there or it ain’t, and for Sonny, it oozed out of her pores.
Other actresses have claimed to release potent emotion against their wills based on Benard’s magnets for eyes before. But Bransford just did it, bullshit aside.
The best analogy for what Benard and Bransford succeeded in doing that day is in what a good choir does. A choir is not made up of outstanding singers, each vying for the attention by out-singing the other. It’s about each member blending their voices into one. As someone who sings for her community’s church, I know how it feels to piggyback my voice on top of or with a fellow soprano behind me, the goosebumps we all get when we hit that one key change, in perfect pitch, 60 people doing it together, not one giant clone but a living body of blended souls.
That’s what Benard and Bransford did with and for their characters. They took their individual characters and, for lack of a better term, made love without saying a word or touching.
I’d be surprised if they didn’t reflect back on that particular scene as the pivotal point in their characters’ on-screen relationship.
It was the first time, THE FIRST TIME, I saw these characters as real people, whose fragile and ferocious souls I could breathe in and feel, as textured as a piece of cloth against my skin.
Beyond ink and film.