Two different worlds we live in two
Song lyrics by Don
I am not talking about Carlos and Greenlee.
Or Simone and Lena. I am talking about watching AMC these days. I feel
like I am viewing, if not living, in two different worlds. I will be
enjoying All My Children telling me interesting stories filled with
wonderful performances. Suddenly my screen will be filled with women, who
used to be smart, giggling about being in heat 24/7. To add insult to
injury, these women must interrupt their dialogue on a regular basis to
give infomercials about voting in the Sleaziest, oops, I mean,
Sexiest Man in America contest.
How is this possible? My theory is that the
enjoyable AMC is being written by Megan McTavish and a staff of
professional writers. The sophomoric and puerile AMC is being written by
marketing interns at ABC. Interns who have no clue what it is women really
What this woman wants is what I got this
past Friday-drama, humor, family, friends, happiness, pain, and surprise.
Good dialogue and good performances.
Last fall, when Mary Smythe left the
Valley, she left behind many unanswered questions. For one, does she have
constant headaches from that clanging jewelry? And for another, exactly
what was her relationship with Jackson? The first answer remains a
mystery. We know the second answer now. They were young, in love and she
was soon pregnant. Mary then made the ill-fated decision to marry faux
millionaire Roger Smythe. Don’t you just hate it when the pool boy turns
out to be the real millionaire?
And what better place to reveal Greenlee’s
true parentage than at Jackson’s and Erica’s wedding? Everyone in town was
there, so it saves Jackson having to buy “ happy new addition to the
It was kind of a bummer day for Erica, what
with having her blackmail scheme revealed. Sort of took the starch out of
the ruffles down her dress, didn’t it?
It is hard for me to feel sorry for Erica
though. Why? Because in Mary, Erica finally has a worthy opponent. A
challenged Erica is always a much more interesting Erica. Mary is a
self-serving bitch, but Anna Stuart makes her a compelling self-serving
bitch. I hope she stays around for a long time. After all, Adam needs a
It was impossible not to feel sorry
for Greenlee. She has had an awful year. Her father was killed at her
wedding, her beloved Leo was murdered by his mother, her brother-in-law
hit on her and she was trapped overnight in Laceys with Carlos.
And yet she had the backbone to get out of
bed and start a cosmetics company.
And now she discovers that the very flawed
Roger was not her biological father. The not-nearly-as-flawed Jackson
Montgomery is. That her childhood could have been completely different,
maybe even happy, had Mary found the courage to tell the truth.
And that once Mary decided to tell the
truth, Erica blackmailed her into keeping silent. And finally, the pain of
discovering her best friend Kendall knew the truth but kept it from her.
No wonder she was furious. I loved the
scenes where tiny Greenlee commanded the attention of the entire room. Her
energy was so fierce they could only watch as she revealed the lie, piece
by piece. And later, at the cemetery, I confess to quicktears as she
vented her fury on Roger’s tombstone.
A stellar performance from Rebecca Budig
from beginning to end. It is good to see her getting well written material
Everyone gave good performances at the
non-wedding. From Jamie trying hard not to laugh out loud, to Tad
realizing he was going to have to answer for his part in the cover-up. The
clueless minister. A befuddled Reggie who nonetheless stood by his new
father. Poor Bianca who struggled so hard to keep it together for her
mother’s perfect day, only to have that day fall apart. Erica believing
that by sheer force of her will she could make all the “unpleasantness” go
away. And Jackson, who was compassionate, though confused, with Greenlee
throughout the whole debacle.
All in all, it was a perfect AMC day.
And this paternal reveal is not the only
compelling story. I have said before that I hate rape stories. I hate the
fact that Bianca was raped. I hate the fact that as the only lesbian lead
character in daytime, Bianca seems doomed to have a tragic life. Somehow I
don’t think this is what Agnes Nixon had in mind when she pushed ABC to
allow Bianca to be gay.
Bianca is not perfect. She is willful and
spoiled and quite often very much her mother’s daughter. I have enjoyed
the fact that in having Bianca be gay they did not also make her a saint.
But why is she so often the victim?
Eden Riegel has been riveting this past few
weeks. Especially in her scenes with Maggie. There was no noise in that
one scene except Bianca’s voice was very powerful. And Maggie repeating
the mantra, “It wasn’t your fault. You did nothing wrong.” Giving that
scene a full nine minutes without interruption heightened its weight.
Elizabeth Hendrickson was also wonderful in
those scenes. Just as with Rebecca Budig, it was good to see her finally
get some well-written believable material.
The best thing about all the Bianca/Maggie
scenes was the way they conveyed the power and strength that is the basis
of the best female friendships.
Which, unfortunately, leads to the
sophomoric portion of our program.
Fusion seemed like such a good idea. Women
working together creating something from nothing. Learning about
themselves and each other along the way. I like Greenlee, Kendall, and
Mia. Simone was becoming tolerable, even likable, to me. Then someone had
the bright idea that it was not enough to have Fusion be about sexy smart
women. It suddenly had to be about women who wanted sex, needed sex,
thought about nothing but sex. Someone confused women in their 20s with
boys in their teens.( I am not saying women do not think about sex. Women
think about sex a lot. We are however blessed with the ability to think of
other things as well, even while thinking about sex.) Then they threw
Carlos in the mix. Carlos, who isone of the most poorly conceived
characters in AMC history. (For my complete take on Carlos, see my
previous AMC column).
Fusion once seemed like a real contender in
the cosmetics industry. Now it seems like a joke. A bad joke. A bad joke
combined with a reality TV series. The actresses and we, as viewers,
All My Schmattes
Erica’s wedding turned out to be about as
far from heavenly as it could get. Several of the wedding outfits however,
clearly were inspired by the movie Far From Heaven. Opal’s mango
shantung shirtwaist dress over a tight skirt was pure 50s,as was her
starburst brooch. In the fifties it would have been called a brooch, not a
pin. Both Myrtle’s and Ruth’s suits were tailored very much on the suits
women wore shopping (!) or to church in the 50s. Anna’s sheath was very
vintage made modern by the strong cuff bracelet. In my next life I intend
to dress like the Devane sisters.
And the bridesmaid dresses were very
reminiscent of the Truman/Eisenhower era. How do I know this? Because,
with very slight modifications, Kendall was wearing the dress my mother
wore to marry my father. They were married at the Brookfield Country Club
in Clarence, New York in 1950. The taupey cafe au lait color, the lace,
the tight waist, the long sleeves, the skirt length were almost exact
duplicates. Bianca and Kendall looked exquisitely elegant.
I wish I could say the same about Erica.
She seemed to have wandered in from a different wedding. Bridesmaids’
dresses are usually evocative of the bride’s dress, but not in this case.
Perhaps if the bottom of Erica’s dress had been the same color as the
waist ribbons on her daughters’ dresses. Perhaps if the front of her dress
had the same lace instead of those floppy ruffles. (What is it with Erica
having things hanging off the front of her dress? I still cannot get that
black dress with the linguine hanging off the front out of my mind.)
Ah well, maybe at her next wedding to Jack
the outfits will be better coordinated.
I was disappointed in Brooke’s dress. It
would have been appropriate for a winter cocktail party, not an afternoon
At first I thought I did not like Joni’s
outfit. After thinking about it I realized she doing her best to look
sophisticated for her first Erica Kane wedding.
But what in the world possessed Jamie to
come dressed as Engelbert Humperdink?
A Few AMC
paternity revelation story is making me miss Roger even more than I
usually do. I can imagine him trying to work this to his own advantage,
perhaps even expecting some sort of financial compensation for all those
years he did duty as Greenlee’s father. And still there would be those
moments when he would truly regret that she was not his daughter.
How could there be an Erica Kane wedding
without Donald Steele?
is Mia involved in the humiliating Fusion bet? Didn’t Liza give her sister
a share of the company when Fusion first started?
Has someone locked Edmund and Maria in the
attic with Sammy?
is more fun now that he is not in every scene, every day.
And finally, does Liza really think playing
“cute” works for her?
As always, I look forward to hearing what
you think about our favorite show.
A Cynic Soaps Up - AMC - June 9, 2003
Kate's Emmy Wrap Up
AMC Spoilers and Commentary by Kate Brown
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