AMC Shines, Then FaltersBy Michael Karol Posted: Aug 17, 2010
I hate to say this about my favorite soap, but it's been hurtin' since Adam and Brooke left town. For the first five months of the year, as Lorraine Broderick supervised the show's scripts in between head writers, ALL MY CHILDREN rocked. The show did everything it was supposed to do: brought back Jack and Brooke; celebrated the soap's 40th anniversary in an interesting and moving way, bringing back Hayley, Mateo, Maria and others in the process; offered a touching memorial to the late James Mitchell (and his character, Palmer) which also opened the door to a new generation of Cortlandt/Chandler feuding; and on and on. For a long-time viewer (since 1982), it was heaven.
Since May, I'm starting to not recognize Pine Valley again. Where do I begin? I guess with the gal everyone loves to hate: Greenlee. I don't hate Greenlee. I just don't understand what the writers have done to her. I can see Greens being upset that she missed out on a year of her life, including a wedding that was a dream-come-true that didn't. I can't see how her character turned stone-cold, and became motivated solely by revenge, to the point where she partnered with David (literally; they married) when it was obvious her heart still belonged to Ryan. And not only that, she knew what David was, and participated in more than one scheme with him, the most heinous being the fudging of the Miranda Center books, blaming Erica, and tampering with Kane's plane. The latter alone is attempted murder. All to get Erica out of Fusion?
David's now threatening to expose Greenlee's role unless she stays with him. Ain't gonna happen. But in the process, I have lost interest in Greenlee. She was stubborn, selfish and, yes, bratty, when she was with Leo, but her need to be in love redeemed her; it made her vulnerable and likable. Plus, we had the added bonus of her constant, back-and-forth, friends-one-day/enemies-the-next relationship with Kendall. Greenlee's character has been totally decimated. Ryan had better hope he doesn't end up with Greenlee; who could believe a word out of her mouth anymore? What kind of loving relationship could she have, and with whom? Maybe the mirror. After all, it's all about Greenlee, right? Here's the only way I would accept her back on the canvas: if Aidan swept back into town and got her involved in, let's say, the search for someone importing blood diamonds into the Pine Valley area…and then got her involved with him. Which would also leave Ryan free to pursue Madison.
Finally, Jack and Erica belong together. They're one of two supercouples (the other is Angie and Jesse) that AMC has. And yet, now that Jack's been brought back, it seems it was solely to provide a love triangle with Caleb, of all people. Caleb was nothing less than abusive to Erica the entire time she was stuck in his cabin. Why on Earth would she be remotely interested in him, especially when she's engaged to the love of her life? She wouldn't be. Not to mention that Krystal has great chemistry with Caleb — and if that didn't work, there's always Opal, who's itching for a proper story.
I'll be watching closely the next few months. AMC's publicity machine, back in December/January and through April, talked incessantly about the show "getting back to its glory days," and for a while there, I actually believed it. It's not too late to save it from being derailed. All it takes is just what we heard when the show was trumpeting its return to greatness: back to basics, respect the canvas, do right by the characters. AMC: Just do it!