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Cameron Mathison
Love in the afternoon
For the Week of February 18, 2008
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Ryan's amnesia is apparently so severe that he is unable to remember anything except how much he loved Kendall in 2004.
"Hello? Can someone--ow! What the--?"

"Sorry, sorry about that. Not a lot of room in here."

"Who said...? Where are you?"

"Right over here."

"Where? I can't see anything."

"It's all right, Jonathan. Not many people come up to turn the lights on anymore."

"How do you know my name? Wait. Your voice, it's kind of familiar."

"Oh, well I'm... oh dear, I seem to have forgotten my name. No one has said it for so long that I--"

"Brooke? Brooke English?"

"Ah, that's it! Longtime no see, Jonathan. Not that I can see you now, but, you know what I mean."

"How did you... how did I...?"

"You know, I've asked myself those same questions. The last thing I remember is attending Simone and Erin's funeral, and then--poof! As for you, I'm not really sure. Jeff, do you know how Jonathan Lavery got trapped in here?"

"Honestly I have no idea. I don't even remember how I got caught in here. I was walking through PVH, and then--"

"Yeah, me too!"

"Who's that? Anita?"

"Hi, Jonathan. You're such a jerk, you know that?"

"What did I do?"

"You hit my friend Maggie!"

"That was so long ago. I'm changed. Reformed."

"Oh. Good for you."

"Thanks. So, Brooke--"

"Yes? Oh, how's Jamie doing?"

"Um, he's in Africa."

"Africa!"

"Yeah, with Jake."

"Oh. Well, I'm sure he'll do well out there. Dreadful hot. That's what I've heard, anyway. Whatever. So, Jonathan, what about you? How come you're here?"

"I'm not too sure. I was in Europe--well, that's where I'm supposed to be, I guess--and next thing I know, I wake up in here, and it's really dark. Where am I, anyway?"

"You should be the one to tell him, Jeff."

"Very well. Jonathan, this is my father's attic."

"Your father's... uh-oh. I've heard stories about this place. Is Bobby...?"

"Yep, he's in that trunk over there."

"Where?"

"I think you might be sitting on it, actually. Last time I saw it, it was.... Jonathan?"

"I think he fainted."

"Ha! What a wimp."

"Be quiet, Del. You're interrupting Lily's counting."

First on my long list of problems with Ryan's amnesia storyline is the absence of his only surviving sibling. Though it has been mentioned that Jonathan is traipsing around Europe, ostensibly on business for his brother's company, I am at a complete loss as to why he has been unable to make his way back to Pine Valley. Is this business trip so important that he can't come back to town even though his brother has been shot? Do All My Children's writers really expect the viewing audience to believe that such news wouldn't have reached Jonathan?

Who better to walk Ryan through the last four years of his life? He doesn't trust Zach or Annie, and can't talk to Kendall without drooling all over her designer boots, but "Hocket"? Yeah, I think Ryan would trust his little bro. Of course, it seems that no one has even told Ryan that his brother came to town, killed one of his good friends, tried to blow himself up and subsequently sent Ryan down the path of "I AM THAT MONSTER!" I'm sure Ryan would be very interested to hear about all of these events, but he's not. Why? Kendall.

Ryan's amnesia is apparently so severe that he is unable to remember anything except how much he loved Kendall in 2004. He looked at Emma as if she were some sort of slime-covered creature, but embraced Spike and instantly "felt a connection" with him. Why? Because he's Kendall's son. Kendall's--and his. Even when Annie told him that both of his children were conceived via artificial insemination, he didn't continue down that line of questioning because he was too busy fixating on Kendall. If someone told me that the sperm I donated approximately a decade ago impregnated two women that I know, I'd be more than a little curious.

It's actually a bit confusing to determine what Ryan does and does not know at this point. While visiting Greenlee in the hospital, Ryan was astonished to learn that they had been married. When Greenlee offered to fill Ryan in on their brief dabble in wedded bliss, Ryan sat down, the scene ended, and when we next saw them, Ryan said something to effect of, "Wow, all that?", thereby giving viewers the impression that Greenlee had filled him in on a few critical things--such as his Fight Club stint, faking his death, running into Erin, finding an impaired Jonathan, Greenlee leaving town due to the insemination fiasco.

Maybe she brought him up to speed, or maybe she didn't. It's hard to tell, and that's the writers' fault. Jonathan would have been integral in Greenlee's recounting of events, yet no mention of him has been made. That's understandable, I guess. Ryan's too busy accusing Zach of stealing everything and everyone in his life to inquire about poor ol' Hocket.

In typical Ryan fashion, everything and everyone in the path of his latest objective is getting obliterated. You may be content to wallow in denial, Ryan, but the fact is, it's not 2004; it's 2008. Suck it up and get to know your wife and family.

Seeing Red

Good thing Lily's trapped in the attic during Fusion and Campbell's bash. The stage, dresses, and flowers would be enough to render the poor girl catatonic.

I have high expectations for the events I predict will transpire amid bowls of chunky vegetable soup. Large town gatherings always make for interesting scenes, and Fusion's bash looks to be no different. The Pine Valley Welcome Mattress's (some of you may know her as Kendall) pregnancy drama is at an all-time high; Jack and Erica shared a "doozy" of a kiss on Friday, 2/15; Tad and Krystal were actually viewable in their attempt to reunite Jess and Angie; Babe is, as usual, ready to use her body to get what she wants; and Senator Woods has conveniently decided to make an appearance.

I'm looking forward to the triangle involving Jack, Erica, and Sam Woods. It's too convenient that the good senator's arrival in Pine Valley just happens to coincide with La Kane's assets being frozen colder than an ABC Daytime firing (zing!), and senator Woods just happens to be a shark when it comes to going after celebrities he believes are up to no good with their finances. Having Jack and Erica reunite to wage war against Samuel would be excellent, and it certainly looks as if the Powers That Be are headed in that direction.

Speaking of Samuel Woods, where's Dre? Did Colby forget that the poor kid is hiding in her house? Or, maybe the Chandler mansion's tunnels lead directly into the Martin's attic. That would explain it.

Brains Over Brawn? Beauty Over Brains? In Babe's case, more like "[word that rhymes with "sass"] over class." The nerve of her expecting JR to donate his bone marrow to Richie could be considered incredulous, but then again, this is the same brainless vixen who used her body to get through high school.

Since Amanda Baker took over the role of Babe Carey in October of 2007, I've come to tolerate the character a bit more. Baker has done her best to play the character a bit more intelligently, lending a bit of brains to Babe's beauty. It's disconcerting not because I don't expect such behavior from Babe, but rather because Baker's portrayal leads me to believe that the charcter is somewhat smarter than she used to be.

Unfortunately, schemes like this latest one have reminded me that no matter who plays the character, Babe Carey never be anything but white trash.

All Aboard!

I didn't watch All My Children in the early 1980s. Had I been old enough (or even in existence prior to 1982), I would have tuned in for no other reason than the magic that is Jesse and Angie. Their story is incredible, and I was grinning from when they finally laid eyes on each other at the train station. The arrangement was perfect save for the train going in reverse. Didn't make much sense, but then, this was a classic Friday cliffhanger, and it was more important for the writers to focus on Jesse and Angie's first real meeting in almost twenty years than a magical train. We'll give the Brown and Esensten regime a chance to explain that on Monday.

In the meantime: well done. The scene was fantastic, and I can't wait until Monday. In thinking about the magic of Jesse and Angie's story, I've noticed a flaw that often rears its ugly head in daytime: one storyline gets so much special attention from the writers that the others either pale in comparison, or are poorly written. Every event leading up to Jesse stepping through the steam at the train station to the disbelief of a wide-eyed, slack-jawed Angie was beautiful, and the culmination of that build-up paid off in one of the most memorable reunions I have ever seen.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Ryan's current bout of amnesia. How can J&A's story be so fabulous, so compelling, and this other storyline be such rubbish? Much like the tendency to focus on only a handful of cast members at a time, AMC's writers seem to give one storyline all their attention to the point of utter distraction when it comes to all others. I've said it before, and I'll inevitably say it again: ABC Daytime, All My Children has one of the most talented rosters ever assembled. Use them.

Now You See Me...

I hereby willingly add my praises of Debbi Morgan to her ever-growing legion of fans, but I want to call attention to Darnell Williams' performance as well. For twenty years, Jesse had played dead for the sake of his family's safety. He tells himself over and over that being seen will be a mistake, so he fights to keep hidden--and yet, I sense that Jesse does want to be seen. Proof of this comes from taking the risk to come and see Frankie, only to be spotted by his good friend Thaddeus. Jesse made a clean getaway, yet freely stepped into view in the parking garage. Something made that train turn around, and I'll bet any amount of money that Jesse was somehow responsible.

Darnell made me believe that no matter the danger, he could not go a single moment longer without seeing the love of his life. The subtlety of Darnell Williams is one of many vital acting traits that AMC has been missing lately. Thank you, Mr. Williams. And thank you, Jesse and Angie -- "Love in the Afternoon" has finally returned.


-- David




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