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Many thanks to Kate Roach Brown for sharing her AMC thoughts with us last week. I very much look forward to reading her column here on "Soap Talk" every other week.
Recently on my own website, www.eyeonsoaps.com, we put the question out to our fans in an ongoing column called "The Great Debate," "What would you change about AMC?"
Not only was there a response tremendous from AMC fans who do so love their show and want things to be, well, "different" in some ways, but the question also spawned two guest columns from articulate viewers who had quite a bit to say on the subject. Rarely is there a fan in soap history who looks at their favorite show and thinks, "I wouldn't change a thing." One of the biggest challenges the movers and shakers of any soap opera face is the fact that not only can they not please everyone, they can't even really please one person completely.
We all have things we'd change about our shows and usually, in fact, a list of things we'd change. Depending on where in the cycling of new head writers, new executive producers, new recasts, new budgets and new actor schedules the show falls at any given time, that list might be longer or shorter.
One theme that emerged strongly in our debate is that in the shifts between head writers over the past few years, several plotlines have been left dangling and need to be resolved because, let's face it, "enquiring minds want to know." A few stories are left flopping around out here like fish out of water and, being the curious little mixes that we are, we want some answers!
Now, I was born at night, but I wasn't born last night, so I do truly understand that as new writers take over, some of the work of the previous regime is going to be deemed uninteresting or impractical by the new brooms that are sweeping clean. I am sure a lot of the stories that were left with huge, gaping holes of question are not even known by the incoming writers, having been lost to a few scenes that may have been swept under the rug in an effort to further the more major plotlines of the day.
Still, it doesn't stop me/us from wanting to know. I realize "real life" isn't that way. We don't always get the answers and things don't always tie up with a neat little bow before we move on to the next story. Still, this isn't real life this isn't "LOST" and I want to know! In the world of "tell me a story, Unca Brian Frons," I expect resolution!
What are my biggest questions and those of the people we questioned?
Where and who is Miguel? Do you remember Miguel? He is the heretofore unmentioned son of Adam Chandler who's very existance came up when JR needed a bone marrow donation. He was mentioned with a very poignant and heart-felt scene enacted by David Canary in which Adam relayed the story of his one night stand with Sonia Reyes which left her pregnant. He did not find out about the child until years later and by then, Sonia did not want him in Miguel's life. Adam had Tad track down Miguel, who agreed to be a donor but then he never showed up and no one ever followed up on it. Adam apparently shrugged it off and said, "Oh well!" and moved on. I didn't! There's story here! Maybe he's Juan Pablo! Maybe Sonia was the woman Adam stole away from Caleb! Do tell!
Hilary? Would Hilary have truly not shown up to take care of her kid and instead sent his abusive notfather? I can understand her not wanting contact with Tad, but just leaving her kid out there all willy-nilly untethered seems fully out of character. Is she actually remaining married to a man who has such disdain for her own son? Really?
AJ, formerly "Ace," formerly "Bess, formerly "Little A": Are we completely sure JR is the biological father of this Kid With A Hundred Names? Wasn't there a question of whether JR or Jamie was the father that was kind of swept under the rug when the whole baby switch thing happened? Refresh me, people. My head hurts. Get me a cold cloth, please.
Josh: Kendall knows that poor Josh died and she got his heart and the brother-sister connection was completed in ways most brothers and sisters never experience, but does she know how she got Josh's heart? Does she know that her husband looked him square in the eyes and shot him point blank *bang* in a place where the heart would be sure to be preserved? Did Kendall (or Bianca?) get that side of the story? Does Erica know? Does it in no way interfere with her relationship with Zach if she does?
Trey Kenyon/Ben Shepherd: What happened to one of the cutest boys ever to hit Pine Valley? He was sentenced to 3-5 years in prison seven years ago and has not been seen or heard about since then. Kendall is his sister and David is his brother. Wouldn't he manifest in some way?
Carmen: Where did she go? Did she and Jack ever break up or did Jack just let her fade away? She got one of the best lines in AMC history when she and Erica were on the run. Frustrated with Erica's slow progress in her high heels, Camen broke the heels off, leaving them as misshapened flats. Erica shrieked, "Those were Jimmy Choos!" and Carmen said simply, "Now they are just 'choos.'" Love it.
Heart Valve Doctor: Did the doctor who created the faulty heart valve that almost cost Ian Slater his life kill himself or was he murdered? Scott found the body hanging, but there was a specifically placed knock on the door just before Scott came in. Is this interesting at all? Tell me the story!
Annie's Family: Certainly Walter Novak has some reason for really hating Annie. Has she always been one to find perfectly legitimate reasons for killing off family members? Like maybe her mother? Who pushed Mr. Novak himself out of the window? What was with the damned nursery rhyme that used to make Annie go a little nuts? Who really killed the little girl, Annie or Richie? As far as I know, we only have Annie's word that Richie did it. Could she have set him up or have some kind of memory transference? Why doesn't Annie have asthma any more?
Dixie: Who gave her that Peg Bundy hair in the afterlife? As an official Southern Woman (must be capitalized), I can absolutely understand the allure of "big hair" and certainly, city girls all want it. Why in the world would they not? Perhaps this was Dixie's idea of Heaven was to finally have some big, raucous, homecoming queen hair. Perhaps she decided to go the distance and cover those unsightly grays up with some Outrageous Cherry mix she got from Hot Topic. In that case, I suspect that when I haunt my family at key points in their misguided little lives, I will sport perky breasts, a tight dancer's body and a kickin new wardrobe. Oh yes. There's that other question. Who killed her? Who was trying to kill Babe? Were they or was Dixie the actual target. Alexander Cambias bragged about his murders, but would not claim Dixie among his beautiful dead victims. So who dunnit? My money is on Babe herself, who knew the allure of banana pancakes and suspected Dixie would start mawing on them like a starved hound dog in a butcher's shop if she demurred. I mean really, what's not to love?
Are we supposed to believe that Tad, who knows that Dixie was not satinly slayed, has not going completely mad trying to find out who killed her? Do we really think he would just let that go? This is a man obsessed with a mystery and this woman was, arguably, the love of his life. Of all of the mysteries, this one needs most to be solved. (Plus the mystery of who would actually eat that Elvis-most-assuredly-drooled-over-it monstrosity up there).
Liza & Stuart: Has anyone noticed that Liza was never actually pregnant? If the world knows that Liza was pregnant and supposedly gave birth to Stuart, even pillow Stuart, doesn't anyone care that Stuart is now missing and the ragamuffin she housed for awhile apparently absconded with the baby/pillow that Liza birthed? I think Liza knows more than 4-5 people in Pine Valley, especially as a (*snort*) high powered lawyer. Speaking of Liza, she actually slapped Erica. Liza is still alive, has all of her hair and walks upright. How is that possible?
Papel: Is Robert Gardner/Papel still alive and in prison? Do Angie and Jesse worry about him escaping or being released?
Moneys - Lots of Moneys: When Emma was supposedly kidnapped and Greenlee put up the $8 million for ransom, what happened to the money? Wouldn't she kind of want that back?
Gabrielle: How drunk can you get a guy and what can you possibly say to convince him to give you his sperm to make a baby with his sister-in-law without telling his wife? Seriously, how in the world did THAT happen and who thought it was a great idea? Did anyone hazard the idea that, "Maybe we should bring Kendall into this little circle of friends decision and maybe if she's unavailable for that particular confab, perhaps we should postpone the baby making until she is?" Among those three great minds who took a champaigned evening straight iinto a specimen cup, did not one of them check themselves for a minute? Why were they so stunned when Kendall felt she should have have been consulted? Is righteous indignation truly theirs in this one?
Caleb: Where did this guy come from? Supposedly, Palmer - until this point - had one sister, Bess, and she had Will, Dixie and Lainie. Who is the other sibling who produced Caleb and where are they now? Did Bess have a secret child? Would Palmer, being a captain of industry as he was, actually leave his company in the hands of Erica, who knows nothing about electronics, rather than Nina, Ross or Petey, who also no nothing about electronics but might actually have a vested interest in the family business and its success?
David: Why is it that David is the immediately presumed caused for all the ills of Pine Valley when Zach, Tad, Joe, Jake, Erica, Annie, Madison, Kendall, Greenlee, Amanda, David, Ryan, Jesse, Frankie, Angie and pretty much everyone else in town have committed hard core felony crimes and never been punished, despite pretty much everyone knowing about it? I'd hazard a guess that Erica has committed twice as many crimes than David and yet no one ever thinks she's the one behind the bad things that happen in Pine Valley.
Natalia: Jessie said that he roamed the earth like Cain for a while before he met Rebecca Fowler and they had Natalia. So why is Natalia so close in age to Frankie? SORAS'ing, I know, but c'mon.
Mind you, as I mentioned, it takes a village. The readers on Eye on Soaps compiled this list of the haunting mysteries of Pine Valley and I was the one who said, "Hmmmm" and shared them with you here. Many thanks to Ahna, Reddi and the other EOS readers who took the time to share their thoughts in print so that I could pass them along to you.
This column is written by Katrina Rasbold or Kate Brown (depending on the week) from www.eyeonsoaps.com. The opinions expressed herein are solely their own and are not reflective of the opinions of the Official AMC Fan Club, Debbie Morris, All My Children, ABC, the Girl Scouts of America, the National Rifle Association or your local Rotary Club.
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