Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Commentary: The Big Reveal

This could be considered a spoiler if you haven't watched Friday or Monday's shows yet. So read no further. Then again, I would say that pretty much everyone had figured out who the real killer was way before this. This big shock, so so not. This intrigue and declarations of "forget what you think you know" nonsense was all just talk. It wasn't shocking in the least after six months of waiting. Back in July or even August, I think it would have been a much bigger shock.

Why do I think so? Because soaps need to be different now because fans are different now. What I mean is, in the age of the internet, 6 month murder mysteries just can't hold people's interest anymore. You've got spoilers, rumors, speculations, and constant discussion about who, what, where, why, when and how. Attention spans are shorter, so must storylines be.

That said, I happen to enjoy long stories. I like things that aren't resolved in a short time. I like slow build. But hey, I'm old school and my kind are few and far between anymore. Today we see soaps getting canceled. We see shows playing hardball with their stars to get them to take pay cuts because soaps are trying to survive. We see rich history go by the wayside because history doesn't sell. Or so that's the theory. But I ask AMC fans this... would you rather be shocked by a reveal, or have an interesting story for an historic returning character... say Brooke for example? Now I'm not saying Brooke is returning, I only wish she was! What I'm saying is, a character such as her, with a rich history, in a storyline worthy of her can go for months and keep people's interest, if done right. She has so much back story that there is so much to cover.

You can argue that is what AMC did with Adam. An historic character in a months and months long story. But no. I don't really see it that way. It was Kendall's story. It was Annie's story. It was Emma's story. It wasn't Stuart's. It wasn't Adam's. Adam's history wasn't drawn on hardly at all. Or at all?

I know I'm fighting a losing battle. I want soaps, especially mine, to succeed and flourish once again. I want compelling stories that make sense and aren't full of holes. I want romance and love in the afternoon. I want the social issues that are broached to be true parts of storylines. I want lavish parties and weddings. I want history to be a part of the show always. Anymore it's about finding new viewers and long time viewers suffer. When long time viewers leave, the soaps are done for. They cannot survive without us. When are they going to realize that?

I read so much angst and so much negativity. And yes, I post negativity too. Frustration does that to a person. But the bottom line is that I want to AMC to succeed and stay on the air. In order to do that more has to change than just their location. Writing has to improve greatly. Shock value has to stop. It's fleeting. What was gained by having an event so historic as the first lesbian wedding on daytime only to cheapen it with one of the women kissing a man and having that wedding be annulled the next day? What has been gained by making Adam the killer of his own beloved brother? There's still time to prove to us long time fans that something can be gained with this. Give David Canary the best material of his life. Take Adam on a journey of self discovery but make sure you keep the edge that we've come to love about Adam. Do you think you can do that? If you can't, then you need to find someone who can. Mr. Pratt, prove me wrong about you. Prove to me that you aren't out to destroy my beloved AMC. Prove to me that you can turn things around and make this show shine again. Pay attention to history. Pay attention to consistency. I'm out on a limb here giving you a chance to turn things around and make right some of the terrible atrocities you've made wrong. I'm giving you a chance a lot of fellow AMC fans wouldn't give you. Don't make me regret it.


Patricia said...

Unfortunately, it's too late for me. Although I still follow AMC on the internet, I stopped watching when it was revealed that Tad sealed Dr. Maddon in the coffin and tortured him. Having my Tad turn into a cold blooded killer was bad enough, but I knew he wouldn't/couldn't be punished. It was too much

Anonymous said...

Kathy if I could kiss you I would. This is so well written and so on point. Pratt needs to be let go and not go West with this show. He has lost all the history and continuity that AMC has had throughout the years. I've watched this from almost the very beginning and it is a soap that I hardly recognize any more. I bear with this soap just because of habit. If it continues, I feel Pratt is going to kill it. Sad sad sad :)

wildwinder said...

Kathy - I couldn't agree with your words more. Thanks for putting it all down so succinctly.

Kathy said...

Patricia, I actually had mentioned that in this blog but ended up deleting it since I was addressing Mr. Pratt. That horrible atrocity was the doing of McTavish.

Thom... thank you, for the kiss and the comments :)

Wildwinder, as always, appreciate your kind words and knew you'd appreciate the Brooke mention :)

Pratt Falls said...

Amen, Sister!! We totally agree with you.

Peaceole said...

Kathy - very well written and I totally agree. The history of the show is no longer something that holds the stories and people together. First you ease out Brooke ( as you so well pointed), then you ease our Dr Martin. I mean come on Joe Martin one of the founding members of Pine Valley. We no longer see or hear of Palmer but I understand his health is hurting but if his health was not an issue would he be around - I think not. The who killed Stuart story got old for me at least 2months ago. I am happy that they brought Jessie back however the Jessie I remember would never had lost his integrity as easy as this Jessie did. His character's values were all lost if you ask me. Then there is Tad ..oh Tad the Cad..how can we ever forget...Who is this guy there now?

Ok I am going to go off my soap box but gosh bring back some of the veterans.

Jane said...

Again, I see that you and I think very much alike when it comes to AMC. One positive thing about the way Pratt has written this is that now "Crazy Annie" has become a martyr for the cause that is Adam. But, honestly - Adam was being drugged. So he wouldn't be convicted. DAVID on the other hand, could go down for a crime. And if Adam got mad enough, David would. So now it will be interesting to see, "Exactly what will Adam become when he realizes (1) he killed Stuart, and (2) the cause of his actions is David Hayward." I think this sets up a really interesting situation. The question is, "Did Pratt think THAT FAR ahead?"

Sylvia A. said...

Bravo, Kathy, for stating what so many of us feel so eloquently. Goodness, if the "telenovelas" (?spelling) can have 13 week story arcs and be popular, why can't AMC and the other daytime dramas? That was one of the things I enjoyed about the late "Port Charles" -- some of the story lines might have been a bit out there (except for vampire lovers like me) but they wrapped things up in cycles and things moved along much more rapidly.

Guess Pratt is both deaf and dumb.

soapfanccb said...

Patricia, funny you say that, I stopped watching for a bit after that too, but somehow got sucked back in. BUT this latest silly reveal might have me back off for a bit again. I'm really looking forward to meeting some of the stars on soap cruise this year!! www.soapcruise.com

macjock said...

Hi Kathy,

What a well-written editorial you have penned! You are right on on so many points. I too, like the long story arc (OK, maybe not SIX months), but when we were treated to meaningless drivel for dialogue for WEEKS between Annie and Ryan or Erica and Ryan, or NO dialogue with Colby and Pete, or the countless other characters who have talked for a year, but said nothing new, I knew this was the beginning of the end. How many more times can we hear Annie whine? Erica has been dull too, without a Barbara or Brooke to snipe at. And Tad--puh-lease. He should be the head of the Martin clan, as Joe once was. He is a buffoon without a clue now. He used to have the cleverest and wittiest dialogue. Now he has weekly repeat conversations with Crystal.

Remember when Erica's brother Mark was an addict? Remember how we got to know the mystery of Stuart in the first place (lurking in the secret tunnels)? Now, just about everyone in PV can hide there for days or weeks, with nary a suspicion. Remember the torrid love affairs with Jeremy and Erica and Natalie? Where is Fusion? Missed young summer love stories with Pete, or Shaun and Colby or that hot looker of a daughter of Adam's former maid (name)? Something to rival Greg and Jenny? How about the complicated relationship with Palmer and Daisy, or Palmer and Nina and Cliff? How about Nina's mother, Myra, the maid? And Nina's son, Bobby?

Did we need to hear from Alexander Cambias (yawn) to create a further "mystery" that Dixie's killer is still out there? He could not have known about David drugging Adam, or that Emma would be there that night. Piece of crap.

There are so many more examples; your readers could come up with dozens. The problem is, as you stated, about short attention spans, among others, but there is one other one: nobody can WRITE a decent essay anymore, let alone pages of realistic dialogue. Not everything written has to smack of a Twitter entry. The writers have missed the boat by not putting Taylor and Jake together, as Harley and Gus were on GL. Now those two have chemistry! Today's writers wouldn't know how to develop a new character, or tap into an existing character's history, if their lives depended on it.

Has no one noticed that the rise in the so-called reality television movement is due, not only to the general increased voyeurism of the country, to be sure, but also due to the fact that writers simply can't write. Don't believe me? Just read your local newspaper. Pure drivel. It is a sign of this generation's focus. I do not know where that focus is, but I know that it is NOT on story telling. Unless and until they can learn to tell a decent story again, no soap character, and therefore no soap, has a chance for survival. As I had said in a previous post, I watched the writers ruin GL until it was unwatchable, even for me. Two years later, that Light went out forever. The move to California from New York will make no difference in the long run. Only better writing can save Pine Valley.

adac58 said...

Kathy you hit the nail right on the head AMC has the worst writing it has ever had and you think moving west is going to help no the writing and writers need to change. And on top of that your going to lose 2 incredible characters that make the show( thorston and alicia) how stupid is that. Where on earth did AMC find this writer in an alley way? I think someone at AMC better see the light before the lights go out!

happydove said...

I have loved this show for as long as it has been on the air, but for the past few years I have seen the writing and story lines fail. You and I agree about the way things are going and how the stories and characters are handled. I keep hoping against all hope that things will change and the characters I have come to know and love will once again shine with the wonderful love and drama that has made this the only soap for me. I won't call it a daytime drama because the writers have written all the drama out of it. A move to the coast had better include a writer transplant as well because otherwise it may be lights out for good. I feel that they are just cutting tooooooo many corners that could have made our beloved soap even stronger rather than just a pale immitation.

sandman said...

I gotta say that I was disappointed with Fridays episode .
We were promised a big reveal and all that happened was at the last minute was that Adam Remembered that he killed Stuart, which we all saw coming weeks ago.

Also with months of people accusing Annie of Stuarts death and saying how crazy she is and how they want to protect Emma ,how many criminal offences have they done themselves starting with kidnapping Annie and holding her prisoner and trying to interogate her into confessing to the murder to drugging Adam and then making him think that he's going crazy with the messages written in blood to playing recordings of Stuarts voice in order to get Adam to remember.
And how many times have Ryan,Zach and Erica try to trick Annie into confessing, oh my goddness I'm getting tired of that happening.
And of course of Kendal in the secret room being jealous of Liza being around Zach when she should more interested in proving her innocence.
How about the fact that Kendal ,Zach and Jessie ae breaking the law all kinds of ways just be keeping her out of prison and hidden dosen't anyone go to jail in Pine Valley anymore perhaps not if you're a friend of the Chief of Police which has made a mockery of the justice system there.
Commit a crime in Pine Valley, fine just use your get out of Jail free card and all will be forgiven.

I hope that whem Ryan,Zach and Erica realize that Adam killed Stuart that they should be ashamed at what they had done in their zeal to prove annie had done it and that they most likely destroyed Adam in the process.

ronmar6676 said...

As usual, my friend, absolutely BRILLIANT!!!!!!!! I am so glad we still have you, and that the jerks that be can't screw around woth the PVB!!!!! Love ya! Maggie