BUSTED: AMC DESTROYS ANNIE
When the character of Annie debuted on All My Children in 2006, she was a strong, independent woman, on the run with her daughter from an abusive pedophile husband. She was tough, yet likable. When her husband Terry was eventually killed, she was free to pursue a romantic relationship with her friend Ryan.
AMC was smart to take their time building the relationship between Ryan and Annie. They “met cute,” then became friends while he helped her prove Emma was really her biological daughter. Ryan also became fast friends with little Emma, adding another facet to that character’s ever changing stance on parenthood. It became inevitable Ryan and Annie would end up together when they discovered Ryan was Emma’s biological father (thanks to a sperm bank donation).
Their friendship, courtship and wedding were handled in a deliberate yet sweet manner, giving fans time to grow fond of the pairing. Annie was spunky and fun, and it was easy to see why Ryan fell for her. She helped bring him out of his self indulgent funk and put a smile on his face again. Even after Ryan’s “true-love” and ex-wife, Greenlee, came back to town (and interrupted Ryan and Annie’s nuptials no less), Ryan still professed his love and devotion to Annie.
For a time, Ryan even managed to stay friends with both women, while the women formed a tentative bond with each other through working together.
All of this domestic bliss shattered after Ryan was shot and lost his memory. This plot contrivance provided the writers an opportunity to destroy the character of Annie, and re-write history in the process. Suddenly, Ryan remembered his previous love for Greenlee, at the expense of his love for Annie. The writers are choosing to portray the story as if Ryan never loved Annie at all, which is a disservice to the fans who watched and rooted for their romance. We saw them fall in love, and now the show want us to believe their love never existed, and that Annie was just a temporary stand-in for Greenlee? I don’t buy it and regular viewers of AMC probably don’t either.
The writers weren’t content with solely reinterpreting Ryan and Annie’s love story, so they took it one step further and outright ruined the character of Annie while they were at it. Since her husband doesn’t remember loving her, Annie has turned into a raving psycho bitch, out to eliminate anyone in her way. She plotted to get pregnant with Ryan’s baby, never informing him that his vasectomy didn’t take; killed her own brother in cold blood because he was threatening to spill her secrets; staged a car crash to impede the murder investigation; and is now trying to kill Greenlee. Obviously, this is not the same Annie viewers have come to know and love over the last two years.
If the writers keep going down this path, there will be nothing left to do with Annie except ship her off to jail as punishment for her ever evolving crimes. It’s almost like the writers think having both Greenlee and Kendall on the canvas makes Annie expendable.
The way AMC is going, Annie will be obsolete before long, paving the way for a tired Ryan/Greenlee/Aidan triangle. They should come to their senses and give Annie a brain tumor that caused her to murder people, and she can be cured back into her original charming self. It wouldn’t be the first time AMC wrote this ridiculous reverse course (Ryan’s brother, Jonathan), but at least it would explain Annie’s out of left field behavior without sacrificing the integrity of the character too much.
BLISSFUL: JOHN AND BLAIR SIZZLE ON OLTL
One Life to Live might have a new super couple on its hands. However, John and Blair need to spend a lot more time talking (not about Todd), and a lot less time having sex, if they’re going to be a viable couple long term.
John and Blair were great together this summer when they searched for Blair’s pregnant runaway teenage daughter, Starr. John showed compassion to both Blair and Starr, and sensitivity to Starr’s predicament. He was a good sounding board for Blair as well as adept at running interference with her ex-husband and Starr’s father, Todd.
John and Blair and their portrayers, Michael Easton and Kassie DePaiva, are both sexy in their own right, but together they practically sizzle off the screen. OLTL would have been better off to let this chemistry smolder for a bit longer before igniting it. The best scenario would have had John and Blair longing for each other while considering their past romantic histories, causing them to become too afraid to act on their feelings. Neither has a great track record with the opposite sex, and that record is even more dismal when you factor in their predilection for one night stands.
However, OLTL has already allowed these characters to consummate their relationship, so now the writers must shift their focus to sustaining this relationship past casual sex. It’s invigorating for the character of Blair to attempt to move on from Todd with a decent guy who gets her. It’s imperative that John not just become another notch on Blair’s bed post in between reunions with Todd.
I hope the show allows John and Blair time to develop as a real couple before John discovers that his previous love, the presumed-dead Marty, is actually alive (and living with Todd no less). At the time of Marty’s death, John and Marty were still in the beginning of their relationship, so with any luck he won’t ditch Blair to pick up where he left off with Marty.
John and Blair can go the distance and it’s a welcome change of pace to see them smiling instead of glowering (John) and shrieking (Blair). John and Blair not only share chemistry, they bring out the best in each other. They are real friends with benefits, yet have the potential for so much more.
Easton and DePaiva look more energized and excited about this storyline then they have in a long time, and are doing some of their best work together. It’s enjoyable to watch actors when they look like they’re enjoying each other as well. It’s also fun to see Easton and DePaiva spar with new partners instead of the same faces all of the time.
These two characters both deserve a little happiness, so here’s hoping the writers permit them to find it with each other. The show has stumbled onto something with its pairing of these two. They should let this relationship run its course, and not have that course lead directly to Todd and Marty.
Lesleyann Coker is a reporter and monthly opinion columnist for Soapdom.com. She is also the co-author of Boob Tube, a forthcoming novel that goes behind the scenes of the soap opera industry. The book is available in ebook form at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3 . She was previously a reporter for Soap Opera Weekly Magazine.
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