‘All My Children’s Accidental Porn
Sometimes daytime budget cuts result in accidental hilarity. Once upon a time a lighting problem that resulted in an actor casting an unattractive shadow on the wall during a scene would mandate a reshoot. ‘All My Children’s‘ shooting schedule mandates that it use nearly every take where the actor gets says his or her lines properly. Unfortunately (or, fortunately if you are a fan of unintentional comedy), a scene of Alicia Minshew playing the hell out of Kendall’s grief over Zach’s (Thorsten Kaye) presumed death while holding a stuffed animal that made her shadow appear to, uh, have undergone the same gender transition that that Zarf (Jeffrey Carlson) did a few years ago.
Kendall’s phallic shadow made it onto ‘The Soup,’ which periodically mocks the soaps along with reality and talk shows. I doubt that most viewers noticed the gaffe while they were watching, but host Joel McHale credits the “sixth graders” on his staff for focusing in on it. Watch and laugh.
Thanksgiving in Port Charles
Thanksgiving is the reminder that ‘General Hospital’ can still create beautifully written and directed character driven episodes. It just chooses to believe that they are like cranberry sauce – something people are only interested in digesting at Thanksgiving.
It was amazing how much more enjoyable became simply by giving viewers a break from its most overexposed characters, Sonny (Maurice Benard), Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo), Carly (Laura Wright) and Jason (Steve Burton). All of the back burner got to come out and play.
Remember how it looked like Mac (John J. York) and Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) were headed for romance, after they spent last Thanksgiving together and all of Alexis’s daughters decided to set them up? The writers realized the two of them hadn’t shared a scene for months. (Hey, it’s not like Mac has any reason to consult a lawyer. Yes, his beloved niece facing the prospect of losing her job because the woman who slept with her husband has been setting her up to look crazy, but why seek an attorney’s counsel?) So Sam (Kelly Monaco), Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) and Maxie (Kristen Storms) made sure Mac showed up at Alexis’s house. It would be charming to see Alexis learn to appreciate a good man after spending years getting her heart broken by the bad boys. (Am I the only one who thinks it would be a cool twist if the Balkan turns out to be the man who impregnated Alexis when she was a teenager, AKA Sam’s long lost father?) The Cassadines are supposed to be of Eastern European descent.) So, of course we will only see this storyline on very special holiday episodes.
Even more shocking, much of the episode centered around the Quartermaines. It was a reminder that they are still the most interesting family on the show, even though their numbers have been depleted.
The family gathered for its traditional turkey day pizza, though for some reason the show did not include Monica (Leslie Charleson) or Brooklyn (Adrianne Leon). Perhaps on Christmas Eve we will get to see all of the Quartermaines in the same room together. I would think Edward has some strong opinions about Brooklyn becoming Nik’s (Tyler Christopher) so far platonic paid escort. But there was snark and love and everyone singing “We Gather Together.” There was even the first attempt at an explanation of why Edward wants to pay Maya (Annie Ilonzeh) and Ethan (Nathan Parsons) one million dollars to stay married for a year, even though he does not think con artist Ethan is anywhere good enough for his great-granddaughter.
Unfortunately, all we got was that the Edward thought Maya could change Ethan for the better if they spent more time together. There better be some sort of strategic reason for him to want them to be married. Perhaps Edward is launching a scheme to get corrupt Ethan into revealing information about Luke that he can use to blackmail him into staying away from his family forever. That’s all I can come up with, since Edward seemingly has no reason to want Ethan around.
As a longtime viewer, seeing Michael join the Quartermaines for the holiday, even if his motivation was to make sure that Lulu spent the day with Dante, was a payoff for longtime fans. The struggle between the Quartermaines and Sonny for custody of Michael drove story for years, only to be dropped now that Michael is old enough to make up his own mind about who he considers to be his family. Seeing them together made me wish that Michael had been released from prison into Edward and Monica’s custody, rather than Dante’s. They are his biological relatives and could presumably . It would have been a great twist, especially if Michael grew to love the family he never got a chance to know.
This is but one of the numerous interesting stories waiting to be told in Port Charles if the writers would just choose to focus on all of the characters on the canvas. If they would dare to attempt it, viewers would truly have a reason to give thanks.