A nice day for a white wedding?

tamara_eden_amc_102708_051Yes, there ARE other daytime storylines that were building to a payoff last week – other than the One I’ve Been Yapping About. 

And one of the most talked about stories was last week’s same-sex wedding between Reese (Tamara Braun) and Bianca (Eden Riegel) over at All My Children. 

I’m really happy AMC had this wedding, and it IS meaningful that these two women were able to marry (although that wedding wouldn’t be legally recognized in Pennsylvania, where the fictional Pine Valley is set). 

But I’ve had a long laundry list of issues about how this storyline has been handled (and how unwatchable, in general, AMC is these days). The ladies at Serial Drama have captured some of those issues beautifully in their posts

So, what’s MY problem? Well……

Bianca – Queen of the Iron-On Storyline: I’ve had problems with the last few Bianca stories because they are so random and forced. I understand and appreciate that Eden Riegel doesn’t want a long-term deal, but they’re asking the audience to accept an awful lot. It’s ready, set…….go with a year of unknown!backstory, and who cares, because we all love Bianca! (Um, no.) 

zarf-zoe_bJeffery Carlson (Zarf/Zoe) and Tamara Braun (Reese) are both amazing actors. But even the best actors can’t saved forced story. Zarf landed on canvas with a big splash (a naked one, as I recall) and by day 5 he was spouting cliches and comforting Pine Valley citizens like he was Myrtle freaking Fargate. Braun and Riegel DO have chemistry, but it’s hard to deeply root for them as a couple when we’ve only seen them together for a few months. 

Character Assasination: There is simply no way that Bianca would have had Zach donate his sperm without asking Kendall first. I simply cannot buy that under any circumstances. AMC’s writers obviously thought it WAS okay. Bianca needed to have her halo dented a little to remain interesting, but instead, she’s been stripped of her warmth and empathy and made to look like an insecure simp. Is Megan McTavish back at the reins? 

Lesbians As A Rule Do Not Care for Male Genitalia: This is perhaps a statement of obviousness surpassed only by “Water is wet” and “Stephanie Forrester could kick your ass.” And yet, AMC seems to think any story about the lavender ladies of Pine Valley is incomplete without a set of twig and berries. 

We were treated firstly to the joy of Michael Cambias forcing himself onto Bianca. Then there was the Zarf/Zoe story….and while I totally get the intent of the story and appreciate Zoe’s trans identity, the fact of the matter was that a significant portion of the audience was still seeing Zarf/Zoe as a man at that stage. (It would have been interesting to see Zoe with Bianca when Zoe was much further on her trans journey.) 

And now we have Reese, who loves Bianca and married her, but is clearly bisexual. The audience is hating on Reese, and rightly so, since she’s lied to Bianca about what she was really feeling.

Listen, a story about a bisexual character torn between two lovers of different sexes could be ah-may-zing, but plot point #1 would CLEARLY need to be honesty. As in, the bisexual character in question would be aware of their bisexuality, and all of the parties involved would also be aware before they became involved. 

Instead, we’ve had a character who has been dishonest about the feelings she’s had since the get-go. It may make for a messy story, and potentially interesting one, but unfortunately, this story makes Zach, Reese and Bianca look stupid. 

I’ll say this – As The World Turns fans (me included) can bitch about limited screen time and sporadic kisses for Luke and Noah, but the AMC story has made me appreciate how committed ATWT actually IS to the Nuke story. Noah’s initial forays into bisexuality (he was dating Maddie) made more sense since he was younger and just starting the coming out process. And though the show did subject us to the eye-rolling Ameera story, we were never asked to believe that Noah was straight, only that he and Luke, like any starcrossed couple, had some obstacles to deal with. 

None of this is meant to be critical of Riegel or Braun, who have worked really hard to make this coupling work and succeeded to some degree. It’s a shame that the honeymoon for this couple will be so abbreviated, and that the fallout will make the audience less likely to root for their characters.

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5 thoughts on “A nice day for a white wedding?

  1. I agree with all you have to say, except the show did make a point of taking the wedding to Connecticut so it would be legal.

    Hey Sally – thanks for reminding me of that. Pennsylvania wouldn’t recognize the marriage, though, once Bianca and Reese returned home. That’s the point I was making.

    PA doesn’t have a same-sex marriage ban on the books yet, but it’s likely to be on the ballot there in the next few years.

  2. You speak the truth, Patrick. This whole storyline reeked of behind-the-scenes machinations (“Hey, Kendall’s gonna be off the canvas for a few months, so let’s bring Bianca back to plug that hole and hope nobody notices!”) It’s a good setup on the face of it, but it’s hard to get truly invested in it knowing that Riegel is only around for a few months, and suspecting that Braun (a by-now-notorious soap vagabond) won’t stay that much longer. And all of this on the heels of the ridiculous storyline about Jesse and his “secret family”! Am I the only one who thinks “AMC” is being made up on the fly these days? Paging you, Agnes!

  3. Thanks for this Patrick. I agree wholeheartedly about this storyline. One of the things we learn in romance writing is show, don’t tell. There has been a lot of telling with this storyline. Reese told Kendall about the night she and Zach stayed up drinking and he agreed to be the donor. Is the budget so small they couldn’t have shot some flashbacks?

    If Reese had come one the show to work on a building project that Cambias was involved in with her fiancee and then met Bianca and had her awakening, the story would have been so much more interesting. But so far all we’ve gotten is a series of day players who come on to reveal some new secret about Reese and then leave. For Bianca to marry a woman who kept so much from her during their relationship, makes her look weak and desperate.

    Agreed, Elizabeth.

    I understand that in order for dramatic tension to happen, some secrets have to be in place, or someone has to be in the dark. But it makes Bianca look stupid to not know and understand that Reese is bisexual. Bianca loves people unconditionally; it would have likely not made a difference.

    And I can’t imagine a situation where Bianca would have thought it was appropriate to have Zach be the donor without telling Kendall. Now Bianca seems as manipulative as Babe. Nice going, AMC.

  4. Patrick,

    Have finally caught up with all the wedding episodes. Very nice that they went to the trouble of doing the wedding at all. But damn, why’d they have to inject all the Greenlee disappearing and Annie on the lam stuff into the ceremony? Especially hate how they intercut Greenlee running off the road in with the vows. Would have much prefered just the simple ceremony (which we likely would have gotten if we’d had more time invested in the characters). Can you imagine one of Erica’s wedding ever being intercut with other storylines?!?!

    Eden and Tamara have amazing chemistry! That helped me buy into their backstory and how they were now a family. Would have likely some mention of what happened to Zarf/Zoe, but maybe I missed it. But Tamara has done great work and is a far better actress than I gave her credit for during her GH days.

    But that amazing chemistry did NOT overcome this awful story with Zack. He’s a character I generally enjoy, but this storyline has destroyed the character for me (much the same way that Y&R’s Nazi-art storyline destroyed the character of Brad). Both Bianca and Zack neglecting to tell Kendall about his sperm donation is completely out of character for them. And his sudden fascination with Reese when the show has gone to such great lenghts to establish that Kendall is his one true love.

    Maybe this storyline sounded good on paper. But as we well know, not all storylines transfer to the screen well (remember the Santis on OLTL).

    I realize the story was rushed due to Eden’s short-term contract. But this needed a good 6-8 months to play out and certainly would have worked better if Bianca and Reese had *met* on camera in Pine Valley.

    Anyway, a half-hearted thanks to AMC for the lesbian wedding. Maybe one day you’ll treat the character of Bianca with the resepct she deserves.

    But brava to Eden for making the material work as best as possible. After all the crap she’s been given to play in the past 5 years, she’s managed to do amazing things with it. She’s long overdue for an Emmy.

    James, I like Eden too and agree that she does great work. But I think her short-term stays are actually detrimental to the show at this point, not to mention her character. I think she either needs to commit to a contract, or AMC should recast the role.

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