There’s an old saying in the Entertainment Industry that goes something like this: When your groundbreaking lesbian, same-sex marriage storyline becomes one huge EPIC FAIL, whatever you do, don’t blame a much-loved Emmy-award winning actress for your glaring inadequacies as both a writer and a human being.

Okay, so there really isn’t such a saying, but there should be. It might have saved Chuckie Pratt, Head Writer and Producer for All My Children, from the humiliation now being heaped upon his head by viewers, Soap bloggers world wide and some enterprising souls who have made His Cluelessness the star of the brand new, seemingly-out-of-nowhere web-series Pratt Falls, which also stars the equally witless Julie Hanan Carruthers. If you haven’t seen this little piece of hilarity, you can find it on YouTube and I’ve posted Episode one at the bottom of this entry. New episodes upload faster than a speeding bullet… But then again, given so much fine material with which to work means you’ll never lack for the comedy.

In case you missed it, or have been off the planet recently, Charles Pratt, Head Writer and Producer for All My Children, during an interview with Michael Logan for TVGuide.com, actually blamed Eden Riegel, Emmy-award winner and soon to be late of All My Children, for the massive failure of the Bianca/Reese love story, which, really, wasn’t much of a love story since Bianca arrived back in October telling any who would listen what a spectacularly cool and amazing person Reese was and how they were living together already – after having met barely 2 months prior – and were now having a baby together. So almost instantaneously, Charles Pratt, Head Writer and Producer for All My Children, turned off a plethora of viewers by INFORMING THEM they were going to love Reese instead of allowing them to be introduced to her without preconceptions. I know a lot of viewers from across the spectrum of Internet soap forums who immediately hated the character before she even made an appearance because of Pratt’s heavy-handedness. (Plus, you gotta love Pratt, he just defined the stereo-typical Lesbian U-Haul relationship with one broad stroke of his poison pen)

However, I digress.

What it amounts to, Pratt relates, is that basically it was Eden’s fault the storyline was so jumbled, sometimes incomprehensible, lazily written and eventually bordering on vehemently hated, because he didn’t know she was only going to be on the show for 4-5 months; therefore, he couldn’t write the story he really wanted. (to which I say, Thank Lavery! This storyline was a train wreck that just keeps getting worse. But unlike most train wrecks, people were able to stop looking, I shudder to think what he could have done over 2 years…)

He then followed this statement up with the jaw-dropping comment that “I was led to believe we had her for longer than we really did — suddenly I got word that Eden is leaving now,” (his words and emphasis, not mine). He got word?!?! He’s the writer and showrunner! He’s the Showrunner, which means HE RUNS THE SHOW!!!

I wouldn’t plan on seeing Eden Riegel or Tamara Braun returning to AMC anytime in the near future…

The full text of the interview:

All My Children’s Lesbian Reunion
by Michael Logan April 13, 2009 01:29 PM EST

Eden Riegel returns to All My Children April 24 – though just for a week – so that her character, Bianca, can have a happy ending with her estranged partner, Reese (Tamara Braun). The two were wed on Valentine’s Day but the marriage ended a day later when Bianca found out Reese had kissed Zach (Thorsten Kaye) at the rehearsal dinner. Bianca sought an annulment and fled home to Paris, leaving many fans – especially those who appreciated the gay history being made – pretty damn furious.

AMC head writer Chuck Pratt blames the mess on Riegel’s exit for pilot season. “I was led to believe we had her for longer than we really did – suddenly I got word that Eden is leaving now,” he says. Meanwhile, Braun had agreed to a six-month stay, so that left her neurotic, sexually confused character dangling in the wind.

“We got to play everything we wanted to with Bianca and Reese but not in the time we’d hoped for – in my mind, it was a two-year story,” Pratt continues. “I guess I could have rushed to the wedding earlier so that they’d have had more time together as a married couple and then had them break up, but I think the fans would have been even more unsatisfied with that.”

What if Braun had been willing to stick with AMC? “We discussed that possibility,” Pratt notes. “But if Tamara decided to stay, keeping her on the show as an angry lesbian – with no other lesbian characters on the canvas – would be kind of insane. So we thought about making Reese bisexual – kind of an Anne Heche who bounces back and forth – and maybe make her an opportunistic black widow, a real bad girl. And Tamara would have been really great at that. But, ultimately, we decided to stick with the message.”

And that would be? “That love wins out. Reese and Bianca will go back to France together,” says Pratt. “They will survive as a couple.”

And I’m not even going to TOUCH the outrageous Anne Heche comment Pratt spewed. I think the woman has pretty good case of slander here, she should be finding herself a good lawyer…

How the HEAD WRITER AND PRODUCER of the show doesn’t know how long an actor has signed on for is absolutely preposterous. How Pratt is continually allowed to speak to the press is beyond me.

How Pratt is continually allowed to keep his JOB is beyond me…

If you are interested in seeing a love story, a true, developing, told over time and not shoved-down-your-throat-because-we’ve-been-told-they’re-cool-and-amazing story featuring two women, I highly suggest the Otalia story at Guiding Light. Amazingly well-written and brilliantly acted by Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia, it’s how romances used to be told on daytime serials.

It’s not a gay story or a lesbian story… It’s simply a love story.

Pratt Falls, Episode 1

Oops, apparently I just did another WTF? moment for All My Children! Unintentional to be sure, but a WTF! moment just the same…

Advertisements

Several sites and publications are now reporting that Eden Riegel will be making the scheduled short-term return as Bianca Montgomery to All My Children beginning on April 24th. It’s been said that the appearance will last only 2 episodes (whew!) and that Bianca will be leaving the show with Tamara Braun’s Reese Williams. Eden stated in an earlier interview with Soap Opera Digest that “It’s going to end well for Reese and Bianca. Their love is real. I have hope.”

Um… okay… (I think Eden is one of a very few who feel that way…)

More recently, Tamara Braun stated in an Advocate.com interview that she “…was told* it would be a happy ending.”

I’ll be interested to see exactly what Charles Pratt and Brian Frons mean by “happy ending”. It’s already been apparent that re-writes have taken place with viewer uproar over the destruction of more than one character in this storyline, from Bianca and Reese to Kendall and Zach, including removing a second kiss between Reese and Zach, but pressing forward with the idiocy of having Kendall sleep with Ryan. And I’m not really clear on how a 2-episode appearance by Bianca can result in blissful happy ever after with a woman she hasn’t seen in a couple of months, who’s been supposedly “fighting for her” by living in ANOTHER COUNTRY. But we’ve all been witness to Charles Pratt’s sloppy, slapdash writing style with story conclusions occuring mere minutes after first appearing, so who’s to say what will happen? (I mean, I have my dreams for the ending of this storyline, but that’s another blog all together…)

I’ll be even more interested to be able to watch All My Children again, once this once-promising storyline is over and the principals have headed back to France.  Pratt had the chance to tell an incredible story here about same sex marriage and family. Instead, he chose to bugger it up by inserting a man into Bianca and Reese’s orbit, not only as the absurdly written “father” of their child, but as a ROMANTIC DISTRACTION for Reese, the newly minted lesbian. It became less about same-sex relationships and more about Pratt and Frons getting their jollies by watching two women making out before teasing at the possibility of some hetero action next.

I look forward to seeing Eden Riegel on my television again. There is that, at least.

-I make no apologies for my statements, but just to make clear, I am an Eden Riegel fan. I feel Eden was taken advantage of by TIIC at AMC because of her loyalty to the character of Bianca Montgomery and to her fans. This should have been Bianca’s story with Eden as it’s centerpiece, not the morass of ridiculous that it became… but that’s simply my opinion-

*emphasis added by me.

So, Bianca and Reese marry. They barely know each other, have a child together, Reese is in lust with Bianca’s brother-in-law, they’ve betrayed Bianca’s much-loved sister, and still, they marry…

They have the maturity level of two horny teenagers riding a hormonal wave of lust rather than two adult women making a loving and happy home for their children. You know, their newborn child and older daughter Miranda. Especially Miranda. Remember her? Bianca doesn’t. She’s become remarkably, incredibly selfish. They’re both self-centered, whiny brats, concerned about no one but themselves and their groundbreaking wedding. Not to mention that Bianca’s first born tends to be forgotten. A lot. Like, never mentioned when talking about their other child. As if she never existed…

Miranda’s been hanging out in the Martin attic, apparently…

And still they marry…

Is it just me or does anyone else find it incredibly ironic that the wedding takes place on Friday the 13th?

Anyway, following the wedding, things quickly fall apart for the happy couple. Or should I say things quickly fall apart for the moderately-okay-with-themselves-where-they-currently-are-in-their-lives couple. Ryan lets out a secret that sends Bianca into hiding at her mother’s with the kids in tow, then she just plain splits town on February 24th after apparently serving Reese with annulment papers, or after Reese gets annulment papers, or possibly before. Just know that Bianca heads back to Paris and Reese gets annulment papers but possibly not exactly in that order. Okay?

So, the first same-sex marriage in the history of daytime television quickly becomes the shortest same-sex marriage in the history of daytime television…

Well done, All My Children and Mr. Charles Pratt. Well done, indeed.

With Bianca’s departure comes the exit of Eden Riegel, the Daytime Emmy-award winning actor. Rumor has it she returns a couple months down the road to bring the storyline to a conclusion, with all parties saying that things work out well for Bianca and Reese.

Oh, rly?

If Bianca returns to Pine Valley and takes Reese back after Reese threatens to ruin the lives of both Kendall and Ryan, continues to sniff after Zach, conspires with Adam Chandler and basically makes herself a menace, then Bianca is the stupidest waste of oxygen on this big blue marble that’s hurtling through space.

But then again, this is the woman who forgave Babe for stealing her child for the better part of a year…

Wedding of the century, indeed…

Good thing it’s very early in the century, huh?

P.S. Thanks to my pals Phyl and Donna for their help and contributions to this therapeutic little piece…