One Christmas gift to viewers that AMC and GH had in common was that they wove most of the cast into the shows leading up to Christmas. On AMC, it seemed that all the actors were gathered in Pine Valley Hospital, praying for Bianca. And on GH, reunions galore at the Children's Ward Christmas Party. Let's start with AMC...

Starting with last Thursday's show (12/23), there was a lot going on in Pine Valley. Greenlee tries to reconcile with Kendall, JR lets Krystal see Bess for the last time, Bianca's fading and all are worried that she's trying to "go to Miranda." The DNA test proved, with a score of 99.9%, that Bess is the biological female child of an untested male and Bianca Montgomery. Kendall struggles with God as she demands he leave her sister alone or she will hate him for the rest of her life. Enter Father Clarence, bringer of Christmas miracles.

After Judge Lampert signed off on the DNA test, we were treated to a touching, very real scene between Erica and Adam. Adam's genuine sadness at the thought that, on Christmas Eve, he would have to destroy his son's world (a job made more odious because Erica, Jack and Tad insisted that they must accompany him).

The scenes with JR, Adam, Erica, Tad and Jackson demonstrated what fine veteran actors AMC has (in abundance). Even JR, the newbie of this acting group, played his part with uncharacteristic restraint. His scenes with Uncle Stuart were also done well (and wasn't it great how Stuart burst in, unknowingly singing the theme of the day, "What Child Is This?"!). The emotion in the Chandler mansion was played beautifully, from denial to anger to betrayal. Especially when JR realized that his father had helped with the DNA test. The gamut of JR's emotions were displayed all over his face. Of course, he later reverted to kind, sneaking the baby out of the house and into his car. Enter Father Clarence again.

Father Clarence delayed JR's departure long enough so that Aidan and the rest of the gang could rescue Miranda and bring her to the hospital. The long awaited reunion of mother and child finally happened, tastefully, as Bianca finally opened her eyes when Miranda was placed in her arms. Well done, AMC. You took your time about it, but those last few days were (almost) worth the wait. Let's have a round of Emmys here, shall we?

Nancy Lee Grahn  (NLG) has either finally been given good material by the GH writers, or she's doing a bang-up job of ad-libbing (I vote for the latter). "He's probably teaching her to gamble and launder play money!" Brilliant. The repartee between Alexis and Ric has been excellent. In my previous column, I said it appeared that NLG was being set up for some of the screwball comedy antics she does so well. The scenes with Ric in the cabin proved me right. ("Frankentree!") You know, that reminds me of a quote about dance master Fred Astaire, which I'm going to adapt to include NLG: "Fred Astaire/NLG could act with a coat rack/Christmas tree and make the coat rack/Christmas tree look good."

Great banter between Ric and Alexis continued through Friday's episode, as well as affection carried over from the previous episode, when they consummated their marriage. And then the christening scenes, with humorous and poignant bits, and wonderful reaction shots of NLG's Alexis, clearly horrified at the whole operation.

To be honest, I haven't cared much for Sonny these past couple of years, but seeing the comedic interplay between Sonny and Alexis in the cabin -- the amused look on his face when he realized that Alexis and Ric had hit the sheets, how he handed Alexis her bra and said that she shouldn't go half-dressed to her daughter's christening -- reminded me that I once liked Sonny. And I enjoyed watching him during the christening scenes. Has the Sonny of old returned?

AND MIRACLES ABOUND! At the children's ward... Felicia... Audrey... Lucas... Tracy... Ned... Justus... the underused BrookLynn... and BABY CAMERON! If this wasn't his first appearance, it was certainly his longest!

As Edward gave Audrey his and Lila's donation to the children's ward and was about to sneak out, Tracy stopped him. She'd called in all the Quartermaines to attend as it had been so very important to Lila. (Incidentally, Tracy's cool update of what was already a great hairstyle looked fantastic -- but I'm invading Dayna's turf here, so will not comment further.) Yet another miracle: Tracy showing such deep emotional commitment to the Christmas party her mother so loved. The first Christmas without her mother was a tough one, and, unfortunately, I know and feel her pain all too well. Brava, Tracy. And bravo, GH. Nice to see a variety of family commitments and a variety of families.


December 23, 2004

December 16 2004

December 8, 2004

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