This week on All My Children, a flamboyant male rock starÃ‚Â named Zarf (Jeffrey Carlson) kisses a lesbian (Eden Riegel), andÃ‚Â decides he wants to becomeÃ‚Â a woman. Or asÃ‚Â aÃ‚Â this new AP article describes it:
After Zarf establishes a bond with Bianca that leads to the kiss, an angry Bianca tells him she is a lesbian. It triggers something within Zarf about why it made such sense to be falling in love with a lesbian.
The article puts the groundbreaking storylineÃ‚Â in the context of the show’s declining ratings, andÃ‚Â the fact thatÃ‚Â “[AMC is] trying really hard and they’re throwing a whole lot of desperate stuff against the wall to see what sticks”, according to Soap Opera Weekly editor Carolyn Hinsey. The AMC execs evenÃ‚Â make fun of themselves in the piece, with the show’s executive producer telling the AP,Ã‚Â “After 36 years, you start rehashing. It’s inevitable. We didn’t want to fall back on the baby-switch story again.”
Geez, withÃ‚Â zingers like these, it’s like the AP is suddenly doing my job for me!
I’ll reserve final judgment until I see how this story plays out, but here are my initial thoughts:
First -Ã‚Â “Zarf”? Not only have they run out of storylines, they’ve run out of names.
Second – this is a potentially good development for transgender visibility, and a great first for daytime TV. But I’ll be surprised if AMC sticks withÃ‚Â thisÃ‚Â storyline for long. It’s too complicated toÃ‚Â tell well inÃ‚Â five minutes a week, and not sexy enough to keep most viewers tuning in beyond Zarf’s initial revelation.
And third – AMC will clearly do anything to avoid giving Bianca an actual lesbian relationship, or have her kiss an actual woman. Anything.