AMC introduces trans character, throws lesbian storyline under the bus (again)


BiancaThis week on All My Children, a flamboyant male rock star named Zarf (Jeffrey Carlson) kisses a lesbian (Eden Riegel), and decides he wants to become a woman. Or as a 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 storyline in the context of the show’s declining ratings, and the fact that “[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 even make fun of themselves in the piece, with the show’s executive producer telling the AP, “After 36 years, you start rehashing. It’s inevitable. We didn’t want to fall back on the baby-switch story again.”

Geez, with 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 - “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 with this storyline for long. It’s too complicated to tell well in 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.

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