Soap Ropes Transsexual/Lesbian Plotline

12/1/2006 5:50 PM PST

Soap Ropes Transsexual/Lesbian Plotline

This week, "All My Children" launched the first male-to-female transgendered storyline in daytime TV. Actor Jeffrey Carlson plays a British gender-switching rock star with the unlikely name of Zarf, who is having a flirtation with Erica's Kane's (Susan Lucci's) lesbian daughter, Bianca (Eden Riegel). Zarf bears a striking resemblance to "Project Runway" finalist, Austin Scarlett.

It had been hoped that the storyline would give "AMC" a lift from a serious ratings plunge. Rather than play it with any seriousness, producers have chosen to portray the character as a ridiculous, wild-eyed cartoon homosexual, who is snickered at by nearly everyone in the show. Tacky.

According to longtime blogger Kathy Carano, "AMC needs a kick in the ass and they're hoping Zarf will do just that, but AMC's recent track record of ruining potentially great storylines weighs heavily on a lot of fans."

The soap's been struggling for plots to prop up ratings; they even undid Erica's groundbreaking 1973 abortion and ventured into the absurd by coming up with her long lost son, who'd been "transplanted into another woman at the time of the abortion."

Oh, the humanity.