What the heck has happened to the quality of the strip? It's been going downhill in the past several years and recently, it's totally tanked. The plots are worse than what a young teen high on caffeine at three a.m. comes up with (or at least aren't any better), the characters are cardboard, the plot devices are pathetic (i.e., Mason suddenly ending up wasted at the wedding). The arc this week has me furious. WHY are you so hard on April? She has to give up her furniture WHICH SHE BOUGHT and she's being told "It could be a war zone?" Give me a break! As if Eva has any grounds to talk, being as she's a child of suburbia herself. That was so totally and completely over-the-top and out of nowhere and unwaranted and April just took it. Eva's giving her a hard time for not being jumping up and down with joy. News flash: maybe April doesn't *want* a basement to herself. Maybe she wants the room and furniture SHE PAID FOR HERSELF. No one actually cares what April thinks. They just tell her how it's going to be and if she says anything, they get on her for being spoiled and tell her to stop whining.
Gerald's an ass. She should dump him post-haste. She can do so much better. He talks trash about her to his friends, implying she went 'roadside', and he's insulted Shannon unapologetically.
Friends and I saw Liz and Anthony getting back together YEARS ago. We predicted how things would play out at the wedding well in advance of when the strips came out. It was so predictable and pathetic and lame. She's a cocktease and he was cheating on his wife almost as soon as they got married. That he asked Liz to wait for him well before he was divorced speaks volumes. That he was whining on about not having a home says much about how NOT committed to the marriage he was. I feel sorry for Therese, being the third person in the marriage. Good on her for getting out. I wouldn't be surprised if Anthony whined until she gave in and got pregnant, and that he expected her to give up a career to stay home with the baby even though I'm sure she made it clear before they married what she wanted. Anthony needs to grow up and get a life. He's not ready for a relationship.
Liz is a cocktease. She's jerked Warren around and not given him a straight answer. She treated Paul like crap and then has the gall to blame HIM for the relationship ending? 'Scuse me? SHE is the one who dumped on him out of nowhere she was moving hundreds of miles away and SHE expected HIM to move to be with HER. She wouldn't consider being the one to make the sacrifices. Paul had already put in for a transfer to be near her, and then she demands he do it again? Small wonder he left her. I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to tell her and she just didn't listen. Liz has a definite problem with being single in her twenties. It's like she's afraid she'll be a spinster and never marry and be pathetic and a pariah if she doesn't marry before thirty. Maybe decades ago. Not now. Elly needs to keep her mouth shut, quit matchmaking, and support her daughter in being the best teacher, person, and single woman possible. No wonder she latched onto Anthony. Her parents were so obnoxious about pushing him on her (i.e., trashing Paul during Howard's trial, as if Paul weren't there by choice and not because he was HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY) and she's been made so neurotic about being single she latched onto a memory from years ago and made that into a grand fantasy of true love and eternal happiness. That was high school. People change. Liz and Anthony were not exactly straightforward with what was on their mind, so both of them have assumed and inferred a lot without having any idea if it's in tune with what the other is thinking. That relationship is a model of dysfunction. That they've spent most of the time just looking at each other mournfully instead of actually saying something does not bode well for the future. If this were reality, they'd be in marital councelling before their third anniversary. Anthony would retreat into himself, as he's wont to do, and refuse to face the problems and Liz would whine and moan and pout, as she's wont to do. Yup, a distaster waiting to happen.
Mike is a crap writer. Purple prose, waxing poetic, making grand, sweeping statements that are so dripping with glurge and sap you want to gag when you're done laughing. How he graduated university, I have no idea. I was a better writer straight out of high school than he is now.
He would NOT have gotten a contract with the first publisher he submitted to (and without an agent, no less), no publishing house would've praised his novel up like that cover letter with the contract (which came much, much, much, much too fast to be real) and no publisher would EVER say a book is going to be a bestseller. Not for a first-time author. No genuine publisher is that stupid.
I sincerely hope Mike's actually spending time with his family now because he's ditched his responsibilities in the past by running off the Weed's to write. He left Dee to handle all the hard stuff and used his writing as an excuse. He's a failure as a father and a husband and I hope he gets his act together. The way he treats his kids makes me burn, and if his attitude toward them was accurately reflected in the Father's Day strip, they will grow up wondering why Daddy doesn't like them and why he's always short with them. He always pawns them off on Dee and expects her to handle all planning and arranging in the family. He just shows up at the appointed place at the appointed time. She is, as so many have said, a doormat. She deserves better.
That last Shannon arc? Disgusting and infuriated me to no end. So totally unrealistic I wanted to spit nails. This is long enough as it is, so I won't go into all the reasons that two-week stretch of crap mocked the pain of those of us who ARE special needs and have had to deal with the hell of high school. If we'd pulled what Shannon did, we'd have been mocked and jeered and pelted with food and we'd have been made even more miserable than we already were. Oh, yes, and only the completely immature would be walking up to special needs kids at lunch and mocking them as those background characters did, and I doubt April's big enough shit at school for people to actually single her out for harassment. If she was that well-known at school, either she'd be the school pariah and mocked all day, every day, which she isn't, or she'd be Miss Popular, in which case only those with a death wish would say anything negative to her face. In short, your ignorance of the world outside your geriatric bubble was glaringly obvious. There's no reason your staffers couldn't have filled you in on how things are here in the real world, so either they're not doing their jobs or you're not listening. There's failure somewhere and there's no good reason for it.
Okay, feeling better now. You should've stopped years ago. Bill Watterson and Gary Larson had the right idea. Their strips are remembered for being truly awesome. Yours will be remembered for how lousy they were before it finally ended.