Evanescence is an American soap opera that has greatly surpassed in popularity every other TV series including Lost, CSI, Sex and the City and Seinfeld. This is due to its outstanding plot, the work of a true genius, well-suited to stir up emotions in everybody, so that the background music, although played in every single episode, could easily be done without. Spectators develop feelings for the characters just as though they were relatives and cry about their love affairs the same way they would about their own parents’ divorce.
While as a whole not even time seems to be able to make inroads on the popularity of the series, there are indeed longer pauses in the broadcasting that make fans worry it might become somewhat boring. Insiders usually respond to these fears by reassuring the fans with the words “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
It has to be added that this soap opera is constantly observed by the FBI as a threat to national security. There are always violent fights going on between fans of the different characters as well as between haters and fans, which often end up in riots requiring the intervention of the police, the army and the Marines. Generally speaking, Evanescence is the biggest conflict trigger in the world straight after religion and politics.
The word "Evanescence" [@vnIss's-nss, from Latin (e)van-(e)s-cô, Indoeuropean Hwn€-s'-kkwiio] means "to disappear like vapor, dissolve". Ironically, instead of disappearing this series has been lingering on and on for years and shows no sign of being about to dissolve anytime soon. No matter how often people have declared it was going to stop being broadcast, it has always continued to be aired and watched by an eager audience.
Although Evanescence is sometimes referred to as a telenovela, it is properly classified as a soap opera because of the open character of the plot. There is no real beginning nor is there any end in sight; never does the story seem to come close to tying up the loose ends. There have been three parts of the series to date, which are briefly summarized below. A new one is expected to follow soon. Part 2 is also known as Aimeeescence (from the main character’s name), which was indeed planned to be its actual title, since Benjamin (the other main character) is absent, as is every other character that deserves this name besides Aimee herself. The success of part 1, though, prompted the makers to give up this plan and stick to the old title.
Part 1 (1995-2002)
Aimee (French: "the beloved one") and Benjamin (Hebrew: "son of the right hand", that is "the lucky one" ), also called Ben the Moody or simply Ben, are two normal teenagers from the Southern part of the USA. They meet at a Satanist party to which their parents have sent them to provide them a proper education; there also begins their infatuation with metal and gothic music, which they will be desperately trying to imitate ever since. So they decide to start a band – the first stroke of genius on the side of the makers of the series, providing a pretext to play the background music any time they feel like it. This way, the spectator is forced to listen to music from time to time instead of getting involved too easily in the characters’ life as they would so much like to, which increases the suspense. The fans’ curses on such interruptions of the plot are so hard and numerous that President Obama has had to ask the Vatican to provide 10 priests on a yearly basis to perform rituals to avert divine wrath; but don’t tell anybody I wrote this because I will deny it, the White House will deny everything and you will be shot.
Anyway, the characters’ life goes on, they also become lovers, or maybe not, at any rate a romance as ambiguous as in Twilight takes place. The spectators never get to see the two teenagers having sex, which of course is another great Twilight trick aimed to entice young fans even more. While dating on and off, Aimee and Ben are also busy trying to find a label interested in promoting their idea of Satanic metal as well as able to provide them with proper recording devices; this at first fails. Aimee hooks up (during one of those time spans when she is not Ben’s girlfriend or so we hope) with a dark/goth/whatever guy, whose Satanism is even harder than her own and who therefore tries to convert her to the true doctrine. He even agrees to play the keyboard for the little band, perhaps in exchange for some sexual favors from Aimee. As Aimee and Ben resist every attempt to seduce them into another Satanic sect, though, the mysterious guy eventually leaves.
In the meantime, they finally find a label called Whine-up or Wind-up records (the series is incoherent on this point, it may be done on purpose or maybe it’s just me not being able to understand that Southern accent very well). The irony in the name “Wind-up” is evident.
Part 2 (2002-2006)
This success hides a flaw, though (of course, otherwise the series would be over now and Aimee and Benjamin would marry and live in happiness till the end of their days): the band can’t handle commercial success and what has so far been a rather conventional teenage screenplay turns into a history of doom. The two young people (who have grown out of their teens by now) can finally release an album, whose title is “We are the Fallen” – stop, my bad, this comes only later. The title of the album is “Fallout”, which is also the subtitle of Part 2 of the series as a whole.
Ben is angry at Aimee for stealing his show (as well as some sweeties he likes so much) and disappears in the middle of a concert. Aimee is desperate, but help comes from heaven in the shape of Terry the Balsam (for Aimee’s soul), who picks up Ben’s guitar from the floor and goes on playing in his place. (Insert some cheesy music here.)
Aimee is so grateful for this godsend that she opens herself to love again. Unfortunately, her taste in men is pretty questionable, so she finds a new boyfriend in Captain Morgan, a buccaneer with a wooden leg and a bottle of rum in his pocket. As things go in life, Morgan ends up beating her badly, then he tries to flee from the police but is caught drunk in a railway station toilet and put to rehab in no time. Aimee tries to have him call her, for in her confused mind she thinks this would be proof of his love, but her message is made so inintelligible by the music that inopportunely starts playing in this very moment that even Morgan himself, though being, to be sure, one of the characters, doesn’t understand and fails to call back. So the romance ends.
Aimee starts a solo career as a singer, usually accompanied by some instrumentals played by a band whose composition changes almost every day. She tries hard to become a sellout, but as all men who cared for her are gone and only men know how to run a business  she makes mistake after mistake. In particular, she somehow has the dumb idea to simply do covers of Mozart and other classical music. Since in America nobody knows who Mozart is, let alone classical music altogether, Aimee flops miserably and is forced to make a living out of
prostitution begging in Manhattan.
Throughout this part, Aimee is basically giving monologues. These are usually accompanied by some music; therefore a CD to the series was released containing said monologues with a tiny instrumental accompaniment, which one can only hear if one’s ears share the same degree of sensitivity as a bat’s. To humans this is possible only if the subject has never listened to rock or metal music, whose deafening effects have been proved scientifically. Thus most people still think that on the CD there is only Aimee singing.
Part 3 (2007-2010)
Finally, Aimee finds her life-long love and marries him. Actually this character is already well-known to the attentive spectator: he has been loving Aimee from the very beginning, but being a nerd he never got noticed nor did he ever have the guts to talk to her. Now, all of a sudden, the fatal beauty becomes aware of him after mistaking him for a psychotherapist and crying out her sorrows to him (which, needless to say, is also underlined by some music). Although Aimee’s taste in men doesn’t seem to have improved, the marriage does go on pretty fine. Therefore this part of the story is not suitable to stir drama, which is why it was dropped right from the next episode on.
In the meantime, Ben is back and has created a new band of his own. He also has a girlfriend whose looks stangely resemble Aimee’s. Is he trying to make his former lover jealous? Will he try to get Amy back (or get back at her or whatever the correct grammar/meaning is)? Or will he just pretend to be ignoring her? The suspence increases…
Next sequel (2010 - …)
(Only a few episodes of this part have been broadcast by now.) Now that her problems with men are solved, or so it seems, Aimee can get dead set on the music again. We never know, though, when she is going to release a new album, nor can any of the characters predict when the next gig will take place, making the live performances of the band (whose composition seems to be relatively stabile now) look like a grace from heaven every time. During one of the latest episodes the band disappears in a black hole and is never seen again. From time to time, a radio message from Aimee reaches Earth after floating around in space for a while, reflected by interstellar dust clouds. Some critics have put forth the hypothesis that in one of the sequels they will come out in a parallel universe and tour it with alien-sounding music.
There are hardly any fans of the series as a whole: people support the one or the other character, since Ben and Aimee hate or maybe love each other (y’all know it’s the same, don’t you?). Although they mainly ignore each other as well as each other’s band, the true fan will always be aware that this is just a pose. Publicly stating they have nothing to do with one another is obviously only a cover-up. So there is an army of Aimee fans and one of Ben fans; besides there are several other smaller groups, too numerous to count, which take whatever different position is possible, and even some impossible ones. The two bigger armies have already fought many battles, but no one can tell who has won the war as yet. When the water of the Mississippi turns crimson people in new Orleans know that another episode of Evanescence has just been broadcast.
To be part of one of the armies, the prospective warrior is sworn in. They have to acknowledge the Truth they are fighting for. In the Aimee fan army you must accept the fundamental fact that your idol can do no wrong and is not even human, but a celestial being born from the union of a goddess and an angel. When an Aimee fan casually hears a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach their natural reaction is “Look, another jerk who’s copying Aimee”. In the Ben fan army as well as in merely anti-Aimee armies (yes, there is such a thing too) you must have faith that Aimee is an incarnation of Satan, aiming at destroying one band after another and becoming the absolute ruler of the music world, which of course is only the first step toward becoming the master of the world as a whole. You are supposed to fight up to the sacrifice of your life to prevent Aimee from attaining world domination. Anyone who even remotely likes Aimee or doubts her Satanic nature is called a “sheep” and, whenever the anti-fans have their way, carried straight to a concentration camp for reeducation.
One of the CIA’s foremost concerns is to prevent any of said armies from developing nuclear weapons. Should such a thing happen, the world would be in even more trouble than it is at present. The UNO is rumored to be creating a task force to tackle the Evanescence issue and restore mankind to peace.
- One wonders whether the names themselves are a joke.
- Don’t ask me how an angel can procreate because I don’t know.