All My Children is back -- Ouch!

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All My Children is back -- Ouch!
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The week of February 8, 2010
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For the past year or so, All My Children has been missing the humor that it used to have. There have been moments of zaniness -- remember the "birth" of Liza's pretend baby in the basement of Tad's house? -- but most of the humor appeared forced, liked the endless lightbulb jokes Tad told after being shot.

For the past year or so, All My Children has been missing the humor that it used to have. There have been moments of zaniness -- remember the "birth" of Liza's pretend baby in the basement of Tad's house? -- but most of the humor appeared forced, liked the endless lightbulb jokes Tad told after being shot. Well ABC must have put a picture on a milk carton or something, because now that the show has settled in Los Angeles, the humor is back. It may have been a little off-color, but I found Krystal and Rob's sexual mishap to be absolutely hilarious. "Talk about falling on your sword," Tad quipped at one point during the laughfest. Not that this is any of my business, but what the heck were those two doing that Krystal managed to get whiplash?! Get it, girl!

If I seem distracted in this week's column, it's probably because I am and I apologize for that. You see, I spent the past few days developing a worm to eat the Soap Central web site. I put it on this really nifty little flashdrive -- but for the life of me I can't figure out which piece of artwork in my house I'm going to hide it behind.

Greenlee is back -- and she's very, very angry. She was horrified to find out that Ryan and Erica were a couple (and seeing them having sex probably didn't make that any easier). I'm sure she was silently praying that Ryan and Erica would have a sex mishap. But Greenlee isn't just mad at Erica for sleeping with Ryan. She's furious that Ryan gave Erica control of Fusion. Lest we forget, Greenlee is also ticked that Kendall slept with Ryan. Quick show of hands: who hasn't slept with Ryan? Three... four... okay, so there are a few of you.

I'm wondering, though, who is Greenlee maddest at? And does she have the right to be mad at anyone? Sure, Greenlee didn't realize that she was going to "die" nor did she know that Dr. Hayward was going to bring her back from the dead. If Greenlee didn't know, no one else did. They moved on with their lives, albeit awfully quickly. So to get back at everyone, Greenlee devised two plans: marry David Hayward in a wedding chapel stunner and destroy Fusion. Greenlee created Fusion and I am assuming that her un-death would mean that she'd still be able to make some money from the company. Still, she decided to wipe out the entire system with a virus... that she created?! I'm a little lost by that one. I'm also curious why Fusion doesn't have any off-site tape backups in the event of a system crash.

Another strange question: why is Greenlee, someone who recently underwent back surgery, parading around in high heels? Ouch!

Natalia is knower of all, master of nothing. She's gotten quite cocky, hasn't she? It hasn't gotten to the point where I dislike Natalia, but it's a fine line. This is the same rookie cop who fired her gun on her first day on the job. Now, she's interrogating people without permission, looking for serial killers, hacking computers, and the list goes on and on. "I know the legalities," Natalia assured Brot. Oh, well thank goodness for that! I'm not quite sure where this storyline is headed. Of course we know that it's a setup for Brot and Natalia to suffer a little romantic friction (Rob? Krystal?), but I am wondering if there is more to Natalia's sudden headstrongness than meets the eye. Will she end up killing a perp because of being overeager? Will she end up in harm's way because she wasn't following proper procedure? Something's coming, fellow AMC fans, but I just can't put my finger on it.

All My Children went high-definition last week. [Click here to read our coverage of the conversion] I watch the show on my local ABC affiliate's high-def channel, so I have to say that this was a welcome change. Now, three of ABC's four daytime programs are in HD -- The View, All My Children, and General Hospital. One Life to Live isn't yet in hi-def, but the network is looking to change that by next year.

So let's do the play-by-play. For me, the change wasn't so drastic that it threw me for a loop. In addition to the obvious -- the show now plays in widescreen format if you're watching on an HD-capable television -- there are some other differences. The tones of the show are much better now and things look a little more realistic. I don't know how people are seeing all these pores and scars that have been reported on various Internet sites -- maybe they are sitting on top of the television set. Some of the sets have also been changed, in case you didn't notice. Wildwind and the Chandler mansion have gotten an overhaul. Everything else received a fresh coat of paint and some new lighting.

Jacob Young (JR Chandler) and Adam Mayfield (Scott Chandler) dropped by Soap Central Live last week [Click here to listen to the show] to chat about, among other things, All My Children's move to Los Angeles. Jacob revealed what many of us already knew -- most, if not all, of AMC's New York behind-the-scenes crew were not relocated to Los Angeles. That means that the makeup and hair teams have not worked with the actors and actresses before. Most of the camerapeople are also new to filming All My Children. So there may be a period of adjustment before everything looks "just right." With AMC having more studio space than it had before, here's what we can look forward to -- more locations. Have you noticed recently that much of the action has taken place in one or two locations in Pine Valley? That's because the show has been trying to save money by using the fewest amount of sets possible. That way new sets wouldn't have to be erected (Rob? Krystal?) and old ones dismantled. That cost money. Now, with more space, AMC can leave its most-used sets permanently in place. There'll be no more need for random police talk at ConFusion just because it cost too much money to put up the police station set. And maybe we'll get to see some of the other rooms at Wildwind! Remember when there was more to that place than just a living room and front door?

Speaking of Wildwind, there was a scene between Erica and David that really gave me hope that the show is turning around. On several occasions it was referenced that Erica and David used to be lovers. Honestly, I thought that we, the fans, were the only ones around that remembered that. But wait -- there's more! Not only did the show touch on that romance, but Erica also talked about having lived at Wildwind with husband Dimitri. Did they say the D-word? Heck, someone even remembered enough about that history to have David bring up the stabbing incident.

No soap fan needs or even wants the show to delve into miniscule detail. David doesn't need to say, "Oh, Erica, do you remember the time you were wearing that crazy Phantom of the Opera mask and we had chicken parmesan with a glass of wine and a fly swooped down and landed on your ear?" Superfluous details aren't needed. The fact that the show remembers its history... now that's important. We've watched this show as long as we have because of stories or characters that captured our attention. Pretending that those things didn't happen is like pretending the viewers don't exist.

And if viewers don't exist, then I've been writing my column for the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy all these years.


Dan J Kroll
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