All My Children is at a crossroads. For a period of a year -- maybe longer -- many fans felt the show was totally unwatchable. The reason for this was simple: the person in charge of writing the show had little to no regard for the so-called DNA of the show. It showed. Characters were unrecognizable, morale was down (for both the cast and viewers), and things were going from bad to worse.
Last year's announcement that production of All My Children was moving from New York to Los Angeles was a big jolt. If the move didn't get people's attention that things were bad, nothing would have. Lorraine Broderick was brought back to help guide the show after its move. It's obvious that this is a show she cares about deeply. The storylines have improved markedly and morale seems on the upswing.
But we've all heard the old advisory "be careful what you wish for."
As everyone celebrated All My Children moving to better digs and going high-definition, the show lost some of the performers it had built up as pillars of story. Thorsten Kaye announced that he would not continue on as Zach after the move. Ray MacDonnell, one of AMC's original cast members, has stayed East and Joe and Ruth Martin were sent to Florida to retire. Now, David Canary has decided to step away from the show -- another casualty of the show's move to California.
For so long the effort has been made to make soaps teen-friendly. With the retirements and the passing of James Mitchell (Palmer Cortlandt), All My Children has lost much of its history. Tad Martin is the new "old fogey" in town. How weird is that? Erica has yet to be called grandmother/grandmom/grandma/nana/mom-mom or anything even remotely in that ballpark. I can't picture David and Greenlee as the new old married couple in town.
All My Children is teasing that the Chandler/Cortlandt feud will not end with the death of Palmer and the exit of Adam. I am not sure how the show plans to do it -- Petey has been unceremoniously shipped off to Europe and there hasn't been another Cortlandt in town in years. I suppose the easiest way to do this is to have a love child or two pop out of the woodwork looking for their share of Palmer's fortune. It could make for some dramatic material for Jill Larson, as Opal might have to do battle with claim jumpers.
Over in Chandler Mansion, JR apparently doesn't read my column. If he did, he'd know that any and all attempts to make someone you hate fall in love with you usually backfire. JR silently hoped that he could get Annie to fall for him so that he could get her kicked to the curb. He didn't plan on his own feelings getting involved. Is this a case of hero worship, where JR feels some sort of subconscious feelings for the woman who saved his life? Or is Little Adam (No, I don't mean AJ!) getting a rise over an attractive woman?
Let's say for the sake of argument that JR and Annie get together and Adam gets ticked and leaves town. Where does that leave Marissa? The only other available man is Scott -- and he's still hung up on Annie. I can see a JR/Annie/Scott triangle playing out before I can see Scott and Marissa getting together. These two don't even really have a piece of a storyline -- a storycrumb, if you will -- to keep them busy. I suppose a scorned Marissa could seek advice on getting even from daddy David. It just occurred to me that Greenlee is Marissa's stepmother. That's a little weird, too, huh?
Speaking of Greenlee, here's another example of when it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie. Greenlee pressed over and over again for the details about her motorcycle accident. Everyone kept telling her to just let it alone. Well, we all knew that wasn't gonna happen. Now Greenlee will have to square off with her best friend and off-and-on stepsister. Don't get me wrong, I love the drama and conflict. The look on Kendall's face when she saw that Greenlee was alive and well was well worth the price of admission.
I have never been to Spain or anywhere on the Mediterranean, so perhaps my question will show my ignorance... but why wasn't the water outside Kendall's yacht moving?
The one place where a wish never goes astray seems to be Pine Valley Hospital. Brooke had what was dubbed "major surgery" and she was out of the hospital faster than broken-armed Damon. Now keep in mind that I didn't finish medical school, but my recollection is that Brooke should have been in the hospital for at least two days -- maybe more.
The Fusion photo shoot didn't do it for me. It was everything a photo shoot is not. Sort of how soap opera trials aren't like primetime court cases. But that's another issue. It would have made more sense to have Randi be a model since Denise Vasi is a model in real life. However, did it look to you like Amanda had a mystery fan? As Amanda, Jake, and Opal were watching the online video of Amanda's shoot... someone was typing a special message to Amanda. It didn't appear to be Jake. Might Amanda have a stalker... or could her crazed fan be someone else that we know? That would be, um, out of this world!
And soap fans, you are not immune to the advisory either. So many of you wished that Jackson Montgomery would return to Pine Valley. Now that he has, it looks like he is in for some heartbreak. His efforts to get back with Erica aren't quite going the way that he'd probably hoped -- and things are going to get a lot messier in the weeks ahead.
All My Children has created a new role -- a mountain man named Caleb McGraw. Erica and Caleb will cross paths when her plane crashes into the wilderness and destroys his home. This all sounds a little too familiar to me. Take out the plane crash, and Caleb could easily be Pierce Riley. We all know how that character fared. Three actors later and Pierce still was a snoozer. I can only assume that Caleb will have ties to someone else in Pine Valley. Maybe Erica's plane will crash near Pigeon Hollow and Caleb is the aforementioned here-to-unmentioned Cortlandt. I'd have said that he'd have made for a good Dimitri, but there's no way that Erica wouldn't recognize Count Andrassy even if he had gone recluse for a few years.
Things are finally coming together, but soon Lorraine Broderick will be leaving. All My Children will bring aboard two new Emmy-winning writers to guide the show's stories. Previous head writer Charles Pratt, Jr., was also an Emmy winner.
Be careful what you wish for.