Oh my goodness, AMC fans, there is an awful lot to talk about this week -- and I am not quite sure where to begin.
So we finally know who has been holding Erica hostage -- it's Erica! Okay, so maybe it's just a woman who looks like Erica. I don't want to be crude, but are we 100% sure that it's really a woman? AMC has done some unusual storylines in the past. I doubt they'd go that route this time because the show is ending (and because Lorraine Broderick and Agnes Nixon would slap someone senseless if they tried).
I am aware that not everyone is as excited about the Two Kanes Are Better Than One storyline. And I have to tell you, whenever there's a storyline that I like that others are rolling their eyes over, I do take a step back and wonder what's going on in my head that I'm in the minority. Have I finally lost my mind?
For 41 years, Susan Lucci has played the flirty, sometimes vapid, damsel in distress known as Erica Kane -- and that's what nearly everyone knows her for. Even in most of the made-for-TV movies that Lucci has starred in over the years, she's played a character that very much resembled Erica Kane. That's ironic since her new dual role has her playing a character that literally resembles Erica. But I'll get to that in a moment.
I was excited that, at least for a moment, Lucci got to play the bad girl. There she was, holding a gun at Erica (How dare she!) and crafting some unspoken evil plot in her head. I think that we, as television viewers, have gotten into our heads what it is that we think Susan Lucci can do -- and it's stuck there. Last year when Walt Willey (Jackson Montgomery) appeared on Soap Central Live, he told listeners, "And I will say that Susan Lucci is one of the best comediennes I've ever worked with. She's a fabulous actress, but she handles comedy so well."
Susan Lucci funny? Really? Who'dve thunk it? I have to think that this is why the cast of Gilligan's Island and the Brady Bunch didn't get oodles of job offers after their shows left -- they were pigeonholed by their iconic roles. If the rumors are true about Susan Lucci heading to Desperate Housewives, it wouldn't surprise me. Desperate Housewives is really only a soap opera that airs once a week in primetime. Oh, yeah, and it's one that ABC hasn't canceled.
So who is this not-so-plain Jane that has been keeping Erica away from the rest of the world? She's not an evil twin. She's not a long-lost look-alike. It would appear that she's just a crazed fan who wants to take over Erica's life. That's very creepy. I can't imagine someone going through that much hassle because they wanted to be me and look like me -- not that anyone would want to actually look like me. I have no idea how long this story will play out, especially since the show seems to be rewriting things in the wake of its cancellation. I will, however, say that there was at least the potential for this storyline to be captivating.
So let's get to the other side of the argument. I know there have been some of you that have been muttering my name with disdain as I've pretty much squawked and squealed about how I like this story. Yes, the "You look just like me!" plot device has been used since the dawn of the soap opera. All My Children has had several of the look-alike stories over the years. Janet Green took over her sister, Natalie's life, and also plotted to take over Brooke English's life. Tad Martin had an evil look-alike named Ted Orsini, who was a wine mogul. AMC borrowed Anna Devane from General Hospital, and crafted a twin for her -- Alexandra. And how can anyone forget Adam and Stuart Chandler?
Why does this storyline work? I don't know that I can say. Maybe I am just savoring every moment because soon All My Children will be no more. I've found myself saying this over and over in the past few years, but I'd rather have a soap opera on the air that I can grumble about than to have it taken away from me forever.
Since the show is still on and I can grumble, let me take care of some of that, too. Why is it that when there is an explosion on the soaps, hardly anyone gets covered by debris? Heck, Jack didn't even have a speck of dust on him after the quarry was leveled. It doesn't appear that Asher and Caleb will be as lucky, but I suspect that both will make it out alive. I can't believe I am going to make this next statement, but would anyone miss Asher or Caleb if they were not so lucky? Caleb had potential, but it was wasted when the writers insisted on using him as a wedge between Jack and Erica. As for Asher, I suspect that if he wasn't fun for people to look at shirtless, his character would have been ditched, too. It's been said repeatedly that AMC plans to focus on characters that fans know and love in its final months, and I don't know that either of the Cooney offspring fall into that category.
One Cooney that fans do care about is Dixie. I don't know what is going on behind the scenes at All My Children, but they've managed to get Cady McClain back on-screen in record time. It wasn't even a month ago that Cady announced that her return to AMC was a done deal -- and she'll have her first appearance on-screen this week. That was fast! I suspect that we'll be treated to one of those Friday end-of-the-show glimpses, and hopefully it will be better than the one we saw the last time Dixie returned. If I remember correctly, we saw Dixie at the end of a Friday episode in December and then didn't see her again until February Sweeps!
I think it's safe for us to say that Dixie will turn out to be alive. How will the show justify having shown Dixie as a spirit over the past few years? I don't care. It's not like they haven't had to explain that before. Jesse guided Gillian through the afterlife, and Jesse is still very much alive. Does it bother me that there's some sort of storyline altering in the works? Not really. I want to see the All My Children that we all know and love, and if that means that I have to suspend some belief in order to have a great payoff as the series ends, then so be it.
We'll also have to suspend disbelief if it turns out that Zach Slater is also still alive. Truthfully, I think it's much easier to explain away Zach's "death" than it is Dixie's. Back in January when I offered my thoughts on how to turn All My Children around, I offered a scenario that would help bring Zach back to the canvas. You can read the entire brainstorming session by clicking here, but the short version is that Zach had to fake his death (again!) to keep Kendall and the kids safe. I would have enjoyed seeing this play out over the course of a few years, but we don't have the luxury of time right now.
Congratulations to All My Children for its 13 Daytime Emmy nominees. The show received an Outstanding Drama Series nomination. This for a show that was just canceled because TV viewers want more reality. Mm hmm. Five performers were acknowledged for their work in 2010. Alicia Minshew (Kendall Hart) and Debbi Morgan (Angie Hubbard) were nominated in the Lead Actress category, while Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake Martin) grabbed a Lead Actor nod. Two performers no longer on AMC earned nominations: Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Chandler) in Supporting Actress and Brittany Allen (ex-Marissa Tasker) in the Younger Actress field.
Before I sneak away for another week, can I also note how tickled I was by Griffin's non-product placement cereal, Grainios? I have to wonder if the show wanted to have an advertiser drop some cash to do a product placement only to have it fall through. The little box was exactly the same as that famous brand whose name will not be inserted here because they haven't paid me for a mention either. Wait until next week when Jake and Amanda have a tasty chocolate-covered caramel candy named Krollos.