Who said that All My Children is dead? It may not be exactly the news soap fans wanted to hear, but All My Children will continue on after its September "final episode" on ABC. If you missed the news, ABC has inked a deal with a company called Prospect Park that will allow both AMC and One Life to Live to continue being produced. There aren't a lot of details available, but here's the gist of it all: All My Children will move to the Internet after it wraps production. Will all the actors make the move? Will the show broadcast every day? Will I need to break out my Erica Kane sock puppet in the event that Susan Lucci says she doesn't want a part of AMC-dot-com-slash-org-dot-net? I haven't a clue.
I have to say that I am stunned by the number of fans, fans who'd been quite vocal in their messages to me that they didn't want All My Children to go away, who are now angry that AMC will continue on the Internet. Sure, it would have been ideal for All My Children (and One Life to Live) to continue on ABC. However, I think it was quite clear very early on that ABC wasn't going to change their mind.
Most AMC and OLTL fans figured that their soaps were going the way of As the World Turns and Guiding Light -- gone forever. When ATWT and GL were canceled, Procter & Gamble assured fans that they'd do their best to find a way to keep those soaps alive. Fans of those two soaps believed them. Whether or not any steps were taken to find new homes isn't known -- and it may never be. The end truth is that those shows are gone. Gone forever. 125-plus years of television history down the drain.
ABC claimed that it, too, would be open to offers to buy or license All My Children and One Life to Live, but the Internet soon became rife with claims that ABC wasn't really interested in seeing that happen. So it was a huge surprise when the New York Post announced that ABC had licensed the rights to the two soaps to a production company that (almost) no one had ever heard of. So many wary soap fans immediately took to the Soap Central message boards to warn the Post that they'd storm their offices if the report turned out to be fabricated.
Well, the report turned out to be true. No one has any specifics -- which I have to say is not exactly comforting. So what's my take on all of this? Some All My Children is better than no All My Children. So the shows will be shown on the Internet. Big deal. There weren't a lot of television viewers when the soaps made the jump from radio to television. If soap fans really want to watch their soaps, they'll find a way to make it happen. There is a general assumption that soaps are dying and no one cares about them. I think we've proven everyone wrong just by a company wanting to license the soaps. Now, we need to prove everyone wrong all over by making sure that web-based AMC (and OLTL) are a success.
Everyone knows that Tad and Cara's marriage started off as a sham. It's not the first time that someone married someone they didn't love in order to get a green card. It's probably safe to say that nearly everyone watching was able to telegraph that one of the faux marrieds was going to develop legitimate feelings -- more than likely unrequited -- for the other. Not to brag, but we were right. Or were we?
Tad was the first to show legitimate signs that he cared for Cara. It wasn't just his Cookie Monster-colored hair debacle that tipped his hand, and it was already evident by the time Tad actually 'fessed up to liking Cara. What's fascinating to me is that Cara also seems to have feelings for Tad. What I want to know is why are both so hesitant to just step up and admit the truth?
I'm guessing Tad thinks that a gorgeous, younger woman wouldn't want him. So do we think that Cara is reluctant to admit her feelings because Tad isn't what she sees filed away under "ideal man" in her mental dictionary? I'd venture to say that a lot of happy couples out there in the real would not be together if one of the two partners was only interested in dating their "type." Who knew soap operas could provide a lesson in self-examination?
Before I move on, I've been wondering how fans would react to the Tad and Cara storyline now that Cady McClain is back as Dixie. Obviously, if All My Children hadn't been canceled, the story would have played out differently. I think Tad and Cara would have had time to really fall for each other -- and then Tad would have been torn between two women that he loved. It's not the most original story idea -- so please don't think I just "created" that idea in my head. I'm merely relating how I think everything would have played out.
What I didn't expect was for so many viewers to say that they'd rather see Dixie stay "dead" than to return and cause trouble for Tad and Cara. (Are we calling them "Tara?" If so, I don't like that smooshing. AMC already has a Tara -- not that anyone talks about her.)
"Am I the only one yelling, 'Noo!' whenever Dixie is shown on screen?" Two Scoops reader Jan asked me in a recently email. "Don't get me wrong... I adored Dixie and Tad. I used to cheer every time one or the other (usually Dixie) would come back from the dead. However, notice that I used adored -- past tense. When Cara was first in Tad's orbit, I noticed a definite spark between these two wonderful actors. For the first time since Dixie, I felt that Tad had met his match. I began to root for a Tad/Cara connection and love their budding romance. I know there are many diehard Dixie/Tad fans, but I wanted to cast my vote for Tad/Cara. LOVE the two of them together!"
Jan is not alone. The are other vocal fans who feel the same way. So it's time for a question: Has there ever been a soap opera couple on AMC that you've loved, and thought you'd always support, only to have something happen to change the way you felt about them? Who were they? What happened to make you change your loyalty? Click here and put those fingers to work by sending me an email.
Who knew Liza Colby was still living in Pine Valley? We haven't seen the character on-screen for more than a few blips in the past... month or two. So I was pleasantly surprised that Liza had something meaningful to discuss. I never bought Liza as district attorney -- so I'm glad that job title has been yanked away from her. I'd rather see her fight like crazy to prove the mayor wrong in some new capacity as super lawyer. Job aside, I liked that Liza was questioning what he life had become.
"When did you and I become such wusses?" Liza asked as she flopped into Tad's oversized chair cushion.
This relates back to the Tad/Cara discussion. When did soap operas become so insightful? Without this becoming some sort of Oprah show confessional, I admit to having moments where I've reflected on my life and how things are and where they could have been. Rarely, though, does this sort of thing happen on a soap -- unless of course someone ends up pregnant from a one-night stand, or does something criminal. I guess I say all this because it was refreshing to see reality, reality that doesn't come in the form of a cooking show or a weight loss program.
Wasn't it presumptuous of JR and Marissa to assume that Bianca and Sienna (the woman she'd showed up with at Krystal's) were dating? Eyew! If you saw a friend out somewhere and noticed that they were with someone, would you really walk up and say, "Are you two going to be having intercourse later?" Okay, so that's not what JR and Marissa said, but it was equally as inappropriate. I'm glad that happened, though, because Sarah Glendening nailed the I-hate-that-you're-with-her-but-I-can't-tell-you-that awkwardness of that moment.
Project Orpheus, huh? Sounds a lot like Proteus, if you ask me. Orpheus was musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. Supposedly, Orpheus was able to charm all living things with his music. David Hayward has been shown playing the piano in the past, but I wouldn't say that he charmed me. Show of hands: How many of you think it has something to do with Dixie?
That leads me into a real world/soap world mesh. You have probably heard about the passing of former First Lady Betty Ford on July 8. Back in 1996, All My Children wrote a storyline that sent Erica to the Betty Ford Center for the treatment of a pill addiction. Big deal, right? Well, actually it was. Typically soap operas do not use the names of real-life persons, places, and things. The Betty Ford Center was overwhelmed with letters, cards, and flowers addressed to "Erica Kane." It may sound crazy that real people sent real get well gifts to a fictional character -- I agree. (Sorry if any of you reading this column sent cards to Betty Ford.)
So I've been sitting on my next gem for a while now. I'd planned to share it this week, and when I learned that AMC had been "saved," I wasn't sure if I'd post it in the column. Then I figured what he heck -- so here goes.
I've wondered how All My Children would end. I've seen Loving end with a whole bunch of murders, I've seen Josh and Reva drive off into the sunset in a truck, and I've seen As the World Turns go dark with an illuminated globe. But what about AMC? Now that AMC will continue on in some format, there doesn't need to be an end end. As luck would have it, my finale idea was crafted to allow AMC to continue.
Okay, okay. I'll stop beating around the bush. In the final episode, as the show is ready to wrap up, I'd have the action fade out to a scene of Agnes Nixon sitting in a chair with the All My Children book in her hands, and she'd be reading the dialogue that just appeared in the previous scene -- possibly ending with "you are All My Children." She'd close the book and we'd see that there was another woman (maybe Lorraine Broderick or Susan Lucci) in the room with her. The other woman would remark, "Oh, Agnes, I've always loved your stories." Agnes would reply, "And I've loved sharing them with you. But now these are your stories, to remember and to share." The camera would pan out and viewers would see all of the cast members of AMC -- and as many former stars as they could find. The original All My Children theme would play, and the screen would fade to black.
ABC promises that stories will pick up right where they left off when AMC starts web broadcasting, but that won't be possible if some of the stars leave the show. So that allows the show to "rejoin" things at a later time by claiming that someone else is telling the stories. Show the woman who appeared with Agnes holding the AMC book -- to demonstrate that the show's legacy will continue. If that's too hokey, they can just jump back fresh into the stories.
You may hate the idea entirely. I liked it -- so I guess that's all that matters, at least to me! But I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about how AMC should "end" on ABC and whether or not you give my idea a thumbs up or not. You know what to do, so send those emails my way.