Has anyone noticed the trend lately (or maybe not so lately) on All My Children? It appears that instead of writing exit stories for actors that were cut, they just sort of phase them completely out, and never mention them again. It seems to be a growing trend. In my opinion, some of these characters deserved to be written off with their stories closed out.
Take for instance, Reggie Montgomery. Michael B. Jordan, who was an incredibly talented young actor, just sort of faded out of the picture, later having it explained that he went off to college. He just sort of went. Now he is never even mentioned. Even with all that has been going on between Jack and Erica, not one mention. It is sad really, and an insult to talent.
Also missing from the Montgomery clan, is Sean Montgomery, and he was just cut with little or no fanfare, just poof and one day he was gone, only to be mentioned once or twice, in passing, and with no mention of where he went, or where he was going. Just going, going, gone.
Next, we have Brooke English. The way she was written out without so much as a bit of fanfare was incredibly insulting to an actress that defined Pine Valley, and angered many a fan when in late 2006, the news got out that Julia Barr had been let go. Her work on
All My Children
garnered Julia eight Emmy Award nominations (1980, 1981, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2001), and she won the trophy both in 1990 and 1998 for “Outstanding Supporting Actress.” In 1990, she also took home a Soap Opera Digest Award for “Best Supporting Actress,” and she received another nomination from the magazine in 2002. Again, a very useful and talented actor, fading into the background, and eventually forgotten about, and never mentioned. I think the outrage over her leaving, caused many fans to turn the channel on the sets, and never look back. This, I am sure has helped All My Children in their further declining ratings.
While “phasing out” of characters lately seems to be the normal, All My Children has also been showing vintage clips of past characters. Seeing the clip of Jenny Gardner in a Foxy’s costume, or sitting out on the fire escape with Jesse on a hot summer day made me wax nostalgic for the days of old, where having good people to play good parts that were well written for was as important as anything else. It was not about the budget, contracts, or backstage squabbling. Although I thoroughly enjoyed all these clips, it made me sad that the writers cannot seem to capture that magic All My Children once had.
I have actually been on vacation, and when I returned home, there were 5 episodes on my TIVO. Did I rush to watch them? No, not really. If I knew the vintage clips were there,, I most definitely would have, and reveled in the fact that what is old can be made new again, for people who are not old enough to remember Jenny & Gregg, and their saga of Rich Boy/Poor Girl/True Love. Throw in a snobbish and bigoted mother for the rich boy, and you got Greg Nelson, and his meddlesome and unapproving mother, Enid Nelson, doing her best To do whatever is necessary to keep her son away from Jenny Gardner, Daughter of Opal & Ray Gardner, and sister to Thaddeus (Tad) Martin. There was also a very young Liza Colby, whom Enid enlisted to keep the two lovebirds apart. Liza was very good at deceit, and wanted Greg for her own. The fact that Greg only had eyes for Jenny, only led her to want him even more. Love eventually won out, and Greg and Jenny were married, much to Enid’s chagrin. Happiness was short lived though, when Jenny met her untimely death on a rigged Jet-Ski that was meant for Greg instead of her.
Does all this give me hope that good times are coming back to All My Children? I sure hope so. We could use some good times. Do I think the current writers need to take a page out of the books from the 1970’s? I sure do. Is it better, or yet again is this just a phase?
I will however leave you this to ponder…. Do you think had the internet been around in the 1970’s, that viewers would have had the same issues with the show that we are seeing today?
Pass the meds, it is almost time to watch All My Children again…………
From the Medicated Mind of an AMC Girl