All My Children's 40th Anniversary



All My Children celebrated its 40th anniversary Monday and Tuesday and after watching theepisodes I have to admit my reaction is more than a little conflicted. Obviously, seeing the long absent faces of Kelly Ripa (Hayley Santos), Mark Consuelos (Mateo Santos), Eva La Rue (Maria Santos), Julia Barr (Brooke English), Eden Riegel (Bianca Montgomery), Leven Rambin (Lily Montgomery) and James Mitchell (Palmer Cortlandt) warmed this AMC viewer’s heart. There were also the touching mentions of Myrtle (Eileen Herlie), Mona (Frances Heflin) and Phoebe Wallingford (Ruth Warrick), but did AMC have to waste so much time advancing Chuck Pratt plots that aren't working?

Tuesday’s anniversary episode was filled with great little moments such as Erica saying “Brooke who?,” Palmer telling the camera he knew Opal still loved him, Adam’s inability to keep all of his marriages straight, while Erica was able to rattle off all of her surnames with ease, but on an anniversary episode, did we really need to waste precious screentime on characters like Marissa and Randi? 

I enjoyed the mentions of the Glamorama and the Chicken Shack by Opal (Jill Larson) and of course Tempo was brought up. I liked David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) more in today’s episode as he talked to the camera more than any time since Irizarry’s return.

From Angie (Debbi Morgan) and Jesse’s (Darnell Williams) wedding to Cliff (Peter Bergman) and Nina’s (Taylor Miller) nuptials, AMC dished up a bunch of flashbacks from AMC’s most notable weddings.

I appreciated the focus on the Kane women. Seeing Erica talk about her mother Mona and second mother Myrtle was touching. It was also nice touch to have Kendall (Alicia Minshew) and Bianca talk about the trials and tribulations of being Erica Kane’s daughters was fantastic. However, I was disappointed at the lack of Dimitri Marick (Michael Nader). Would it have hurt them to show more of Erica and Dimitri? I realize that Nader and ABC have had their issues, but it was almost as if the Andrassy family never existed.

The Martin family has always been one of my least favorite Pine Valley families, but even I enjoyed their scenes. Seeing Joe (Ray MacDonnnell) and Ruth (Lee Meriwether) was touching, knowing the actors aren’t making the move to L.A. Watching Jake (Ricky Paull Goldin) talk about his love for Amanda (Chrishell Stause) was endearing. Watching Tad (Michael E. Knight) talk about Dixie in a way that made it sound as if Dixie (Cady McClain) might just pop up at any moment will surely have their fans talking for some time. 

One major gripe about the episodes, is why did AMC choose to use Amanda Baker’s Babe instead of Alexa Havins when Havins was infinitely more popular?  Not using Havins’ Babe also meant that we didn’t get any clips from one of the show’s most notable storylines of the past decade, Miranda’s kidnapping.

Would it have hurt to have Marian (Jennifer Bassey) featured in the episodes? Her husband Stuart was just killed off after all. Could it be that it was too hard to come up with Marion flashbacks that didn’t include Marcy Walker as Liza Colby, instead of the lame little scene we got from Jamie Luner’s Liza?

One bright spot, Melissa Claire Egan’s Annie continues to stand out. Watching her talk to the camera was a reminder of how far both the actress and the character have come. As much as I love Adam and Erica's dynamic, and as much as I miss Adam and Krystal (Bobbie Eakes) as a couple, I must admit that Annie, at least for the time being, seems just what the doctor prescribed for Adam.

All-in-all I’m fairly happy with Tuesday’s episode. While I would have preferred to see All My Children do something much more along the lines of One Life to Live’s 40th anniversary, I have to keep in mind that this was written by Chuck Pratt. That said, bringing back Ripa as Hayley to interview Pine Valley’s most upstanding citizens was a significantly better concept than General Hospital’s 52 second, blink or you’ll miss it, 45th anniversary tribute that was tacked on at the end of an otherwise “normal” episode as if it were an afterthought.

Even as I write this, watching the episode for a second time and hearing Agnes Nixon say those wonderful words “The great and the least, the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in tragedy and triumph, you are all my children” makes my quibbles seem insignificant.


Comments

Member since:
1 April 2009
Last activity:
3 weeks 1 day

Hmmm. Well, Thankfully, I have DC to recap a show I used to watch. AND, Thankfully, the 40th Ani Epi fell this week and not between the holidays when all my prime time shows were repeats. (Therefore, I was not tempted in the slightest to turn this horrible show on. Two birds with one stone ~ Soapnot did not get my eyeballs either)

However, If I WERE to have watched this, I know without a shadow of a doubt, I would not have pulled me back in as a viewer (lifetime AMC fan who gave up after Satin Slayer) ......It only would have angered me, being reminded of What Used to Be. I used to adore this show. From around "birth" with my mom, and "on my own"- 6th grade all the way through (I was born in 1973), from Will Cortland's Murder Mystery, Mark Dalton's drug use, Natalie in the Well (!) Kelly Ripa's first day (I still remember it clear as a bell) .....Characters - good or bad that were all least flushed out and well told so we were at least invested in them: Billy Clyde, Emily Ann, Cicely and Nico...Gloria Marsh Chandler, Jillian (love!) Cindy Parker.....Noah and Julia.

What has happened to this once fun and well told/acted show sits in my stomach, as uncomfortable & heavy as a serving of Peanut Butter Pancakes.

I can't & won't celebrate "All my Children" and forty years. Thirty five years - yes. Now? No way.....Sorry, AMC fans....

P.S. Thanks for reminding me of the OLTL Anniversary...god. That was great.

soapoperafan's picture
Member since:
19 December 2008
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45 weeks 2 days

I have some of the same issues most especially about Alexa Havins not being used.  Where was Justin Bruening?  Hells Bells, they fell in love on the show!  I have to admit that as Anniversary shows go, this one wasn't bad.  It was obviously not written by Chuckles!  I enjoyed seeing Taylor Miller and my beloved Julia Barr.  James Marshall  and Ricky Paull Goldin were adorable and Melissa Claire Egan is my favourite new actress! (I'll forgive her her Proactive commercials).  I love Tad and think he and Lunar have megachemistry.  And Vincent Irrizary?  It's illegal to be that sexy, baby!  I wouldn't want to be the one in charge of selecting the clips!  My favourite line came froom nuColby when talking about choosing courses for this semester she debated between psychology with a minor in family therapy or circus management.  I would choose the latter!  As for Adam and Erica.....wasn't it a hoot when Adam tried to get all of his wives in order and Erica got all her last names right.    And Jacob P Young, if you are reading this, please stop making me cry!   If goyankees won't celebrate it,  I will!  I was 18 when I started watching and I've had my problems with the storylines over the years but we have to continue to support this dying art!  Thank you AMC and thank you Agnes Nixon!

Member since:
12 June 2009
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3 years 18 weeks

Was it great? No. But it wasn't awful either, especially considering Chuck Pratt wrote it. The clips w/ Maria, Nina, Greg and other former cast members were really nice.

Soap_Stud's picture
Member since:
28 November 2008
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3 weeks 5 days

 In my mind, it is now or never for AMC.  I believe the next three to six months will be crucial to the soap's survival.  The perfect team for AMC?  I'd reunite Wendy Riche with Claire Labine and give them complete control of AMC.

As far as the anniversary episodes...I have saw better.  I have saw worse.  I was happy to see Brooke.

Smitty's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
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1 week 16 hours

I don't watch AMC on a regular.  I used to watch back in the 90s during Sarah Michelle Gellar's run as Kendal and I have popped during some summers when I was home from college and watched in the early 2000s.  I throughly enjoyed the episode.  I kept the tv on SoapNet last night and found myselif enjoying the look back.  I even saw a couple clips that I remembered.  There were a couple characters that I wasn't sure who they were but for the most part it was very enjoyable.  I haven't seen the Monday episode I am going to try and catch it on the AMC marathon this weekend on SoapNet.

Member since:
27 November 2009
Last activity:
3 years 50 weeks

Yep, UpChuck managed to ruin the anniversary show as expected. What a waste to get all of these long gone beloved actors together and not have any of them interact. It was basically a poorly written recap of all of the failed storylines from the last year with a few clips thrown in as after thoughts. I would have rather seen a well edited clip show of all of the best moments from the last 40 years instead of this luke warm half-assed pile of crap. How dare you pollute my fond memories of a once great show with the likes of Marissa, Randi, and Nu-Liza. Barf. I give it a D+ (the plus is for mentioning the Glamorama and the Chicken Shack).

AllmyDaysatGh's picture
Member since:
16 October 2009
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49 weeks 3 days

I loved the episode. The thing that disappointed me the most was that they didn't use Alexa Havens Babe clips.

I loved the Lily clips, as well as Zach and Kendall. And of course Brooke! Did anyone else get the feeling that Brooke might come back after she did that wink? Greg seemed VERY creepy, that beard was just....ehh. His whole demeanor was strange. When he said, "Your home...it's with you for life", soo strange looking!! Eden Riegel looked great in her scenes as Bianca. I loved her whole look. Eva La Rue surprised me the most! The way she broke down over Julia's death was soo unexpected! Adam not remembering his wives in order, Palmer giving his hilarious one liners, Erica saying she loved all of her husbands "at the time", all great moments! The Hubbard's were such a joy to watch. I hope AMC notices how much of a gold mine they have in Jessie and Angie. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic episode. All of the ABC soaps have passed their 40th mark, I think AMC has had the best 40th show. I watched OLTL's 40th, that show almost didn't have ANY flashbacks at all! So I loved AMC's, very satisfied with it. I want Lily, Bianca, Maria, and Palmer to come back now Smile. Great job, AMC. Heres to a better 2010!

Member since:
1 July 2009
Last activity:
6 weeks 2 days

Like I said on the post yesterday, It was lame and I give it a D-. Now I see why Pratt got fired afterwards. While it was great to see Julia, James, Taylor, Kelly, Mark, Eva, Leven, Laurance, and Agnes (who all looked great btw.) It was great seeing clips of Gillian, Cliff, Nina, and that Tad did mention Dixie.

Still it was terrible:
Not enough classic clips, while I like AB's Babe I loved AH's Babe and her clips weren't shown, no Jamie, no Marian, no Dimitri, no Jeremy, no Billy Clyde, no Reggie, no Sean, none of the Fryes, no original Liza, no Tom, Natalie, Noah and those are just off the top of my head.

Erica, not even having a picture of Josh, nor was he mentioned.

We also had to see Randi and Marissa, you guys know how I feel about those two.

I agree the next 3-6 months are make or break for AMC.

Hopefully this will be a good start I just read that Julia B. (Brooke) is coming back in Feb. Is this true?

thecourt99's picture
Member since:
30 April 2009
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2 hours 51 min

 I wanted to watch the episode then read the article...and it's very interesting their approach. They decided to focus on the people currently on canvas and how they relate to the past 40 years in PV. I get that. What I don't get is how much time was spent on what has happened in the past year, instead of what has happened over 40 years.  Notable missing items:
- Family segment
----why didn't Erica mention Josh? There wasn't even a picture?  Why not focus on Miranda instead of Gabby?
----Why wasn't there any mention of Travis??
----Why did they treat Amanda like she didn't have any family before marrying into the Martins?  The Dillon's got no respect!
----While they aren't related, I would have loved to see more scenes of Angie/Jesse/Jenny/Greg/Tad/Liza

Oh well, what can I expect from a person who probably thinks that his reign at AMC was the best ever!

AllmyDaysatGh's picture
Member since:
16 October 2009
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49 weeks 3 days

I KNEW THAT WINK FROM BROOKE MENT SOMETHING!!

So glad that Julia Barr is returning to AMC! I hope it's for a long time. Spread the word :]!

luverica's picture
Member since:
16 March 2008
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4 hours 33 min

I’ve been hating on AMC for at least the last couple of years and it hurts because this is the show I grew up on but I thought yesterday’s retrospective was excellent. It was very well done and very, very moving. I love how they put it in the context of a special documentary by Haley Santos and Kelly Ripa was perfect. It’s like she never left. I cried a little twice. One was when they put up Jenny’s picture. I loved my Jenny Gardner Nelson and the Jenny/Greg love story to this day is not just my favorite soap love story but soap storyline of all time. The second time was Eve LaRue as Maria Santos when she broke down over her sister Julia.

Some of my other favorite moments was Erica and her “Brooke who?” moment, and an appearance by my boy Palmer Cortlandt. Even if it’s just a few appearances, it would be heaven if Lorraine Broderick wrote Palmer back just to take down David in that special take no prisoner Palmer Cortlandt way.

I would have liked to have seen a little more Merrick/Wildwind moments, since that’s such a huge part of AMC’s history, and more dealing with Bianca’s coming out since that was a huge, and very well done, storyline but all in all and especially compared to some of the other recent retrospectives, AMC’s 40th was great. I so look forward to the return of some Lorraine Broderick writing even if it is temporary.

Soap _Stud, I LOVE YOUR SUGGESTION. As much as I love Lorraine Broderick, I would love to see what Claire Labine would write for Pine Valley, PA.

gjr1969's picture
Member since:
8 August 2009
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11 weeks 2 days

I thought it was pretty decent. No, it wasn't perfect but at least they focused on people like Mona, Myrtle and others. I would have preferred Brooke and others could interact but the clips were actually decent. Under Pratt, it was a miracle it was this good. I halfway expected Palmer to show up and say "Adam, you just can't marry Annie" or "I'm so worried about Madison"
 

EricasEvilTwin's picture
Member since:
15 July 2008
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4 weeks 5 days

For the most part I loved it and I keep reminding myself that the real travesty was that we only got one day.  I think the OLTL epi was 2 or 3.  There was no way to include all the wonderful moments that we were looking for in a one day special.

I agree re: Alexa Havins.  I was pretty surprised when they showed the first clip of Amanda Baker's babe.

Loved ER bangs!!

GossipGirl's picture
Member since:
26 November 2008
Last activity:
37 weeks 1 day

Best line from the episode is when Erica said, "Brooke Who?". I miss those Brooke/Erica showdowns! And Eden looked adorable. I want my Binks back!

I wasn't big on the anniversary episode. There were way too many Babe mentions. I also wish they hadn't spent so much time on newer characters when they could have had more time with the actors that showed up just for this episode. And instead of doing a documentary style episode, I would have liked the characters to have interacted with each other instead of all of them being seperated.

There were some nostalgia moments in there and it was nice seeing some old clips along with some of the old characters. In my opinion, the episdoe was very average.

season1217's picture
Member since:
23 July 2008
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31 weeks 13 hours

Who the hell cares if there were ANY Babe clips?!

TV Gord's picture
Member since:
18 February 2009
Last activity:
4 hours 22 min

I do.  I wanted to see Alexa, not not-Alexa.

THEBEST's picture
Member since:
12 February 2008
Last activity:
43 min 23 sec

The episode was suprisingly good. I LOVED how Tad talked about Dixie like she wasn't dead, just waiting for him to save her. My hope for 2010 is that my T&D are reunited!!!!!

Member since:
6 January 2010
Last activity:
2 years 30 weeks

 It was a missed opportunity to pay tribute to original cast member Ray McDonald
by having a retirement going away party for Joe and Ruth. It would be a reason
for many past cast members to return to Pine Valley. At the event many characters
could have flashbacks of the events in their lives during their time in Pine Valley.
I was 11 years old (male) when that AMC storybook opened for the first time with Rosmary Pritz pictured(by the way) and I was there then for the first airing and am still there today.Since the first decade wasn't covered Shout Out ! for the best of memories to the only couple in daytime history to have their own "special music" for their sceens and that is Karen Lynn Gorney(Tara Martin) and Richard Hatch (Phil Brent) AMC first super couple.
A think 40 year celebration could had less consideration for economics and more for
a fitting story.

Member since:
15 February 2009
Last activity:
3 years 21 weeks

I loved the Brooke who line too funny! and i thought Hayely was hillarious i wish she would do more guest spots. I also enjoyed Maria and Mateos mention of Julia it was very touching( they should have never ever killed Julia she should have just left town)
All in all it was a nice episode although i would have liked to see the characters interact more (Hayley and JR Hayley and Amanda discussing Trevor, Mateo and Maria, Brooke and Adam, Brooke and Erica, Nina and Palmer, Palmer and Opal, Brooke and Tad) I also thought it would be a nice touch if there was a scene with Opal with the Martins where she thanked them for taking Tad in all those years ago i think that would have been really sweet  

Mike Jubinville's picture
Member since:
9 October 2007
Last activity:
4 days 8 hours

I watched AMC in the early 80's and my memories are filled with Palmer, Myra, Nina, Cliff, Sybil, Jenny, Greg, Enid, Donna, Chuck, Estelle, Billy Clyde, Phoebe, Myrtle, Brooke...you get the picture. I was hoping to relive some of them, but I was sorely disappointed. I FF through most of the second half with Luke ringing in my head...

"Awful"

Member since:
8 December 2009
Last activity:
3 years 42 weeks

As an AMC fan from the beginning (I was 5), I remember many of the great milestone moments.  Five years ago for the 35th anniversary, homage was paid to Joe Martin as chief of staff.  Everyone they could bring back within reason was there.  They even brought Phoebe in for what would be her final on-air appearance (don't shoot me if I am wrong, working only on memory here). 

It would have been more fitting to send Joe and Ruth off with a nice retirement part with appearances (in person or video) by many of the people who made PV great over the last 40 years. 

This also could have been the perfect time to kick off the new production model and new opening credits (or one reminiscent of the past).  TPTB knew the 40th was coming up and knew they were moving to LA.  Why not sync things up and do it right? 

I'm pulling for them and hope they can pull of the improbable and that is turn around a floundering soap.  I am encouraged that AMC has not been bleeding viewers as many other soaps have and has had stable numbers over the last year.  Yes, I realize they are not near the top in demographics but that can change (or more appropriately cater to the demographics you do have).