Monday, September 26, 2011

All My Children's End - Disappointing

All My Children's Kane family (+ friends)
I hope everyone had a great weekend. Despite dire, rainy forecasts, the weather turned out to be mostly overcast, and not a lot of rain. So, it's nice when things are better than expected.

However, it's no fun when things disappoint. And I must say, the last television episodes of All My Children, the soap that has been on the air since 1970, were disappointing.

Let me preface my comments about the show's end by first saying I was a huge fan of the show when I was a kid, my teens and early twenties. I watched the show daily at points in my life. It was such an entertaining show at certain points and I will always have fond memories of it. I think during the 80s, when I was a child, the show had a strong presence in the African American community, because it had the soap's first black Super Couple: Angie & Jesse. I remember my mother saying it was nice to have people who looked like us on TV. And so, as  a 7 or 8 year old, I would sit with my mother and watch these wonderful stories play out and get so excited for the happy and sad moments in the lives of these characters.

So, when I tuned in last week to watch the last week of this show on television, I expected an homage to those great moments that this wonderful show has had.  ( Quick note: I keep saying "last week on TV" because the show has been picked up by an online group that plans to continue the show on the web; however, only a handful of the show's current stars have signed on. Most notably absent is Susan Lucci, who plays the indomitable Erica Kane.)

Unfortunately, the show played very little homage to it's history. One friend of mine who tuned in to see the last week, because she remembered the heyday of Greg & Jenny and Angie & Jesse, said the last week seemed "half-assed" and "thrown together." I would not go that far, but it seemed so lacking in homage to what it was, that it was really sad.

The most striking problem with the last week was the flashbacks. They took each day to focus on a few of the town's core families: the Hubbards, the Martins and the Kanes. These families are significant families on the show who have rich history with wonderful clips. But, you didn't see any of that in the flashbacks. They showed mainly new stuff in the flashbacks. I understand that not all the same actors are playing the characters, but we fans remember. I don't want flashbacks with nuBianca, who has played the role for a year now. I want to see Eden Riegel's Bianca. Riegel played that role for the better part of a decade and flashing back to Erica with Riegel's Bianca would have paid homage to the show.   This newby only flashback felt cheap. Particularly cheap was to dedicate the Martin family show to Mary Fickett, who played Ruth Martin and died in September of this year, and then show absolutely zero clips of Fickett playing Ruth. Just because you hired another person to play this character doesn't mean fans have forgotten the person who spent nearly three decades playing the character.  It boggles the mind.

The show also ended with a cliffhanger.  The character of JR fires a gun and then the screen goes to black. You're not sure if he hit anyone and if so, who was hit. I was of mixed emotions about this. I understand they want people to watch the online version, but for a lot of people this was supposed to give them closure and that really didn't do it.

If you would like to see a great piece that will delight you as an All My Children fan, check out Friday's episode of The View online. You can see it on ABC Daytime, Hulu or Youtube (though the video quality is much better on ABC and Hulu). The show is filled with great classic clips and Susan Lucci co-hosts. And, if you didn't see the last week of AMC, you can watch it yourself  on ABC Daytime or Hulu and see if you agree with me.

That's it for today. Have a good one.

-Hyattsville Mom

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