Friday, September 23, 2011

The End of an Era: All My Children Closes Shop on ABC Today

Today I took my lunch late at work.  I usually go at noon because by the time I eat breakfast I am chomping at the bit the get some food in my stomach.  Today was a special day.  After 41 years on the air All My Children (AMC) said goddby with a special tribute episode on The View and then in their normal 1 pm time slot.

In his closing toast legendary AMC and daytime character Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) stated thre words that the show and Pine Valley were "friends, neighbors, and family."  With his touching words I shed a few tears because I was saying goodbye to characters and a part of television history.  This genre of television represents an interesting marker in the time capsule of popular culture.  The daytime drama or "soap opera" as it often referred was and has been (for the most part) about those three concepts.  With these shows you are invited in 5 days a week for one hour each (again for the most part) into the lives of characters.  I always reference a hilarious Carol Burnett sketch when describing the rapturous fans of this genre.  In the sketch the character Carol plays a woman who is so focused on her "soap opera" that she does not pay attention to the things surrounding her and even can't go of the show as her husband needs her and is having a heart attack.  This sketch always made me laugh so much.

Debbi MorganAs today comes to a close, I am sad because it is an end of an era.  There will be no more Erica Kane; she will not be joining the show online, and AMC without Erica Kane is just not AMC.  Today's episode along with every other episode this past week were touching tributes to those three concepts "friends, family, and neighbors."  The show focused on the remaining families left in Pine Valley the Kanes, the Martins, the Hubbards, the Chandlers, and all the other characters remaining. 

The show ended better than any other "soap opera" I have seen end recently.  The overarching story that brought things to a head was that David Hayward (Vincent Irrizary) was a doctor who could bring people back from the dead.  This story was far-fetched and outlandish, but brought together such great storytelling it never seemed to matter in the end.  For those who are fans of the show watching Dixie come back and reunite with Tad, and Adam get to see his brother Stuart alive, or watching Erica Kane chose between her man and her career.  I was hooked with every moment.  Throughout the last couple of months I found myself watching the show again, and seeing AMC as must see TV.  The ABC series finale ended with a cliffhanger making the audience wonder who got shot, a classic sopa soap opera motif. Even though the show is moving online there will be something different, but I hope the tradition of this show carries on.

The woman who created the show Agnes Nixon was on The View today and her tears signlaed my tears. I was moved and got chills.  I hope to see this show carry on the traditions of "family, friends, and neighbors online, and remember the grand tradition of the wonderful show that is and was All My Children.

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