Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Susan Lucci and Daytime Television

When I was a young kid I used to watch soap operas with my mom; she worked late nights and my dad worked days.  My parents set up this schedule so they always could be with me and I would not need a babysitter.  I watched The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and As the World Turns with my mom.  After a while my mom started working days and my time was split between both sets of my grandparents.  My one grandmother was not into the soap operas as much as my other.

I did not start watching All My Children till later, but I remember everyone talking about Susan Lucci's, Erica Kane.  I watched around the time Erica dealt with the story of her daughter Bianca's anorexia.  Now I have to admit, Ms. Lucci is not one of the best actors, but she created one of the most memorable characters in all of television history.  Lucci was primarily known for losing at the Daytime Emmy's but after 19 nominations Lucci finally won.  The moment (in the the clip below) was incredibly emotional.  All of daytime television was on their feet screaming.  I have never seen so much excitement in one room at award show.  This moment proves that there was an entire industry that was ready for this moment, in honoring and rewarding this woman for creating an iconic character.

Lucci has tackled numerous story lines in daytime television that were firsts; she was the first character to have an abortion (this was later undone and ruined a classic moment in television), battled a mountain lion, coped with her daughter being and anorexic and a lesbian, she was married so many times, arrested for insider trading, murder people and went to jail and so on.

I cannot fathom the world of daytime without Erica Kane, it is like Sesame Street without Elmo and Big Bird,  there will be a tremendous loss when the curtain comes down on All My Children when it leaves ABC.  The show was picked up by Prospect Park to be viewed online come January, but with Lucci declining her offer I do not think All My Children can survive without Erica Kane; she has been a cultural icon that will be missed.

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