Yesterday, All My Children made its itunes and Hulu debut.
The show is back, and definitely appealing to a different generation. There’s sex, scandal, and drama, and that’s only in the first half an hour episode! It felt good to “be home in Pine Valley” again, and I definitely got teary eyed as soon as I hit play. I didn’t realize how much I missed the soap until I saw it in front of me.
You see, soap opera fans are a rare breed of special. They get drawn in to illogical storylines. They are emotionally attached to characters. They will fight you to the death if you mix up story lines about the relationship between a character and her long-lost-sister’s mother’s boyfriend’s cousin’s dog’s owner.
Soap fans take a sort of comfort in the illogical. Everyday, for a short period of time, they’re able to put their lives on hold and submerse themselves in whatever show is their choosing. (Do NOT tell a soap fan All My Children and One Life to Live, for example, are the same thing. You might as well end your relationship with said soap fan there.) Soaps are an escape from the mundane, and no matter how silly or nonsensical the storylines may be (how many times can people be brought back from the dead before being considered a zombie?), the life of a soap opera character is ultimately way worse than the life of a soap fan. There’s an odd sort of comfort in knowing that your life is way better than someone else’s, even if that someone else isn’t real.
Being a soap fan isn’t a simple activity that happens when you watch television during your lunch break. It’s a way of life that, much like a cult, is difficult to leave and nearly impossible to forget about.
The return of All My Children had its flaws (Petey, we get that watching tv on the internet is The Next Big Thing. We’re here, aren’t we?), but it also had something AMC fans have been waiting for for almost two years: answers. “That fateful night five years ago” was hinted at throughout yesterday’s show, and I suspect we’ll at least know who JR shot by June. (It’s still a soap, people, not a miracle worker….unless we’re talking about the holiday season and Father Clarence. That’s another post entirely.) AMC brought back familiar faces, families we grew up loving, and new faces to grow to know and love or hate.
I’m so excited to love All My Children for another 41 years.
That’s right! On Monday, in honor of the AMC reboot, I’ll be hosting a #SassyAMC Twitter Party!
All My Children is coming back on April 29th, and I want to share the laughter, tears, and love with all of you.
While I know I can hardly wait to see the comeback episode, and I’ll probably watch it at as soon as it’s available online, I want to live-tweet/ watch the episode online with all of you, my loverly fans.
So join me and live-tweet the first episode with me at 8pm EST on Monday, April 29th! Who knows? Maybe there’ll be surprise appearances, prizes, and soapy fun!
You can watch AMC on http://www.hulu.com/all-my-children and itunes. (Hulu is free which is why I’m posting the link.)
Be sure to follow the #SassyAMC hashtag on Twitter or join the TwitGrid party by typing in “SassyAMC” as the party hashtag, me @THEGingerSass as the host, and your twitter username to get in on the fun!
For those of you who didn’t know me in middle school, here’s a fun fact: I stood out like a sore thumb. I’m not just talking about the gawky stage I went through in early puberty. I’m talking about the undeniable love I had for the soap opera All My Children starting when I was 11 or 12.
I was home sick for a few days, and I found myself watching the soap I had made fun of my mom watching so many times before. I discovered the VCR setting (yes, VCR, something today’s 11 or 12 year olds don’t know about!) and recorded the soap every day, watching it by night as I did whatever homework I had. Once I discovered we had SoapNet, we became high-tech and no longer recorded AMC on the ol’ VHS tape. (I actually wore a few out!) I’ve always been an old soul, and I related to (well, understood) the soap more than the silly shows kids my own age were watching. I grew up watching the show. I even incorporated some small aspects of the story lines into my creative writing assignments in school. My secret ambition was to be a writer for All My Children.
I even dragged my family to the local mall for a special charity night so I could meet Aiden Turner, my first crush on the soap. I think I really was crushing on his British accent. (He was eventually replaced by Leven Rambin, Eden Riegel, Alicia Minshew, and Cady McClain.)
I think that mall security guard might be the first photographic evidence of a photobomb in my life. I was probably 13 or 14 here.
He also signed a headshot for me. I scanned it and taped it to my binder. I was convinced the usage of “With Love” was a marriage proposal. HA.
This, along with me receiving All My Children: The Complete Family Scrapbook as a Christmas or birthday gift in middle school, gave me A Reputation. I wouldn’t say people bullied me, but I certainly got a lot of people busting my chops and saying, “How’s Aiden?!” every chance they got. I never “got” people my own age.
My mom has my copy of this book now. This one is from Amazon. I read this book cover to cover because, as a story lover, writer, and book geek, I wanted to know EVERY LITTLE BIT of the history behind the All My Children I knew. This book gave me the history through 1995, about 6 or 7 years before I started watching. My mom– and this cool thing called dial-up internet– was able to fill in the pieces I didn’t know.
The point of this post (so far) is that the history of All My Children was (and is) very important to me. When it was announced that All My Children was being cancelled, even though I only watched about 2x a week at that point due to my class schedule, I was really devastated. I knew my mom was too so I got us tickets to “A Farewell to Pine Valley” as soon as I saw they would be visiting the State Theatre.
The men of Pine Valley– Walt, Vincent, Jacob, Darnell, Ryan, and Michael!
At one point Walt Willey was answering audience questions RIGHT NEXT TO US. Mom was a bit starstruck. I seized the moment, politely said, “Excuse me, would it be okay if I took an awkward photo of you with my mom?” Mom looked at me like I was crazy as he simultaneously said, “Sure!” I later photoshopped (aka used a fake version of Paint) myself into the photo. I smiley faced mom’s face out because I don’t like to exploit my family members on the internet, but she was smiling that huge. Seriously. He was such a sweetheart.
ANYWAY. Back to the point of my All My children lovefest.
After it was initially cancelled, there were talks of AMC being revived online. Then the talks died and the project was cancelled. The show was left with a major cliffhanger, and a lot of upset fans. (Don’t mess with soap fans, people. They’re crazy.)
NOW, as released a few months ago as the best news ever, All My Children has been revived and will be on Hulu starting April 29th. Understandably, some of the core actors and actresses are unable to return to the show. A lot of the AMC vets are, but a lot aren’t. The reboot of AMC is starting 5 years from the point of where the soap left off, which means, in soap years, the kid characters have aged 8-15 years and the “adult” characters haven’t aged one bit. The reboot also appears to be focusing on the storylines of the “kids,” who are now high school and college aged.
Lots of “fans” are pissed and badmouthing the lovely actors and actresses who play these “kids,” which, frankly, is pissing me off. I’ve avoiding getting involved in the online Twitter wars and badmouthing of actors and actresses because A) it’s stupid and B) I’m just super happy AMC is getting a reboot!
One of my favorite actresses, CadyMcClain, who “liked” my blog on Facebook and helped me come out to my Mom as a blogger, also happens to be a fabulously opinionated woman and blogger. (She’s hysterical. Seriously. Look her up.) She wrote about the ridiculousness of the “fans” going nuts over the “kids,” and I seriously love her for it. It was really awesome to get an “insider’s point of view.”
My favorite part about her blog? She calls out the fans on agism, which made me love her even more.
Okay, really for real, the last thing: I could write a whole ‘nother blog on this point, but let’s just touch on AGISM, shall we? When I was young, I was told I better make it while I was young because there would be nothing for me over 40. Now, thanks to the hard work of a LOT of FABULOUS women, that has totally changed and THANK GOD. But is it me, or does it seem like we are all looking at the kids and giving them a really hard time? The Millennials in particular. Maybe they remind us we ain’t getting any younger, but personally I find them an awesome generation. That’s why I write for policymic.com! I think this generation has so much to share and teach us. I love their VOICE, their liberation, their street savvy, their art. I say BRING IT!
I definitely encourage all of you to check out Cady’s post “Let’s Talk About the Kids (of All My Children).” It’s a great read. If you’re looking forward to the reboot as much as I am, suck it up and embrace the change. We could have been left wondering “Who did JR shoot?” for the rest of our lives.
Oh, and check out this song by the new “Miranda Montgomery,” Denyse Tontz. Cady mentioned it on her blog and now I can’t get it out of my head.
I was very surprised last night when my first #23til23 challenge was issued by Lenore Riegel, the mother of Eden Riegel, one of my favorite soap actresses and my absolute favorite Bianca Montgomery from All My Children.
I joined the Emily Dickinson community, and then Lenore challenged me to write some poetry “on or about” Emily Dickinson as well.
This poem was influenced by Emily Dickinson’s “A Bird came down the Walk.” I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s “on or about” Emily Dickinson, but it certainly was influenced by her. However, just to be safe, I wrote a haiku introduction dedicated to her.
“A trickling idea of words”
Emily’s words ring truer than nature’s song; now new words are spoken.
An idea trickled down the mind–
It did not know it was seen–
as it bit the future in halves
and swallowed the past whole–
and then this idea settled in
for a long stay in the vulnerable soul–
and then nestled close to the heart
to let hope radiate within—
as it brought forth great surprise–
that danced all around—
in excitement at the prospect of gratification, I suppose—
which further stirred even more adventures
like one gone beyond sanity, cautiousness,
the idea was offered a place to grow
and experiment with testing the limits
of finding one’s self before the advancement of age–
then happiness settle in the fingertips,
with words bursting out from behind colored nails—
as challenges came forth, leaping onto the computer screen
encouraging words of freedom and chance.
Thanks for the challenge, Lenore! Stay tuned to see what other challenges #23til23 throws my way!
There’s no denying that All My Children was a huge part of my life growing up. When I was 12, I was home sick from school one day and begrudgingly watched my mom’s soap with her. With that, my addiction was born. I taped AMC episodes on a VHS, and watched them every night as I did my homework. I become emotionally attached to the characters, Pine Valley, and the amazing history behind the show.
Fast forward about ten years. All My Children has been cancelled (I’m still bitter about that and refuse to watch tv from 1-2 in the afternoon), and I’ve started following some of my favorite soap stars on Twitter and Facebook. One of them, Cady McClain, is hilarious, snarky, and extremely awesome. She also has an alter-ego, Suzy F*cking Homemaker, who gives great advice. She recently posted looking for some questions to answer, and I replied with the following, not expecting much. (FYI, my alter-ego on Facebook is “Karmen.”)
Suzy, I’m a grad student. I’ve chosen the wonderfully rewarding career of being an educator in urban settings. I love making a difference and changing lives, I’m so excited to start student teaching in the fall! However, recently I’ve discovered my real passion lies with blogging and (hopefully) one day becoming a celesbian. How can I get people to visit my site (www.GingerSass.com) and create a following while still maintaining my professional image as an educator?
What ensued was a fabulous video from Suzy! (Skip to 0:58 for her advice for me!) I love the pausing of the music and the gulping of the drink at “celesbian.”
“Is that a celebrity lesbian? All right. I support you in your goal, Karmen. Do you want to talk about your urge to be a famous lesbian? That would be a very interesting blog. I might read that blog. You could be a role model! Think about it.”
My response to Suzy responding to me? Making this face at Cady’s page in my AMC tribute mag I got at “A Tribute to Pine Valley” in October.
If Cady McClain’s alter-ego suggests that you write a blog, you should probably do it.
First, let’s get something clear: I don’t want to be an A-list celesbian like Ellen DeGeneres or Jane Lynch. (Being an A-list celesbian means straights and gays alike love you and you’re rolling in dough.) I have enough straights and gays (and everything else) in my life that love and adore me. While I would love to have enough dough to not have to worry about paying off my student loans, being that famous would be scary. Once you reach A-list, you can forget ever going out in public with your pj’s on and not wearing any makeup. (Not that I do that know, I’m a super girly girl and must get dressed for every occasion. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt is equivalent to sweats to me. But I digress; I want the ability of wearing pj’s in public.)
I want to be a D-list celesbian. You know, the kind of celesbian that only the gays recognize. I want to be a figure in the LGBTQQIA community without always worrying about stalkers or going out in public without make up on or any of the other celeb problems.
To me, being a celesbian would mean being able to go to a publisher and have my poetry published without the “but it’s queer” look. I’d be able to use my celesbian powers for the good. (Yes, I just gave myself powers.) Being an educator means that, no matter what, I’ll be looked at as a role model. As a Resident Assistant for 3 years, that title was thrown at me A LOT. I know people look up to me and I definitely have had my fair share of students who have come out to me, come to me in moments of crisis, or used me as a big sister figure over the years.
Getting back on topic, there isn’t any specific reason why I want to be a celesbian. I don’t want to be Ellen-famous (although, just throwing it out there, I do have the same birthday as her), and I don’t want to be a celesbian for getting drunk and making out with sluts a la reality tv. I want to be a D (or even Z) list celesbian for doing what I love most– writing, making a difference, and encouraging people to be happy be being themselves.
So, basically, just follow my blog, like my page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter @THEGingerSass. If I can have a decent following, maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll be able to smile and say Suzy F*cking Homemaker encouraged me to be role model celesbian.