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.