By Kimi

Yesterday’s anniversary show wasn’t anywhere near what I was expecting, and that turned out to not be such a bad thing.

Interviewing the show’s characters in documentary style was a great way to not only fill in blanks on old and new characters and story lines, but also gave the show a modern feel.  It probably also enabled them to show more flashes of clips throughout the show.

There were many moments that made me tear up, like Greg’s (Laurence Lau) admission that it’s hard to return to Pine Valley due to memories of first love Jenny (Kim Delaney), and some that cracked me up, like when Nina (Taylor Miller) declared her father Palmer Cortlandt (James Mitchell) was the reason she came to Pine Valley, and ultimately the reason she left with husband Cliff (Peter Bergman).  Anybody familiar with their love story had to LOL at that one. 

“Brooke who” coming from Erica was classic!  Watching Hayley (Kelly Ripa) comfort Adam (David Canary) over Stuart’s death was long overdue.

LOVED watching reflections on the lives of Mona and Myrtle by Erica (Susan Lucci), and her thoughts on daughters Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Kendall (Alicia Minshew). 

But Erica should have also mentioned her ONLY son Josh (Colin Egglesfield) during the “Loss” segment. 

I found the focus on baby Gabrielle strange considering how she was conceived.  I doubt Kendall would appreciate her sister predicting Gabby will be the strongest Kane woman of them all.

LOVED the quickie wedding flashbacks, ALL of them, along with all the Hubbard flashbacks.

Glad we got to see Hayley onscreen with her brother and chatting with Amanda (Chrishell Stause) during her interview.  Wanted more flashbacks of the Dillon clan though.

Ryan’s (Cameron Mathison) interview was a nice subtle segue way into Greenlee’s (Rebecca Budig) imminent return.  And it was great to finally hear straight from a Santos how much Julia (Sydney Penny) meant to them – but Edmond (John Callahan) doesn’t even rate an honorable mention by soul mate Maria?  Huh? 

Understandably, David (Vincent Irizarry) mentioned losing Babe, but not brother Leo (Josh Duhamel)?  No flashbacks either?  If nothing else why not at least try to capitalize on Duhamel’s current popularity.  Duh!

LOVED Brooke (Julia Barr) and Opal’s (Jill Larson) recollection of daughters Laura and Jenny, but how could Brooke not lovingly recollect Aunt Phoebe (Ruth Warrick) as well? 

Jacob Young is such an awesome actor, he made me feel JR’s pain all over again – but no mention of mom Dixie?  And Joe (Ray MacDonnell) and Ruth (Lee Meriwether) could’ve mentioned Grandma Kate, Philip and Tara.

My gripes?  Not enough homage paid to older story lines that got the show to the forty year mark.  I know Charles Pratt wrote these episodes and either he lacked knowledge of AMC history or intentionally highlighted his story lines and characters.  Or both.

Also, I thought Kendall and Zach (Thorsten Kaye) had already left town?

It was strange not seeing some originals like Alexa Havins (in my opinion, Babe’s most memorable story lines occurred during her run) and particularly, Marcy Walker’s Liza.  She played such a huge part in AMC history, its a shame that fans didn’t get to relive any of that via flashbacks or dialogue.

But it was the vets, some of whom aren’t even on the canvas, that really made me long for those two full episodes even more.  Nevertheless, this was a unique way to present forty years of All My Children history, and although there were holes, I enjoyed it.  Did you?

By Kimi

By now, All My Children fans know that Charles Pratt Jr. has been fired as head writer. 

Although I enjoyed some of Pratt’s stories, some will be forgettable for me. 

The tornado special effects were awesome!  Nice way to bring back Bianca, but why’d the baby have to be Zach’s? 

Nothing Pratt could write will help me understand Zach’s motivation, or why Bianca would ever go along with it. 

This storyline quickly destroyed a sisterhood that took years to build.  While their reunion was nice, it rang hollow because who could blame Kendall for just wanting her sister gone?

Eden Riegel as Bianca

Eden Riegel as Bianca

I enjoyed Reese (Tamara Braun) and Bianca’s (Eden Riegel) short stint, and invested in their relationship more than any other partner Bianca ever had.  Pratt will be credited with penning daytime’s first same sex wedding, and I loved the ceremony itself.  Absolutely beautiful, from the vows to the costumes.  Too bad Pratt didn’t verify the length of Riegel’s contract so fans didn’t get shortchanged.

Another up side to his ouster is that now maybe we’ll see Bianca again, because I worried Riegel would never return under Pratt’s watch.  But because of her connection to Pratt, who knows if Braun will, either.

Incredibly, Josh Madden’s (Colin Egglesfield) death bothered me.  Given his manufactured history, I initially had a difficult time accepting the character.  And of course when I finally do, Josh gets killed off.  So much wasted potential there as Erica Kane’s only son, and I’m still confused as to why Erica holds no resentment towards Zach for killing him.  Josh wasn’t perfect towards the end, but he was still her only son.

And while Erica will never really change (thank God!) I do think she matured a bit on Pratt’s watch, and I liked that.  I occassionally saw glimpses of Mona when she got exasperated over something Kendall did.  Payback is a you know what!

I can watch NuLiza (Jamie Luner), but haven’t connected with her on any level.  Never warmed to Taylor and wondered when they hired Beth Ehlers where she’d fit in. 

However, I do like the addition of Brot Monroe (J.R. Martinez), this character drips potential and pairing him with Natalia (Shannon Kane) in a romance and on the police force could be interesting.  I hope his past (before Iraq) gets explored.

I’m ecstatic that the Hubbards are incorporated throughout Pine Valley, but disliked Jesse (Darnell Williams) breaking the law all willy nilly.  I’m loving Angie (Debbi Morgan) as a modern day Ruth Martin, being the stable, calming influence in the family. 

The Hubbards ABC/Steve Fenn

The Hubbards ABC/Steve Fenn

I’m warming to Natalia but didn’t like her mother at all, and thought that storyline could’ve been much better since ANYTHING could’ve happened during Jesse’s 20 year absence – sky was the limit. 

Frankie (Cornelius Smith Jr.) is hot, period, nuff said!  I like the growing pains we see in his marriage to Randi (Denise Vasi).  I believe Pratt got closest to creating some memorable history with the Hubbards because their storylines were very “soapy”.

Pratt also created lasting memories for moi with Amanda (Chrishell Stause ) and Jake (Ricky Paull Goldin).  My heart breaks for this couple lately.  Stause is a great actress who simmered on the backburner way too long, sacrificed at the altar of Carey women 🙂

The return of Dr. David Heyward (Vincent Irizarry) was a coup for Pratt.  Although the character has been dark lately, he keeps things interesting as only David can.  Bringing him back right after Babe died was genius, as Irizarry got great material to sink his teeth into. 

I only wish David Canary (Adam/Stuart Chandler) was shown the same courtesy – ESPECIALY since Adam killed Stuart.  (Sighing at the missed opportunity and Daytime Emmy nod.)

Crazy Annie (Melissa Claire Egan) is the best thing to come out of Pratt’s reign.  As I stated before, death couldn’t come fast enough for boring Annie for me.  Thanks to his writing, now I can’t imagine Pine Valley without her.

What did you think of Pratt’s storylines?  Which ones were most memorable for you?

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