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A couple of years ago, fans of the Agnes Dixon-created soaps All My Children and One Life to Live were hit a serious blow when they were cancelled by the president of ABC Daytime. For decades, these closely-related series went through good and bad storylines, the trials and tribulations of the Martins, the Buchanans, the Chandlers, the Lords, and all the characters who made their entrances and exits either memorable or not-so-much.
I was a fan of both of these shows – sometimes die-hard, sometimes casual – and I must admit I was a bit miffed for my fellow soap fans when the shows were canceled.
For quite a while, there has been talk of reviving these as web series, but it seemed it never would happened. Well, guess what – it HAS! And you can watch these series TODAY courtesy of The Online Network. They’ve labeled these shows as “back and better than ever!” – I’m guessing perhaps because they are now off-network and have more adult-related content that might not be suitable for younger viewers. So maybe watch before the kids do. (But to me, I say, YAY!)
I must give you some updates (or possible warnings, depending on how you look at it): Both of the series take place many years in advance, and you will see many characters aged dramatically. There looks to be a lot of teens now on All My Children, and they’re all the same age regardless of what year they were born. It’s typical and known as SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) among soap fans.
For instance, Dixie Cooney, who gave birth to JR Chandler in like 1990, is now the GRANDMOTHER of JR’s teenage son. Before you get in a twist, remember that the major hook to all soap operas is to have a teen storyline that will hopefully draw in younger viewers and make them lifetime fans. I was hooked on AMC at age 13 and OLTL at 14. It’s the summer, so you just have to accept that it’s the way it is. I know I’ve had to.
On All My Children, you will see the return of many favorite cast members and characters. Eden Riegel reprises her role as Bianca, Jill Larson as Opal, Vincent Irizarry as the evil Dr. David Hayward, and the return of Jesse and Angie Hubbard. I’m still not even sure how Jesse came back to life after he died many decades ago and returned as an angel like 10 years ago, but it’s soapworld, where no one ever dies. Even Dr. Joe Martin and Adam Chandler are back!
But one central character missing from the above cast shot – THE central character who carried the show for ages – is missing. Where’s Erica Kane? Now, I’ve heard that Susan Lucci has been contracted to do one episode. Not sure if she’ll do more, but apparently her character will not be so prominent as to appear in the cast photo.
Onto One Life to Live. You’ll see the main cast is MUCH smaller here.
Let’s see, there are some recognizable characters: There’s Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer), Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan), Tuc Watkins (David Vickers! YES!) and Erica Slezak as the lovely main character, Vicki Lord Buchanan.
Not pictured but also in the returning cast: Robin Strasser as Dorian Lord, and Hillary B. Smith as Nora Buchanan. there are several other returning characters (Tea Delgado, Jack Manning, etc.) I’ve also read that Roger Howarth will make a return as Todd Manning for the first four weeks of the series. Didn’t he have plastic surgery and have another actor play hi- oh, why am I asking?! Soap land, Bellesouth. Soap land.
Daily episodes will be 30 minutes long, with a recap on Friday. Each daily episode will be available at midnight EST.
I haven’t seen these yet, but just the mention of them has my curiosity piqued. You give ’em a watch, I’ll watch ’em, maybe we can share our opinions in the comments section. Okay?