Friday, April 15, 2011

COMMENTARY: And Then There Were Four

In the back of my mind I knew it was coming, but I tried to deny it.  We all did didn't we?  It can't happen to us.  All My Children is the most beloved show on daytime.  Erica Kane is an icon, a household word.  They wouldn't do it, they can't do it.  Well, they did it.   They put another nail in the coffin of soaps.  A dying genre.  It's been dying a slow death, but it is dying.  Suddenly I feel like a betamax, a vinyl record, hell even a VCR.  Obsolete.  

Right now I'm a combination of the first four stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression) with just a smidge of the fifth (resignation).  I don't want to be resigned to losing AMC, but hope is very very slim.  As fans try anything to save these shows I keep thinking about the fans of Another World, Passions, Guiding Light, Port Charles, As the World Turns... and other soaps that met with a similar fate.  The fans of those shows campaigned, petitioned and fought to no avail.  I'm not saying AMC fans shouldn't do these things, but the likelihood of a save at this point is slim.  Extremely slim.  Why do I think so?   Several reasons.   First, an official cancellation has been issued with replacement shows announced.  That is a done deal.  There is no "we're thinking about canceling" talk, it's canceled.  Second, a few weeks ago when the rumors started (again) about the cancellation the stars came out in droves urging fans to support the show, write the show, sign petitions, etc.  Now?  Nothing but stars resigned to the end of the show.  None of them have urged support.  None.  That tells me a lot.

And now that I've mentioned a few weeks ago, let's go there.  Because for me, this is where a lot of my anger at the whole situation is centered.  It was less than a month ago that the news broke that AMC would be canceled.  And yet, we were told all was well.   We were told AMC was in good shape and not going anywhere.  The stars tweeted, gave statements, and poor Susan Lucci was on talk show after talk show and appearance after appearance, talking about how great everything is.  We were all lied to.  All of us.  It was certainly known then that this was going to happen.  But TPTB chose to lie to everyone, fans and stars alike.  From what I've been hearing when the news broke yesterday, the media announced it before the cast/crew was told.  Nice work Mr. Frons.  Why not just be upfront and tell us.  So it was a few weeks before you planned on breaking so many hearts.  What's a few weeks.  Why the lies?  Why the pretense.  Oh that makes me SO mad!!!

Yes, I put a lot of this on Frons.  I put a big part of this on him.  And another part of it on.... you know who I'm going to say don't you?  Yes, I do put part of the blame on Pratt.  He destroyed AMC.  His storylines were ludicrous and poorly written and it was because of him that the ratings tanked worse than they ever have and have yet to truly recover.  Does that mean that if he had never been a writer for AMC the show wouldn't be canceled?  No, it probably still would have happened.  I don't watch OLTL but from what I understand their storylines have been stellar for quite some time now and they still got the ax.  But I can't help but put part of that blame on Pratt.  He should go down in history as the man who destroyed AMC and Frons as the man who destroyed ABC Daytime.  Is that unfair?  I don't think it is.

And so we have a little more than five months left after 41 years on the air.  Five months.  What will happen?  How will it all end?   Will iconic characters make a final appearance, like Brooke and Adam, Joe and Ruth.  Is Zach alive?  Will he come back and give Zach and Kendall a happily ever after?  Will Jack and Erica have theirs?   Will Dixie be raised from the dead and reunite with Tad?   Will all the wrongs be righted?  Will the show go out with a bang or with a whimper?   So many questions.   I have hope for a strong ending now that Lorraine Broderick is back at the helm of the all but sunken ship.  Another lie by the way, Lorraine Broderick has been rehired has head writer, and for a long term contract this time, they told us.   Long term?  Really?  5 months constitutes long term?  There is nothing I hate more than lies.  Nothing.  And it shows what little respect Mr. Frons and co. have for the people that have supported his shows for so very long.  

So what can fans do at this point?  Well get involvedWrite, call, email, sign petitions, support campaigns.  It can't hurt!


Sassy Marsha said...

A truly wonderful post. I'm in the denial and anger and depression state. I have been watching since day one. I was in high school. I remember Dialing For Dollars Came on before AMC (if my memory serves me right . . . which it isn't quite what it used to be). AMC was 1/2 hour and then it was followed by Ryans Hope or vice versa.

AMC has been a part of my entire adult life. It's very sad.

I guess once September comes I'll spend that one hour during the weekday when I would break for lunch and cuddle on the couch with my boxer girl reading instead of watching Erica, Jack, Kendall, Tad, Opal, Bianca . . . . .

judyjj said...

ABC Daytime is toast. I think they should hang a sign on the door that says "closed for business" and fire Frons. Run some news in the morning until 9 a.m. and then play classical music with video of a roaring fireplace or waves crashing on the shore (depending on the season) until 8 p.m. when they pick up the evening schedule.

Thanks, Kathy, for giving us your insights and the PVB for so long. We appreciate you, and we certainly appreciate the actors on AMC and OLTL who have generously shared their talents with us. I'll watch AMC right down to the last minute.

Nathan said...

I blame Daniel Cosgrove: 90210 (ended shortly after he joins), Dirty Sexy Money (canceled), Guiding Light (canceled), As the World Turns (canceled), All My Children (canceled)

The girl is the new Ted McGinley! In all seriousness, while it's bittersweet, I think the next few months are going to be something else.

Kathy said...

Nathan, that's hilarious!!! Are you a Top chef watcher? Daniel Cosgrove is the black hammer (like Antonia) LMAO

JJ said...

It's really sad what this is doing to other businesses. I had subscriptions (and had recently added 2 years to each of them, "to avoid new postage rates") to 3 soap publications. I have now called to cancel all 3. I almost felt guilty; I know this is going to lead to jobs being lost at the magazines (I assume SOAPS IN DEPTH will go back to one publication again). I'm sure there are others who will lose their jobs that don't directly work for ABC or the soaps specifically.
Yeah, now ABC can have 2 shows most of us won't watch that will cost them next to nothing to produce. People who we will never meet but who we care so much about will no longer be in our living rooms anymore.
And then there were 4.. but, for me, there are zero.