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All My Children's days are numbered and that's kind of sad

August 29, 2011 - Andrea Johnson
Two soap operas that I grew up watching with my grandmother will be going off the air in the next couple of months and that makes me kind of sad.

ABC's "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" were always ridiculous and cheesy, but we enjoyed watching them anyway and seeing what outrageous thing would happen next. Viki on "One Life to Live" has multiple personalities and her alters did something nutty every year or so, such as kidnapping a rival or committing a justifiable homicide or sleeping with a man who wasn't Viki's husband. Sooner or later Viki was sent off to the local mental hospital and was declared cured within a month or two, only to have Viki's multiples get loose again the next time the soap needed a ratings boost. Viki's daughter Jessica has multiple personalities too, so it must be genetic.

Sooner or later every character on a soap has an evil twin, a long-lost child or one or more relatives who have come back from the dead or all three at once.

For the grand wrap-up, both shows have revived these classic soap conventions. On "One Life to Live" there's an evil twin story (Todd and his previously unknown identical twin Victor Jr.) and a possible "back from the dead" storyline.

"All My Children" has almost a dozen "back from the dead" stories. It turns out that villain doctor David has a secret lab facility somewhere where he's stashed all the characters who were presumed dead in the last decade or so. It's hilarious to watch the reunions and to see how blase the characters are about having a dead wife or husband or mother or father waltz into the room. It happens so often in soapland that they all must be used to it.

None of the back stories make much sense, since no one can explain how David got to all these supposed dead people in time to revive them with his magic potion. One "dead" character died in a plane crash and another died choking on a piece of food, but both are good as new after being kept drugged up for months or years in David's facility. It WAS kind of touching the day I tuned in to see Dixie come back from the dead (this is probably the second or third time she has " died" and made a miraculous return) and reunite with her little girl Kathy. Even if it doesn't make any sense, at least the show has the decency to leave the characters in a happy place when they go off the air.

It's rumored that Minot's own Josh Duhamel will make an appearance on "All My Children" before it wraps up. His character Leo "died" a long time ago, but chances are good David has had Leo on ice in his mad scientist fortress for all these years. It would be good of Duhamel, who went on to bigger and better things, to remember the show that gave him his big start.

There's only a month of "All My Children" left. It's scheduled to go off the air the last week in September. "One Life to Live" will be on the air for a few months longer than that. There's talk of reviving them as Internet only shows, but even if they do it won't be the same.


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