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All My Children

REVIEW: The Premiere Episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live!

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

On Tuesday night, April 23rd at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU in New York City, the stars, executives, press, and fans, converged for the highly anticipated premiere of the return of the iconic soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live.  After being swiftly axed off the ABC Daytime canvas in 2011, this was a night of smiles, tears, and community for everyone who has worked so tirelessly to resurrect the shows. From the fans “never say die” attitude and spirit, to Prospect Park’s relentless efforts to revive the shows under adversity, but with a passion not often seen in the soap genre.

The night began with moving speeches from Prospect Park’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, to One Life to Live’s executive producer, Jennifer Pepperman, to All My Children’s EP, Ginger Smith.  It was Smith who had the honors to say to the audience, “And now All My Children!” And with that, and to excited applause, we all were ready for the unveiling of the much talked about revival of Pine Valley.  After the first episode of AMC was unveiled, next came the premiere episode of One Life to Live.

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

So let’s break this down with our thoughts and addressing yours, the fans, concerns.  I can tell you, not only was I in need of my much need hankies, but I, along with several AMC and OLTL cast members, clapped and cheered throughout the episodes seeing beloved faces we have all missed for over a year and half from our daily soap viewing habits.

This will be a SPOILER FREE review.  I will not divulge any major plot points or surprises, Needless to say, there are some jaw-droppers! And I mean that in the best possible way!

The Look and Feel:  Both shows are two very distinct shows.  They are unique on to themselves.   If there were any concerns about production values, stop right there! The shows look fully realized in HD.  Sets are reminiscent of the old AMC and OLTL but reinvigorated as if they had a much-needed face-lift.  When shooting exterior scenes, no Guiding Light here! (And you guys and gals know what I mean!). They are fresh and work within the framework of the storytelling.  When you watch AMC, you get the sense of family, Pine Valley, relationships, the new kids and the veterans we have come to love.  When you watch OLTL, you get the sense of the dark storytelling that always made this show that sleeper hit, intense, controversial, with probably one of, if not, the best core cast in daytime.  It’s all there.  One Life’s first episode which takes place at the opening night of Club Shelter, was so well-done it could have been a the first episode of a cable primetime dramatic series.  You got the feeling of a kick-off, a brand new start!  Music is used in both soaps to invigorate the shows, and it does.

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

The Use of New Young Characters vs. The Use of Veteran Characters:  So I am sure many of you are expecting that your favorite core characters might be kicked to the curb?  Not so, I am happy to reportAll My Children as you know is the show that has more young characters that were either SORAS’d, or who had not been seen before.  But what AMC did in the premiere was anchor them to the vets.  You saw Rob Scott Wilson as Pete Corlandt with his mother, Opal played by Jill Larson before he bumped into new gal, Celia played by Jordan Lane Price.  And then we saw Eric Nelsen’s AJ Chandler with Denyse Tontz’s Miranda Montgomery in a scene with Julia Barr and David Canary as Brooke and Adam.    Now I am telling you here … the breakout new star of the series is poised to be Eric Nelsen! And Rob Scott Wilson also brought some heart to his role. But that being said, Jesse and Angie are BACK! And they have MAJOR story!

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Over at One Life to Live, while at first it may be jarring to some to see a grown up Matthew Buchanan (Robert Gorrie) and Destiny Evans (Laura Harrier) it’s OK, because Bo and Nora (Robert S. Woods and Hillary B. Smith) are there concerned for Matthew.  The younger set is a major component to the club opening at Shelter, but it also serves as a backdrop for the converging of many Llanview favorites whose issues are overwhelming them including:  Melissa Archer’s Natalie and Florencia Lozano’s Tea Delgado.

The Opening Title Sequences:  OMG! One Life to Live’s almost had us reach for the hankies!  You will see!  It’s touching seeing those familiar couples from Llanview dancing!  For All My Children, it went the much more traditional soap route with the use of chyroned character names.  Actor names were shown at the end of the episodes.

The Storylines:  All My Children jumps five years ahead in story, but nothing is forgotten! That fatal night when JR fired the gun is a major plot point of the opening. We just get hints at who could have been shot, and it plays out throughout.  The ABC finale is honored and it helps kick-off the story of where the characters are now in their lives. There is much, I mean much, mystery involved, and it does focus on the core characters.  There were several cliffhanger moments in the opener and it certainly did not feel like some short 30-minute soap with no content.  It felt full and realized and every scene and moment had a purpose.

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

For One Life to Live, we couldn’t have been more pleased, because Viki and Clint were Viki and Clint, Bo and Nora were as you would expect and scene stealers- Robin Strasser and Tuc Watkins, each in their own right, stole the episode!  Tuc had one of the funniest and one of the most touching moments as David in the premiere and Robin Strasser … there are no words.   Dorian is right as you imagined she would be, and her feud with Viki is going to bust wide open.  As for Corbin Bleu’s Jeffrey King, he is endearing and intriguing, so no worries there. But there is a danger, sexual energy abound, lust and a mystery in the premiere episode.  It felt raw and real, and not manufactured.  It was if the show got grittier, but it still served the through line of One Life.  But I will tell you right now, you will need hankies again, when you see Florencia Lozano’s opening scene as Tea! Give this woman an Emmy already! And seeing Roger Howarth again back in Llanview as Todd Manning mixing it up with Blair …  how cool!  Right?

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Sexually graphic scenes and use of foul language – First off, I recall hearing not one cuss word in the opener of either soap.  So if there was one, it went by in a millisecond and did not impede or offend.  As far as the concerns of more sexual content – there are some moments in AMC that have much more sexual overtones then will have ever have seen on ABC’s version. But remember, online programming does not have the same standards and practices barriers.  On OLTL, you will see more skin and gyrating bodies dancing in a frenzy in the first episode, but it was part of the energy of the scene and the story.  I was not taken aback. It was a minute of, “Oh, OK! Now I get where they are going with this.”

There is so much more I want to tell you, but I can’t.  You need to tune in on Monday April 29to Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes and begin the journey with millions of fans who fought for these shows and brought them back.   Is there a difference from the versions you knew before?  Yes!   Does that mean it won’t be as good?  Hell No!  I think you are going to be seduced, excited, and thrilled when you see Pine Valley and Llanview again in a more contemporized version and as the initial shows for The Online Network.  I am sure there will be much discussion in the days and weeks to come, but from my vantage point, and through my joy and tears, the shows you love are there waiting for you to come and check them out!

So now that you read my review, will you be watching on April 29th? You don’t want to miss it, and being part of soap opera history in the making!

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Denise
Denise

Yes…definitely!!!

danicajolie
danicajolie

OLTL is my show! I will definitely be watching it and the wonderful actors. I had given up on AMC before it ended because it just could not hold my attention…but I am going to be back and give it another try particularly to show my support to the soaps. Bring on the popcorn! This is going to be fun!

Avidreader72
Avidreader72

Nice way to whet our appetites, Michael. Sounds like we are in for a real treat.

Jody
Jody

Will be there with bells and whistles on Monday……..right smack at noon!

Joliefan Forever
Joliefan Forever

That sounds Awesome I can not wait for these 4 days to be over with! Monday the 29th can not get her fast enough!
I will have my tissue ready!

Tina
Tina

Heck yes!!

michele
michele

So very excited for one life to live. I can not wait. What time does it start? Have my Hulu account all set up.

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

First of all. we need to get traditional starting times out of our heads. Both shows will be AVAILABLE to watch at 12 pm edt, but you can watch them when YOU want to

Elyse
Elyse

Most definitely.

Barb
Barb

Thank you! I have been waiting for your review! LOL!! 4 more days but who is counting and I will have those tissues ready!!! Just cannot wait! Michael excellent overview!!! EXCELLENT! You never let us down! 🙂

heidi
heidi

Well done Michael!!! Lovely review and thanks for not spoiling… just enticing us to watcha and I will be!!! Thanks Michael… thanks for covering many of our concerns and if you love them… I am sure we will too!!! Glad you are back!!!

Tali
Tali

Hell Yes….can’t wait!!!!

Joe
Joe

Having been one of the lucky few fans who had the opportunity to attend the Premier and see the episodes, I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Fairman!

If you don’t tune in and watch these shows, I sincerely believe you will be missing history in the making. If the folks over at All My Children and One Life to Live continue with this caliber, they will be turning the page into a new dynamic of serial drama, and might just put traditional television out of business!

Annick
Annick

Yes…we are having a reboot launch luncheon:)…. Soo excited and cannot wait to see FL knock it out the park once again…Game on Apr 29th

Monica
Monica

All I want to know is where the viewing parties are, because. I’m so ready for OLTL I can’t stand it!

clh
clh

I was going to be watching anyway, but now I sooo can’t wait!! 04/29/13 can not come soon enough for me!!!

I was little concerned when I didn’t see Robin in the cast photo, so it’s a relief to know her and Tuc are front and center day one!

scott
scott

Heck yah cant wait

Cheryl
Cheryl

Sure will, and hoping to catch the shows at midnight!

jimh
jimh

My old browser does not support hulu…but i guess me and my friends can read the storyline in Soap Opera Digest! I feel i wont be missing out on anything that way!

heidi
heidi

Try your library… Jim. Most have headsets and you could go in and watch 3 or more episodes there at one time.

jimh
jimh

I may eventually try one of our library locations but they are usually crowded on the days i get there and a very long wait. But if i here enough positive reviews from fans in the coming days it may be worth it, and ill give them a look! Thanks 4 the reply.

Derek
Derek

You can also just download an updated browser off the internet. Or yes the library is another option.

heidi
heidi

Sometimes your operating system does not support the later versions of browers… like XP stops at IE 8.

Tammy Kreiss
Tammy Kreiss

Try itunes on Fridays for the weekly recap show. If you can’t update your browser for none of my business, the recap show might be best for you.

Rodd
Rodd

Will absolutely be watching. In fact, I will become a new AMC fan just to support the shows, the actors, production teams, PP,and most importantly the core fans who kept fighting to bring these shows back to us. Can’t wait!!!

C
C

Great review, can’t wait for Monday!

susan M.
susan M.

I will be watching! I have been waiting for my favorite soap to come back & that Is OLTL & my second favorite is AMC…. Saw the view today only because I wanted to the soap
stars from OLTL (VikI) & AMC(David & Zach)… It was a short interview and they showed
a clip from OLTL with Viki & Clint and Viki admiring her engagement ring from Clint. Viki
saying how beautiful the ring is and Clint saying,we have been together so long ,I think I know what you like. There will be a big blow-up between Viki & Dorian…Some scandal Dorian is involved in which is front page news in The Banner. David wants his revenge after being in jail for 5 years. Sounds all GOOD! It is finally here our beloved soaps are BACK!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mgb357
mgb357

cant wait – gonna be online at midnight – sunday!!!

i feel like i’m going to be overwhelmed seeing my OLTL family once again… happy tears!

Anthony
Anthony

I am excited about the rebirth of OLTL and will be happy to watch the veterans and the newbies create more and more layers to life in Llanview.

rjm118
rjm118

I never watched AMC but will to support these new formats, CANNOT WAIT for OLTL.

rebecca
rebecca

I’m absolutely looking forward to the return of OLTL…but I think it’s going to take a while to get used to the newer, updated look, feel…replaced characters, etc. I think one of three things will happen:

I will either love it as much as before without skipping a beat…

I may love it again…but almost as if it were an entirely new show…

Or I won’t be able to get back into it it because of my previous expectations.

It’s going to be interesting…

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

Rebecca,

Yours is probably a very honest reaction, so I can’t/won’t argue with you. But, I will give you (and everyone) some advice. If these shows fail under the weight of unrealistic expectations, there will be NO getting them back-and fans will have noone but themselves to blame. I urge people still on the fence to give these shows several weeks of a fair hearing-everyone connected deserves that much. There’s not too many second chances given in life-we need to make this one count

rebecca
rebecca

Troy,

I agree with you. I was beyond disappointed when the show was canceled…I was/am thrilled that it’s back in some shape/form…and I have every intention of tuning in…for my own sake…LOL…and of course for the genre.

But, as with any medium… TV, film, music…whether I continue to be a fan and spend my valuable time turing in will depend on whether I enjoy it…which is just as it would have been if it were still on ABC TV.

Let’s hope for fans and actors/crew/Propect Park alike…that the shows rock!

Len
Len

This is a GREAT review! I can’t wait to see them on Monday!

Megan
Megan

Cannot wait!!!!

Nancy
Nancy

OMG I can hardly wait. Thank goodness no one will see me crying my eyes out just like I did for 3 months like I did when they were cancelled. Thanks PP. I really mean it. You have me as a long time fan.

Ricky Ortega
Ricky Ortega

Awesome Michael! Cannot wait to view the first episode of AMC!!!!!

Johnny
Johnny

Should be interesting to watch…I will be watching on Hulu Plus on my TV, because I look at a computer enough at work. I don’t mind if it’s not exactly like the old “All My Children” on ABC-TV because times change, people change, and the characters of
Pine Valley have changed as well.

Laurie
Laurie

Thank you for your review. I was already excited for the return of Llanview, but you have made me even more so, if that’s even possible. And I’m ecstatic to hear that my favorites, Todd and Blair, are mixing it up right out of the gate.

Mary Fergen
Mary Fergen

Hell, yeah, I’ll be watching, and I can’t wait! I hope that anyone who once watched these shows, or love soaps in general, will be watching too. We need to make these ground-breaking programs a success!

Cathy
Cathy

Sounds amazing! Cannot wait to see what these shows will do now that they are out from under ABC! Looking forward to compelling, amazing storytelling that is character-driven. Especially looking forward to the continuing saga of Todd & Blair!! FINALLY! What ABC tried to stifle and destroy, PP will resurrect and nurture. 🙂

blake
blake

I can’t wait to see these. I wonder if they premiere after a certain time online each day.

Tali
Tali

Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan) says they’ll be available for viewing on Hulu @ 4 a.m. CST on the 29th and then each day after. HULU is FREE!!!

blake
blake

Great thanks!

Mo
Mo

Sounds like some great shows. I’m interested to watch and I’ve never watched AMC and haven’t watched OLTL in years. Good luck!

Bruce
Bruce

I was in the audience for the Premieres this past Tuesday night and I LOVED both episodes. AMC did well in continuing the story without of course revealing a lot of specific information (which will keep fans wondering and coming back for more).

I’m not too fond of the OLTL opening sequence but it definitely doesn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the show itself! …oh yea…and (re: OLTL) in terms of THAT twist (You know what I’m talking about) SPEECHLESS!!!

btw, the S-bomb was dropped in both shows, once in AMC and a few times (by the same character) in OLTL. But it wasn’t out of place or context. I will be watching again on Monday and trying to hear lines I may have missed due to the thunderous applause that the shows received throughout! I’m soooo glad they’re back!!

Tammy Kreiss
Tammy Kreiss

I along with Michael Fairman did not hear the S bomb, & I went Tue & Th!

El Rizzo
El Rizzo

Hell YAY I’ll be watching!!! I can’t wait!!!

GV
GV

Thank you so much for the wonderful review of both shows! I am so excited already and your review has only added to that! So happy to have the shows back, I have missed watching them so much.

Amanda
Amanda

Great review. So jealous you have seen them. And thank you, btw, for your great reporting. I really just discovered this site and love it.

David
David

Encouraging words indeed Michael. Can’t wait to watch the pair of them on Monday.

Rose S
Rose S

I have it marked on EVERY Calander in my house and a post it on my computer screen, wouldn’t miss it for the world and I am so excited and happy that these two shows are back!!!!!

Gillian
Gillian

Will the online soaps be eligible for daytime Emmy nominations next year, Michael?

Joshua
Joshua

I certainly hope so! Would love to see Erika Slezak get her record of most Emmy wins back from Anthony Geary!

Elhu
Elhu

I cannot wait and will definitely be watching both shows!!!!!

CC
CC

Great news!

Joshua
Joshua

Hate to look a gift horse in the mouth but I feel “All My Children” is making a major mistake with the five-year time jump. There was so much drama that could have ensued if they had picked up immediately from when the show went off the air in September of 2011.

As for “One Life to Live,” this sounds good. I can’t wait to see who my main girl, Blair, is going to hook up with and now that there are fewer restraints, I see a lot of sexy scenes being played out by Kassie DePaiva!

Jim
Jim

Joshua, I’m sure if more of the key actors had signed onto the PP version of AMC, they wouldn’t have had to make the jump, but hey, that’s why the show is called All My CHILDREN. Let the SORASing begin!

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

That’s the same impression I get, Jim

The_HugoBoss
The_HugoBoss

SO EXCITED BEYOND WORDS!!!

nancylp300
nancylp300

Thank you Michael! I can’t wait for Monday. My favorite is OLTL but plan on watching both. I am so grateful to PP for bringing these shows back.

alison
alison

Yes i will be watching Amc for sure.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I am in tears already. Thank you for the wonderful review. And I agree with you Michael. OLTL has the best damn cast ever assembled. I am so happy to know that tradition continues.

I cannot wait to see my beloved OLTL and the start loving AMC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

su0000
su0000

Watching a soap on network TV is an hour per show..
Now, I can watch both AMC & OLTL in an hours time, awesome !!
Tow soaps for the time of one !!!!!

All My Children

The Chew Cancelled After 7 Seasons; A Slice Of Justice For All My Children Fans?

Karma is a bitch! ABC announced yesterday that the foodie series The Chew has been axed after seven seasons. 

The Chew lost significant viewers when ABC fired main co-host chef, Mario Batali after reports of alleged sexual harassment over many years. Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, and Michael Symon have remained the regular series hosts.

In addition, The Chew dropped 17% with women in the 18-49 demo and this has been its least watched season since its debut in 2011.  As ABC Daytime fans know, The Chew replaced iconic soap opera All My Children, when ABC made the decision to cancel the beloved soap and replace it with the food show.

So, let’s take a look at the numbers: All My Children lasted 41 years, while The Chew lasted 7 seasons. Hmm …

ABC noted that The Chew will cease production at the end of this season, but will continue to air until September with all-new episodes in June.  In addition, ABC announced that Good Morning America will expand to three hours.  Thus, switching up the ABC morning line-up.

So, are you glad that The Chew got fried?  Is this justice for All My Children fans who miss their beloved Pine Valley?  Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Alum Kim Delaney Joins The Cast of CHICAGO FIRE!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Pine Valley’s Jenny Gardner, who is all grown up and had a successful career in primetime television and films, has landed a primo role on NBC’s hit drama, Chicago Fire!

Casting news has revealed that Kim Delaney is joining the show in Season 6 where she will play the role of Jennifer Sheridan, the mother of Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney).

According to Deadline, Kim’s new role as Jennifer Sheridan is described as “warm, scripture-quoting and church-going. At one point she may have partied like it was 1979, but now it looks like she’s on the path of the straight and narrow. If you ask her, she’s moved on from the past, namely her messy divorce from her ex-husband Benny (Treat Williams), but old habits die very hard.”

Chicago Fire is currently on hiatus until after the Winter Olympics, when it begins again on March 1st.  As viewers know, in the last episode prior to the break, Kelly and Casey (Jesse Spenver) were seen jumping off a roof of a building while it was in flames in an exciting cliffhanger. (more…)

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All My Children

TAINTED DREAMS Season 2 To Bow December 21st!

Tainted Dreams is back with a second season offering from Daytime Emmy-winning director and series creator, Sonia Blangiardo!

Beginning December 21st, the next chapter of Blangiardo’s the soap behind a soap, will be available for streaming on Amazon and Amazon Prime. (season one is also currently available on Amazon)

This series, which was nominated for five 2017 Daytime Emmys, follows the behind-the-scenes drama of a fictitious soap opera titled Painted Dreams.  Many soap opera notables have roles in the online series including: Alicia Minshew, Michael Lowry , Austin Peck. Terri Ivens,  Walt Willey, Kelley Menighan, Grant Aleksander, Bobbie Eakes, Natalia Livingston, Marnie Schulenburg, Nathan Purdee, Colleen Zenk, James DePaiva, Tonja Walker, Ilene Kristen, and the late Larkin Malloy . In addition, Jessie Godderz of Impact Wrestling and Big Brother fame, and Dina Manzo of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, also appear.

In a statement, Sonia Blangiardo said that she is “excited to take everyone along these characters’ journeys in Season 2, as they evolve and deal with ever increasing professional and personal turmoil.”

Fore more on Tainted Dreams visit their official website here.  (more…)

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Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

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