Monday, April 29, 2013

ALL MY KIDS and ONE LIFE TO LIVE Are Resurrected

Pardon me while I try to tamp down my excitement.

I watched ABC daytime dramas from approximately 1971 till All My Children and One Life to Live got canceled in 2011 and 2012, respectively. General Hospital, my one-time favorite, was the only one of ABC's soaps not to get the ax, but by that point, it was a dreary mess of mobsters and misogyny, and I had no desire to stick with daytime TV just for that.

So I gave it up cold turkey. Then there was talk that production company Prospect Park would bring All My Kids and One Life back from the dead, with all-new episodes broadcast only on the internet. I had a healthy dose of skepticism it would ever happen, but guess what? It did, it has, and both soaps showed off their first new episodes today exclusively on Hulu.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE! It's really, really nice to have them back.

The shows are now broadcast in 30-minute episodes, like soaps of yore, instead of the hour-long shows you'll remember from the pre-2011 bloodbath. Some of your favorite actors and characters are back, from Viki, Clint, Bo, Nora, Blair, Todd (albeit briefly), Natalie, Cutter, Tea, Dorian and David on One Life, to Angie, Jesse, Adam, Brooke, a different David (the evil doctor instead of the Boy with the Chipmunk Tattoo), Opal, Dixie, Bianca, Zach, and relative newcomers, sister and brother Cara and Griffin, on AMC.

Missing is, of course, Erica Kane, as played by Susan Lucci, along with Tad the Cad, played by Michael E. Knight, and (at least so far) Erica's daughter Kendall, last played by Alicia Minshew.

From One Life, the missing list includes Michael Easton's John McBain and Kristen Alderson's Starr Manning, both of whom had moved on over to General Hospital's Port Charles in the wake of the cancellation. There's been talk both will be back at some point, just like Starr's daddy Todd, played by Roger Howarth, who'd also shipped out to GH only to be pulled back.

Personally, I already like the new One Life eons better than General Hospital, but I also like Todd Manning, a guy who totally puts the anti in antihero, so I hope he sticks around. Seriously. How much better is it to come back and mix it up with Blair one more time instead of getting stuck in the cesspool named Carly over on GH?

In any event, no matter who's staying and who's going and who's never coming back, the new shows look spiffy, with very nice production values, scripts that are working for me so far, cheekier dialogue than you can get away with on network TV in the afternoon (including swear words), more daring situations (AJ all grown up and playing guitar nude? Destiny transformed into a much taller, much skinner girl in a tube top, with legs for days?), actors I'm happy to see, some interesting newbies, and some fun surprises. What happened after we last saw JR in that closet in Pine Valley? What are they all avoiding talking about? What in the world is Kelly and/or Kitty (Francesca James) doing back in town, only now called Evelyn? How are they going to explain Destiny and Matthew being so much older when Dani and Jack aren't? What happened to bust up Natalie and John? And what about that last-second reveal, you know, the guy in the hoodie whose name I don't want to give away in case you haven't seen it yet?

I admit it. I'm hooked. Thanks, Prospect Park! Thanks, Hulu! It's awfully nice to have my soaps back.

1 comment:

  1. I was not a follower of either of these in any real way, but I checked out the reboot premieres yesterday, and enjoyed both. I'll be checking out more.

    So far, although AMC has its appeal (keep up that guitar practice regime please, AJ; and Darnell Williams can wander around in his PJs any time), OLTL has had the corner on smiles, for the most part intentional. Tuc Watkins (familiar to me from cable and primetime) as an insanely deluded buffoon, Peter Barlett as the sort of butler I thought existed only in sketch comedy these days... ahh. Plus a theme song, written & performed by Snoop Whateverheis, to which the cast dance in various amusing combinations.

    And among those "interesting newbies," OLTL scored former Disney kid, recording artist, and recent Broadway star Corbin Bleu as an ace reporter looking to settle down in town, which feels like a fun addition to me.