Memories of “All My Children”

I was stunned to hear both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” had been canceled. My sister and I had spent the day out, so the news was not discovered until we got back home. I was brushing my teeth at time. The feelings of shock quickly gave way to feelings of sadness. Memories began rushing back. These were shows both my family and I watched. I grew up with them.

I admit my present connection with both was not what it once was. I stopped watching “One Life to Live” in 1996, after 15 years. After not having watched “All My Children” since 1993, I started again when Angie and Jesse returned to the show. This was 2008. Reconnecting was challenging at first. Most of the characters I remembered were gone. However, I was able to get back in the groove again, and became familiar with the new people. In recent weeks, I have been watching sporadically. I have been able to keep up with a couple of the storylines, thanks to Soapnet. I cannot wrap my head around it not being there every day, at 12 noon.  Or “One Life to Live” at 1. I’m not a Kelly Ripa fan, but I agree with what she said about the cancellation. It is like losing a member of your family.

I will talk about “All My Children” is this blog. I think each soap deserves to be written about individually. I first became familiar with “All My Children” when I was 10. My friend, Constance, had it on at her house every day during the summer. I watched it half-heartedly. However, all of this would change the following year. Another friend, Nicole, had AMC on at the house, too. This time, I started paying closer attention. One storyline which caught my interest involved Erica Kane’s brother, Mark Dalton. A married college professor, he was having an affair with one of his students, Pam Kingsley. Erica was involved with her father. Mark decided to end the relationship, leading Pam to attempt suicide. She was unsuccessful. The Kingsley family would leave town a short time later.

However, it was the storyline of Jenny Gardner and Jesse Hubbard in New York City which made me addicted to the show. I loved the chemistry of these two friends, and watching their adventures was beyond exciting. I would learn each had a love of their own, waiting in Pine Valley. Jenny was in love with Greg Nelson, while Angie Baxter was Jesse’s girl. Jenny had run away out of shame, due to it coming to light her father, Ray, was a rapist. Jesse went after her. Actually, he was on the run himself, having been falsely accused of rape, by Liza Colby. The two lived in a small apartment, and were always there for one another. After their time in New York was over, they returned home, and were reunited with their loves. They faced opposition. Greg’s mother, Enid, did not think Jenny was good enough for her son, while Les Baxter despised Jesse, and did everything he could to keep he and Angie apart.

I couldn’t get enough of the two couples. I loved seeing the four of them together. When Jenny was killed in a freak ski accident, I was devastated. To this day, she remains my all time favorite soap character. I eventually got over her departure, but remain just a bit miffed at Kim Delaney for having left the show so soon.

I would go on to see Jesse killed as well. Or so we thought. He “died” in the line of duty, as a police officer. Twenty years later, he reappeared, saying the whole thing was staged to protect Angie and their son, Frankie, from danger. Sure, it was like something out of “The Twilight Zone”, but I was so happy to see he and Angie back together, I went along with it. They remarried, with Greg Nelson returning for the wedding. It was like 1982 again. As of lately, Angie is blind, and became pregnant. The baby was stillborn. Jesse takes matters into his own hands, and switches the baby with a live one, unbeknownst to Angie. I still wonder how this will all turn out.

“All My Children” will be airing its last episode in September. This is an event I am not at all looking forward to. I can see the tears flowing.

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~ by kmnnz on April 15, 2011.

One Response to “Memories of “All My Children””

  1. wanted dvds feb 17-feb 20 1984 all my children

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