Every year at this time I like to have all of the Two Scoops columnists take a step back from some of the grumbling that takes place in the commentary columns and focus on the things for which we should all be thankful. Since this is the first year that I am writing a Thanksgiving Week column, I'm going to honor my own request.
I am extremely thankful for the many readers of this Two Scoops column. I never expected to be writing this column at this point in the year. I was just going to fill in until I was able to hire someone (or two someones) to take over the column full-time. Yet, here I am, mostly because so many of you have written in to say that you enjoy reading my column each week. It brings a smile to my face when I receive your emails and you share your own personal thoughts on what's happening on All My Children. There are so many clever responses and comments that I often wonder why no one has asked us to pool our collective talents to make one helluva soap opera.
Obviously, I am also thankful that All My Children is still on the air. The year started with rumors that the show was going to be cancelled. Thankfully, that chatter turned out to be untrue. Midway through the year, though, we learned that AMC was headed west to Los Angeles. It seemed unthinkable that a 39-year-old New York soap could just uproot and move 3,000 miles away.
2009 saw the end of Guiding Light after 72 years and Oprah Winfrey announced that she'll end her show in about two years. I think we all take having soap operas on every day for granted. We know that they'll always be there for us tomorrow as they have been for decades. But for fans of Guiding Light, there came a day when there was no tomorrow to tune into. Realistically, everything comes to an end - even good things. So knowing that All My Children will continue for at least the foreseeable future is something for which I am very thankful.
Briefly, here is my list of five things for which I believe all All My Children fans should be thankful:
• Agnes Nixon. If it were not for this legendary woman, there would be no All My Children. I know that she still cares for this show and I'd love for her to be able to somehow get her hands back into things.
• January 5, 2010. Charles Pratt has been ousted as head writer, but the scribe has already penned AMC's 40th anniversary episode. If he can work his magic on this episode the way that he did for Myrtle Fargate's memorial, I think nearly every fan will be pleased.
• The Veterans. There are some amazing veteran performers on AMC right now. David Canary, Debbi Morgan, Darnell Williams, Susan Lucci, Michael E. Knight... every one of them has won at least one Emmy. These folks can act their collective butts off if given the right material. It's such a joy to see this group on-screen and I can't wait to see what lies ahead for their characters.
• The Fans. Without the millions of viewers who tune in to see All My Children every day, there'd be no reason to put on a show. We're a passionate bunch because we love our show. Passion is a good thing because when fans stop caring... well, you know what I am getting at.
• Los Angeles. Not every performer will be making the move to Los Angeles when AMC pulls up stakes in mid-December. There will be many actors that fans will miss. The move to Los Angeles, however, will ensure that AMC continues to air every weekday. We will all have to make some sacrifices when the show moves -- no longer seeing our favorite performer on-screen or maybe not being able to camp outside the studio to see the stars -- but the show will go on. Perhaps in time, our favorites will return to the show.
In keeping with the theme of the column, I want to say that say that I am grateful that someone at ABC decided that All My Children was moving in the wrong direction. Thousands of you wrote in last week after reading my column on the "hits and misses" of Charles Pratt's time at All My Children. The response was overwhelming. The overall tone of those messages seemed to say the same thing: whomever comes on-board as the show's new head writer needs to honor AMC's 40 years of history. There have been some amazing writers on AMC over the years and there have been equally amazing storylines. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. We want to watch our favorite characters love, laugh, grow, and deal with the trials of everyday life. We don't need to see space aliens land and clone our favorite couples in order to be "entertained." Mine the history and use what has already been laid down as a way to continue AMC's rich legacy.
Due to the holiday, there were just three original episodes of All My Children last week. The two "off" days gave me the opportunity to spend time with family and to take a break from the fast-paced world of the soaps. I am always thankful for that little bit of time when I can unwind and get some renewed energy to continue to bring you the best soap opera web site that I can.
I encourage everyone to send off some email telling me what you're most thankful for on All My Children. Or, perhaps, you have some characters who need to be a little more thankful for what they have. And, please read last week's column about Charles Pratt's firing by clicking here
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you again next week.