As anyone who went to college or law school should know, I watched All My Children religiously. I would tape it every day and watch it during the evening in twenty minutes. If I didn’t have class from 11-12 while at Ripon, I watched it live. I wrote many religion papers for Professor Smith while watching the activities in Pine Valley. However, I haven’t watched since I started studying for the bar exam and started working. There wasn’t enough hours in the day. And now, the soap opera has been cancelled.
My mom watched All My Children during college and continued to watch it while she raised me, my brother, and my sister. Our days were filled with the adventures of Erica Kane, her many husbands, Adam Chandler, his many wives, and my favorite character, Tad Martin. When my dad would come home from work, we would update him on the state of Natalie, who was put in a well by her evil twin sister, Janet from Another Planet. Janet had put Natalie in the well to be able to steal her husband, Trevor, and their family. Eventually, Dmitri rescued her, married Erica, and Natalie was killed in a car accident with Adam in the car. Adam’s twin brother Stuart, undoubtedly was very upset.
It was a lot of fun to watch it every day during college. I grew up with these people and enjoyed their continuing stories, no matter how repetitive they were. When my brother saw David Canary, the actor who played Adam Chandler, at the Art Institute of Chicago, the first question I asked was if he said hi. The fact that either of us knew who David Canary was proved how powerful these characters were.
In the last few months, I taped a few episodes of All My Children: the fortieth anniversary and the departure of Adam Chandler. The anniversary episode was a clip show that featured many of the characters I grew up with and it was the last episode where Palmer Cordtland appeared. It was a fun little retrospective through my youth. And when I read that David Canary was leaving the show and Adam was going to run away with Brooke English, I had to tune in. Honestly, I had tears in my eyes when they walked away to board the Chandler jet together forever.
I don’t think I was ever proud to watch soap operas (and it became soap operas in law school, when I also watched As the World Turns, also cancelled now). I doubt I would ever start watching another one, but I will always remember the names of the actors and the characters. When I was in middle school, I played Scattergories with friends and the only “L” actress I knew was Susan Lucci. She still would be my only answer.
Thanks for the memories, Erica, Jackson, Adam, Brooke, David Hayward, Greenlee, Bianca, Kendall, Natalie, Janet, JR, Babe, Stuart, Liza, Tad, Dixie, and the rest of the Martin, Kane, Chandler, Cordtland families.