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Flash forward 20 years and I'm wincing when I read about Eva, John O'Hurley and John Callahan being "friends..." knowing, as we all do, how that one turned out.

LOL - seriously. So interesting how things like that turn out ;)

What's even more interesting and/or odd... Maria was originally brought on for Trevor. I just can't see it!

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I thought Maria was a great character till she returned as Maureen Gorman. I HATED Maureen. That crap lasted for way too long and I no longer cared by the time Maria finally check in

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Is there a clip of Dimitri and Maria having sex on You Tube? I remember that storyline, but barely. LOL Ugh, I was SO mad at him.

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I liked Maureen mostly because of her relationship with Aidan, and because it meant they weren't going back to the long-suffering, weepy, sanctimonious lady of Wildwind. Unfortunately the stories for Maureen/Maria pretty much sucked.

They never should have put her back with Edmund, even after she did get her memory back. They could have found a new love interest for her.

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Is there a clip of Dimitri and Maria having sex on You Tube? I remember that storyline, but barely. LOL Ugh, I was SO mad at him.

I hated him for that too. That was when Dimitri went downhill. I remember the horrible words he said about his dead baby to Maria when Erica overheard them and in that moment, I wasnt mad at her keeping the baby. I hated how they went and made him such a vile jerk and turning him into a villian was a big mistake for his character

They never should have put her back with Edmund, even after she did get her memory back. They could have found a new love interest for her.

They did...Zach Slater. I actually liked Maria and Zach and wish they had went there instead of dancign around it. Id have rather that instead of Zendall which followed

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They did...Zach Slater. I actually liked Maria and Zach and wish they had went there instead of dancign around it. Id have rather that instead of Zendall which followed

The Zendall mob is coming after you now.

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They did...Zach Slater. I actually liked Maria and Zach and wish they had went there instead of dancign around it. Id have rather that instead of Zendall which followed

I meant never reconciling with Edmund at all, and instead giving her a new life. She and Edmund were back together for about a year before the Zach story started, weren't they? I can't remember.

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The Zendall mob is coming after you now.

And you think I care? LOL

I meant never reconciling with Edmund at all, and instead giving her a new life. She and Edmund were back together for about a year before the Zach story started, weren't they? I can't remember.

they were. Ed and Maria reunited in May sweeps of 2003 and Zach came on in spring of 2004. I think they needed to reunite when they did. They were a huge couple in the 90s and regared as up there as one of AMC's supercouples. They had a fanbase and it would be a disservice not to have them together at all.

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Is there a clip of Dimitri and Maria having sex on You Tube? I remember that storyline, but barely. LOL Ugh, I was SO mad at him.

I think that's the one and only time we saw Mike Nader whimper and cry on camera. Grief sex.

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Yes, Maria was originally brought in to get with Trevor. And Eva LaRue was not the first Maria. It was some girl with hair similar to Minshew's and I remember her coming over to Trevor's apartment with a pizza. That actress was only on for maybe a month before LaRue.

R, I'm with you. I smirked a few times reading that article with all of the Callahan/Hurley stuff. Also, with Penney being hopeful to not be a victim. Yet after the chandelier, that was exactly how she was portrayed for her nineties run.

Both Santos sisters were so wasted in their returns. Eva LaRue is such a beautiful woman. At one time, she was in my Five. Maybe still is...

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From the July 1974 Daytime TV Stars.

Deborah Channel reviews AMC.

It's Gregorian Chant, Pretending To Be Bach

The basic dramatic conflicts and plot core of All My Children are usually satisfying and well-constructed; the only problem is, however, that these elements are terribly conventional and at least three or four years behind the broad, rapid, and important creative developments that have happened on other serials. It is almost as if Agnes Nixon, the creator and over-seer of All My Children, were still struggling with the mechanics of Gregorian chant, while the rest of soapland has advanced to Bach, and occasionally even Beethoven. Where most other serials - learning their lessons from the overall disaster that happened in soapland three or four years ago, when creativity in the writing and producing of serials had dropped so low that millions of viewers were simply giving up on them and turning to the game shows (awful as they are) - have stopped using "devices" such as the obligatory murder trial in which the heroine or hero is threatened and then exonerated, or the return of a husband after being assumed dead, or the fabricated conflicts between a rich family and a poor one, Mrs. Nixon chooses to run these worn out, useless plot talismans into the ground on All My Children. Interetingly though, even Mrs. Nixon's mentor, the late Irna Phillips (who, along with the Hummerts of radio, had practically invented all those old devices, such as the amnesia victims who stumbled in and out of her radio serials), eventuall thought it prudent to abandon, in her own writing, the old-fashioned techniques that Mrs. Nixon still refuses to let go of.

Of course much has been written about All My Children's "relevance" in using many references to the Viet Nam war, filming a double-amputee Vietnamese boy saving the life of Phillip Brent (Nicholas Benedict), speeches by Ruth Brent (Mary Fickett) against the cruelty of war. Very admirable. But this is like packaging a Gergorian chant LP in a jacket decorated with a Jackson Pollock painting. Mrs. Nixon's product is still in need of a real creative overhaul, and real relevance, not the decorative kind. For example, the serial's obsession with focusing on the wealthy Tylers, especially Phoebe Tyler, and their continual concern over marrying their children "into the right families" is no longer a typical dilemma of twentieth century America, and is therefore unreal and irrelevant. Society today is concerned with interracial and interethnic problems, rather than intereconimic ones (which were interesting to writers like Henry James fifty years ago, but not today). Trying to justify dinosaurs like the Tylers with contrasting "contemporary" story lines such as that of Phillip Brent's troubling re-aclimation to Pine Valley after his return from Viet Nam (which is just a rehashing of the old amnesia-victim device) is merely embarrassing camouflage of the truth of All My Children's real vintage.

While Mrs. Nixon does not display much creative vision with Children, she at least knows how to tell a story. Her invention of the character of Nick Davis (much like her invention of Steven Frame when she ws writing Another World) was sheer felicity. Her instinctive understanding that the combination of heel and incorrigible romanticist is always of great interest to an audience - and especially so when the heel is played by an actor with as much talent as Larry Keith - shows that Mrs. Nixon at least knows her viewers. His great love, Ann Tyler, is also a well-executed, involving character, played with delicatesse by the marvelous Judith Barcroft. The story of the star-crossed lovers Ann and Nick, although it has been going on for years, and although there seems to be little interest on the part of the writers to explore the real source of the barrier which keeps them from finding the happiness that they seek, is nevertheless continually compelling.

The other story lines range from lukewarm to catatonically uninteresting. Charles Frank and Susan Lucci do an excellent job of portraying the romantic antagonists of Jeff and Erica Martin, considering the poverty of dialogue and storyline that they have to cope with. Erica comes off like the Evil Queen in a fairy tale: beautiful but deadly, neurotic but together enough to be more cunning than anyone else in the story. She parades about in beautiful clothes, getting involved in murder conspiracies, leaving her serpentine words all over Pine Valley to haunt all the good people, while poor Jeff - struggling to get free of her so that he can marry the spotless Cinderella of the story, Mary Kennicott (well played by Susan Blanchard) - must endure months and months of a murder trial, after Erica's New York boyfriend is bumped off by some unknown fiend. Jeff and Mary are all good; Erica is the demon incarnate. This is all bona fide Soap Cliche; but even so. It might work better if the dialoguers and plotters (Mrs. Nixon has overall control, but this sort of work is done by sub-writers under her direction) were to give these fairy tale people more substance, more dimension in their interrelationships. Jeff, as written, seems duller than pea soup, for he does little more in the story than defend himself from the tyranny of others. Erica is hardly more interesting, although she is a shade more laughable. Supposedly Pine Valley has never been menaced by a more loathsome human being, but all I see is an actress doing her best to prance around, look glamorous, and appear menacing with such remarks as, "Oh, Mary, what a beautiful engagement ring Jeff gave you...but you know, the one he gave me was much bigger!"

However, what I find much more patently offensive about All My Children than some of this one-dimensional writing is the show's direction. This is highly unusual, for on every other serial the work of the directors is at least as good, and normally much better, than the day to day dialogue writing. Yet on All My Children the directors seem to do their best to destroy any script interest they find. Actors are encouraged not to talk to one another, but to declaim, to announce their feelings, as in the old silent movies. Every time Bill Mooney, as lawyer Paul Martin, must say something, it's as if he were in a courtroom; when he talks to his wife Ann, or father-in-law, Dr. Tyler, he doesn't just talk, he addresses a jury. There's so much shouting going on on All My Children that occasionally I have trouble trying to pick out what the characters are really trying to say to one another.

Another offensive example of the above is Ruth Warrick's incredible portrayal of Phoebe Tyler. I simply can't believe that a fine, experienced actress like Ruth Warrick has by herself, without coersion, chosen to caricature her role - not simply play it. On camera, she wiggles and giggles and gsticulates as if she were playing in a parlour game. With every line, she finds it necessary to throw her arms about spastically and underscore every other word she says with kindergarten monotonousness. Recently, when Ann, her daughter, was close to death after a terrible car crash, I saw not a hint of true grief in Miss Warrick's acting, only a lot of absurd writithing on chairs and dreary semi-orgasmic hysterics. Granted, Phoebe Tyler is supposed to be a silly woman, but even silly women show real sadness when their offspring are on the verge of death. Judging from the way other actors on All My Children are directed, my only conclusion is that Miss Warrick has been seduced into this God-awful freak show she puts on as a "grand dame" by either the directors, or the producers, or both.

Some actors, however, seem immune to this self-destructiveness that the directors impose upon the rest of the cast. Ray McDonnell and Mary Fickett, as Dr. Joe and Ruth Martin, always handle themselves with good taste. They know how to do "re-cap," have their pacing honed down to a fine art, and are wonderful to watch. Occasionally Miss Fickett is thrown off by some of the other "declaimers" in the cast, but Mr. McDonnell is never. It also seems to me that Frances Heflin, who plays Mona Kane, manages to cope well with the same declaimers - allowing her voice level to rise unnaturally (for television), in order to keep her pacing on a par with theirs so as not to destroy scenes, but also somehow managing to temper all of the distracting shouting with a real urgency that she conjurs. Eileen Letchworth, as Margo Flax, also does a fine job in the face of poor direction.

Among the other shouters, announcers, and silent-movie declaimers on this show are Francesca James (Kitty Shea Davis), Hugh Franklin (Dr. Charles Tyler), and, unfortunately, the new arrival, Nicholas Benedict (Phillip Brent), who is perhaps too young and inexperienced to resist the general repulsive and hysterical mood that the management of this show wishes to encourage. It may be superfluous, but I'll point out that such unsubtle acting may be suited for certain kinds of grade-B crime and horror movies, opera, and legitimate theater (musical pastiches for example), but certainly not for television. Any first year student majoring in radio and television learns that the least little bat of an eye-lid or breath of a performer is magnified ten times in its effect on the audience by the cameo effect of the video camera.

Occasionally, switching from nicely-paced shows like Another World and As the World Turns, to All My Children, is a little like going from a quiet Virgin Island beach to the wilds of Siberia. I must admit, however, that the Nick Davis and Ann Martin story is strong enough to make me endure some of that cold weather now and then.

Edited by CarlD2

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Yeah. I was surprised at how much she disliked the show, especially elements which I don't think they intended for people to take too seriously (like Phoebe). I do think she had a point about the "wrong kind" style of writing, but that wasn't unique to AMC even at this time, I don't think (wasn't this when Mona came into the Doctors).

I wonder if Deborah, who seemed to like ATWT (which was more of the traditional show), based on other reviews, was annoyed because the press used the Nixon soaps like a club to beat ATWT and what it stood for.

It's been said that AMC had poor production values during the 70's but that's the first time I'd heard mention of the directors. I do remember the AMC actors talked about how the director, Henry Kaplan, always wanted them to show more in their performance.

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