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AMC: Was changing Erica's b-day neccasary?


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Originally it was stated that she was born in 1954 so she was about 15 in 1970 but when Kendall came to town in 1993, they stated Erica was born in 1956. That was jarring to the audience because that meant Kendall was born in 1971. When Kendall was introduced in 1993 should have they stated Erica was born in 1952 so Kendall would have Kendall would have born in 1966 as opposed to 1971? When Kendall came back in 2001 they stated Erica was born in 1962 because Kendall's Birth Year changed to 1976. To me, that makes no sense because if the audience was pissed because Kendall was born in 1971 why would they state she was born in 1976? Also, When Kendall was re introduced in 2001 and if they went with my plane, I think they could have still kept her birth date 1966 even if that meant Kendall would have been 35.

So basically, was changing Erica's Birth year to 1962 Necessary?

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Her birthday is in November, so if she was 15 in Jan 1970, she'd have been born in 1954. When Kendall came to town, she was initially written as a teenager - and that was how SMG played her. I've heard it was alternately because TPTB wanted Erica to bear some responsibility for raising Kendall and/or because SL didn't want Erica to be thought of as older than mid-30s. There was an outcry from fans who could do basic math and knew it was impossible for Erica to have given birth to a child at 14 that was only in her teens in 1993, so TPTB shrugged and said, "Okay, Erica was born in 1965, and Kendall was born in 1976. Happy?"

No, it doesn't make sense, since we've seen Erica since 1970, but when Bianca was SORAS'd, her birthdate was retroactively changed to 1982... even though we all know Erica wasn't having a baby then. When the show ended, Susan Lucci was 64, Erica should have been almost 57 based on her age at the start of the show, and based on her changed age, Erica would have been 48 or so.

~shrugs~ It's a soap. Don't over think it.

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If the rape happened in line with Erica's age when the show started, then in spring 1993, Erica would have been 38, going on 39, and Kendall would have been 24, which is all well and good except that that's not how SMG initially played Kendall. Kendall was initially portrayed as a teenaged runaway who was desperate to escape her family and work for Erica, and Erica took pity on her and let her be her personal assistant. I think Kendall was supposed to be 17 or 18. They tried to correct that by having Kendall tell Haley and Erica and Dimitri's engagement party that she was over 21, even if she didn't look it... but technically Kendall should have been a good five years or so OLDER than Charlie Brent, and SMG didn't come even remotely close to looking like she was older than Christopher Lawford. It was pretty silly. SMG's Kendall was the world's most immature 24 -26 year old.

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but technically Kendall should have been a good five years or so OLDER than Charlie Brent, and SMG didn't come even remotely close to looking like she was older than Christopher Lawford.

Exactly, and that's one of MANY reasons why I've always hated this retcon to Erica's history. All it did was create one continuity screw-up after another.

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In other words, no, it wasn't necessary. If they were going to retcon a daughter for Erica like that, they should have written Kendall as a 24 year old young woman, finished with college and with some professional experience behind her who applied for a job at Enchantment and was hired based on merit but was secretly trying to get close to Erica because she was really her daughter.

Plus Kendall supposedly freaked out about having sex with Anton after being rejected by Dimitri because she was a virgin, which I could see being realistic if she were 17 or 18, but not so much at 24. Kendall's interactions with Bianca weren't all that realistic either if you assume she was almost in her mid-20s. She acted like a snotty 15 year old.

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I think that one of the show's many blunders over the past 20 years was them not allowing Erica to really mature into a matriarch. Between the Kendall age thing, never being referred to "grandma," dressing Erica as a perpetual 20-something, the silly cartoonish storylines...I think this did some damage to the show, and definitely to the character. And for me, something was really missing with the character when Mona passed away. I know they tried to make Myrtle her surrogate mother, but that always seemed so artificial and out of left field. Had Susan and Eileen even shared a scene prior to Heflin's passing?

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^ Mona and Myrtle were close friends, so I can see why Erica would lean on Myrtle as someone who was close to her mother.

Erica in a Mona-type role would never work. That's not who Erica is. I know multiple women in their 50s and 60s who are beautiful, glamorous women in amazing shape, and like Erica/Susan Lucci, they can get away with wearing sleeveless tops or one-shoulder dresses, or tight-fitting couture items. I always felt like they made Mona dumpy-looking and old before her time. That poor woman sported the same great-grandmother-type hairdo for years, bless her heart.

I'll agree that there should have been SOME discussion at some point over what the grandchildren would call Erica, and there should have been some sort of nickname they had for her. Hell, even Susan Lucci's grandkids have a grandma-type name for her. From the interactions we saw between Erica and her grandchildren, it was clear that she loved them and that they knew who she was, but it would have been nice to see more interactions with them. Yes, I know soap children are rarely seen unless they're needed as a plot point, but it would have been nice to see, perhaps, Erica taking Miranda out for lunch or letting her and Gabby spend the night at the penthouse or something from time to time.

As far as cartoon-ish stories go, Erica has always been on the campy side with a heavy dose of humor in her storylines. I've always liked that about her. In fact, I think that aspect of Erica was sorely missing a lot in the show's later years - and Susan has said so as well, that Kendall and her kids were constantly in peril, and as a result, Erica wasn't able to do much of anything light-hearted. I could have done without the whole stupid jail/Carmen storyline and the Ryan affair, but those are the only two that really stand out to me as over the top ridiculous in the show's final years.

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It wasn't necessary, but I think the initial age of Kendall made the story better. I say that as, at the time, a young viewer who was coming into her own consciousness about AMC and not as a long-time viewer who knew or cared that AMC started in 1970 and that Charlie was born in... I didn't really care about the age. Sure, I thought there was a point where they should have stopped the 14 mentions considerably and not mention Erica's age because I'm open minded but I'm not that open minded. Erica looked 40 to me and Kendall looked 16 but I also accepted 15 year age difference on some level as long as they didn't rub ages in my face. I just liked the dynamics despite the math-vision issues. Having Kendall initially be a teenager enriched the dynamics in the story. It allowed Erica to very, very uncomfortably try to mother Kendall as she would Bianca for a time. It was entertaining for me getting to see this "child" be damaged more through that parenting, through her own misguided actions, and through the truth and ultimately formulate into this mess she would become as an adult. It allowed for the very immature sibling back and forth between Kendall and Bianca.

I think the story probably would have ultimately flopped had they brought in a 24 year old or older looking Kendall at the beginning, to be honest. Sort of like Ethan and Zach's story flopped.

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As far as cartoon-ish stories go, Erica has always been on the campy side with a heavy dose of humor in her storylines. I've always liked that about her. In fact, I think that aspect of Erica was sorely missing a lot in the show's later years - and Susan has said so as well, that Kendall and her kids were constantly in peril, and as a result, Erica wasn't able to do much of anything light-hearted.

Plus, there were Erica's battles with addiction, which might have been engineered to help SuLu nab that Emmy, but for me took Erica, as a character, to a place I never was entirely comfortable with.

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