More memories are coming to me after some of your responses.
I remember adopted Laura #2 being pretty unpopular from the get-go; I remember people commenting what a lousy, laughable actress Allen was (as compared to Lauren Roman, whom many people seemed to have found superior in the acting department) and how the character seemed to have a completely different personality.
I now remember her “scheming bitch” phase, and her scheming with Vanessa (“Proteus”).
The whole “teen drug” story (which morphed into “Proteus”) from that time was laughable. I believe the drugs were supposed to be Ecstasy or something.... but the writing & acting were not very good.
I remember 1994, with Louie Greco and Julia and Noah, and the writing/production/acting had a gritty realness then (as much as you could get on a Daytime soap) that was so much better in comparison.
I guess it’s unfair to compare an “adult” heroin plot point to “teen Ectasy,” but....
When Gillian first came on the show, she was chasing after Edmund, as she was the typical European royalty, cash poor.
Once McTavish came in, the character was humanized through the pairing with Ryan, as they were the classic story of the two con artists finding their hearts.
Unfortunately McTavish, as often was the case, ruined it by having Gillian have sex with David for money (which was basically rape), with Ryan shaming and berating her after he learned the truth, even though she had done this to get him bail money.
After that Gilian lost a lot of her personality and I lost any interest I ever had in Ryan/Gillian as a pairing (or Ryan as a character).
The main critique fans had when Gillian first came on was that her accent was heavy so they couldn't understand her.
Gillian was a character that seemed tailor made for All My Children... unique and full of passion/excitement. So it wasn't a surprise that viewers grew to love her, once they understood what she was all about.