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EricMontreal22

All My Children questionaire (please help my thesis)

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Hey!  I can't offer money, but it would help me for my thesis paper if you answer any of these questions:

When did you start watching AMC, and was there a reason why you did (boredom, family member watched, illness)?

Do you remember when you became aware of who was writing it, and may be a writer change over?

(Long answer) Do you think about the show differently than you do other soap operas?  If so, or not, why?

Edited by EricMontreal22

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AMC was my mom's favorite soap. When she came from work i would watch with her. I started watching AMC in the summer of 88. When i was 13 yrs. By this point i was already hooked on GH & OLTL. We would watch the entire ABC soap line up. Even Loving which i was never too into. 

I became aware of who the HW's were through Soap Opera Digest. My mom didn't pay mind too things like that. 

I liked it's diversity/ humor/ sense of community.  I hope this helps with your thesis.  

Edited by victoria foxton

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1 hour ago, EricMontreal22 said:

Hey!  I can't offer money, but it would help me for my thesis paper if you answer any of these questions:

When did you start watching AMC, and was there a reason why you did (boredom, family member watched, illness)?

Do you remember when you became aware of who was writing it, and may be a writer change over?

(Long answer) Do you think about the show differently than you do other soap operas?  If so, or not, why?

 

I started watching AMC, because my mother watched AMC (and several other soaps).  However, my earliest memories associated with watching go back to when Jesse and Jenny were hiding out in NYC.  (Ironically, I remained a loyal viewer of the show long after my mother had given it up.)

 

I think the first time I was aware of who was writing AMC was when I was in the sixth grade.  At the time, I was doing a school paper on Irna Phillips (true story) and learning all I could not just about the history of Irna's shows (ATWT, AW, GL, etc.) but about others' as well.  Also, I was beginning to buy and read SOD and SOW on a regular basis; and in one "Grading the Soaps"-type article, I remember the writer expressing how much AMC had improved since Agnes Nixon returned and replaced Margaret DePriest as HW.

 

Do I think about AMC differently than I do other soaps?  Yes.  I think about AMC differently, because of Erica Kane.  No other character, save for GL's Nola Reardon and Scarlett O'Hara, has captured my imagination or heart the way "La Kane" has, or felt more like a mirror image of myself.  In Erica's constant need for validation (borne out of feeling abandoned by her father at an young, impressionable age) and her drive to be not just rich and famous but the desire of all men (and envy of all other women) everywhere, I see so many of own qualities (some flattering, others not).

 

I think about how Nixon herself described Pine Valley in her original bible for the show.  Whether one is born and raised there, moves there later in life, or just passes through on their way to other places, Pine Valley, she says, will always be home.  I feel the same way about Pine Valley, and about AMC, as a viewer.  Years after watching the show for the last time, just thinking about "the Valley" still conjures up feelings of being home, surrounded by gorgeous locales and diverse, larger-than-life characters who are warm, and funny, and totally unforgettable.

Edited by Khan

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I first started watching All My Children the summer of 1991 when I opted to not go to summer camp and I was bored at home.  I also had just gotten a tv of my own (my grandparents gave me one when I finished 5th grade that year).. and it was the start of the Janet from Another Planet story along with the Hayley/Brian teen romance that kept me around.. plus, I finally got to see the infamous Erica Kane (that my mom had told me about).

 

I wasn't aware of who the writer was at the time.. I just remembered how quirky I found Janet Green.. and liked her friendship with Hayley.. while wondering what both Natalie and Janet saw in Trevor LOL.  I also found myself liking Mimi and Derek (and they were portrayed as smart cops as well).  I also recall Will Cortlandt being obsessed with Dixie dating Craig and thinking Will seemed off balance (little did I know how true that became months later LOL).

 

What drew me to the soap was because it happened to be on and I had my own tv to watch it on (my mom was a CBS soap girl and she taped Santa Barbara and Days of our Lives to watch on the weekends).. so I wanted to see what the ABC soaps were like.. and fell in love with the quirkiness of All my children.  I think during that period Erica was in a more mellow period and wasn't front burner.. but 1992 was when I finally got to see what Erica Kane was all about (especially when paired with Dimitri Marick).

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When did you start watching AMC, and was there a reason why you did (boredom, family member watched, illness)?

 

The earliest storyline I remember watching was the crossover baby switch with OLTL, which I had already been watching.

Do you remember when you became aware of who was writing it, and may be a writer change over?

 

By the time AMC was part of my soap line up, I was already a part of message boards so was aware of Head Writers and things.

(Long answer) Do you think about the show differently than you do other soap operas?  If so, or not, why?

 

I've never considered AMC one of 'my' soaps because I never watched it for an extended period of time uninterrupted. Because I never was a viewer during any particularly great period I never felt the connection to it that I do something like DAYS, where I had watched since I was a small child. This isn't to say I don't treasure it's place in soap history, or that I haven't found myself interested in learning about and/or watching clips from the past. Of the Agnes soaps, I've found that OLTL better suited my tastes overall and I consider it my second soap that I moved on when I couldn't stomach DAYS any longer (for however long that period lasted for)

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I began watching in the summer of 2003, Jackson is Greenlee's father was the big storyline at the time. Michael Cambias was also front burner. 

 

I was actually a fan of Passions at the time (hey, don't judge!) and I began watching AMC waiting for Passions to begin. DOOL was boring at the time with, IIRC was the goop SL. 

 

Oddly, I was really drawn by AMC's opening credits. I'm a sucker for dramatic opening credits with good music. I knew who the HW was by reading the credits when the show began, but in 2004 I joined Soap Opera Central's message boards and gradually began to learn more and more about soap's behind the scenes. 

 

My all time favorite soap is As The World Turns, I loved it and miss it. AMC differed than ATWT in that it felt so soapy and dramatic, primarily because of Erica Kane. Susan Lucci has just the right dab of soap opera ridiculousness. I also really liked Kendall and the Chandler family.

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- I began watching AMC in June of 2001. The very first factor that drew me to it was Jesse McCartney as JR Chandler. I was eleven years old, and I'd fallen deeply in love with him and his portrayal of the wounded little rich boy who needed love and attention from parents who were too wrapped up in their own drama to care about him.

 

- I became aware of who was writing the show when Richard Culliton was let go in late 2002 in favor of Gordon Rayfield (later to be joined by Anna Theresa Cascio).

 

- AMC is my "home" soap. For many years, soaps were just the "stories" that my grandparents and other older relatives watched. I'd always been familiar with the CBS soaps, but when I started watching AMC, I felt so grown up because it was "my" show. Not my grandma's, not my uncle's, not my dad's, etc. So, the characters and their histories were all new to me. I spent hours reading about the past storylines and actually retyping summaries just so that I could commit the stories to my memory. Between my daily viewing via VCR tape and my constant delving into the past, the show became a huge part of my adolescence. No matter how much I've gotten into other shows (and I do LOVE my ATWT!), coming back to AMC and its characters, its settings, its lore, etc. always feels like coming back home. The tight-knit families, the high-key humor, the tongue-in-cheek elegance, the fact that it knew how to not take itself so seriously from time to time, its grandness...all of these are the things I expect when I want to go back to Pine Valley.

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14 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

Hey!  I can't offer money, but it would help me for my thesis paper if you answer any of these questions:

When did you start watching AMC, and was there a reason why you did (boredom, family member watched, illness)?

Do you remember when you became aware of who was writing it, and may be a writer change over?

(Long answer) Do you think about the show differently than you do other soap operas?  If so, or not, why?

 

I started watching around fall 1995. I had grown up watching CBS soaps, and had become alienated by them enough to consider giving other networks a chance. I started reading soap magazines around this time and was interested in what they were saying about AMC - namely, Erica's pill addiction story. I had also started watching Loving, and AMC came on right after. Once I got into the show I also got to see the homophobia storyline, which I thought was extremely brave, and I still think was brave, all these years later. It was the first story of that kind I'd ever seen on a soap (I'd never seen the Hank Elliot story on ATWT). 

 

I knew who was writing the show not long after I started, as the soap magazines at the time, especially SPW, covered McTavish being replaced by Broderick.

 

I do think of AMC differently than I do other soaps, for a number of reasons. 

 

For one, because I never really got to see the best years of the show. By the time I started, it was in the stages of trying and trying to figure out what people wanted it to be, and what ABC (soon Disney) demanded it be. 

 

Another reason is because I think AMC was very much a hybrid soap, in a very unique way, from very early on. From the start you had social issues, class issues, very broad comic relief, and young love. It was something that no other soap could ever manage to pull off, even if they'd tried. And it's something AMC itself often struggled to pull off, but when they did, like in the early '80s, or for a brief period in the late '80s, bits and pieces of the mid-90s and the early '00s, etc. it was damn good. 

 

The show is also very unique in that it was revived online, of course. I'm sorry we'll never know what might have been. 

 

Beyond the above, the other reason is that AMC, to the end, had a creator who genuinely loved the show, loved the characters, and tried to keep the show to what she felt in her heart as much as she could. Did she always succeed? Of course not. We could go on about that, as many have over the years, but she tried. And seeing Agnes appear even in those last years, still clearly delighted and moved to be so close to her baby, was very touching.

Edited by DRW50

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Thanks everyone.  I think you're right Carl--even at its headshaking worse Agnes Nixon was a consultant (except for the nearly two years Pratt had her kicked out) and she had, for better or worse, last say. 

In the Soap Opera Encyclopedia (one of the first soap press places where AMC is praised--throughout the 70 it is talked about like it was insulting to soaps.):

Probably television’s most consistently entertaining and intelligent serial [despite] a blend of styles that may, for some, be emotionally unsatisfying.  In a single episode there are elements of Sixty Minutes, Love Story, and The Carol Burnett Show—social realism side by side with sophisticated drawing room farce.  No tone is sustained for an entire episode.  But life is often just as messy as this show, and the individual segments are engaging, the actors likable the writing witty, the emphasis on family laudable, and the presentation of social issues outstanding.  AMC has also been blessed by that precious soap opera commodity, continuity, both in its cast and in its writing, having only two headwriters in its history [up to this point], Agnes Nixon and Wisner Washam.[1]


[1] Wisner Washam joined Nixon’s writing team in 1972, where he was promoted to the associate headwriter position by the end of the 1970s and stayed, with a brief hiatus, until 1992.  Nixon remained the executive headwriter at AMC until her retirement in 2001, and then became executive story consultant for the show until its cancelation in 2011 (with only a 20 month period beginning in 2008 when ABC, due to creative disagreements and despite much fan outrage, had her removed from production completely).  However, from 1981 until her retirement there were extended periods when Washam, or another associate, Lorraine Broderick, as well as others were given the official headwriter position credit—notably when Nixon would focus on her ratings-challenged third soap opera, Loving (1983-95).  For the sake of simplicity I treat the entire era from 1970 until 2001 as being Nixon’s work, because despite the entire soap writing team having story input—soap opera is a collaborative form, after all, from the creatives to the advertising and network execs—she was still the one who set the tone for the show, dictated the majority of story, and had final say on all creative decisions.

Please ignore my notes :P

 

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On 9/27/2018 at 7:46 PM, EricMontreal22 said:



When did you start watching AMC, and was there a reason why you did (boredom, family member watched, illness)?    I started watching around 1977-78. I was about 7 or 8 and in the hospital with pneumonia. I vaguely remember watching, I remember OLTL more clearly. (The day Lana McClain was found by Brad Vernon still sticks in my head.) I got pneumonia three years in a row in the fall before the doctors realized why I kept getting sick, so I watched on and off during the summers and when I was ill. I really got interested around 1981(Jesse/Jenny on the run) and once we got a VCR I would tape while I was in school.  I used to tear pages out of soap magazines at the grocery store for updates.    Between Erica Kane, Greg/Jenny/Jesse/Angie. Grandma Kate and Tad, Opal/Langley /Phoebe I got hooked.


Do you remember when you became aware of who was writing it, and may be a writer change over?    I started reading books about the soaps at the library and collecting SOD when I was 12/13. I could tell when different writers came in and out when  various characters would come/go as new writers would choose their preferences.

 


(Long answer) Do you think about the show differently than you do other soap operas?  If so, or not, why?     I always loved the sense of family/community among the residents of Pine Valley. Even the "bad characters" like Billy Clyde, Phoebe, Palmer, Adam were humanized by their love for their families. Agnes' devotion to social issues, humor and  drama always kept me coming back.  GH was my "show" first and foremost, but AMC, ATWT, OLTL, and AW were always must-see.   There are very few "eras" that I would pass on watching AMC.

 

 

 

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On 9/27/2018 at 4:46 PM, EricMontreal22 said:

When did you start watching AMC, and was there a reason why you did (boredom, family member watched, illness)?

 

1993. I had a preteen crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar after reading about her and AMC in a magazine. (This did not pan out, as even then I was screamingly gay)

 

Quote

Do you remember when you became aware of who was writing it, and may be a writer change over?

 

I wasn't aware of those sorts of issues until at least 1998-1999, when I began to seek out soap opera forums on the Internet/USENET.
 

Quote

(Long answer) Do you think about the show differently than you do other soap operas?  If so, or not, why?


It always struck me as a very homey, comfortable show. When I began watching all the ABC soaps, One Life to Live was and remained my favorite, as it was gritty and dealt with social issues and raw, difficult characters; I related to that as a grunge-era tween. It felt more adult, while I frankly initially found AMC too sweet and sappy. I thought everything with Harold the dog and Janet, etc. a year later(?) was cartoonish and too childish at the time, even though the Janet plot had me hooked. Claire Labine's GH was also homey, but more serious - AMC felt like the most stereotypically 'soap opera' show, with campy plots, very broad humor, overly lavish mansions and arch characters who were counts and princesses, etc. Only Days of our Lives had had that for me at that time, and that was a very different show than the ABC ones of the period - pure comic book.

 

I didn't appreciate AMC's unique mix - which Carl perfectly describes - for what it was by comparison until a year or two in, but I loved a number of characters (Erica, Dimitri, etc.) from the start. As an adult I understand its mix of tones and its homespun charm as well as its timeless soap opera classicism much better. It's one of a kind, and that's one major reason I grew to understand AMC and OLTL as the perfect tonal compliments to each other back to back on the TV schedule very quickly as a kid - light and dark. You had big humor with Opal or wacky stuff with Harold the dog or Janet/Jane the campy villain, but you also had real drama like Edmund and Maria and their endless trials (I loved them as a kid), Kelsey and her pregnancy, later Noah and Julia, etc.

 

This may not be factual, but the way I remember it, they premiered the 'white' opening or whatever it was over the Christmas holidays somewhere in 1994-1996 - I don't recall when - but I remember just being wowed by that. It was like watching the seasons change to winter in the town itself that I followed as many days as I could.

Edited by Vee

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When did you start watching AMC, and was there a reason why you did (boredom, family member watched, illness)?

Growing up, my paternal grandmother watched the CBS soaps and my maternal grandmother watched the ABC soaps. For a brief time after high school, I lived with my maternal grandmother, who fixed "dinner" during what we call lunch (which differs from "supper," for all of you that didn't know. ;) ) I usually ate dinner while AMC was on in the next room, and I became intrigued by the humorous character of Opal Purdy Gardner as she was trying to "land" Palmer Cortlandt. At first, I only watched these scenes, but then I became interested in other scenes as well. This would have been in the fall of 1990. 

Do you remember when you became aware of who was writing it, and may be a writer change over?

Being interested in show business, I always paid attention to credits. I'm the guy in the theater who didn't leave until the end, even before Marvel superhero "stings" after the credits rolled. I really started to become interested in the changeovers when the show went from Megan McTavish to Lorraine Broderick in the mid-90s. 

(Long answer) Do you think about the show differently than you do other soap operas?  If so, or not, why?

I always think differently of AMC, because it is the only soap I actually watched fully. I stayed tangentially connected to other soaps due to family members and for a brief time, subscribed to Episodes and SOD. Since AMC has been gone, it's just not the same. I come here to these boards mostly for the nostalgia and I enjoy the general entertainment and political threads. I never added another soap to my lineup, because daily viewing, even on VCR, was sometimes difficult to keep up with while working full time. I really think AMC and OLTL 2.0 really had it right in their rebirths as a show that only aired 2-3 times a week as a "half hour" (although initially that p***ed me off). One thing I always appreciated about AMC was its "realism," which unfortunately flew out the window more and more often, esp. as Chuck Pratt took over. By then, I guess I was so invested, I saw it through with eyes permanently rolled. I can laugh through Opal's tarot readings and Myrtle dating Santa Claus, but never could stomach Jeremy's psychic powers and Erica's unabortion (although I appreciated both actors, and thought the character had a horrible undeserving exit). And although Opal remained a favorite, the real drawing power for me through most of the run was David Canary's portrayals of Adam and Stuart Chandler. Even the most asinine story (who killed Stuart?) could be riveting due to his performance.

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I sort of grew up with it always on. Not that I remember much from when I was a kid. LOL. My mom, aunt and grandma all watched the ABC soaps. I've always had affection towards the ABC soaps because of it. They felt like 'home' for a long time. Meanwhile, NBC was my "guilty pleasure" (around 1997 I was young and soaps like Sunset Beach and later Passions were actually appealing to someone younger). DAYS has always been my #1, but OLTL and AMC hold a very special place. I love GH too but not in the same way. GL also always had a special place for me.

 

I know this isn't about all the soaps LOL but just felt like throwing it all out there. I can't recall anything specifically about AMC that made me a fan or watching since it was always background noise growing up. I think certain soaps just appeal more to you, even if you may "like" them all.

 

We had so many unique soaps. It sucks networks and executives spent some of their last decades on the air trying to make them more generic.

Edited by KMan101

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I lived in a town that had only two stations - one being a CBS affiliate which showed some ABC and NBC programming, and the other being an affiliate of NBC which showed some ABC programming.

 

As far as ABC daytime programming, channel 12 (mainly CBS) showed General Hospital, Bewitched, and The Dating Game.  Otherwise, it showed the entire CBS line-up.

 

Channel 3 (NBC) showed Dark Shadows, Let's Make a Deal (before it moved to ABC), Ben Casey, and The Lorretta Young Show. 

 

So, I never saw From These Roots, The Nurses, or  Never Too Young.  And, because the NBC continued to show Let's Make a Deal after the show moved from NBC to ABC, I never saw anything in that ran against it.   (Hidden Faces and Life with Linkletter are two of the shows that I remember not seeing.)

 

I saw my first episode of All My Children (along with The Best of Everything and A World Apart) in the summer of 1970s when I was on vacation in Biloxi, Mississippi.

 

(By the way, of the three, The Best of Everything was my favorite.)

 

The plot of All My Children that day was that Phil had just learned of his true parentage and was running away to New York.  Amy Tyler was crushed, and she was talking to a man (who I think was Nick Davis).

 

My viewing area gained a third local station (the ABC affiliate) in October 1971.   I saw my second episodes of A World Apart and All My Children, plus my first color episodes of General Hospital and Dark Shadows on a Friday holiday we get to attend the Mississippi State Fair.   (For some reason, I don't remember watching One Life to Live - probably due to my The Edge of Night addiction.,)

 

The episode of All My Children that I saw was about Mona's receipt of the news of Eric.   She kept talking to Dr. Tyler about how she would break the news to Erica and how Erica would react.

 

I then resumed watching A World Apart, Dark Shadows, and  All My Children during school holidays.   (A World Apart was by far my favorite.   I was crushed at the cancellation of Dark Shadows and then A World Apart.)

 

 

I was aware that the creator/writer of both One Life to Live and All My Children was Agnes Nixon.   I had never seen her Another World (being a dedicated fan of The Secret Storm), but I had read about the early One Life to Live in an issue of Afternoon TV.   Additionally, I saw Ms. Nixon when she was a guest star on The Mike Douglas Show.  (I remember that Marty Rossi was that week's co-host.)

 

 

In my mind, I did not think of All My Children as different from other soap operas.  I knew that important social issues were presented, and I realized that there was more comedy on it that the other shows I had seen with my mother.   However, I credit Agnes Nixon with creating two very important comedic characters that I had seen on Search for Tomorrow (the show whose initial headwriter was Ms. Nixon before her marriage.)

 

 

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On 27/09/2018 at 7:46 PM, EricMontreal22 said:

Hey!  I can't offer money, but it would help me for my thesis paper if you answer any of these questions:

When did you start watching AMC, and was there a reason why you did (boredom, family member watched, illness)?

Do you remember when you became aware of who was writing it, and may be a writer change over?

(Long answer) Do you think about the show differently than you do other soap operas?  If so, or not, why?

 

1. I started watching in 1970 when the show premiered, based on my appreciation of Nixon's writing, having loved her material on TGL, AW, and OLTL. Plus, I wanted to see Rosemary Prinz again, whom I had adored as Penny on ATWT.

 

2. I have always been acutely aware of who is writing the soaps. I follow my favorite scribes around the dial.

 

3. I like the fact that when it began, AMC was a hybrid of traditional soap storytelling and themes, mixed with topical material and even wry humor. Pine Valley always had a real sense of community during its first decade, which made it feel cozy and like a second home.

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