On Friday, September 23rd, the last network airing of All My Children began at 12 Noon Central Standard Time. An hour later, it was over. The scheming, the lying, the loving, the surviving, the happy, the sad, the highs, the lows, the tragedy and the triumph.

Erica Kane, the Diva of Pine Valley, finally got her comeuppance when Jackson Montgomery finally, after years of pursuit, responded to her plea that she needed and loved him with an homage worthy of Gone With the Wind.  (“Frankly, Erica, I don’t give a damn what you need.” Aaaand exit – stage left). David Hayward, the Scourge of Pine Valley, resurrected several dozen people (at least it felt that way), including Dixie Cooney-Martin and Stuart Chandler, both done in via terrible writing by past writing regimes and approval of the Executive Producer (*coughJulieHananCarrutherscough*) and Zach Slater, half of the Zendall Supercouple both beloved and reviled across soapdom. Bianca Montgomery, the Moral Center of Pine Valley, finally, seemingly, got a happy ending. Adam and Brooke returned, as did Joe and Ruth.  And Jamie, albeit briefly. Tad and Dixie got back together, Jake and Amanda stayed together, David knocked up Cara and JR got a gun…

The show ended with a cliffhanger of sorts, as JR, mad as hell and apparently not going to take it anymore (no matter how stupid, selfish and alcohol-fueled) hid in the Chandler Mansion’s infamous tunnels and fired one single shot into the crowd of PV revelers as the screen faded to black. Who was shot? We don’t know. Why? Because the show will move on-line in January and Agnes Nixon, creator and headwriter, and Prospect Park, new owners of the venerable soap, wanted it that way.

While I didn’t agree with the ending, I understand why they did it. I’m just sad that such a time-honored icon went out with more of a whimper than a bang (no pun intended).  I understand that the cliffhanger aspect will hopefully keep people guessing until the show re-appears, it also could have the opposite effect in that as time passes, it’s possible no one will care what happened to whom by the time January rolls around. I think a finale tied up in a nice, neat bow would have worked just as well. Because while the cliffhanger keeps people guessing, the time that passes between now and January, in real time, would also allow the characters’ feelings to change, lives to begin and end and the world to continue turning (with apologies to another great, yet canceled, show). The show could then pick up from there, re-booting with an explanation of who and why without having to deal with death and destruction from the outset.

But that is neither here nor there.

What IS here and there is that this venerable show was removed from our airwaves after 41 years. Saying good-bye to such a dear friend has been hard. For every Daytime Television Executive intent on killing daytime serials one long-running, scripted show at a time for cheap, boring, horrible “reality television”, there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of long-time viewers who have incredible memories to share about their “stories”.  Women who grew up watching with their mothers, grandmothers, friends, family. Men and women who remember scheduling college classes around their favorites. An entire generation of teens struggling with their sexuality…

All My Children wasn’t just entertainment. It told the story of us, our neighbors, our families, our friends. It was timely and relevant. It told the story of legalized abortion (Erica had one in 1973, the first legal one on daytime television following the passage of Roe v. Wade- ridiculously undone in 2005), opposition to the Vietnam War (for which the late Mary Fickett won Daytime’s first Emmy Award), teen homosexuality (delicately and beautifully written by show creator Agnes Nixon and portrayed by Eden Riegel) and the stigma of Aids (heartbreakingly performed by David Canary and Ellen Wheeler). The show handled both drama and comedy, many times excelling at the latter at the expense of the former. It taught tolerance, respect and love.  It bridged generations and taught us all a few lessons we sorely needed to learn.

For me, All My Children was a lifetime friend. I began watching during the scorching hot summers of my youth, hiding in the air conditioning during the heart of the day and losing myself in Pine Valley, before following that up with the rest of the ABC Daytime line-up.  My senior year of high school, my schedule allowed me to be home by 11:30 where I would watch the shows before returning to school at 3:30 for basketball practice. I watched during my lunch hour all through college and as often as I could when I joined the workforce in a time before DVR’s- or even VCR’s. I grew up with Jenny and Greg, Angie and Jesse, Liza, Amanda and the entire teen set from the early 80’s. I loved the Cliff and Nina love story, the hilarity of Erica, Janet, Skye and Marian trying to hide the supposedly dead body of Dr. Jonathan Kinder and the incredibly told story of Stuart and Cindy.

I watched Tad and Dixie’s relationship evolve into one of the most enduring on Daytime television, persevering through 2 deaths (both Dixie’s) only to be reunited in the end, as it should be. I watched almost all of Erica’s marriages begin… and end.

I made it through chemotherapy sessions in the summer of 2005 with the help of Kendall and Greenlee (Alicia Minshew and Rebecca Budig), affectionately known as Kenlee, watching them work their way through hatred and friendship, humor and tears, and equally tormenting Erica Kane in the process.

I cheered when couples I loved finally got together, I railed when poor storytelling made my favorite characters seem so foreign to me. I wrote the press, I wrote the show, I wrote the actors. I’ve watched through good times and some really bad clunker stories. I admit to walking away because of the reign of horror we were subjected to by one Charles Pratt and his offensive, insipid, insulting and ridiculous vision for the show. I came back because, like a long-lost friend, I missed it so much.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many stars of the show, Alicia Minshew, Thorsten Kaye, the irrepressible Michael E. Knight.  Michael even gave me 20 Disney bucks when he heard we had arrived at the park at 3am so I could grab some breakfast when I was done. I used the money to buy a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, instead…

I met some the of the best friends I’ve ever had at a Message Board dedicated to the pairing of Bianca and Maggie (the Supercouple known as BAM – portrayed by Eden and Elizabeth Hendrickson).  They were there for me as I battled cancer and hugged me tightly whenever we got together.

I’ve been honored to find myself one of the founding members of Eden Riegel’s Official Fan Club (AbsoluteEden.com) and have had the opportunity to know Eden and her husband, Andrew Miller, as well as her mother, Lenore.

I watched the final week of All My Children alternating between laughter and tears, finally coming to that realization that, come Monday at noon, there would be no need to make sure my television was on and tuned to ABC. I thought of the friends I made way back in the late 70’s during those hot summer days, who came into my house every day to entertain me, the ones who have long since passed and those we have recently mourned. I admittedly wept when thinking of those who I may never see again as they have been to me for 30+ years.

I sighed when I dried my tears and prepared myself to do this again in a few months when we say good-bye to another life-long friend.

And I smiled when I remembered what All My Children has meant to me for more than half my life.

Good bye, my dear, dear friend. I thank you for all that you have given me.

May we meet again soon.

As previously reported, Cameron Mathison (con-man-turned-hero Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (Doctors-Without-Borders Dr. Cara Castillo) have signed to join Prospect Park when they take All My Children on-line.

These are the first signings for the new version of AMC through Prospect Park and there are surely more to follow.

Read the TVGuide article here: Mathison, Hartley Join Prospect Park’s AMC

After initially saying she was ready to move on from Kendall Hart-Slater and All My Children, Alicia Minshew is now apparently willing to listen to a proposal from Prospect Park, if it would be possible for her to stay recurring. Bringing her to the web as Kendall, in whatever capacity, would go a long way to making the show more interesting, especially if the reports of Susan Lucci’s refusal to join are true.

Write Y&R! Write the Soap magazines! Let them know you want Eden to remain on The Young and the Restless!!

On Tuesday, September 13th, TPTB at Bell Productions’ The Young and the Restless displayed a shocking lack of class and basic common courtesy when Emmy-winner Eden Riegel learned she had been let go from the show via Twitter. Rumors had swirled for over 24 hours that she, Tristan Rogers, Darius McCrary and Sean Patrick Flannery had been fired (Tristan had confirmed his exit via his Twitter account) and Eden quickly responded that as far as she knew, this was news to her.

edenriegel Eden Riegel

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. I hope. #spumors

She went on to say that, although she wasn’t saying the mags were wrong, she had not been informed of any such decision.

edenriegel Eden Riegel

It’s not for me to say they’re wrong but I have not been told of my departure. Boy would that be embarrassing!

Imagine the shock when less than an hour later she took to Twitter again to announce that she had, in fact, been let go from the show.

edenriegel Eden Riegel

Oops. I take it back. Apparently my run on Y&R is soon coming to an end. It was a fun ride!

It’s utterly reprehensible to treat an Emmy-award winner in this manner.

Eden won’t say it, she’s dealt with this entire fiasco with grace and dignity, but I will. What Y&R and the idiots in charge did in handling this situation is an embarrassment. To themselves and to Eden Riegel. To not contact her and explain the situation shows a frightening lack of integrity and respect. I think it shows a startling lack of ethics and common decency for Y&R to not have jumped on the phone right away to Eden and given her some information, whether it was to deny the rumors or confirm them, instead of letting her twist in the wind and respond to her fans on Twitter herself. But I think we’ve seen recently with Brian Frons with All MY Children and One Life to Live at ABC and Ken Corday with Days of Our Lives that basic common courtesy means nothing to those in a position of power in Daytime television.

I, for one, really enjoyed Eden’s Heather Stevens on Y&R. After a pretty bumpy start, the character was finally starting to settle in. The relationships with Chloe (hateful), Ronan (playful) and Paul (gentle) were finally starting to gel. The relationship between Heather and Ronan (HeRo) had started to really grow and develop before Jeff Branson departed. The hate/hate between Heather and Chloe had some wonderful snarky moments, even though Heather came to Chloe’s aid when Delia’s custody became an issue (Eden’s maternity leave coincided with this arc, thereby not allowing the relationship to play out, which I think could have led to a frenemies dynamic that could have been a lot of fun for both to play). To say the writing for the actress and character was a let-down is an understatement. We know that Eden is a wonderful actress and given the time and better writing, she could have made Heather Stevens a vital and viable part of the Genoa City landscape.

I’m disappointed and angry that Eden was let go from Y&R. First disappointed that she was released at all and second, incredibly angry that she learned of her fate in such a ridiculously crappy manner.

I plan on writing The Young and the Restless and the soap mags and expressing my displeasure of both.  I urge you to do the same.

Let TPTB at Y&R and the soap magazines that you want Eden to remain on the show!

The Young and the Restless

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On May 21st of 2011, let it be known that the much-revered son of The Young and the Restless‘ Eden Riegel and Secret Circle‘s Andrew Miller finally made his debut, a true star-turn if ever there was one. Only a few days late (16, to be exact), large (8lbs 14oz., 22 inches in length) and in charge, Jack chose the predicted day of the Rapture to make his first appearance.

The happy new ‘rents made an official statement to Daytime Confidential:

“Please believe when we say that his birth has nothing whatsoever to do with the Rapture today. I swear. Our son is not the Messiah. Seriously. He’s just an average kid. Well, maybe not ‘average’ but…”

However, is it a coincidence that the Rapture didn’t take place as predicted? I think not.

 

The very first podcast of Absolute Eden, the official fan club of Eden Riegel, Emmy-award winning actress as Bianca Montgomery on All My Children and currently Heather Stevens on The Young and the Restless, is up and ready for your listening pleasure!

Check it out here: http://abpod.libsyn.com/episode-1-part-1

And check back in a couple of days when part 2, yes, you read that right, PART 2! will be posted.

As reported by Ms. Riegel herself on Twitter, the Emmy-award winning actress now appearing on The Young and the Restless (Acting DA Heather Stevens), is with child. According to the tweets, she’s approximately 3 months along and enjoying all the perks of pregnancy, including crashing fatigue and projectile vomiting. (to be fair, I’m not sure about the projectile part, but she did share with us she has been “barfing” a lot)

Eden Riegel
edenriegel Eden Riegel
Wanted to share the great news: I’m pregnant!!! Baby Miller’s due in early May. No word on what he/she’s got going on down south just yet! 21 hours ago

Eden Riegel
edenriegel Eden Riegel
I’m feeling great, just getting my energy back. But if you were wondering where I’ve been, chances are I was probably napping or barfing! 21 hours ago

Looking back now, a few Y&R viewers have noted that Eden appeared to be glowing in many of her scenes recently. I don’t think it was from the lighting, either.

And I think we all can agree that Eden will, in all likelihood, be a wonderful, nurturing mother (as anyone who has met Eden’s mother can attest, she was raised right and will impart the wisdom of her mother to her child).

Having met Andrew’s parents… well, I wonder how he turned out as he did. I’m guessing he either fell on his head repeatedly, ate an entire bottle of orange-flavored children’s aspirin as a tot or spiked an incredibly high fever that no one noticed during a developmental phase. Eden has her hands full with that one…

In all seriousness, we here at Lather, Rinse, Repeat (meaning me, since I’m the only one here) want to congratulate Eden and Andrew and know that their child will enjoy a life of love and laughter and that he or she will never know a lack of talent or imagination.

Just in case you’ve been off the planet recently, the big news is that Eden Riegel, Heather Stevens of The Young and the Restless, has snagged a night time gig as a guest star on fellow ABC soap alumnus Nathan Fillion’s hit crime dramedy Castle. She’ll play Rachel Goldstein, a young woman distraught over the death of her brother, killed by an antique pistol.

Rumor has it this will be the fourth episode of the season, which begins airing new episodes on September 20th. So, by my calculations, Eden’s episode should air on October 4th.

I’m very excited to see Eden on this show as Castle is one of my favorite prime time shows. It’s witty, well-acted and features the most charismatic lead on television today in Nathan Fillion. The ensemble cast plays well together and it’s really just a fun hour of television. Plus, it isn’t a reality show featuring any number of people who think they’re celebrities but surely aren’t.

It’s also great to see Eden getting guest starring roles in Prime Time, a place she surely deserves to be.

Castle, Monday nights on ABC, 10 pm, 9 Central

Update: Eden’s episode of Castle will reportedly air on October 11th

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