Dancing (And Soap Writing) In The Dark
All My Children will riff on the classic Jane Fonda film “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” with an epic dance marathon that’ll run a full 10 episodes. The special event (airing September 17-30) involves the entire cast, headlined by former Dancing With the Starscontenders Susan Lucci (Erica) and Cameron Mathison (Ryan). The plot has the citizens of Pine Valley pulling together to help Erica raise money her new pet cause—starving kids in Africa—via a local telethon. The rules: Couples must maintain physical contact at all times and never stop moving. In order to earn a break from the dance floor, a couple has to bring in a big donation from telephone call-ins. Mass exhaustion ensues, but so does the sex and mayhem.
“We’ve got characters making time for a five-minute quickie, there are fights in the ladies room, a little stalking, a possible murder. It’s fun!” says exec producer Julie Hanan Carruthers. [Stalking and murder! HEE! That IS fun, JHC! --Ed.] Things also get a little goofy. “I promise you a chicken dance with full cast participation,” Carruthers says. “You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Thorsten Kaye [Zach] doing the finger snap.”
It is POSSIBLE that it could be entertaining on purpose, and hilarious in the good way, and soapy like a soap opera is supposed to be, because ANYTHING is possible. But as AMC is never any of those things under the best of circumstances, and since they handle gimmicks even worse than they do day-to-day writing, I'd say that it is PROBABLE that after ten days of watching these fools dance and engage in mayhem, we will be cursing the invention of the television.
I will admit to being more than a bit intrigued by the idea of Zach chicken dancing. And how riffy will this riff on They Shoot Horses, Don't They? be? Will we see (Do we still say spoiler alert if the movie is 40 years old? Just in case: SPOILER!) an exhausted, depressed participant be put out of their misery by a bullet? If so, please let Ryan get tired, please let Ryan get tired, please let Ryan get tired.