All My...Sadness. And Anger.
I've lost count of how many times I've received a comment with some variation of the phrase "If you hate the show so much, why don't you just stop watching?" (not that I was actually keeping count, although such a bizarre tally is up my alley) and it always baffled me and Becca during our days as fledgling soap bloggers.
"They think we HATE soaps."
"We don't hate them at all! Where on earth would they get that impression?"
"I don't know. Maybe because we post obsessively detailed screeds about what we don't like."
"Yeah, on a daily basis."
"And we've actually said 'I hate this effing show'."
"I guess, but still...people are really reading into things!"
Because I don't hate soaps. Obviously, I hate some (many) (most?) (I'm not helping my own case here, am I?) soap storylines, and characters, and decisions writers and producers have made over the years; I'm only human. And yes, I mock...and rant...and get angry (again with digging myself deeper. Remind me not to take the witness stand, should I ever find myself on trial!) but it's less out of hate and more out of...disappointment. You know? I feel like a stern teacher watching a bright student fail because they didn't do the homework. Or Tyra Banks, when she sees that her favorite wannabe model can't take a decent picture to save her life. "You're better than this [failing grade] [dead-eyed photo] [ridiculous and implausible plot twist]!"
And the thought of not watching never crossed my mind. Not just because it's my job, but because I can't imagine not knowing what's happening with Robin Scorpio, or Sami Brady, or Erica Kane!
Unfortunately, what's happening with Erica Kane is cancellation: in one fell swoop, ABC Daytime axed All My Children and One Life to Live to make room for two new lifestyle shows. I'm not usually at a loss for words, but I don't really even know what to say. I've been trying to write for a while, about when I first started watching and loving AMC. Or make a list of a handful of my favorite AMC moments and couples, either that I got to watch as they happened or discovered years after the fact and still love. But the words are just not coming. I can't imagine that, in just a few months, we won't have Erica and Kendall, and Tad and Angie, and other characters that I've grown to love over the years and characters that I've...never liked, but have still gotten used to seeing five times a week! I like my routine, okay? And part of my daily routine is creating new turns of phrase to describe the horror that is Ryan Lavery.
It's truly the end of an era and I am just...so sad.
And it's doubly sad and also fucking enraging that Brian Frons still has a job.
First of all, the shows replacing AMC and OLTL? The Revolution and The Chew. SAY THAT OUT LOUD: THE CHEW. Did you just turn bright red and look over your shoulder to make sure nobody heard you say that? Because OMFG, that is just epically lame. The Chew! I ask you.
The Chew will be produced by Gordon Elliot (Paula Deen’s Home Cooking) and is a one-hour series that enables viewers to “get the dish” on anything and everything related to the world of food and beyond. Hosts will include Mario Batali (Iron Chef America), entertaining expert Clinton Kelly (What Not to Wear), Carla Hall (Top Chef), Michael Symon (Iron Chef America), and nutrition expert Daphne Oz.
The Revolution, from Executive Producer JD Roth and 3 Ball Productions (The Biggest Loser), will be a daily show about health and lifestyle transformations. The show is hosted by a team of experts and rotating guest contributors and will feature a “unique concept.” ABC says: “Each week one woman’s five-month weight loss journey will unfold in just five days, with daily results and a final transformational reveal on Friday.”
Riveting stuff. I love Carla Hall and Tim Gunn, who will be on The Revolution, to no end (they both make me giddy and flail-y) but seriously. Isn't one TLC enough?
Says the Frons:
“We are taking this bold step to expand our business because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days. They are telling us there is room for informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on ‘real life’ takeaways. A perfect example of this is The View, and that factored into our decision. The Chew and The Revolution are in the same vein and will be great additions to the lineup, with The View serving as an ideal foundation from which to launch these programs. They will also provide enormous opportunity for the creation of ancillary businesses and growth.”
Okay, first of all, REALLY: how do grown, adult people keep saying The Chew and not realize how ridiculous it sounds?!
Secondly: no viewers are telling you that.
Thirdly: The View has been on for, like, fifteen years. How is trying to copy its success a "bold" step? That's like making the "brave" choice to see Titanic. So innovative!
He also tried to pretend that he hasn't actively been trying to end these shows for years.
“While we are excited about our new shows and the shift in our business, I can’t help but recognize how bittersweet the change is...All My Children and One Life to Live are iconic pieces of television that have made an indelible mark on our culture’s history,” Frons continued. “Each of the shows has touched millions and millions of viewers and informed the social consciousness. It has been a privilege to work with the extraordinary teams who brought the residents of Pine Valley and Llanview to life each day, and we thank the cast, crew, producers and most especially the fans for their commitment to the shows through their history.”
Yeah, I don't see any acting awards in your future, dude, seeing as I could sense your insincerity in a written statement. How smarmy must a person be if I can be repulsed by their words displayed on a computer monitor?
"I wanted to do shows that were unusual for daytime," Frons said. "What’s happening now is people are looking for information to make their lives better, they're obsessed about what they eat and they're obsessed with weight," Frons said about going with The Chew and The Revolution, whose titles were chosen to complement ABC's daytime talk show The View, with which they are designed to run in a "block of talk and information that you can build your day around," Frons said.
Yeah, spoiler alert: nobody is going to build their day around that. His simultaneous smugness and cluelessness are off-putting.
Some fans will almost definitely lobby to get these shows back on the air. Is there any way that will happen?
No. We really spent a lot of time learning from our success with "The View," talking to viewers about what they're looking for and we have tremendous respect for the passion of our serial fans. But we're at a point with these two shows, as much as they've done for the network, and as much as we appreciate them -- their time here has come to an end. And we're going to spend our efforts trying to make a success out of the two new shows, "The Chew" and "The Revolution," which are in genres that, as we talk to viewers, they want more of.
STOP SAYING "THE CHEW". SERIOUS SECONDHAND EMBARRASSMENT RIGHT NOW. ALSO, YOU ARE THE WORST.
I feel like I will have more to say, and hopefully will be able to say it more eloquently, once I've processed it a little more, but one thing that I will go on the record as saying right now? All My Children better see the returns of all sorts of iconic cast members or else I will lose it. Okay, ABC? Get David Canary on a plane, like, now, and start bringing people back from the dead so we can get some happy endings. Because if you don't, I...will be really livid on the internet. So you will have two soap deaths and my anger on your conscience.