amc pine valley mashup

Howard Wise/JPI (2), Jill Johnson/JPI, Annette Brown/Lifetime/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

These seeds are already planted; they just need to take root in Pine Valley.

We have high hopes for Leo Richardson, the Pine Valley executive producer who’ll be heading up the writing team of the primetime All My Children reboot that Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are cooking up. Richardson, in addition to working on short-lived Stateside dramas Star and Katy Keene, was also a scribe on the UK’s long-running EastEnders, a four-day-a-week primetime soap that’s as brilliant as it is successful. (Seriously, we’d kill for a sudser that smart and daring on this side of the pond!)

Despite our faith in Richardson, we have a few ideas of our own about storylines that we’d like to see play out on the All My Children update. Read on to see what the first few are, then hit the comments with your own suggestions. Ready? Here we go…

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1. Seems Like Old Times… With a New Twist

In the Pine Valley of 2021, Tad and Dixie Martin, and Jesse and Angie Hubbard would have regular double-date nights. And from the outside, it would appear that there are no two happier couples in town — maybe not on the planet. But just beneath the surface… oh, there would be things that even the old friends don’t confide in one another, at least not at first.

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For instance, though the Martins would be as in love as ever with one another, the former cad would have to wonder whether this is, ya know, it. Has the lady killer seduced his last new woman? And even if that’s the case, shouldn’t he be ecstatic about it? He’s with the woman that he wants, after all.

For her part, Dixie would have to wonder whether Tad could truly settle down. She’d believe that he wants to… but is he able to? Two very different things.

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Meanwhile, when not in the company of others, Jesse and Angie would find their passive-aggressive digs about how little time their careers allow them to spend with one another becoming just aggressive, no passive about it. Gradually, Jesse and Dixie would open up to one another, as would Angie and Tad. Suspicions would be intensified, jealousies inflamed, and finally, Tad would tail Dixie to a C City motel room and burst in, only to find her in the arms of…

Holy crap! Greg Nelson!

Laurence Lau "As The World Turns" Set JC StudiosBrooklyn 1/20/09©George De Sota/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 13475air date 3/12/09

Greg would have gotten rich(er) by suing the makers of jet skis. You very well know why.

Tad’s widowed brother-in-law and Dixie, we’d soon learn, had become close during his occasional visits to Pine Valley to check on mom Enid and put flowers on Jenny’s grave. Over time, Dixie became so upset at the thought that, after everything they’d been through, Tad might still betray her that she… betrayed him! So for months, Greg will have been returning much more often than usual to make Dixie feel the way that her husband, in the throes of a midlife crisis, wasn’t.

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Once the fling was revealed, of course, the question would become: Where do the Martins and the Hubbards go from here? Is this the wakeup call that Tad needs to be the husband that Dixie deserves? Does it inspire Jesse and Angie to try a separation before they are split up in as ugly a fashion as Tad and Dixie? And where does this all leave Greg?

2. Hell on Wheels

Elsewhere in Pine Valley, we’d have Marian Colby appear to be very much a changed woman. Anything but merry, Stuart Chandler’s widow would use a wheelchair to get around the house that she shares with Colby and worry her granddaughter to no end with the way that she’s seemingly shut herself off from the world.

Of course, Marian has a secret. A whopper, in fact.

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When the “former” cougar kisses Colby goodnight and retires in the evening, she goes to bed, alright, just not to hers. She sneaks out her window, agile as ever, and treks across the tracks to a dive bar on the wrong side of town. There, she’s known as the good time that’s been had by all.

All except for one, that is: the singular fella who can see that she’s only sleeping around to keep from feeling the pain of sleeping without her late husband. But what would he do with that knowledge? Reveal Marian’s double life to Colby and risk never seeing her again… or challenge the woman he quietly loves to risk her heart on something more than just another one-night stand?

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We’d cast Nicolas Coster (Lionel, Santa Barbara) as Marian’s suitor, Sarah Brown (ex-Carly/Claudia, General Hospital) as the new Colby.

3. Dislike Mother, Like Daughter

If you thought that Maria Santos and Erica Kane hated one another back in the 1990s, when La Kane exacted revenge for the doctor’s night of passion with her then-husband Dimitri Marick by passing off Maria’s baby as her own — got all that? — you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Or at least you wouldn’t have if we were writing Pine Valley.

We’d have a now-twentysomething Maddie Grey — you know, the tyke that Erica once claimed was her adopted Russian daughter, Sonya — pursuing a career in modeling with the unlikeliest of mentors: Mom’s former nemesis.

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Of course, the onetime face of Sensuelle Cosmetics would have better things to do than advise a newbie on how to pivot and pose. But (a) she wouldn’t be able to resist having the last laugh on Maria, and (b) as Erica would remind hubby Jackson Montgomery over and over, she actually likes Maddie — so much so that she gives the would-be covergirl what she thinks is practical dating advice… that makes her mother’s head explode. Bonus!

And don’t even get Maria started on the way that Erica convinced Maddie that “Sonya” would be a much cooler name for a model.

Since she looks just like Eva LaRue’s real-life daughter, Kaya, we’d cast Hayley Erin (ex-Kiki, General Hospital) as Maddie.

Unfortunately for Erica, she’d soon have reason to rethink her mischief when a medical crisis puts Jack in Maria’s care. Would she be so petty and cruel as to ensure that Erica’s better half never actually gets… better? Would Maria seize the opportunity to insist that Erica distance herself from Maddie… or else? And how would Maddie react if she found out?

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All of those ticking time bombs would go off at once when a mishap in the operating room makes it appear that Maria has stuck it to Erica by botching Jack’s surgery — potentially leaving him in a coma for life. Maria would be innocent, naturally. But Erica would assume the worst and, as a result, poison Maddie against her mother to the point that Bianca and Kendall suddenly have a new sister of sorts.

So, what do you think of our ideas? Got better ones? Drop ’em in the comments below. And while you’re here and clearly in a Pine Valley frame of mind, flash back to the original All My Children with a brand-new interview in which Kim Delaney ponders whether — what?!? — Jenny survived or the below photo album full of memories of the show’s initial run on ABC.