Pine Valley Predictions: Three Explosive Storylines That the All My Children Reboot *Has* to Play, From Secret Lovers to The Mother of All Paybacks
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…
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.
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.
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!
Credit: George De Sota/JPI
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.
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.
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?
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (2), Howard Wise/JPI
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.
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.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (2)
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?
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.
<p>It just wasn’t <em>All My Children</em> without a family album of one kind or another to welcome us to Pine Valley. We only wish that its pages were still being filled today. (Are you listening, ABC?)</p>
<p>In the 1970s, dance instructor Nick Davis (Larry Keith) tried to waltz his way into the overstuffed purse of filthy-rich society dame Phoebe Tyler (Ruth Warrick). He stood a pretty good chance of it, too — she liked a good compliment as much as she did a bad boy.</p>
<p>Although Susan Lucci is said to have auditioned for good girl Tara Martin, she definitely wound up with the better role: that of indomitable glamorpuss Erica Kane, which the eventual Emmy winner played for the entirety of the soap’s 1970-2011 network run.</p>
<p>Machiavellian Palmer Cortlandt (James Mitchell) so disapproved of the relationship between daughter Nina (Taylor Miller) and upstanding doctor Cliff Warner (Peter Bergman) that he let her believe she was going blind in hopes of getting her to stop, ahem, <em>seeing</em> him.</p>
<p>Obviously, Palmer’s plot to separate Cliff and Nina failed miserably. Almost as miserably as the show’s attempt to recast Nina in the mid-1980s and move Cliff on to other love interests. (Shortly after his portrayer was let go — which might have been the best thing that ever happened to him — <em>The Young and the Restless</em> hired him as a recast for conniving Jack Abbott.)</p>
<p>Everything you need to know about this love triangle, you can tell from this one photo: Dr. Charles Tyler (Hugh Franklin) wanted to be with Erica’s long-suffering mother, Mona (Frances Heflin), but wife Phoebe refused to let him go.</p>
<p>When you think of the greatest TV parents ever, you think of Ozzie and Harriet, Mike and Carol Brady, Cliff and Clair Huxtable — <em>and</em> Ruth (Mary Fickett) and Dr. Joe Martin (Ray MacDonnell).</p>
<p>Erica’s half brother, Mark Dalton (Mark LaMura), and Ellen Shepherd (Kathleen Noone) overcame their age difference to embark on what should have been a blissfully happy marriage. Spoiler alert: It was not (and, worse, it pointed her toward an even more disastrous union with Ross Chandler).</p>
<p>As Erica’s modeling career took off in the 1980s, she gave a leg up to Jenny Gardner (Kim Delaney), who at some point was going to have to get used to taking pictures without preppy boyfriend Greg Nelson (Laurence Lau) in them.</p>
<p>Jenny’s brother, “Tad the Cad” Martin (Michael E. Knight), genuinely cared for troublemaker Liza Colby (Marcy Walker). But when she learned that he’d also been carrying on with her mother, she would neither forgive nor forget — not until years later, when she became “the other woman” during one of his 204 marriages to Dixie Cooney.</p>
<p>Mainly from 1983-84 (but off and on until 2011), <em>All My Children</em> fan Carol Burnett recurred as Verla Grubbs, the secret daughter of Phoebe’s third husband, Langley Wallingford (Louis Edmonds), a reformed con artist that boutique owner Myrtle Fargate (Eileen Herlie) knew from her days on the carnival circuit.</p>
<p>Sweethearts since they were teenagers, Frankie’s parents — the former Angie Baxter (Debbi Morgan) and Jesse Hubbard (Darnell Williams) — became so popular that when he was killed off, <em>Loving</em> paired his widow with look-alike Jacob Foster. Of course, in 2007, <em>All My Children</em> decided that Jesse hadn’t died at all, rehired Williams and reunited the supercouple.</p>
<p>You could always count on ambitious Erica to affix herself to the arm of the richest, most powerful man at any soiree. Clearly, the winner at <em>this</em> highfalutin hootenanny was sharp-dressed Palmer.</p>
<p>It’s just sleazy schemer Adam Chandler (David Canary) keeping an especially close eye on Dixie (Cady McClain), the doe-eyed innocent he’d knocked up and would eventually institutionalize in hopes of gaining control of their son, JR.</p>
<p>Why, that’s the long-lost Eric Kane (Albert Stratton), whom daughter Erica found working in the circus in 1989 — and whom she soon wished she hadn’t bothered to find. He turned out to be every bit the lowlife her mother had always said he was.</p>
<p>Rough-around-the-edges Trevor Dillon (James Kiberd) wasn’t at all the kind of man that money-hungry Natalie Marlowe (Kate Collins) thought that she wanted. But he was most definitely the kind of man that she <em>needed</em>. If only he hadn’t also caught the eye of her sister, loco “Janet From Another Planet” Green.</p>
<p>Politician Travis Montgomery (Larkin Malloy) was married to Erica when he allowed back into his life estranged brother Jackson (Walt Willey)… who turned out to be — sorry, Mike Roy — the love of her life.</p>
<p>The stuff that dreams are made of filled the romance of Dr. Maria Santos and Edmund Grey — whose portrayers, Eva LaRue and the late John Callahan, were wed from 1996-2005. Too bad we always have to wake up from dreams. The couple’s marriage hit the skids after they were forced to give back their adopted son, and Maria had a one-night stand with her brother-in-law.</p>
<p>Erica’s marriage to Count Dimitri Marick put in one another’s orbit her illegitimate daughter, vindictive Kendall Hart (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and his illegitimate son, Anton Lang (Rudolf Martin). Fun fact: The actors reunited years later on Gellar’s series, <em>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</em>, when Martin made a guest appearance as Dracula. Yes, <em>the</em> Dracula!</p>
<p>Whoa. A <em>lot</em> to unpack in this photo, in which vixenish Skye Chandler (Robin Christopher), who’d eventually take up residence in the Port Charles of <em>General Hospital</em> fame, was on a date with good-guy artist Jeremy Hunter (Jean LeClerc), who after crossing over to <em>Loving</em> died when a serial killer turned him into a statue. Oddly, Trevor looks more perturbed to see them than his “doll,” Natalie, who spent years obsessed with her former stepson, Jeremy. See? Told ya it was a lot!</p>
<p>Anytime Erica got within dissing distance of longtime nemesis Brooke English (Julia Barr), shade was sure to be thrown. Over the decades, they fought over the men of Pine Valley the way we do the last French fry on the plate.</p>
<p>Don’t let this picture fool you: Julia Santos (Sydney Penny) and Noah Keefer (Keith Hamilton Cobb) weren’t <em>always</em> this happy. In fact, they only even met when she ran away to Center City after being scarred by a chandelier that fell during a tornado.</p>
<p><em>All My Children</em> got it right and then some when it cast Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa as poor boy/rich girl love interests Matéo Santos and Hayley Vaughan in the mid-1990s. They fell in love for real, tied the knot in 1996 and now rank among Hollywood’s prettiest power couples.</p>
<p>After a car accident with Dr. David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) left Erica’s famous face scarred — for life, she feared — she wound up overcoming her hunger for revenge to fall for the conniver.</p>
<p>Although Greenlee Smythe (Rebecca Budig) and Leo du Pres (Josh Duhamel) were both naughtier than nice, they brought out the best in one another — to the point that viewers were crushed when he died protecting his sweetheart from his homicidal mother, Vanessa.</p>
<p>One of the most tragic couples of the late 1990s, Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison) and Gillian Andrassy (Esta TerBlanche) had scarcely said “I do” when the Grim Reaper replied, “You think <em>so</em>, do you?” Adding insult to injury, Gillian was killed by a hitman who thought he was taking aim at <em>General Hospital</em> heroine Anna Devane.</p>
<p>Only after killing off Elizabeth Hendrickson as Frankie Stone did <em>All My Children</em> realize that it had in the character’s pairing with Eden Riegel’s Bianca Montgomery the potential for daytime’s first same-sex supercouple. Quicker than you could say, “Oops!” Hendrickson was rehired as Frankie’s twin sister, Maggie. (Later, <em>The Young and the Restless</em> would try to capitalize on the actresses’ popularity, too, by casting them as Chloe Mitchell and Heather Stevens. Alas, since they weren’t paired up, the reunion fell flat.)</p>
<p>Yeah, these expressions do a pretty good job of capturing the way that Babe Carey (Alexa Havins) and JR Chandler (Jacob Young) felt throughout most of their marriage: tense, concerned, ticked and slightly manipulative. If we recall correctly, their wedding vows even included a line about “… through good schemes and bad.”</p>
<p>Arguably, <em>All My Children</em>’s last great supercouple was Kendall (by then played by Alicia Minshew) and Zach Slater (Thorsten Kaye, now Ridge, <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em>). Though initially, their marriage was a sham, they were really only fooling themselves: We could tell from the start that they were made for one another!</p>
<p>Although the Satin Slayer cut short Dixie’s life in 2007 — via a plate of poisoned pancakes, no less! — she was resurrected in time to reunite once more with true love Tad before the end of the serial’s run… or at least they end of its run <em>for now</em>. Hey, we can <em>hope</em>, can’t we?</p>
Previous in NewsWhen Calls the Heart's Erin Krakow, Kevin McGarry and Chris McNally Talk Season Eight — Plus, the Guys Are Put on the Spot and Asked, ‘Who Would You Tell Her That She Should Choose?'
Next in NewsNews Roundup: A Soap Star on the Rise, a Baby on the Way and One Heck of a Dangerous Liaison