As a kid in the 70's, I remember watching All My Children. Though I only remember vague images and personalities. What stood out was Tad as a child, which as a kid I picked up on, and the drama of his kidnapping by his father. And I remember Phoebe Tyler Wallingford and her domineering personality.
Fast-forward to 1993 when I was home from college and working a summer job. I would come home for lunch and my sister would be watching AMC. I would sit and watch with her while eating lunch. I started asking questions about who the characters were and what their stories were. By the end of the summer I was hooked.
And that explains what was fun about AMC -- the characters that you cared about involved in captivating on-going stories. Plus AMC didn't take itself seriously, it was always tongue-in-cheek in a way that the Young and the Restless, for instance, was not.
I watched AMC daily throughout the nineties. If I wasn't hope, I taped it. That's pretty much what my VCR was for in those days. Sometimes, if I had had a busy week, my day off would be spent watching the week's worth of episodes, catching up.
What also made it fun was sharing it with friends -- either watching with them or talking, at length, about the show with them on the phone (this was before social networking).
In January 2002 I quit watching every day. I felt the show had really declined in the years before that and that instead of focusing on developing the core stories, characters, and families, they were introducing too much that was new. The quality just didn't seem to be there. Being a Brooke fan, I was particularly annoyed with their constant, lame attempts to find her a new love interest.
In the decade since, I would watch occassionally when I was home, and usually felt the show was even worse, though I still enjoyed some of my favourite characters. It seems that ratings had decline throughout the decade, so I was on the vanguard, I guess, of those fans abandoning it.
Knowing that the show was ending, last month I began to watch some. I happened to catch the Leo-Greenlee episode when it was broadcast, and that was a great episode to watch. Then I was trying to watch on-line. I'd generally fastforward through all the current plot crap with characters I didn't care about (and even some with characters I did). Then I fell out the habit again quickly, only to pick it back up the last two weeks.
It has been fun, even if outlandish, to see so many dead characters come back to life. They've had some of our favourite old characters and actors back (the Sarah Michelle Gellar scenes were fun), but fewer than I had hoped. The clip montages have been really lame -- they used to do great clip shows during anniversary celebrations. All the sets are unfamiliar, rather than the iconic homes that we had watched for decades. I'm really not interested in how they are wrapping up current plots and feel that they should have done more to celebrate and remind us of the stories of the last forty years.
So, today I will be ready. I'll be sitting here eating lunch and watching. And I bought some champagne to toast the show.