Monday, September 26, 2011

au revoir, amc.

now that it's over,
it's time to come clean.

for 75% of my life,
i've been an almost-daily watcher of
all my children.

i was raised as an as the world turns watcher,
as that was my mother's soap of choice for decades.
so i'm not sure how or why i picked up on amc —
especially since it was on a different network [abc] than atwt [cbs].

but i believe it was the hooker with a heart of gold storyline of
donna [said hooker],
chuck [the dr. to whom she gave said heart of gold],
& billy clyde tuggle [her super-duper evil pimp with what may be
the best evil pimp soap name ever]
that originally attracted my eleven-yo attention.

& for the next thirty-three years,
i've watched & videotaped & dvr'ed
the escapades of pine valley, pennsylvania's dysfunctional fictional families.

i've literally cheered & wept through
the lies, the infidelities, the catfights, the kidnappings,
the amnesia, the facial reconstructions, the impostors, the evil twins,
the unlocked doors, the relentless eavesdropping, the supercouples,
the angel visitations, the multiple resurrections,
ten of erica's twelve weddings — & eight of her ten legal marriages —
& so, so much more.

for over half of those years,
i've had company in my daily indulgence.

my sweet husband got hooked almost twenty years ago,
watching every evening alongside his besotted bride.
we created our own game of forecasting storyline conclusions —
the farther out timewise & the farther out ridonkulous-wise,
the greater the "win."

i'm proud to be married to the man who predicted well in advance both
harold the dog's cross-country return to reveal natalie's secret identity
as her psycho sister janet, at the altar & about to wed natalie's true love, trevor!
& the ultimate revivification of the heart of pine valley,
sweet stuart chandler, whose often-evil twin brother adam
had, in a drug-induced haze, accidentally gunned him down two years earlier.

all our children [see what I did there?] — all two of them,
now almost-13 & 8.5 yo — have been watching all their lives.
i was watching amc while we were still hospitalized post-partum,
& big girl has been known on many occasions
to correct or remind us of past storyline twists & turns.

but before you get all judge-y up in here
[wha?? she let her innocent children watch that daytime filth?!],
let me just note that amc provided our family with
not only limitless moral lessons —
eventually & without exception, every deceit or act of deviltry
came back around to bite the wrongdoer on the booty, bigtime —
but also abundant fodder for conversation/education about social issues:
divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction,
teenage pregnancy, std's, HIV/AIDS,
homophobia, racism, promiscuity.

in fact, big girl's only voiced concern
at the conclusion of our first big sex talk
was her ten-yo worry that the actors on amc
might accidentally have real sex during their scenes abed,
even though they're not really in love with one another.

[i eased her fears by letting her know
a) having accidental sex isn't really possible; &
b) everything the actors do on amc is pretend — including being naked.]

& so now, every day at noon, i am grieving.
grieving the loss of my mealtime companion, my daily indulgence, my stories.

but hope remains.

the final television broadcast ended with a trio of cliffhangers —
one more promised back-to-lifer,
a fabulous nod to gone with the wind,
& a dallas/sopranos gunshot/blackout mashup —
which may be resolved with the still-pending return of the show
in january, online, via the production company prospect park.

so here's to soap matriarch & amc creator agnes nixon.
& here's to resurrections.
to my guy tad, the next-generation father-figure.
to jackson's wry expressions & cara's ten-pound eyelashes.
to dr. david hayward's johnny-cash-with-brown-accents wardrobe.
to dr. angela hubbard, the wisest minority character of all.

& here's to hearing the self-explanatory words,
"i'm erica kane,"
haughtily uttered once again.

here's to another forty-one years, all my children.
& at least another thirty-three for this fan,
who counts herself among them.

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