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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Extreme Makeover Soap Edition: Why I’m now excited about the Prospect Park reboots.

The day that Prospect Park finally called “Action!” on the new set of All My Children has finally happened.  After the roller coaster ride that it has been, this seems like a pitch-me-I’m-dreaming moment.  I can’t wait to see how the stories continue however, what excites me the most is the potential All My Children and One Life to Live now have to revamp and restore themselves.  I want what is old to be new again and the shows seem to be returning to their roots. Agnes Nixon is being consulted for the reboots.  I’d like to imagine that there was a conversation with Prospect Park about Nixon's original visions.

In All My Children’s case, it is returning back to the show’s tales of troubled young love.  Fans will still get some of their favorite vets back but the show will also be featuring a very attractive young cast.  While some fans aren’t excited about this particular change, I think it was a smart move on Prospect Park’s part.

I suspect that not getting leading lady Susan Lucci back may have had a hand in All My Children’s current direction. As I have mentioned in a previous post while Lucci is certainly deserving of her star status, she should have never been the only soap star with brand recognition.  In the long run I think this hurt the soap genre.  I like the idea of All My Children bringing in new talent to build on the show’s original identity and I see the possibly to give some others the chance to become stars.

For One Life to Live, it appears to be returning to its place between heaven and hell particularly with Matthew and Destiny’s story.  A leaked plot line involves Matthew being a deadbeat daddy and single mother Destiny resorting to dating older men for money in order to make ends meet.  I’ll admit my initial reaction to this was a touch of distaste.  But once I thought about it, the foundations for this story line were already set up before One Life to Live’s television finale.

After Nora convinced Destiny to keep her baby, Matthew woke up from his coma a little freaked out by the idea of fatherhood.  To add to it his older brother (whom he looks up to) admitted to having a child as a teen and walking away.  For Destiny, there were conversations about the financial struggles that she may face such as going to school while being a parent at the same time.  So even though the story may seem out of left field, it isn’t really.  I’m intrigued by how this will be told especially since it can now be told differently then it would have been on daytime television.

Without the limitations of squeamish networks, the shows have the potential to be edgier and sexier.  I don’t think this means the cast is going to be standing around naked while yelling out obscenities.  There just won’t be network censorship when it comes to story lines and scenes.  Actors will no longer have to make sure they are straddling only one of their partner’s leg during love scenes or adhere to other such odd rules.  And story lines about controversial subjects such as abortion, prostitution, drug abuse, sexual origination, etc. (which have always been a part of the soap world) will now have freedom to push the envelope slightly more.

I don’t have a full picture of what One Life to Live and All My Children will look like yet but I am optimistic that they will return rejuvenated.  I think the shows have gotten writing teams that will be able to tell some amazing stories.  Even though there are some things about the Prospect Park deal that I’m still not sure how to feel about, I think these reboots could be the remodeling that the genre and shows needed.