“All My Children” Unveils New Opening Credits
There are many things that “All My Children” needs to improve. But one thing that the show has always gotten right is its opening credit sequence. Since it premiered in 1970, the titles have always been centered around a hand opening an album with the words “All My Children” printed on the cover. Originally, it was the show’s creator, Agnes Nixon‘s, hand. In the 1990s, the credits got a long overdue update, which added photos of the cast and a bouncy new theme song. It was a perfect update of a classic. The album branded the show. The image reflected what AMC was all about: family, sentiment, warmth. It always made me feel like I was stepping into a juicy novel. It was every bit as iconic as the “Days of Our Lives” hour glass. In addition to being terrific branding, it was practical. It was easy to change the photos in the album to reflect cast changes.
AMC just unveiled its new opening, which will debut on December 22nd, according to TVGuide. It virtually eliminates the photo album, replacing it with generic clips of the characters, other than a brief shot at the end. It looks similar to the opening sequences of “One Life To Live” and “General Hospital” which may have been an ABC branding mandate, but it removes an important piece of the show’s history. It would have been easy to create a new credit sequence that incorporated both clips of characters roaming around Pine Valley and the album. AMC, why did you have to fix something that wasn’t broken?
The Third Ret-con is the Charm
I think we need a new soap term for a ret-con of the history of a character whose very existence is already a ret-con. Cane’s (Daniel Goddard) backstory on “The Young & the Restless” has never made much sense. First he was switched at birth with Phillip III, and somehow ended up in Australia living with his uncle. Then it turned out that he was running a con with Phillip, eager to embrace a new family because he was neglected and impoverished as a child. Now the show has decided that Cane is actually the son of an Australian mob kingpin who fled the country to escape organized crime.
While constantly changing character histories usually irritate me (I’m looking at you “One Life To Live”s Rex, and “General Hospital”s Sam), this story actually makes more sense. Cane now has a compelling reason to flee Australia, other than the random bad guys who were after him before. Best of all, his father, Colin, is played by none other than daytime superstar Tristan Rogers, best known as Robert Scorpio on “General Hospital.” His goal is to get his son back into the fold, by any means necessary.
It’s loads of fun to see an actor whose iconic role had him battling the mob playing the bad guy. In fact, the whole storyline is the mirror image of GH. Cane is doing everything he can to avoid a life of crime, while the characters on GH are trying to be the best mobsters they can be. A man whose dishonesty is rooted in his desire to live a moral life is so much more likable than someone who commits felonies on a regular basis and blames it on his lousy childhood. It makes Cane a bit of a bad boy, since he has been lying about his past to his saintly wife and his surrogate family — for the third time. Yet his love for Lily (Christel Khalil) is sincere. This ambiguity rescues the character from the overly sweet knight in shining armor he had become during Lily’s cancer storyline.
Colin’s seduction of Jill (Jess Walton) was both sexy and hilarious. The contrast between the cold, manipulative bastard he is with Cane and the rakish, witty charmer he is with Jill is fascinating. This is a villain with plenty of dimensions. Rogers and Walton had instant chemistry. I hope this is not going to be yet another story of a man sleeping with Jill just to manipulate her. This a pairing that could go the distance. Michael (Christian LeBlanc) and Lauren (Tracey Bregman) catching the two of them mid-tryst in Jill’s office was the funniest Y&R scene in quite a while. Jill’s out of control sex hair deserves a shout out. Colin obviously showed her a really good time.
We learned this week that Cane turned his father into the police, but we do not know whether it was because he deserved it or because he wanted to save his own neck. Whether Cane was once an enthusiastic participant in the family business or was always trying to escape it is an intriguing question. We also learned that Cane has a dead sister, who will probably turn out to be every bit as alive as every other presumed dead person on Y&R. It’s a lot of revisionist history, but, so far, I am willing to go along for the ride. Sometimes when a character’s backstory is not working, writers need to try, try and try again.