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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down! 1993-2003

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The ScorpioFiles, 1999-2005

2003- Thumbs Down... AMC Kills Off Leora The only thing worse than a bad idea is a bad idea executed poorly, which is what happened with AMC's Leora story. Things were sour right from the start, when David threatened Joe before the operation even began. (Nothing like adding a little pressure, eh Doc?) David's later obstruction of the surgery was beyond ludicrous. Joe tried to physically restrain David even as Dr. Hayward shouted orders. (Dr. Tuttle snapped, "That's my decision, Hayward!" as if it mattered who got credit.) Worse, David then threatened to kill Joe. A nurse was dispated to summon security, so she wandered outside and calmly asked Tad and Anna, "Have you seen security?" (Um... last time we checked, Anna was the police commissioner.)
     Granted, David was thinking like a frenzied father, but would he really have endangered his child's life? Would a trained surgeon really give in to panic and threaten to kill another doctor?  Adding insult to injury (literally), the aftermath was morbid and maudlin instead of touching and sentimental. After David told his deceased child he would seek revenge on her behalf, Anna cradled the corpse in a blanket and sang to it in a flesh-crawling scene. "Nothing is more important to David than his own child," Anna told Tad. Obviously, she doesn't know her husband very well. This incident proved that nothing is more important to David than his ego. And whether David admits it or not, that ego killed Leora. (SOW 6/24/2003)  

Thumbs Down... AMC's misty, water-colored memories Fan have been waiting for months for AMC's Maria to regain her memory, but when the moment finally came, the break-through was less than memorable. While singing Maddie a lullaby, Maria had another flashback, but Eva La Rue's eyes told us something was different. She mouthed, "Oh, my God," with a concerned look and kissed Maddie tenderly. "I love you so much. Mommy's back," she sobbed softly as she beamed at her daughter.
     Outside, Maria told Aidan that she remembered being Maddie's mother. "A feeling just shot through me," she said by way of explaining how things were different. "This was remembering in my heart and my gut." La Rue did her best with the underwhelming material, radiating maternal pride, but for such an important reveal the scene just didn't play big enough. Why the listless direction and muddy lighting? The low-key conversations? Where was the energy? The joy? How ironic that Aidan said, "This is really big, Maureen"- he had perhaps the most important moment, when Aidan realized "Maureen" only responded to being called "Maria." His grimace of crestfallen pain marked Aidan Turner's strongest moment on AMC. At least that was something to remember... (SOW 6/10/2003)

2002- Thumbs Down... Devane in Vain Much has been written about the semi-successful integration of Anna Devane (originated by Finola Hughes on GH) into AMC. Hughes is an awesome talent and a welcome part of the sudser, but the question remains: How well has the show captured the essence of her character?
     The Anna who won the hearts of GH fans was a tough, capable law enforcer who, having once double-crossed the good guys and paid the price for it, dedicated herself to the pursuit of justice. This history lent her AMC-based romance with the law-flouting David Hayward juicy, built-in conflict and conductwere constantly at odds- as were Anna's heart and head. And the stakes only got higher when Anna become Pine Valley's police chief and nabbing David become her most pressing assignment.
     But just when the soap finally seemed to get a handle on what made Anna tick, she made the decision to value eros over ethics (i.e. advising David not to cooperate with the authorities when he was arrested for homicide, then formally resigning from her position). This raised a red flag for Jackson, and it raises one for us, too. If Anna's professional dignity is sacrificed at the altar of her romance with David, what is left to make Anna... well, Anna? We hope that's a question on the minds of AMC's powers-that-be and not just ours. (SOD 12/17/2002)  

Hit... Believing the Unbelievable on AMC (SOW 10/29/2002) While AMC's Anna and David storyline is silly and unrealistic, the unrelenting hard work of Finola Hughes and Vincent Irizarry is helping to sell it- and the audience is buying! From David's amazement at seeing his child's sonogram to his rage at seeing the power-of-attorney forms denying him access to that child, Irizarry has made us believe almost all of it. And Anna's spiraling descent from the high of finding out she is pregnant to the nadir of realizing that her husband is exactly the rat she feared he was... well, we bought that, too.
     Irizarry personifies the handsome rogue beautifully, employing his crooked smile to disarm opponents when even his quick with fails him. His earnestness is am,azing. Irizarry makaes David look like he really believes the snake oil he's peddling. Just look at the way he was able to sweet-talk Maria- he convinced her that keeping her away from her family for 5 years wasn't really so bad.
     Anna's primary emotional state has been confusion-she's conflicted about cutting he father of her child out of that child's life only slightly more then she's conflicted about tossing the coundrel to into the clink and throwing away the key! It takes a skilled actor to make the audience suspend the disbelief for AMC's current brand out outrageousness, and Hughes and Irizarry have to be seen to be believed!"  

Thumbs Up... Relatively Speaking Strong family units are the cornerstone of daytime drama. But it's hard enough to seamlessly introduce one new character, let alone an entire clan. So, AMC should be especially proud of the creation of its entertaining Hayward/Bennett/Du Pres/Devane/Stone clan, which has emerged as one of the most compelling sects in Pine Valley society.
    AMC wisely took its time- about four years- shoring up the family structure. First we met David, then his mother, Vanessa, and her other son, Leo. David married Anna; her nephew Adian was recently added to the mix. Cousin Frankie was introduced; when she was killed off, in came her twin, Maggie. Leo tied the knot with Greenlee, then learned that Vanessa had birthed still another boy, the erstwhile James "Trey" Kenyon III.
    It's an unorthodox bunch in which not even shared surnames create unity, but there is charm and genuine love within its ever-expanding borders. Leo and David have gradually developed a close, trusting friendship, even when they don't see eye to eye (primarily on the subject of their murderous mama)- just like real brothers. When Anna suspected that she was pregnant, she couldn't help but share her secret with Maggie- just like a real cousin might.
    Other shows would be wise to follow AMC's paradigm: we grew to care for one character at a time. And before we knew it, we were invested in the whole lot. (SOD 9/24/2002) 

Thumbs Down- AMC Man Overboard: Make no mistake: We're happy to see Jackson involved in a major bit of Pine Valley Action. But his currently storyline has us wondering exactly what happened to the man who we know and love. 
     The plot in question pits District Attorney Jack against Police Chief Anna. Convinced that Anna's marriage to David is impeding her investigation of drug lord Proteus, Jack is determined to see her booted from the job.
     Did we say determined? Make that completelly obsessed. Check out this dialogue, one of many threats Jack has growled to Anna as of late: "Start reading the want ads because I'm not satisfied with you just surrendering your weapon. I want you badge!"
    Hello!? Anna has never done anything to Jack, so when did this vendetta get so personal? And his own history in law enforcement is far from unimpeachable. He misappropriated funds during his brother's Seante run and helped Laurel dispose of Denny's body after she killed him in self-defense. Nor did Jack seem to care much about conflict of interest just a few years ago when he prosecuted his ex-lover and his sister's accused rapist. We could go on, but you get the point. 
     We're in favor of a good, old-fashioned professional rivalry between Jack and Anna- but not if it means manufacturing a side of Jackson that doesn't ring true to character. (SOD 8/27/2001)

Hit... A Kiss isn't just a kiss on AMC When AMCs David and Anna tied the knot with a justice of the peace, the idea of loving, honoring and cherishing was obviously the furthest thing from their minds- lucky for us.
    David and Anna married out of necessity. With charges looming against David because of his shady medical research, they got hitched so Anna could avoid having to testify against him.
    The pair are not united by a dewy-eyed romantic love, it's more utilitarian. They're intrigued by each other, and there's an obvious physical attraction- plus a mutual love of snappy patter and playful insults. Anna doesn't trust David as far as she can throw him- she suspects he may have fathered Dixie's child- and he returns the "favor" of mistrust.
    It's refreshing to see a couple with so much yet so little in common. There's no mushiness, no cloying, no mooning over each other and lighting scented candles. They're unabashedly using each other (hey, the sex seems great). Their fast-talking insult-swapping sessions are reminiscent of an earlier age of "romantic" pairings. There's more hard-edged, black-and-white Tracy and Hepburn than gauzy Luke & Laura romance in this relationship. Their wedding vows were more like a negotiation than a confession of love. No talk of eternal flames or soul mates here.
    Still, just because they don't trust each other doesn't mean they can't have a little fun. On their wedding night she modeled a matronly flannel nightgown instead of something sheer and sexy. And they seem to be getting a big kick out of toying with each other. "Do you take this man/woman?" Yes, indeed we do. (SOW 4/16/2002)

2001- Hit: An Unlikely Couple Who would have thought that Dr. David Hayward would meet his match in the mysterious, former spy, Anna Devane? This AMC couple is setting the screen on fire. Of course, Anna has her own agenda when it comes to David: She thinks he's a drug dealer and will do anything to prove it. He, on the other hand, is on to her and is just playing along biding his time until he finds out what she's really up to.
    So here they are, two adults, each trying to find out what the other is up to, busy playing games with each other, and they suddenly discover they have an unbelievable attraction to each other. They light up the screen with their undeniable chemistry. Their love scenes are hot, hot, hot, and yet, there's a touch of fun to them as well! Anna is never at a loss for words. She teases him, provokes him, annoys him, and David doesn't let her get away with anything. He uses every opportunity to prove she can't get the best of him. Has Anna finally met her match? Has David finally met his?
    Finola Hughes and Vincent Irizarry are sensational with their portrayals of Anna and David. Both are longtime fan favorites, but never have the two been given the opportunity to use their acting talents together. AMC should keep them together because they are a future super couple!
(SOU 12/4/2001) 

2001- Hit... The Proteus Mystery on AMC AMC is determined to keep viewers guessing with its current “Who Is Proteus?” mystery– and so far it’s a rousing success. The current drug-trafficking story is compelling on a number of levels.  Nearly half the cast could be guilty because the writers have put almost every character in at least one suspicious scene. (Skulking in a corner talking on a cell phone really looks fishy now.)  Even the upstanding Mateo– and it’s highly unlikely he’s Proteus– has had his weird moments.
    Suspicious minds think Chris, David, Anna and Roger look pretty guilty.  Chris says he’s with the FBI, but that could be an elaborate cover.  David says his drug days– think Libidizone– are a thing of the past, but what’s all that talk of “shipments” about to come in?  Anna is always sneaking around and playing one man against another.  And then there’s poor Roger, who looked pretty guilty until about a month ago, but he claimed to be just a flunky for Proteus.
    And then there are those who appear to want to rid Pine Valley of this evil– Mateo, Edmund, Brooke and Edmund’s assistant/bartender Simone.  But they could be playing both sides.  And, finally, there are the characters who hang around SOS, and therefore might be guilty by association, among them Mia, Greenlee, Leo, Frankie, Tad, Dixie and Bianca– yes, even Bianca.  What about nutty Laura?  She could be pretending to be a psycho just to cover her double life.
    With every new clue in each episode, the mystery grows more complicated, making it impossible to even begin to figure out who might be Proteus. In Greek mythology, Proteus was a sea god capable of changing the way he looked.  On AMC, Proteus is capable of changing the way we look at some familiar characters. (SOW 11/27/2001) 

Thumbs Up!/Thumbs Down- AMC Double Trouble: Soap's most evil twin is plaguing AMC. (No, not you, Adam.) We're talking about the mishmash that masquerades as the venerable sudser. AMC boasts some of the genre's brightest stars and writers that can turn out killer dialogue. What's lacking is consistency. 
     On its good days, the soap soars and reminds us why we tune in. Recent gems include Tad and Dixie locking horns over the ugly golf-ball washer that he kept in the living room, Erica's game of cat and mouse with La Kane wannabe Greenlee, J.R.'s drug habit and Leo doing... well, anything. All examples of strong actors in well-written tales driven by great characters.
     Then there's that doppelganger that subjects us to impromptu karoke, the Dreamboat fiasco, Saved by the Bell rejects Mindy, Shannon and Heather, and that hobbledhoy, Gabriel. (What was the casting note on him? "He's not just a tongue-tied lurker, he can cast a spell on dogs, fix all your home appliances. And he hums a mean rendition of "Greensleeves.") Making him Anna and Alex's brother doesn't help because the sister act hasn't exactly been a rip-roaring success. 
    We know that AMC, once a ratings winner, has the potential to get back on track. But to return to its former glory, the soap has to stop being so two-faced. (SOD 7/3/2001) 

Thumbs Down- AMC Cheated AMC had to come up with a way to explain Alex's absence when her portrayer, Finola Hughes, went on maternity leave. While the plot twist that was concocted- Alex went off to care for her ailing, not-so-dead twin, Anna- fits nicely into ABC's "synergy" concept of linking its soap line-up, this is a problematic turn of events.
     Anna was GH's super-popular heroine before her untimely demise on an exploding boat in 1992. To have her revived on another show is a slap in the face to GHers who mourned her passing. Adding insult to injury, Anna's memory has been conveniently damaged, so she can't remember her HIV-positive daughter, "orphan" Robin. And Anna's being pursued by bad guys, so it would be too dangerous to notify the next of kin that there's been a resurrection in the family.
     Some might say the solution is simple: GH fans should tune in to AMC. But since there was no advance notice about Anna, they've already missed key revelation scenes, and besides, not everyone has time to watch multiple soaps. For fans who do follow both shows, it's been weird watching Anna interact with strangers when she has pals in Port Charles who have no idea she's alive.
    And those who only fancy AMC can't help but notice that newbie Anna and Alex (who came in 2000) are on-air a lot, while Stuart, beloved twin of Adam, is seldom seen. No knock to Hughes, who's doing a fabulous job, but this twin tale is "two" much. (SOD 4/17/2001) 

2000- A Real Tearjerker She thought he was dead. He wanted her to think so. What happened when the two saw each other again was one of the most emotional and endearing scenes on AMC. Alex didn't know that when Dixie sent her to the hunting lodge, her life would change forever.
    Alex opened the door... and he stood: her "dead" husband Dimitri! She was so shocked, she couldn't believe that what she was seeing was real, or was it just a figment of her imagination? Alex stepped forward slowly and tentatively and reached out to touch a man she had loved and thought she lost. Could it be possible he was alive? No words were exchanged, but the looks on the faces of Finola Hughes (Alex) and Michael Nader (Dimitri) told the whole story. Her disbelief turned to tears of joy. Although he wanted her to leave and forget she'd seen him, Dimitri cried when Alex put her arms around him and kissed him. She would never let him go... and he knew it.
    Dimitri tried to explain that he'd been kidnapped, and once freed, he thought he was still dying... that is, until David convinced him to try a new treatment. Alex couldn't believe what she was hearing, realizing that she had contributed to David's treatment, and in the end it had helped her love, Dimitri.
    As reunions go, these were quite emotional and touching scenes, especially because of the acting of the two stars involved. Bravo, Hughes and Nader. (SID 10/24/2000) 

Triangle It! "With the incredible talents of Nader, Hughes and Callahan, AMC's Dimitri, Alex and Edmund keep the temperature rising as the hottest triangle currently on the soap opera scene. A more dynamic trio is hard to find!" (SOU 9/26/2000) 

Love Triangle- ratings factor 10 out of 10 "AMC has crafted an exceptional romantic triangle involving last year's breakout supercouple Dimitri and Alex. Although fans were in an uproar when Dimitri was written off twice in 1999, in hindsight, it was probably the best thing AMC could hav done for its fans. Dimitri's presumed death allowed Alex and Dimitri's brother Edmund to slowly fall in love. Edmund had yet to make love to anyone since the death of his wife Maria. It made sense that Edmund would fall in love with Alex- in many ways, she is a lot like Maria, a woman for whom both brothers fell. And the fans feel the same way. Now that Dimitri is back, alive and kicking, AMC has set the stage for a sibling battle for the love of Alex. Complicating matters is the fact that Edmund and Alex have developed their own fan following this past year. Also, people rooting for Alex and Dimitri to reunite are desperate to see any type of courtship between the two because their initial romance was seen off camera, which definately raises the rooting quotient for them. Regardless, it will be interesting to see with whom Alex ends up, especially if Maria ever returns. Now that would be juicy!" (SOU10/10/2000) 

Hit... AMC's Erica Swoons, As Usual AMC's Erica Kane has oft been chided by her fellow townsfolk for being too melodramatic. But when she was poked fun at for fainting after finding out within mere moments that Dimitri and Stuart, both of whom had been presumed dead- and whose demises she had mourned, as they had been family members- turned out to be alive, perhaps human would have been a better way to describe her.
    If Erica's reaction was human, then everyone else's was subhuman. Not only did Hayley, Brooke, Bianca and even Edmund not faint upon seeing Dimitri, they hardly noticed. Ditto with Stuart. That's because everybody knows that the dead will return... soon. But Erica's response was appropriate: in life, the dead don't return. That's why death is sad.
    As an AMC fan and avowed optimist, I'd like to think that perhaps the show's writers were poking gentle fun at soaps when Stuart and Dimitri's loved ones expressed bemused nonchalance at their resurrections. Soap fans, after all, know that when there's no body, there was no death. The characters' blase reactions show they're jaded, not cold. They know the game: React to the death, mourn the death, and then, when the time is right, disregard the death. What's not to laugh about? Two characters returned from the dead on the same day!
    If this is true- and I hope and believe it is- then the fun was appropriately placed. While the writers had their fun, they resisted doing it at the expense of potential dramatic moments. Alex and Dimitri's reunion was touching, and Stuart and Marian's, along with Stuart and Adam's, were life-affirming, and not just to the imminently flatlining Adam. Erica's fainting might have been melodramatic, but only because she's a drama queen: She's the only person in all of Pine Valley who still thinks that dead people are, well, dead." (SOW 8/8/2000, Stephanie Akner) 

Hit... A Banner Day on AMC I hope your vcrs were working for the July 10 episode of AMC. It rates as one of daytime's not-to-be-missed hours. AMC provided the viewer with a little bit of everything, pluse a long-awaited revelation. We finally learned the entire story of Alex and Anna Devane- they're twins! -and saw again what a monster Charlotte really was. Samantha Eggar (Charlotte) gave a brilliant performance on her final day. I loved it; it was perfect closure.
    But that wasn't all. Dixie learned that Dimitri was alive, then David immediately told her it was a big secret. Ryan and Gillian made love after a few days of 'We can't do this until I ask Jake for a divorce.' That couple keeps getting hotter! But for me, the most priceless moment was Eugenia (the darling Meg Mundy) tripping over the dead body of one of Charlotte's henchmen. The poor duchess keeps finding dead men in the living room of Wildwind. Her most amusing act was when Ryan asked her via cell phone if the man was dead; she kicked the body and then replied, "Yes." This episode should be graded A. (SOW 8/8/2000, Gabrielle Winkel)

Hit... AMC's Dimitri is Alive and Fairly Well Dimitri's back! Yeah! I must say I was growing attached to the pairing of AMC's Edmund and Alex, and went so far as to question on these very pages the need for the return of Michael Nader as Dimitri.
    How wrong I was. I'll eat crow. The return of the passionate count has upped the stakes of this already front-burner storyline. I forgot how wonderfully brooding and intense Nader is, and how much fervor he brings to the role. He looks rested and handsome and ready to do battle for the woman he loves.
    Of course it's a perfect soap scenario, borderline corny, but I don't care. How breathtaking to see Dimitri, a man who had willed himself to stay alive to be with his wife again, come back only to see her in the arms of his own brother. Nader turned the chapel of Wildwind into his own stage where he cursed God for this devastating turn of events. And, fortunately- for continuity's sake- Dimitri still has his blinding headaches to remind us of his not-yet-cured illness. It's gothic and it's great.
    The long-awaited reunion of the Marick brothers- Dimitri and John Callahan's Edmund- in the Wildwind mausoleum was worth the wait. Time has not lessened the chemistry between these two actors. So now, viewers have the delicious wait as Dimitri is seen by everyone else in Pine Valley, but of course, not Alex. Not yet.  (SOW 7/25/2000, Gabrielle Winkel)

A Perfect Day in Pine Valley Every so often I see an episode of AMC (the show I officially cover) that meets all of my needs. The April 17 episode was a delight and worth writing about.
    Edmund and Alex made love for the first time. How romantic was this? The charming cottage in Wales, the roaring fire, the two survivors of broken hearts and a rocky beginning finally acknowledged there is something going on between them. These two went through a lot before they could even be civil to each other, let alone be friends or lovers. The tenderness between Alex and Edmund (Finola Hughes and John Callahan) was sexy and romantic. Does Dimitri have to come back? (SOW 5/16/2000 excerpted, Gabrielle Winkel)

I Am Woman While there's nothing wrong with soap knights racing to rescue their damsels in distress (fantasy is part of why we love daytime), it's also refreshing to see the not-really-weaker sex step into the fray when the going gets tough, which is what happened recently on DOOL and AMC.......
    Meanwhile, on AMC, a gunman ran through the mall firing shots. With the cops in hot pursuit, the creep grabbed Alex and put a gun to her head as Edmund stood by helplessly. Suddenly, Alex pulled off martial-arts moves worthy of Jackie Chan and laid him out. We (and Edmund) were impressed.
    Daytime isn't unaccustomed to females getting physical (there are able cops like ATWT's Margo), but they're still the exception. You go, girls... er... women. (SOD 4/11/2000)

AMC Grabs the Brass Ring Every so often, All My Children airs an episode which, if there were a panel of judges, would receive a perfect 10 as its score. The Jan. 4 episode was just such a show.
    Set during the glorious Crystal Ball, every character looked their best and spoke from the heart. There was a little humor, a little intrigue and lots of honest emotion. The episode was perfectly plotted and beautifully scripted.
    Liza and Adam battled verbally. This time it was Liza who did the conning. She said everything he wanted to hear, and when he believed they had reconciled, she hid his passport and left town with Colby. Liza almost succumbed to Adam's charms, but ultimately held her ground.
    On to David and Erica, who have (mercifully) gotten past their sappy gushing stage. The dialogue in the limousine to the hospital (he needed x-rays) was charged and snappy. They were obviously connected as a couple, no longer mincing words. "Erica, who are you going to believe: the man who makes love to you every night or the woman who just pushed him down the stairs?" David asked bluntly.
    And these were just the couples who had already left the ball. Edmund tried to get Alex to open up about what was bothering her, but she soon put up her emotional wall and headed to the mausoleum to be with Dimitri. There, like a wounded bird, she crumpled up in front of her late husband's crypt.
    Also in the episode, Gillian and Jake toasted their future, Jack and Brooke bantered a bit, and Greenlee and Leo made a bet a la Dangerous Liasons. Mateo and Hayley tiptoed to a reconciliation, and Ryan danced with every girl at the ball except the one he really wanted. It was perfect. (SOD 2/1/2000) 

1999- Alexandra the Great From the beginning, All My Children's Alexandra Devane was a woman with something to hide. Aside from the natural curiosity about her connection to General Hospital's presumed-dead Anna Devane (a role originated by Finola Hughes, who's now playing Alex), there was the mystery surrounding Alex's arrival admist the sirens and chaos of Dimitri's 'death'.
    As if it weren't enough of a stunner for Dimitri's loved ones to learn that he had "died", they found out moments later that the count had taken a bride- a woman they'd never heard of. "No. I won't allow it," was Alex's introduction to Dimitri's mourners at Seaview Hospital as she objected to an autopsy being performed on her husband. After the shock wore off, Dimitri's friends and family slowly accepted Alex, but Edmund knew there was more to the story.
    Was there ever. As Edmund eventually discovered, his brother was alive, in hiding, and deathly ill. Throughout, Hughes stuck a delicate balance between Alex's "grief" and her guilt about fooling his family. And make no mistake- the actress faced a tough assignment since Alex's arrival signaled the departure of the count and his popular portrayer, Michael Nader.
    AMC's writing team was up to the challenge. They eased us in and out of Alex and Dimitri's romance via well-written and acted flashbacks. Perhaps that's why it has been so satisfying to watch Alexandra unfold. Sure, we were initially suspicious, but seeing the depth of Alex's love for Dimitri made us sympathetic to her. This character may be new, but her tie to Dimitri binds her to Pine Valley- and to all who knew him. (SOD 10/12/99)

Hit... Finola's Foray to Pine Valley At crossover-crazed ABC, it's often hard to discern who is who when favorite characters from one show pop up on others. While it remains to be seen whether this will ultimately develope into a true crossover, Finola Hughes' Alex Devane- whoever she is- has made a distinct impression on the Pine Valley scene. Thanks to a wonderful marriage of carefully crafted writing and highly skilled acting, head writer Anges Nixon and Hughes together have sparked the most intriguing new entrance storyline for an AMC character in recent memory.
    For her part, Hughes has electrified the atmosphere in every scene she's been in, cleverly imbuing Alex with just enough of Anna's trademark characteristics to keep the audience guessing: is she, or isn't she?
    The only obvious pitfall that lies ahead for the show is if it teases the audience with the Anna angle too much and ultimately doesn't deliver the divine- er, Devane- goods. But no matter who she plays, ABC Daytime and its audience are very lucky to have Hughes back in the fold. (Robert Schork, SOW 9/14/99)

1997- Thumbs Up! AMC Love Never Dies: One of soap detractor's biggest- and most justified- complaints is that characters frequently seem able to turn their feelings on and off like a switch, beginning new relationship the second old ones end. But on AMC, heartbroken heroes and heroines rarely rush into romance; instead, they grieve in (almost) real time, giving themselves- and the audience- the opportunity to heal. 
    Take Edmund, who became a widower last August when wife Maria was killed in a plane crash. As one of AMC's most charismatic male leads, the temptation to throw him into another romance must have been strong; were he on another show, Edmund would probably have a new love by now. 
    Instead, he hasn't even looked sideways at another woman- including ex-paramour Brooke, who has become his closest confidante without there being any hint at rekindling a sexual relationship. Edmund still thinks about Maria all the time, still misses her, still wonders what life would be like had she survived. He'll move on eventually, but for now, after seven months alone, Edmund's just starting to find his zest for life again.
    But even those characters who do move on, like Dimitri, don't forget their feelings. Sure, he married Gloria out of anger, but we always knew that he still loved Erica- and during Bianca's recent intervention, he finally admitted as much. Like his brother, Dimitri will need a lot of time to get over the love of his life; lucky for them both, AMC seems prepared to give them all the time that they need. (SOD 3/24/98)

1997- Dimitri is Over-Prepared on AMC Ok, so AMC's Dimitri has gone from the strong, silent hero to certified weasel ever since his breakup with Erica, and we're learning to live with a meaner, nastier Count Andrassey. But a clairvoyant Dimitri has not been established, and that's what he would have to be in order to switch Edmund's medication before Maddie's custody trial. The ever-observant Dimitri watched as Edmund took a vial of pills from his breast pocket, looked at them and decided not to take one. In minutes- and without ever leaving the courthouse (as far as we could see)- Dimitri sidled over to Edmund's chair in the courtroom. Edmund's jacket was hung over the back of the chair, and when no one was looking, Dimitri took the distinctive little pill bottle out of the pocket and replaced it with an exact replica containing a different, more dangerous medication than Edmund's painkillers. Really, now. Did Dimitri just happen to have a bottle of pills just like Edmund's with just the right medication to turn his brother into a lunatic? Or did he call someone, describe the bottle, have them get a prescription filled and slip it to him before they went into the courtroom? I don't think so. Since Edmund's violent outburst from Dimitri's drug was one of the main reasons Dimitri won custody of Maddie, something more realistic and less "convenient" should have been employed. Just stealing the pills and having Edmund go a little mad from pain would have worked for me. (SOW 10/21/97) 

Continuing Heartbreak on AMC How much, this viewer has to ask, is poor Edmund going to have to go through? In the past few months on AMC, he's lost his wife, is still suffering from myriad health problems after the plane crash, and, after a nasty custody battle, he has to give Maddie to his nasty half brother, Dimitri. Can it get any worse? Probably.
   John Callahan (Edmund) was incredibly touching in the scenes at Wildwind with darling Maddie. We cried. We sobbed. There wasn't much dialogue; there really didn't have to be. The custody trial had exhausted Edmund. His hand was throbbing with excruiating pain, but he insisted on holding his daughter in his arms during her last moments at Wildwind. Adding to the poignancy of the scene was the obvious bond between Callahan and Jordan Vance, who plays Maddie. That darling baby was holding onto Callahan as if the child knew what was happening. It was a tragic moment in what continues to be one of the saddest stories currently on daytime. (SOW 10/28/97, Gabrielle Winkel)