Past tense, future perfect, Part IV, or
Which man is the man for Erica Kane?

If you’ve been reading this column regularly (don’t worry — there won’t be a quiz or anything) you may know that “All My Children” was one of the Queen of Hearts’ first soaps. I remember Teen Erica and her huge headbands and her secret birth control pills and her first husband (my dear Jeff Martin) and her first big rival, that mealy-mouth Mary Kinnicott. But Erica was never my fave character. She reminded me too much of my dear sister, at one time the Queen of Diamonds, but now divorced. (She lost most of the diamonds in the divorce settlement, too. What a pity she didn’t have her own cosmetics company to keep her warm, a la Ms. Kane.) But when we were young and camped around the TV in the Royal Rumpus Room, my sister was quite a lot like beautiful, selfish, drama queen Teen Erica, down to the nasty headbands. I just rolled my eyes, right through the palace ceiling, when it came to Erica and her hijinks. Nope. Not my fave.

In terms of romances, I was more smitten with Jeff and mealy-mouth Mary, with Tara and Phil, and then with Jesse and Angie, and even Palmer and Daisy. Oh, yes, and Brooke and Tom. What a pretty couple, yes? Good times, good times.

But I’m going to tell you right off the top that most everyone who answered my call to vote for a classic AMC couple chose one or another that involved Erica. Yes, Greenlee and Leo got some votes, as did Greg and Jenny, Ryan and Gillian, Edmund and Maria, and Brooke and Adam, and I was really happy to see that people remembered Cliff and Nina (Awwww... Weren’t they sweet?) as well as Jesse and Angie and a strong faction that loved Brooke and Edmund. There were even a few messages from people who always wanted Jesse and Jenny and were still cranky they didn’t get a J&J romance, even though that’s been years, kids. And the Tad and Dixie fans came on strong at the end. (If I check my in-box, there will be probably be another Tad and Dixie vote or two. Don’t know why all the T&D people chose to vote at the bitter end, but better late than never, as they say. Thanks for writing and sharing your chicken nugget passion, Tad and Dixie fans!)

Still, almost everyone else came back to Erica, which is not all that surprising, considering the fact that Susan Lucci has been with the show since the beginning and has always been a major romantic force, meaning that Erica has had a lot of men walk in and out of her life. That woman has been to the altar more times than Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and Lisa Marie Presley. And two Erica pairings rose to the top of the list.

Georgianne speaks for a lot of people who wrote to me to beat the Jackson/Erica drum. “They are my all-time favorite couple and I knew they were meant for each other the moment I saw them onscreen together. Susan and Walt have a more electrifying onscreen chemistry than any couple I've ever seen in my 33 years of watching daytime.”

Georgianne continues, “As for the characters themselves, I've never seen Erica so connected to a man EVER. She and Jack started as friends and I think that's why. Erica doesn't trust very easily but for some reason she trusted Jack right away. She is never afraid to show any side of herself to him. She will show her vulnerability, her fears, her passions, her insecurities. She can be angry, happy, playful, sexy, or anything else she wants to be with him. I love that about them. Jack knows her better than she knows herself and Erica has admitted this many times. I can't see any other man giving Erica the happily-ever-after that she has searched for all of her life. Jack is it.”

With a character as self-absorbed as Erica, it may seem that her fans would want exactly what Georgianne just described — a relationship that’s all about her. But Georgianne says that’s just not so. “Erica brings out things in Jackson we don't see very often,” she argues. “She brings out his humor, his playfullness, his anger, his arrogance, his passion and his romantic soul. She can read him as well as he reads her and he is never afraid to show her the depth of love he has for her. He loves her unconditionally and loves her child as his own. I can watch these two together all day long.”

Those are just some of the arguments that the Erica/Jackson shippers make, summarized nicely by Georgianne. But I’m afraid Jackson/Erica only mustered second place. It’s a different Erica pairing that garnered the most votes.

As Donna Nelson (no relation to Greg, I assume) says, “I have watched AMC since the first day it aired, and although I had a few couples that I really liked, such as Mona and Charles, Kitty and Linc, Ruth and Joe, Palmer and Daisy, and Trevor and Nat, when the Count of Andrassi was paired up with Erica Kane, these two characters really won my heart.”

There it is, folks! Contender #1: Erica and her Count, Dimitri! Time and time again, their fans say that these two were simply meant for each other. But what sets them apart from Erica and Jeff, Erica and Tom, Erica and Adam, Erica and Chris, Erica and Jeremy, Erica and Mike, Erica and Nick, or even Erica and Jackson? (Not to mention the other suitors I missed. Sorry, folks, but I can only hold so many names in my head at one time. There was that guy Mona killed, the guy played by the actor from “Petticoat Junction.” And the younger guy, the really pretty one... See, there are just too many men on Erica’s resume. But I digress... Back to E & D. Their fans voted. They deserve their column inches.)

“They were such a believable couple,” Donna explains. “They looked so elegant together and really did compliment each other on screen. The storylines were  powerful, and Dimitri and Erica were strong enough to pull them off. They loved each other deeply and the permanent separation of these two made a lot of viewers very unhappy. They have tried several times to pair up Erica with another character, but in my personal opinion, no one will fit with Erica as perfectly as Dimitri did.”

Michelle is also firmly on the Dmitri/Erica love train. “I began watching All My Children during the time when Dimitri and Erica were in Budapest,” Michelle says.  “As a Michael Nader fan, I was thrilled to enjoy his talents and charm again. As I soon found out, Susan Lucci and Michael Nader has an onscreen chemistry that I had never seen before. They were smoldering!”

Getting all swoony, Michelle continues, “Dmitri looked at Erica with those beautiful dark eyes with such incredible intensity. He gave her 110% of his attention as if she was the only other person in the world.  We all know how large Erica's ego is and this handsome, suave, charming and charismatic man managed to sweep her completely off her feet from their first encounter. She tried to deny her feelings, but soon found herself thinking about him constantly. Their relationship was difficult with many obstacles to overcome. But none of those pitfalls was able to prevent those two very determined people from being together. Their passion and intensity were mesmerizing and very convincing. It left me waiting in anticipation for the next episode like nothing else ever did.”

Camy adds, “I felt compelled to write about Dimitri and Erica from All My Children. They were by far my favorite couple and I miss them (and him) terribly! I miss everything about them. Their fights were filled with passion just like their love-making. Every conversation they had was heightened by their unmatched and very HOT chemistry. Two marriages simply were not enough. I desperately wanted a third.”

Talking about what sets them apart from all those other Erica romances, Camy adds, “Dimitri not only adored Erica, he took her over-the-top antics with a great deal of humor. He never took her over-dramatizing seriously and THAT made her more enjoyable to the AMC viewers in my opinion.  We got to see her from Dimitri's point of view and therefore didn't take her too seriously, either, which is critical to the enjoyment of Erica.”

I see your point, Camy. Our over-the-top diva needs a bemused, continental aristocrat who has already seen it all. “It was only right that the queen diva herself, Ms. Erica Kane would snatch the most desirable man in town,” Camy concludes.

Molly takes us on a trip down Erica and Dimitri Memory Lane. “Erica and Dimitri were passionate, exciting, bigger than life, romantic, sentimental, funny, outrageous when they fought but dynamite when they made up. They slammed doors, walked out, came back, argued, but they always loved each other and they were always so romantic.” And it’s not their elegance or oodles of money that Molly liked. “I think their most romantic moment was the night before Julia and Noah's wedding when they waltzed on the terrace, Dimitri in coveralls and a baseball cap and Erica in jeans and a jean jacket. They were absolutely magical together.”

Soap magic. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Somehow, some way, a couple strikes a spark that creates magic with the fans. Since we started this little contest, it keeps coming back to magic, and to whom a certain couple speaks. So, for the eloquent Skye and Jax fans who won the GH sweepstakes, the passionate TNT coterie who took OLTL honors, and the Erica and Dimitri aficionados who wrote their hearts out this week, I say, thank you for sharing the magic you feel. Whoever reigns as the couple of your heart, your feelings are lovely and true and legitimate and don’t ever let anyone tell you they’re not. The actors and writers worked hard to create that magic for you, and good for you for letting it shine!

Next week... The bittersweet task of sorting out the romances on poor, benighted “Port Charles,” the little soap that never quite got over the hurdle. Keep the letters coming, folks! I’ll count all votes that come in before I actually put together the column, so the “Port Charles” title is still open.

 

Remember, I’m just reporting what I get and the views expressed here are not mine, but yours. If you want your couple represented, tell me about them. Otherwise they will be left out and you will have no one to blame but yourselves. Till next week!

 

X O X O

The Queen of Hearts

 




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