In the last two decades the All My Children writers have developed quite a relationship between Bianca and her mother Erica. I am by no means an Erika Kane fan. To be more truthful, I have a very strange relationship with Erica Kane. Most of the time I could claim to hate her, but there have been countless times with a scene that something she has done has touched me so much, I even forget how truly selfish, conceited and out-of-touch with reality Erica is. Most of these events involve Erica’s relationships with her two daughters, Bianca and Kendall. Much like her sister Bianca, I adore Kendall quite a bit. Say what I will about Erica, she does obviously in her own way care very much for her two daughters. The All My Children writers have done a very great job in the last four months developing the Erica/Bianca/Kendall relationship. I’m not ashamed to admit that several times this past summer I broke down in tears during particular Kendall and Erica scenes, and last week Bianca’s scene with Kendall at the clinic. My love and enjoyment of Bianca and Kendall make me care for Erica, at the few times she touches down to earth and acts as a wonderful mother to her daughters.
As terrible as this may sound, especially with some of what I have just said, I see many parallels between the Erica/Bianca/Kendall dynamic and the relationship I have with my own mother. Kendall is a long enough story for another time, but Bianca is the truth focus of this tangent-ridden diatribe I am not creating. In my life I have had a very often-stressed relationship with my mother, which alone makes me feel deeply for Bianca and Kendall. As well, I am also a non-heterosexual male, and the survivor of an eating disorder, two qualities that further develop my understanding of Bianca. How fitting that during the time that Bianca was concerned with telling her mother that she was a lesbian, that I was going through much of the same thing. As lame as this might sound to some, the story Bianca had after her return in 2000 with coming to terms with her sexuality, the death of her father, and her struggle to be seen as herself from under the shadow of her mother, really helped me get through a hard time in my life. As well, I think this storyline really developed the character of Leo DuPres, who was such a great friend to Bianca throughout this and her many other crises before his unfortunate early death.
The last ten years have shown quite a transition in the way gays and lesbians are portrayed on television. Every month it seems more and more shows are being made that deal with “gay and lesbian issues and situations.” As more and more common as the “gay theme” becomes on cable and network television, there is still always something missing from every new show, as far as I am concerned. Throughout all these shows, especially the most known as “Will and Grace,” “Queer as Folk,” “Queer Eye For the Straight Guy,” the highly inane and irritating “Boy Meets Boy” and many others, I have never honestly felt that I related much to any of these characters. Some may say that in many ways these shows are progressive, and in some ways, I could see their points. It just never seems realistic to me and I just feel insulted, or absolutely nothing at all. All this is in strong contrast to how I view Bianca. I’m speaking for myself here, but I don’t think that there has ever been a more realistic depiction of a homosexual on daytime than Bianca Montgomery. Bianca was a very developed character years before her return in 2000. By that point, she had already been through the terrible break-up of her parents, the drama that ensued with Jackson and the fire, and then later her also realistically- depicted eating disorder.
What the All My Children writers are doing so well with Bianca, is that they are not writing her as one thing. Bianca is a very caring, loving three-dimensional character that whose sexuality is merely one facet of a very vast personality. That detail alone is what endears Bianca to me most. She is not just one thing. Granted with Bianca, most of the other facets of her personality are related to the several cataclysmic events she has endured in her young life, but it is still realistic nevertheless. Long story short, Bianca cannot be labeled as one thing, which ideally can also be said for mostly everyone. Not to sound like Erica Kane, but I feel I have a very developed and complex personality, of which being homosexual is just one part. I also collect G.I Joe action figures, and hate most musicals, so whatever that means. Back to Bianca though, I have found the development in her storyline in the last three years since Eden has been playing her, very refreshing, as well as very supportive to whatever I had been going through in my life.
Recently, something very terrible happened to Bianca. She was the unwilling victim of a rape by the Satanic Michael Cambias. When I first heard the plans for this storyline I was horrified. True to form, Eden and Bianca have both done a miraculous job getting through this ordeal. Also recently, Bianca discovered she was pregnant with her rapist’s child. At first this horrified me very much as well, because at first it sounds like a very cheap cop-out for a quick story that would greatly involve Bianca, Erica and Kendall. I can’t say surprised that I’m surprised though that regardless of my initial apprehensions, this storyline has turned out wonderful. Now I am not going to delve far into the whole abortion/pro-life issue here, but I must say that Bianca’s choice to keep her baby until full-term made me very happy. This new storyline with Bianca is illustrating very well the stark contrasts between Bianca and her mother Erica. Although there are many similarities between the situation Bianca is now going through and what Erica overcame when she was fourteen, there are also many strong differences. Erica was much younger than Bianca is now when Richard Fields raped her. Thankfully, I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be in such a situation. Any decision at that point would have been extremely hard. Recent scenes with Erica and Kendall show that it is a choice that Erica thinks much about even today. It is not that Bianca aborting her unborn child would have made her any less heroic, any less virtuous, or any less brave. I feel that her keeping the child was the right choice because Bianca seems to be much better at seeing the good down below that flows out of Kendall, than her mother Erica.
Bianca is a very strong individual. In her young life she has overcome what most people don’t even come close experiencing their entire time on earth. I feel that Bianca gets a lot of this strength from Erica, but I also feel that a lot of it comes from the support that she has received her entire life from her father, her uncle Jack and countless close friends like Leo and Maggie. It is with this great strength that Bianca could see throughout all her pain and shock that although her unborn child was indeed Michael’s, it was also quite hers as well. Whatever “evil” may come into this child, as Erica constantly says that has come into Kendall from her father, can be repaired with the wonderful and unconditional love of her mother Bianca. Of all people, Bianca knows what it means to love and to be loved unconditionally. Although she unfortunately doesn’t have the love of her father Travis any longer, she still has the memory of how much it meant to her. There seems to be quite a bit in store for the future of Bianca Montgomery. The sappy romantic in me would love Bianca and Lena to finally admit and accept how much they care for each other, and then raise Bianca’s child in some also sappy and realistic experience. We will just have to see how this all turns out I guess. What I’m looking forward to most with Bianca has nothing to do with her sexual orientation, babies, or romance. I am most anticipating the developing relationship between Bianca and her cousin Greenlee. Greenlee Smythe DuPres is my favorite character of all time on All My Children. As complex as Bianca is, Greenlee is more so. There are just as many parts of me that relate to Greenlee as there is to Bianca, and they actually have quite a bit in common. The recent scene in the boathouse between these two was very touching, and hopefully merely foreshadowing of what is to come.