All My Children may be on the way out, but Erica Kane will remain with us in a sense, writes Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. Susan Lucci's character was "one of television's first unself-consciously feminist characters" and "an unlikely pioneer," writes Williams. Erica, for instance, became the first big TV character to get a legal abortion, and she also used birth control when it was a taboo subject on the tube.
But she wasn't political so much as bold and brassy. "She was simply as ambitious and as sexually aggressive as any male character to come down the pike, a lady who understood that femininity and success are not mutually exclusive," writes Williams. "And for that, she was groundbreaking." She paved the way for Alexis on Dynasty and even Samantha on Sex in the City. "Every time some haughty little diva pitches a hissy on Glee, you're not just seeing that wild-eyed she-devil, you're catching a glimpse of the best bad girl daytime ever had." Click to read the full column. (Read more Susan Lucci stories.)