So Long Dirty, Sexy Soaps

What is the world coming to anyway? Both All My Children and One Life to Live have been canceled. Seriously, ABC, what is wrong with you?

Apparently, the “interests” of some of your viewers have changed, but really. Is there nothing you can do to save these iconish television serials?

I am not embarrassed to say this –I do and always have loved Soap Operas. There. You can say it too. Cause you know you do.

Soap operas have been a part of my life since I started watching General Hospital circa Luke and Laura back in the early 1980s. Who among you older female folk can say you did not plop yourself down after school with a giant bowl of ice cream or whatever and lose yourself in Pine Valley and Erica Kane, Llanview and the Buchanan’s or Luke and Laura and Port Charles? Or some other characters on some other network. Same stuff. Different channel.

So go ahead and say what you want about them, but for me and many people I know who dare to admit it, watching soaps was a rite of passage.

Yeah, the story lines were similar and sometimes downright stupid. Acting was so-so at best. But there was always something about soap operas for me. I just got sucked in.

And in my own family, once that TV came into the living room, even my mom got sucked into the soaps. You’d have to actually know her to realize this was a miracle. Mrs. Anti-TV watching Luke and Laura. (She’ll deny it today though.) We would run home from school as fast as we could to catch the second half of GH and on sick days, well, we relished in Pine Valley and Llanview, PA.

I myself grew into a Days of Our Lives/Another World fan on NBC, but regardless, when I was a first time mom, I planted myself on the couch in hopes my son would learn to latch on. It took HOURS for him to eat and AMC and OLTL helped keep me company during those long, tear-filled hours.

Susan Lucci is a damn ICON people. What on earth is she going to do NOW? She grew up on that show. All My Children spawned a lot of actors into other roles, too. Kelli Ripa? Josh Duhamel? Michelle Trachtenberg? Buffy the Vampire aka Sara Michelle Geller? Cameron Mathison?

What I could never figure out is why some people stigmatized the soaps. I was a closet soap fan for a long time because, well, I didn’t want to be labeled. But I got over it and even taped them in my heyday of watching. Out in the open, in front of my roommates. I watched. And eventually they did, too.

 But you know soaps really are no different from some of today’s, and yesterday’s, Prime Time shows.

What were shows like Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, LA Law, even the Waltons if you want to get technical? Does once a week make them less of a soap opera even though they picked up where they left off week after week? 

Do you think LOST was not a serial? Desperate Housewives, too. ER, Grey’s Anatomy? Classic prime time serials in my book. And hospital based-too. And Real Housewives of wherever and Jersey Shore? Train wrecks, yes. And also reality based soap operas.

Just because they go off the air for summer hiatus does not make them different. And just because they are at night versus the day, well shoot, anyone hear of a DVR? Watch them at night and they become Prime Time shows.

I know I am being overly dramatic. After all, it is just tv. But it’s the beginning of an end of an era I think. And what are they replacing them with? A Foodie show and a health show. Isn’t that what the Food Network or Style are for? Honestly. 

People on AMC and OLTL have been on their shows for a long time and they worked their butts off. And when they left and didn’t make it elsewhere in Hollywood, they’d be back by “popular demand” and step in exactly as they had never left.

And for me, and many more, coming back to a soap after a long time and catching up in two minutes made soaps what they are. So it is sad. AMC and OLTL, even though I haven’t seen you in a long time, I for one will miss you.

I feel for them and can only hope perhaps another network can pick them up, dust them off and realize that soaps are an American institution. Soaps are like a friend. Always there when you need them. They are closing the proverbial book on two long-running faves. What will we do when they are ALL gone?


One thought on “So Long Dirty, Sexy Soaps

  1. I haven’t watched soaps in years but I have two soapy memories from college — the TV room in the dorm filled with people watching Luke & Laura on General Hospital … and my dorm roommate and I discussing Another World after we’d turned out the lights before falling asleep.

    What was the super spy agency on General Hosptial. Was it the WSB — the World Security Bureau? Ha!

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