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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


O.K., I'll admit it.  I'm a soap opera junkie.  I come by it honestly.  I can remember being 4 years old watching Vicki on "One Life to Live" changing personalities like some people change their mind.  My grandmother and brother were to blame for that addiction.  In 1970, I can remember "All My Children" and "Young and the Restless" starting.  My sister was addicted to both initially, but by the time I was in my early teens, I was hooked.  I remember Phil and Tara, Greg & Jenny and Jesse & Angie (the first time when they were in high school).  I remember Nina and Palmer Cortland and his big Doberman Pinschers that he let loose on Nina's mother Daisy. 

Best of all, I remember Tad.  Tad the gorgeous cad.  He was a force of nature.  You didn't know whether to love him because he was so adorable or hate him because he was such a jerk.  Mostly he was outrageous - like when he slept with his girlfriend's mother!  And Erica - what can I say?  No tough issues were taboo - abortion, rape, homosexuality, minority couples, interracial dating, miscarriage, HIV/AIDs, adoption and suicide.

For those who don't watch soap operas (or specifically AMC), Friday was just another day.  For those of you who have been watching soap operas over the years (especially AMC), last Friday was a day of mourning.  All My Children is no more.  All those wonderful characters we loved to watch for over 40 years - gone.  It feels like I've lost a whole town of dear friends. 

Daytime soap operas are a breed on the verge of extinction - "Search for Tomorrow," "Ryan's Hope," "As the World Turns," "Santa Barbara," "Guiding Light" and now "All My Children."  By the beginning of next year, my Grandma's favorite "story," "One Life to Live" will be history too.  I know many people ridicule soap operas as bad story lines or bad actors, but those same people are more than happy to watch "Desperate Housewives" or "Glee".  Daytime soap operas are so much better - a new show everyday, no reruns and no 13 episode seasons.

For me, those shows represent memories.  My grandmother and I had nothing in common, but when she came to visit, I could always watch One Life to Live with her.  My sister and I laid out in the sun over the summer with a tiny black and white TV watching Luke and Laura get married on General Hospital.  When I was in college, you could go into any dorm lounge or the student union and watch All My Children with a group of complete strangers who laughed, cried and heckled the show with you.  I made some great friends in law school over chicken salad sandwiches and All My Children in the small lounge next to the cafe.  Even my husband watched AMC for a while in the Kent Bogart days.

If AMC reappears online, I will be there.  Heck, I may even be able to watch it at work.  If not, it was great to live in Pine Valley, even if it was only for an hour a day.