November 2, 2018 at 6:57 pm #1202667117
Hey everyone. I was on a long plane ride and started thinking about my approximately 24 years watching soaps and just felt like sharing some thoughts:
– I’m so sad about Peggy McCay’s death (Caroline, DOOL). I can’t believe that all the soap matriarchs who felt like grandmothers to me have passed away (Alice, DOOL; Nancy, ATWT; Lila, GH; Katherine, Y&R). I guess the closest we have now is Suzanne Roger’s Maggie on DOOL. I can’t believe GH ‘disappeared’ Rachel Ames’s Audrey Hardy. 🙁
– I miss the old Newman Ranch set and the Gina’s set on Y&R. And I miss Gina. I remember many years ago there was a hint of romance between Gina and John Abbott. It doesn’t stop angering me that Lynn Marie Latham killed off John Abbott. What a stupid move!
– I have such strange feelings about General Hospital. I love so many members of the cast and I have such strong memories of many years ago, but I despise the character of Sonny Corinthos. As long as so much of the show revolves around him, I can’t stand it.
– I remember how much I loved Phillip and Harley on Guiding Light in the mid-90s. I hate the way they later ruined the character of Phillip.
– I can’t believe Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R) has never won a Lead Actress Emmy. Even more outrageous… I think she’s only been nominated once!
– Y&R used to be my favorite show until they had Sharon sleep with everyone (partnering her and Victor was disgusting) and when they turned Victor into a one-note a**hole. It didn’t help that Michelle Stafford and then Billy Miller left. I find much of the show unrecognizable now. The Summer-Billy thing is disgusting. I miss the Victor Newman of the late 90s and 2000s, especially when Signy Coleman’s Hope was around.
– Days of Our Lives has been my favorite show for several years because they have remained focused on core families and core characters and they respect the show’s history. Of the four remaining soaps, only Salem feels to me like a classic soap town where everyone is connected and interacts and there are friendships and relationships and not just storyline bubbles.
– I still can’t believe they had Dixie die from poisoned pancakes on All My Children. I know she came back but still, that plot point was horrible. I think AMC was mostly unwatchable for about ten years before it got cancelled.November 2, 2018 at 7:54 pm #1202667138
(sorry, I’m on a roll)
– I am very likely in the minority here but I LOVED the Reva clone story on Guiding Light. Basically for three reasons: Joie Lenz (now Bethany Joy Lenz) who was perfect as Teenage Reva, Kim Zimmer and –most especially– Robert Newman, who has incredible as Josh. I remember being so riveted and moved by his performance during this storyline. I would set the VHS to tape it so I could watch the show as soon as I came back from school. I’m not ashamed at all to say that this was one my favorite storylines of that decade.
– Of all the soap cancellations, One Life to Live was BY FAR the least deserved. The show still felt fresh and humorous and well-written and had an amazing cast. Though I did not like it’s last episode. I miss Robert S. Wood’s Bo Buchanan, Florencia Lozano’s Tea, and Robin Strasser’s Dorian most of all. I loved Strasser and Stephen Markle’s Mel Hayes, one of my all-time favorite soap couples.
– I know “mourning” scenes and stories are supposed to be tear-jerkers, but there’s been too many back-from-the-deads now for me to really care. Except when the actor/actress has died, I can’t really feel it anymore.
– Tonya Lee Williams (Olivia, Y&R) should have won a Supporting Actress Emmy for the storyline when Nathan cheated on her and the subsequent HIV scare. This was an amazing storyline.
– Robert Newman’s Josh on GL and Jon Hensley’s Holden on ATWT — two vastly underrated actors who were consistently amazing without being showy.
– Coupling that made and still makes me gag: Josh and Cassie (GL).
– I loved Lisa Peluso’s Lila, Stephen Schnetzer’s Cass (and the two of them together!), Kim Rhodes’s Cindy and Rhonda Ross Kendrick’s Toni on Another World.
– Amelie Heinle has definitely made Victoria her own on Y&R, but Heather Tom’s Victoria was one of my favorite soap characters ever. Whenever she was on the screen with Eric Braeden, I felt like my screen would explode.November 3, 2018 at 8:47 pm #1202667789
GH didn’t “disappear” Audrey so much as the actress retired. She has popped up at random times but it was her choice to leave.November 5, 2018 at 9:12 am #1202668842
I love reading all of these thoughts, soapsarecool!
After reading all of these the one thought ringing strongest in my head is:
There have been many ill-advised and gross soap pairings over time (some mentioned above), but nothing was more disgusting than the Bridget/Ridge flirtation. Even though it didn’t progress very far, just the idea of this couple who, were at points father/daughter and siblings, was enough to keep me from watching the show for years.November 5, 2018 at 5:02 pm #1202669120
Soapsarecool, I really enjoyed your post and I agree with almost everything in it!
Let’s start with Y&R. I too miss the Newman ranch house! I agree that Melody Thomas Scott should have won an Emmy by now. And Tonya Lee Williams was great in that storyline. For me, the character of Victor Newman is played out; the writing for his character has been over-the-top for years and the writers have really lost the essence of the character. The one I miss the most is Jeanne Cooper. She was truly one of a kind. I feel that Y&R went off track around 2009 or so and I haven’t consistently enjoyed it ever since.
I really miss GL. My favorite era for that show was the 80s and early 90s. I have to admit, the clone story wasn’t my favorite, but Robert Newman, Kim Zimmer, and Bethany Joy Lenz were great. I loved Phillip and Harley, both together and apart. I was a big fan of both Robert Newman and Jon Hensley.
OLTL was good right up until the end. It was pretty much my favorite from 2007 to 2012. It was fun to watch.
We have the same exact issue with GH. I think there are a lot of us that feel this way.
I didn’t watch AW, but I remember Lisa Peluso from Search for Tomorrow. Loved her!
I agree that Days is currently the best soap and the one that most gives me that old-time soap feeling. Despite the sometimes outrageous storytelling, they have remained the most true to their core families. The show is very focused on friendship, romance, and family. The characters on Days have more rooting value in comparison to the characters on other shows.
Not sure I should admit this, but I started watching soaps in 1973! I remember watching “Where the Heart Is” and loving it, but then it was cancelled and replaced with Y&R. I was always fascinated by the genre, even as a child.November 20, 2018 at 4:13 am #1202678734
I watch The Doctors, which is now circa 1977 on RetroTV (and Douglas Marland is the current headwriter in the storylines) and I am noticing the much slower pace of soaps back then – storylines took much longer to play out. I have watched pretty much every episode from December 1967 through now they are airing January 1977; the show has had its ups and downs but mostly it has been great! Soaps had a different energy then, this particular show was unusual in that it was equally about the male and female characters. Females were Doctors and there was no big deal made about it, totally matter-of-fact. In the current story Althea is co-chief of staff (with the major villain Paul Summers). Villains would get their comeuppance eventually and were not protected the way they are now, and they definitely were not positioned as the heroes (or anti-heroes) on the show. The longest a villain has lasted was 3 1/2 years (Dr. John Morrison, a psychiatrist). One of the other things I have noticed is that characters are shown working and doing so diligently on the show. The show is much more character driven. The acting is amazing! I hope we get to see all the way to the end in 1982 – i know the show gets really bad towards the end of its run but I am along for the whole ride! (:December 4, 2018 at 6:48 pm #1202689513
Yes it is true Melody Thomas Scott was nominated only one time, and had the unfortunate timing of being nominated in 1999 when Susan Lucci won. She was nominated against Elizabeth Hubbard, Kim Zimmer, Jeanne Cooper and Susan Lucci.
I also miss OLTL; it’s cancellation was truly undeserved. Especially considering the fact that when it was axed it was out-rating “GH” and was ABC’s highest rated soap in demos. It was the most popular soap on ABC when it was cancelled.
As for All My Children; I never liked Dixie and was always pissed at her for stealing Tad from Brooke. Also on an unrelated note; anytime I watch Kelli Giddish on “Law & Order: SVU” part of me screams “that is Di Henry from All My Children!”December 4, 2018 at 7:10 pm #1202689525
True: my first memories as a small child was watching Another World with my foster mother and specifically watching Rachel and Ada argue about her loving Steve Frame when she was married to Russ Matthews! (btw, Rachel was played by Robin Strasser and Ada was the phenomenal Constance Ford). I was 3 or 4 years old at the time! Everything stopped to watch Another World each day! (: I was hooked, still am!
When I was adopted my older sisters were huge All My Children fans and I watched that show often. I remember when Jason Maxwell was killed (Mona was the killer) when Erica was first doing her modeling in New York, while she was married to Phil Brent (I think?). My sisters thought Margo (Eileen Letchworth) was the killer but I guessed it would be Mona and I was right! (:
The first show I watched from the beginning of its run was Ryan’s Hope, which premiered in the summer while school was out. In elementary school we would get one half day and I would race home from school to watch soaps!
In 1980 I had a major accident and had to be home-schooled in the mornings, which left my afternoons free to watch soaps! That is why most soaps I started watching in 1980. I esp. fell in love with Margo on As The World Turns (played at the time by Margaret Colin) and began my long love affair with ATWT!
I was an east coast soap guy, and preferred the New York based soaps to the L.A. based ones. Because back then we had to choose which shows to watch (yes, I could and did occasionally flip the channels but the technology wasn’t there for watching episodes online or in other ways. I did however videotape soaps starting in 1985, when I was in college and also working, and I would always have a hard time choosing which shows I wanted to tape each day! Mostly I chose AMC, ATWT, and GL).
Now due to YouTube I have seen many things I missed over those years. I got to see the 1978-80 episodes of Guiding Light I had never seen before. Many episodes of Sunset Beach (a fun show). Another World, esp. the years it wasn’t carried by my local NBC affiliate. And so many others!
Just some random soap thoughts tonight! (:December 5, 2018 at 9:27 am #1202689949
My family was an NBC soap family, and my grandmother would watch all of those. She watched us kids all the time when we were too young for school, after school, and when there was no school, so we’d be watching whatever NBC soaps were on: Days of our Lives, Another World, Santa Barbara, Generations, though I don’t think we ever got into that one so much. Occasionally, some of my cousins would be over and would want to watch General Hospital, and we’d split time between GH and some cartoon, but I didn’t pay any attention to GH. My earliest soap memory (and at this point I’m sure it’s been supplemented with having seen clips since then, since I was probably three or so at the time) is Bo kidnapping Hope from her wedding to Larry Welch, which stands out as cooler than anything I ever saw on any cartoon or action show, so I was totally hooked on the show and on them. (What a pale, pale comparison Hope and Rafe are now.) Another World and Santa Barbara always took a back seat to DAYS for me, but I liked them, too. My strongest memory of Santa Barbara now is that it’s where I first saw Eileen Davidson, as a late-stage Kelly Capwell shortly before she’d some to DAYS as sweet snowflake Kristen Blake.
I watched both Sunset Beach and Passions from their beginnings. I liked both shows, and I thought Sunset Beach was going to be the next big thing. It’s amazing that NBC was still making new soaps in the late 90s when they’d be down to only two by the very early 2000s and have only had one for a decade now.
When I started watching other networks, I was drawn to Y&R and B&B. I knew Y&R was the highest rated of the soaps and so assumed that it was really good. While some of it clicked with me, I found it too serious for my taste (this is from a teenager who was deep in the throes of Jim Reilly’s most effective version of DAYS), but I loved B&B with it’s glitz and glamour. I especially loved Taylor and Lauren. Tracey Bregman and Eileen Davidson were probably the biggest reasons I really gave Y&R a serious shot later. I also always remembered seeing a cover of Soap Opera Weekly from the mid-90s that had Shemar Moore, Scott Reeves, and Joshua Morrow looking hunky and not wearing shirts, and thinking maybe this should be a show for me.
Anywho, it’s fun thinking back on our soap watching histories.December 5, 2018 at 6:28 pm #1202690359
I’ll share some of my memories:
—Soap opera watching was a massive generational thing for me. It started with my maternal grandmother (and her sisters) who were BIG soap fans. She was hugely devoted to “Days of Our Lives”, it was “her story” and you simply could not speak to her between 1pm and 2pm when it was on. This is the only soap I ever recall seeing her watch; but my mother tells me she also watched “ATWT” and “Another World” in the 1960’s. My mother got her love of soaps from my grandmother and by the time I came around she was solely an ABC girl; and was IN LOVE with “Ryan’s Hope”; that was her favorite show but I don’t really recall ever seeing it when it was on ABC. Due to my mother watching ABC I inherited a love of those shows; and don’t really recall a time in my youth when they weren’t on.
For me personally the summers of 1991, 1992 and 1993 were when I really started getting into soaps on my own. The first soap story I remember really watching was on “All My Children” and it was when Natalie was stuck in the well and Janet was taking over her life. I remember being totally enthralled in Kate Collins work. I believe this is why I started watching “AMC” intently; but it was Erica Kane that got me to keep watching. My fate was sealed pretty much the moment I saw Erica on-screen; she was just so totally glamarous and something about Susan Lucci totally captivated me.
“GH” was the soap I picked up watching next; and kept up with the most intently mostly because it was on after school and was the only ABC soap I could watch all the way through w/out missing any of it. The first story I recall watching was when Felicia was being held captive by Ryan Chamberlain; and I also recall some sort of murder mystery about a lawyer named Jessica (who I believe Ryan killed). I remember being totally obsessed with Felicia and finding Kristina Wagner to be absolutely gorgeous. I remember also thinking Jackie Zeman was a goddess.
I think I picked up “OLTL” last for some reason, but I remember really being obsessed with Marty Saybrooke “spring fling” storyline. Everything about that story was so well done and Susan Haskell was the perfect heroine for the show. I’ll never forget when Nora turned on her clients in court and begged the jury to convict her clients causing a mistrial. Hillary Smith’s work was amazing. I was also obsessed with Luna at the time, and wish Susan Batten had gone onto a bigger career. Even though “OLTL” was the soap I picked up last it became the one that I was most loyal too and felt the deepest connection to. The characters felt like family to me and had this spiritual thing for me. Over the years my favorite characters were Viki, Dorian, Marty, Blair, Gabrielle, Nora, Christian, Jessica, Tea, Todd (under Trevor St. John), Roxy and crazy Allison Perkins.
I occasionally watched “Loving” and “The City” as well and enjoyed portions of “Port Charles” but never got into that one as deeply as I did the other soaps. I was totally devastated when ABC cancelled AMC and OLTL.
Over the years I would sporadically tune into some of the CBS and NBC soaps; with “Sunset Beach” being a fun diversion and “GL”, “ATWT” and “B&B” being one’s i’d check out on a semi-regular basis; in particular between 2000 and 2004. Some memories I have of those shows are the Clone Reva storyline; Hart Jessup being shot, Cady McClain’s first stint as Rosanna Cabot, Jennifer Finnegan’s reign as Bridget and Deacon Sharpe’s introduction to B&B. I tried but could never really get into “DOOL” or “Y&R”, they always just seemed a bit too stiff to me and seemed to feature characters that just didn’t seem particularly relatable to me.
Soaps were my safe haven for the longest time; the place I could go to escape and were my biggest passion for many years. They got me through college as I studied broadcasting and wrote numerous essays on soap operas and it’s cultural impact on broadcasting. My proudest moments were my biographical essay on Irna Phillips for my Intro to Broadcasting class; and my Erica Kane psychoanalysis for my Philosophy of Popular Culture class both of which I got A’s on.
A funny memory I have is that for one class I was supposed do a 5-minute oral presentation for one class and chose to talk about the soap opera genre and ended up giving a nearly one-hour presentation. I should have failed due to the time limit but ended up getting an A for all the effort I put into it.January 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm #1202754660
Some thoughts about current soaps:
• ABC’s General Hospital lost my interest, last year, after Ryan Paevey (who played Nathan) left. I understood why (the Hallmark Channel). But, I did not appreciate the series killing off Nathan. That character, because of the writing (and for Maxie played by Kirsten Storms), should have been recast. Even if it would have taken a few months.
• CBS’s The Young and the Restless—populated by so many rich characters—looks cheap. The offices. The homes of the corporate tycoons. That kitchen for Cane and Lily. Speaking of which: Because I haven’t been feeling engaged to consistently watch the daytime soaps (no offense!), I feel like I don’t need to mind at all if Cane and Victoria end up having sex together. (As of Tuesday, January 29, 2019, I have missed a few episodes. So, I don’t know their status.) You see—I find Cane’s wife, Lily, written as this arrogant parasite who claimed to be moral and she turned out to be a bore. (No offense to actress Christel Khalil, who dropped to recurring last year.) And Billy is a loser who has turned into a nuisance. (No offense to Jason Thompson.)
One thought on a past soap:
• 26 years ago this month, in January 1993, CBS’s Guiding Light killed off its most human and relatable character, Maureen Bauer, played by Ellen Parker (who would go on to win the supporting-actress Emmy in May). It was also good drama for leading man Peter Simon, who played Maureen’s husband Ed Bauer, but that was for like one or two years at best. (Simon, as the widowed and single father, was nominated for lead actor 25 years ago in 1994.) I came across, years later, that GL (exec-produced by Jill Farren Phelps) ousting Parker was really a budget decision to make way for Justin Deas who, as Frank and Harley Cooper’s father Buzz, made his first appearance in February.
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