The State of Soaps.
Being one of five kids, getting time alone with my mom was rare. That’s why I always loved when I was sick and had to stay home from school. She would dote on me, make my favorite foods and throughout the course of the day while she did laundry or got dinner ready, we got to reconnect. But we would also watch “All My Children.” Since she stayed at home, my mom got to see it almost every day while I only got the occasional glimpse of Janet from Another Planet, the rugged Dimitri rasping away at Wildwind or my favorite, Hayley, played by a barely recognizable round-faced Kelly Rippa.
Now I spend my days at home with my two sons and have the luxury of keeping up with the soaps most days. When the finale of “AMC” aired last year, I cried. Not only for the characters from Pine Valley I grew to love so much, even evil Dr. David, but because it was a moment I would not be able to share with my mom. She died five years ago from cancer, but left behind those treasured memories I have of her, snuggled on the couch, watching our soap.
The soaps are our daily escape from reality and it is important that we don’t let that go. The four Daytime series left on the air ─ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of Our Lives,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless” ─ still offer that escape to all of us, for free, every day. We aren’t sure for how much longer we will have the luxury of these shows so it is important to watch them while we can. Luckily, thanks to impeccable character developments and a never-ending supply of drama, mystery and romance, they are each worthy of our time.
The Young and the Restless
In 1973, the world became acquainted with the rich and fabulous people in Genoa City as the then-30 minute “Y&R” debuted. Big business and hot sex ruled among the rich, Wisconsin-based Brooks family and the poor Fosters, but over the years the core families have become the Abbotts, Chancellors and Newmans. In fact, the only remaining original character is Jill Foster Abbott, whose ongoing feud with Katherine Chancellor is the stuff of soap opera legend.
If you are new to “Y&R”, you should have no problem getting invested in the current cast of characters. Nikki and Victor’s relationship still continues to sizzle 30 years later and Genie Frances as Genevieve has been quite a turn from her iconic good girl Laura from “General Hospital.” The best of what is going on right now? The wedding of course. It is not a Daytime wedding unless someone gets shot, and this week’s nuptials between Jack and Gen (who was really Patty hiding under a thick veil) did not disappoint. This is pure escape and you should be watching.
The Bold and the Beautiful
The premise alone should be enough to lure you in. The baby of the soaps, “B&B” debuted on CBS in 1987, smack in the middle of the decade of excess. And that over-the-top celebration of the power and deceit that is Beverly Hills is still on full display. The sister soap to “Y&R”, the series centers around the stylish lives of Eric and Stephanie Forrester, their fashion house Forrester Creations and their children Ridge, Thorne, Felicia and Kristin.
The plots and players are bold: Wacky Pam is well-played by Alley Mills and you gotta love Jack Wagner for strapping on the guitar and singing every once in a while. And the cast is beautiful for sure. Maybe the romantic entanglements and family connections can get a little fuzzy (hello Ridge and Bridget!) but it definitely keeps you on your toes. And as the last soap at just 30 minutes, how can you not watch?
Days of Our Lives
“Days of Our Lives” made its NBC debut on November 8, 1965. The family-focused show has focused on core families such as the upstanding Hortons, the Bradys, the DiMeras and their lives in Salem. Though fans haven’t seen a devil possession in some years, or anyone buried alive, many storylines revolved around University Hospital and big companies such as Titan or Basic Black.
Throughout the years “Days” has dared to tackle issues no one else would, like interracial dating, rape and artificial insemination. Power couples like Bo and Hope keep readers hooked to see what will happen next while some truly shocking storylines like EJ blackmailing Will, who shot him back in 2007. And Alison Sweeney’s Sami is one of the most out there, but beloved, characters in Daytime.
The oldest of the remaining soaps, “GH” premiered on April 1, 1963, and since that time has brought the world of mobs, mayhem and medical prowess in Port Charles, New York, to our televisions in the middle of the day. The Quartermaines, Scorpios and Corinthos clans rule the show, with wild but compelling storylines.
We have all been invested in the health of Robin, from the moment she found love with Stone in 1995. He died of HIV, but not before passing the disease on to her when she was just 19. The effects of this are still played out today. Watching Jason do battle with James Franco has been priceless, and the love of Luke and Laura was known to all, soap fan or not.
I wish I had more soaps to encourage you to keep watching, but these four are the only ones that remain. Please let us know in the comments what soap memories you have and why you don’t want to let them go either.
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Photo Credit: Soaps.com
- Hollie Deese
Fun fact! Hollie Deese wrote this story just for you on January 31st, 2012 |