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October 31, 2014

Looking back at the soaps in 2009

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 31st 2009 10:05AM
guiding_light_cbsI'm not going to go into the best and worst things that happened in the world of soaps in 2009, but I have do some thoughts I'd like to share. So before we drop the ball and turn the calendar to 2010, a few highs -- and lows -- from daytime this past year.

1. Disappointing daytime. How could any soap fan not be upset about the fate of Guiding Light and As the World Turns in 2009? Guiding Light departed daytime after 72 years, going out not with a bang, but definitely a whisper. The show was a shadow of its former self, relegated to on-the-fly shooting with camcorders and lights that were likely bought at Home Depot. CBS then made the pain of GL's exit more painful but announcing that As the World Turns would be ending in 2010.

2. Gays of our lives. No, actually Days of Our Lives has not been doing gay storylines, but many other soaps were. On The Young and the Restless, fans were outraged when Adam pretended to be gay and seduced his lawyer, Rafe, while engaged to Heather. The actor playing the role, Chris Engen, quit over the character's situational sexuality. Over on One Life to Live, Dorian Lord ran for mayor by exploiting the issue of gay marriage, but cop Oliver Fish was in and out of the closet. The gay marriage between Bianca and Reese on All My Children was a sham that didn't last a week. And ATWT broke up the happy gay couple Luke and Noah because happy couples are dull in daytime.

3. Rapid aging run amok. We all knew when Michael was shot on General Hospital and lay in a coma for a year he was going to awaken as a teenager, that's a soap staple. Fortunately, the recast has been excellent. In fact, all the rapid aging on GH has been positive, including Kristina and Molly.

4. When in doubt, choose Passions? This applies mainly to Days of Our Lives. The casting director has plucked two major stars from NBC's defunct soap, Passions, and put them front and center on Days -- Galen Gering and Lindsay Hartley. So far they seem like a good fit. But, seriously, if they didn't help keep Passions on the air... you know what I mean.

5. Are soaps dead? Plenty of people are saying they are. I see the TV landscape as changing dramatically and soaps are caught in the shift. After all, As the World Turns is getting more total viewers daily -- about 2 million households -- than Mad Men makes in a week. One show is the top of the industry, the other is cancelled. Hard to figure. But check with me ten years from now and we'll see if all the soaps are dead. I say no.

6. Cougar epidemic.
It wasn't just Courteney Cox and Jenna Elfman in primetime playing cougar crazed ladies, the soaps were rife with them. On The Bold and the Beautiful, Jackie embraced her cougar soul by marrying six-pack-loaded Owen. Erica, on All My Children, discovered hard bodied Ryan was her kind of man.

7. Nasty business
. You want to be a soap star, be prepared to face the harsh realities of today's economy. Eric Braeden nearly walked from Y&R. The stars of All My Children were told to move west with the show or leave. Thorsten Kaye said goodbye. Don't expect 2010 to get any nicer.

8. Oddities. Who would ever have imagined James Franco doing a stint on General Hospital? By comparison, Snoop Dogg doing two guest turns on One Life to Live seems normal.

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jrkrug

Robin is one of the few characters who aged correctly. The same actress has been playing her since she was around 7.

January 06 2010 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Casper

I missed Snoop Dogg's performance on OLTL!! Do you have a YouTube clip of it?

January 06 2010 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Casper

Rapid aging has always been part of GH. Robin went from a baby to age 12 to 23 within a few seasons. Now she's married with a kid and next season she'll be in a home.

January 06 2010 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jo Anne

Call me politically-incorrect I DO NOT like to see women to
women,and men to men sex, aint crazy about a man and woman having sex, not a voyeur, and I think some people agree with me, just are scared to say so. Before you start ripping me a new one, I am only talking about the SEX act
and NOT relationships, and I am ONLY talking about soap
life.

December 31 2009 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patti

Although I was sad to see GL go, I am downright pissed off they canceled ATWT!! You see, its my favorite soap. I want it to go on for a very long time. I sincerely hope it can be picked up by some network. Many fans feel this way. I read in Soap Opera Digest that Roger Howarth and another actor had to go visit Colleen Zenk Pinter after the announcement of the cancellation to make sure she was ok, as she has been on the show for 26 yrs. I guess my only hope now is if the cancellation goes through, please send Maura West to Y & R as Phyliss' long lost sister. It would be a casting coup. Guaranteed ratings boost there!

December 31 2009 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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