Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Surgery: Soap Operas--Heart Transplant

How do you measure a year? A lifetime? thought I might sing that song, right? No, but I was thinking back on my life as a soap watcher and  realized I could tell you which soap stories were on during different times of my life:

Just a kid: Nurses in starched white uniforms, Karen taking the stand on OLTL... Phil and Tara, Secret Storm, that Globe turning around...Dark Shadows-- 
High School: Nina and Cliff...Jessie and Angie.. Luke and Laura-- the dramaz of lovers on the run..
College: The spy years-- Scorpios, WSB-- twins  AIDS storyline
Married/Mom: Luke and Laura come back in dramatic fashion, Erica's on her 77th husband...and so on and so on... 
Now in the age of the full fledged mob and guest stars popping-up left and right on GH.  AMC and OLTL, revisiting their rich histories by bringing back Angie and Jessie-- and remarrying Bo and Nora. Be still my aching heart. 

Most people talk  about watching the soaps with their mothers and that's true in my case although when I was in HS she thought they were getting a bit "risque" (which for the time, they were!!). When I was away, we'd talk about what Erica Kane was up to since we both watched AMC. We saw Nina and Cliff's wedding together.  Both of us loved Myrtle and Langly Wallingford. She really liked Julia Barr-- and it's hard to think her character of Brooke arrived as such a bratty young teen. I had to call her to let her know Brooke was back when they were writing Adam out and she couldn't wait to watch. We always tuned in for the Nurses' Ball.  

Now they say that soaps are obsolete-- they'll give us 'more of what we want' during the day. You and I both know they'll never rival the fan base they have right now:  the ones that love their soaps. The ones that show up for events year and after year and sell them out. The ones that care about stars' charities and the causes the shows champion themselves.  Cheaper and faster. There's where it's at.  I guess we should be grateful for 40+ years of fun and tears.

This was on my friend's Facebook wall yesterday:
Grammy and I use to cuddle up and watch GH all the time and my mom would come and pick me up and yell at her for letting me watch the show!!
Those are memories you can't replace with a disposable cooking or talk show.

Here's to the start-up web soaps: "Venice", "Imaginary Bitches"...and all the rest. We're a damn loyal bunch and many of us will follow our faves to the net and wherever they land. It looks like Susan Lucci will get a primetime gig and I'm sure many talented actors will end up elsewhere on our TVs or in the movies. I just can't imagine being one of the cast members of AMC that uprooted my whole life to move to LA only to be told "hey, you're done".

Meantime, on General Hospital, it's business as usual-- Michael will confess to a murder he didn't commit,  Sonny and Brenda angst, Luke's  intervention. Then TG will go on vacation, Lucian will go missing and... whatever. More Mob.  It's difficult to feel enthusiasm right now, isn't it? If GH was smoking hot, I'd be all over it. 
I'm worried about even more actors being cut and it's putting me to sleep. Take a look at the Spoilers !

A lot of you have asked what we can do to save soaps. As a blogger, I can keep bringing up the subject and you can comment on every site you find that talks about this. There are a lot of groups on Facebook, Save our Soaps is one. Some people are suggesting to write to advertisers and local  affiliate stations pleading our case. Daytime Confidential usually has some ideas up as well. In the coming days, more things will be added for "the cause".  We also should see if we are having any impact and if the mainstream press picks it up. There's a great google doc below in the last post  that has a shell of a letter for you to  use for major advertisers of the shows. It also explains how to find addresses on the net. It's a nice letter, positive and you can tailor it to your own story. 

NOTE: If you couldn't get through to Robin Strasser's hotline, We Love Soaps has her new message up. It's heartfelt and powerful. Her hotline crashed because so many people called!! 

There is a new folder at the top called "Vintage Soaps"..I'm putting up old photos of AMC nnd OLTL to rejoice in our history!!  

SCENE of the WEEK: Tracy talking to Lucky, trying to get him to help save his father

Last but not least, PLEASE watch the T-Mobile Royal Wedding commercial on You Tube. It's just so fun!! It will cheer you up, swear!


  1. karen, you were so right about that video, everyone watch it, laughing like a loon here!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I think GH is purposely being written into the ground. one by one vets are being written off and more and more newbies are coming. it will get to the point no one will care if GH is cancelled.

  3. Karen, thank you so much for this site and this blog. You do such a great job and always capture exactly what I'm thinking/feeling.

  4. Karen,

    I'm right there with you on the soap/timeline of your life thing. Mine started a tad earlier than yours ( pun intended!). I watched As the World Turns with my mother when I came home from nursery school. I remember it when it was in black and white!!

    I had a teacher in 6th grade who let me leave early to get home for lunch in time for Y and R so I could come back and report to her what had happened on the show. That of course, was pre vcr days.

  5. Aging myself, but I can remember watching Edge of Night with my mother before I even started school...DOL was never missed in our house (until the Marlena was possessed storyline, then I quit, but Mom still watched). I even got my college roommate hooked on Days and we would schedule our classes around it! Started watching GH in HS, watched off and on during college, then watched continuously after college (VCR'd) until the Jake fiasco. Started watching OLTL on maternity leave 8 years ago and have watched since. Like many, it surpassed GH as my favorite soap...once it is gone, there is no reason to even have the television on during the day. Lord knows there are plenty of other things I can find to do with my time...

  6. Aubrey thank you so much! I do try hard--my wub hub yelled at me last night for being a "blog-tweet aholic"! LOL

  7. I had to come back and do another one because, karen you have been my GH connection forever...always will be....
    I am remembering Jessie's blue sweater, her sisters every day comment, "I am so worried about Audrey" Dr Hardy reading the Christmas Story, the kids Christmas party at GH..the year jason took baby Michael who took exception to Santa, and Steve showed what a great dad he was going to be one day....Alan trying to blow up Monica and Rick Weber, and as always ending up the victim.....:O) no matter what they cant spoil the memories....

  8. GH was my first soap, during the summer of '80. Luke and Laura on the run, looking for the Left-Handed Boy. Didn't watch it that fall, started up again the following summer with the Ice Princess. This time I continued through the fall of '87, although I'd always miss the first 15 min because of what time school let out. When I went to college, my roommate supplied the TV and watched Santa Barbara, so I gave up GH for three years, more or less.

    Also watched Days and OLTL during the early-mid '80's, and I watched the final year of Edge of Night.

    I started up GH again around the summer of '90, when I moved out of the dorms. Watched the Casey story, which was crazy, but also fun and sweet. Hey, remember when GH was fun and sweet?

    Started watching OLTL again after I started reading this blog, around the time of Georgie's death on GH. I was so disgusted at GH by that time that I stopped watching it day to day. I still DVR it, but I've deleted many, many shows without even watching them. Only watch when this site says it is good, or the half dozen times a year I'm actually home during the afternoon and watch it live.

    Karen, your extra posts and coverage of all of this for the last several days have been OUTSTANDING! You deserve kudos.

  9. One of the things that I personally think it most important is that these efforts be ORGANIZED. I've seen a bunch of people saying "you can write here, here and here", but I feel it's more important and will accomplish more if it's a coordinated effort. If there's ONE.CENTRAL.PLACE. Putting stuff on Twitter, Facebook, etc is fine...but I feel there would be more strength in numbers...especially when one can prove those numbers exist.

  10. DJ, that's exactly why I've waited a bit to start anything "organized" right this minute. There are about 10 groups on FB alone. I do have a big fan base but I also think some of the other sites that are more media-pulled in might be better to start something "national".
    Does that make sense? I don't want to start another "Save our Soaps" Group right this second. I think we can do a lot on our own, and it might look better, rather than form letters.

  11. I wanted to Thank you Karen for turning me to OLTL. I have been a GH viewer since the age of 15 and have been as disappointed with the show's writing as much as you have. But through your blog and your constant praises of OLTL I began watching it a couple of months ago and have found it to be such a gem in my life. I'm glad that I found this soap before it was to late and I owe that all to you.

  12. RALLY:
    If you are in the NYC or Los Angeles area, protest rallies are planned for April 29th outside the ABC studios. Picketers plan to meet at 3pm in New York and 1pm in LA.

    If you live near a local ABC studio, consider forming your own rally for the same day.

    Regardless of the date, if you live near where one of the morning news shows tape (even if it's not ABC's), consider carrying picket signs outside when they go out to show people outside. THIS WAS POSTED ON DAYTIME CONF.

  13. I love everyone's early memories of our soaps! My earliest memory is sitting with my aunts at our summer home in the adirondacks watching Heather Webber putting LSD in the iced tea, then the glass getting mixed up on the lazy susan. I don't remember who she was trying to drug but I remember my cousins wanting only to go swimming but the aunts were so engrossed in the story and were yelling at the t.v. Needless to say it was the beginning of the addiction. Hard to imagine not having the "stories"

  14. I remember the original Heather, played by Cher's half sister.

  15. I started watching GH as a kid because my sister was watching it, and I would sit there and make fun of her. My sister and I--and our Mother, who doesn't watch soaps--still have a hoot over Jessie's ever-present cardigan sweater!

    My sister since has given up watching GH, but here I am, all these decades later, and all of this is breaking my heart . . .

  16. I too watched the ending of the Edge of Night.Wached Monica and Alan trying to kill each other.Luke and Laura's wedding.I would get in trouble cause my exhusband looked like Luke so I was fasinated by him.Watched AMC with Nina loved it too.So sad I guess we are just old relics to Frons and Guza.

  17. This can't have effect in reality, that's what I think.



I'm out today so please enjoy this special fun blog!!  Remember the Love Boat from the 70s? Well, I guess you would have to be of a cert...