Somewhere around the age of 10, I watched my first soap opera. It was a pre-pre-Twilight vampire story known as Dark Shadows. If I remember correctly, it was around the same time that, while home sick from school one day, I tuned in to that station a little earlier than usual and saw General Hospital for the first time and, perhaps, even One Life to Live.
I didn’t really understand anything about those shows until a few years later… perhaps junior high, but definitely high school.
General Hospital was the hot show while I was in college. Kids would schedule classes so as to be in a student lounge or near a TV at 3:00. The height of its popularity came in 1981, the year I graduated, with the wedding of Luke and Laura.
Although I was never that obsessive about it, I would watch when I was around a TV… but I always enjoyed the show that came on before GH a little more. It was One Life To Live.
My career in radio has given me a very strange schedule. I worked on many morning shows which required a 4-4:30am awakening. After a 6am show that ended at 10, I was usually home by 2. I got into a bad habit of taking an afternoon nap, and I always fall asleep with the TV on. That’s how I got re-introduced to One Life to Live and, to a lesser extent, General Hospital.
The beautiful thing about soaps is that, although people’s faces change and they can even come back from the dead, you can miss a week, a month, or even a year, and pick right back up quite easily. Often times you’ll find that a key character has found a long-lost sister or brother, that the person they thought was his parent actually wasn’t- but that some other person (usually one they despise) actually is.
These days, as I immerse myself in a world gone mad, and I try to stop thinking that the awful situation enveloping this world can never be turned around, I know I need an escape. Actually, we all do. Sometimes I escape into music. Last summer, I read the entire Harry Potter series of books. Sometimes I go to a movie or stare into the ocean at the beach. But I always knew that I could escape to a truly crazy, non-existent place called Llanview, PA, where death is never final and love is just around the corner, and money is never an issue. Between the Buchanans, Lords and Cramers, there’s enough money to buy and sell Bain Capital and put all of those crooks out on the street.
That is, I knew I could always escape there… until tomorrow.
Tomorrow, ABC pulls the final plug on One Life to Live, as it did to All My Children just a few months ago. (I never did get in to AMC, although I do remember the Z Morning Zoo in NY- when I worked across the street at WPLJ- did a daily All My Children update…)
Instead of the campy humor and escapism of OLTL, on Monday ABC will run The Revolution in its place. (Tim Gunn, I’ll never forgive you for this!) I will not be watching. Instead, I’ll pick up a book.
On Today’s Show
To share in my sorrow, and to prove that I’m not the only smart, sassy, progressive woman alive who watches OLTL, I invited my friend Susie Madrak to commiserate with me this morning. I know that some people did tune out, but I was surprised by the tweets and emails I got from others just like us who will feel the gaping hole in our day on Monday. Of course we did spend some time talking about Mitt and Newt- the GOP race is almost as entertaining as a fun, campy soap opera.
I didn’t talk about that topic with my other two guests this morning. Amanda Terkel of Huffington Post joined me (for the first time) to talk about the Republicans eating their own – a soap opera of its own!
And last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to Newt Gingrich on behalf of the Obama campaign for doing their dirty work…
Click here to watch the full 27.5 minute film, King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town, or watch it below. Of course, this is courtesy of the Winning Our Future PAC (and they have nothing to do with Newt… really… I’m not kidding.. right)
But this one is courtesy of the Gingrich campaign… a new ad called “For the Dogs”. Once again, thanks Newt!