Friday, April 22, 2011

Save The Soaps

                                                                                                 Julie Kemp Pick

Last week ABC announced that they were canceling two of their longest running soap operas All My Children and One Life To Live. Together, they ran for more than 80 years, and were created by Agnes Nixon. Both shows have won Daytime Emmys and Soap Opera Digest Awards, and are still being driven off the air due to high costs and low ratings. There has been an overwhelming outcry to save these characters who many fans, myself included, consider their extended families.   

I grew up watching Erica Kane (Susan Lucci)  from AMC marry all 10 of her husbands. She went from a young beautiful brat, to a smart sophisticated model, to a 30-something  jailbird with a heart of gold. Later she overcame alcoholism in time to risk her life for her children and grandchildren. She managed to do all of these things, while looking fabulous in high heels and a strapless gown. There are many memorable characters who have visited Pine Valley throughout the years, but Erica is the heart and soul of All My Children.  Don't we deserve to find out if she ever gets a visible wrinkle?    

One Life To Live is another soap that I started watching with my mother at an early age. The longest remaining character is Victoria Lord  (Erika Slezak)  a wealthy matriarch who has endured the loss of her grown daughter, several husbands, and suffers from a weak heart. The storylines continue to grow stronger and most recently involve the effects of bullying. The 14 year-old character Shane was almost driven to suicide. The performances were so well acted that my mother and I were actually brought to tears.

What makes OLTL stand out, is that the characters look realistic. The older actors look like real people instead of professional models. They are not stick thin, and overly botoxed. In fact, the Echo De Savoy character is a middle-aged homewrecker, who doesn't try to hide her curves, and is truly comfortable in her own skin. We don't have to like her, but we can't help but relate to her.

I'm still hoping that we can save these soaps. Maybe they can increase ad revenues Austin Powers style by having some of the characters walk around naked, with cereal boxes, magazines and household cleaning products covering their private parts. I'm sure they could come up with many product placement ideas, that would make up for viewers fast forwarding through their commercials.

One Life To Live has already thought of a solution to cut down on production costs. Both Viki and her daughter Jessica suffer from multiple personality disorder and play dual roles. I'm sure Erica on All My Children would love to play an alter ego. Viki has Niki and Jess has Tess, but nothing rhymes with Erica. Perhaps, the writers should start working on it while there's still time.    

A to Z Blogging Challenge


  1. We here in the UK have some great soaps and I love all of them. If they were to stop them it would be like taking away my right arm.


  2. Watched my last soap in 1987. Last week my husband was flicking through the channels mid day and came across a soap and heaven help me I knew who some of those characters were. Things move so slowly in soap land.

  3. Soaps + Austin Powers...that sounds like a winner.

    Stopping by via A to Z. Looks like you're having fun with the challenge!

  4. Your passion for these soaps is palpable.

  5. @ Yvonne - Many fans do feel that way!

    @ mybabyjohn - Either they move at a snails pace or you miss everything in one day!

    @ Jenny - Thanks for visiting! I'll look for you!

    @ Angela - Very poetically put!

  6. You mean these shows have been on for eighty years, and I still never watched them?


  7. I have seen a LOT of sad posts on Facebook over these two shows ending. :( I feel for all of you, I would be sad too if a show I loved for many years was being cancelled. I remember how sad I was when Knots Landing ended, I grew up watching that and Dallas. Hang in there.

  8. @Joyce - You look fantastic for someone who's over 80! Living with Rhonda must have kept you young! Thanks for visiting me! I look forward to reading more of your posts! Julie

    @Snakes mom - I was also a big Knots Landing and Dallas fan! Thanks for stopping by, and I will look for you! Julie

  9. I guess the hour glass has finally run out. I remember the NIU Holmes center packed when AMC was on and everyone was watching it. Lamp Chop

  10. @Nelson - You have a very interesting blog, and the translate button really comes in handy!

    @Lamb Chop - Great hourglass analogy! You were probably working while the rest of us were watching the soaps.

  11. Julie, I would have thought living with me would make her old :)

    I can't believe those soaps are still on. I watched all my children back in high school (maybe even with you) and that was about it. I haven't given them a thought in years.

  12. Rhonda - Firstly, laughter keeps you young!

    Secondly, between home-schooling your daughters, driving them to their sporting events, spending quality time with hubby, and interviewing toilet tour guides; you should be starring in your own soap opera! Maybe we should write one together!

  13. It will be very sad if AMC and OLTL come to an end. And Not Really Because of what Oprah says! as if she's not rich enough to keep them going on 200 years after she's croacked! She better come up with a good explaination for abandoning a line-up that created her Oprah show ratings because it's the same audience.

    I have watched AMC and OLTL since their beginnings. What's that?....40 years or so?....If this goes the way the execs at ABC and Disney want it to, I really would be OK with not tuning in to their corporation for the next 40 years of my life. And I'm already getting off of ABC after GH. Oprah has proved herself to be a money monger by her statements. But she does deserve forgiveness when you consider the economic climate, and her rise to fame,'s up to you if you believe all of what she's shown up for, on Oprah, ...yes there's been lots of manipulation going on there, and if you believe Oprah can't save the soaps? Hello!...

    But that's not really my point. My point is, that Oprah is just really boring after 25 years...very few are crying that her show is ending after 25 years, even she didn't last as long as AMC and OLTL.

    It's not to late to save the soaps.

    Start watching them exclusively, and by that I mean AMC, OLTL, GH....and nothing more on that channel ever. With all of the money their putting into the Royal Wedding, it would be really cool if no one tuned in wouldn't? Wouldn't send a message?

    Walt Disney, never would have cancelled these shows. He always valued people, it was the basis of his life - after his death, his company became a machine, full of people willing to dishonor his ideal and memory.

    It shouldn't be very hard for us folks "the audience" to shut down Disney, now that it is really NOT, what we grew up with.

    Just stop watching. Watch your Soaps and nothing else. When your soaps are gone, watch nothing else.

    Forget about Oprah! she's just...well OWN is never gonna add up to much , because she didn't step up. The best we can imagine is that she and Gayle have a happy life together in a cabin somewhere and that Stedman gets a wife!

    I know, I sound like a lunatic to you folks. I promise you I am not: all I KNOW, is that after spending 40 years of my life watching my shows, when the entity that is taking them away succeeds, I can spend the next 40 years of my life supporting other entity's.

    If you think about it, by cancelling these shows, Disney/ABC, is dis respecting at least 3 generations of viewers.

    If you think about it, in this climate of economic and politic, the only choice we have as audience is to boycott.

    We cast our votes in many ways, ; Isn't that good to know.

    In this era of cable and download, 'broadcast' is really becoming irrelevent. There are so Many Choices....just stop believing because it's easy, but believe what you want to instead.

    Walt is still alive. He's happy and know's there's lots of sh*t on its way out. He knows most of you won't watch the replacement shows or anything else until things come more into balance.