Dear Ms. Passalacqua Hayman:
I wanted to write to tell you how much I enjoy reading your columns and your insights into the soaps. You are the reason I started buying Soap Opera Weekly so many years ago and I was sad when you left. I bought that magazine every week, at first for your columns, but then cause I just loved it. I would not get a subscription
I hope something comes along and saves our shows from themselves, but that alarm has been ringing for a long time. Why can’t those in charge hear it?
because I wanted to buy it every week so the cover would not be damaged with those damn postal stickers. Their covers used to be so good — those were the days! I was pleasantly surprised to find your web site recently and am excited to read what you have to say about the state of soaps today.
I, too, am just saddened by the state of the soap business these days. I, of course, do not pretend to know all it takes to make soaps or the incredible pressures the show runners face to put out quality shows. It has to be tough in this day and age. But I do know I miss my character based shows. I miss seeing people on my shows who were better actors and cherished because of it rather than their looks. I miss characters like Aunt Liz, Frankie Frame, and Mac Corey from Another World,
Another World cover, 1994
and I am sad to think those types of characters could never exist in our current soap landscape.
I get so angry with “fans” in this new media age who vent their frustration on message boards with comments about how they wish their show would just get cancelled rather than having to watch what is on their screens day in and day out. I just want to scream: I’d take the worst years of Santa Barbara or Another World, or even Loving, just to see my “friends” again. I mean, be disappointed, but don’t wish the end to your show. I will never get that. My heart still aches at the loss of those shows as well as Guiding Light. I despised Passions, but I never wished that show would come to an end — we cannot afford to lose any more soaps, but I fear that will happen all too quickly. I hope there will be some soaps on the air still in five years, but I suspect there will not be.
Irene Dailey, Another World’s beloved Aunt Liz, died last year at 88.
I guess I wanted to tell you this because it seems like some of your passion has been drawn away because of the plot-driven drivel that appears on so many of our shows. You seem beat up and weary, as we all are. At least it seems evident in your recent writing (and by no means is this a critique of your writing — not one bit — and please forgive me if I have read into something that is not there). It is sad to see that someone who so obviously loves this genre and its people and has always shown such great respect for everyone involved in it may just be defeated by what has become of something that was once so grand. I hope something comes along and saves our shows from themselves, but that alarm has been ringing for a long time. Why can’t those in charge hear it? I will never know…
Keep up the good fight, I say. I will continue to enjoy your writing and know that, even when our shows might be letting us down, you still have people who look to you for your critique both good and bad. We love soaps, even when they’re hard to love.
Director of Residence Life
Queens University of Charlotte, N.C.
Your letter is so special to me and I thank you profoundly. I decided to run it here as a guest column because the grief and frustration you express so eloquently speak for many, many longtime soap fans. You’re right, I have been feeling weary of the fight. But your letter gave me just the lift I needed. Thanks again for this, dear Thom, and for your devotion to my work over the years.
Connie (a.k.a. Marlena)