By Marlena De Lacroix
When I was in high school I was noted for spending my afternoons watching soap operas and eating cole slaw. Decades later, I am sobbing … and I mean real big salty tears … into my slaw as As the World Turns is drawing to a close, heading to
With the end of As the World Turns, let’s celebrate soaps. Our memories of As the World Turns will never fade, nor will our belief that the strength of the American family will never end.
its final episode Friday, Sept. 17. Last week, I even lay awake worrying about Chris Hughes and whether Reid’s transplanted heart would save his life. I know ATWT‘s life is over.
Sob! All those afternoons … I remember in 1970 when Irna Phillips punished Jane House by having her Elizabeth Stewart fall up the stairs and die because the actress was appearing nude in the original production of Lenny on Broadway! Who can remember the afternoon when Iva came after Josh when her daughter Lily found out Lily’s father was really her rapist Josh … How come I sob whenever magnificent Kathy Hays as Kim is in a scene advising a younger Oakdaler or hugs Bob over another tragedy (like Nancy’s sudden death last week and the fittingly modest service that didn’t last for weeks). And the always modest but bravura Don Hastings, too. Were you there last week when Chris told Bob he was the finest man he ever knew? Sob!
All those afternoons! I can remember when Grandpa Hughes raised the flag on national holidays and gave Tom all those lectures in his workshop. Who remembers when Mr. Big (dear, dear Brent Collins) chased Margo and Tom around that crazy set and made them run for their lives. (Justin Deas and Margaret Colin got married instead.) Who can remember when Lisa lost her son Chucky when he ran out in the middle of the street? Oy, I have watched this show forever.
So why criticize this show in its final days? Let’s celebrate the show the way ATWT‘s writers nicely celebrated Barbara and Henry’s wedding — with joy, the pleasure of repaired family relationships and friendships and the expression of the kind of genuine love never seen on soaps anymore (just like the joy felt at weddings of our own!). I cheered loudly when Babs (Colleen Zenk Pinter, so great for 30 years) was feted by a dance with Henry to that old Bee Gees tune, “More Than a Woman” as their wedding night began.
Let’s celebrate that after all his sour words, Reid is a good guy after all and donated his heart to Chris! Let’s celebrate as ol’ Johnny Dixon so fittingly lands up with la Lucinda! Let’s celebrate ALL the couples who are ending up together and living happily ever after, Katie and Chris and Casey and Allison, creating families of their own filled with love! Let’s celebrate a show we all watched for five decades … a show as close to us as our own families and those members we miss every day so dearly. Sob!
With the end of As the World Turns, let’s celebrate soaps. Our memories of As the World Turns will never fade, nor will our belief that the strength of the American family (the Hughes family singularly in soaps lasted all 56 years of the show) will never end.