By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
General Hospital: Wasn’t the death of Edward Quartermaine nicely handled? As visiting grandson Ned said in a toast: “There will never be another Edward Quartermaine.” This was also a tribute to the late John Ingle, the great actor who long played the role (originated by David Lewis.) Perhaps the saddest scene soap history-wise was the agonized exclamation of Tracy at the family crypt: “There was always the four of us, including Edward, Lila, and Alan, and now there’s only me.” All in all., a fond farewell to daytime’s most feisty family, iconic because they were perhaps just a bit like yours and definitely just like mine: endearing but dysfunctional and fighting all the time.
GH, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless: As if to soften the blow, SoapNet gave us five rerun episodes of the Quartermaines on the family’s traditional pizza-eating holiday, Thanksgiving, known to them as “Quartermainia.”’ Also giving us old episodes the day after Thanksgiving was Days of Our Lives (Susan’s Elvis themed wedding) and The Young and the Restless (Nikki and Victor’s second wedding.)
Don’t you just love watching soap reruns? Most of all, there’s the joy of seeing “friends,” characters you spent years with, some long forgotten and now delightfully rediscovered. I’m an especially soft touch for characters who had heart, like GH’s Laura and Tony Jones. But last week Marlena really enjoyed seeing her historic favorites, the humorous supporting characters like Reginald the footman on GH (whatever happened to him?), Alice the wrestler/maid and Foster and Annabelle, the Q dogs. They added spice to the famous Quartermaine family’s comic brew.
Perhaps the most fun of watching reruns is to see characters and actors in their younger form. Weren’t younger Vanessa Marcil and Ingo Rademacher just gorgeous together as Brenda and Jax? We got to enjoy the progression of the hilarious hairdos of Jason Quartermaine Morgan (Steve Burton), from teenaged flipped back to older spikey.
Watching these GH reruns, Marlena learned that all things on soaps seem to come in threes: Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman) was a blonde, a brunette and a redhead. And of course there were three Carlys: Laura Wright, Tamara Braun, and the best, the original, Sarah J. Brown. Coming in pairs were different actors playing the same roles, such as Billy Warlock and Sean Kanan playing A.J. Quartermaine. And then there was a role that could only be played by a single wonderful actress, Kimberly McCollough, who grew up before our eyes on GH as Robin Scorpio.
My only complaint is it’s hard to watch episodes out of content. Why doesn’t SoapNet give us the dates of these episodes? And embarrassingly, sometimes I couldn’t remember or recognize characters. What was A Martinez doing on GH? Who did Coltin Scott play on GH and what happened to him? My goodness, was that really Jamie Lynn Bauer playing Laura Horton on Days of Our Lives as a redhead?
Most interesting of all for longtime soap viewers were the little discrepancies you notice between today and yesterday. Remember the days when Y&R had a budget and all the scenes were bedecked with vases and huge displays of fresh flowers? Isn’t it just plain bizarre that Melody Thomas Scott looks younger now than she did a decade ago?
Do you like watching soap reruns? Tell me your favorites and give me your observations. While on this nostalgic track, I think I will go and read some old Marlena columns now….