Do You Still Watch Soaps?

Since I began to post here again, it has been my pleasure to reunite with so many long-time Marlena fans. You’re still watching — and so am I.

I’m shocked, however, that so many of my soap press colleagues — who are or were in the business for decades —just don’t watch soaps anymore. And they’re not alone. A lot of fans have quit, too.

Of course, the soap world has changed greatly, and the number of soaps has dwindled precipitously. There are only three left on broadcast TV, now that Days of Our Lives has moved to Peacock. OK, I get it. The world has changed. We all move on. And we have to make a living. But speaking for myself, I will always love reporting on daytime soap operas.

There are still rewards aplenty. Consider a recent afternoon on The Young and the Restless. Who popped up on the screen? A very good actor we haven’t seen in ages.

“OMG!” I screamed in total delight and surprise. It was Trevor St. John, who replaced the irreplaceable Roger Howarth as Todd Manning on One Life to Live! It was St. John’s first day on the CBS soap as Tucker McCall — a character once played on Y&R by Stephen Nichols, most noted for playing Patch Johnson on Days. And in between Days stints, I asked myself, who did he play on General Hospital? Yes, of course, Nichols played Stefan Cassadine from 1996 to 2003!

Soaps are so incestuous and idiosyncratic, and I still find them delightful. We fervent fans know all about who played whom, when they played them, and how good they were. The soap world is like a family with many members who move around a lot. Everybody knows everybody — and we all have opinions about each other.

And for me, the daily afternoon experience is not the same now that there is a hole in the schedule with Days moving to Peacock. (Many readers have written in saying they can’t get Peacock, or that they can’t afford the streaming service even if they can get it.) Gosh, I’ve been watching Days since junior high. I don’t want to stop now!

What I have always loved about soaps is that they are a daily experience, full of suspense. If a soap is doing its job, every day will have something to entice us into tuning in tomorrow. Another example: Very lately on General Hospital, a figure cloaked and hooded, all in black, turned out to be the thought-dead Esme Prince (played by Avery Pohl), who revealed herself to her pyscho daddy, the institutionalized Ryan Chamberlain (played by Jon Lindstrom). The evil father and daughter smiled at each other with glee.

Soaps! They can really be delicious.

And certainly, that has always been the case during their long history. Although a lot of friends and colleagues have stopped watching daytime, I find it refreshing that we all can still watch the best of daytime past on YouTube. Soap nostalgia is so big right now that there are dozens of groups on Facebook dedicated to it.  (Marlena waves at a group she likes very much called “Daytime Soaps No Longer on the Air.”) Soap history is fascinating — and all of our favorite actors (so many of whom have passed) are still right there.

Call me old school, but I just love watching vintage episodes of All My Children with scenes of Erica, Opal, Tad, Ruth, Joe, and on and on. May the legacy of soap opera’s greatest creator/headwriter, Agnes Nixon, go on and on, as well.



  1. Maxine Bennett says:

    Your column speaks for me❤️

    • Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a Connie Passalacqua Hayman says:

      As I’ve repeatedly written, soaps are a big family. I’m so greatful so many of my longtime fans have become my friends over the years! Maxine–your support and caring has always meant a lot to Miss Marlena!!

  2. I’m still watching too and enjoyed this column, though you know I have to disagree about your dear Agnes being the greatest creator/headwriter. As Irna Phillips once said after Nixon proclaimed that between them they had 7 soaps on the air, “I have five.” PREACH, Irna…the actual greatest of all time. 😉

    • Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a Connie Passalacqua Hayman says:

      Marlena says: Thank you so much for writing dear Esther. What a wonderful story! Although I interviewed Agnes many times I was too young to meet the great Irna. If only!

  3. leroy davidson says:

    One only needs to go to YouTube, type in One Life To Live: Viki’s Heartbreaking Last Speech About Soap Operas, listen to every word. This says it all, perhaps few of us could have said it any better. We’ve seen too many wonderful shows leave us. All the more reason to cherish the ones that are still here.

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