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« One. (Life to Live) | Main | Can't Let Go, No No No »

January 19, 2012


(Originally posted on January 13, 2012 after the One Life to LIve finale. Just updating a bit so anyone new has a chance to share their stories!)

Why did you start watching OLTL? We want your stories.



I was in foster care until I was 11, which is when my mother finally got me back after struggling with addiction. The very first day I moved in with her was a little awkward, so she turned on her soaps and I watched with her. Every day after school, I'd come home and she'd fire up the VCR to watch AMC, OLTL, and GH. Unfortunately, she was on a lot of meds at the time, so she usually passed out about halfway through AMC. I took the break to do some homework (or whatever) and when she woke up, we started the cycle over. Some days, it would take over 6 hours to complete all three shows, but it was our routine. When I moved out at 18, I'd still call every day to discuss what was going on with Todd, Bo, Troy, Tea, etc. right up until she passed when I was 20. In school, I would force the other folks in my residence hall to watch the soaps, they hated me (or secretly loved me).

My mother and I often had a strained relationship for many reasons, but the one thing we could bond over no matter what was the ABC soaps. The loss of OLTL is hitting me a lot harder than AMC (I had more or less stopped watching by then). Yesterday's episode just destroyed me and I wish I could see what happens with Victor.

SanenN85 - I feel honored to have read your very touching story. I am glad you had the opportunity to bond with your mother over a common experience.

Life takes us to so many places (physically and emotionally) but long-running soap operas offered a kind of 'returning point' to check up on the people and happenings of those in our fictional towns. What other piece of serialized fiction offers that?

Soapbaby, you really hit upon some of the reasons why these shows, and this format, are so important to us. There really is nothing else like it on television.

SaneN85, I too feel honored to have read your story. Llanview will live on in our hearts.

I just finished watching the last episode for the second time. And once again, I kept stopping and watching scenes over, making sure not to miss a word, or a glance, or a gesture. And I still cannot get it through my head that there won't be another. How the hell can that be???

It was about as perfect an ending as you could ask for, especially when you think that this was written, and acted, when they all thought, when we all thought, the show was going to go on. The other day, when Vicki was going her talk about what soaps mean, she said that ultimately soaps are about family, no matter how they're defined. And OLTL was able to hold on to that, God only knows how, while we lost that, bit by bit, on AMC. OLTL, in a strange way, not only ended its own run with heart and integrity, for me it also reminded me of why I loved AMC. There might not have been much left by the end, after what Frons and Co. did to it, but we all stuck with it because we KNEW what the show was really about. OLTL delivered that, in spades.

I'm only a short-term fan, came into it full time about 6 years ago, when Nora was married to Daniel Coulson. AMC was my number one soap, had been watching it since it debuted. But under Frons mismanagement, AMC was getting to be so hard to watch, Characters were being destroyed, vets kicked to the curb - Julia Barr was on her way out, and I wanted to see if there was any hope for a good story somewhere else. And I found OLTL. It kept the spark alive. It do so very much more than that. OLTL had the heart, the soul, the feeling, that was the whole reason I'd watched soaps to begin with.

And now thanks to the Asshat network, it's gone too.

My condolences, in particular, to you long-time fans. I can't imagine how badly you must feel, when I feel this bad, and I don't have the history you all do. But my oh my, how happy I am that I was smart enough to find this show when I finally did.

And, I found Serial Drama too. Good days....

I remember starting to watch because I heard the buzz about Karen Wolek's testimony. The first episodes I saw, Marco was still pretending to be Mario and involved with Edwina.

The babyswitch was the first story that really captured my attention, because I'd never seen a narrative that complex where no one was the bad guy (remember, I started watching *after* Brad raped Karen).

It's also kind of interesting that to this day - thirty years later - when people talk about "the babyswitch", I immediately go to that one. All others are pale imitations.

Karen Wolek and Margo Dane were the two characters that stick out in my mind. I was only a little kid but I'll never forget Karen confessing to being a hooker on the witness stand.

And of course Victoria and all her alters. No one has ever done it better.

Dorian and her affair with young Joey Buchanan was one of the greatest love stories ever told.

OLTL was also the first soaps that had minority characters and dealt with relevent social issues: Race relations, homosexuality, teen pregnancy, abortion...

I will truly miss this fantastic story and hope that more characters from OLTL find a place on GH. As far as I'm concerned it can only help GH.

My dad, an otherwise macho manly man type, was a fan in the 80s. He LOVED Tina. I would watch with him whenever I was home sick frmo school as a little girl. I was lucky enough to catch the episode where Tina came back from the dead with her baby and interrupted Cord & Kate's wedding. PURE SOAP OPERA. I was about 9 or 10 years old, and hooked. By 14 I had my dad fix up an old VCR someone had thrown out, and I figured out how to program it to record every day. After all, Megan Gordon had become my favorite character and I couldn't miss a moment of her death! That was when I became a true fan and continued to watch daily until I went away to college.

Back in the day my grandma watched Y&R (it was a half hour back then), then switched over to ABC and watched the entire line-up (AMC, OLTL, GH, EON). I was totally caught up in the whole idea of a story that never ended and became addicted. Every day after school, I would rush home and help my grandma peel potatoes or snap green beans or what-not and listen as she recapped what I missed on "our stories."

The first OLTL story I remember was the love story of Jenny Wolek, her amazing Dorothy Hamill cut, and Tim Siegel. For some reason I vivdly recall the day Tim got into a fight with Jenny's cousin Vinny because she had decided to renounce her vows to the nunhood in order to marry Tim which resulted in Tim being injured and dying shortly thereafter. Then Jenny became involved with the Vernon men, Will and Brad, and soon her sister Karen was in town and that sealed the deal -- housewife hooker? -- it was on like Donkey Kong! (I'd had a long standing fascination with being a hooker after seeing Donna Beck on AMC and when Grandma Mancuso refused to divulge the details of the job title, I deduced that it involved wearing sparkly clothes to get handsome boyfriends...oh, what an innocent gay I was back in the day!). The week that Karen testified, my grandmother called me in sick every day so that we could watch together. Education, shmeducation -- my grandmother had her priorities straight!

It was 1990 (probably during the summer) and I was 13 years old. I was bored and was flipped through the channels. I'd never really paid attention to the soaps before, but a young, blonde woman in prison caught my attention. I instantly knew that she had to be innocent. Turned out the show I landed on was OLTL and the character was Megan Gordon. And then the great Peobo Bryson theme started. I was hooked! Thus my soap addiction began.

I actually watched OLTL with my mom when I was really young in the late 70s to early 80s, but I don't remember any of it.

I started watching way back in 1971 after getting married. I took care of my mother-in-law who had cancer. After she passed my son was born and I was a stay at home mom. All the ABC soaps were watched. I remember most of the oldies like Karen, Marco,Jenny and Dr. Mark Toland (Tommy Lee jones).Oh the stories. I will miss OLTL, as now I watch my grandchildren and at 1:00 it is Grandma's time. I guess now it will be Nick Jr. or Sprout.

I had two sisters - one who loved AMC, the other GH. Of course, OLTL had to be my soap. I started watching in the early 80's, when I was about 10, and then Tina and Cord got me really, really hooked. I was in love with Cord. I remember when my cousin lived with us for a year when I was 13 and she wanted to watch Another World. We would switch days, so I'd get to watch OLTL every second day. That lasted about a week before I had my friend tape OLTL for me (I had to pay him in food).

I started watching OLTL when I was born almost 30 years ago. Some of my earliest memories are watching AMC with my mom and then sneaking back downstairs during nap time to see what was going on in Llanview. I guess I just had to know what Mitch and Tina were up to. I learned how to program the VCR at 4 (in the days without an easy screen menu) so I wouldn't miss OLTL and the beginning of GH while I was at school.

While I've watched most of the soaps on in my lifetime at one point or another I always came back to Llanview. When it comes to the soaps Llanview always felt like home. Even Tico Santi and Dena Higley couldn't keep me away. Thanks to Ron and Frank and the actors the last few years have been a fun ride and I'm glad it out with a roar instead of whimper. Monday afternoon is sure is going to be tough.

I started watching OLTL off and on when I was in high school and then when I was in college, my sophomore year, 1993, my roommate watched them and had afternoon classes. We didn't have a VCR, so I used to sit and take notes. I quickly learned lots and she filled me in on the rest. And I've been a fan ever since.

Summer of 1993 us when I started, too. I had already been watching AMC religiously, and one day I just decided to keep the TV tuned to ABC.

Marty's rape trial got me hooked; my first fave couple was actually Marty and Suede.(Feel free to judge me harshly for that one.) And I just kept watching -- for Bo and Nora, Max and Luna, and, eventually, Todd and Blair. And Todd and Tea. And Todd and Evangeline. (A pattern emerges...)

My mom was an ABCD viewer so that's what my sister and I grew up on (like literally. I thought that having sex was kissing under covers in your underwear up until I was an appropriate age to have "the talk"). We got hooked on GH first in 1993 because it was Luke and Laura's return and we thought that JJ's Lucky and Sly were cute. I remember loving Tina and Cord even though at some point I think I really had Tina mixed up with Alex Olanov (I was only 6). The way school lined up, we'd only get to watch the second half of OLTL unless it was summer time. But we loved Viki and Dorian and Bo and Nora and The Manning Family was always a hoot. GH was generally our soap, but OLTL was on my watch list when our schedules aligned. I remember picking it up again with some of my dorm mates in college and we cried through Todd's execution even though we hadn't watched the show in years.

OLTL became my soap when it was canceled. I had given up on GH a few months into JJ and VMG's returns and had been out of the soap game for nearly a year but then I heard that RH's Todd was returning and the show was ending and I had to be there to see it. It was so strange rewatching 90's episodes on YouTube because I vaguely remember seeing them the first time around and how those stories stuck with me nearly 20 years later. I didn't even realize how attached I was to this show!

I'm so glad that some of the characters have gotten a second life to live. ABCDaytime has been such an important part of my growing up. My mother and I still discuss casting rumors and all the long forgotten twists and plot turns and I was so looking forward to one day sharing the genre with my own children. Viki's speech could not have been more pitch perfect. Soaps become part of your family and it's as if something is missing when they are gone.

The first time I saw OLTL was when my country started airing it for awhile. This was somewhere around '04/'05 and I've been a fan ever since. Then when that stopped I followed it via youtube. At first I watched when I came home from secondary school with my mum and brother. And then later on in university, one of my best friends & I spent afternoons watching episodes around classes.

I am heartbroken that it's been cancelled and I shall be in mourning for a long time however I am truly grateful to have found this show.

Thanks Soapbaby and OLTLgirl. I was feeling just the right amount of emotional when I decided to share it :).

I started watching OLTL in 1991, right at the beginning of the Gottlieb/Malone era. I was 9. The first story I remember is when Bo and Cassie went to Loon Lake and Alex tried to drown Cassie. I really liked Bo & Cassie together, but of course, later on I fell in love with Bo/Nora. WHY I started watching? Well, my family had just moved to a new state and I had a hard time adjusting. I think the soaps were just really comforting at that time. The characters were my friends and I liked knowing that they would be there every day. I still can't believe AMC and OLTL are both gone. It's going to feel strange not having them in my life anymore.

I NAMED my daughter Cassie! That is how much I loved this show, for so many years. Sad to see it gone, although I quit watching around 98'.

I started watching OLTL from day one, at age 17. Yes, I am that old! I already loved soaps, starting with Dark Shadows, when I used to literally run home from school to see it. I watched GH too at that time. I loved the story of Larry and Meredith, and Vicki and Joe. I loved the "two sides of town" angle,with characters who were rich and privileged interacting with the blue collar people. It gave an interesting contrast to the stories. I am just so sad now. Sigh.....

October 2001, when I was 12 years old. Todd, Blair, Starr (during the DBL, no less), Troy, Lindsay, Asa, Jessica, Natalie, Allison, all of them got me into the show. But absolutely NO ONE got me into it more than Max & Gabrielle, who quickly became my favorite couple--and have remained so (thanks to old clips, the OLTL book--all of it). I actually stopped watching for 4-5 years when their entire family was completely gutted--and yet NO Max & Gabrielle reunion! Seriously? Will never make sense to me. I did eventually come back, though, and there's a lot that I'm going to miss.

@ UseYourIllusion: Max and Gabrielle were one of my favorite soap couples and I hated how OLTL killed off Gabrielle and Al before unceremoniously writing out Max. And even if I could get Max and Gabrielle together it would have been nice to see Max one last time before the show ended. I also thought we should have seen Renee, Larry Wolek, Andrew and Cassie and RJ and Hank.

I was in the children's chorus at the New York City Opera in the early 90s and they were recasting Al Holden and came to the children's chorus to get folks to audition, and I did, I think the audition scene was from around the time of Max & Luna's wedding. ...I didn't get it, but I started watching the show. At the time, Another World was my only soap and I had just started watching Days. I think it was like early 1994, maybe, when I started watching? Kassie DePaiva (then Wesley) was still a pretty new cast member, I remember in the first episode I watched, she and Dorian were like just beginning to establish their relationship, and Viki showed up at like, a club, maybe?? or something, to arrest Dorian for Victor's murder. I would say that I watched most intensively during what remained then of Michael Malone's tenure (so I missed some of his most famous storylines like the AIDS quilt storyline w/ Sloan's son, and Marty's gang rape, altho the aftermath of that was still playing out in the Todd-Rebecca-Powell triangle and Todd was on the run and establishing his very special relationship with CJ & Sarah), I was pretty into the storyline that introduced Viki's other alters besides Niki, where she found out her Victor alter was responsible for killing her father Victor (altho they have hinted at a reversal of that in recent years, right?), and Luna's death in the crossfire of the Angel Square storyline just completely devastated me, she was my favorite character back then. I remember when Gina Tognoni came on the show, and she has ended up being one of my all-time favorite soap actresses, although maybe moreso for her stint as Dinah on Guiding Light, tho I like her as Kelly as well. And God, Nathan Fillion, who has grown into such a god among men.

Oh, I wanted to add that sometime in the mid-90s, I bought a VHS at Walgreens (VHS! At Walgreens!) that was an extended featurette about One Life to Live's best weddings, which was when I first began to fall in love with the amazeballs phenomenon that is Andrea Evans, since ya know, like half the weddings were Tina and Cord's.

I started watching in mid-to late 2007 (along with AMC and GH) regularly when I caught my sister-in-law watching it one day. Marcie was on the one and had just kidnapped the baby she adopted (Sam, who named him Tommy) that biologically belonged to Victor Jr. and Margaret Cochoran, and when Viki left Llanview to work as a waitress in Paris, Texas where we first met Rex's high school sweetheart Gigi, who's also happened to be the baby mama of their kid Shane there! I became hooked instantly! My favorite storylines were Starr's teen pregnancy (which I related to my brother going through this a teenager himself when he got his then girlfriend and later ex-wife pregnant as a teen!), and the Kish gay storyline! I'll miss OLTL, but I can't wait to see Blair, Todd, Starr, and John arrive in Port Charles on GH!

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