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« Love And Other Things This Show Manages To Make...Disturbing | Main | All I Can Do Is List »

January 12, 2012

Two.

(Edited to add -- at the beginning because I don't want to add anything to what I've shared below at this point -- because a lot of you have asked: Firstly, thank you for asking! Yes, I will continue to write for Serial Drama after OLTL goes dark on the air. I may well write some thoughts on classic episodes and on future endeavors of all our favorites, and I will also continue to cover B&B here on the blog. Additionally, I will soon begin to add to Mallory's awesome coverage of GH, not only because some of our Llanview-ites are making the trip to Port Charles, but also because I've been watching GH religiously for over three decades and have thoughts on it that go beyond our Soap Opera Digest column. Let's all hope it sticks around and that some random magic will bring OLTL back, too, in some form or another! I'm going nowhere, and thanks so much for your support! More information on this to come, I promise. Now, onto the Sads. --L.)

This is just about it, folks. I want to first say that I can't make any promises about when I'll get the post up for tomorrow's One Life to Live series finale (there, I said it, now leave me alone!!!) because frankly I don't know that I'll be in writing condition for... really, for days after the fact. I will at least post a quick message, probably with shaky hands and a broken heart, just to check in and make sure we're all holding up. I just need to put that out there so that nobody yells at the computer too much! I'm predicting I will be a very-low-functioning human at best. Bear with me.

Proof of this prediction about tomorrow is that I probably still need time to be able to talk about today's episode, so we're going to compromise. First of all, you can watch Viki's speech about soap operas here. I feel like that says it all. Let's try it here too:

 

I'll transcribe it here, but I want the various accompanying visual images preserved here as well because it was so masterfully done. This is one of the most beautiful sequences I have ever seen and heard on a soap opera in my three decades of viewing (and catching up on earlier history, too!). When am I going to stop crying? Ever? Anyway, here's what Viki had to say about OLTL and soaps today, under the guise of speaking of the internal soap, Fraternity Row.

Viki: Megan actually passed away nearly twenty years ago, but I still to this day get stopped on the street by Fraternity Row fans who remember the characters that she played. And some ask how she's doing or will she ever return. But I must tell you that there are times I get so caught up in the show that I find myself wondering the same thing. The fans are so loyal, so passionate, so invested in their stories. I always ask how they started watching Fraternity Row. Some of them were stay-at-home mothers taking a break before their children came home from school. Others? Were college students, with free time between classes. Many of them inherited a love of the show from their parents and their grandparents, who were long-time fans themselves. I remember the first time I tuned into Fraternity Row. I was hooked, instantly. I needed to know what would happen next to these fascinating people. Would the hero and the heroine find their way back to true love? Would the villains get their comeuppance, or would their crimes go unpunished? Would loving families overcome their obstacles, or would their troubles become too difficult to surmount? Ultimately, that's what soap opera is about. Families. Close families, rival families, even families that are unexpected. Or the ones we choose for ourselves. And when a show is lucky enough to be on the air as long as Fraternity Row has been on, these families become extensions of our own. The audience might be upset when a favorite actor leaves. But they're always willing to welcome a new one, even when that new one is quite different than the one being replaced! [I wanted to leave this speech without comment, but when they showed Kassie dePaiva here quite poignantly, my heart grew three sizes.  --Ed] After all, this is a place where people come back from the dead, go off to grade school in the morning and come home from high school in the afternoon! Because for every new face, every new couple, every new family, there are long familiar faces. Some who have grown up before our very eyes. And a few more we hope to watch grow up. We know them so well, they've become our friends. We yearn for their happiness, especially when it's hard-won. We laugh as they laugh, we cry as they cry, and we can't imagine doing without them. And when things are at their very worst on the show, that's when we seem to enjoy them the most. There's just one thing we have to do to keep them in our lives. Tune in tomorrow.

There's not really any way to elaborate on that, is there? It's pretty much perfection on a plate. I don't have the intellectual clarity to speak much about today's episode so, in the spirit of the speech about soap operas being something we can share, I'm going to share with you guys something a little personal (and maybe typo-laden and sometimes embarrassing). One of my best friends and I (we go back almost twenty years at this point) both watch the show and we g-chatted it while watching today. She was watching it for the second time, just to clarify some of her statements, and she gave me permission to reprint it. It's silly, I know, and probably absurd to think any of you would want to read it... but then I remember it might be awfully close to the exact viewing relationships and kinds of reactions you had today or ten years ago or any day ever over the last 11,000+ episodes. So it can't hurt, can it? When I am otherwise speechless? So here it is. Keep in mind that this is us, with no regard for diplomacy or fairness or punctuation or spelling or capitalization or...

me:  opening credits.
after little sam hopefully said "across town?'
i'm dying
tell me when you're there, i'm paused
 Jessica:  almost there.
 me:  i'm already blubbering.
 Jessica:  yes.  it's blubbering worthy.
me: the CREDITS are making me cry
 Jessica:  YES.
 me:  omg liam is SO cute in his little jacket and hat!
 Jessica:  look at liam in his wintery get-up.
i can't believe how much this couple has sucked me in in the last few days.
 me:  i know.
movies without sympathy hehehehehe
 Jessica:  i KNOW!
 me:  Judith Light!
 Jessica:  JUDITH!
 me:  "Television actress!" (please, she's a BROADWAY actress!)
 Jessica:  I love Hilary B.
 me:  And Scott Sickles wrote today's script. Perfecto.
 Jessica:  It's a miracle.
 me:  Gigi temp brunette dye job is fading and spotting fast!
 Jessica:  Yup!
 me:  Wait, who are they staying with in London?
I missed it.
 Jessica:  They're staying at the Buke compound of course!
 me:  Who were they talking about "keeping her clothes on" though. Kelly?
 Jessica:  Yes.  I don't understand that part.
 me:  Gigi used to walk in on Rex/Kelly accidentally naked a lot.
"don't you love us anymore?" SAMMM!!!!
 Jessica:  OH RIGHT!!!  I completely forgot!
 me:  I love that Blair just assumed she'd absorb Hope as yet another child.
 Jessica:  I know.  I know.
 me:  Aw, Todd.
Hehe. All the anti-LA talk from the people on their way there as we speak!
 me:  Oh Agnes.
OH AGNES.
 Jessica:  Hang on.
 me:  What?
Pause?
 Jessica:  I mean that literally.  You're going to want to hang on to something.
 me:  oh
playing again
i'm hanging onto this chardonnay
 Jessica:  sorry about that.
 me:  oh god i love her so much
 Jessica:  yup.
 me:  HA! Baker watches it too!!!!
 Jessica:  of course he does!
 me:  And may I say: ADDIE!!!!
I do wish we had seen the Addie/Todd reunion.
 Jessica:  I know!!!!!  Being Blair's mama and Starr's grandma!
 me:  Oh no the Mannings are killing me.
 Jessica:  blair is the most wonderful woman on the planet.
 me:  Will she be our sister?
 Jessica:  oh, god.  YES.
 me:  Maybe in London Shane can get a haircut.
 Jessica:  SERsly
 me:  Or a... what's a haircut called there?
 Jessica:  i think it's just a haircut?
 me:  Damn. I was hoping it was something cute.
 Jessica:  my husband calls it a trip to the barber's.
but that's cuz he's from a dickens novel.
 me:  The Evans fam!
Schuyler and Greg talk!
 Jessica:  Doesn't Roxie look beautiful?
I know!
GOD I LOVE ROXIE
me:  I'll miss her so much.
Okay I have to stop with that shit.
 Jessica:  yes.
 me:  Ha! Bo's producing days were FR's "golden age."
 Jessica:  Bo.  Bo.  Bo.  Bo has a very good day today.
I KNOW.
 me:  I like how no one gives a crap how the teen just out of a coma feels about being a dad any day now.
Ha! "those IDIOT writers who will probably have a last minute bombshell with a DNA test"
Aww, Roxy is killing me.
 me:  Ads. FF-ed. Back to Blanca.
 Jessica:  i know!  sorry got kicked off.
okay.  hang on to your hat, weez.
 me:  Oh yeah I was warned about this monologue. I have to transcribe it later.
 (LONG PAUSE WITH NO G-CHATTING)
 me:  I NEED A DOCTOR.
 Jessica:  YES.
 me:  ok commercials, i need a break, hang on.
 (LONG, LONG PAUSE AGAIN)
 Jessica:  okay.  yes.  let me know when you're ready to go again.
that was my NOT ALRIGHT I AM NOT ALRIGHT.
 me:  i'm sure
i just need a minute
 Jessica:  i'm a shaky mess all over again.  how you doing?
 me:  i have to TRANSCRIBE that speech later
holy shit
 Jessica:  and you can have it.  i need it too.
i couldn't keep my hands steady enough to type it.  seriously.
best fucking show ever.  i'm sorry.
 me:  HOW CAN THEY TAKE THIS AWAY FROM US
 Jessica:  I don't know.  But my god, the love.
 me:  my nose won't stop running
 Jessica:  mine either!
 me:  this mean dog is just lying next to me snoring like it's no big whoop
bitch.
 Jessica:  indeed she is.
 my dog thought i'd lost it earlier.  well, i had, so.
 me:  okay. i think i'm ready to press play again
ready?
 Jessica:  yes.  well i was.  youtube is screwing up.  hold on.
 me:  ok
 Jessica:  okay.  go!
 me:  done
oh their faces! i love this cast so much!
  "that is one nutty fraternity." tootsie!
 Jessica:  I KNOW.  best ever.
 me: "i said it was ridiculous, i didn't say it was bad!" love that.
awwww subtext
 Jessica:  i know!!!
 me:  rex loves his mama !!
 Jessica:  of course he does!
i love shaun.
me:  oh! shaun and vivian...?
 Jessica:  i love you shaun!  i'll love you!
 me:  and his parents love it!
 Jessica:  I know!
 me:  bo has a cane like me
 Jessica:  awwwww.
step-nora will always make me giggle.
 me:  yes
awww, the soap made clint cry
and vimal got the dna results!
 Jessica:  clint is crying.  and again.
it's hard.
the music.
 me:  and clint just loves his girls. "our story is just beginning." GAH!
and the theme song underscoring it!!!
 Jessica:  i know!!!!!!!
 me:  oh the actors are having a rough go keeping it together
 Jessica:  yep.
 me:  i could not love them more than i do at this moment
 Jessica:  nat has a really hard time.
 me:  of COURSE jack hated the end of the soap
 Jessica:  hehehehe.
 me:  aww, todd's growing up. he wants starr to stay but he's not pulling anything.
 Jessica:  oh, todd and shorty.
 me:  Aww, Natalie stormed in their wanting her bro to stay. Love it!
oh, nat
 Jessica:  yeah, she breaks me today.
 me:  i've fallen in love with nat all over again these last few weeks
 Jessica:  I KNOW!!!  IT's been so great.  I loved her for so long.  And then I didn't.  And now I do again!
I even like Rex again.
 me:  Yup.
 Jessica:  Oh, Bo.
 me:  I love every one of these people so much right now.
 Jessica:  I KNOW
I KNOW I KNOW
OWWW
 me:  Robert S. Woods, be my friend.
oh shit slo-mo hugs.
 Jessica:  even a nice starr and jack moment.  seriously.
perfection.
 me:  ROXY AND NAT
 Jessica:  I know!!!!!!!!!!!
 me:  And as usual, KdP breaks me. Or wait, I already broke long ago.
 Jessica:  No kidding.
oh my god.  this is every bit as harsh. even when you know what's coming.
 me:  Wait. I'm paused at the end of the ads. It's the last segment. After this there's only the finale. I can't do it.
 Jessica:  You have to.
me:  just hang on a sec
 Jessica:  Seriously.  Deep breaths.
Okay.
let me know when you're ready.
(INTERLUDE HERE WHERE WE TALK ABOUT HOW SHARING THIS SHOW FOR THESE DECADES HAS MEANT SO MUCH TO OUR FRIENDSHIP AND THEN WE BOTH GET EMBARRASSED BECAUSE NEITHER OF US IS USUALLY SENTIMENTAL IN THE LEAST.)
 me:  ok.
i'm pressing play. it's now or never.
 Jessica:  k.  go weezie!
 me:  aww, vimal.
 Jessica:  i know.
 me:  uh oh. mannings.
 Jessica:  okay.
yeah.
 me:  shit
kdp and rh are magic forever and ever.
 Jessica:  the most magic there is.
 me:  did todd just say "it's not about me"????
wow.
 Jessica:  YES!!!!!
me:  my nose is running too todd!
 Jessica:  todd's nose is running too!
 me:  oh my god!
tomas!
 Jessica:  i know!!!!
 me:  holyshitholyshit
"if you want me i'm yours"
 Jessica:  yep!
 me:  I WILL DIE.
 Jessica:  i know!!!!!!!!!
 me:  ASA!!!!
 Jessica:  and asa
 me:  bo, nora, nigel. perfect right there.
 Jessica:  yep.
i'm not crazy about moralistic david.
but i like "i buked up"
 me:  love it
buke up! huh. i can HALF get behind matthew as a dad when they put it that way. i'm such a sucker!
 Jessica:  i love that being a buchanan means so much to david.
 me:  and not financially like at first.
 Jessica:  yep.
me:  jesus christ. okay. i didn't want the birth to be on the finale, but it is. in every other way that's one of the most perfect hours of soap i have ever seen in my life.
 Jessica:  so that's about the best penultimate episode of anything ever.  ever.  in the history of everything.
it was.  it really really was.  i'm even kind of excited about the baby.  i'm all looking forward to tomorrow.  Until.
 me:  i'm not. i want tonight to last forever.
Well, there it is. In case you hadn't already realized what a total dork I am, I just wanted to make sure you all had that gift/ammunition!

I don't have it in me to say much more but I can't let today's episode go by without leaving you with a screencap of our beloved show's adorable and brilliant creator, Agnes Nixon:

Agnesnixon

We thank you, Agnes, and we salute you!

So again, the comment guidelines this week: don't be mean. No one can take it.

And again I ask, how's everyone holding up? (I myself have, well, handled other things in my life perhaps with more strength and grace than this? GAAAAHHH!)

Comments

Holy crap, I can't believe we're here. Of the four soaps I've done the deathwatch on, this one is closest to my heart, and I've been in such strong denial about this for so many weeks... which may explain why, apart from Viki/Erika's speech, I haven't felt anything from this final week of shows. Nothing. Zip. Nada.

At least on AMC's last week, we got some lovely montages and a drop or two of closure. I was hoping for at least that much here, but I guess I'll have to create my own ending in my mind.

Here's to you, OLTL. Whichever (if any) soaps I watch from here on out, they'll never mean as much to me as you. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, you have been, and always will be, *my* soap.

One Life to Live fan since 1993, signing off

Louise you are the best! Thanks for all your hard work, your humor and your wit! I loved reading every line of that exchange between you and your friend!

I hope you are going to watch GH now. I plan on picking that show back up for the Mannings and even McBain!

I haven't read this yet and I'm going to now but I have to ask this question from today's show. How in the hell were Vicki and Clint home from the hospital THE DAY AFTER THEY WERE SHOT/HAD HEART ATTACK like none of that ever happened??? How do I know it was the next day BECAUSE JOHN AND NATALIE WERE STILL IN THE BED TOGETHER. Ok. Rant done. Off to read now.

I don't watch OLTL and of course, am upset about its cancellation....but, WOW, that was an AMAZING scene! Beautiful words, wonderfully delivered by the amazing Erika Slezak - I'm crying!!

SO happy Schuyler was finally referenced. In the Prospect Park in my head, Sky indeed gets paroled and begins a new life with the help of his mom Roxy.

Liam and Ryder in the same room! And no Ford in sight! Love!

Are we actually supposed to be rooting for Tea with her snide asides and constant rubbing of the baby bump?

Viki's speech and the montage that accompanied it was lovely.

Thank you for transcribing the monologue, Louise. It was perfect. The writers get it, and Erika Slezak - ah, so warm, so understated. I'm grateful for the show's inclusion of that moment.

Like you, I liked and cared about *every* character today. The actors were wonderful.

My heart goes out to you and your friend. I think it was an act of kindness for you to share your chat with us. (hugs)

Loved your post and other then my initial irritation at the lack of realism of gunshot victims being home, it was a good episode.

It was a beautiful episode today. I just cannot believe that OLTL is ending...It just hasn't hit me.

Didn't you just crack up when Kassie half-smiled during Erika's monologue? lol

Today's episode was lovely. Louise, you are lovely and I am glad you are who you are do what you do (and Mallory too.) You are setting a great space for us to commiserate and discuss One Life To Live.

I am a tough critic. I panned yesterday's episode (and held back a lot because of the guidelines set) but with that same set of eyes and heart, I openly weeped over today's episode. In fact, I was a mess over the closing of the Fraternity Row episode and the opening of Monday's time spent 'between heaven and hell.' One Life To Live is a soap I have watched for nearly 25 years and when I reflect on all of truly great moments as a soap viewer in that time, they were nearly exclusively from this soap. I cherish my One Life To Live memories. After today, I am highly curious as to what tomorrow's finale will bring. I suspect it will be filled with more reveals and intrigue, while today's episode was high on sentiment.

There are no words. I had to work today and I actually have a fun little 'frou frou" job at a little boutique but for some reason, I just couldn't find my "happy place" today. Then I got home and realized today is the next to the last day of OLTL! OLTL has been my show for so many reasons. I just watched today's epi and holy smoke! I went through half a box of tissues. Today's show made me proud to say I have been a fan. John and Nat and adorable little Liam in his hat with his binkie and his big eyes, Ryder and Jess, Roxy and the Balsom/Buch sibs, the Evans, Patels and the Mannings-there are no words but perfect/lovely/heartfelt unforgettable! Viki's monologue -oh how I was nearly sobbing and then David and his Pa and little bro. and Step Nora had me giggling. The mention of Judith Light-LOL. Kudos to the writers actors and crew. I have no idea what I will be like tomorrow after 2 p.m. Thanks for blogging Viki's monologue. Anyone who doesn't "get" the genre needs to read that and they will understand the passion of the soap fan.

The Revolution thing in the corner. They just couldn't help themselves, could they?

Sigh.

donna, you're killing me! I didn't even NOTICE that crap today, I was so absorbed (so, you know, suck it Revolution). How dare they?!

Viki's speech made me cry and it made to realize I am really not ready to let go.

I heart Erika Slezak, Victoria Lord forever!!

Thank you for the recap. I am eager to watch this episode but can't risk it until my work week is over. I started watching OLTL in 1973 and still remember Meredith Lord Wolek's death. Although I missed many episodes before VCRs were affordable, it was always a homecoming to start watching again. For at least the last 20 years, through the highs and lows in Llanview, my husband and I have relaxed with these families. I've been burning these last episodes to DVD, and I'm sure we'll occasionally view them just to remember. We'll have a lot of time, since we won't be recording and watching reality and talk. Viki's monologue captured exactly what soaps have meant to generations of families. We are all poorer for their loss.

I was so teary-eyed watching today's episode especially during that speech. I'm really not sure how I'm going to make it through tomorrow. I love all of these characters so much, saying farewell to them is going to break my heart.

Just finished watching today's episode and it was awesome and totally made me cry because I got the feeling that all the tears onscreen were not acting. I hope there's a final episode party at a bar tomorrow because I'm gonna need it, and if I puke up, I hope I can Buke up!

I'm glad they had Viki make that speech for another reason besides its being such a valentine for OLTL fans: Somebody needed to eulogize the soap genre in this way. Soaps are a dying breed, and I don't think that's going to reverse itself. No one who really cares (e.g., Agnes Nixon) is in a position to do anything about it, and no one who is in a position to do anything about it, really cares. It's a damn shame but it's the reality. Given that, what Viki said . . . needed to be said. Somebody needed to state, for the record, what the soaps have meant to people over the last half-century plus, why they've been important to people, what they've meant to people, why people have watched--why soaps have MATTERED, and STILL matter. It was an incredibly beautiful bit, and I'm so grateful that as they were constructing the wrap-up, they thought to include something like this. It really does mean a great deal that goes beyond even its incredible importance for viewers of this particular show.

This sucks...somethin' awful.

Todd and Blair said it best. Today's show proved that the human body is mostly water, because I sure felt a little weepy through the whole thing. I thought it was an amazing episode. I thought the goodbyes were done beautifully - even the Balsoms, and I wasn't usually a fan. Today, who the hell cares? I can't bear to see anyone go - Fords excluded, of course.

Vicki's speech - priceless. All the little nods, Judith Light, etc., seeing Addie, too much heartfelt goodness to mention...

Louise, thanks so much for doing this. And I know we feel your pain. You've captured the essence of this show like no-one else.

Losing this show just sucks.

Michael, your spot-on analysis was stated beautifully. ICAM.

After re-watching, I am amazed by how stunningly beautiful Kassie DePaiva, Melissa Archer and Bree Williamson are.

Was anyone else wishing it would Victor who rescued Tomas rather than McBain? That would have been a wonderful surprise.

So I broke down and watched today's entire episode. Beautiful from start to finish. Roxy and Rex and Bo and Rex, OMG, the way Bo's voice broke... I'm certain those were real tears from RSW (from all the actors). And Clint with Jessica, Natalie and Viki. Then there was Blair, Todd and Starr. The tears in Blair's and Starr's eyes like a real mother and daughter saying goodbye (and I'm sure it must have felt that way for KDP and KA after 13 years together). And Todd, the way he looked at Starr while hugging her goodbye--it was like the same look he had when he held Starr for the first time. I pretty much lost it then. Like SharonGS said, ES's monologue captured it all. Soaps are about families, generations of families, the highs and lows, and OLTL even at it's worst seem to always get that.

I've said it before, I grew up watching ABC soaps (since 1979), but OLTL was always my favorite. I hate to see it go off the air, but am glad they're doing it with class!

You guys are warming my heart. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts here! I'm so glad this is a safe place for all of you to talk about how much this show has meant to you. I can't wait to hear more of your stories about how you got hooked!

*le sigh* Today's show was absolute perfection. Seriously. They could end it right here and I think it'd be okay. But no, we have to do this again tomorrow. For reals. So unfair. I loved Viki's monologue and whoever wrote it should get an Emmy just for that. Because it was letter-effing-perfect. The first time I watched OLTL, I was instantly hooked. There was a serial killer in Angel Square, there were some hot guys, and there was Robin Strasser (who I had loved years ago on AW); what else did I need? I stuck with it for years, until ... well, stuff happened. Work. The writing. The Santis. I just kind of drifted away. I decided, based on your praise of the last couple of months and the immense love for it everywhere the past weeks, that I'd check it out. I watched two weeks worth today; didn't get a whole lot else done. But John and Natalie are happy again. Rex and Gigi are going to London. Nora is the love of Bo's life. And RH and KdP are AMAAAAAAAAZING! Or as you said, Louise, "kdp and rh are magic forever and ever." Truer words were never spoken. And I can't believe that I just found the show again after years of not watching, and it's leaving me forever. Tomorrow. I'm sad, and I'm regretful over all I've missed. And I'm still really, really mad because it didn't have to come to this, at all, but here we are.

I feel like a baby because all you guys are saying things like "I've watched this show since the 70s!" and I wasn't even born yet. My mom has watched OLTL since the 70s, and there were points when I sort of knew what was going on, but I only really started watching in early 2008, when I was in 8th grade. It was the Starr/Cole storyline that drew me in, because I'd been watching AMC for a little bit and they didn't have any teenagers.

So by the time I got to high school, I was literally running home from school to watch. I'd watch old clips online, and half of the conversations I had with my mom revolved around our soaps. Apparently, most teenage girls don't spend hours watching soap operas with their mothers, but I always did.

Now I'm a senior in high school and I feel like I didn't get the chance all of you guys had. For you, it's the show you've watched your whole life. It's the show you watched with your parents and now you watch with your kids. For me, it's the show that kept me close with my mom during high school. We could be having a huge fight, and then I'd look over at my phone and have a text from her saying "John's tattoos creep me out" or "What is Jessica wearing????" And we'd be okay. Now all we can do is bitch about GH....

Thank you for sharing that gchat. I've watched since I was a toddler (I'm in my mid-twenties now) and I know exactly where you're coming from. Further, I have a friend who I got into the show just a year ago and we do the same thing--announcing pauses and all--by watching together via the internet. I don't know what I'm trying to say but I just want to thank you for sharing this specifically and everything else--especially the snark--in this blog.

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