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

January 12, 2012


(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.
 Jessica:  Hang on.
 me:  What?
 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!
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.
 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.
 Jessica:  YES.
 me:  ok commercials, i need a break, hang on.
 Jessica:  okay.  yes.  let me know when you're ready to go again.
 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.
 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
 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
 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
 me:  Robert S. Woods, be my friend.
oh shit slo-mo hugs.
 Jessica:  even a nice starr and jack moment.  seriously.
 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.
let me know when you're ready.
 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.
 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"????
 Jessica:  YES!!!!!
me:  my nose is running too todd!
 Jessica:  todd's nose is running too!
 me:  oh my god!
 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:


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!)


Well, this was definitely a vast improvement: actual family scenes, Viki's speech, Agnes Nixon, Starr (quickest exit ever, I might add, because I'm not even sure she packed!) and the Balsoms departing, the nod to Asa/Phil Carey, etc. Finally an episode felt like a suitably epic denouncement to a four-decade institution and not just business as usual.

I'll give RC credit where it's due, because I was really worried the second I saw Blanca Morales that we were in for a massive trainwreck. But he pulled it off.

That should be "denouement".

We were a Days of Our Lives/Another World/Santa Barbara family but one day I saw Andrea Evans as Tina Clayton Lord Roberts and I was intrigued enough by her look that I gave OLTL a try. But I was hooked after viewing one of my favorite moments_ my actual sit-down-and-shut-up moment_ watching Gabrielle and Brenda fighting in Michael Grande's penthouse over Gabrielle having taken Brenda's baby. Fiona Hutchinson (Gabrielle) captivated me. I thought Gabrielle was the most exciting characters I had ever seen on a soap. My family could not understand why I liked OLTL and we only had one TV growing up, they accommodated me sporadically, so I watched sporadically. I remember feeling that OLTL was 'less glamorous' than other soaps. On the NBC soaps in the 80's every one was so perfect-looking and while the actors on OLTL were beautiful in their own right, the actors also seemed to not be afraid to act and everyone seemed 'accessible' if that makes sense. OLTL had a different identity although definitely soapy. I think a lot of that had to do with the acting of Erika Slezak who was in the thick of it but never seemed to "soap act" but REALLY act. As did Megan Tuck, Fiona Hutchinson, Susan Haskell and Hilary B. Smith.

Some of my favorite moments:

- I adored Megan and when she died in Jake's arms, I was heartbroken as well.

- Marty's gang rape was a surreal and shocking experience but absolutely riveting. No other storyline compares in my opinion and I think it's not only the single best OLTL storyline but one of the best stories ever told in daytime.

- Viki splintering into multiple personalities in '95. Erika Slezak is a force of nature.

- Todd's execution in 2006. That will always be my "Karen Wolek on the witness stand moment" and I think Trevor St. John gave one of the greatest performances in all of daytime.

My heart is breaking. I've been watching this show since the early 1980s when I was in grammar school. I started out watching General Hospital back in the day because my best friend's older sister got her hooked on it. And I used to catch the last half hour of One Life to Life because I rushed home from school to catch GH. It wasn't long before One Life to Live became my favorite soap. And then when I was able to watch All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital, One Life to Live remained my favorite. I was a die-hard ABC soap fan even though my mom was a CBS fan. I got a little choked up this summer when All My Children ended. But I didn't sob the way I sobbed while watching today's episode, or the way I just finished crying after reading your beautiful post. I feel like someone took my best friend, my husband and my dog. I'm heartbroken. I wish they weren't canceling this show. I so-so wish someone somewhere would stop it and keep this show on the air. But they are going out with a bang. Today's episode was the best tribute to the show and the fans. And still... my heart is broken.

OLTL has always been my favorite. I'm 30 and I grew up on it. Can't believe this is happening, paved like concrete over a forest, to make way for yet another "revolution" show that tries to make everyone feel inadequate instead of beautiful for who they already ARE. I won't be watching tomorrow, not for a long time. Heck, I cried on Friday when Vicki and Clint "died" side by side on the floor together. I sure as hell couldn't handle a goodbye forever!!

I haven't even watched the episode yet and I'm blubbering just reading your post Louise....ok, I watched the clip of Viki's voice- over which didn't help. Thank you for recapping this show on this website over the years. I've so enjoyed turning on my computer in the morning and seeing your take on the previous day's episode. Always brings a smile to my face. Not sure I'll be able to say that on Saturday or Sunday or Monday or whenever you are up to it to post about the........................ final show.

Thank you.

How I love Erika Slezak, let me count the ways.


I am beside myself right now. I can't believe that after going through this with AMC, I have to do it all over again today with OLTL. I love this show. It makes me smile.

This epi was awesome and wonderful and magical. Viki, Clint, Todd, Blair, Jessica, Sam, the babies, Bo, Nora, Matthew, John, Roxy, Shane, Destiny, Shaun, Vivian, Nigel...the list goes on and on.

I LOVED the Schuyler and Greg mentions, and am glad that Richard said they're good guys who made bad mistakes. Then I thought "Damn, there really were a lot of people in Statesville. Is Llanview a breeding ground for felons???"

I'm excited and sad for the the final epi, but I can't wait to see all of the people I love. I esp. can't wait for Jessica's paternity reveal. Everytime I see Clint and Jess in the commercial I lose it. Such a long time coming. Also, Todd & Blair!!! EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, I also had to pause repeatedly until I could calm down and forge ahead. I just couldn't stop crying.

At the finale even in Chicago, hearing Illene Douglas explain why Roxy's malapropism are a sign of genius makes the last episode go down a little bit more easily, Everyone here (actors and crowd) are charming the pants off me.

(The crowd just booed the end of The Chew)

Your Gchat was wonderful and pretty much summed up how I would assume all of us feel to some extent. (me, particularly, with the Shane's hair comment -- god, his hair is not flattering). I hope you are feeling okay today.

I got home last night and realized I just wasn't ready to watch it. I think I can't take 2 more goodbyes, I'm going to wait and watch it and today's together.

This is hitting me so hard. I'm not ready for the death of daytime. :(

Thanks Louise for sharing your love of OLTL with us. I'm really glad you'll be adding to the GH love and snark here. (I really hate James Franco just for trying to do soap acting...) In some ways, I guess we all wish our mom was DID but still loved us and the DNA test wasn't such a necessary plot device but gosh darn it THAT IS GREAT TV!

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