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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 don't remember NOT watching it! LOL When I was really young my older sister watched it, so I was always kind of aware of it. The first storyline that I remember being fascinated by was the baby switch when Karen Woleck took Katrina Karr's baby and gave it to her sister Jenny. That one hooked me and I've watched it ever since then...well, until today that is.

I will miss my Llanview friends, I hope to see them turn up in other places...even Port Charles! Be careful nu-GH-former-OLTL writers, I'm fragile about these people! Don't toy with me...

It is the first ABC soap I watched b/c it was the one that was on when I came home from school.

Loved me some Asa, Karen, Jenny, Brad, Dorian, Marco, and the list goes on and on.

It's always the stories that get me hooked on any show, and OLTL was no different. I came and went over the years, but it will always have a special place in my heart.

Me too oltlgirl! I was HOOKED on Karen and Katrina. I think Marco Dane was my first "bad boy" crush ever.

OLTL was on every day at my Grandmother's house. She never sat down to watch but it was one of her stories along with Edge of Night and General Hospital. We kids would spend weeks at their house every Summer and even though we were just playing or coloring on the living room floor, those stories were on.

GH was MY first soap. 1978 was when I started watching after getting married at the stupid age of 17. I would watch Edge of Night, OLTL and GH every single day. GH was my favorite back then.

For a couple of years I had no cable and could only watch CBS so then I was an Y&R, ATWT (Oh Tom, Margo and Mr. Big!) and Guiding Light girl but as soon as I divorced, moved back home to my family, my sister got me hooked on AMC so then I was all ABC soaps again.

In the last few years, OLTL has really been my only must see soap and it's the best one on.

The death of soaps.. I CAN'T STOP CRYING!

I started watching OLTL when AW's Alice and Steve (George Reinholt and Jacquie Courtney) were fired and ended up at OLTL in like 1976. There, I discovered another world of Llanview and people like Joe and Viki, Vinnie and Wanda. Cathy and Anna and Jim Craig, Larry Wolek, Steve Burke, Victor Lord, Dorian Cramer and Mark (played by Tommy Lee Jones). I remeber Sister Jenny forsaking her vows and marrying Tim on his death bed. Then Karen and Marco came along. Pretty much while I was in H.S. Then came college and working full time as an R.N. and a very long period of time where I didn't watch. I started up again, watching off and on, when Natalie was introduced. I would go for very long periods of time not watching. But I had knee surgery this June and got hooked-big time! I knew about the cancellation and the reprieve and then the "2nd" cancellation. Biggest damn mistake-ever! So, while I watched way back in the day and was a "lapsed" viewer, the connection to the people of L'View was still there.

Originally, I got hooked on watching soaps visiting one or the other of my grandmothers-they both watched soaps although it skipped a generation as my mother hated soaps. go figure. But thanks to YouTube, I've caught up on many golden episodes and will continue to do so. Modern technology is grand, ain't it?

Breaks my heart to lose OLTL but I doubt I'll ever pick up another soap. Too much commitment and frustration. Soaps are on air 5 days a week and story lines take soo long to play out, I no longer have the patience. At least I admit it though I do feel a bit of a turn coat since soaps are failing so badly to bring in ratings-or so I'm told. back in my college days the nursing students had Friday afternoons free so we would gather in the lounge to watch and discuss our soaps but now none of my closest friends share my soaps. Glad to find your blog Louise and have a place to discuss or express my thoughts. And I will not say "never". Who knows, if I hear GH is getting really good with the OLTL folks crossing over, I might just check in and see what's happening.

I was about 4 or 5 in the late 80s and my grandmother watched the entire ABC daytime lineup. Much to my father's chagrin, I was IN LOVE with Gabrielle. To this day I have no idea why, or what story she was involved in at the time, I just knew that she was my favorite.

At some point she switched to the CBS lineup, and we became a B&B/Y&R/GL house, so my earliest memories of storylines come from those soaps. I fondly recall the mild freakout I had when I got back into OLTL in college and realized that Gabrielle Medina and MY Gabrielle were one and the same. I've been hooked ever sense, and will miss it very much. At some point in the last decade, I've watched every soap except ATWT, and IMHO, (air quotes, Morasco Fiasco, and getting all in the face of a nun, aside) One Life has been the best over the last few years.

I think there's so much to be said about the richness of soap history. And TPTB have really failed to recognize the power of new media. I honestly don't believe you can find a soap viewer under 35 who hasn't spent hours in a YouTube chain watching grainy decades old clips or reading character bios for characters who haven't been on in years.

I started watching because my mom watched--meaning I started watching from the playpen. At age four, I named a snow mountain in our yard "Llantano Mountain" and have watched ever since (albeit edited by my mom for my age). I'm 26 years old now and heartbroken that I'll never get to share it with my own children.

For 43 years, you have impacted my life. I just didn’t know it yet as I wasn’t born for another 17 years. So, for a decade, give or take a month, I have had the privilege of knowing you, of laughing with you, of crying with you, and of yelling at you. You opened up your home to me, to your family, your friends, your community. When times were tough, I escaped to you for comfort and you never once turned me away, well, maybe a few times when there was a natural disaster, or a major political news coverage/scandal, or a national event that required everyone’s attention and support. Every weekday for ten years, I came home to find you waiting patiently for me. Patiently being the operative word as sometimes it would be a week or two before I’d even get to see you. I apologize for making you wait, life should never be that busy to not be able to squeeze you in for 35 minutes. Thank you for letting me watch your kids grow up, for letting me be there during all those new loves, breakups, fights, marriages, divorces, reconciliations, births and deaths. Thank you for sharing (mostly) all those wonderful stories and for telling them with such exhilaration and with the occasional sorrow. Thank You for making me a part of your family.

For this, I will be forever grateful. Hopefully, one day we will meet again, but until then, your stories will always continue on in my head and my heart will always beat for I have only One Life to Live.

Goodbye Llanview. You will be greatly missed.

xoxo to infinity,


I think my mom started watching OLTL when it first came on the air. I was three at the time, but I have vague memories of it. I remember the '70s more. When I was thirteen my parents started home schooling us, so we watched soaps all day: The Doctors, Another World, Days, OLTL, and GH. I also remember watching Dark Shadows after school when I was younger.

I've had years where I didn't have a TV or later didn't have a VCR, so I missed quite a lot of the '90s, including the multiple personalities and Megan - and Eterna, LOL. But I consider myself a lifelong fan anyway. Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser are forever in my heart as the best actors on TV.

And something wonderful happened today: I was at the party for the last show, and I won a raffle for tickets to Robin Strasser's upcoming play! What a treat after an amazing and to me strangely uplifting finale. I am SO hopeful that FV and RC are working to keep this show going by migrating actors over to GH. I think it can be done without taking screen time from the vets who don't get enough anyway. And with any luck, they will save that show in the process and someone will give OLTL a new home as well. I guess I'm still in denial because I'm so sad, but I do think there's hope we'll see our Viki again :)

Oh, God. I'm just sad.

I started soaps in February 1993. I was about to turn 11 and had just had surgery on my ears. Was home from school for about two weeks. That's all it took--TWO WEEKS--and I was hooked for almost 20 years. I caught Bo and Nora together, but not yet TOGETHER, and was instantly enthralled. I couldn't stop smiling at the two of them, and in those days I enjoyed the whole show. OLTL was building to Marty's rape, Max and Luna were going their thing, Viki and Clint's marriage was all but over, Dorian was, well, Dorian.

After those two weeks on the couch, I made my mom buy me VHS tapes to I could record the show. And then, as soon as I got home, I cued up the VCR. Always. I watched religiously until 1999 when JFP destroyed my Bo and Nora. I couldn't watch after that. That was like saying goodbye to your first love.

I was thrilled when Bo and Nora reunited a few years ago. That chemistry. WOW. And today, I cried like a little girl when RSW choked out a final "I love you, Red." Those two were/are magic, and now, it's over :-(

My Great Aunt used to come stay at our house for long periods of time when she was ill. . .my mom would nurse her back to health. She was mostly deaf and always had her "stories" blaring through the house. I used to watch with her, probably started when I was 12 or 13, and it was definitely Another World, but Llanview was one of her favourite places too. I remember a number of storylines from OLTL over the years, but bo and nora were my favourites for sure, and of course, Vicki. I haven't watched in years, but I watched this week, just for nostalgia. I think tptb are making such a huge mistake. . .people are so sick of 'reality' tv. . . they want tv that's NOT real, they want romance, thrilling stories. . . escapism. TPTB are such dumbasses and it's so sad.

A co-worker watched the ABC soaps & kept talking about this guy named Todd. After a period of resistance (yeah, I know, it's futile) I took some time off from work, watch the line-up & it took me about 5 minutes to get hooked on Todd, Blair & OLTL. I followed Roger over to ATWT in 2003 & when that one went off the air swore never again...until I read on RavenBeauty's site that he was coming home, then I was sucked right back in.

It's been thirty plus years. Sat with my grandma who watched Ryan's Hope, All My Children, Another World and Santa Barbara.

My mom watched One Life to Live and General Hospital.

So I have been watching with either of them for so long. Through the cancellation of RH and then Loving/The City. Through my flirtation with As The World Turns (hey Brian Bloom was cute), as a rebellion because neither Mom or Grandma watched.

But I always turned back to ABC. So hopefully everything works out.

My mom and her best friend started watching soaps when they were both pregnant. They watched all three ABC soaps - AMC, OLTL and GH. Llanview has always been a part of my life. I remember watching the old credits (when they showed Llanview) and contemplating the name of the show very seriously - I must have been 6 or 7. The characters were always a part of my life and I feel like I know some of them better than some real people. I loved Asa. I loved Max Holden. I loved Bo and Nora. I loved Rachel. I loved Tina and Cain. I loved young punky Kelly. I loved Dorian messing with David. I remember being confused about why Joey would sleep with someone so much older (now I get it! Dorian was hot!) I remember loving when Todd became friends with CJ and Sarah. I loved when Starr tortured Max. I loved all the Cramer women! I loved the frenemies: Viki and Dorian, Nora and Lindsay, Blair and Tea ...

So sad. End of a great era.

I started watching, b/c I was randomly flipping through the channels one day while off from school, I think I was in middle school, and saw a man holding an entire cabin full of people hostage with a bomb strapped to his chest. I was intrigued.

Turns out that man was Todd Manning, and also turned out the bomb was fake, LOL. That was when I fell in love with both Todd Manning and OLTL.

I was from an NBC soap family & watched Another World until college. The dorm had one TV, & it was staked out by a devoted ABC soap watcher, so I started watching AMC,GH,& OLTL. My best early OLTL memories are of Todd & Blair first hooking up, (which made me a lifelong Todd/Blair /Tea fan) & the hot Joey & Dorian love story. And these past few years & esp. this week have reminded me why I first loved it.

I was raised on ABC soaps... So I've been watching OLTL for more than 30 years.

Some of my earliest OLTL memories involve Eterna (ha!) I just loved Roger Gordon - not like a crush, more like I thought he was a cool guy. And Tina and Bo - these three were my very first favorites. I've also loved so many more people: Dorian!!! Natalie!!! Max!!! Asa!!! Brody!!! Matthew!!! Tea!!! <3 <3 <3 I'll miss you guys.

I fell for OLTL during the the first Cord/Tina go around. I was just a kid and didn't realize I was supposed to hate Kate. And thus began my lifelong Marcia Cross love. I also loved Max and the now forgotten big bad of that era, Jamie Saunders. I gave up on it around Eterna (that was too farfetched for middle school me), got hooked again in college when Todd showed up and Llanview was the soap town that went grunge. Todd and Blair and I transitioned into adulthood together, with similar high highs and low lows, though his life was far more dramatic. In some ways, I know these characters better than my own family. I only see my Mom a few times a year now, but I spent an hour each day in Llanview.

Thank God OLTL decided to do its sentimental episode yesterday and go out like a rebellious anti-hero today, defiant to the end, knowing it was going to leave fans jonesing for more and ready to storm the castle instead of curling up in a ball. Today, we are all Cramer women.

Very wonderful stories and sentiments here. I just copied and pasted what I had in the "Two"-thread because I thought it fit here.

-- Lousie, I hope you are holding up today. My solidarity is with you and all of the other OLTL fans here.

"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 earliest recollections of watching One Life to Live date back to the mid-late '80s with my babysitter, an ancient woman named Juanita who never ever revealed her true age but had to date back to the Cretaceous period. I remember the Peabo Bryson theme, the opening sequence, and Cord and Tina, Max and Gabrielle, etc.

I started watching for real in 1993, at the age of 11, shortly after Marty's rape. I had wanted to watch AMC because I had a childhood crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kendall Hart, but the show was too frothy for me at that time (I came to appreciate that much later) and I much preferred the edgier, "realer" One Life to Live and its cast of characters. I was endlessly fascinated by Robin Strasser as the formidably dreadful Dorian Lord (which seemed like such a foreboding name), I identified with Hillary B. Smith as Nora (and Susan Haskell as Marty), I loved Max and Luna, and Viki reminded me a great deal of my own mom. And still does.

This show has been a part of me for well over half my life and I have a hard time imagining a world without it.

I think it was around 1975. I rushed home every day from school just to watch Tim and Jenny. Jenny was sweet and a novice nun. Tim was gorgeous and my first crush. He was falling in love with Jenny who, for some reason I couldn't fathom, was resisting him. Finally, Jenny admitted she loved Tim too, but then tragically, he died. I was crushed!

But I continued to watch and I'm so glad I did. I wouldn't have missed this ride for the world.

Thank you, OLTL. You will be missed.

I started watching OLTL and GH when I was roughly 9 years old. My babysitter, who was like another grandmother to us, watched both shows each and every day, so like it or not, if I wanted to watch afternoon TV in the summertime, I'd have to watch them, too. This was around '92/'93, so I remember Marty accusing Rev. Carpenter of being gay and, of course, Marty's rape. (For GH, it was Robin/Stone and the Nurses Ball.) Oh! And Viki's DID/abuse storyline.

Eventually I grew up and had to start going to junior high, which directly conflicted with OLTL, so from pretty much the ages of 13-26 (I'm almost 29 now) I was exclusively a GH girl. But because GH has become so dark and is now so different than it used to be, a few years ago I started to tune in to OLTL again, and its soapiness sucked me in. It was what GH used to be, and I was again hooked, spending hours on Wikipedia and YouTube catching up on characters and storylines, mainly involving Viki, Todd and Blair.

It's strange to me how incredibly sad I am for the ending of a show that I've spent so actual little time watching (compared to many fans and compared to my own GH history), but I think it's because I'm mourning a part of my childhood. Like I said, my babysitter was like my grandmother, and soaps remind me so much of her. And while I may have taken years off to grow up (I rarely watched anything during my time in college), I always knew soaps would be there when I wanted to come back. Kind of like a family when you go off to be on your own, only to come home for holidays and vacations to find nothing's changed. They're comfort; they're family. And I'm so sorry the genre is dying.

I had moved to the U.S. towards the end of the school year. I was lonely and there was no time to get involved in extra-curriculars. Also, Oman - where I had lived prior to moving to the U.S. - we got the U.S. soaps (like B&B) like a year behind schedule and I don't remember ever seeing OLTL.

The first episode of OLTL I ever remember watching was Blair pushing Tea out the window. I was all, "Well, I have to see what happens next." And I was hooked. Once the school year started, I didn't get a chance to keep up but that's what the summers were for. I was in love with Blair Cramer and I wanted to be Dorian Lord.

I switched between soaps often but OLTL always stayed with me. There was a time in college when I used to make sure that my classes ended around 1:30p so that I could get home to watch OLTL and GH. My roommates and I bonded over the stories and characters that we enjoyed and over those we hated.

I returned to the show last year to witness its swan song. I am forever grateful to see Todd, Blair, Viki, Dorian (for a bit), Natalie, and Jessica again. They are parts of some of the best times of my life. They helped me become closer to people I lived with and people I worked with.

What I always loved about soaps is that you could take a break for years, or like I often did, for the school year, and then you could come back and within an hour or so, you'd be caught up in the lives of the soap denizens again. Come Monday, I won't be able to do that for most of the residents of Llanview and that is a truly sad thing.

Like Ariel I started watching when "Steve and Alice" moved from another world and became "Pat Kendall and Tony Lord". The first storyline I remember was crazy Cathy Craig Lord stealing Kevin (or was it Joey?) from Viki and Joe. Got me hooked from the start. And when Robin Strasser started playing Dorian it was another blast from the another world past since she had played Rachel.
Like others I've been an off and on viewer but I always kept up with what was going on. Not sure what I can add to what others have said about the show ending and what Viki said in her VoiceOver on Thursday. She spoke for all of us. Goodbye Llanview.
Thanks Louise for your insight, your commitment and your humor. I knew that even if I missed a day I could count on you to keep me updated, even during some of those crappy storylines we sometimes got.
PS. Haven't watched the final episode yet. Not sure when I will. Prolonging it as long as I can.

I also started watching in the summer of 1993. OLTL was my first soap, and I think the first scene I ever tuned into was in the courtroom during the early part of the Marty Saybrooke rape trial. I was so spoiled. I was a tween girl and I figured all soaps were like this, so I was hooked.

I tuned in and out over the years, though I've been back for the end. Llanview will be missed.

I watched when Tina was on, around 1985. She's the one who drew me in.

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.

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