Today was a bittersweet day in the history of daytime television; it was the end of an era. It was the end of One Life to Live a soap opera that had been running weekdays for the last 44 years. It debuted 10 years before I was born.
Like most modern soap opera fans my earliest memories include One Life to Live in the background. Summer vacations, sick days from school all included spending an hour with the folks on One Life to Live. My mom was always a soap fan, and because soap fandom, is genetic and always passed down from generation to generation eventually I was too.
As I got older I paid closer attention to the characters and storylines until one day I was not just watching because my mom was watching, but because I wanted to know what would happen next. Soon summer vacation meant catching up on the soaps. And as I became an adult it meant catching the soaps during my lunch hour when I could, having my mom fill me when needed, and of course going on maternity leave for the first time meant a healthy sudsy daily dose of soaps.
It’s hard to explain the draw to certain soap operas. But for me the biggest draw, was the comfort the soaps provided.
Whether it was rough days school, hard times when I moved out on to my own, or the stress of planning my wedding, the soaps were always there. As a grown woman I suffered a number of miscarriages before finally having my children. And on those horrific days when I was home from work curled up in my bed, guess who was there? Those same melodramatic characters that had been on the small screen my whole life. Ready with my temporary escape. When I was exhausted and in labor with my kids, guess what was on TV to try and take my mind off things? The soaps.
And so on and so forth.
It’s the comfort that there was something constant in this world I could count on to never change. That no matter what was going on in the world outside, or in my life the folk of Llanview would still be there, going about their soap opera lives like nothing had ever changed.
There are not a lot of constants in this world. Not a lot of things that we can rely on to never change and to always be there when we need an escape or a break from life. And one of the few constants in my life disappeared with the cancelation of One Life to Live.
So to a wonderful cast and crew who have worked so hard each weekday since before I was even born, I say adios and thanks for always being in the background when I needed you.