For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge soap opera fan. Not just any soap opera. For the majority of my life I lived and breathed One Life to Live. There were only a few times I tuned out; usually when some head/hack writer was trashing my favorite character, the ever-present Victoria Lord Gordon Riley Burke Riley Buchanan Buchanan Carpenter Davidson Banks (the show ended with her once again getting proposed to by the well-recycled husband Buchanan).
Some of my best and longest friendships were built based on a mutual love of the show. We met online and eventually went to events where we met cast members and got to learn some great behind the scenes things.
My first professional writing gig? OLTL coverage for Soapcentral.
Someone who doesn’t get invested in TV shows, daytime or prime time, couldn’t possibly understand how much these characters can come to mean to someone who has watched for years and years. You see the same people five days a week. You learn their secrets, their misdeeds, their loves, their hates. Sometimes you even learn what they are allergic to and in six months when you see them eating that specific thing they said would kill them, you gasp, hold your breath and wait…and then realize the continuity editor clearly missed that even though you, as a devoted viewer, knew.
When ABC cancelled OLTL I was furious. When the replacement show flopped and was cancelled within months I rejoiced (bitter, yes, but a well deserved failure). I bawled my way through the last episode. Not because it was sad, they ended in a happy note…but knowing this staple of my life, this great escape, was ending crushed my wee little romance writing heart like a sledgehammer would crush a tomato.
But soon the show will officially be resurrected. A good majority of the heavy hitters, including Viki’s portrayer the amazingballs Erika Slezak and powerhouse Jerry VerDorn (the latest version of Buchanan), are returning to a new studio to begin taping what is often referred to as OLTL 2.0.
Though ABC execs still have their heads firmly shoved up their own asses, another production company (rock on Prospect Park) believes that OLTL and sister soap, All My Children, are worth saving. The shows will tape in cycles with AMC taping their first new episode today.
The shows will be airing on iTunes, Hulu, and some other internet based locations. Lucksters like me can watch on their TV via the Netflix instant watch box, Roku which offers Hulu. Rumors have it Prospect Park execs are in talks with some cable stations, but I’m not holding my breath for that one.
I am over the moon with excitement. But also a little leery. Prospect Park has promised big stories, great drama, and heavy-hitting stories.
Those of us who have spent any amount of time watching a soap opera knows that when a new team of writers swoop in with big promises that usually means drastic changes in character behavior, storylines, and (the absolute worst thing ever!!!) alterations in show history. They have brought on show originator Agnes Nixon so I’m hoping she can keep them straight on who did what when.
I’m dying to know where they are going to pick up taping–with the proposal or are we going to be brought in a year and some odd months later. (Holy mother of daytime dramas, if I don’t see the wedding I will be so uber pissed!)
How are they going to explain the disappearance of some of the main characters?
When they rebuilt the sets did they copy what the old sets (which ABC destroyed immediately–the bastards) looked like or are they making new sets? If they use new sets, are they going to expect the viewers to ignore the drastic change the appearance of a town we’ve known for decades or will they somehow explain the changes?
I’m almost as excited about finding out the answers to those questions as I am to finally see those old familiar faces on my TV again.
As far as I know, the first air date has not been announced, but I assure you, I will be glued to the couch, probably holding a box of tissues much the way I did the last day the show aired on ABC just over a year ago.