Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

As The World Wobbles

As The World Turns comes to an end shortly, after decades on the air, and it's all your fault. Yes, you. And me, what with the fact that I've never watched it. It'll no doubt be replaced by infomercials, chat shows, game shows, or something produced by Oprah (or Aunty Demonica, as we refer to her down in the Seventh Circle of Hell).

The soap opera format seems to be on life support, with fewer and fewer by the year. Guiding Light bit the dust last year, after all, after even longer on radio and television, and it seems the television networks would rather go for the cheap and glitzy then, oh, give an honest try to scripted drama.

Now, having had never watched the show, I can only rely on the information being sent my way. For all I know, the show could have a clown love triangle that I haven't heard about.
"Oh, Bozo, you know I love you, but I'm pregnant with Smoochy's child."

"Chatty Cathy! How could you!!!"
Well, anyway... before this derails into a clown soap opera blog (it hasn't already???) a few facts about the show in question:

There's Lily, adopted daughter of tycoon Lucinda Walsh, who married her biological cousin. When hubby Holden was erroneously declared dead after a fiery accident, Lily immediately remarried her snarky ex, Damian, father of her gay son, Luke, whose boyfriend Noah was blinded in an accident for which Daddy was responsible. Luke fought to get an arrogant neurosurgeon, Reid Oliver, to operate on Noah and restore his sight. Noah pushed Luke away in a sea of self-pity, and Luke ended up with Dr. Reid.

And then there's Henry, who was at one time was married to his best friend, Katie. Then Katie married Brad, who was accidentally killed by his cop brother, Jack. Henry, meanwhile, fell in love with his half brother Paul's mother Barbara, who, along with Paul's wife, Emily, was taken prisoner by Iris, the annoying mother-in-law of Paul's other half-brother, Will. (Yes, I know. It's impossible to tell the players without a scorecard.) Emily's her own sister's mother--her mom, Susan, wanted to get pregnant and borrowed some eggs from Emily. 

Yes, my head hurts too. First: Lily marries a biological cousin, thinks another hubby (or is Holden another hubby?) is dead, so marries an ex who's a bit of a snake, and Susan snatches some of her daughters' eggs and gives birth to her own granddaughter and.... good god, my head really hurts now.

Is there anyone on this show who hasn't in one way or another slept with someone else at least by proxy?

Now that the show is racing towards its end, it's played around with the death of the unfortunate Reid (I say unfortunate, because he's got one of the worst names you can have for a surname, and there's the whole dying in a train crash too, can't forget that). His heart has been donated, thus giving him a chance to live on, in a manner of speaking, in the body of another. His ashes (most of them anyway, rumor has it Bob Marley's grandson is smoking some of it) are to be interned in the hospital where he worked (thus insuring that Doctor Oliver will never leave work again).

What next? The inevitable final scenes with a bigoted funeral home director and an estranged family. If the writers had the time, there'd no doubt be a months long lawsuit storyline culminating in a cathartic shift in thinking on the part of the formerly bigoted family, but not with a week to go. Unless they go with speaking seven months of dialogue at high speed. Which, let's face it, would just be silly. Or sillier.

One other note about this show before it gets sent off into the oblivion of cancellation. It seems that it's had its share of villains, and what are we to expect of villains in a soap opera? They never get the punishment they have coming. They like manipulating people, usually the heroine. They have a rather disturbing habit of coming back from the dead. A fellow by the name of Stenbeck is the culprit here. From what I've heard, one of his offspring tried to pass himself off as a younger version of the old man (what, did he take a Fountain of Youth potion and grow younger? who writes this stuff, and what are they smoking?) before being exposed.

What is it about the soap opera villain and their frequent ability to rise from the dead? Is this a standard bit of dialogue in the never ending world of the soaps:

"Ha ha ha, standard soap opera characters! You thought you had killed me off in the molten steel, but you only caused the death of my thirty eighth lookalike! Now I'm back yet again from beyond the grave to make your lives miserable, steal candy from babies, and run for Congress! Ha ha ha ha!!"

Goodbye, As The World Turns. You'll soon be joined by the rest as Oprah's minions continue to take over your time slots. Maybe Stenbeck can finally face justice at the hands of Judge Judy. Or turn up in an infomercial for blenders.

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