Friday, January 13, 2012

A Soap Love/Goodbye Letter

Dear One Life To Live,

Let me start by saying that I'm so sorry that it took me so long to say that I love you.  I guess I was a little embarrassed, you being a campy soap and all.  But the truth is, it is your ability to do embrace the genre with a self aware wink to the audience that has made me love you so.  I am a little heartbroken that you are ending and am going to miss you terribly.  But we've had a good ride, haven't we?

Truth be told, it wasn't love at first sight.  Not to sound slutty but I kind of just started seeing you because you were hanging around in the general vicinity of my other soaps.  I watched you all at the same time, on occasion flipping channels when your back was turned.  I was in high school then, and I guess one daytime drama just couldn't hold my interest for very long.  I barely remember those days.  I think you did a musical in prison.  That was fun.  But I had to experiment with other TV shows.  It just wasn't the time for us.

In college, we barely saw each other at all.  There was that brief fling when you had that AMC baby switching crossover (oh, how bold you were) and I was mildly entertained by the whole multiple personality thing, but my sleeping/school schedule then just wasn't conducive to the hours you wanted me to have to see you.  And so we lost touch.  I heard about you from time to time, on the Internet or from friends but to be honest I never thought we'd see each other again.

Then, when I started working something magical happened.  I had a TV in my office and you were on during my lunch hour.  So it began, casually as I suppose it often does.  I was having a thing with Days Of Our Lives at the time, but would catch you on occasion and soon once and a while turned into a few times a week.  I remember the moment it all changed.  It was Bo and Nora's wedding and you were spectacular.  You were over the top but you knew it and rocked that shit.  There was a bold confidence there that I was drawn to.  From that point on, you had my heart.  And for the past year I've looked forward to our lunchtime dates every single day.

I guess I knew that I was in love when Todd came back.  I always knew that you could rock the funny but never quite realized that you had some really layered characters that could make you kind of complex.  The anti-hero who had atypical reactions (the less likeable on paper, the more likeable in reality) stole my heart.   Couple that with your cliffhanger moments at the tag of each episode and that was it.  I was hooked.

This past week leading up to the finale has continued to enforce everything that I've loved about you.  The big jail break, bringing back old characters and shedding a light on the ones that we love, was brilliant.  And yesterday's penultimate episode was beautiful.  The ballsy soap within a soap thing has been entertaining thus far, but using Fraternity Row's finale to talk about all of the wonderful things that soaps accomplish and the true sorrow that the possible end of the genre brings was powerful.  And more importantly, it was true.  Soaps have connected generations (I started watching them in the womb) and have allowed people to grow up with characters.  The characters on them become your friends and family, the town your home.  I can't believe that we'll never see Llanview again.

I'm really going to miss this show.  I'm going to miss the ever wise Vicki and her feud with Dorian. I'll think fondly of Jess and Tess and all of her other personalities (except that strange high school one).  I'll long for the strength of the Cramer women, the sweetness of Bo and Nora (and the father-son nature of Bo and Rex) and the wackiness of Roxy.  I'll  smile when I remember the Ford brothers and their tendency to whip off their shirts at a moments notice.   And what will be life without the hysterical ramblings of lovable narcissist David Vickers or the cuteness of adorable namesake she-dog David Vickers?  Hell, I'll even miss Natalie and her crazy eyes.  And I'll really, really miss Todd.  (Until he shows up on General Hospital).

So Goodbye One Life.  Goodbye to your ballsy meta-rants, your musicals, your lovable shtick.  Goodbye to the DNA test result swaps, twins galore and teen parents.  Goodbye to the heart and soul you have brought to daytime television and the humor and smarts that you have done it with.  I'll miss you, but I'll always love you.  Because this is for keeps.



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