Friday, September 17, 2010

Like Home

I've been thinking a lot about As The World Turns and Guiding light this week. The last episode of ATWT airs today and today marks one year since the GL's finale. It's still a little hard to believe that next week we will be without both of these American institutions that have given us so much for generations.

Last week I listened to a DayplayerDish podcast with Tina Sloan and JIll Lorie Hurst and called in to join in the discussion about these shows and the changes in the industry. Tina mentioned a story she'd just written about Lillian and Buzz, one year later. She said she was imagining sitting there in Company with Beth and Buzz and thought, "We can't go back there again."

That's when I realized why these shows have meant so much to so many for so long and why it is that those of us who haven't watched in years, maybe even decades, will feel the loss of As The World Turns along with viewers who never missed an episode.

It's like going home again.

When I go back home to Texas I see that so many things have changed. But I'll see the familiar among the new and I'll know it's still home.

I've been watching ABC soaps for decades but I tuned in to ATWT about a year ago and Dr. Bob Hughes was still there in Memorial Hospital, right where he belonged.I saw many new faces but some had familiar names like Hughes and Snyder. As long as Nancy and Lisa and Susan and Kim were there with Dr. Bob, it was still my Oakdale.

It is like going home again.

You know the town, the places, the names.

You know it's never going to be the same, but you still want to visit now and then.

You may not visit often, but it's comforting to know you could if you wanted to. If you needed to.

It made you happy just knowing it was still there.

In a fast moving world where changes often come before we're ready for them shows like As the World Turns and Guiding Light have been a constant as generations have followed the stories of generations on TV. During the past year Guiding Light fans have taken some comfort in being able to watch classic episodes on YouTube and, but the announcement has come that these will no longer be available after October 21, 2010. Watch them while you can. (edited to add: So far, these classic episodes are still available)

I think it is appropriate that this week has also brought us Tina Sloan's new book, "Changing Shoes" that talks about dealing with changes in life.  Thanks, Tina. We need this now.


  1. Funny when I found GL and started to watch that I said almost the same thing... "It was like going home." Now that it is gone I feel the loss of good human storytelling even more. I never watched ATWT but it's passing today reminds me of the loss we experienced last year. I guess these shows really had an impact as we are still feeling them today. Thanks Donna

  2. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of watching these two shows. I remember Liliy finding out that Iva was her birth mother. I remember Betsy lying at the base of a cliff. I remember what seemed like an endless summer without my soaps because the networks were airing live comverage of the Iran Contra hearings. I remember jumping to my feet and yelling at the TV when they froze on Reva's car midair after flying off a bridge in a Friday cliffhanger episode.
    It was like coming home, because every school break I could catch up. Everyone was right where I left them even if events had happened and the character's lives had moved forward. They were still there ready for me when I wasn't in school. I will miss the presence of them. Now knowing that I can't turn on the television some rare day when I'm at home and find these people waiting for me anymore.