Today was a great day of soap. Of quintessential soap. Beginning with the end of Guiding Light, moving on to The Bold and the Beautiful, and then capping off with great stuff on One Life to Live.
I started the day sobbing, saying farewell to a show that I’ve watched for twenty years. Some people had problems with this final week, and I have nitpicks myself (no mentions of SEVERAL key Coopers and Spauldings who are off canvas?!), but overall, it was the kind of goodbye that most longtime soap fans dream of. Happy endings all around, family and children and romance. All the losers at love finally winning. Any sour notes were from what they left out, not what they included. Everybody got closure and yet there was enough left open that you know life in Springfield will never be boring. And fantastic performances were threaded throughout the whole week. Grant Aleksander (Phillip), Ron Raines (Alan), Tina Sloan (Lillian), and Marj Dusay (Alexandra) are just a few of the stand outs. And Robert Newman (Josh) is the one who kicked off my waterworks.
I was so sad that I couldn’t even conceive of turning on another soap today, but then I remembered how invested I am in B&B and OLTL lately. B&B continues to build the romance of Bill and Katie, and their love scene today was equal parts hot and tactful. I’m prudish, and too much skin often freaks me out. I watch many of B&B’s love scenes turning crimson with embarrassment. That wasn’t the case today. It was sweet, romantic, and yet sexy. And how good were Donna and Justin dancing around the subject of Marcus’ paternity and finally stopping the footwork to just put it out there? Jennifer Gareis and Aaron D. Spears are great together.
Also great are OLTL’s twenty-somethings. I cannot say enough about how the Fish/Layla/Kyle/Cris/Nick story is playing out. Oh, hell, I’m just going to call them the Fishbowl for short, okay? So, yes, the Fishbowl today was fab. I had feared that the scenes with Oliver and his parents would be, well, a lot like the jaunty orange How To Tell Your Parents You’re Gay book: glaring, a little tacky, and an obvious prop. But they weren’t, and Fish’s father didn’t come off nearly as much of a caricature as, say, ATWT‘s Col. Mayer. The surprise hit of the ep was David Fumero, as Cristian staunchly stood up for Fish and went toe-to-toe with George as if he was the gay one and not his pal. Best. Friend. Ever. And, of course, that leading into Fish’s confession was achingly painful. Much like Layla, my instinct was to go to Fish and wrap him in a hug. Oh, Scott Evans. You rock.
OLTL also featured a little more intimacy than hugging, when Kyle and Nick made out. I don’t want to turn it into a political statement every time a same sex couple kisses, and honestly it shouldn’t be, but go, OLTL! Good. Bravo. Treat them like anybody else…complete with a believable roadblock to them hitting the sheets: Kyle’s feelings for Oliver. I’m not one of those people who thinks a couple has to be chaste on a soap and cleave only unto each other. To me, the fact that Nick and Kyle are together only makes the anticipation for Kish all the more sweet. That’s how you tell a story.
This was the kind of soap opera Friday that would send me rushing home from school as a kid. Must-see, skip-last-period, character-driven drama.