When I left for the pool this afternoon, it was a little after two, and the red light that indicates the DVR is recording was not on. And when I returned before dinner, for the first time in, well, I suppose since 1987, when I got my first VCR, there was no recording of As the World Turns for me to watch. Of course, it had been quite a while since I had done more than fast-forward. But still, it was part of my daily routine for a long time – and now it’s not.
As for Friday’s finale, there’s not much I can add to Roger Newcomb’s assessment at We Love Soaps, “The past few months and weeks haven't felt like the ending of a beloved show.” I agree with Roger that the likelihood that any one episode could have satisfied me. And, like Roger, the finale didn’t bring me even close to tears, much as I, too, “ I wanted to feel something that would help tie up all my emotions and feelings about losing this show, this constant in my life.” It just wasn’t there – though it was for me in the show’s penultimate episode on Thursday.
As for the inevitable comparisons with Guiding Light, to crib from Roger Newcomb one more time, “GUIDING LIGHT's finale wasn't perfect a year ago, but the weeks leading it up to it felt like one big goodbye. Springfield felt like a real community. As AS THE WORLD TURNS leaves the air, Oakdale does not, and did not today.” For me, Roger’s observation is thrown into stark relief by the number of episodes I’ve saved on my still-jammed DVR: since ATWT’s cancellation was announced on December, I’ve got ten episodes; from the final week, two. For GL, I saved sixteen episodes from April-September 2009 – all five from the final week. And for the record, yes, the GL finale did make me cry.
As to why Christopher Goutman and Jean Passanante seemed to have gone out of their way to strip the final episode of any semblance of sentimentality, perhaps some thoughts I posted last week, and the week before might provide some insight. But, having Larry Bryggman back for the last few weeks was a joy, and was also a striking reminder of just how disconnected Oakdale’s stories had become in recent years, and just how easy it would have been to reconnect them.
Speaking of my analysis of Christopher Goutman, I wanted to thank my good friend, Patrick Erwin, for his shout-outs to my posts, that one, in particular. In his penultimate (I really do love that word:), post on his blog, A Thousand Other Worlds, he agreed with me, then added, “But, I think there’s more to the story.” He’s right; there is a lot more to the story of how As the World Turns ended up as it did – not cancelled – but a mere shadow of what it had been, and could have been again.
Patrick laid out a rough timeline beginning in 1993; it’s a good start, but there’s a lot to fill in. For the past couple of years I’ve been thinking about the differences between ATWT and GL. But, I’ve been thinking about ATWT’s final, slow slide that ended in last Friday’s finale for the past fourteen years – since I was on the set the week the 40th anniversary episode was taped. Since, I’ve been squirreling facts and observations, waiting… It’s going to take some time to get the material organized,; I’m not sure how long, and there’s another big project I’ve got to move forward. So, I’m not sure when I’ll have something ready to post. Stay tuned…
© 2010 Lynn Liccardo
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