Soap Opera Digest recently did a feature on the fifty most memorable moments in daytime.
Now, I understand that those magazines can’t just sit in the racks and look pretty, so they’ve gotta SELL, and for that, they have to focus on the four surviving shows. Fine, okay.
But Guiding Light really had only one memorable moment? (Three guesses what they listed…..red dress, fountain, SPLASH.) I believe ATWT got a mention (deservedly so) with “Hello, Barbara.”
I know page counts are limited, and there probably isn’t extra room on their still-looks-like-1996 website, so let ME be the one to rectify this oversight, and give you, the reader, a few missing entries for GL, and As The World Turns.
Alex at the Country Club: As I said in my tribute to the late Beverlee McKinsey, it was a great crossroads of so many things: A culmination of two years of story, in a show that was cooking with gas, with wonderful writing, and McKinsey giving her finest performance as Alexandra, if not her finest ever. From fierce anger to heartbreaking vulnerability over the course of a few minutes, and you believe every damn word. (You can see it here.)
Nola Faces The Music: Another wonderful culmination of a long story, played like theater, with no interruptions until well after the :15 mark. Kelly read Nola the riot act, and John Wesley Shipp roared with rage, but it was Lisa Brown’s work that made us both hate and feel sorry for Nola in the same scene.
Jonathan Confronts Reva: We’ve all heard about Reva in the red dress, or Reva’s car splashing into the Florida Keys. And of course there’s the whole Reva/Annie story, which was consistently entertaining….until Annie tried to kill Reva, at which point things got weird. But these scenes are some of the best of GL’s later years. Tom Pelphrey reenergized Kim Zimmer, and it shows on-screen.
The Blackout: A textbook example on how to take your show, shake it up and keep things interesting, without tearing it apart and pissing off fans.
Goodbye, My Friend: The Thing That We All Want To Pretend Never Happened, But Even In Its Never-Happenedness Is Still An Amazing Moment. This particular segment, especially, is heartbreaking.
AS THE WORLD TURNS
John and Lucinda In The Bathtub: What shows have forgotten to do lately – follow the lead when organic sparks fly between characters. I don’t think J&L were supposed to be the end game, but their pairing was a huge surprise and entertaining as hell. And one of a few smart moves made at the end was to reconnect these two.
Kim is Stalked: A beautiful use of history and John Wesley Shipp’s image as Golden Boy Kelly (from GL) is turned on its ear.
Bob Sleeps With Susan: Three grownups make a mess of their lives, and we know all of them. Not a car bomb, DNA switch or international spy syndicate to be seen anywhere.
Sadly, AW’s best scenes are somewhat trickier to find, although there’s plenty of good stuff from the late 80s, when Harding Lemay was part of the show’s reboot. I’d love to hear from AW fans in the comments about those most memorable moments, and share a link if you know of one!
Maybe those moments don’t have the grandiosity of the turbo-charged action-saturated shows like DAYS and GH, but they stick out in the minds of many of us faithful viewers.
Sadly, these stories, and this history, is already slipping away when it comes to the printed page.