Those magic moments

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… 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.


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.

2 thoughts on “Those magic moments

  1. What a great idea for a column! Thanks for doing it. Here are some 1970s AW moments that really stand out in my mind. Likely none of these videos exist, unfortunately.

    1. Iris transferring her affection to the bust of Mac’s head that Rachel created after Mac disowned her. Heartbreaking and enthralling. Circa 1975 or 1976.

    2. Following the birth of Amanda, Mac is ecstatic about the birth of his first born child. Iris hears him and asks what he means. Mac explains that Iris was adopted. Cruel and heartbreaking. Circa 1978.

    3. Lenore Curtin found innocent of Wayne Addison’s murder. Lenore’s husband, lawyer Walter Curtin, had been hiding the scarf which could exonerate his wife of murder, but implicate him. Walter cried into that scarf on a daily basis for almost a year. Walter had the scarf in a manila envelope in his briefcase ready to produce it should the jury find Lenore guilty. After the verdict was announced, Walter accidentally dropped the envelope on the floor and the DA almost found it, but Walter grabbed it in time. Nice pay off to a story that had dragged on far too long. Circa 1971.

    4. Beatrice is Sally’s grandmother. For months, Mac and Rachel’s new housekeeper, Beatrice Gordon, had been talking about her ongoing search for her daughter, Jenny, who she hadn’t seen in years. Meanwhile, the recently widowed Alice Frame adopted a 10-year-old girl, Sally Spencer, whose parents had been killed in a car crash. These two stories seemed unconnected until Rachel asked Beatrice to take a package to Alice’s house. Beatrice rang Alice’s doorbell and Sally answered. Taking one look at Sally, Beatrice dropped the package and cried, “Jenny.” Great payoff for a storyline that seemed to be going nowhere. Circa 1975.

  2. Latter day great moments:

    1. Felicia’s intervention for alcoholism
    2. Rachel’s resignation from Cory Publishing
    3. Cass and Frankie’s wedding in Venice
    4. Mac finds out Iris was “The Chief”

    Thanks for the memories!

    Thanks for commenting, JC! And sorry for the delay.

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