Hooked on Daytime TV---Part II
For “Hooked on Daytime TV”, Part I, click here!
…There you had your infamous Luke and Laura storyline; your major heartthrob, Dr. Noah Drake; your nefarious Cassadine family…and an up-and-coming ingenue named Demi Moore, done up boldly in the Flashdance trappings of the day…
So there I was, this kid parked in Ohio for the summer, longing to watch cartoons and comedies, but faced with the interminable sins and sufferings of “All My Children”. I was only slightly taller than Aunt Nickie’s family collie, and considerably less intuitive than he, yet forced to cope, along with my aunt, in the overwrought aftermath of Phil Brent’s departure from Pine Valley for Vietnam.
I came to share Aunt Nickie’s concern for the fate of Phil’s beloved Tara Martin, left behind with bittersweet memories—and possibly with child, to boot, though such details would have escaped me then. But that surely would have explained why, in Phil’s absence, she was moved to entertain the advances of the dashing Dr. Chuck Tyler, grandson of high-society wack-job Phoebe Tyler—that meddling, deliciously over-the-top grand dame of the P.V. elite.
My recollection is that when Phil returned from the war, the legendary love-starved egomaniac Erica Kane threw herself at him, hard; strangely, the few years or so after that seem something of a blur to me now. But I still felt a connection to these increasingly improbable and convoluted “stories” I began imbibing at the feet of my elders, and got drawn back into the mix during holidays and summers at some stage.
One of the highlights of a certain summer involved “One Life to Live”, with its raucous, Urban Cowboy-inspired Clan Buchanan; Vicki Lord and her homicidal-maniac identical twin, conveniently—if predictably—called Nicki; bad-seed Tina Clayton; standard-issue hunk Cord Roberts; and the incomparable Marco Dane (aka Mario Corelli…don’t ask)—a wisecracking, ethically-challenged loner with a twinkle in his eye and a big, big heart.
Between classes in college we would crowd around TVs in the common rooms and follow “AMC” and “GH”—short for “General Hospital”, which was an all-new boatload of daytime turmoil for me. There you had your infamous Luke and Laura storyline; your major heartthrob, Dr. Noah Drake; your nefarious Cassadine family; the slightly-less-morally-bankrupt Quartermaine dynasty; Aussie Robert Scorpio, daytime’s “international man of mystery”; and an up-and-coming ingenue named Demi Moore, done up boldly in the Flashdance trappings of the day.
But you know, the avalanche of glitz and preposterous developments started to wear on me sometime after college. I discerned, to my surprise, that I would have to eventually cut myself off, or risk fatally overdosing on world-domination plots, weather machines, and treasure hunts; armies of evil twins, and legally-dead husbands routinely crashing the weddings of their long-suffering “widows”, and, finally, the reality of too much lip gloss and altogether too little clothing to go around in these mythical hotbeds of middle-class passion (and yes, apparently there is such a thing as this last—at least in Soapville USA).
What happens when a recovering soap-junkie goes back to the old neighborhood—specifically Pine Valley USA—to look up old friends and check out what’s changed?
Tune in tomorrow for the OUTRAGEOUS, SHOCKING, CONTROVERSIAL, ONE-OF-A-KIND, MUST-SEE, BANNED-IN-12-STATES…well, I’m sure you get the point…do pop in for the wrap-up of “Hooked on Daytime TV: Sucked into Granny’s Vortex of Evil!”!!!