Monday, September 13, 2010

Ten Things I've Learned From the End of ATWT


Oh, the things you learn! As The World Turns, currently the longest-running soap opera on TV, is ending its 54 year run on Friday. And in that spirit, I'm focusing on what I've learned from the show, particularly as it winds down. (I haven't been a long-time viewer, but got hooked in the past few months thanks to the the fabulous Luke/Reid storyline.)

So. These may not have been the *intended* messages, but they came through loud and clear in the last few weeks of As The World Turns:

10. Viruses can be treated with antibiotics. (Really? Try telling my pediatrician that.)

9. Straight men with heart disease that could kill them at any moment, in an insta-relationship with someone for three minutes, get to have sex.

8. Two healthy gay men, in a loving, committed relationship for months, don't. Ever.

7. Therefore, if you meet someone you kinda like, have sex with them IMMEDIATELY. Just in case.

6. If a hospital refuses to release an organ for donation to another hospital, any random doctor with a Coleman cooler and an ice pack can storm the building and demand it.

5. Brilliant neurosurgeons in a hurry will not only ignore all warnings in order to speed across train tracks in front of a train, but when their car stalls, they will completely forget how to work a seat belt.

4. Corrolary: seat belts kill.

3. If you're injured near another town, police from your town will be called in to handle the situation, make the EMT's take you back to that hospital instead of one closer by, then show up at said hospital before the ambulance gets there. And even if you manage to survive a train wreck, the excessive delay of medical attention, and the extra time needed to get back to your home hospital, if it's Oakdale Memorial, YOU WILL DIE ANYWAY.

2. If you're brought into a hospital with life-threatening injuries, but are conscious, coherent, and talking, no one will help you. Instead, they'll stand around boo-hooing about how all hope is gone, and then berate your significant other into signing over your organs the minute you flatline.

1. Straight = HEA, gay = dead or grieving. Because EVERYONE gets a happy ending except Luke, Reid, and Noah.

What a marvelous way to finish out 54 years - with plot inconsistencies, failures in logic, poorly paced and written stories, a mean-spirited and ugly focus on a completely unnecessary death, and deeply homophobic messages. Thanks so much, ATWT.

(And an honest, heartfelt thank you to Van Hansis and Eric Sheffer Stevens. You created a beautiful love story, and acted the hell out of every one of your scenes, even the ones I hated. If it wasn't for you two and your amazing talent, I wouldn't care so much. I wish you all the best in the future.)

15 comments:

Maia Strong said...

Brilliantly stated. Sad, depressing, and awful--but brilliant.

I wish all the best to Van Hansis and Eric Sheffer Stevens in their lives and careers, which I hope will be long and prosperous!

tuckatangent said...

I love this commentary, and want to marry it. Thank you so much for this.

Kate Davies said...

Ah, Maia, you're so patient. Having to listen to my rants about this ending for, well, as long as I've known about it. Thank you.

And tuckatangent, thanks so much for cross-posting to LRO! I appreciate it.

(PS: on my blog, there are no rules against person/blog post marriage, so go for it! LOL)

PG Forte said...

Oh, you totes deserve some Vosges chocolate.

Hmm. Which flavor says "Hey! I'm grieving here!" better? Blood Orange? Black Salt Caramel? Or Day of the Dead skulls w/ tequila filling?

Kate Davies said...

PG - I'm thinking a variety pack would fit the bill best. LOL! They all sound scrumptious.

Just like our Dr. Oliver. Sniff.

Dee Ann said...

You hit the nail on the head for a lot of fans, including myself. It's still so refreshing to see that other people are noticing the horrid state that ATWT has left the show in, and the messages they give out, intended or not. Brilliant, but sad, when it comes to how long the show's been running. Van Hansis and Eric Sheffer Stevens are the bright points and have made the show for me, and I wish them all the best for the future. Thank you so much for this, it really is quite clever!

Jennifer said...

Thank YOU for adding to the chorus of people noting what a hideous way the producers and writers of ATWT chose to go out. I have never felt so burned for getting into a storyline as I was for Luke-Reid's, and I shall definitely be avoiding any and all soaps in the future because of it. Surely not what Chris Goutman set out to achieve, or wait, maybe he did?

Kate Davies said...

Thanks for commenting, Dee Ann and Jennifer!

Like I've said elsewhere (ad nauseum), I don't think the producers/writers *intended* the final message to be anti-gay. I just think that was the unintentional consequence of giving everyone else in town a happy (or hopeful) ending, and raining tragedy on the gays.

Sigh. You'd think in 2010 there might be some self-awareness before going this route, but ...

Apparently not.

And I'm with you, Jennifer. I'm done with American soaps. I'll hang out on my German soap opera, Alles Was Zaehlt, which may be full of angst and heartbreak, but at least I know the m/m couple will be treated exactly the same as the hetero couples on the show.

Plus, they actually get smoking hot love scenes. *gasp!*

cafesociety2010 said...

So unbelievably true it kind of makes me want to scream...so that's 2 soaps that have been run into the ground in two years with gross negligence. Hopefully they keep stay far away from Y&R...

teresa said...

ms. davies, i loved your commentary about atwt and totally agree with all your points, but i feel that chris goutman and jean passanante, are the two reasons atwt was cancelled. they destroyed the show pure and simple. the end of the luke and reid story was a travesty. they clearly did not give a damn about the fans and what we wanted. they actually created a beautiful love story for luke and reid and then they dismantled it . for them to be the only couple without a hea is atrocious. no matter what they say, it smacks of homophobia as the gay characters were all shafted. reid is dead,luke is miserable and noah is off to la.. neither of them deserves to work in this medium again. atwt had the best character and actor seen in daytime in years in dr. reid oliver and eric sheffer stevens and killed him for no reason. the show was over. it was totally pointless and unnecessary.
teresa

Isabel said...

Very, very well said. Hard lessons to learn indeed. Too bad our boys had to be the ones to learn them.

teresa said...

i also wanted to add thst they have left the fans bitter,angry,hurt,devastated,gutted,heartbroken and any other adjective you can think of. they clearly stated with this ending that what the fans wanted meant absolutely nothing and our feelings didn't count. the only saving grace in this, and it really doesn't lessen the pain, is that both van and eric were phenomenal in their acting and deserve emmy noms and wins for this. if they don't win the emmy then there really is no justice in the world.
teresa

Jana said...

Thank you, straight to the point. As much as I fell in love with the story and characters, had great times with friends watching the show, I know i will never watch soap again, the end was too cruel, too heartless. We dont need more pain in our lives than there already is.

Kimberly said...

I couldn't have said this better myself Kate. Thank you for this. We need to be heard... Shame on ATWT for this terrible end to a beautiful love story...

Sanda said...

I agree with this list 100%. I wish all the best to Van Hansis and Eric Sheffer Stevens in their lives and careers, which I hope to be long and prosperous.