Withering Glance: Sad fate of soaps

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 17, 2011 - 7:37 PM

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

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Susan Lucci and Cameron Mathison in "All My Children."

Photo: Steve Fenn, ABC

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RN: Even though I haven't watched it in years, I'm feeling a little teary about the impending demise of "All My Children."

CP: Since you read each issue of "Soap Opera Digest" cover to cover, why would you need to watch the shows?

RN: You say that like it's a bad thing.

CP: The last time I watched "All My Children" must've been when I was a junior in high school. It was a favorite of -- stop the presses -- my then-girlfriend. She and her mother referred to the show as "my stories."

RN: Yeah, it's easy to poke fun at daytime dramas -- that reminds me to put "Soapdish" on my Netflix list. But those of us who have watched them over the years -- and endured or at least overlooked their abundant cheesiness -- know how easy it is to become emotionally invested in what are essentially live-action novels.

CP: And here I thought you just liked watching because of the shirtless hotties.

RN: Guilty as charged. I thought all gay men knew that inside every International Male catalog lies a future soap star or two.

CP: A soap star with the acting chops of an underwear model, yes. Also, what's with those super- fake sets?

RN: Come on, they're not that low-budget. Well, unless we're talking "Days of Our Lives," the Fleet Farm of soaps.

CP: I recall that every time an actor slams a door, which is often, the entire atrociously decorated condo shakes.

RN: You're confusing "One Life to Live," the other ABC sudser that's circling the drain, with the ultra-cardboard "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" on ABC Family. La Boulaie, the fictitious Llanview estate on "OLTL" occupied by the much-married Francophile/grande dame Dorian Cramer Lord Callison Santi Vickers Hayes Laurence Vickers, is as solid as a rock.

CP: Thanks for that, soap-savant. Remember, you're yammering on to someone who would be perfectly happy if he woke tomorrow to a soaps-free universe. That said, of course I feel your pain.

RN: I spent a few college years watching "Kids" in the TV room inside the Delta Delta Delta sorority house, which is why every time I encounter grilled-cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, my brain immediately goes to Susan Lucci.

CP: Isn't she the acting world's biggest loser?

RN: Daytime's million-dollar diva? Absolutely not. After 19 nominations, she finally won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award in 1999. I haven't cried that hard since the first time I saw "Beaches."

CP: You. Sobbing. "Beaches." Your honor, I rest my case.

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