Soap Operas are as American as apple pie. They’ve been around for over half a century and set the tone for many of the modern dramas viewers now love. “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Revenge,” and even “Glee” embody Soap Opera-esque qualities.
In recent years, however, we’ve seen many of these American classics go off the air. Shows like “Guiding Light,” “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” and “As the World Turns” are now extinct. Many people are thrilled with the change, claiming that soaps are outdated and tacky. They feel that times have changed and so should our Daytime programming.
Sure, times have indeed changed. The majority of women are working or volunteering outside the home during the day; instead of taking their much-deserved siesta from housework and childcare to catch their beloved soap opera.
Don’t get me wrong; I am an advocate for change. But, I did feel a bit melancholy when these classics went off the air. The problem isn’t so much that the shows were cancelled; it’s the programming that replaced them. Take the lost ABC soaps for example. ABC replaced “One Life to Live” and “All My Children”—two soaps that were on the air for over four decades—with two new lifestyle shows entitled, “The Chew” and “The Revolution.”
According to “The Chew’s” Facebook page the show’s focus is “Celebrating and exploring life through food.'The Chew' serves up everything food—from cooking and home entertaining to food trends and more!”
“The Revolution’s” Facebook page states it’s a “new Daytime talk show that provides you with the tools and tips to help you start your own revolution from the inside out.”
The beauty of Daytime dramas like, “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” is they allowed you to escape for the hour or so that you watched them. You got lost in the characters that you invitde into your living room each day. They remind you that no matter how dire your life seems at that moment at least your brother isn’t sleeping with your ex-husband who before he came out of the closet left you for your best friend who is pregnant with his baby.
These lifestyle shows like “The Chew” and “The Revolution” do anything but provide a respite from the craziness of life. While you may learn a thing or two about how to make a great manicotti or lose a couple pounds; they also remind you that you aren’t making homemade manicotti enough and you could lose a couple pounds.
It may be true that the days of leaving an apple pie to cool on the windowsill while catching your favorite Soap are over—but we are now left with nothing but applesauce.
And that’s the new reality of Daytime TV.
Todd Lam is an avid television junkie, but he is usually seen writing for CableTV.com. <a href="http://cabletv.com/%22%3ECableTV.com%3C/a>.