This is probably going to sound really stupid to most of you, if not all of you, but I am heartsick right now. I opened up my Road Runner home page to check the news tonight and found this:http://www.rr.com/home/home/article/6818193/7322102/TVs_Guiding_Light_switching_off_after_72_years
I started watching what was then called "The Guiding Light" (they dropped the "The" several years ago in some lame attempt to be cooler) in the fall of 1983. It was the beginning of my freshman year of college and I'd found out that my aunt was going to have a short term guest role on the show. Her character was around for about six weeks and was instrumental in match-making two other characters who are still on the show this year.
I had never been allowed to watch soap operas when I lived at home with my parents because my mom said they were "too depressing". My soap opera was never depressing. It was funny, it was scary, it was enraging on occasion. It was silly and quirky and innovative (this particular show had tons and tons of firsts in the industry). There were love stories, betrayals, mysteries, comedies, tear jerkers, and just family stuff. They threw in the occasional supernatural or sci-fi plot line to keep it unpredictable and they had a few real turkeys along the way and a lot of true gems.
The cast over the years has been amazing. It seems like hardly a week goes by that I don't see someone in a tv show or a movie and say "hey! He/she used to be on my soapie!" A few of the big names include Hayden Panettiere of Heroes fame, Melina Kanakeredes of Judging Amy, Kevin Bacon (he of the six degrees of separation), and Taye Diggs. I have seen actors and actresses literaly grow up on the show. I have mourned the deaths of actors and actresses who passed away while still under contract.
My favorite character is one Reva Shayne. I practically idolize her. I've had mad crushes on numerous of the actors over the years and I've been so impressed with the growth I've seen in some of them.
I watch the show every single week day. It's what I do when I'm working out on my treadmill. I got a VCR in 1987 and I can count on my fingers the number of episodes I've missed since that time. When we go on vacation, I record every episode and watch them en masse when we get back.
I don't even know what I'm going to do when it goes off the air in September. Jeff compared it to his favorite baseball team going out of business. That doesn't even come close. Anyone who knows me and knows my reading habits knows I'm all about characters. I get to know my characters. I get very attached to them. I often still have dreams about book characters for weeks after I finish a particularly compelling novel. This is going to be almost like losing a whole town's worth of friends all in one shot.
I know you think I'm exaggerating or joking or crazy. WAIT...maybe it's some horrible April Fools joke!!! It had damned well better be. I won't even feel silly if it is. It would be a HUGE relief, in fact. Otherwise, I'm really going to cry. This sucks.