We've just passed the weekiversary of the finale of the CBS soap opera, "As the World Turns," canceled after 54 years. I never watched ATWT, but have a love of things soapy, so while I don't share the disappointment that many fans feel, I can certainly appreciate it. Looks like I've missed out on a lot of high drama. This article on TV Squad lists its "Top 20 Moments" from the decades of ATWT, variously involving a murder, a phantom fetus, a gay kiss, a ruptured spleen, returns from the dead, and, as is practically required in any soap opera, a pitchfork-wielding defender of truth. The pitchfork scene is in the video above.
ATWT fans sounded off in the comment sections of many articles, not least of all in response to this CBS news piece about the end of the show. In the dozens of comments in the days after the September 17 series finale, there were two major themes that I could see. One was sadness at losing characters that, for longtime viewers, had become like family or friends.
Shari7806 writes: "I am so sad. I watched the very first show as an 8 year old girl. This show linked me to three generations of my own family -- my great grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother -- all now deceased. In some way this show kept them near me as I remember conversations we all had about the show -- mostly what Lisa was up to!!!"
Texascpa adds: "Many times family discussions might start out with, 'Did you see what Lisa did today?'"
Something tells me I would have liked to watch this Lisa character!
Sharon61 says: "I, too, have watched ATWT most of my life. I started back in the 60s with my mother and older sisters. It became as much a part of my life as my family. I enjoyed the occasional socially relevant stories and the feeling of having another family when both of my parents passed away. ... I sobbed after the show went black after Friday's episode."
An immigrant named zh4ba recalls: "I came to this Country in 1979 and 'As the World Turn' was my very first TV show that I started watching together with my mom. I learned my English by listening to that. I grew up with the charectors. ... When actress who was playing Barbara Ryan announced her battle with the head and neck cancer - I was just finishing my own treatement for the same type of cancer. I will miss them terribly!"
A woman named salleymueller touts the soap's economic benefits: "This show has provided more wisdom and insight than years of expensive counseling."
Touchingly, sddrepublican says: "Thank you for 54 wonderful years! I used to watch ATWT with my mom in the afternoons during summer vacation from school. It was our time to do dishes, have lunch, etc. My mom has Alzheimer's now and she does not remember me some days or that we watched the show together. However, the memories for me will remain of that special time."
The other big sentiment expressed was anger at CBS for canceling the show, only to replace it with a talk show.
Shari7806 assures the network: "And know I will NOT watch the new talk show -- BORING!"
A more reasoning tone is struck by emoose: "WHY....If you are going to take a soap off, take off The Bold and The Beautiful."
LMLPetunia says: " I am DONE with CBS....you are greedy and pathetic. Good luck as you lose it all to NBC and ABC....you deserve it. "
The economic theme is repeated by salleymueller: "What a shame I feel that us older generation(over 50) don't enter into the financial world. The BOTTOM LINE they talk about seems to be the younger generation who have no jobs or money but rely on their parents for support. Since when did the BOTTOM LINE ever define America or Freedom What has happened to American Values and Justice?"
A more strident tone arises in usuk12's comments: "I am so disgusted with this, first you cancel Guiding Light and replace it with that moronic let's make a deal and now you cancel ATW and replace it with a talk show? Are you kidding me? First let me tell you that I do not and will not watch let's make a deal, I would have to throw bleach in my eyes! I will not watch your stupid talk show, and I plan to identify the sponsors of both GL and ATW and boycott them all! This sux!!!!!!!!!!!!"
One person, ouchitatom, adds a perspective quite apart from the other commenters: "I can appreciate anyones like for many things but I never liked soaps and they were not allowed to be on tv in my home as a child. I was raised by a a airforce major and he was only really strict about three things God your shirt tail tucked and no soaps. He became a elvis fan which really surprised all of us children. He always said if we had time for a hour of soap opera then we had time for a hour of cutting grass or chopping wood. We heated and cooked with wood but was fortunate enough to have a colored tv. Life will go on as we turn another page in history and the internet takes another victim."