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ATWT: The Good, The Bad and The Ending


There are now less than 120 episodes of AS THE WORLD TURNS to go before the show leaves the airwaves in September (to be replaced by yet another rehashed "classic" game show). This past week fans saw the schizophrenic WORLD that has made the show difficult to watch every day the past few years. On Monday, fans were treated to the conclusion of the Bob and Kim anniversary "story" as they got legally married surrounded by family, friends, and Bob's ex-wife and ex-lover. Julianne Moore even made a brief cameo. Monday felt like old school AS THE WORLD TURNS, albeit a scaled down version of it. Then we saw the previews for Tuesday.

Tuesday was full of Dusty, Rocco (who?), the new actress playing Liberty, Gabriel (who?), Parker, Ellis (who?), along with Carly, Jack and Craig. Whereas Monday featured actors that had been on the show for decades, including six for more than 30 years, Tuesday featured only a few actors that have been on the show more than a couple of years, and many only a matter of weeks. One day felt like AS THE WORLD TURNS. The next day felt like Jack and Carly living in a strange town.

This is not to say that some of these new faces are not wonderful actors. Eric Sheffer Stevens is a revelation as Dr. Reid Oliver, the most complex gay character ever written on daytime soaps (that we will not get to see actually develop). Ben Levin is a really terrific young actor playing Gabriel, who will likely turn out to be Craig's long, lost son. Sarah Wilson has great potential as Liberty. But really, if you are wrapping up AS THE WORLD TURNS, a show that has been on the air for 54 years, are new Liberty, Gabriel and Rocco characters that need to be included?

There are a number of factors that may preclude fans from getting the ending they want for their Oakdale favorites:
1. Some actors do not want to return. Unfortunately for fans, the show has not treated some of its beloved actors well over the years and those actors do not want to come back. While that's a sad thing for viewers, the writers can at least mention those characters and give fans a resolution for their lives (like recently mentioning Sabrina was working in Haiti).

2. There is no sense of community in Oakdale. We have small pockets of "community" like at Bob and Kim's wedding, but that was only a handful of characters. What is Bob and Kim's relationship with Jack and Carly right now? Lisa and Emma? Dusty and Tom? Whereas GUIDING LIGHT's Springfield established the relationships between all the main characters, ATWT has ignored this for years. I was trying think of a wedding that would bring the whole town together and there really isn't oone. Chris and Katie may be the best option for that.

3. Must-have returns may not happen. We Love Soaps readers have been very vocal about wanting the returns of Larry Bryggman's John Dixon, Martha Byrne's Lily Snyder and Patricia Bruder's Ellen Stewart, among others. John Dixon is my personal all-time favorite ATWT character and I want a resolution for his character (see above), but I have to say that Martha Byrne's return as Lily is the most critical to show's ending. Without Byrne, the eventual reunion between Lily and Holden will be rendered meaningless for me. Any final scenes between Lily and Lucinda won't have any weight to them. Since Lily is currently on the canvas now, I'm debating in my mind which is worse - no ending for a character like John or a completely unsatisfactory ending for a replacement Lily. The show might as well end the character of Lily now if Byrne is not returning. As of the publication of this article, Byrne's return is not in the works other than an outcry from fans. The fact that the show is bringing back meaningless characters like Iris versus John and Ellen is scary, but there is still time to correct this.

4. Some characters will leave early. Marie Wilson has finished taping as Meg so that character will presumably end months before ATWT goes off the air. This may actually be a good thing. If the show can properly end the stories of longtime characters in a staggered way, it may keep the final weeks from feeling false, with a bunch of happy endings all at once. Some actors are already working past their contract and this could factor in as well.

5. Will we actually get happy endings? It is assumed the characters will end in a good place. As a sap, I personally want to see that. ATWT has proven they can write brilliant stories, or at least brilliant episodes, so fans have hope for a happy (and proper) ending. Nancy Hughes as the final scene is a given, and if that doesn't happen, fans will be in an uproar. But in some cases, what would actually be considered "happy" by fans. It seems obvious that Carly and Jack will be together. But there will be some unhappy Jack and Janet fans. Will Luke and Noah reunite for the end? If they do, how will the new fans of Luke and Reid feel? What type of happy ending could there be for Craig at this point?

I suppose there is no way to please everyone who is currently watching AS THE WORLD TURNS. Some fans have watched for two years and may want an ending complete with Parker and Liberty sailing off into the sunset. Other fans have watched since day one and won't be satisfied without Nancy, Bob, Lisa and Kim front and center. Other fans started watching in the '80s and want to see Lucinda in that hot tub with John Dixon one more time. Whatever the case, I hope P&G, the producers and the writers will read Irna Phillips' original story bible to get a sense of what she intended this show to be about when they filmed the pilot back in 1955. ATWT is more than just another television show. It has more history intact than any show in history. GUIDING LIGHT had more years, but AS THE WORLD TURNS has three actors on the show that started when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States. This history must be honored.

32 comments:

  1. Cant say I 100% agree with Roger Newcomb's opinions, but hey there are a lot of different fans out there so the best news to me was Meg will be leaving before the end, as her story line just didnt work for me, and I so disagree about his opinion of Martha returning as Lily, Martha is a great actress, but so is Noelle and to change that now would make no sense to me.
    and as far as Nuke, there better be a happy ending I have 3 yrs invested in that one and the fans of Ruke who have starting from next week on will survive!

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  2. I agree about Martha. I have written to ATWT about it. Bring her back!

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  3. Gabby. For me, having watched the character of 25 years, it's just not the same with Noelle, even though I think she is as good a replacement as they could have found and has been incredibly sweet when I've spoken with her. I just don't care about Lily or Lily and Holden reuniting without Martha.

    I was sure even a month ago that no matter what happened Nuke would be the endgame. Now it seems like they are writing a Luke and Reid story. Who knows what they will do. My point was that for some of these stories, there is going to be an unsatisfactory ending for a group of fans. It would seem there is a larger and more vocal group of Nuke fans who have invested three years, so does the show give them a deserved payoff? Or do they justify in their minds what they feel is a "proper" ending for the characters (like Noah landing a job as an assistant director of a film, Luke getting back to writing, etc). I honestly have no idea what is going on in their minds. The Bob/Kim anniversary episodes did give me hope though.

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  4. Roger thanks for the reply, I understand your opinion, and I love Martha watched her as Lily and loved her, now I enjoy her writing and acting on Gotham. I would have proaby the same desire as you if it was Van or Jake who had gotten replaced, but I see alot of Noelle bashing out there and she is a great actress, and to replace her now would be unjust in my opinion. I can agree to disagree with you on this and still enjoy your articles :)

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  5. I'd like to know where RN got the info that Marie Wilson is done taping because it's NOT TRUE, she just taped on Friday, April 9th. Meg and Paul are very much in story together in mid-June so I think RN got his facts mixed up. Maybe because MWil finished taping before Christmas time and Meg wasn't seen onscreen for a while, he assumed the actress left early. It's NOT TRUE.

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  6. Friday was her last day, Kathy. I know they are taping well in advance and not sure if they taped even further ahead for Meg, but Friday was it.

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  7. I do know they're taping well in advance and thank you for the clarification. Does that mean Roger Howarth will be gone too since Meg and Paul were in story together?

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  8. Love your suggestion about John and Lucinda in the hot tub. I miss Martha too.

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  9. Kathy, I actually heard recently that he was going to be gone early too but I did not hear that this was his last week so I can't say for sure exactly what is going on there or how they are wrapping up the story. I will post more when I know for sure.

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  10. thank you Roger. I'll look forward to hearing more about it when you know. It would make sense that they'd leave at the same time because of their character's story. :)

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  11. Roger, do you know if Roger and Kelley are going to get more airtime and more of a story with Paul/Emily and Eliza?

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  12. I completely agree about being uninterested in a Holden/Lily pairing with Noelle Beck as Lily. She is a perfectly competent actress. I don't think there could've been a better choice for the re-cast. However, she's just not Lily to me. Lily has become so whiny under her reign and I just want to see her single. Holden and Molly are hot hot HOT together and would be a perfectly acceptable fi al pairing for me.

    Even though I am a gay male, I find Luke and Noah to be an uninteresting couple. Luke and Reid, however, are lighting the screen on fire for me and would love to see them make a go of it. Let Noah go off to Hollywood and become a director.

    Glad to hear Meg and Paul will be gone early. I've never liked either character (that's untrue actually. I loved Paul when played by the actor paired with Byrne's Rose).

    I'm looking forward to the Lisa celebration and seeing a happy ending for Jack and Carly. I would love to see Craig redeemed and with Ro (although I'm sure it won't happen). And let's get Lucinda some kind of storyline before the show is over!

    And I know I am in the minority, but I have always been behind Casey and Allison and want a marriage for them.

    Roger makes a great point re: Rocco, Liberty, Gabriel, etc. I'm nervous that the current writing/producing team is going to wrap up the show. I don't trust them to do it justice. Here's hoping I am proven wrong.

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  13. Noelle Beck is a good actress yes. I would have loved her as Ellie Snyder. As Lily her presence made it possible for the writers to write the character as someone one dimensional. The "death" of Lily's soul mate Holden and her breif greiving period would never have worked with Martha. There was too much there with the actors in terms of chemistry and history. They would have had to either write a better story or ruin Martha's Lily. I don't feel John Hensley and Noelle Beck burning for their characters to reunite and as such I don't care if they do or not. And that's hard to type as a 17 year or so Lily/Holden fan. In the hands of the current writers I feel like my beloved characters are much safer off screen. I would love them to get together tomorrow and leave town fast. I'd rather see Luke interact with Lucinda and Emma now. If the final ATWT follows Lily and Holden as the Josh & Reva couple without Martha Byrne that would be devastating for me. A complete waste of time. I'd rather watch Barbara and Henry than that.

    For me John & Andy need to return. The last minute is too late. The last minute is ok for Penny and Ellen who should be back at the end but John and Andy should be back now intertacting with Kim, Margo and Lucinda.

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  14. Jaleesa, I don't know how it's going to end or how much time Paul would spend with Emily or Meg. If I heard anything, will post it. But after the past several years, surely we'll get some type of resolution with both. I know it may not satisfy everyone but the writers are making great money to come up with something!

    Andy's Animals, I thought about a Casey/Ali wedding too as something near the end that would at least encompass the Hughes family, the Lowells, would bring Ellen back (if there is any justice in this WORLD), and could pull in other characters as well. We all know Ali sleeps with someone else the night before her weddings but maybe she can get it right this time.

    Eric, Martha and Jon had amazing chemistry. I remember rooting for Lily and Dusty back in the day and it took me a while to warm up to Holden (despite his epic 80s hotness). And every time they split, I said I didn't want them back together. But once Martha and Jon were in a room together looking at each other, I got reeled back in.

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  15. Gabby I agree with you they better give a great happy ending for Nuke .
    Ruke fans will survive fine !
    If Martha returns I'm all for it it would be great .

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  16. Since Meg and Paul are each other's "true love" and Eliza is "their" daughter, I would think that Paul and Meg will reunite and decide to leave Oakdale so they and their little girl can have a fresh start elsewhere. I can see Emily ending up at Yo's with Craig. Maybe they'll hook back up, they are just alike after all, lol.

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  17. I don't think they should end the show with Luke and Noah together. I would hope their fans would see they are happier without each other and them just being good friends would be enough of a happy ending. Luke and Reid are better together and Noah deserves somebody he can love implicitly and unconditionally.

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  18. I so agree about Martha. I am just so sick of the newLily/Holden s/l.
    I so do not want them together without Martha. Now I root for Holden & Molly. Lucinda also should me more prominent and forget the newbies except for Dr. Reid.

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  19. I would go even farther and bring back characters from other shows. This is not just the end of "AS THE WORLD TURNS", but rather the end of the entire P&G universe. All your favorite shows will now officially be gone and their characters never to be seen again.

    One of the last scenes of AW featured characters declaring that they would reunite again. Perhaps we could be treated to a day in Bay City one last time?

    How about a visit from Sunny Adamson? She's a journalist and could easily have a good reason to visit Oakdale.

    Wouldn't it be interesting to see Lucinda deciding to retire and sell Worldwide and the bidders that show up include Sky Whitney, Robert Delaney, and Phillip Spaulding?

    I am sure that much discussion and debate will occur as the time winds down as to what the "perfect" ending should be. No matter what you may wish, I can assure you that as the world turns, there will be death, birth, success, tragedy, and love.

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  20. Chuck, I love your idea! I'm sending it on to Marcia (Sunny) and Larkin (Sky) right now. Hey, if the Justice League can bring together superheroes from all the different comic books, why couldn't P&G reunite their own teams for a final reunion!?

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  21. All the news is much appreciated!

    Roger, what are the chances the show will give folks Molly/Holden? Cause I find Holden so much more interesting with her than Lily.

    Also, what are the chances we'll see some diversity before the show ends? The uniform look of the canvas is a sore point, IMO.

    Last questions... who is currently writing the show? Is it still Kreizman? What is going on in that area?

    Thanks!!

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  22. As a young teen, I switched from ATWT to OLTL in 1981, but I check in from time to time as my mom still watches the show. Many of you have great suggestions... I agree that Nancy Hughes MUST be the final scene of the show. I'd also like to see Grant Colman return to have scenes with Lisa. I wonder if they should have Don Hughes die since the actor passed away .... as a way of bringing lots of old characters back to comfort Nancy (great way to bring back Ellen, Annie, Dee, Penny, Carol Stallings, Grant, etc). I remember when I got hooked on the show as a kid... I have a memory of Annie walking outside a building into a construction zone and got hit in the head and Jay Stallings was there... and Annie was in a coma with Ellen keeping a vigil.... gosh this must have been 1976-77? Also remember a nurse named Pat Holland who was helping John Dixon try to kidnap baby Andy if I recall. Loved the show in the 70's. Such a classic.

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  23. Bad news for Kathylul: Susan Dansby, a writer for the show, says the script she's writing this week (which wouldn't be taped for a few more weeks, well after MW's last day), will feature "Katie, Chris, Henry, Vienna, Barbara, Paul, Casey, Alison." Looks like Paul and Meg won't be riding off into the sunset.

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  24. Thanks for the update, Richard. I heard a couple of weeks ago they were both out but with the timing of the exits not sure what's happening now.

    Chuck, I can't agree about crossovers from other soaps. As a longtime P&G fan, I totally get where you're coming from but ATWT has so much history still intact, I really want the actors on this show to be honored. Now last year there was two weeks between GL's ending and Let's Make a Deal. Would love two weeks of former P&G soap characters updated in a where are they now mini-soap or something like that. I just want to see Nancy, Bob, Lisa, Kim, Susan, JOHN, etc get their due. Now if Sky Whitney or a character like that moved to town and became Lisa's final husband, maybe I could deal!

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  25. Richard, the fact that Paul is still around could very well mean Meg went on ahead and Paul will catch up to her later. They may have taped PEG's "future" scenes ahead of time. They don't write scripts or tape scenes in sequence a lot of times. I notice Emily's not featured with Paul in Susan Dansby's script either. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out. :)

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  27. LOL Roger ..its looks like KathyLUL is twisting your every word.

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  28. Cataz... how exactly have a twisted Roger's words?

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  30. Byrne was treated very nicely when she left ATWT. However, I think the case with Larry Bryggman was quite the opposite. He was very vocal about not wanting to be there for a long time before he left. I believe that when he left it was totally his choice.

    I loved Larry Bryggman's John and have followed his career (he's a brilliant stage actor) but feel like he was so unhappy that I shouldn't really blame TPTB for his departure (there is plenty of other stuff to blame them for!).

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  31. I made an error in my comment (above) it should read that Byrne WASN'T treated very nicely.

    Sorry!

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  32. what bothers me is that nobody seems to be fighting to get ATWT to stay on the air with another network, or on soap central or internet.. isn't there something we fans can do? I used to watch Days and when there was talk of NBC cancelling it, there was such an outcry from the fans, that I really believe they didn't dare cancel it. the people who really love ATWT needs to try, al least, to keep our beloved show on.

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