FLASHBACK: Summer Soaps 1982

Some summer soaps sizzled, others fizzled

By Connie Passalacqua
Compulog/Rome News-Tribune
September 10, 1982

Vacation months are crucial to all those involved in the soap opera industry. Viewership reaches its peak during the warm weather and in search of high Nielsen ratings, all soaps feature their most scintillating story lines and performers in this timespan.

Now that Labor Day has passed, it's time to appraise which soaps were hot - and those that were not.

The love story has always been the soap opera staple, and most often the best love stories are between characters who have "chemistry." On GENERAL HOSPITAL, Luke Spencer (Tony Geary) was initially matched with Jackie Templeton (Demi Moore) after the death of his beloved wife Laura last winter.

Diehard GH fans didn't cotton to the abrasive Jackie so the show's producer, Gloria Monty, shrewdly brought a new woman into Luke's life this summer. It was clear Holly Sutton (played by Emma Samms, a British actress who resembles a young Elizabeth Taylor) was just the right match for Luke. According, GH's summer went swimmingly.

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ALL MY CHILDREN caught up with the No. 1-rated GH this summer at one point and had the quality material to make it one the summer's best bets. The comedy-tinged affairs between Opal Gardner (Dorothy Lyman) and Langley Wallingford (Louis Edmonds) and former spouses Palmer and Daisy Cortlandt (James Mitchell and Gillian Spencer) were lightheartedly entertaining.

Unfortunately, DAYS OF OUR LIVES and GUIDING LIGHT both fumbled bady. Both have couples with electrifying chemistry, but both failed to provide them with suitable summer story material. On DOOL, Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) and Roman Brady (Wayne Northrup) had the chemistry that flooded the studio with fan mail.

Their summer storyline, which had Roman's supposedly dead wife reappearing with a daughter he never knew they had, was nothing more than a hackneyed soap device. On GL, the archaeologist dig attended by Quint McCord (Michael Tylo) and Nola Reardon (Lisa Brown) turned out to be a big bore, wasting the talents of both actors.

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