Most of my summers growing up until about the time I turned 15 or 16 were spent on my grandparent’s farm in Halls, Tennessee. As a kid it was a magical time full of wonder and discovery. Said discovery could range from hours-long comic book swapping marathons with my cousin (and best friend) to putting on de facto song and dance numbers for my grandfather’s quizzical herd of cattle (better that you don’t ask). And then there was the magic wholly new to me as a towheaded kid known as the Soap Opera. My granny was a huge fan of such daily doses of scandal and intrigue as General Hospital and As the World Turns and I hitched my Radio-Flyer red wagon along for the ride in a surprising show of consolidarity, lapping up General Hospital’s resident hunk Luke’s plans to thwart an evil-mastermind from turning the town of Port Charles into a giant frozen popsicle. Sure, the plots were inane and far-fetched, but it all seemed incredibly plausible to a kid who just devoured enough Superman comics to give poor Mr. Ed major indigestion: Far-fetched was my key specialty at that stage of life.
One of the Soaps that my granny and I never failed to carve out a chunk of time for was Days of Our Lives. With its eye-catching title card of a monstro hourglass ominously filling with sand along with the deathly serious narrator intoning the legend “Like sands through the hourglass…So are the days of our lives,” we were a couple of confirmed addicts when it came to this specific show. Okay, poetry it wasn’t, but it worked for this viewing party of two and granny and I never failed to be captivated by the deliriously wonderful surreal nature of the proceedings.
Fast forward lo these many moons later, and Soap Operas are having a tough go of it after grazing on the clover of radio and daytime television for mucho decades. Tastes can and often do change, and perhaps in this fast-paced world most of us lack the patience to stick with a continuous daily series with no real end-goal in sight. That pronouncement made, it’s at least slightly reassuring to see news from our Robert Scorpio/Barnabas Collins aficionados over at The Hollywood Reporter about the two season renewal of NBC’s Days of Our Lives for another round of betrayal, love, lust and everything in-between. This multi-season renewal will sail the venerable Soap into its 58th season. So take that you pikers over on Grey’s Anatomy…
Executive Vice President of Scripted Series and Kids’ Programing at NBC (also known to family and friends as Michael Sluchan) issued a press release this week about the renewal of Days of Our Lives, saying that “We couldn’t be happier to bring our loyal fans two more seasons of Days of Our Lives and continue what has been an absolutely remarkable achievement in television.”
My grandmother is many years gone as I type these words out, but Days of Our Lives is still chugging along. If there’s a Heaven – and I hope here is – she’s sending me a nudge and an affectionate wink as she recalls just how much that Soap meant to the two of us.