It is a cold afternoon here in Minnesota, the snow is falling in big flakes bust very gently. They sky is grey while the world outside looks calm and serene. I am in my living room, dressed up a little bit out of respect for my favorite show. I opened a bottle of champagne, toasted my favorite characters, couples, the show itself.
The day the cancellation was announced, I was at work. It was my last day on the job so I was already a bit emotional, as my boyfriend and I prepared to move from Durango, Colorado to Minnesota. I remember looking down at my phone just to check the messages when on my twitter and facebook apps the news was loud and clear. I had to ring someone up and then I went into the bathroom to pull up the news story. I cried for a moment, splashed some water on my face and tried to get some of my work done. A little later my boss made a comment about wanting to catch All My Children while she ate her lunch. I told her to enjoy it while she could, that it was cancelled.
It was a hard day for so many reasons, when my boyfriend came to pick me up after I had closed up I cried. Finding out what would be replacing them just made the news sting even more. I cried into my cocktails the next night, wondering how you could get rid of Erica, Dorian and Viki. If my phone hadn’t died, I probably would’ve left Frons and Sweeny a pretty nasty message.
Since then, I have savored every moment in Llanview. While we drove across the country, I would watch OLTL either at night on a laptop or my phone just so I could be caught up. I have sat down every day at 1pm and watched. I cried like a baby when Gigi and Matthew “died”. I cried for Shane when he didn’t have his mother. I was on the edge of my seat as Todd sulked around town, waiting to reveal himself. I was torn between Todd and Victor.
This show has been a part of my life since I was thirteen years old. Yes my mother watched it, though she would usually have to leave in the middle of it to pick us up from school. We would usually catch the last few minutes together, I always loved the interactions between Viki and Dorian. I remember an evening as my mother prepared dinner, I had been online via prodigy reading up on some basic One Life to Live history. I was fascinated by the idea I had that Todd Manning could be related to Irene, perhaps even Victors long lost son. My mother told me that it wasn’t possible. “But they both have the last name Manning!” Months later as you know we found out Todd was in fact Victor and Irene’s son.
I loved the high school romance of Jess and Cris, and hoped that I could find a guy as sweet as he was. Bo and Nora were so much fun I hoped that when I was older I would find someone like Bo. During the live week I was on the edge of my seat, my step-mom coming in my room wondering what all the commotion was about. I remember in college all the serial killer storylines, even though I hated them I remember them. I recall when we found out Cris really was Cris and John kept that information from Natalie. I was blown away.
Somewhere along the way I wasn’t visiting Llanview that often. On my days off from work I was usually still running errands getting back just in time to catch General Hospital. Then things changed in my life after a car accident. I was at my parents house, with not much to do and found myself in Llanview again each afternoon. This was around the time Ron Carlivati took the reigns as head writer, so I spent plenty of time in Paris, Texas as well. New life was breathed into everyone. I was on the edge of my seat and I needed to know what would happen to these people. I needed to know that Starr would be okay, that she would have her baby. I rooted for Bo and Nora to reunite. I danced and sang along with Starr X’d Lovers, in fact the song We Fall is one of my favorites and was my ringtone for a long time.
One of the things that has made me love OLTL so deeply these last few years has been the respect you can feel and see on screen. The creative team of the show respects the show, its history, its cast and of course its fans. They used parts of the history of the show and built on it. They wove things together in ways I never expected.
Come Monday things just won’t be the same without a trip to Llanview. I’ll know not to turn the TV to the local ABC station, even though my instinct will be to find out what’s going on now. At least I and others can take comfort in knowing that Blair, Todd, Starr and John will be heading to Port Charles, the story isn’t over, and it’s just changing.
Llanview is a part of us, just like we were a part of it. Forever it will live on in our hearts just as all the other soap destinations do for their fans.
So for now, I propose a toast to One Life to Live, you’ve made us cry, laugh. You’ve shown us love and loss. You are a part of us always.