Overheard: Impending soap loss brings out uncommon civility in comments
Susan Lucci has been with the daytime drama "All My Children" since the show's inception in 1970.
July 3rd, 2011
10:17 PM ET

Overheard: Impending soap loss brings out uncommon civility in comments

Anyone who peruses the comments section of CNN.com or just about any news site quickly learns what a rough-n-tumble world of words that can be. Under the cloak of anonymity, the harshest of assessments employing the sharpest of words are unleashed on online opponents real and imagined.

So when the CNN.com weekend crew checked back over some of the comments of the past few days, the comments on one story really stood out.

As reported on Friday on the Marquee Blog, the residents of the fictional town of Pine Valley will officially say goodbye when "All My Children" airs its last episode on Friday, September 23.

News of when the final episode would be aired sparked an outpouring that stayed surprisingly on subject and brought some uncommonly kind interchanges. This one between Patsy Davis and bubba really stood out:

Patsy Davis: "My name is Patsy Davis and I live in Charlotte, N.C. I HATE the fact that "All My Children" will no longer be broadcast after Sept. 23rd. That is HORRENDOUS! I LOVE that soap. Why are you taking it off the air? I will miss the cast, but I want to wish everyone of them good luck in whatever endeavor they pursue. Maybe I will see one of them in a movie or another TV program. God bless to all of them!"

bubba: "Hi Pasty Davis, my name is Bubba and I a sorry for the upcoming loss you will have in Sept. There is always The Young and the Restless, and the Bold and the Beautiful. I wouldn't advise the last one ..it's just Brook and Ridge, Taylor and Ridge and how they keep marrying each other for decades. Not healthy!"

This brief exchange included a rare case of name and geographical specificity on the part of the commenter, empathy between commenters, a matter-of-fact approach to sharing an emotional response, advise on how to move foward and even a brief critique of the dwindling soap-viewing options.

Patsy and bubba weren't the only ones who took a gentler road:

Leslie lamented: "I have been with both soaps from the start – I will miss them all and I am stunned and devistated but with as bad as we all feel – I am saddest for all the actors and crews that actually loose jobs, it does not get worse than that. God Bless you all and THANK YOU so very very much for all the years. Good Luck."

Shelley said: "I have been watching AMC since the very beginning, not sure if I will miss the show or the actors the most. It's like seeing the same people everyday and even though it's just a show its like you get involved with their life. Thank you cast for years of great acting and to think you just picked up and moved across the country."

Then there were the commenters who weren't exactly thrilled with the replacement shows coming their way. These were a little more heated, shall we say.

Lisa said: "ABC are you reading any of these comments? Clearly we are fed up with reality shows and who watches Cooking shows? Have you conducted any surveys or network research on cooking shows? I know for a fact that these new shows replacing our popular soaps do not have anywhere close to the rating of a soap. I've never heard of anyone TiVo a cooking show before have you?"

But just to bring things back to business as usual, we did have some comments along these lines:

Kara: Are you people seriously still going on and on about this? They were cancelled in April. Get over it already – it's done. Soaps have turned you into whiny, histrionic divas. BIG shock you related to soap actors!

Now that, folks, is a show of reality.

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Filed under: TV
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. James

    Its just tv people. They are fictional people you are watching....give it a week without, you'll be fine. This will now be an ideal to spend time with loved ones and/or maybe get outdoors for an extra hour a day.Do some exercise as well.

    July 4, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Susan


      I resent your assertion that people who watch soap operas need to get outside for an extra hour of exercise each day. I am disabled and am waiting for a liver transplant. I exercise every day by walking with my cane and follow a low protein and sodium diet. I spend a lot of my time having blood labs, scans, and medical procedures. For one hour each day I can forget my health problems by watching All My Children. I am not interested in a cooking show and yet another "makeover" show. Why can't ABC sell the soaps to a network that could create a new soap opera channel since ABC/Disney will be replacing Soapnet with Disney Jr? If scripted programming leaves Daytime programming, it won't be long until it disappears from primetime. It will be News, Talk, and Reality TV 24 hours a day.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ty

      Well said James. Time to get off the couch!!!!!! ha ha ha

      July 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • squeaky clean

      i get exercise every day. i have a personal trainer. i watch my "stories" at night or on weekends. or like a rare day at home, like today, live. i am a business executive, a mother and lead a busy, full life. soaps are my release. don't judge what you don't know. hope they don't cancel your sports. then you'll understand. perhaps.

      July 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Ok, Disney/ABC executive. Go back to playing your games w/us viewers of over 85 years! We will not stop in our efforts of keeping our soaps.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • jess

      one in five women will be placed on bedrest during pregnancy. I was one of them for seven months. Soaps are something that women can look forward to and bond over during the challenging and often lonely childbearing years! Now I am home all day with my baby and it gives me something to strike up convos about with girlfriends ! Men will not understand this post but women will!

      July 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Big Daddy

    James, IT would be so nice to see our country go back to the day when everyone watched each others kids and imaginations were blossoming from having to make your own video games, IE: cowboys and Indians, Tag, hide and go seek, Charades, and so on. Hey maybe a national day of NO ELECTRONICS.

    July 4, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Once again...Go away ABC/Disney executive. You aren't fooling any of us. We watch our kids, we go to work everyday, we have lives. What shows do you watch, except Disney affiliated shows?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Soap Fan

    No! It's not fake! It's very real to me just like wrestling is very real to some. I can't live without it! *sob* The acting is amazing and the stories are never redundant or overused.

    July 4, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Hi Soap Fan, I agree with you, take away their football and watch what happens

      July 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ty

      @Sue....ok since you put it that way

      July 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    'Dark Shadows'.
    Only the best soap *ever*!
    When I was a kid, during 2:30-3:00, the streets were deserted; all of us were watching 'Dark Shadows'.
    At 3:01, we were all outside again.
    Barnabas Collins.
    Ahhhh, those were the days!

    July 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    *meant to say, 'during summer, between 2:30-3:00'*

    July 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. amber

    to ty and james imagin if there were no more sports to watch you would be furiouse wouldnt you well some of us like soaps i too have helth problems and all my children helps me to forget them for a while

    July 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jennifer

    At least soaps are entertaining. Cooking show have their place. It is called the Food Network. And I for one do not want to see another stupid takl show that shows our society at its worst. Long live Soaps!!!!!!!!

    July 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MaryAnn

    Hello to everyone, and hope everyone had a safe and blessed holiday... and with that said let me get to the matter at hand, you see people that watch soaps are just like every other person who watches any other program on T.v. It does not mean that we're sitting on a couych all day doing nothing but watch soaps all day. Many soap fans live active healthy lives and catch the shows at night on soapnet or Tivo ,or even their Dvr! Many people who make comments as degrading as the ones we have here do it because they do not understand. If it were sports, or primetime shows or even HBO that were being cancelled, they would understand what it feels like. Alot of men can't live without their sports.... what if those were taken from you what would you say then? Or a Primetime show on ABC that you really enjoy,let's just say for example... Brothers and Sisters, V, off the map, Detroit 187, flash forward, The Gates, No ordinary family, etc.....all shows by the way that ABC have cancelled to name just a few.... let's just say for argument sake that you enjoyed any of these shows and was looking forward for their season premiere ,only to find out that they will no longer be returning, would you call yourself names because you were upset about losing a show that you really enjoyed to watch? aren't people watching primetime shows watching to escape a little reality for a few hours as well? Well so do those that watch daytime soaps! Most are seniors that are not able to move around or are in nursing homes and this is their only escape form the pain they're in .. why are soap fans so different? These are our shows many grew up watching them, myself included, and have learned alot of moral values and and to deal with life lessons... Soaps are a means of escape like sports are for many and primetime shows are as well... We do not want to see this genre die. It is a part of America like apple pie and fireworks on the fourth of July!

    July 5, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Name*angela

    I have watched all my children for 30 years they are like family to me iam 47 iam very upset with abc iam a professional,i dvr it . So when i come home i can relax,and watch my show,after they cancel all my children i chews not to watch anything on abc since they do not care about their viewers.

    July 5, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Nicole

    Ok everyone that says soaps dont matter stop crying about it? Ok get rid of the superbowl or any other sports teams,or sporting event and tell us how you would feel if your favorite thing got cancelled. You grew up with say your dad watching your favorite teams play. Then all the sudden guess what outta the blue you wont get to see it anymore. It's a crushing blow. something you werent expecting. Think of all the times you ever spent watching the thing you grew up with and created a family and enjoyed chatting to co-workers,loved ones or friends about. Tell me you havent talked about the big game or whatever you are into that you are passionate about. It's not fair and soap fans should have a right just like anyone else out there to keep something they enjoy on the air. Give us our soaps we dont want some cooking show that will tank in less than a year. Where is the downtime and drama? Everyone likes a little time to be laid back and watch a show and sit down and say hey these people on my story have it worse than me or better than me how can i make my life better or i enjoy my life because im better then whichever character you are watching on whichever soap. I love AMC i have grown up with it since i was a kid. It's one of the things me and my mom can talk about from my child hood that we can still to this day laugh and giggle about whatever Ms erica cane did today. To be able to bring a piece of your childhood to adulthood and put a smile on you and your loved ones faces over something that has touched your life and to see it cancelled and theres nothing you can do about it you become a little bitter and you will fight to save it...

    July 5, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. moneek

    Much better posts on here today....no kids on here playing....Long Live The Soaps...they will still be with us and no one can take that away

    July 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CTwildheart

    I work for a non-profit full time, I am in Grad school part-time, I sing in a Barbershop chorus, I volunteer, I am height/weight proportionate.....and yet I love watching my stories on the DVR at night. This isn't just about 'soap operas'...all scripted television is being replaced with various reality/entertainment/informational television. YUCK. Yes James, we know they are TV shows and our lives will go on....but we still have the right to speak up and voice our displeasure with this situation. I am glad I like to read since I'll have much less to watch....

    July 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kathy

    I have watched All My Children since day 1. I watched in the summers while babysitting then later when I had a full time job I would run home to watch it during my lunch.Later I started recording it on VCR's . If my show was interruped for one reason or another I really wasn't happy about it. I know there are many people out there that think it's crazy that we ( AMC watchers) are over reacting but sometimes you just need a way to escape all the ups and downs that happen each day. Just a little escape from the problems that you personnal may have in your life. AMC has over the years taught some of us how to deal with things and people . We see things in a different light then what our parents may have because of what we learned from this show. Don't knock it if you hadn't tried it..You might learn something.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt


    Any truth?

    July 7, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
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