As another possible sign of the (May 21?) apocalypse, we now have Soapocalypse: ABC has canceled longtime soap operas “All My Children” (home of Susan Lucci, with notable alums including Kelly Ripa and Christian Slater) and “One Life to Live.” I haven’t seen a faith-related story on this yet, but check out this Religion Dispatches essay from September, when “As the World Turns” stopped spinning over at CBS: Religion, Morality, and the Death of the American Soap Opera.
With daytime dramas fading even faster than print media and religion reporting, I guess we won’t be seeing any additional Christian examinations of this genre. Too bad, because I’ve always thought that “Gospel According To…” series was ripe for a focus on the daytime soaps –NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” and the now-defunct “Passions,” with their literally demonic villains, interfaith relationships and convenient use of Catholic confessionals, could have had their own volume.)
In the end, perhaps the lesson here is that truth has become far stranger than fiction, with imaginary places like Pine Valley and Llanview overshadowed by craziness of reality TV and 24-hour news channels? On that note, given the recent brouhaha over the new J. Crew ad featuring a little boy with pink nail polish on his toenails, check out this Episcopal Cafe blog post giving the melodrama some historical context: FDR toddler pictures disturbing.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.