the Buzz for January 13th, 2012


and each day that follows

posted at 4:04 pm by brandon in in a lather

“The fans are so loyal, so passionate, so invested in their stories…. I always ask how they started watching Fraternity Row: some of them were stay-at-home mothers, taking a break before their children got home from school; others were college students with free time between classes; many of them inherited a love of the show from their parents, or their grandparents, who were longtime fans themselves. I remember the first time I tuned into Fraternity Row. I was hooked instantly; I needed to know what would happen next to these fascinating people. Would the hero and heroine find their way back to true love? Would the villains get their comeuppance? Or would their crimes go unpunished? Would loving families overcome their obstacles? Or would their troubles prove too difficult to surmount? Ultimately, that’s what soap opera is about: families. Close families, rival families. Families that are unexpected, or families that we choose for ourselves. And when a show is lucky enough to have been on the air as long as Fraternity Row has been on, these families become extensions of our own…. We know them so well: they’ve become our friends. We yearn for their happiness, especially when it’s hard won. We laugh as they laugh, we cry as they cry, and we can’t imagine doing without them. And when things are at their very worst on the show, that’s when we seem to enjoy them the most. There’s just one thing we have to do to keep them in our lives: tune in tomorrow.”

— the ever-eloquent Victoria “Viki” Lord (the peerless, radiant Erika Slezak), on yesterday’s penultimate, heart-wrenchingly majestic episode of One Life to Live, beautifully eulogizing Llanview’s own soap opera, Fraternity Row — and in a funny, marvelously meta way, One Life itself — as only she can. (One Life has always been more than happy to wink right back at us and send up the conventions of the soap genre that it has mastered so brilliantly, even in its last days: in the storyline, in case you’ve been foolish enough to not follow it religiously, WVLE — the local channel which airs soap-within-a-soap Fraternity Row, which once counted, in days which pre-date his successful stint as Llanview’s police commissioner (!), homespun hero Bo Buchanan as its executive producer (!!), and the aforementioned Ms. Lord’s spunky spitfire of a long-lost daughter Megan as its lead actress — has canceled the series after a forty-three year run (wink, wink), which has led to quite the hue and cry from many of Llanview’s citizens, even those of whose undying love for the show we have had no prior knowledge. And Thursday’s episode of One Life featured Llanview’s local talk show paying tribute to Fraternity Row — much the same way The View did this very morning with One Life — which gave Miss Viki one final chance to crumble, cry, carry on with her trademark stately stoicism, and then teach us a little bit more about ourselves. Myself, I started watching One Life in that unforgettable summer of 1988, just a few months before my mother passed away, and in times great and horrific, wonderful and wrenching in my life, I have CLUNG with both hands to that show, above any and every other show, and I’m quite sincere when I tell you, there have been times throughout those years when it felt like I didn’t have a friend in the whole world except for Viki, Bo, Clint, Nora, Renee, Cord, Tina, Megan, Jake, Blair, Joey, Dorian, Asa, Max, Luna, Marty, Gabrielle, Sarah, Mel, Andrew, and Dr. Larry. The show lived its one life with a ridiculously reckless brilliance, and it comes to an end today after some 11,000 episodes and 43 years —- indeed, after one of the most remarkable runs that American television has ever witnessed. And so today, I salute my fellow fans who mourn right along with me, and I thank Agnes Nixon, all the writers and producers, camera guys and crew(wo)men who have upheld and succeeded her genius with all the grace that the world will allow, and all the actors who have collectively breathed such gloriously gorgeous LIFE into the hallways and highways, into the bedrooms and byways, of Llanview, PA. From the bottom of my hard and heavy heart, thanks for every last one of those magnificent memories.)