I was standing in line at CVS when I spotted the cover of this week’s Soap Opera Digest. Oh my, I thought, how is it that Nikki and Victor still look the same after all these years?

For a few moments, I contemplated the strange dream-like suspension that stalls the aging of real people who exist in soap opera time (with the assistance of great wardrobes, perfect make-up, airbrushing and soft-focus lighting, of course). The last time I watched a soap on a regular basis was 1992, yet I recognized the characters immediately.

That, I suddenly realized, was the real magic behind recognizing Nikki and Victor. I couldn’t tell you a single thing about their storyline, but I remembered that when they kissed, my breath caught and when they fought, my heart broke.

Soap opera story lines are almost incomprehensible if you condense them into a few short paragraphs. If you don’t believe me, try searching a fictional soap character’s life of Wikipedia. Madness. The stories work in part because they hook the fan with five to ten minute shots of adrenaline. I had the chance to meet a Guiding Light writer at an RWA conference a few years ago, and I can tell you they work hard to manage something that looks so effortless. There are writers working on story arcs & character arcs that will unfold over months and another set of writers making those arcs work on a day to day basis (creating the 5 minute hooks).

But the most important reason the fans watch is the coupling (and uncoupling) of the characters. Why? Because love resonates and passion is the world’s best reason for hope.

When Guiding Light came to an end a few years back, I tuned in because I remembered Josh and Reva and I was desperately hoping the writers would do the fans a favor and allow them a happily ever after (they did, in a soap-epilogue sort of way).

Most daytime couples never get a happy ending, but I was happy to know Reva and Josh headed off into the netherworld of fictional characters hand-in-hand. Do you have a favorite memory of a daytime soap couple?

5 Responses to Love Resonates: Daytime Supercouple

  • For me it was Patch and Kayla and Beau and Hope on Days of Our Lives, circa late 80’s-early 90’s. All that passion and great 80’s hair! Who could want anything more?

    Once, I actually met Peter Reckell (Beau). He was visiting a relative in the children’s hospital where I worked. He was gorgeous and I was just as dumbstruck as when I met Lisa Kleypas at RWA last year!

    When I was googling how to spell his last name, I just learned he (Peter) is 55 years old! I never would have guessed!

    You are right, Wendy…we love soaps for many of the same reasons as we love romance novels.

  • @Miranda Liasson

    Patch and Kayla! *sigh* I’m kind of fuzzy but wasn’t the villain of the Patch/Kayla romance Jack–who later had his own “redemption” story with Jen?

    I can’t believe Peter Recknell is 55. I really think the producers should get together and write a book called “secrets of looking young” by soap stars!

    (OT: I just added this reply widget to the blogger HTML & I hope it works!)

  • Oh my God, Wendy, do I! I loved Another World until it went off the air in 1999, and just adored Cass and Frankie. (Well, Cass and just about anybody. . .)

  • @Rosemary DiBattista

    I don’t even remember watching Another World, but I know Cass and Frankie! He had such a fantastic voice. And didn’t he have a friend who was a romance writer?

    Who knew how many soap couple memories were just waiting to be rediscovered?

  • Oh my God, Wendy, do I! I loved Another World until it went off the air in 1999, and just adored Cass and Frankie. (Well, Cass and just about anybody. . .)

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