I remember when I was home sick, as a kid, burning through the day watching soap operas. General Hospital, All My Children - even Ryan's Hope. These were odd shows, moving at a snail's pace through claustrophobic sets and dense (and at times inexplicable) melodrama. They worked - culturally and financially - in an era of three major networks, PBS, a few local stations, and radio.
But today, stay-at-homes (and their sick children) have a host of entertainment options. Some television content - can you spell infomercial? - costs TV stations zero dollars to produce. And that's just the beginning. If you can hack out a television program about people who write parking tickets, why spend cash on Susan Lucci?
Why indeed. It turns out that ABC couldn't provide a satisfying answer to this question. So it is canceling All My Children and One Life to Live. One Life has been on for 43 years; Children for 41.
It is replacing these soaps with, among other things, a show called Chew. And yes, it is about food. I haven't watch AMC in years but - much like the day I pondered the loss of Heller, Ehrman and Michael Reese Hospital - this is yet another moment in which I watch my past dissolve. No tears, but a blog post, at the least, to pay my respects.