Tomorrow marks the end of an era. Tomorrow will be the final episode of the soap opera, Guiding Light.
I have watched my fair share of soap operas since I was a teenager and still do, occasionally, tune in to watch an episode or two. But Guiding Light was my first. I can't tell you what year it was or how old I was, but I remember watching it because my mom watched it. She taught me how to iron and I would iron pillowcases in front of the TV while watching the tangled web weaved by the Bauers and the Spauldings.
I'm guessing that this was somewhere in the late '60s. Soap Operas were a lot different back then. Sex was only inferred and the raciest storyline might have been about alcoholism. I often wonder if it was watching first, Guiding Light, and then, As The World Turns (which I still catch now and then), that started my love for stories. Or maybe it was my love for stories that attracted me to soap operas. Either way, they have been a part of my life for most of my life.
Soap operas are a dying breed. Women used to stay at home all day and a half hour soap (originally on the radio) was a nice distraction to most of their time spent doing the cooking and housework. Over time, women started working outside the home more, and viewership suffered.
Then TV programming started to change. The options of what to watch became greater. And because of those choices, soaps had to drastically change their story lines to compete with the more exciting game, talk, and reality shows. The story lines became more scandalous and ridiculous, and the typical viewer of soaps changed. It became a younger crowd.
All this is what has caused the slow and final death of Guiding Light, as well as previously canceled soaps. I stopped watching Guiding Light back when I was a teenager, but I still find it sad to see it go permanently. Good bye old friend. Thanks for the memories.