A surefire way to waste an inordinate amount of time is to start watching old clips of Days of Our Lives from the early nineties. Talk about falling down a rabbit hole. You literally get sucked in, and can’t stop.
Soap operas aren’t the big deal today that they used to be. But back in my day, most of my friends (even guys) had their favorite. I think most people were in one of three camps, The Young and the Restless (CBS), All My Children (ABC), and my favorite, Days of Our Lives (NBC). My husband was into AMC. For some reason I was never simpatico with the television viewing preferences in the lounge at K-State student union. On breaks from class, the morning show was always Good Morning America (I preferred Today.) And I don’t know who the ruling powers were, but the soap was always YTR. Then at noon, it would just stay on that channel. That meant I had to rush back to the dorm to make it in time for Days at noon. Tough if you had a Tuesday/Thursday 11:15 class. That’s likely why my grade in Intro to Mass Communication wasn’t stellar. Hard to know when to show up for tests if you’re not in class when the test dates are announced.
Anyway there was an actor on one of the Nickelodeon shows that my kids watch who looked familiar. I thought I knew him from Days of Our Lives. It was bugging me because I couldn’t recall his character, so I embarked on a YouTube search. An hour and a half later, I’d watched excerpts from the “Cruise of Deception,” and Jack using a fire truck to rescue Jennifer from her wedding to Emilio, and Bo cold cocking a policeman and stealing his motorcycle to rescue Hope from her wedding to Larry Welch. Breaking up weddings is a common theme in the soap opera world. Personally I don’t know anyone who has ever backed out of a wedding on the day of the ceremony, let alone been kidnapped by another suitor, but that probably happened to everyone in Salem at least once.
Aside from rekindling a little crush I had on Matthew Ashford, who plays the terribly charming and handsome, Jack, I can’t say this was an hour well spent. Though the stroll through nineties fashion memory lane was intriguing. Wow. Lots of hair. Lots of shoulder pads. I stopped watching the show around 1995 or so, when a.) I got a job that required my presence at work during the day, every day, instead of random evening hours, and b.) Marlena became possessed by the devil. Suspension of disbelief is a requisite for soap opera viewing. I can buy into amnesia, evil twins, faked death, serial killers, desert islands, international intrigue, long lost royalty, you name it. But when she’d go all over to the dark side with yellow eyes, murdering people, that was a little much for even daytime drama standards. I just lost interest and quit cold turkey.
So that’s how I spent my morning. I never even did figure out who the actor was. It might have been worth it, though, if just for this clip alone. Check out Jennifer’s dress at 2:41. Pretty much fantastic. Ah, the last days of the eighties. Good stuff.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012