‘As The World Turns’ DVDs Released; Episodes To Stream Soon

As The World Turns DVDs Released

Rejoice, “As The World Turns” fans. Official DVDs of the soap opera are now available. Thanks to Procter & Gamble’s decision to sell the rights to its soap operas to Broadway Video Digital Media, twenty episodes of the soap are now available on four discs, Villains and Vixens, Great Weddings, Secrets and Scandals and Oakdale Through The Years. We Love Soaps, whose founder Roger Newcomb consulted on the DVDs, has a list of which episodes are on each DVD. The New York based distribution company previously announced plans to sell ATWT, “Guiding Light,” “Another World,” “Texas” and “Edge of Night” internationally. Now U.S. soap fans get to reap the benefits of the company’s savvy realization that there is money to be made on the canceled soaps.

In a plot twist worthy of daytime, the news broke earlier than the company expected when some Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly subscribers received copies of the magazine with full page ads for the DVDs a day before the magazine was scheduled to hit news stands. The website that had been set up to sell the DVDs, soapclassics.com was not yet live. Mark Yates, President of both Broadway Video Digital Distribution and SoapClassics, confirmed the DVD release to me and issued the following statement:  “While no limited collection can ever do justice to the scope and quality of a legendary series like As The World Turns, we have worked very hard to pick a high-quality selection of classic episodes. Many fans will recognize the episodes as some of the best and most controversial of the series, and we hope fans will enjoy owning these great moments on DVD.” The DVDs can be purchased through soapclassics.com or by calling 1(800) 998-5199.

According to We Love Soaps, numerous episodes of  ATWT will also be available for streaming on-line on soapclassic’s webpage in early 2012, and episodes of GL will be available later in the year. Yes, the P&G soaps will become available on-line around the same time that new episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life To Live” are scheduled to premiere on The On-Line Network. Here’s a question to ponder: why do companies with no prior experiences with daytime dramas, be they BVDD or Prospect Park, seem to have a much better grasp of how to promote and monetize the shows than the companies that have been in the soap business for decades?*

* Sony is doing a good job of supporting its shows, but there has got to be a market for “Days of Our Lives” and “The Young & the Restless” DVDs and streams of classic episodes.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

The Port Charles police needs to put out an APB for someone who has gone AWOL from “General Hospital”: Storyline. Storyline disappeared from the town around the time of Jake’s tragic death. Since then, characters have been largely confined to having feelings without actually doing anything. It looked like Storyline was poised to make a triumphant return when Garin Wolf became headwriter. There were tantalizing hints that Michael (Chad Duell) might embrace his Quartermaine heritage, that Jason (Steve Burton) would regain his memory and that, with Robin (Kimberly McCullough) installed as the hospital’s Chief of Staff, the show would once again be centered around the hospital.

Instead, the show quickly regressed into the same slow morass of miserable people contemplating their navels.Luke (Tony Geary) is sad that his children won’t forgive him for drunk driving and killing a child. Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) spends days staring at pills, wishing he did not want to take them. Sonny (Maurice Benard) is moping (still!) about being locked in a closet when he was a child. Lulu (Julie Berman) is moping because Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) was shot (again!). Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) treated their own wedding like a chore. Franco paints alone moodily, because the one day break in James Franco’s movie filming schedule did not allow him to actually film scenes with any of the show’s regular cast members. It’s like an existentialist play minus the good writing, subtext, and merciful ending.

The only actual plot that I can name right now is the one nobody seems to want to see: Fatal Attraction Lite, Lisa (Brianna Brown) has now awakened from her coma and will presumably wreak more havoc on Robin and Patrick because, somehow, all that happened as a result of Robin being appointed Chief of Staff was a lot of sniping and grumbling. How hard would it have been to have that be the start of a storyline:? Off the top of my head, I can envision Robin forging an alliance with ELQ’s pharmaceutical division (last seen manufacturing faulty condoms) to have the hospital conduct clinical trails for an experimental drug that treats mood disorders, semi-blackmailing Sonny into participating by threatening to have him arrested for shooting her in the arm, discovering that the drug made Sonny into a kind, non-violent man, then realizing that ELQ was hiding some serious side effects to insure FDA approval.

Everyone at GH knows that the show has a year to prove itself so that ABC won’t replace it with Katie Couric’s new talk show. Right now, it does not seem like the show is even trying.

Today We Are All Nelson Muntz

Every now and then soaps make me contemplate the fact that, deep down, I am not a very nice person. For example, Thursday’s episode of “One Life To Live” made me laugh at a fifteen year old boy losing control of his bladder. Granted, that 15 year old was Jack (Andrew Trischetta), killer of women, bullier of nice kids and pathological liar, but it still was a personal low. I cheered Shane (Austin Williams) getting some Emily Thorne-style justifiable revenge, by pointing a gun at him and demanding he confess to killing his mother. When he still denied it, Shane fired the gun to scare him. The result: a giant urine stain and Shane coining the nickname “whizzy” for the guy who calls him wheezy. Of course, Rex (John Paul Lavoisier) and the cops showed up before Jack admitted what he’d done. But it was worth it because it meant the entire Llanview Police Department got to witness Jack’s humiliating accident and we got confirmation that though Shane knocked Jack out on the night of Victor’s murder, he instantly felt remorse and took Jack to the hospital. I’m not sure how Shane learned to shoot (video games?)  or drive (Echo and Roxie’s unique brand of grandparenting?) but it was satisfying viewing. In the word of television’s best bully “The Simpsons” Nelson Muntz, ha ha!

Watch “One Life to Live:”

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