As the World Turns: The Death of Dr. Reid Oliver and Endgames



Before I get to today’s stunning episode of As the World Turns, in which Dr. Reid Oliver dies and donates his heart to his professional nemesis/colleague Dr. Chris Hughes, I have a few thoughts about not only the serial's final days on the air, but also —in a broader sense—fan perceptions about what a soap's last days should be like, themes that will be carried forward as we look toward ATWT's final hours.

First, with less than two weeks to go before its final fade to black, ATWT is ending its 54 year history in perhaps better dramatic shape than almost any serial since the cancellation of NBC's Texas in 1982, a specific observation I will expand upon in a few days. Of course, there is lots to gripe and nitpick about the woulda-coulda-shoulda’s of how the show might have wrapped things up. Many of those ideas are quite good and some are downright ludicrous, but in the final turn of events, all of that stuff is moot. The last scenes were shot, the sets have been struck, and the actors all went along different paths weeks ago.

Is it legitimate to criticize elements of the show as these final episodes air? Certainly. However, in my opinion, some of the gripes I have heard and read reverberating around the internet about how ATWT is ending its run strike me as not only a bit of overkill, but also as a case of not being able to see the long-term forest for the daily, episodic trees.

Take, for example, Barbara’s (the brilliant Colleen Zenk) captivity in the storage room by Iris (fantastic Terri Garber) and interaction with Chuckles the Inanimate Clown. Did that whole arc go on too long? Yes, it did. However, that wasn’t the story. Iris’ shenanigans were only a multi-leveled plot device. The real story was that Barbara needed to be alone and isolated, confronted with the potential loss of a second chance at love with Henry (Trent Dawson, just terrific) and a fresh start at life. She required that time by herself (maybe not so much of it, from our perspective) to confront and lay to rest her biggest inner demons, including the spectre of the greatest emotional thorn in her side, ex-husband James Stenbeck (Anthony Herrera). [A side note: I thought Barbara’s hallucination of Stenbeck as a malevolent clown was sheer genius, for reasons that should be apparent to those who are familiar with coulrophobia and the criticisms of Stenbeck many fans have had in recent years.] Babs’ disappearance also was the catalyst to bring multiple interfamilial resolutions among her children Paul (Roger Howarth) and Will (an effortless Jesse Lee Soffer) and their respective spouses, Emily (Kelley Menighan Hensley) and Gwen (Jennifer Landon).

Likewise, I think that the many fans who thought the whole arc with Anthony Blackthorn (Billy Warlock) and Ralph Manzo (Stuart Damon, in a really nice turn) was a waste of time missed a similar point. Were parts of it cheesy? Of course. Nonetheless, that whole, somewhat convoluted, saga was built to accomplish several goals: to bring Jack (Michael Park) and Carly (Maura West) together, at last, as a team working with, instead of against, each other and to release Jack from his guilt over Brad’s death; to resolve the Dusty (Grayson McCouch) and Lucy question, (Sarah Glendening, who was was just great) and finally pair him with Janet (Julie Pinson); and—in a turn that made me holler with delight—to address a few nagging questions about Lucinda’s (a stupendous Elizabeth Hubbard) past as Mary Ellen Walters, which was like catnip to viewers who remember when the truth about her real identity came out years ago, but how bits & pieces of that transformation were left out.

We are not supposed to care about Blackthorn or Manzo or even Iris, for that matter. These plot devices are merely framing devices used to provide resolution and (mostly) happy endings, whose purpose was to move our main characters to a place that otherwise could have taken many more weeks, months or years to accomplish had the show stayed on the air. This line of thought brings us directly to the fates of Chris Hughes and Reid Oliver.

In the case of Chris Hughes (Daniel Cosgrove), I read an editorial in a major soap magazine, which I've seen echoed by a number of fans, that mainly rests on one preposterous premise: that we shouldn’t care about Chris or his (yes) rushed romance with Katie (Teri Colombino) because he is the 11th recast. To that I ask, what kind of frack-a-nackle-bull-ish is that? It is not Cosgrove’s fault he was hired to take over one of the most problematic roles in daytime and, if memory serves, he was hired before the show was canceled. By that reasoning, we shouldn’t care what happens to Tom because Holmes was the 13th recast of that problematic role. No matter how many recasts there have been of Chris, the character is a member of the show’s cornerstone family, the Hugheses. Many fans, as well as soap journalists, are always clamoring that the offspring of core families should be respected and given meaty stories. So now, when it happens (even if it is a ripoff of the "Phillip Spaulding’s Dying" story from Guiding Light), with the effect of thrusting the show’s entire main family into the spotlight, we shouldn’t care? Someone needs an enema.


Comments

Member since:
5 July 2008
Last activity:
22 hours 32 min

I Agree J Bernard

Wonderfully Put

Member since:
29 August 2010
Last activity:
5 weeks 4 days

Nobody could say it better.

Member since:
16 December 2007
Last activity:
19 weeks 3 hours

Was I the only one less than impressed? I thought it was rushed and I'm still not feeling the ending for Luke/Reid. I wasn't a huge Luke/Reid fan but it doesn't feel right to me for Luke's story to conclude this way.

Member since:
8 April 2010
Last activity:
3 years 13 weeks

Every last minute of ATWT since Barbara's wedding has been absolute gold!!! I'v been heavily invested in this show since I was 12 years old. I haven't always been a faithful viewer, but I have been a constant viewer. Back in the late-nineties when I lost my first job and got depressed, I rediscovered my friends in Oakdale and haven't left since.

There have been many things about the show that have and should be criticized, but all criticism now is just the pointless beating of a dead horse. I am enjoying and intend to enjoy every remaining minute of the show.

Member since:
16 December 2007
Last activity:
19 weeks 3 hours

"the case of Chris Hughes (Daniel Cosgrove), I read an editorial in a major soap magazine, which I've seen echoed by a number of fans, that mainly rests on one preposterous premise: that we shouldn’t care about Chris or his (yes) rushed romance with Katie (Teri Colombino) because he is the 11th recast. To that I ask, what kind of frack-a-nackle-bull-ish is that? It is not Cosgrove’s fault he was hired to take over one of the most problematic roles in daytime and, if memory serves, he was hired before the show was canceled. By that reasoning, we shouldn’t care what happens to Tom because Holmes was the 13th recast of that problematic role. No matter how many recasts there have been of Chris, the character is a member of the show’s cornerstone family, the Hugheses. Many fans, as well as soap journalists, are always clamoring that the offspring of core families should be respected and given meaty stories."

I would agree with some of those criticisms levelled at Chris. I like soaps to respect core characters but that doesn't mean I think I have to care about a recast that just arrived not too long ago and hasn't been interesting or likeable to most viewers.

Member since:
5 July 2008
Last activity:
22 hours 32 min

In The Chris Situation I Think Some Think He Came Off As Unsympathetic

alstonboy4315's picture
Member since:
12 February 2010
Last activity:
6 weeks 5 days

I am just glad that I was not forced to rewatch those HORRIFICALLY bad final scenes of Reid "pretending" that he couldn't get that seatbelt off from Friday's episode. Talk about a lazy and insultingly bad ending to a story. I cringed the ENTIRE way through it. Today's episode was sooooooooo sad. Imaginary tear droplets are falling over my keyboard as I speak!!!!

Dr. Reid and Eric Sheffer deserved MUCH BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Member since:
15 October 2008
Last activity:
38 weeks 14 hours

I usually agree w/u JBJ and I do respect your opinion on this, but I have to disagree. The whole acting like we have another year left w/their stories have been hit and mostly miss w/their last storylines. As for today's episode, incredibly rushed and forced which made for a bad episode. Terri Colombino and Ellen Dolan were the only ppl I thought brought it. As for Van Hansis, um... yeah.

Member since:
12 January 2010
Last activity:
6 hours 14 min

J. Bernard I agree with everything you wrote.

I have been a fan of soaps since 1978 (when I was 6!) and I have seen many shows go off the air. None but Texas (and maybe Ryan's Hope but I did not watch it so I do not know) was in as good of shape as As the World Turns is in when they went off the air. I would have done anything to see my all time favourite Another World end with half the heart and history that ATWT is ending with.

I have wanted a Chris/Katie pairing for years. Tying her to the Hughes family makes a lot of sense. I also think Daniel Cosgrove could have been to Chris what Scott Holmes was to Tom if there had been time.

Chris Goutman and Jean Passanante have made decisions over the years that I have not understood but if the last few episodes continue to be as great as what we have been seeing they will have redeemed themselves - somewhat - in my eyes.

J. Bernard I look forward to reading more of your intelligent, thoughtful posts on the final episodes.

J Bernard Jones's picture
Member since:
9 September 2008
Last activity:
3 hours 45 min

 I would agree with some of those criticisms levelled at Chris. I like soaps to respect core characters but that doesn't mean I think I have to care about a recast that just arrived not too long ago and hasn't been interesting or likeable to most viewers.

I wasn't making an argument that one is required to like a recast. Fans are free to accept or reject a recast (much less the primary casting of an actor in any role) as is their perogative. However, I was specifically addressing the argument about rejecting the child of a soaps core family  and a legacy character at that — almost solely because the actor is a recast (2nd or 22nd) is a piss poor, lazy bit of reasoning, in my opinion.

Reject him/her because the writing is lousy, because the actor isn't measuring up to snuff, because the stories are lame, because the (usually new) direction of the character doesn't make any sense. We — the audience — don't have the luxury of six months to let an actor grow into a role anymore (that's the old way things were done before the entire genre started sinking under its own weight), and the propensity of many viewers to automatically reject any new actor or character that doesn't click within the first 10 seconds of their first scenes is one of the many way "fans" have helped destroy the industry in their own special way.

I made a special point of addressing the fact that Cosgrove was hired as he the show was getting the axe; it's not like he HAD a year to prove himself as Chris. For my money, in the last few weeks, he has stepped up to the plate given the circumstances of his story line given ATWT's imminent demise.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

caitlinp's picture
Member since:
15 January 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 5 days

Douglas Marland wrote that recasts should be treated like new characters, because even with recasts, it will usually take the audience six months to accept the new actor. I can fully accept that Chris is a core character, but the problem is that the writers made no effort to develop his character over the last few months. He was an empty, shallow, purposeless character. He had not depth, and Daniel Cosgrove, who's a good actor, had no idea who the character was, so it's not surprising that many viewers didn't either.

Contrast that with Reid Oliver, who was also new, but who was a fully drawn, three dimensional character. Eric Sheffer Stevens connected with that character not only because he's a good actor, but because the character was written in a way where we understood his motivations, and who he was which was never the case with Chris.

This ending is a major fail, mainly because Reid has more depth and meaning than Chris. The writers should have introduced Chris' illness sooner, and had him bond with Reid, instead of having him treat Reid with disrespect all the way up until the end. They also should have kept the focus on both Chris/Katie and Reid/Luke's relationships. Unfortunately, they put the brakes on Reid/Luke's relationship weeks ago, and made it all about the couple who's relationship received the least amount of development, which of course means that the audience isn't as invested in Katie and Chris' relationship.

Member since:
7 September 2010
Last activity:
3 years 32 weeks

It was a very good episode, but sadly fell a little short of being great.

Why didn't we get to see Luke tell Katie about Reid?

Why was everyone standing in the doorway as Luke said goodbye to Reid rather than standing with him, supporting him?

I would have rather seen Luke killed, then Reid faced with the decision of harvesting his heart AND help perform the surgery. It would have been great if Reid were revealed to be John's son - then the show could have ended with Reid and Chris battling it out for control of Memorial as their fathers had a generation before.

Overall, I am happy with the way things are wrapping up. Fan will remember it for years to come (the way we remember the great wrap up to Texas almost 30 years ago).

One final thought: The show hit the audience over the head with Bay City this and Bay City that...It would have been great to hear a name from the past. Jamie Frame was a doctor - the call could have come from Dr. Frame. Or maybe it was Matthew Cory's heart. The best suggestion came from a friend who said that rather than Reid's car being hit by a runaway train, he was hit by a drunk driver...Felicia Gallant who had fallen off the wagon, leaving fans with a taste of the drama that is still happening in Bay City. A final nod to the P&G audience who had been so loyal for so many years on two networks.

Trust me, I am not REALLY complaining, I have my tissues ready for the next ten days.

J Bernard Jones's picture
Member since:
9 September 2008
Last activity:
3 hours 45 min

 As for today's episode, incredibly rushed and forced which made for a bad episode.

For once, I think the rushed elements of the episode worked completely and almost brilliantly in the episodes favor. The situation was dire: Chris was dying by the minute. Reid's heart needed to be harvested right away. There was literally no time to waste, no second to spare. The Hughes' were being rocked with one stunning, potentially devastating bit of news after another. Luke was shell shocked. Katie was teetering. John was desperate. For these reasons, I think the rushed nature of the events in Friday's and today's episodes worked splendidly. Remember, it took Jennifer close to two weeks to waste way; in that same period of time, ATWT, will be no more.

You know I have been a strong critic of ATWT's propensity for rushing stories the last few years, and I'm going to more fully address some of your points in the days ahead.

J Bernard Jones's picture
Member since:
9 September 2008
Last activity:
3 hours 45 min

 A whole bunch of woulda-shoulda-coulda's.

All moot points now.

I'm just saying.

caitlinp's picture
Member since:
15 January 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 5 days

(continued) sorry for the long post.

While good episodes and individuals scenes are nice, they don't mean that a storyline is good. This genre is dying because there is no reason for people to watch a soap everyday if it's just going to be about random good scenes and stunts. The ending of the Meg storyline was stupid, that is something that doesn't change just because the last scene between Meg and Paul was good and full of emotion. The same goes for Barbara and the clown, we can't change that it went on too long or that parts of it were just dumb, those things ruined any impact that would have been made by Barbara's epiphany's.

The acting has been great in this storyline, but that has never been ATWT's problem, they have some of the best actors in soaps. Some of the problems:

1. The tone/message that Chris' life and his relationship with Katie is more important than Reid's life and his relationship with Luke. Even today, instead of Reid's last moments being about leaving Luke, it was all about Chris. And I won't even touch the scene from Friday of Reid looking around at all of the happy couples.

2. There's not enough time to explore the impact of Reid's death, especially not on how it will effect Luke.

3. The obvious inequality in how Reid and Luke's relationship was treated in comparison to how Katie and Chris' relationship is treated. The last month Reid and Luke were used as props for Katie and Chris. A better storyline would have bee to simultaneously show both relationships developing.

4. The farcical nature of the train crash, and diminishing Reid's death by disposing of him in the first twenty minutes of today's show.

5. I just can't say this enough, member of a core family or not, Chris just was not written well. Why kill off a character who was well written, and who was three dimensional for one who TIIC didn't care enough about to actually give him a purpose. Hell, they couldn't even remember if he was a pediatrician or some other type of doctor.

caitlinp's picture
Member since:
15 January 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 5 days

alstonboy4315 wrote:
I am just glad that I was not forced to rewatch those HORRIFICALLY bad final scenes of Reid "pretending" that he couldn't get that seatbelt off from Friday's episode. Talk about a lazy and insultingly bad ending to a story. I cringed the ENTIRE way through it. Today's episode was sooooooooo sad. Imaginary tear droplets are falling over my keyboard as I speak!!!!
Dr. Reid and Eric Sheffer deserved MUCH BETTER!!!!!!!!!!

I agree with your last sentence.

I've read a lot of posts from people who've said that the train crash was so over the top, and poorly filmed that it took them out of the storyline. They expected to be heartbroken because of the scene, but it was too outlandish to be believable, and so it lost any meaning or impact that it might have had.

Member since:
26 February 2009
Last activity:
1 year 35 weeks

I think people might care more about Chris if the show had given more reason to care. More scenes with his family and developing his personality, and less with Katie. Katie is so beloved by this show that she is even more important than Nancy in Nancy's funeral episode. I don't care about Katie's love and Katie's pain because she is as shallow as ever and she has no chemistry with Chris. They should have written her out months ago, like they did with Meg.

The biggest difference between Tom and Chris is that Tom had an established personality before Scott Holmes took over. Holmes was very lucky to be able to work with what Tom was given through Justin Deas and Gregg Marx (not mentioning the earlier Toms because they reinvented Tom when Deas took over). Cosgrove had nothing to work with. Chris has been recast so many times without a strong presence, and has often not even had a personality, beyond self-righteousness and blandness.

Chris is the Patti Barron Whiting whatever of ATWT.

I would have been far more invested if they had brought back someone like Andy Dixon for this story.

Member since:
15 January 2009
Last activity:
3 weeks 2 days

I am loving every second of the final weeks of this soap. I haven't watched in years but decided to see how things ended and started watching this summer. I am certainly glad I did. I did not care one bit about Luke and Reid but this episode was just too well acted for me to continue with a so-what regarding those two. Very well done. It is always interesting to read how everyone reacts differently to the actors and/or storylines. Some storylines took longer than others and some seemed silly, but overall the end result was worth the wait. I really can't stand Carly or Janet and I personally think Chris is wasted on Katie but who cares - in the end, I will miss them all.

Member since:
25 March 2010
Last activity:
3 years 25 weeks

I respectfully disagree with this article J Bernard Jones. He is entitled to his opinion, but I feel it couldn't be more off the mark. While he says everything is shoulda coulda woulda
moot points, that doesn't mean any of it was right and should be dismissed and treated as better drama than the mess it is. The pacing is lightning fast on major resolutions, while getting there is so painfully slow and drawn out. So weeks of the clown, get married in a day. Nancy dies in the last 10 minutes of one episode off screen and the next morning they've already memorialized and buried her by the time the episode starts. Reid is dead in the first 20 minutes of the show, but Katie and Chris can moon at each other as she gives him the 'great future' pep talk.

I think it is also worth noting that at least two of the people responsible for said mess have moved on to other shows, shows with lousy ratings that can probably expect more of the same.

Here is my perspective. I turned 44 over the summer and CBS soaps have been on for my whole life. My mother and I have joked that I came out of the womb knowing all the characters. There was a time when the day started with Love of Life and ended with Edge of Night. My sister was a fan of Ryan's Hope and All My Chidren, as well as Another World, she watched on the tv in parents bedroom - I knew them all the shows. I was home from school the day that Roger Thorpe raped his wife Holly on Guiding Light, I remember Nikki the stripper on Y&R, Donna the prostiture on AMC, I remember when a boat accident on Ryan's Hope when Faith (wasn't it Faith?) was accidentally stabbed with a cheese knife and lost her baby. I loved Larkin Malloy on Edge and then later on GL, and I remember when Lisa had a son name Chuckie who died in a car accident with one of the many Toms. These shows were in my blood and I have seen them through good times, bad times, and sadly, cancellations. One day Love of Life just seemed to disappear, Search for Tomorrow went to NBC in a huge explosion, Egde went to ABC and died.

I travelled for work during the late 90's and it was impossible to watch the shows regularly, so I kept up with the recaps and checking out Soap Opera Digest every now and then. Finally when my work schedule changed I was able to pick up a couple of shows and I reconnected with GL and ATWT out of an odd combination of nostalgia and a sense of duty. Y&R was always the same dark set, and I never clicked with B&B after 10 years, so I didn't bother going back to either. It was sad watching as GL became a shell of its former self and I could go days without watching it, but ATWT still had a good balance of veterans and new characters, as well as some story lines that worked very well. Yet I've felt the slide and its dependance on a few characters (um, Carly anyone?) while Tom and Margo, and others faded into back burner status. I began to worry in earnest with the whole Jade/Cleo story line, these stories all seemed to have been told before, it didn't matter how good the actor/actress, there seemed to be nothing new. The era of Vortex of suck was coming into full force. Meg/Craig/Paul never ended. James was dead, James was alive. Barbara was a Bitch. Jack and Katie, Jack and Carly, Brad and Katie, Jack and Janet it was tiresome for me that we were supposed to just go with the rapidly paced stories that never seemed to resolve before starting some new version of itself.

Janet's overblown importance and the influx of her family was irritating to say the least. I love Julie Pinson, and think she is an amazing actress. But to go from Juicy Janet to the long suffering miss in a couple of weeks was just plain silly. Teri could have been a good foil for her, but was never given the chance. This whole group just seemed to grow and take over. If Carly had a scene, then Janet managed to get two. There were days I could watch the entire episode in less than ten minutes. As for Chris Hughes, that is a character they haven't known what to do with forever. He was all over the map when played by Dylan Bruce, his only dependable traits is that he is uniformly arrogant and self serving - which is who he has been for a long time. I loved Daniel Cosgrove on GL, he was fun to watch as Bill Lewis even with absolute crap they wrote for him. As Chris, he has been reduced to little boy grins and excessive whining, and yes, a very forced and fast love story with Katie. There is no chemistry there. If Katie needed a great end story, how about Simon? They were on fire together. How about the real Mike Kasnoff? They were hot. She and Chris, not. I held out a bit of hope last fall with how they handled Brad's death and the ultimate resolution at Christmas. There were the touches the ATWT was known for. But sadly, the show had been canceled before it played out and what followed seemed silly. Jack on the road, the whole Philly/Ben Franklin story is the kind of thing that turns people off daytime.

Getting back to the mess the show is in now, while I agree there were some great moments with Barbara and Chuckles, that was completely too long in comparison to how most story lines are started and completed in about 36 minutes on this show. Weeks with the clown! With that much time they could have tied up ATWT and the next soap to be cancelled. I thought the wedding, while characteristically too fast, was thoughtfully conceived, but where was Lisa? The time devoted to every duplicated scene in the warehouse could have been used on other story. They botched the chance to let Holden move on with Molly, and allow Lily to finally grow up. Another Lucinda manipulation seemed like status quo, and not very new. Did anyone believe that Craig and Lily wouldn't go and check out a huge purchase like that? Especially when dealing with someone they knew had a falling out with Lucinda? That is like opening the henhouse for the lady fox.

Regarding Nancy's story conclusion - no mention of Don or Penny? Even if they couldn't be there, not even a mention? Days wasted on a long past and forgotten story line like Mary Ellen Walters and Nancy's other children don't even get a mention? Also, Katie is a great character, but she had more airtime, with the new Chris mourning Nancy than Bob? How is this possible? I suppose we should be grateful that TPTB were willing to trot Tom and Margo out as much as they did. Why is Allison still getting any airtime? Is there anyone who cares at this point? Allison and Casey could have left for Carbondale months ago. They don't do anything. Yet they continue to get time.

The rushed feel that Nancy had to be in the ground the next morning was dumb, the whole let's do what gram would do 'donate your time' was very poorly executed (answering phones at legal aid?, what was that?), and Lisa, Susan, and Barbara toasting to Nancy? What an odd grouping! The only redeeming moment for me was the Thanksgiving prayer.

But my biggest bone of contention is to possibly suggest that today's episode was anything but a literal train wreck, and it makes me think that Chris Goutman himself was penning the article instead. The pacing was very uneven at best, and once again Chris Hughes had more airtime looking sick that Reid had dying. While watching last Friday's episode, I thought, Reid wouldn't try to outrun a train, he is too methodical in his thinking. Then when he couldn't get the seat belt unfastened? Really? Who's creative genius was that? So today as Luke is standing there, ready to give the big Reid cheer and instead of anyone actually telling him what happened, he sees Reid rushed through the only hall at Memorial? Then without a single doctor checking on him, (I guess Margo made the call) Bob tells Luke nothing can be done. The whole scene with Luke, Bob, Tom and Casey was dumb. I'm glad it was mentioned that the set was bad - storage room anyone? But when Luke walks in and there is one nurse (who has put a gauze bandage on Reid's head) who is the only one in attendance, it was too far past plausible.

There have been three doctors hovering over a patient (who is a doctor) too stupid to know you don't play golf with a heart condition in the heat, but Reid gets a nurse and his BF. Then to plant tom like a lion eyeing his prey was just too much. Sure there were some moments of great acting, but the material was forced at best. Whether intentional or not, the gay characters got the shaft for dramatic purposes. I would like to know the justification for it? Katie didn't get to say goodbye to Reid? Bob stays in the hall until he tells Luke to pull the plug? Where was his you have to hold on to hope speech then? I guess it only applies to his son, who is somehow going to be able to still be chief of staff. There was nothing natural in the flow, there was virtually no concern.

The author mentions Chris dying by the minute, Chris put himself in that position. My issue is that as usual, the fair haired hero, who as Reid put it didn't do anything to earn what he had, was going to get the happy ending just because - the blond boy is loved by the blonde girl and his family is important. This is the kind of story told decades ago, however the one to pay the price was usually a villain. Reid was no villain. He was a hardworking take no prisoners guy who made the mistake of discovering Chris' illness.
That is neither original nor good storytelling. I would hope that we would be past that kind of thinking today. There is no need to treat one segment of the viewing audience with such a negative story line conclusion while every other couple possible is either married, getting married, together or has the wheels in motion.

I am hardly looking forward to having to watch baby Lorenzo be born, or for Luke to explain to Noah why he didn't have sex with Ried - I guess I missed the promise ring episode.

I was hoping that this would be a more satisfying ending than GL delivered last year, but I see that I am going to be left with the same feeling of missed opportunities and sadness that this once great show was handled this way at the end. I wish this very talented cast nothing but the best in all their future endeavors. I don't feel the same for the creative team that squandered so many opportunities over the years. I know the P&G shows tended to be more conservative historically, and perhaps that is why we are seeing some of these stories play out this way, but even if that is the case I believe the fans deserved a more thoughtful and generous ending. There was no grand statement like when Alan Spaulding died on GL. To match that Lisa, Lucinda, John Dixon, Craig or Barbara would have to be sacrificed. Instead, the guy who worked hard and was putting himself out there had to take one for the team so the likes of Alison could stand by in surgery to keep an eye on one of the many guys she had sex with on the show. That is messed up!

Regardless, I maintain my sense of duty to see the show to the end, as I did last fall for GL. I have decades worth of great memories of the shows. I will hope for some sort of pleasant resolution on 9/17 and think fondly of the many good stories I've enjoyed over the years and do my best to over look some very odd and some very poor choices in the last few weeks.

Smitty's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
Last activity:
1 week 5 days

Ok let me first start off and say this. I haven't watched ATWT in about 8 years. So I decided to tune in the last three/four weeks for the return of John Dixon and to see the Nancy Hughes memorial/tribute. I have personally been enjoying every minute of it.

I have no attachment to Reid but I thought his death and him donating his heart to Chris was brilliant! I have saw some of the many recasts of Chris Hughes and I am enjoying Dan Cosgrove as his current portrayer. Could the romance of Chris/Katie be slowed down? Yeah, but realistically if you want it to slow down then be prepared for it all to happen off screen considering the show only has a few episodes left.

I for one am enjoying Kathryn Hays the most. Now by the time I quit watching ATWT in the early 2000s they had reduced the presence of Kim Hughes to the backburner. She has been stellar. She brought tears to my eyes on Friday's episode. Her scenes with Terri Columbino's Katie were phenomenal! Truly heartbreaking.

Member since:
26 August 2009
Last activity:
3 years 32 weeks

I totally agree with this commentary. Sure, there are a few things I would have done differently. Yes, I think Chris & Katie's romance was rushed and they had too many repetitive scenes. But I also think that Dr. Reid Oliver's entire storyline played true to his character. And I agree that the pacing of the heart transplant story was on target yesterday with its sense of urgency, even though I feel that the whole onset of the heart condition came out of left field 3 weeks ago.

The point is that there are only 7 episodes remaining and there's a lot to tie up in that time. While I would have preferred fewer Chris & Katie scenes and more Reid & Luke scenes, the messages were loud and clear: Katie had to learn how to believe in love again, even with the odds stacked against it; Reid had to learn how to love for the first time (yes, I agree with Luke's statement that Reid loved Katie & Jacob too) and learn that lesson too late because it followed the throughline of his arrogance.

Maybe not how we all wanted it to play out. Maybe not balanced the way we would have preferred. But the stories are true to character and isn't that why we loved ATWT in the first place?

caitlinp's picture
Member since:
15 January 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 5 days

Sorry for one more post, but I take issue with one more thing in this article (LOL). You state that we aren't expected to care about the plot devices, but a soap is about how Jack and Carly or Janet and Dusty work through their problems, not about the end result. People don't watch to see the train crash, we watch everyday to see the relationships that make the train crash such a tragedy, and then to see how the people impacted by the train crash deal with the fall out from the tragedy, so it is pretty hard to take the Blackthorns, Irises, and Chuckles out of a story, because they do play a role in a journey. Soaps have played a major role in getting people to stop watching everyday, and to stop being loyal viewers, by making it about the destination instead of the journey. We can have the best climatic scene, but if the work hasn't been done to get people invested in that scene, then it will just not have the emotional impact that it can have, and in a lot of ways, people just won't care.

harlee490's picture
Member since:
6 December 2009
Last activity:
4 hours 32 min

Absolutely, JBJ!! I am LONG time viewer ATWT (mom was a CBSer of soaps)and Yes you are right the recasting of Chris. It is not Daniel C.'s fault but out of all the recasts Daniel C. is by far the best. I do have my own wish list ATWT's characters I would of liked to see before the end most certainly. Such, Duncan, Jessica, PENNY, Don, Ellen, and Andy. I would of been nice, but as much of mess the whole Mick storyline that dominated the canvas right after it was announced about the cancellation which thank god it wrapped up in February, but since then ATWT went back to their roots of good old fashion family drama. Maybe in today's soaps fans want more mob killings, Doppelganger stories, etc and many have moved on by I have said before and I will say it again, soap's strengths are relationship character driven stories, rather family, friends, lover triangles, vixens, and villains, not super villains, because partly what make people tune in is see that a character pays for his or her deeds. They write main characters in corner from doing terrible things and nothing happens. There is very little interaction with multi-generational characters, or friends and family. Prime example at the end of GL, Phillip and Rick had very little scenes together, group of characters now are written in box for stories and it goes months without any interaction with other family or friends. I feeling blue the end is near.

bonobochick's picture
Member since:
3 December 2008
Last activity:
45 weeks 5 days

At50 wrote:
Was I the only one less than impressed? I thought it was rushed and I'm still not feeling the ending for Luke/Reid. I wasn't a huge Luke/Reid fan but it doesn't feel right to me for Luke's story to conclude this way.

Nope. Not just you.

Member since:
12 November 2009
Last activity:
3 years 18 weeks

Okay, so the Hughes family being front and center is all fine and dandy but about the characters that are pushed aside for them--it f**king hurts. And sucks.

bishbay's picture
Member since:
23 June 2010
Last activity:
8 weeks 5 days

Chip88's comment was the best and sums it up for me. This has been a sad end to the show.

Ryan-Scott's picture
Member since:
4 May 2009
Last activity:
2 hours 13 min

"Don't leave me" Luke said to Reid.
That my friends was soap opera there yesterday and Van Hansis hit it over and over.

I agree with Nelson Branco 110% that Luke and Reid should have gotten it on and that Reid SHOULD NOT be sacrificed to save Chris. No! No! No!

Yesterday was the 1st episode of ATWT I have watched all the way thru in awhile. I will watch Nancy's tribute episode online.

Let me tell you that seeing this yesterday in the credits made me realize another reason this show is on its way out -

Written By;

Jean Passanante
Lloyd Gold
Leah Laiman

We have 7 episodes left. Friday is golf again.
Sniff.

Ryan-Scott's picture
Member since:
4 May 2009
Last activity:
2 hours 13 min

Loved the mentions of Bay City and Springfield too.

Ryan-Scott's picture
Member since:
4 May 2009
Last activity:
2 hours 13 min

I would also like to add that during yesterday's episode I kept thinking all this drama with Chris would have been the PERFECT reason to have our little sweetie, Andy Dixon (his brother), come back.

Parrothead's picture
Member since:
11 January 2010
Last activity:
2 weeks 4 days

I wished they could of spent more time on Luke & Reid's romance & not put the brakes on it to develop (rush) a romance between Katie & Chris.

Luke & Reid has so much chemistry & yeah i loved the angst between them when they first started having feelings for each other but not admitting it yet, but once they got to where the tv screen was melting with them just looking at each other they stopped writing that & backpeddled & started throwing in Noah bones to drag it out so you didn't know who Luke was going to chose triangle got tiring.

The fact that they didn't treat this gay couple like they do a straight couple was glaringly obvious it was laughable. To have Henry & Vienna role-playing with capes & showing it & Vienna screwing Casey in a closet at the hospital to try to get pregnant while not letting Reid & Luke hardly kiss shows that. Then having Chris & Katie who've been dating 10 minutes & him having a heart condition & passes out all the time can have sex but not Luke & Reid who've been developing theirs for 8 months, is laughable.

On yesterdays show, i wished that some of the Hughes family would of came over & comforted Luke, who they've known all his life & knowing he was in a relationship with Reid & Reid just died, you would of thought one of them besides Katie would of held him & cried with him too. I hope they show some of that today to make up for it.

On a positive note VAN had his absolute best acting to date yesterday & i can't wait to see the next 7 episodes of his. He better win the emmy this year.