I've seen some creative solutions for saving the soap opera as a genre, but this takes the cake. Former SOAPnet blogger David Ozanich has written an essay forThe Awlcalling for public television to fund our stories, especially one called One Life to Live!
I would like to suggest that the federal government step in and subsidize this art form in the way they fund public broadcasting or the NEA. I realize that this is a pipe dream in our current political climate, but what would “East Enders” be without the BBC? Personally, I would rather see “One Life to Live” on PBS at lunchtime than the usual Charlie Rose repeat. The government funds all sorts of dead art forms that no one cares about like ballet, theater and opera, why not soap operas? What’s a $50 million production budget compared to the billions we spend on Medicare?
You might be saying to yourself, “Why should my tax dollars support ‘One Life to Live’ when we have ‘The Young and the Restless,’ ‘Days of Our Lives,' ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ and ‘General Hospital’ still before us?” The reason, besides the superior quality of "One Life," is that the cancellation of this show and “All My Children” is the bellwether of things to come. All of these shows are deemed “dated” and “unhip” and will soon be slain by reality TV and chat shows—and that is if we're lucky. More likely it will be “Dancing With the Stars” repeats and infomercials. The cancellation of "One Life" is the Gallipoli for soap operas. They're fighting a losing battle to stay on the air.
Where do I sign up? I'd rather see Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser), Viki/Niki (Erika Slezak) and all of Messica's (Bree Williamson) personas than a bunch of 'ol people running around reciting Emily Dickinson!