Soap operas are one of the oldest form of televised storytelling in the history of the medium. The genre became popular in the 1930's when soap operas first started on the radio. Flash forward to today, there are still four soap operas on daytime television and shows such as Dallas have some of the highest ratings in television history. Now, the genre is changing television again with the return of All My Children and One Life to Live coming back to life after cancellation, however this time, in an online format. Because soap operas never end, don't think that you can't quickly jump on the bandwagon when these timeless tales (and my two favorite shows) return on April 29. Here's everything you need to know about All My Children and One Life to Live before they come back from the dead:
ALL MY CHILDREN:
The action of the show takes place in Pine Valley, a suburb of Philadelphia that is seemingly home to only forty people, however this sleepy little town has an international airport and has been home to multi-billion dollar enterprises such as Cortlandt Electronics and internationally renowned companies such as Fusion Cosmetics. Apparently the suburbs of Philadelphia are hot spots for tornadoes as Pine Valley has been subject to several (watch out for falling chandeliers abound! I'm talking to you, Julia!). There is also a beach, with an ocean, even though Pennsylvania doesn't touch the Atlantic. Semantics!
Places of interest:
The Chandler Mansion: This mammoth house has been home to nearly every Pine Valley resident at one point or another. Filled with secret passageways and a revolving door of servants, the Chandler Mansion runs rampant with murder, adultery and revenge plots.
Confusion: The local watering hole that the ladies of Fusion Cosmetics opened (one of the several wold renowned cosmetics companies that happens to call Pine Valley home) where everyone in town congregates especially if there is a problem. Example: your child has been kidnapped. Go to Confusion and have a drink because all of your friends will randomly be there The kidnapper is most likely lurking in the background somewhere as well.
The Yacht Club: For whatever reason, Pine Valley has a yacht club. It's unclear as to where these yachts come from or go to, but come summertime, every high school and college kid (Pine Valley had a full-on university to serve it's two or three college aged kids) will be employed there and most likely fornicate in one of the cabanas.
Adam Chandler: One of the daytime's most dirty devils, Adam Chandler has been married an astonishing thirteen times and has six children (three of which have battled alcoholism). Evil Adam has a good natured twin named Stuart, whom he accidentally killed while drugged up (don't worry, he wasn't dead after all! Shocker!). But don't feel bad for Adam, he's worth millions and now in his autumn years of life is still considered one of Pine Valley's biggest catches.
Brooke English: Brooke has done everything from head a homeless shelter to run a full on magazine but she is best remembered as Erica Kane's arch rival, always picking up Erica's sloppy seconds. There are very few men over the age of forty that haven't been with either Brooke or Erica and this of course, makes Brooke one of the towns most respected citizens.
Dixie Martin: The heart of Pine Valley, whose heart belongs to one man: Tad Martin. One half of daytime's greatest couples, Dixie has the distinct honor of coming back from the dead not once, but twice. You'd think a woman resilient enough to survive driving her car off of a cliff and being declared dead would be able to withstand a batch of poison pancakes? Well, think again!
ONE LIFE TO LIVE:
The ironically titled show (almost every character has died and come back from the dead at least once) takes place in Llanview, another suburb of Philadelphia. It's a town that is rife with international intrigue, home of business conglomerates such as Buchanan Enterprises, renowned newspapers such as The Banner and The Sun, top school Llanview University, time travel and no less than five serial killers. Llanview was also home to the production of its own soap opera "Fraternity Row" and has it's own underground city Eterna.
Place of Interest:
Llanfair: The original home of millionaire Victor Lord, this mansion is now residence to his long suffering daughter Viki. It has multiple secret rooms, most notably the room where Viki held Dorian captive and later Jessica held her sister Natalie and her beau Jared captive. Llanfiar has succumbed to fire, gun violence and endless marital affairs.
Buenos Dias Cafe: A diner in Angel Square that many Llanview residents frequent. Formally known as the DK Diner, it burnt down in 2008 and was subsequently rebuilt by Viki's then love interest Charlie to replicate the diner that Viki worked at in Paris, Texas when she decided that after years of living in the lap of luxury, she wanted to slum it as a waitress.
The Palace Hotel: Now owned and operated by former madame Renee Devine, the Palace has gone through several name changes and ownership through the years. It is seemingly one of the only hotels within miles and nearly every Llanview citizen has stayed there at one point or another after having been kicked out of their home.
Viki Buchanan: Heiress to a newspaper empire, there isn't much Viki hasn't gone through over the years. She's survived three near-death out of body experiences, has been to Heaven and back (twice), suffered breast cancer, a stroke, a brain aneurysm, rape, a heart transplant, has been shot twice and to top it off struggles an on-and-off with multiple personality disorder. She is the mother of five (two children she actually didn't remember having until later in life) and sister of five (however three of those siblings she didn't realize she had until she was out of college). Moral of the story: Viki is a badass.
Dorian Lord: Viki's longtime arch rival, Dorian blames Viki for just about everything. If Dorian has a bad hair day, you better believe Viki's getting an angry phone call. Dorian married Viki's father Victor on his deathbed and after his mysterious death, Dorian was in the hot seat for his murder, a storyline that wasn't resolved until decades later. A woman of many hats, Dorian is a doctor (which she is more than happy to mention as frequently as possible), has run a newspaper and a magazine, has been a Mayor, a Senator, served on the board to directors of several major companies and was an ambassador to a small European nation.
Blair Cramer: Dorian's hot headed niece who originally came to town as an Asian but quickly and inexplicably turned into a southern belle over night. Blair's one true love is Todd, with whom she's wed an astonishing five times (although two of the those times she married his twin brother Victor, not knowing he was posing as Todd - long story). Blair has also thrown arch rival, Tea out of a window and has been thrown out of a window as well. She was also accidentally run down by her cousin Kelly resulting in her losing her baby, which she reminded Kelly of every time she saw her for about ten years afterwards.
There's so much going on on All My Children and One Life to Live that you won't want to miss a minute of them. Both shows return Monday, April 29 at 12 p.m. on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes.