In this entry, I am going to write about my thoughts on the third disc of soapclassics.com As the World Turns release. All of the episodes had opening and closing credits.
Episode One: April 2, 1986
In this episode, everyone is celebrating the 50th wedding for Chris (Don McLaughlin) and Nancy Hughes (Helen Wagner), which also happened to be ATWT’s 30th anniversary. In this episode other than Brian (Mark Pinter) and Shannon (Margaret Reed) deciding a wedding date, most of the couples were apart. Sierra (Finn Carter) looked longingly at Craig (Scott Bryce) who went with Iva (Lisa Brown). Tom (Gregg Marx) and Margo (Hillary Bailey Smith) were estranged and it even looked like Betsy (Linsday Frost) and Steve (Frank Runyeon) were also apart. Lyla (Anna Sward) invited Casey (Bill Shanks) to the party, and it seemed like this was early in their relationship. There were also references to the Doug Cummings murder as it is being investigated and Kim (Kathryn Hays) is a suspect. Past Oakdale residents were mentioned by name as sending telegrams to the happy couple. Characters like Penny, Don, Annie and Dee all came to see the happy couple. There were speeches from their children and grandchildren (like Frannie) along with a cameo by the quads. There is a cake ceremony and singing. Everyone joins in on Always, but Nancy sings the last words directly to Chris. They also have a flashback montage over the closing credits and a thank you for watching notice is made, which made me emotional. The episode ends with a Read more about it promo from CBS. These public service announcements would give information about books on the topic of the show you had just watched. As it was ATWT, they suggested Soap World and The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. I laughed, as I own both of those volumes.
Episode Two: April 2, 1996
This episode was in honor of the program’s 40th anniversary. Nancy who was now with Mac (Dan Frazer) as Chris had passed away, was dealing with his own illness. This was a good day (he had Alzheimer’s disease) and he wanted to spend it with people he cared about. There were references to As the Earth Turns and globes to the kids (Chris, Adam and Casey). It was nice to see such a large cast together in the Hughes’ living room, as not just Nancy’s children, and grandchildren were there, but also people like Lily, Hal, and Barbara. I was watching ATWT at the time, and the focus on Connor (Allyson Rice-Taylor) and Mark (Alexander Waters) bothered me. I didn’t like that pairing then, and still don’t like it now. I think I skipped most of this episode when it originally aired due to my annoyance with Mark and Connor. There were also scenes with Carly (Maura West) and Mike (Shawn Christian). At the time, Roseanna left Oakdale after finding out about Carly being pregnant with Mike’s baby. Carly named her fetus Nora, and spoke about what she wanted to do for their child. The last segment had flashback clips based on different themes like family, friendship, love, heroes and villains etc. They used numerous songs, and I was amazed they had the music rights to all of them. Two of the songs included were Relax and Holding Out for a Hero.
Episode Three: August 3, 2006
In this episode, the ladies of Oakdale were on a bus trip to go to an event in Springfield honoring Nancy. This episode was for the program’s 50th anniversary. The only male character that spoke on screen was a bus driver. There was a voiceover to close out the show from Don Hastings (Bob), but we didn’t see him. The ladies on the bus were Nancy, Kim, Lucinda (Elizabeth Hubbard), Lisa (Eileen Fulton), Emma (Kathleen Widdoes), Susan (Marie Masters), and Barbara (Colleen Zenk). They were going home on the private bus and Barbara told the driver of a shortcut, which caused them to get stuck. This episode had clips like the others, but fit into what was going on with them. When a bear came up to Barbara, there was a clip of her with the bull in Spain. The ladies had to deal with the bear as a group as it followed Barbara; they all sang “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” and the bear left before it hurt them. Kim and Susan talked about the past with Bob and there were clips regarding Susan’s affair with Bob. (I wish episodes from that story were on the DVD.) Barbara and Susan argued over their children getting married, and Lucinda mentioned how all the women in attendance are her friends. Surprisingly there was a reference to a man that all the ladies except Nancy had dated John Dixon (Larry Bryggman). He was no longer on ATWT, and I appreciated that they used clips with him. There was also an action moment, when Lucinda got frustrated and wanted to go, she got stuck in the bus as it tipped over causing a gas leak. Then the bus blew up, but everyone was okay. The episode ended with Emma finding a truck, so they could all get back to Oakdale.
Episode Four: December 25, 2009
I summarized this episode in an entry about various holiday soap episodes. Here is a slightly edited version of that summary. The ATWT Christmas Day show was narrated by Bob, and focused Lily (Noelle Beck), Holden (Jon Hensley) and their children as they are now divorced. Their grandmothers Emma and Lucinda teamed up so the children Natalie and Ethan would have both their parents together at Christmas even if Lily was married to Damian (Paulo Seganti) and Holden was seeing Molly (Leslie Kay) (who appeared at the Snyder farm at the end of the episode). Noah (Jake Silbermann) came back for a visit, even if he was unsure he could reunite with Luke (Van Hansis), due to his becoming blind. Luke's gifts were thoughtful, coffee for smell, music for sound, socks for touch, and cookies for taste. It was discovered that Faith wants to go to the same boarding school as JJ, and it was agreed that she could, after realizing she wants it for the right reasons and not just to run away from her family. The group takes a family photo and Holden and Lily look at each other, like nothing has changed, though it most certainly has. At the end, we hear Bob's voice again and he talks about how the story isn't over, which of course is ironic and sad due to the cancellation.
Episode Five: April 5, 2010
This was the last anniversary episode that ATWT had, though it was not a major anniversary. Bob and Kim were celebrating their 25th anniversary, though it was revealed their marriage had not been legal. (Days of Our Lives did this story years earlier oddly enough.) Kim was frustrated with Bob’s attitude about work and how he spent all his time at the hospital. She was worried that he was working himself to an early grave. Tom (Scott Holmes) tried to talk to his dad, as did his younger son Chris (Daniel Cosgrove) and grandson Casey (Billy Magnussen). They were giving him romantic advice, and ironically Casey had the best idea to woo her. Kim went to Barbara’s and Margo (Ellen Dolan) also was there. Eventually Bob and Kim met up and decided to get married again. There was humor in this episode when both Susan and Lisa propositioned Bob, though neither wanted him. They just were doing it for Kim’s sake. There were also scenes with Henry (Trent Dawson) and Barbara as they were having an affair, and they had a quickie during the happy event. Katie (Terri Conn) and Alison (Marnie Schulenburg) also were at the wedding. After the vows were said, a surprise guest showed up Frannie (Julianne Moore). This episode was surprisingly entertaining, focused on the past and showed some clips of Bob and Kim’s romantic past.
That’s my summary of the third disc of the ATWT set. Seeing all the old clips were nice during these episodes, but in some cases it left me wishing some full episodes of some of these stories were available for purchase.