April 5, 2010By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Apr 5, 2010
Okay, it's not NEARLY time for the afternoon soap block yet, and I'm already bouncing in my chair. I've been giddy ALL weekend about ATWT. Folks, Friday's episode was awesome. It was Hughes family-centric, with just enough non-Hugheses — like Susan and Ali, Katie, Henry and Reid — to give viewers a sense of community. All the actors were at the top of their game. I mean, Kathryn Hays? How freaking awesome was she as Kim? It amazes me that shows back-burner their vets or bank their characters' fire after they hit a certain age. Hays certainly proves that Kim can still set the town aflame with her wrath! And if I were Bob, I'd be taking a few weeks off to spend some quality time with my lady, because she don't mess around!
Getting to see Helen Wagner was a special treat, and the heartfelt scene between Nancy and Casey not only made me choke up, but it really resonated as the kind of intergenerational connection that is the foundation of good soap. And Nancy's gentle but firm rebuking of Lisa and her tart one-liners was hilarious. How often do ATWT viewers get to see Wagner, the diva-tastic Eileen Fulton, Don Hastings (Bob) and the rest of the gang in one room? And we've even been getting a lot of Kim and Barbara (Colleen Zenk Pinter) scenes of late, strengthening their bond as aunt and niece! "This has been a very intense relationship between these two women, and so it's fun to be back in scenes together," Hays told me when we chatted a few weeks ago. Well, it's just as fun to watch!
I also really enjoyed the flashbacks...dating all the way back to the black-and-white era! How cool was it to see Lisa and Bob's marital strife from that far back in the day? That, my friends, is what quality soap is about: calling back to the past to tell stories in the present, remembering where you came from...and charming a whole new generation of viewers in the process!
Now, excuse me while I go grab a tub of ice cream and a box of tissues so I can, yet again, mourn the cancellation of this wonderful show.