Who could forget the landscape of daytime television in the 1980s? The romance, the location shoots, the weddings, the hair! It was a seriously grand time for the genre, which, in the early part of the decade, boasted more than three times the number of soap operas that are on network television today. In addition to General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, and Days of our Lives, soaps like Capitol, Loving, Ryan's Hope, and Another World mingled with staples like All My Children, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light. It was excess all around, and it was spectacular.
Though the era -- often called the golden age of soap operas -- is over, modern soap fans are suddenly getting a taste of the decadence seen in the 1980s. Due to the coronavirus pandemic recently forcing the shows to suspend production, ABC and CBS have decided to begin airing throwback episodes in order to extend the run of previously filmed fresh content. For example, Y&R aired Victor (Eric Braeden) and Nikki's (Melody Thomas Scott) 1984 wedding on the first Friday of April, instantly taking viewers back to the special moment that remains one of the CBS soap opera's highest-rated episodes to date.
Fortunately, the trip back to the 1980s doesn't have to stop at the repeat of classic episodes. Soap opera fans can also check out what it was like behind the scenes of the soaps during the decadent decade via a special throwback news clip recently posted by CBS 8 San Diego.
In the vintage clip, fans can watch Y&R's Meg Bennett (ex-Julia Newman) and Nick Benedict (ex-Michael Scott) talk about their roles and the trials and travails of being on a soap opera. They can also see Mike Hanks, the former casting director for Y&R, talk about his process for finding talent for the show.
Meanwhile, Gloria Monty, former executive producer of GH, talks about her relationship with the show's actors, and Leslie Charleson (Monica Quartermaine), Emily McLaughlin (ex-Jessie Brewer), and Jackie Zeman (Bobbie Spencer) discuss what it's like to be soap opera stars during a time when content on the show was experiencing massive changes.
Additionally, soap lovers from the era explain how the shows are informational, therapeutic, and also a form of escapism -- much like they are proving to be today, as seen by the recent surge in ratings during the current COVID-19 situation.
"Somebody is always sleeping with somebody else, and somebody is always pregnant by somebody else, and somebody is plotting to kill or make someone look bad in the soaps and all, but they're very therapeutic," says a fan in the throwback clip. "All the girls sit and listen and see what's going on, and I think their lives seem less troubled as a result of what they watch on TV!"
Check out the behind-the-scenes clip from the 1980s below and let us know what you think in the Comments section at the end of the article.
Did you enjoy CBS News 8's throwback video that goes behind the scenes of Y&R and GH in the 1980s? Which on-screen moments or characters from the decade would you most love to see again? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.