Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler
"Who says you only have one life to live?"
So says a cheeky Erika Slezak (Viki Buchanan), in a catch-up video introducing the return of One Life To Live, which premiered this morning on Hulu and iTunes. In the last two years, that long-running, daytime drama -- and its sister soap, All My Children -- got tossed from ABC's daytime schedule. But just like a soap opera, where long-dead characters can turn out to be very much alive, the shows have been resurrected. Sure, you have to log onto a computer to watch them now, but the citizens of OLTL's Llanview and AMC's Pine Valley are still doing their thing. Starting Monday, new episodes are posted every weekday at 5 a.m. ET.
So what's different about the shows' online versions, and what's the same? Here's a breakdown:
The broadcast-quality episodes are now 30 minutes instead of an hour. On the bright side, there are less commercials to sit through, and you can watch any time you want after 5 a.m. ET!
Some of your favorite characters are MIA. But not all of them.
Remember all the hoopla about whether the most beloved characters would join the online shows? Well, several did not. AMC's Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) is done with all that conniving. And OLTL's Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson have moved to Port Charles (General Hospital's drama-filled city). But enough characters did return that both shows have held onto their signature feel.
It helps that both kicked off their first episode with anchor couples like AMC's Brooke (Julia Barr) and Adam (David Canary) and OLTL's Vicki and Clint (Jerry verDorn). And while there are a number of new faces, many of the characters have remained the same. Some are just grown up versions of familiar kids; AMC's AJ and Miranda are now teens played by Eric Nelsen and Denyse Tontz. Of course, several characters on both shows had to be recast, like the OLTL teens Destiny (Laura Harrier) and Matthew (Robert Gorrie), who became accidental parents right before the show ended on ABC. But soap viewers are used to turnover, and seeing new actors among the old isn't too jarring.
Sex scenes butter a soap opera's bread. And on the web? They're going to be even more suggestive. Moving from daytime TV airwaves to the Internet has led to a bit more freedom in the bedroom scenes. "But I always qualify by saying, I went through 12 years of Catholic school," AMC producer Ginger Smith told NPR. "So you know it will be a little bit steamier, but we will always try to do good taste." In other words, don't expect nudity or foul language, but maybe a bit more skin and spicier banter.
Catch the shows every day on Hulu and check out the first episodes below: