The Last Days of the Soap Opera

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And the World Turned by James Parker
The Atlantic, September 2010

How will As the World Turns handle its last episode? Happy endings seem to be indicated. Last year's Guiding Light finale was a steady, soapy seethe of endorphins: weddings, rapprochements, a soldier returning home from war, a picnic in the park. Might the As the World Turns writers be contemplating something different, something edgy and metaphysical, something like Lost, say, in which it was revealed that the characters were dead and had been bumping eventfully through the chambers and grades of the afterlife?

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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