Thursday, December 09, 2010


99.9 % of the characters on soap operas are Christians. Sure, once in a while we get a OLTL Nora or ATWT's ill-fated Ameera, but, as a rule, a blanket Christianity prevails for weddings, funerals, and baptisms. (Though it is amazing that some characters can actually enter churches without immediately bursting into flames, considering all they've done.)

The question is, what kind of Christians are they? (Is interchangeable a denomination?)

We know that OLTL's Andrew was an Episcopalian priest, AMC and GL's Santos clans were Catholic, complete with cousin Father Ray for the latter (and I presume the Coopers would be Greek Orthodox, but that seemed rather fluid). Loving had their Thorn Birds story with Shana and Father Jim. AMC's Tom's Catholicism came and went as dictated by story, and ATWT's Kathleen Widdoes once described her take on Emma to me as "spiritual rather than religious."

But, one soap family that never wavered in their religious convictions (even when their actions may have suggested otherwise), were the titular Ryans of Ryan's Hope.

Following our classic ATWT, GL and Y&R Christmas clips, please enjoy this holiday episode from 1975, featuring a painfully young Justin Deas (Tom; ATWT & Buzz; GL) as shy, retiring intern Bucky, a pre-Star Trek Kate Mulgrew as Mary, and the first of the Frank Ryans, currently in a wheelchair due to his wife's (pre-OLTL Ilene Kristen here talking to pre-Home Improvement Earl Hindman ) pushing him down the stairs.

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