As The World Turns‘ gay gamble sure paid off.
Despite all the conservative outcry over gay teen couple Luke and Noah, the long-running soap’s storyline has bucked the trend and garnered new viewers, reports the hilariously disinterested Gina Bellafante:
Soaps have been shedding audiences for years now. The young, especially, have found their absurdities elsewhere; there is almost nothing put forth by the writers of All My Children that could, in a stupidity contest, outrank a single moment of The Hills.
Since its introduction of a gay-theme story line last summer As the World Turns has actually gained viewers, specifically younger viewers, some of whom turned to the show, unpredictably enough, after following the romance of the college-age characters Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silbermann) via YouTube clips posted by fans – new media reviving fossil media.
While the show broke new ground with this storyline, says Bellafante, the writers have not strayed too far from the “preposterous” twists and turns endemic to soaps. Nor does As The World Turns deserve as many lauds as it’s received:
As the World Turns hasn’t done anything revolutionary with its gay kiss – gay characters on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, on Sunday nights, display their affection for each other constantly – it has merely discovered the currency of the culture wars.
Well, we all know war’s great for business.
Bellafante’s definitely got a point, but it seems to us that this kiss (this kiss!) does deserve some praise. Imagine a little homo soap fan in Kansas seeing his – or, less likely, her – first happy gay couple. Most people can’t imagine the happiness of cultural affirmation, an affirmation that’s necessary to the development of a new generation of self-confident gays. And, besides, the “preposterous” storylines are why people love soaps.