LYNDA HIRSCH ON TELEVISION -- GOSSIP

By Lynda Hirsch

October 12, 2019 4 min read

Daytime drama has its version of the Bermuda Triangle. The Triangle is an area combining Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. Ships and planes go there and — poof! — they disappear. It's been said the Triangle was a hoax.

Soap operas really have a Bermuda Triangle. The characters usually don't go on a trip; they just leave the room.

Kin Shriner (Scotty) told his dad he was heading up to the attic. He was up there for nearly a decade. His crime? Gloria Monty, the show's iron-fisted executive producer, had a hissy fit. She had them hourly.

While in the attic, perhaps he found Bobby Martin of "All My Children." He was the youngest child of Joe Martin. Dad sent Bobby to the attic to get a pair of skis. Bobby was never seen again until 40 years later. It was in the final week of "All My Children." A young skeleton was dressed in skiing mufti.

"Bold and Beautiful" is notorious for "now you see them, now you don't" scenarios. Taylor and Sheila are the latest "Bold and Beautiful" MIAs. Sheila was a central character when she popped up after being gone for years. She stirred up trouble for everyone. Working as a server for Il Giardino, she spent more time sitting with the customers than she did fetching bread. Following her last trip to the kitchen, she was never seen or talked about. As for Il Giardino, no one eats there. Perhaps it went bankrupt. Eric's kids, Bridget, Felicia, Rick and several others slunk out of town — never again to be mentioned.

Taylor, Steffy and Thomas' mother was put back on the canvas after not being in the picture for years. She came back earlier this year. She was central to the Hope baby-switch plot. Then the character vanished. This week, someone mentioned she was on a book tour. Maya, Rick's wife, appeared to say something bad happened while they were in Paris. Not only did she not explain what happened, she never reappeared.

It is not always sloppy writing that has a character say sayonara. Aunt Stella was a major part of the General Hospital scene. A social worker tied to several key characters Verne Watson had the recurring role. Her work garnered a Daytime Emmy last year. She moved to prime time in Chuck "Big Bang Theory" Lorre's new sitcom, "Bob Hearts Abishola." For now, Stella appears to have been discharged.

The other thing about soaps: Any character can reappear at any time — even if they were declared dead. Paul Rausch, who produced soaps from "Another World" to "Guiding Light" to "One Life to Live" liked to bank his characters: "I try not to kill an interesting character. You may want to use them down the road" — or, as he did all the time, bring them back from the dead.

My favorite back-from-the-dead happened on "General Hospital": Steve Hardy's ne'er-do-well brother. He died on screen. We saw the body and the autopsy. A decade later, Steve ran into his brother: "I thought you were dead!" exclaimed Steve. Without missing a beat, he said, "I pretended I was dead during the autopsy."

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: MasterTux at Pixabay

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