My daughter always wondered why they called it “One Life to Live’’ when almost everyone who died in Llanview returned to the party eventually, looking none the worse for having gone over Iguazu Falls in a canoe, or having spent months in a coma in Kentucky.
But the ABC show and the matriarchy it has chronicled come to an end Friday, after 43 years. And so, too, ends the last soap opera filmed in New York City, where the form began.
Quite unsoapily, “OLTL,” like “All My Children” in the fall, has become a victim of the dullest possible villain: slackened ratings and the simple fact that reality TV is cheaper to produce. But for months, the soap has been energetically milking its protracted death scene, bringing back beloved characters from decades past to reconcile, reminisce and reveal . . . not quite everything.
A lot of the story lines were inadvertently unresolved, it turns out, because when the show taped its final episode in November, everyone thought it would be picked up and shown on the Internet. But that deal is off.