Monday, February 18, 2008


The Bay Area Reporter gave a great Valentine's gift to its readers by recapping the love story of Luke and Noah — or "Nuke" as As the World Turns fans know the couple.

Supercouple is more like it, a brand designation reserved for soap pairings that have viewers rooting for more. Ratings for the 52-year-old soap have even turned around with new viewers tuning in to see Nuke (or checking them out on YouTube). The inclusive storyline garnered As the World Turns its second GLAAD Media Award nomination in as many years.

Of course, the road to being a supercouple is riddled with potholes, detours and roadblocks, and Nuke is no different. The couple is the first gay male relationship portrayed on daytime and they are the first to share an onscreen kiss. The duo locked lips for the cameras twice in 2007, and have had other kisses which have been implied but not shown, infuriating some fans who are demanding Nuke be treated the same as other couples in the fictional city of Oakdale.

Networks know their daytime audience is predominantly female and they have always geared their stories to this demo, staying away from gay male romances. With Nuke, CBS and As the World Turns have expanded the kind of stories daytime can tell and they've expanded their audience, but along with this may be some growing pains. Viewers want to see this couple portrayed as realistically as all other couples are on daytime, and that's a good thing. Problem is, getting the show to catch up with what viewers are begging and ready for.

The daytime genre is six decades old and it's taken this long to feature a male couple. All My Children broke new ground last year with daytime's first transgender story, also garnering it a GLAAD Media Award nomination. While tremendous strides have been made in the past year alone on soaps, it's clear that we're not at a place where LGBT people are treated the same on daytime as they are on primetime or cable.

But the needle continues to move ever so slightly.

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