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Sex and SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome)

Last week on Days of our Lives, the bitchy fallout continued from Sami’s plan to make her husband, EJ, pay for his affair with the young and nubile Abigail. Alison Sweeney, the actress who plays Sami, is 37 years old. James Scott, who plays EJ, is 35, and Kate Mansi, who plays Abigail, is 25.

Here is where it gets interesting, however. All three characters were born onscreen: Sami in 1984, EJ in 1997 and Abigail in 1992. This should make them 30, 17 and 22, respectively. (Abigail may be legally corrupting a minor, but Sami is the one doing some serious cradle-robbing!)

Welcome to the wonderful world of Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, known to fans as SORAS. DOOL’s current triangle may be a pretty bad offender in that regard, but it’s hardly the worst ever. Check out some of soaps’ most mathematically challenging cases of SORAS ever, below:

Days of our Lives, once again, moves to the top of the list with a case of multigenerational SORAS-ing that got out of hand as the family tree grew. When DOOL premiered in 1965, patriarch Tom Horton (played by movie vet Macdonald Carey, then 52 years old) had a 16-year-old granddaughter, Julie. Julie gave birth to a son, David, in 1967. By 1977, David had a son of his own, Scotty (don’t worry, David was a grown man by then, not a fourth-grader). By 1990, Scott (no more “-y”) was old enough to attend medical school and follow in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather. Who was still alive, spry and practicing medicine.

While both David and Scotty grew at supersonic rates while out of sight (and presumably out of mind), General Hospital’s Michael suffered an unexpected side effect to being in a coma. Born in 1997, he was a preteen in 2008 when a stray bullet meant for his mobster dad put the scratchy-voiced redhead out of commission. When he awoke in 2009, Michael was blond, devoid of bedsores … and ready to graduate high school. (They must have played him a lot of educational tapes because he sure caught up fast.)

On The Bold and the Beautiful, when Bridget was born in 1992 (on literally the last day of the year), her mother, Brooke, didn’t know if Bridget’s biological father was Eric, or Eric’s (later determined to be non-biological) son, Ridge. A fraudulent paternity test named Ridge winner of the Daddy sweepstakes, and for four years, he raised Bridget. In 1996, a school-age Bridget was devastated to learn that her real father was, in fact, Eric. The trauma must have pushed her into accelerated puberty, because by 1997, she was a teen, and by 2000 she was an adult. It was Adult Bridget who began the brief flirtation with Ridge that had viewers shrieking in horror. The 30-year age difference is one thing, but she used to think of him as her dad! (And at best, he was her adoptive brother. They have the same last name, for Pete’s sake!)

At least on B&B, Bridget was aged in sync with her siblings, cousins and friends. On Guiding Light, when Leah went from toddler to teen, she ended up jumping over her half-brother, Jude. Which either meant her dad cheated on her mother or … well, there was no “or.” That’s the only thing it could possibly mean. Let’s just assume the people of Springfield were too polite to ever address it.

On rare occasions, though, SORAS can work backward, when it is known as de-SORAS-ing (proper terminology is very important in the world of daytime drama). Also on GL, Harley gave birth to a daughter, Daisy, in 1987, and gave her up for adoption. When Daisy, now called Susan, came looking for her bio-mom in 1998, she was played by 13-year-old Brittany Snow (pre-American Dreams, Hairspray and Pitch Perfect). Then, in 2007, after a six-year absence, Susan, now once again called Daisy, returned to town, played by Bonnie Dennison, an actress three years younger than Snow—making the character a teenager again … er, still.

Meanwhile, on P&G sister soap As the World Turns, Tom, born onscreen in 1961, by the end of the decade was old enough to be shipped off to fight in Vietnam. One of the first adult actors to play Tom was born in 1944. When Tom married his true love, Margo, he was played by Justin Deas, an actor born in 1948. His replacement, Gregg Marx, was born in 1955. And Marx’s replacement, Scott Holmes, was born in 1952. Maybe they were trying to make up for Tom’s lost childhood by more or less keeping him the same age for two decades?

Of course, no character has been through the age ringer more than All My Children’s Kendall. Introduced in 1993 as played by 16-year-old Sarah Michelle Gellar (pre-Buffy and Scooby Doo), Kendall was soon revealed to be the daughter Erica Kane gave birth to prior to the show’s debut. Considering AMC premiered in 1970, fans cried foul and accused the show of trying to de-age Erica (or, more likely, her portrayer, Susan Lucci). The show denied, denied, denied. Even when confronted with their own press release that described Kendall as a teenager, the show’s staff claimed they simply picked the best actress for the role, even if she was only 16. Then, a few months into her run, Kendall suddenly had an impromptu birthday party, where it was firmly stated she was 23 (a sort of “Take that, Internet,” before there was really much of an Internet).

Got a SORAS that made you old before your time? Tell us in the comments!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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