In late 2007 when NBC announced they were canceling their sophomore soap opera Passions, I was pretty bummed. It was during the height of my unemployment, and I had come accustomed to flipping on Channel 4 and seeing what kind of witchcraft shenanigans Tabitha and Kay and Endora had gotten the town of Harmony into lately. DirecTV picked up the series, but I wasn’t about to switch providers just for one show I caught on occasion. So I said good-bye to my shirtless hunks and flat-ironed waifs and one who fell somewhere in the middle as both… unfortunately now, only a few months later, it has been announced that Passions will end for good this summer just a month after hitting its ninth year anniversary (the last air date, although unconfirmed at press time, appears to be August 11th).
This past weekend NBC held an estate sale on the CBS-Radford lot where Passions was filmed, sticking price tags on everything from armchairs and bedding to wardrobe and dishware. Driving through the lot, I was saddened to see the walls of the set put out to pasture on the curb, awaiting the morning garbage men, but my spirits were somewhat lifted when I saw the long line of people awaiting entrance to the sale. Just like any fan event, they mingled with those around them, talking about their favorite couples and what storylines they’d be sad to see wrapped up prematurely (or not wrapped up at all). Some who came out in the early morning of the weekend were diehard fans and happy to snag any piece of memorabilia they could, but others were experienced prop masters and art department personnel from rival shows and studios, just hoping for good deals on already aged products they could recycle in a future project. It was nice to see that either way, pieces of the show would live on.
There were few, like me, who showed up to the sale looking for specific items. For me, I wanted something small enough to display proudly on my desk at work, but something that I would easily recognize as being from a specific part of the Crane mansion or underworld in Tabitha’s basement. I didn’t want just any old BCBG shirt (which probably wouldn’t fit anyway) or chatchke; I wanted something that would make a statement like the giant lion paw or book of spells (neither thing was found, assumedly because either they were saved for auction or museum display or some luckier fan had snatched them up before I got there). I wanted something with which would clearly be identified as a part of Passions’ history… but when I walked away with my wallet intact, I realized I wasn’t really leaving empty-handed: I still had the memories of the past eight years of the show, but I also had the shared experiences with all of these other fans. And though the prices at the sale were surprisingly decent, that is really what is priceless.