During my many years of soap opera viewership I have had the privilege of watching some of daytime television’s best couples light up my screen. Some have emerged and endured while others seem to have faded into nothing more than pleasant memories. If I had to choose a couple that touched my heart the way that Marony managed to it would be Will and Gwen (AKA Willen) from As The World Turns. In retrospect, the reason why both of these couples maintain such a strong hold in my heart is probably due to the fact that they share some of the same characteristics. Such as:
1. Both couples began as “teen romances”. In the case of Marony, Marah was a teenager when the older (but not necessarily wiser) Tony first fell in love. For Willen, both Will and Gwen were teenagers when they met and began their journey.
2. Both couples had family opposition. Will’s mother Barbara didn’t approve of Gwen like Josh and Reva didn’t approve of Tony.
3. Because of the aforementioned familial opposition both couples had the whole “Romeo and Juliet”/rebelling against disapproving adults angle.
4. Will cheated with Jade who proceeded to fake a pregnancy. Tony slept with Catalina who continued to fake a pregnancy after her miscarriage. Although Tony didn’t necessarily “cheat” both couples had another woman who was hellbent on keeping the respective couples apart.
5. Will was afraid of Gwen’s music career and how it might harm their relationship. In comparison, Tony found himself insecure due to Marah’s growing fashion career.
6. Will’s half-brother Adam got obsessed with Gwen and tried to destroy their marriage, and then physically attacked Gwen. In an attempt to gain everything Tony loved his friend Romeo Jones took advantage of a drunk Marah and later attacked her on the Santos yacht.
7. Will and Gwen had great friends in Maddie and Casey, Marah and Tony had that same great friendship dynamic in Danny and Michelle.
One major difference in the couples were that Will and Gwen never had to deal with a recast while Marah and Tony had to deal with two. In any show a recast can either propel the couple forward, or send it crashing to a fiery demise. The first Marony recast was Lindsey McKeon taking over the role of Marah. I was alright with this choice as I found that Lindsey and Jordi had more chemistry then when Laura Bell Bundy was in the role. The second Marony recast was Stephen Martines as Tony. By now most readers know how I feel about that one but I’ll say it again, recast Tony killed Marony (and almost killed Manny).
Will and Gwen also had something that Marah and Tony never got, a wedding. Will and Gwen married as teenagers and despite some huge bumps along the way they lasted until they both left the show in 2008. When the characters were brought back for the final episodes of As the World Turns Will and Gwen (and adopted daughter Hallie) were still a happy family. Marah and Tony never got the chance for their happily ever after which was the motivation behind the “I Believe in the Mystery” blog in the first place.