"Soap Operas Didn't Have To Die!" Says Head Writer

Categories: TV

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At the Writers Guild Awards at B.B. King Blues Club the other night, one lady was really singin' the blues.

It was Claire Labine, a renowned soap opera writer who was being honored with a career achievement award for her work on Ryan's Hope and several other landmark shows.

"I am in mourning," she admitted in her speech.

"Yes, some of the shows had gotten silly.

"Yes, some of the budgets had gotten bloated.

"But there are more creative solutions than cancellation across the board!"

Labine talked about the "emotional values" soaps have provided for viewers and said they gave people human connections that were enriching and entertaining.

"I'm appalled," she concluded, "that more care was not taken with this form that I love a lot."

Well, I haven't watched a soap since the dwarf from Passions died, but I think maybe the audience got too sophisticated for the form?

Once all the viewers got online, they probably became a little too savvy to buy into all the conjoined-twin double-dating plotlines and the dead characters returning as vases and handbags.

Nah! Then how would you explain the popularity of reality shows (a way lower form than the soap because you're supposed to believe all the melodrama is really happening)?

Maybe the soaps just needed some restructuring and rethinking rather than death by firing squad.

Whatever killed them, Labine ended her speech by asking for work on behalf of herself and her writers.

I know! How about a reality show centering on out-of-work soap opera writers?

I'll shut up now.



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57 comments
joanne
joanne

You have got to put a Don't like button!!  Some of these comments are just plain mean. So they don't like Soaps, well do they think this new crap is better- The Chewed, and The Revolting, and next  Katie Curick

BringBackOLTL
BringBackOLTL

Bring Back OLTL and Save our Soaps!  We will not watch any of these reality/self help/talk shows that are replacing our long lived soap operas!  We want quality TV programming which means writing, acting, directing.  Dramatic motion pictures!  Character development.  Story lines.  www.bringbackOLTL.com

emtk
emtk

First of all, not all soaps are the same, just like not all sitcoms, dramas, etc are the same.  One Life To Live had good ratings and was creatively written.  When you produce a show 5 days a week, of course, there will be slow times, but overall, it was fantastic.  There was no good reason that ABC/Disney took it off the air, other than to save money by making a cheaper talk show.  Ironically, they are losing money on their new garbage since almost no one is interested in it.  4 million viewers watched One Life To Live.  There is no good business reason why it shouldn't be still on the air. The fans miss it horribly.  If you want more reality shows and inane talk shows, keep putting down scripted television.  If not, than try to support and improve well-written and acted television. I sincerely hope that One Life To Live is revived by some intelligent business person who recognizes its value and profitability.

Mary Frey Hamilton
Mary Frey Hamilton

I loved my soaps I have been watching them since I was in grade school.  I do not like reality tv shows, talk shows there are so many channels that carry these shows why do they feel the need to cancel the soaps to put on more talk shows.  Non soap fans do not realize that yes they are part of the soap fans life and they do become our second "family" we can relate with some of the storylines that a show is having.  Whether it be drugs, mental illness, HIV.  Some people use the soaps to escape their everyday life.  ABC shouldn't have cancelled the soaps!!!

Goldy
Goldy

And now TV sucks!!!

Donald Boudreau
Donald Boudreau

We, as in our family and friends are continuing our boycotting of ALL THINGS ABC and Disney for their having canceled "One Life to Live" and "All My Children." 

In response to these cancellation policy decisions, decisions made by Disney's Robert Iger and ABC's Anne Sweeney and Brian Frons, ABC is witnessing half of the Daytime audience fan base flee its network programming entirely, as some acutely perceptive observers many months ago had well predicted would be the tragic outcome.

In an honorable business culture, these three individuals would have already committed a form of corporate "hari kari" for having offended and injured as many parties as they have through their rank incompetence, poor business decision making, and despicable treatment of their customers/loyal viewers of many decades duration.

And, moreover, for their manifest classless crude abuse, deception, and disrespect they rained on the ever talented casts and crews of "One Life to Live" and "All My Children." Iger, Frons, and Sweeney are disgraces to the honorable traditions that have historically prevailed in the American entertainment and broadcasting industries.

And the latter Ms. Sweeney in having been complicit to the extreme in Mr. Frons' notorious in the public record, chronic repeated ageist and sexist conduct, is a disgrace to the American womens movement that tragically paved the opportunity for her.  Powerfully witness her wrecking operations in a Bain Capital-like looting fashion of a great American storytelling genre birthed by writer Agnes Nixon that sustained primetime programming on this country's networks for decades. And, who thought that the Igers, Sweeneys, and Frons of the world paid for "Kojak" and so many other television successes?  Please.

Then, the three of them, Iger, Sweeney and Frons went on to replace such iconic American classics (with millions of LOYAL daytime viewers) with junk programming a la The Spew and The Revulsion in further debasing the American contemporary television medium. Shame on the three of them and let damn be done! ABC/Disney: Release the rights now being held "hostage" to those shows and allow another network or cable provider to bring these shows back to their audiences. For once, do the right thing and cease your contemptuous conduct toward your customer base that is inimical to every sound business practice. Begin, then, to advertise ABC in a positive public light.

Suzanne Lanoue
Suzanne Lanoue

It's not that people got too sophisticated for soaps, but soaps' writing got much worse in the past 20 years and the networks did not care about improving them.  The soaps just re-used the same old plots and clichés over and over, treating the audience like idiots and not giving soaps the romance they wanted any more. They were pretty good in the 80's because they started coming up with really innovative ideas that young people as well as old liked. Once they became predictable and repetitive, people started tuning out. They also did little to make soaps part of today's world by having few gay characters or people of color other than as "tokens". Even when they do have gays, they are so afraid of offending anyone that they make them very boring.  If soaps were as innovative as half the primetime shows, people would still tune in.  Since soaps are historically "women's shows" the networks never valued them like they should. There is a lot of prejudice in Hollywood against soaps, even though many of the finest actors in TV and movies came from them.  Even in TV itself, they have a prejudice against the medium.  It's sad that the fans have to suffer and lose their favorite form of entertainment just because of some people's short-sightedness.

DrBracket
DrBracket

ABC  has some very stupid  people working for them . OK we will save  40 % on production  costs  sounds good  well  you lose 50 % of the daytime audience probably half of those will never watch anything on the network ever again and you wasted  millions of dollars promoting these crappy replacement shows no one is watching.  That 40 % cost of production doesnt look so good  anymore

Melissa
Melissa

I am, quite frankly, appalled at some of the comments made here. I am an educated (MBA), six figure earner. I have watched the soaps, or as we lovingly refer to them, "my stories" since I was a toddler. I do not see soaps as a "dumbing down" as some have referred to it, nor do I see them as demeaning to women. As a matter of fact, when other shows showcased beautiful women as sidekicks or merely the wives relegated to the background, soaps glorified that women can have a career, opinion, or be as good a businessperson as a man and don't even get me started on the social issues that daytime tackled when no one else would touch them...example, what I know about HIV and AIDS, I learned from AMC when an intern refused to even touch an AIDS patient. This was back when our president refused to even mention this disease in interviews.To conclude, unless you have watched a soap for yourself, please refrain from making derogatory comments based upon a subject you know nothing about. 

PP
PP

The millions of fans are making themselves heard. Abc is trying to "train" (and that is their word) their consumers what to watch and I have news for them..it is NOT the crop that they put on..day or night. We want our soaps back or at least released to their rightful owner, Agnes Nixon. In their enormous greed and arrogance they assume that they have the right to try and tell us what and who to watch ignoring what we the consumers really want..and millions of us want our shows back. They really are horrid business people and along with disney have no ethics or morals. Ms Labine did a great job with Ryan's Hope and now due to some idiots shoving their idea of reality down our throats, we are being denied their talents and them a way to make a living...abc is imploding and that is their reality. My household watched those shows for decades and for generations and now we will boycott anything abc or disney or any of their financial investors for decades and generations to come! I am a SWAN and proud of it! SOS!

Cindy1951
Cindy1951

Sorry folks but everything from Downtown Abbey,Grey's Anatomy,Boardwalk Empire and Homeland is a soap,Not one is different that daytime soaps.Male and females now work and record soaps also prime time.We need a soap channel.Soaps died because of greedy corporations not they are not wanted.Some people like football some soccer.One type of soap is not better than the other just our taste!

Drdon7228
Drdon7228

We, as in our family and friends are continuing our boycotting of ALL THINGS ABC and Disney for their having canceled "One Life to Live" and "All My Children." In response to these cancellation policy decisions, decisions made by Disney's Robert Iger and ABC's Anne Sweeney and Brian Frons, ABC is witnessing half of the Daytime audience fan base flee its network programming entirely, as some acutely perceptive observers many months ago had well predicted would be the tragic outcome.

In an honorable business culture, these three individuals would have already committed a form of corporate "hari kari" for having offended and injured as many parties as they have through their rank incompetence, poor business decision making, and despicable treatment of their customers/loyal viewers of many decades duration. And, moreover, for their manifest classless crude abuse, deception, and disrespect they rained on the ever talented casts and crews of "One Life to Live" and "All My Children."

Iger, Frons, and Sweeney are disgraces to the honorable traditions that have historically prevailed in the American entertainment and broadcasting industries, and the latter Ms. Sweeney in having been complicit to the extreme in Mr. Frons' notorious in the public record, chronic repeated ageist and sexist conduct, is a disgrace to the American womens movement that tragically paved the opportunity for her; powerfully witness her wrecking operations in a Bain Capital-like looting fashion of a great American storytelling genre birthed by writer Agnes Nixon that sustained primetime programming on this country's networks for decades. 

Then, the three of them, Iger, Sweeney and Frons went on to replace such iconic American classics (with millions of LOYAL daytime viewers) with junk programming a la The Spew and The Revulsion in further debasing the American contemporary television medium. Shame on the three of them and let damn be done! ABC/Disney: Release the rights now being held "hostage" to those shows and allow another network or cable provider to bring these shows back to their audiences. For once, do the right thing and cease your contemptuous conduct toward your customer base that is inimical to every sound business practice. Begin, then, to advertise ABC in a positive public light.

Antoine Jefferson
Antoine Jefferson

I love that Claire's fans are still just as loud and proud of her and her work as I am.

Michelle
Michelle

Soap opera didn't die; broadcast networks are trying to kill the genre and replace soaps with cheaper alternatives that lack quality. Do not underestimate the sophistication of soap opera fans because the fans are no particular age, gender, IQ, or employment status. As a soap opera fan myself- a 21 year old female- I never “believed” the creative elements that go into soaps (i.e. the twin storylines, and characters returning from the dead) but I believe IN them. Soap opera does not lie to the audience and claim to be “reality” TV, but the irony is that there is more realistic value in soap opera than there ever will be in “reality” TV. When you analyze a Shakespearean play, you do not criticize the fact that 3 witches suddenly appear; you appreciate the dramatic/entertainment value they serve in a performance and you evaluate the purpose those characters serve in the play and in the informative themes of the play.  Soap opera aims to entertain and inform, and they have done this quite wonderfully in spite of the budgetary confinements. When 3 angels suddenly appear on “One Life to Live” during the finale week, you do not question the plausibility of angels, but you appreciate those lovely, familiar, and beloved 3 characters reappearing, you realize that you’re getting goosebumps from their performance, and you feel your heart breaking because of the motifs of life and death being explored, as beloved characters linger in between life and death and heaven and hell. When that show is over, you feel human, you look at other people and realize we’re all vulnerable humans; maybe you even realize you want to change something about yourself. In your own life, whatever happened during that day didn’t matter anymore, and whatever happens the next day you’re ready to face it head on. That is soap opera. Fantastic performances, meaningful information. There is value in this. I don’t need to list the many social issues addressed on soap opera over decades, because everyone knows, but some of us seem to forget, especially when we watch our “primetime” soap operas and think they’re somehow better than daytime just because of when they air and those bigger budget allowances that allow them to blow things up in fires with more high tech visuals. Let’s not forget that primetime soaps are extensions of daytime. There is a demand for soap opera, it’s undeniable; now is not the time to be analyzing the “sophistication” of soap fans because as mentioned here, then you have to question the sophistication of viewers who buy into “reality” TV, a “lower form” of soaps, because “reality” TV does not inform, but merely cheaply entertains. And as for those lifestyle shows, a few are good, but at a certain point (and I think we've gotten there), we can't be told every single hour of the day how to live our lives, and frankly, we can't be told by networks what WE want to watch; this isn't 1984.

idamae
idamae

The genre did not die on its own.  It was euthanized by greedy corporate jerks from ABC and Disney that want the money for themselves.

Suesee18
Suesee18

There's nothing sophisticated about reality TV.  I grew up with All My Children and One Life To Live and continued to watch even when I had a child, worked two full time jobs, and had a busy life.  The soaps, when written well, touched many subjects, including real life issues.  Sure there were times when the shows suffered from good writing (anyone remember the ridiculous Ice Princess storyline on General Hospital??) BUT there were many MANY wonderful stories to follow, that touched your heart, made you think, and you actually cared about the characters.  Not to mention it made you feel a little better about your own life.  Daytime soaps also paved the way for night time soaps, brought out some wonderful actors (Demi Moore, Nathan Fillan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tommy Lee Jones, just to name a few)  I never felt they were "dumbing down" women.  If you want to talk about the dumbing down, just watch ABC's new "The Revolution"...now THATS real sophisticated...not!. Anyone who talks about how stupid the daytime dramas were obviously didn't watch them.  If watching reality shows makes me "sophisticated", please, I'll stay ignorant.  I miss my "family" who have shared my living room 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for 40+ years! And yes, I do have and have had a full life outside of TV.  Soaps were my daily relaxation, a chance to unwind. 

Stephiej57
Stephiej57

I miss AMC and OLTL. I DO live my very active life thank you! After working away from home all week , finding time for my family especially my very active two year old grandson, I liked to sit and watch my soaps late at night from the DVR. I have watched these shows on and off for more than 35 years. Who needs another cooking show or a let's fix you show? ABC has lost a LOT of viewers because of this move.     

Flo DiBona
Flo DiBona

Thank you for this blog. Hank you Claire for standing up and bringing attention to what we are all about to lose if this genre were to die. Don't worry - fans won't let it!

Schuima8040
Schuima8040

There is such a loyal audience who stood by the soaps for 40 plus years,generation to generation.During my teenage years when I thought I couldn't talk to my mother about anything the soaps kept the lines of communication open...believe it or not. We were able to discuss issues that were impacting my life in the third party ((NO EMBARASSMENT ON EITHER OF OUR PARTS). I've done this with my daughter AND son and it's a shame it has to end.....WE HAVE OVER 500 CHANNELS NOW AND I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THERE IS NOT A PLACE FOR THE SOAP GENRE.  ABC/DISNEY YOU MADE A MAJOR MISTAKE !!!! GIVE THE RIGHTS TO SOMEONE WHO WILL PRODUCE THEM IF YOU BELIEVE THEY ARE NOT PROFITABLE.!!!!!!  OR ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE COMPETITION.......DO THE RIGHT THING ABC/DISNEY !!!!  With the exception of General Hospital ABC/DISNEY IS BOYCOTTED IN OUR HOME.INCLUDING YOUR PRIME "soaps"

Sidney
Sidney

Ummm, did the rest of you not pick up on the sarcasm in the "Once all the viewers got online, they probably became a little too savvy" comment? It's all the same - whether it's daytime, primetime or online. That's the humor. They just label and package it slightly differently. 

Having said all that, bring back One Life to Live! That was the best camp of it all. ABC has been boycotted in my household since the moment it ended. Boo ABC!

Edna Barefoot
Edna Barefoot

I believe for ABC it was the people hired to (run) abc & make more money. How much is enough $$ just a little bit more. The all mighty dollar is all they care about. Not the people who got them where they are. They put the Actors, crews, writers & even extras on OLTL & AMC out of work without a care to what the fans wanted. We don't want people telling us how to live our lives in the afternoon. We want to relax & enjoy "OUR" soaps. Some of us have watched from the beginning so the actors are like family. ABC took part of "OUR" family away & for that we will boycott them.

Kabouhalkah
Kabouhalkah

I do miss All My Children. I have watched it since it started. I have no interest in the cooking show that replaced it. I am watching the remaining soaps. I just hope that someone sees the potential in soap operas and bring the all cancelled soaps back to life.

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

The attraction of the soap opera -- especially the deliciously demented "The Bold and the Beautiful"-- is that they have absolutely nothing to do with reality.

"B&B has won three Emmys in a row as best soap and is an international hit, despite the fact that it has ONE basic multi-generational storyline, endlessly recycled: An empty-headed hunk is in love with two women, one blonde and one brunette and can't make up his mind. The "heroine" has married a father and his two sons (one multiple times), one husband's half-brother and two or three others, has gotten pregnant and had a child by her daughter's husband and "accidentally" had sex with another daughter's boy-friend. Well, they were at a costume ball, you see, and both were masked "and at night, all cats are gray" ...

But I will forgive "B&B" anything, because when Darlene Conley, who played their most outrageous character of all, Sally Spectra, died, they didn't recast the role, they didn't write her off, they just  from time to time mention that Sally's touring the world on her yacht, amply stocked with boy  boy-toys.

On a soap opera, that's a classy move.

Brad's Boyfriend
Brad's Boyfriend

I still miss the adventures of Luke and Noah on "As the World Turns."

anonTWO
anonTWO

Downton Abbey is a soap opera.I've started watching DA in the last month.In the last month I've watched DA there has been a miracle recovery for a paralyzed war vet, a death bed scene absolving a character who has feelings for someone other than the gal in the deathbed, a last minute REPRIEVAL for a character facing the death penalty for murdering his wife, etc.These scenarios featured in DA are all classic methods used in soap operas.

Debbie Di Gioia
Debbie Di Gioia

Anyone who thinks these shows were crap can not honestly say they were watching them

Troofire
Troofire

For decades they contributed mightily to the dumbing down of American women, and hence, their children.  Tough, Claire.  Get some honest work.

Istanbull
Istanbull

The dwarf from Passions died????

Steffi
Steffi

You were right the first time. People got too sophisticated for this crap!

Wendy Irizarry
Wendy Irizarry

It has not been the same since One Life To Live as been off the air.I don't think anyone is watching any of the shows that replaced All My Children and One Life To Live.it will be nice if they can bring back O.L.T.L.but I know it won't happen.

Suzanne Lanoue
Suzanne Lanoue

Correction: I mean to say "not giving fans the romance they wanted" not "soaps".

Kara
Kara

ugh..calm down, it is just a soap and people can have a different opinion than yours you know..unbelievable..eyerolllllllllll

Thetruth
Thetruth

but reality 'fake, edited' whatever you want reality shows have better ratings, by far far far..it is a reality actually and this time it is neither 'fake' or 'edited'..'your' soaps seem to be over..maybe it will change maybe not but right now they are dying, it happens.

Thetruth
Thetruth

family..i don't get it, it is fiction..it is not 'your' family..maybe live the 'real life' and stop the tv..it is depressing to read that..

Musto
Musto

Darlene was as camp and as fabulous as you get! Right up there with Erica and Phoebe and Opal and Mrs. Lum.

Thetruth
Thetruth

well it is also well written, well acted, well edited and directed and they have more money i have to admit..we can't say that for daytime soaps..you can't compare seriously..

John
John

Maybe u should watch some of Claire's work before telling her to do honest work. You could only wish you could write with  a tenth of The intelligence, Claire has. Ignorant 

Sudsrule
Sudsrule

Claire Labine wrote some of the most moving, emotionally honest stories ever seen, whether on daytime, prime time, on the silver screen or on Broadway. She elevated the form and is a brillant writer. Soaps "dumbing down American women"? You mean, like NASCAR and the NFL have "dumbed down" American males. Try watching some of this woman work (clips on YouTube -- Stone's death on GH, for starters) before you criticize. 

Deb
Deb

 I beg to differ.  Nigh time tv actually learned a LOT from daytime Soaps and you would be amazed at how many MEN like lawyers, doctors, and stock brokers watch them.

bsomers
bsomers

 A stupid, sexist remark.  Claire was responsible for "Ryan's Hope," a show that at its peak was the most intelligent daytime drama out there.  Check out clips on you tube to see what I mean.  The studios dumbed down the potential of daytime dramas, a move that turned off the viewers.  They gave up on each other.

MattB
MattB

Very, very well put.

Thetruth
Thetruth

and now maybe people can watch SMART soaps like Downton Abbey, American Horror History ect..you know smart fictions which also happen to be soap operas..even Revenge is a masterpiece next to daytime soap operas..

Michelle
Michelle

You can't understand until you watch a soap opera, for years, 5 days a week. Even if you watch a primetime soap, you could never truly grasp this feeling because primetime soaps air once per week, for about 1/3 of a year while soaps air all year, 5 days a week. Family is anyone that you welcome into your living room every day, with an open heart. I'm a 21 year old gal and can honestly say that I see the whole soap community as my family, more than I do friends that I've known since preschool and all through the end of high school. Personally, sometimes "fiction" has been better to me than "reality," and soaps have always blurred the lines that define fiction and reality through the real storylines and characters who tell ours stories. "Fiction" as you call it, has made me feel better, a better person, more aware, and has taught me a lot about life. It's not so fictitious as people may think and you can't truly understand the sentiments of viewers until you've watched for some time.

Michelle
Michelle

There would be no Revenge had it not been for Daytime Soap Operas. I wish everyone would look into the literature about American TV because then you would all know that daytime dramas breathed life into all of the primetime dramas, and they shaped American culture.   It's one thing to argue about the viability of Soap Operas in Daytime, but to minimize or speak in such an ill manner Daytime dramas, it either shows that you hate daytime dramas for some reason so you're denying the truth, or you're not aware of the history of American TV  (which is the case for much of America).

john
john

Revenge is classic Daytime soap. Some soaps are not written well but the genre itself still has a lot more to give & I find it funny to see jokes from a columnist who once worked at a soap MAG and even for a daytime soap Headwriter

Sudsrule
Sudsrule

Downton Abbey, while wonderful, is ripe with all the soap opera plots: back form the dead characters, affairs, stolen kisses, out of wedlock pregnancies, mustache-twirling vilans. It's just done with an English accent, and for some that makes it classy and a "cut above" the American soap opera. Also, "Downton" does about 10 shows per season. The soaps do ten shows every two weeks. There's just no comparison. AS for "Revenge"? It owes its very existence to the daytime soap. It is a daytime soap, only shown at night. 

Michelle
Michelle

I understand what you're saying; however, the point I'm making is that while soap operas are a source of escapism, they are more real that "reality" TV and nobody can truly understand what if feels like to lose a soap opera until they've watched for years. There's nothing wrong with real life- life is wonderful! But, I believe TV serves a purpose and that soap opera serves that dual purpose of TV which is to entertain and inform. I don't think we need to choose between living real life and enjoying and benefiting from TV and specifically what is defined as "fiction."  There's room for both in life :) !   Soap operas have gotten me through the toughest of times - that's reality for me. And I've seen my stories and my fellow Americans' stories being told- that's reality. What reality isn't is Kris Humphries shaving Scott's armpit on The Kardashian show (I still don't understand how that is even allowed to be on TV).  "Reality" Tv can't be futher from reality and in many cases "reality" "Stars" act in a disgusting manner and it sends teens the wrong message. And I never once mixed up a character with an actor; I don't believe that characters are the actors. (For instance, Erica Kane is quite a diva, but Susan Lucci is kind, generous and lovely- she's not a diva.)  In fact, I love all the facets- I love the characters for obvious reasons (my love for soap opera is clear), but I also love and respect the actors- all of them are great and hard working people and they're not haughty like all of Hollywood, yet they're equally talented if not more.  I promise you, it's nothing disturbing; all of our lives have been so enriched by soaps (personally, I can tell you they have changed my life for the better, they had me looking forward to tomorrow and they inspire me to be a writer). We all love the characters and we have the utmost respect and appreciation for the casts and crews.

Thetruth
Thetruth

well i prefer REAL LIFE, real friends, real family..instead of living through fiction, fictional characters, fictional, unrealistic events, stories, mixing reality from fiction, believing actors are these characters whereas in reality they are not and i don't know them, they don't know me..but to each his own, i don't judge..it seems just kind of disturbing to me.p.s: and believe me i like fiction, i am an actress but also prefer at the end of day to live MY REAL LIFE.

Traci Smith
Traci Smith

 Have you seen this season? It's terrible, Julian Fellowes did not do a good job writing this season. Do you people even know how difficult it is to put on a hour long show 240 times a year? If you did you probably wouldn't be so quick to judge. Death to Reality showsLong live the Soap Opera!!!

Sudsrule
Sudsrule

Soaps get attacked by people who don't watch or don't understand what the genre gives to its audience. There's an intimacy to the storytelling in soaps that viewers don't get from any other form, despite some of the over-the-top twists and turns. There is something very comforting seeing generational characters over years -- decades, really. It forms a bond and a connection that viewers just don't get anywhere else. Will soaps survive? Of course. Will they adapt? Yes. Have they been damaged by network execs who made horrible decisions? Yes. But soaps are still viable. Just look at the rebirth of them on primetime.  

Michelle
Michelle

Then you have no use for Television is what you're saying. What do you watch? You can't separate daytime and primetime soaps and say that you only watch primetime and that is somehow superior because it's not- especially when you don't watch daytime soaps, I don't understand how you can critique it. You're criticism is of TV, not daytime dramas, but you're taking it out on daytime dramas. I did write something in response to this type of criticism against soaps; give it a read if you would like: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DO... 

Thetruth
Thetruth

Your defense of daytime soaps is quite commendable and touching guys, and i am not snarky or sarcastic when i say that, i mean it.However i stand by what i said about the flaws of these stories, at the end of the day i am just not interested and sadly (for you i get it) i am not alone..therefore they have low ratings and finally they are cancelled, tv is above all a hard business, even i would dare to say a 'vicious' business..Maybe they will find a way to recreate this medium, to give it a fresh vibe and the audience will come back, never say never, actually i wish it for you.As for real tv, i don't watch either, yep it seems to be as much or almost as much fiction as soaps but people watch..also for escapism..and it seems to be far more entertaining for most people since they are watching, i don't know..for the 'wrong message' attack, to me it is BS, soaps characters do crazy things in every of these plot driven fictional stories..come on it is the core of this medium storytelling, and 'real tv' characters, celeb do the same, though in a more modern, edgy way (maybe it is the way to revigorate soaps..maybe..lol) but like you said it is not 'real real' ; it is for the audience entertainment, you don't watch this junk to find some 'role models', it is silly to even think one second like this..the 'role model' is yourself and the real people you know and can make you learn something with their experiences imho.

Michelle
Michelle

That has never once been true, but it's the classic complaint of of daytime soap naysayers because they clearly don't watch so they don't know. (Though I've watched OLTL since I was 7 and haven't stopped til it went off air this year) I tuned in and out of AMC, DOOL, GH and GL throughout the years and whenever I'd return to watching them- sometimes it was just a matter of a month- and I didn't know what was going on when I returned to watching. Not true at all. And a show- precisely a daytime soap- that lasts 72 years (collectively on the radio and on TV) is far from a "joke"- it's actually refered to as being legendary. Nothing lasts that long without reason. Not a single one of the primeitme shows you praise have lasted that long, nor will they. And I watch my fair share of primetime- it's far more sleezy. There's no truth to the criticism you give because it shows you don't watch daytime dramas, because if you did, you wouldn't be making these unwarrented criticisms. People wouldn't criticize a book they haven't read, yet people always manage to criticize daytime dramas, when they in fact have never watched or never watched for more than 5 minutes.

Sudsrule
Sudsrule

This just isn't true: you can't miss two years and return, with the same stories in place. The same characters, perhaps; that's the draw of soaps. But again, when you compare "Downton" and 5-episodes-a week-soaps, you're comparing apples and oranges. It's just not the same thing. Daytime soaps don't have the huge budget that "Downton" does, either. They have to play two person scenes (which "Downton" does a lot of, too), and can't do location shooting. And I'm sorry, I'll put Susan Flannery up against Maggie Smith any day. Daytime has enormous talent. It's nursed huge talent. And it has some of the most loyal fans of any genre anywhere. It may not be your cup of tea, but it is for many. Let's celebrate it, not denigrate it.

Thetruth
Thetruth

Well i disagree; Downton Abbey is well-written, well-directed, acting is good and of course the pacing is good..with the daytime soaps the major flaw to me is the pacing, i mean come on you can stop watching for two years and when you come back watching it is still the same story, there is no twists, in one hour nothing happens, two characters in one scene who talk about nothing or have sex..ugh..everything is uber predictable..to sum up : it is BORING and don't forget the cheesy, OTT lines and soft porn scenes with actors who don't have chemistry what's so ever, you just want to change the channel when you witness 'that'..of course it is my opinion..but i am not alone, these shows have always been some big 'jokes', hey remember Joey Tribbiani as Rake Ramorrrrrrrrrreeee, it is how most see daytime soap operas, not prestigious believe me..lolp.s: i can give you one story which was good, i saw it on youtube, i was not borned when it was on air, it was the Roger and Holly story in a jungle..that i have to admit was good..but still i watched all the story in one time maybe it was too slow in real time like it is the case when 'your' daytime stories now..

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