Is there a right way to parody daytime?

There’s this:

Cheer’s Brighten Bay “The Premier Episode”

From: CheerLaundry | December 15, 2009 | 15,971 views

Subscribers (21)

And then there’s THIS:
“Steamboat” Series – Episode 1
From: SteamboatSeries | February 21, 2010 | 11,409 views
Subscribers (1075)

Your point is??????

My point is this: there’s a right way to parody daytime, and there’s a wrong way. Have you noticed the difference between post dates, number of views, and subscribers? I’m sure that part of the difference between the two is that the executive producers of  ‘Steamboat’ (Michael O’Leary, ex-Rick Bauer, Guiding Light; and Scott Bryce, ex-Craig Montgomery, As The World Turns) were smart in bringing to screen some of daytime’s most beloved actors and placing them in roles that are the polar opposites of the characters they’ve spent most of their lives playing.

The only Brighten Bay character who could potentially make it as a daytime character (albeit it for comic relief) is David, the jilted loutish boyfriend. It’s not just because he’s a seriously hot piece of work. He’s just classic lovable bad boy material for daytime. The role feels comparable to that of OLTL’s Rex, OLTL’s David, or ATWT’s Henry. Every other character, including Elisa Donovan’s Sandy and Cameron Mathison’s, ‘Dr. Dan’,  feel like a mean girl’s version of a soap. It’s a parody that feels more like mocking, than giving a gentle nudging and wink to daytime. It offers stereotypes, but not the intellectual insight into daytime that would make a parody work (oh yes, I used ‘intellectual insight’ and ‘daytime’ in the same sentence, and I’m not taking it back!).

Steamboat, by contrast, has that. It’s clear that the parody gives a loving look at the unseemly backside (and darkside) of producing a daytime soap.  Despite the fact that the show is fictional, it’s not hard to feel as if you’re eavesdropping on a beleaguered cast and crew trying to survive the daytime industry.  The characters are likable in the sense that even in jest they give you the feeling that you’re gaining insight in to the highs and lows of the soap biz. The characters connect with the audience on genuine emotional level.  Steamboat (the most beloved soap) features actors who are like many of its viewers, employees who give their all only to find out that those who benefit from that work have little regard for the people who produce it.  Isn’t that why shows like ‘Undercover Boss’ are a hit?   Steamboat is populated with characters you want to hug, smack, shake, medicate, jail… and love the whole time.

I find myself waiting with bated breath in anticipation for the next installment of Steamboat (I just want to touch iiiiittttttt!  — If you’re watching the series, you know what that means). I only find myself cringing with embarrasment with each installment of Brighten Bay – waiting for the writers, through BB’s character, to remind me what a dolt I am for having invested my time in a ‘silly soap’.

To catch the Steamboat series, as well as Martha Byrne’s ‘Gotham’ and Crystal Chappell’s ‘Venice’, check the links in the sidebar.

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One thought on “Is there a right way to parody daytime?

  1. I may have been walkign around randomly telling people “I just want to touch iiiiiiitttttttt” all weekend long. That was hillarious. For me Steamboat is up there with SoapDish…both are hillarious but are totally aware and at home in the world they are making fun of.

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