DOOL – Anatomy of Sudden Soap Death/All soap ratings

I’m sure you’ve seen these if you’re following daytime:

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Ratings for the Week of July 19 – 23, 2010

HH
1. Y&R 3.4/11 (same/-.2) <- ties low rating (Last time: July 12-16, 2010)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (+.1/ -.1)
3. AMC 1.9/6 (+.1/same)
3. GH 1.9/6 (+.1/-.1)
5. OLTL 1.8/6 (+.1/same)
5. DAYS 1.8/5 (same/same) <- ties low rating (Last time: July 12-16, 2010)
7. ATWT 1.6/5 (same/-.1) <- ties low rating (Last time: July 12-16, 2010)

Short Analysis?  Three major problems led to DAYS’ undoing after its unprecedented ratings’ climb:

1.  No happy couples.  Rafe and Sami were leading the way in happy couples who knew how to work their way through tough times and give fans a big emotional payoff at the end of their troubles.  They were the last of the happy couples to go.  Everyone else was cheating, lying, or returning to relationhips that had long played out.   Sadly, they writers capped the ‘unhappily separate’ couples’ meme with Mickey Horton’s death.  This show is all sadness and misery.  If daytime is supposed to be about romance, someone forgot to remind the DAYs writers.  Newlywed Phillip cheats on his wife.  His wife is longing for another man.  Daniel, who cheated with Chloe when she was with Lucas, is unaware that Chloe has cheated on him.  Hope is losing her mind because Bo is bedding another of his ex’s – as he is prone to do.  It’s all maddening.

2.  No payoff for long term storylines.  Not only did EJ Dimera kidnap his own daughter, torment her mother, and leave dozens of Salemites devastated by the believed death of Sydney – including his own children, he got away with it.  The writers expected fans to sit back and watch the storyline, which culminated and Anna’s near death, and Nicole’s imprisonment, devolve into nothing but EJ’s proclamation of love and (let’s face it, horniness) for the woman he’d already sexually violated.  No happy couples, a rapist hot for the woman he raped.  Crimimal behavior ignored.

Writers were too quick to believe the fans who said that as long as Ejami (Sami and her rapist) were on screen together, they would watch and cheer them on, if it was only for a week, or weeks, or a few months.  There are more fans who are opposed to a rape victim being in a relationship with her rapist.  That shouldn’t be news to anyone, but apparently it is.

3.  Too many new characters no one gives a damn about while vets languish on the backburner.  Do I care that Stefano Dimera has yet another long lost child?  Sure as hell don’t.  What I’m wondering is how one man can have that much unprotected sex, that many long lost children and not have an STD.  Were any of his children planned and born in the context of a loving marriage?  I don’t care who Chad is, and I care less about his mother.  Arianna and Gabrielle can hit the bricks.   They can take all the relatively new characters with them, save Rafe – he’s the one bright spot for this hackneyed show.  I’d sell them all for  Lucas’ return and for Lucas to not only STOP being an apologist for the DiMeras, but to work with his mother to take the Dimera wealth and to bring Victor to his knees.

I could imagine a newly (temporarily) impoverished Victor wooing Maggie and figuring out who he is without his wealth.  I can’t see Maggie, after loving a man like Mickey all of her adult life, falling for Victor as he currently is.  By the time he regains his wealth, Maggie could help make him a better man.  He’d no longer be an ally for Stefano, but a foe, one who works to undo the damage Stefano – who rebuilds his wealth, does to others. It would be the ultimate daytime battle of good vs. evil.

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DAYS, again: Suzanne Rogers is breaking my heart!

I am mesmerized by this storyline.  The death of Mickey Horton is one of the most well crafted storylines I’ve seen any soap offer in some time – at least as it relates to a character’s death.  Some death scenes are gimmicky (as with Ann Douglas dying on a bed on the beach with her daughters at her side, on the Bold and the Beautiful).  Some are not worth mentioning – but when you kill off major characters, they deserve to be remembered well, and you know who you are you guilty soapgods!!!!

Just when you think that Suzanne Rogers has touched on every form and level of grief possible, she amazes you and hits yet another pitch perfect note:

I’ve been drained watching DAYS this week (uh, these last few days – it hasn’t been a week yet).  I almost feel guilty, as if I’m peeking in, uninvited, on a family’s private moment of pain.   Ms.  Roger’s gives Mickey’s death such realism that I can hardly believe that it’s possible for her to lose an Emmy, in any category she chooses to be nominated in.   This last set of episodes are good enough for DAYS to be considered the coming year’s ‘Best Drama’, in my book.  Unfortunately, I don’t get to hand out the Emmys.  Damn!

Despite the brilliance of her work this moment has to be bittersweet for Ms. Rogers.  John Clarke was her acting partner for decades prior to his retirement in 2004.  While Mickey returned, as portrayed by several notable and laudable actors – including General Hospital’s John Ingle, it was never the same.  No one was ever  able to replace Mickey, as the fans knew and loved him.  It had to have been one hell of a task for  Ms.  Rogers to first have to say good bye to  her long time friend, on set, and to then have to voice Maggie saying  good bye to her long time love, on screen.  She’s risen to the challenge admirably!

Watching Maggie’s scenes with Lucas was especially heartbreaking since Bryan Dattilo will soon vacate the role of Lucas Roberts.  Lucas is a Horton, by birth, and given Mickey’s death and Alice’s absence, it  would be redemptive of the writers to allow DAYS fans to watch Maggie, Hope, and Lucas rebuild the Horton clan.  Lucas Roberts Horton.  It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  Without Lucas and the others, it feels like the death of an era.  Given the loss of two soaps in one year, I’d love for daytime’s  soapgods to give us MORE of our core families and core characters on the remaining daytime serials.  Soap fans, I think, need the consistency.  If the old adage is true, let’s hope that ‘every good-bye ain’t gone’, and that Lucas (portrayed by Dattilo) will return soon!  Aunt Maggie needs him!