According to ATWT Executive Producer, Chris Goutman, daytime fans have lost their appetite for daily serials and may prefer, instead, serials airing 3 days a week. I don’t know about you, soap fans, but every time I hear a writer, executive producer, or some drone from the top floor of the executive offices speak, their solutions sound more like ‘bottomline’ solutions (what can THEY do to save money). Rarely do I hear them talk about what fans want. Even rarer is it that anyone talks about what difference is between daytime even a decade ago and daytime now. Sure, the storylines are the same, but it’s in the execution of those storylines that daytime writers and producers let us down.
Daytime is no longer written as a long running drama with a rich history writers could continue to mine in order to create coherent cohesive future storylines. Daytime serials are treated as variety shows. Each storyline seems to be self contained and unrelated to the past, present, or future. YnR’s Victor’s vasectomy and GL’s Reva going into early menopause years ago are prime examples! The writers/EPs have hit ‘reset’ and offered storylines with both characters becoming parents again – leaving the writers to scramble find ways of explaining the huge gaffes in history once fans complained.
Clearly, strong storytelling, impeachable dialogue, well crafted sets, impeccable costuming, and skilled actors are all off the table. What are we offered instead? Three days a week of weak storytelling, incoherent dialogue, poorly designed sets, sorrowful costuming, and unskilled actors in the role of long loved favorites. Sure, I’ll take three days a week of that, instead of five… but then, I’d take ZERO days, instead of five, as well.
Shortcuts are shorter, not better. Exhibit A… (Thanks, Noel, from the GuidingLightTV board for the link)…
THIS (a clash of titans, powerful women who aren’t afraid of going toe-to-toe – fierce enough competitiors to make you fear them with a single look):
Has become THIS (capable actresses reduced to scream queens fighting over petty jealousies – using sex rather than their minds and other considerable resources to compete for a man who was using them both):
THIS (a vengeful, petulant child – who seduces her mother’s fiance in order to ‘make her pay’ and winds up sorry for her betraying her mother even if it’s with a man she loves)
becomes THIS: A mother who falls in-lust-calling-it-love with her daughter’s husbands. Mom slept with both husbands and had a child with each… you read that right, it didn’t happen ONCE… it happened TWICE:
THIS (a dialogue between a man and the woman he raped, his wife when he raped her – ex wife after the rape) shows that he lives daily with regret for the pain he caused her. It’s a complex story with Roger and Holly remembering the great love they once had a great love that at times draws them together, physically, leaving Holly revulsed after the act. At other times, the rape and post-rape keeps them apart all together:
Ultimately, Roger and Holly realized that they could never get past the rape. In the end they separated, permanently. All of which has been replaced by THIS:
Todd Manning, a man who is taking advantage of his rape victim’s memory loss to get her on his side regarding his daughter’s teen pregnancy (refusing to tell her that her son is the child’s father). His assault of her was brutal and part of a gang rape HE initiated. Theirs was a VERY brief sexual relationship before she dumped him. They barely knew one another. Now he wants his chance to force her to forgive him and see what kind of man he is now… sweet irony:
Sure, chief… taking soaps down to three days a week will make all of the pain go away… that’s right… and I’ve got a bridge to nowhere to sell you, only, it ain’t gonna be cheap!