I grew up watching soaps alongside older family members in the 90s then watched on my own for about 15 years, steadily gravitating towards watching older stuff online until about a year ago, I just plain gave up on trying to regularly watch any of the current soaps at all.
I think anything can and should have a place in daytime drama, even comedy. I don't believe in the monolithic view of soaps as always having to be about family and relationships, but I do believe that a show that was created to be about the domestic issues of a family should always strive to be about that. Likewise, if it was a soap that was created to be a moody, suspense story like Dark Shadows, then that's what it always needs to be. That's what makes each soap, or made each soap, unique. When the genre became so trend-oriented, every soap was trying to hook into the same look/feel, and they all became copies of each other, and look at what's happened.
At this point, and I absolutely hate to say it, but all of our favorite soaps like ATWT, GL, OLTL, AMC, even the ones still on the air, they probably all should be gone and should've been gone for a while now. But the genre itself should be alive and well, just with different titles, maybe a slew of familiar faces, but giving us something new so as not to taint the old. Idk how successful anything could possibly be airing in the daytime these days, but I digress.
I completely agree with you. All the things you mentioned wanting to see on DAYS are so timeless and can be so richly entertaining if they were done right, if those things were the story. At some point, the basic human experience was deemed uninteresting enough on its own to drive story, but it's only uninteresting if you're working with half-assedly developed characters.
There were so many times in the last 5 years of AMC, ATWT, and OLTL where they almost, ALMOST, got it right, but then got it totally wrong.
That's what I mean, though. I wasn't trying to imply that you didn't like Single Ladies, but I'm saying that people will find fault regardless (which I get is the nature of the business, but still). If she was still turning out just the fun, dancey stuff that she built herself on, a lot of people would accuse her of not growing or changing, or worse, of embarrassing herself. I say good on her for trying new things. You can do that when you're 13 years into your solo career, and I think she's doing it well.
What, they can't promote their album? Jeez. It should be even more impressive that they created all of this and he didn't cheat, because everyone was ready to believe he did. Why? Because she sold the fck out of it, that's why.
I'm over the "I miss the old Beyonce" complaints because it wasn't long ago when people were rolling their eyes at her because they thought she was too old to still be doing stuff like Single Ladies.
I wonder, though, what exactly don't you like about it?
I'm on my phone, so sorry for the huge blocks of text. In regards to Irna in 1937, my point was that all of the soaps created up until a certain point were all rooted in domestic drama, starting with Irna's first creation, and so domestic drama they all should have been and should be until the grand finale. Dark Shadows wasn't a domestic soap, and it shouldn't have ever tried to be, and it didn't, so it worked. It was a soap with a different focus, and it's great that it was given a shot because it obviously captured an audience that the other soaps never touched. The network people should've tried more shows that were off the beaten path. There probably would have been more success stories like DS, but they didn't try, and instead, they gave facelifts to shows that didn't need them, and, once again, class, the shows were stripped of their own identities to try (and fail) to jump on the mainstream bandwagon.
And say the soaps do gravitate towards whatever gets the mainstream audience talking these days. Say you do have forced fantasy garbage (taped with three cameras on a soundstage at CBS Television City, btw, because that's what your budget allows). What happens when the attention shifts to something else? Do you just drop the sci-fi/fantasy crap to slip into the next trendy subgenre? Remember when GL tried to do that superhero nonsense with Harley? That's the type of embarrassing stuff that killed soaps. Remember when AMC was supposed to be like Sex and the City? Embarrassing!!
In regards to murder mysteries being played out, my meaning of the phrase there is that all of the attempts at such stories in daytime in recent years have been colossal failures, so how and why is that somewhere soaps need to keep going? If it's a murder mystery written well, then that's one thing, because you can take a timeless story, be it about a dead body turning up or a woman torn between two lovers, and always make it fresh if you know what you're doing and you have a real vision. On the other hand, a poorly written murder mystery is just as much a waste of time and resources as is a poorly written who's the daddy.
There are only a few on the air, and they aren't setting the ratings on fire, but they're still being watched and are being produced within their means for their audience. I do not do Tyler Perry things at all, but he's found a devoted following with his soaps on OWN. Many of your lapsed daytime viewers are absolutely tuning into his shows because, good or bad, they are providing what Y&R and the others used to provide. Look on this board, look on social media. It's a niche audience, but there's nothing wrong with having a niche audience - it's the struggle for mainstream approval that stripped the soaps of their identity and turned them into desperate shells of themselves. While they tried (and failed) to hop on the latest bandwagon, they were losing fans who would have just been satisfied if the soaps had been true to themselves. That's just not something the shows did until they got a taste of it in the 80s (when the stars aligned and what was big in primetime was itself a variation of what daytime had been doing for decades). In the 50s and 60s, every last soap managed to completely avoid trying to mimic westerns, spy fiction, and sci-fi, which were arguably the biggest primetime drama genres of the era, and they thrived by just being themselves, by keeping true to the vision of what each show's creator intended. After the stars aligned in the early 80s, it became all about trying to make soaps into something other than what they'd been, though none of the shows had the means to pull it off, which is why any attempt at science fiction or fantasy in daytime in the last 25 years has been a complete joke to basically everyone who isn't a soap fan and probably most of us who are.
Why are we ignoring the fact that NONE of the current soaps (and very FEW soaps in general) were created to be showcases for science fiction, fantasy, action, adventure storylines? If that's the type of thing you want to see, stop trying to force it onto shows that were never meant to be those things. Most soaps were created to be domestic dramas. That was the fundamental purpose of Irna Phillips creating the very first one! They were all mutated to different degrees in order to chase ratings that were never going to be sustainable, and we ended up with dead soaps walking suffering through massive identity crises. I just don't understand how or why it is acceptable for daytime series to attempt to completely change identity and tone. A primetime series will never force itself to be something it was never meant to be. Once their time is up, they die (sometimes with dignity in tact) and something new comes along. Should they have put a wider variety of series on in daytime when they could have afforded to take chances in the 70s and 80s? Absolutely. I would love it if there'd been some soaps that focused on other topics, but as it stands, those shows were never created or never made it to air. The result is that each show with an established focus had to be poked and prodded instead of allowed to just be what they were supposed to be.
And now look at the mess that has ensued. How in the world can a show like DAYS ever, ever, please a large percentage of its audience when the show has been too many different things to too many different groups of people, all of whom want it to be the way they prefer for it to be?
And might I add, there is a huge audience of TV viewers who did not watch Lost, don't watch Game of Thrones, do not watch The Walking Dead, and do not care for any other shows that are hyped and hyped to be watched by "everyone." These are people who just do not give a f!ck about watching fantasy/sci-fi sh!t and would love to watch a good, solid domestic drama. The problem is that those shows don't exist anymore because A, TPTB do not give a f!ck about serving that audience at ALL because they can't make as much money off of them, and B, so many new shows are desperately and embarrassingly trying hard to fit into that forced-suspense, "should've been a mini-series because once this lame-ass plot is done after season 1, what are they gonna throw together next?" mold.
And no offense, but let's be real. Let's please not act like there's anything fresh or new or inherently interesting about the word "murder" or the murder mystery genre. The Queen was already doing it 30 years ago, except it didn't take her 10 episodes to tell a story, nor did she overdose on her own hype after three seasons. And aren't murder mysteries one of THE most played-out stories on soaps of the last 20 years?
Even in the short-term, I think of someone like Jeffrey Carlson, whom I'm sure many would say chewed up all of the scenery during his time on AMC, but I thought he was fantastic and played that role for all it was worth.