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With Soaps History's Why Can't Fan FAVORITES Just Pop in and Out of Town


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#1 SoapSurvivor

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:07 PM

With the remaining soaps, why can't the soaps just keep there contract players to a small group of maybe 10-15 characters, the matriarchs, teens (they're cheap), a few 20 somethings, 2 leading ladies and maybe 3 leading men.

Kind of how HBO brings the big bad guys in every season, they are either defeated or leave town and come back a few years later. Instead of bringing VETS back and giving them nothing to do, give them a JUICY story and purpose that can last about 6 months to a year and send them the hell on.

Someone mentioned in another post that the Jen/Nicole fued on Days would have been better played as a Billie/Nicole fued with Jen or Hope as the supporting MAIN CHARACTER. Once the story was over Billie could leave town like she always does until there is more story for her to tell.

With soaps rich history and characters and actors needing gigs,

Another Example.. Vivian on DOOL, they should have brung her back and let her be a real bad ass, holding no punches, don't bother to intergrate her with the good towns people, she's either murdered off, sent to jail or leaves town. Because she's a villian we never expect her to stick around long.
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#2 KMan101

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:14 PM

I would love that, but that's probably too much thought and effort for anyone running a soap.

I'd prefer them to take the UK route and let stars take extended breaks to give characters a rest and kind of weave them in and out, but still maintain an overall core group of characters.
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#3 DramatistDreamer

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:36 PM

I agree. For some reason, soaps either haven't committed to carrying something like this out in any thoughtful way or it's not on their radar. I've only seen individual characters occasionally come and go:

As The World Turns used to bring the Penny Hughes character back to Oakdale for special occasions (some weddings and the odd holiday).
Y&R seems to do this with Tracey Abbott and Nina.

But you're right, it's all so haphazard and they waste the actors talents. It would be so much more interesting to do more rotation of characters and it would provide an opportunity for some fresher storylines instead of beating the same themes to death.
How many times can Jack, Victor or Sharon get married? Who else is there for Nick to sleep around with?

I read that Jerry Douglas will be making an appearance on Y&R soon and it's like people on various messageboards are so happy to get crumbs at this point because the storylines have been so tedious. They're even excited about the ridiculous Ghost Dad story. John Abbott should've been one of those characters that goes back and forth-- they should've just had him in minimum security prison, and after his health deteriorated, instead of killing him, send him to a facility in Boca or something. Then he could have had early release (for good behavior) and decided to remain in Florida and go back and forth or heck, create a fake Florida (or god forbid, take a real trip to Florida) and have the Abbotts visit him. It would probably have been a welcomed change from having to endure the next Phyllis tirade for awhile.

But with some type of rotation, perhaps the Winters would get actual storylines and Devon wouldn't have to have a phantom girlfriend. Perhaps revive the Williams family (and give Paul something to do) and have an actual working class or middle class family on the show again.

Edited by DramatistDreamer, 12 October 2012 - 06:36 PM.

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#4 Cheap21

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 07:22 PM

AMC and OLTL did this with Bianca and David, respetively and it was annoying. I guess it depends on degree bc I never minded it when Y&R does it with Tracy or when Days did it with Kayla

Edited by Cheap21, 12 October 2012 - 07:23 PM.

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#5 SoapSurvivor

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 07:36 PM

AMC and OLTL did this with Bianca and David, respetively and it was annoying. I guess it depends on degree bc I never minded it when Y&R does it with Tracy or when Days did it with Kayla


Yea OLTL did it with Tina finally toward the last few years. Her first return was never intended to be long, but she should have interacted with more. The problem with Days now is they bring them back as wallpaper or supporters. I mean give them a REAL story, maybe have them usher someone off canvas, be in a powerful business story make it something we care about.

Like when they decided to write John and Marlena off, that woulda been the the perfect time to bring Kristen back, her return coulda been short for the time and we couldn't have predicted the outcome. All of the outcomes with the CORE characters are predictable.
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#6 Cheap21

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:02 PM


Yea OLTL did it with Tina finally toward the last few years. Her first return was never intended to be long, but she should have interacted with more. The problem with Days now is they bring them back as wallpaper or supporters. I mean give them a REAL story, maybe have them usher someone off canvas, be in a powerful business story make it something we care about.
.

I dont think thats a problem. I think recurring vets like Kayla, Adrienne and Justin are used effectively as supporting players. I wish they had done the same with Jennifer bc she didnt need to be a lead again. She should have came for a few months and then left
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#7 Susan Hunter

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:38 PM

Days used to do that with Stefano. They would begin to work on the next big adventure, then all of a sudden it would all lead to Stefano. Then when it was over, he would just go away or be presumed dead. They would have other big bads in between Stefano's returns.
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#8 Dr Neil Curtis

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:45 PM

OLTL use to do that with Alex as well. i loved it!
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#9 SoapSurvivor

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 02:12 AM

OLTL use to do that with Alex as well. i loved it!


Days used to do that with Stefano. They would begin to work on the next big adventure, then all of a sudden it would all lead to Stefano. Then when it was over, he would just go away or be presumed dead. They would have other big bads in between Stefano's returns.


Yea that's realistic, like people don't usually leave town to never be heard from again. ALL of my immediate family lives in another state, and I randomly pop in and out of town sometimes for weeks at a time then I'm back out.

I think something as realistic in the event that Eileen didn't want to return to DAYS full-time, they would show Stephano meeting with her for a few days and if she turned him down and never showed back up in Salem, that would make fans happy just to see her on screen for a short guest stint like that.
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#10 juniorz1

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:43 AM

Another World used to do this with Cecile and Santa Barbara with Augusta and I used to love it. For DAYS, however, it's a newer thing. They sort of have that going with characters like Justin, Adrienne, Kayla, Doug, and Julie, who pop in and out of story. They were doing it with Anna (and I hope Tomlin and Whitesell write her back in) and even Calliope here and there, but that seems to have stopped.

I think it makes sense for the soaps of today to be doing stuff like this, but there's no innovation right now. In fact, there seems to be an outright fear of it. I wish that would change but I fear it never will.
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#11 Cheap21

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:46 AM

GH has been donig this with Helena for years and did so with Skye under JFP and Jax over the last year
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#12 Sindacco

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:53 AM

Days used to do that with Stefano. They would begin to work on the next big adventure, then all of a sudden it would all lead to Stefano. Then when it was over, he would just go away or be presumed dead. They would have other big bads in between Stefano's returns.

I miss that Stefano.

Edited by Sindacco, 13 October 2012 - 09:53 AM.

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#13 jwsel

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:50 AM

Days used to do that with Stefano. They would begin to work on the next big adventure, then all of a sudden it would all lead to Stefano. Then when it was over, he would just go away or be presumed dead. They would have other big bads in between Stefano's returns.

I miss that Stefano.

I do too.

I've been thinking it would make a lot of sense to design soaps with a pseudo-telenovela format that has rets revolve in short-terms, designated arcs that are interspersed with longer-term storylines involving the main cast. If viewers knew that their favorite characters would return to the show once a year for a 2- to 3-month story arc (that would probably be 10-20 episodes), I think they would tune in for those story arcs and then stick around through the other storylines until their favorites returned. So figure that there would be a major John/Marlena arc for 2-3 months, followed by a Steve/Kayla arc, followed by a Tony/Anna arc. (And some of these characters could overlap,) I think a key to making that work is that the storylines for the returning characters should feel complete and actually have a discernible ending. Then, viewers who came to the show for the vets would feel like they got the veteran's storyline and were not just being lulled into watching the veteran return to pimp some newbie character. (Anna, Calliope and Shane returning to pimp Rafe in 2010, I'm looking at you.)

One nice part about this idea is that the show could let the returning vets actually take lead roles in these storylines instead of being window dressing. If the character will be returning, the show has less reason to fear that the vet will take attention away from the other cast members.

Also, with the idea that these returns would be cyclical, the show could actually spend some time developing the returning characters, could use their history, and act like they actually have relationships with other characters. This would be the complete antithesis of what Days did with Shane's last return, which wrote him as if he was any random ISA agent. There was no mention of his history with the characters with whom he was interacting; they had John, who in the past had referred to Shane as a "brother" and his "best friend," keep calling him "Donovan" and acting like he was some stranger; they never addressed why Shane was working for the ISA when he had last been seen resigning; and, worst of all, they didn't even have Shane mention Kim, even though he left the ISA when they decided to try to reunite. It might have been nice if Shane had mentioned if he and Kim succeeded in making the relationship work.
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#14 Cheap21

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:58 AM

Before getting a contract, Anna was doing that for years on GH. Ditto on Holly and Robert
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#15 SoapSurvivor

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:23 PM

I do too.

I've been thinking it would make a lot of sense to design soaps with a pseudo-telenovela format that has rets revolve in short-terms, designated arcs that are interspersed with longer-term storylines involving the main cast. If viewers knew that their favorite characters would return to the show once a year for a 2- to 3-month story arc (that would probably be 10-20 episodes), I think they would tune in for those story arcs and then stick around through the other storylines until their favorites returned. So figure that there would be a major John/Marlena arc for 2-3 months, followed by a Steve/Kayla arc, followed by a Tony/Anna arc. (And some of these characters could overlap,) I think a key to making that work is that the storylines for the returning characters should feel complete and actually have a discernible ending. Then, viewers who came to the show for the vets would feel like they got the veteran's storyline and were not just being lulled into watching the veteran return to pimp some newbie character. (Anna, Calliope and Shane returning to pimp Rafe in 2010, I'm looking at you.)

One nice part about this idea is that the show could let the returning vets actually take lead roles in these storylines instead of being window dressing. If the character will be returning, the show has less reason to fear that the vet will take attention away from the other cast members.

Also, with the idea that these returns would be cyclical, the show could actually spend some time developing the returning characters, could use their history, and act like they actually have relationships with other characters. This would be the complete antithesis of what Days did with Shane's last return, which wrote him as if he was any random ISA agent. There was no mention of his history with the characters with whom he was interacting; they had John, who in the past had referred to Shane as a "brother" and his "best friend," keep calling him "Donovan" and acting like he was some stranger; they never addressed why Shane was working for the ISA when he had last been seen resigning; and, worst of all, they didn't even have Shane mention Kim, even though he left the ISA when they decided to try to reunite. It might have been nice if Shane had mentioned if he and Kim succeeded in making the relationship work.


Even Characters like Shane and Billie who aren't intended to be there for the long run can have a shorty story and possibly hook-up or Shane can "cheat with Billie" lol. That could set up a story where Kim leaves him and returns to Salem, and the next story would be him coming back to win her love and taking her back out of Salem. That verses these cameos that new viewers no nothing about.
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