I would dispute that shows tie in too many characters to family these days. There are still many characters who are not tied to families. Many of the examples given above are recent. Another recent example would be ATWT's Reid Oliver. Another recent example is the OLTL characters who were moved to GH. They are not GH long-lost relatives as far as I know. A more past example that will always be a favorite of mine is Eddie Silva on ATWT. I agree with Cass and Felicia on AW mentioned above (and Wallingford) -- who became a "family not related by blood" all on their own. The good thing with Reid is they had him interact across the canvas. If you bring in a new character, regardless of whether they are family or not, they need to not be on a story island and need to interact with the characters who are already there -- but not in a "you can't get away from this new guy" way, rather with a natural buildup.
Also I would dispute that it is inadvisable to bring in many new characters as "long lost" or distant relatives. I don't feel it is overdone at all. Part of the appeal of the soaps is the family connections, particularly when there is history behind it and it isn't just made up on the spot. Even stuff that is made up, though, can be powerful. Thinking of the Ward family on GH and Justus being Edward's grandson, when he first came on. Thinking of the tragic story of Bradley Ward, who was never even a character on the show. Thinking of Mary Mae, played by Rosalind Cash, who made such an impact in two years. That was really compelling writing by Claire Labine and it in no way would have been as good without being tied intimately to Edward Quartermaine.
Also the revered Doug Marland is famous for bringing in relatives so it is ironic that soap writers are being bashed in this thread for bringing in relatives. Also it seems contradictory to say that the Bauers sustained GL, starting with Meta as a new character, and at the same time say they shouldn't be bringing in too many relatives. So their adding to the Bauers was a good thing but adding to other families is a bad thing?
The problem with soaps is if they go too far away from family in my opinion, not if they have too much family.
Edited by jfung79, 06 February 2013 - 05:45 AM.