OK so wow, AMS is making new topics now. Yikes.
Anyway, so the online soap fan community has been around for over 15 years now, and in that time, we've had volumes upon volumes upon volumes of discussion about these shows, their successes, and their failures. Throughout all of these discussions, we've grown accustomed to using many words/phrases to express concepts, but, not unlike popular slang phrases, some of these stock terms have been overused and misused to the point of losing some or all of their meaning. What words/phrases would you say fit the bill?
Here are some of mine:
SUPERCOUPLE: quite frankly THE most overused and misused term in soap opera history. Of course, it dates back to the 80s, during the time of Luke and Laura, Bo and Hope, Cliff and Nina, and other storied couples. These were couples with long-lasting, drawn-out, sweeping love stories on highly-rated, extremely popular soap operas. They graced the cover of magazines, they received tons of fan mail, and viewers hung on every beat of their storylines. DAYS and GH were crawling with them, to the point that these shows' identities were almost completely overhauled to center around these couples. Over the years, other couples, though not as big as the original 80s supercouples, were also granted the title. Tad and Dixie. Todd and Blair. Holden and Lily. These couples weren't as universally liked as the original supercouples (but then again, they weren't so universally liked, either), but they had loyal fans who insisted that the couples were never apart from each other for long. In the 90s, even younger couples were termed supercouples. Lucas and Sami, Lucky and Liz. Popular in a time when soaps were beginning to lose mainstream popularity, but still doted on by legions of fans. And then, the 2000s happened. And then, the internet happened. And every got-damn stanbase considered their couple a "supercouple." Zach and Kendall, yall! Sheridan and Luis! Luke and Noah! John and Natalie! Danny and Michelle! Cane and Lily! Couples who polarized fans of their actual shows and were mostly irrelevant to fans of other shows. Sure, they had some merits. Luke and Noah were groundbreaking, Zach and Kendall were initially well-received. But they were NOT supercouples. They did not transcend their shows, demanding the attention and respect of other soaps' fans. Their faces were not plastered on the soap mags, and if you were to ask anyone who wasn't a fan of soaps about them, you'd get NOTHING. Alas, "supercouple" was born in an enterprising and exciting time for soaps, and like many other soapy things that came out of the 80s, it died a slow and painful death.
VETS: Runner-up for most overused and misused term. Vets. Veterans. Vets = good soap. Vets = nods to history. Vets = continuity. Vets = "well at least they're usin' the vets, yall!"
Vets = animal doctors. Last ten years, any time anyone has ever posted about what they think would improve their show, inevitably, somewhere on the list, "use the vets" would be present. "Bring back vets" is another variation of the plea for long-serving cast members to get some respect. Veterans, simply put, are performers and/or characters who have been on a particular show for a long time. Different folks have different definitions for what makes a vet. The old consensus was that ten years made you a vet, but this was back when the likes of Kassie DePaiva, Kelley Menighan Hensley, Alison Sweeney, and Kristoff St. John were 10-year vets. Nowadays, the 10-year rule had you calling John-Paul Lavoisier and Melissa Archer OLTL vets at the end of that show's TV run. So some have bumped it up to 20 years. Some have even said that longevity really doesn't determine vet status -- the particular era you were on the show makes you a vet. So if John Stamos was on GH for a single year in the mid-80s, he's a vet, but Tyler Christopher, who did the Port Charles thing for a combined total of 11 years, most of which was under Robert Guza's pen, he's not a vet. People constantly throw around the "use the vets" phrase with no clue as to what they even mean by that. Time and time again, soaps have shown that "using the vets" isn't enough. GL used "the vets" in the Maryann Carruthers story. AMC "used the vets" to orchestrate the unabortion. DAYS "used the vets" by killing them all off and putting them on an enchanted island. For many legitimate fans, "using the vets" simply means putting them in appropriate storylines and using them where it makes sense to use them. Bobbie should be there for Carly. Lisa should have been given a grand storyline at the end of World Turns's run. But for some people, "using the vets" means Drake Hogestyn and his eyebrows taking down bad guys, 80s-style. It means Susan Lucci and Julia Barr slinging the same insults that they slung 30 years ago. It means Kathryn Hays, Marie Masters, and Eileen Fulton spending 25 minutes of a 36-minute show reminiscing about 1974. Interestingly, it seems like the fans most clamoring for the "vets" are fans who haven't really been watching that long but think that being fans of "the vets" will get them cred in the soap fandom, establish them as experts of their particular soap, and make it seem as if they've been watching soaps since May 26, 1983 -- even though they weren't born until five or ten years later.
Please, share your thoughts.
Edited by All My Shadows, 04 March 2013 - 06:51 PM.