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Soaps that seem hard to write for

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It seems as if there are soaps that hard just hard to write for either because of fan bases or because of the concept. To name a few:

Dark Shadows (Speaks for itself)

The Young and the Restless (has there ever been a writer/producer as good as Bell?)

General Hospital (The show just turned 50 and it seems that only a small portion of that show's history was THAT good.)

The Edge of NIght (Not a lot of people can write crime-fiction and EON was mainly that)

I hope to here more responses!!!

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General Hospital (The show just turned 50 and it seems that only a small portion of that show's history was THAT good.)

GH has a really passionate fanbase but I think different portions of the fanbase disagree about what the show's real identity/golden age is.

You've got your people who stick by the title and believe it needs to be about doctors and nurses and the hospital. You've got your fans of the 80s larger than life adventure era who want it to be capers and adventure and the WSB. You've got your 90s fans who loved a show about social issues and a lot of emphasis of relationships- romantic but also friends and family- this somewhat overlaps with the hospital identity but contrasts with the larger than life adventure stuff. And you've got your later Guza fans who loved either the mob focus or a particular Jason pairing and don't want the show to move away from being Sonny & Jason's mob world that everyone else lives in- those fans are less present here but I do believe they exist.

There's more to it than that and fans who enjoyed things about each aspect. But I think at the root of GH's issues is that fans clamor for the glory days or the old days but that can be taken a lot of ways and the show can't be all of those things together without being a disjointed mess. So in sum that's my take on the problem with GH writing- the show doesn't know who it is anymore & trying to combine the greatest hits doesn't really work.

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GH has a really passionate fanbase but I think different portions of the fanbase disagree about what the show's real identity/golden age is.

You've got your people who stick by the title and believe it needs to be about doctors and nurses and the hospital. You've got your fans of the 80s larger than life adventure era who want it to be capers and adventure and the WSB. You've got your 90s fans who loved a show about social issues and a lot of emphasis of relationships- romantic but also friends and family- this somewhat overlaps with the hospital identity but contrasts with the larger than life adventure stuff. And you've got your later Guza fans who loved either the mob focus or a particular Jason pairing and don't want the show to move away from being Sonny & Jason's mob world that everyone else lives in- those fans are less present here but I do believe they exist.

There's more to it than that and fans who enjoyed things about each aspect. But I think at the root of GH's issues is that fans clamor for the glory days or the old days but that can be taken a lot of ways and the show can't be all of those things together without being a disjointed mess. So in sum that's my take on the problem with GH writing- the show doesn't know who it is anymore & trying to combine the greatest hits doesn't really work.

I think the 80s and 90s were very great years for GH.. but once Sonny's mob was the focus it went to hell and now in 2013 even with JFP and Guza gone, it's a shell of it was..

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I believe that AW went through a different head-writer during each of the last seven years it was on the air. This may also have happened with SFT.

However, I don't think this indicates that these soaps were hard to write for. More likely, these rapid changes were made because of sagging ratings.

Edited by Max

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Posted · Report post

All My Children has lots of troubles after Agnes Nixon left in 2000.

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Posted · Report post

GH has a really passionate fanbase but I think different portions of the fanbase disagree about what the show's real identity/golden age is.

You've got your people who stick by the title and believe it needs to be about doctors and nurses and the hospital. You've got your fans of the 80s larger than life adventure era who want it to be capers and adventure and the WSB. You've got your 90s fans who loved a show about social issues and a lot of emphasis of relationships- romantic but also friends and family- this somewhat overlaps with the hospital identity but contrasts with the larger than life adventure stuff. And you've got your later Guza fans who loved either the mob focus or a particular Jason pairing and don't want the show to move away from being Sonny & Jason's mob world that everyone else lives in- those fans are less present here but I do believe they exist.

There's more to it than that and fans who enjoyed things about each aspect. But I think at the root of GH's issues is that fans clamor for the glory days or the old days but that can be taken a lot of ways and the show can't be all of those things together without being a disjointed mess. So in sum that's my take on the problem with GH writing- the show doesn't know who it is anymore & trying to combine the greatest hits doesn't really work.

I think the 80s and 90s were very great years for GH.. but once Sonny's mob was the focus it went to hell and now in 2013 even with JFP and Guza gone, it's a shell of it was..

GH needs to do a Time Jump like AMC did IMO. The best way for this show to work is to give it a clean slate. I think the 90s were the best Era because it blended the original focus with the characters of the Monty Era. That is why I made the Wendy/Clair comment in the Spoiler Thread. They seemed to balance it out well. Maybe Clair would work well with Ron as a co-head? I can see the Mob stuff intesting as long as it were balanced. That said, a Time Jump could eliminate the mob stuff even more so.

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Posted · Report post

GH has a really passionate fanbase but I think different portions of the fanbase disagree about what the show's real identity/golden age is.

You've got your people who stick by the title and believe it needs to be about doctors and nurses and the hospital. You've got your fans of the 80s larger than life adventure era who want it to be capers and adventure and the WSB. You've got your 90s fans who loved a show about social issues and a lot of emphasis of relationships- romantic but also friends and family- this somewhat overlaps with the hospital identity but contrasts with the larger than life adventure stuff. And you've got your later Guza fans who loved either the mob focus or a particular Jason pairing and don't want the show to move away from being Sonny & Jason's mob world that everyone else lives in- those fans are less present here but I do believe they exist.

There's more to it than that and fans who enjoyed things about each aspect. But I think at the root of GH's issues is that fans clamor for the glory days or the old days but that can be taken a lot of ways and the show can't be all of those things together without being a disjointed mess. So in sum that's my take on the problem with GH writing- the show doesn't know who it is anymore & trying to combine the greatest hits doesn't really work.

Well said. To be fair OLTL (ANd proba some other soaps) had a bit of that too, though less so. IE some people see Ruach's glamorous camp era as THE OLTL, etc.

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Posted · Report post

I don't think any show is inherently hard to write for (and it especially shouldn't be for its own creator) as long as the writer has a handle on the show's theme. I think the problem almost always comes down to writers and executive producers who lack skill, finesse, and good judgment, or who just aren't a right fit for the show. I think there's always someone, somewhere out there who could write any given soap masterfully.

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I think ATWT was hard to write immediately after Marland's death, just because of the large cast and way Marland interweaved characters and stories. It's sort of the same problem B&B has post Bell Sr. Only that is mostly about nepotism and lack of true talent.

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Didn't Bell Sr supervise Bradley's first few years at B&B? I haven't seen them, so can't judge...

It does seem that the most consistant soaps were the ones where the creator stayed involved the longest--no surprise. Like Y&R (although I have a soap book from 1983 that complains that the new EP and focus on new family was making the show, physically, too light, and losing the dark, haunting, hypnotic quality that made the show so appealing) as well as AMC largely through its first three decades where Nixon, despite some off years, kept some sort of quality control.

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I've always thought that B&B would be hard to write for since so much of the show revolves around such a small core cast that is very intertwined (however, I know in recent years they have transfused a lot of new 'the next generation" characters).

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Part of the reason the B&B cast is so small and incestuous is DumbBell's failure to establish new characters and families. The only one I can think of that last more than a year is the Marones, and they lost most of their relevance when Mossimo left.

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Posted · Report post

B&B wasted an opportunity with Oliver's family.

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Posted · Report post

Y&R. I'm convinced that fans of this show will never be happy no matter what happens.

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I'd say only EON because writing mysteries is hard. It's gotta be sharp, tight, and make sense from start to finish.

The rest of the shows should be easy if the writers would do thorough research, which is the fun part of writing IMO, on the story to be addressed, the characters involved, and the show's history/formula.

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