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Why did the Quality of the Bell Soaps go down in quality like the rest??


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#1 allmc2008

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:22 PM

Besides the fact that Bell Sr. died what all contributed to the demise in quality??  It is somewhat excusable on why the ABC soaps went down in quality and the PGP soaps did as well since ABC owns GH/OLTL/AMC and PGP owned all of there's and they are vocal about how "Soaps are Dead".  But the Bell Soaps are privately owned and they have enough outlets to show there serials outside of CBS.  So if CBS is pulling the strings on why Y&R and B&B have not been going down hill why can't they end there relationship and go to Hulu and air only on TVGN??  Is it a matter of the Bell Family not caring about quality because they think there shows will always be prosperous no matter what??

 

Basically, it is inexcusable of why the Bell's can not find someone with creative talent to helm there shows. 

 

Also, I wonder what all Lee Phillip Bell has to say about the shows??  Does anyone even know what role she had to play in them?


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#2 Winchester91

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:41 PM

All soaps went down in quality. It just seem more marked because the Bell creations were a cut above the rest.


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#3 quartermainefan

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:34 PM

I never thought Y&R had any quality.  No matter what year or what decade, whenever I looked at Y&R somone was dramatically staring at someone waiting for the piano to tinkle beginning notes to the theme.  Peter Bergman's dramatic intonations and pausing are ridiculous.  He tries his best to recite his dialogue as if he was George Takei if George was doing Shakespeare. 


Edited by quartermainefan, 12 July 2013 - 10:36 PM.

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#4 y&r_fan

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 12:09 AM

B&B has declined in quality because Brad is too stubborn to admit he's run out of steam. He should retreat to the EP position and leave the writing to Alden, Mulcahey et al. And I'm still astounded by his willingness to let Moss and Tylo (and even Kanan and Frantz) go.

Y&R has found a talented team in Jill and Josh. They're not perfect (Jill needs to bring back the original music and Josh needs a strong co-HW or consultant) but they're the closest we've had to Bell standard since pre-LML.
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#5 wingwalker

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 12:45 AM

Y&R, for me it's when Bill Bell and his protege's stopping being involved with the show. Even after Bill Bell stopped being as involved/died, it still felt like Y&R because you had people like Kay Alden, Ed Scott who had worked with Bill Bell for decades still there running the ship. Once they all left, each regime has gotten worse and y&r becomes less and less recognizable.

 

While I love B&B, I've never saw B&B as the same quality Y&R was, but I do feel that around 2002 or so, Brad Bell deliberately dumbed down the show to cater to the lowest common denominator and I stopped watching for a long time. While every writer has their ups and down, B&B sometimes feels a bit bipolar. Sometimes Brad will knock it out of the park (like this past week) and will prove he is still a great writer, but then the following week he'll be back to writing garbage and stories he's over-used a million times.


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#6 EnglishTea

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 02:39 AM

Bill Bell's death is the number one reason.

 

Brad Bell not having nearly the talent of his father.

 

Sony.


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#7 allmc2008

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 09:08 AM

Bill Bell's death is the number one reason.

 

Brad Bell not having nearly the talent of his father.

 

Sony.

I never thought of Sony being involved would cause quality damage.  I thought there only function was distribution now that makes a little sense.  Have they ever openly said anything bad about the shows or the genre?


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#8 ellabelle

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 09:10 AM

I never thought Y&R had any quality.  No matter what year or what decade, whenever I looked at Y&R somone was dramatically staring at someone waiting for the piano to tinkle beginning notes to the theme.  Peter Bergman's dramatic intonations and pausing are ridiculous. 

 

I tried to get into Y&R back in the early to mid-90s, and that was more or less the same feeling I had when watching it. The pacing of the show felt odd to me. It seemed like it moved slowly and had a lot of long overly dramatic pauses. I know it's been a very popular show but for me personally, I didn't see what all the fuss was.


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#9 Nothin'ButAttitude

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 02:29 PM

B&B went down in quality when Brad Bell decided to focus the show only on the perils of Brooke, Ridge, and Stephanie starting about 2005/6. Before I felt the show always had an A, B, and C story despite being thirty minutes. You'd have Brooke's BELIEF saga as the A story, Sheila's secret as the B story, and maybe Karen and Grant's affair as the C story. They were all well connected but each had different characters leading and would climax at differ times. Once Brad ceased using his dad's formula, the show decreased IMO.

As already mentioned, when Kay Alden and Jack (or John) F. Smith (Bill's proteges) were ousted by Lynn Marie Latham, the show went downhill tremendously. I feel that each show has a formula and an identity that separates it from all. When regimes change and incoming regimes don't acknowledge the show's vision, the show starts to diminish.

ATWT & GL were known for their strong family ties within small towns. AW was the same but tended to specialize in friendships too (and better than any soap). B&B was always about sex and scandal. OLTL was the social soap that addressed & broke down taboos. The Doctors focused on the brotherhood/sisterhood of healing. Edge of Night was the mystery and suspense soap.

Y&R was the psychological & business-type soap. These formulas worked, but when steering from the formula the shows flop. We see that now with Y&R. We get no stellar psychological story nor business stories. Instead, it's rinse, wash, repeat with constant affairs and psychos of the month.
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#10 ajsp35801

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:39 PM

Y&R used to focus mainly on business story lines and everything revolved around that. I stopped watching for while after VR left from around 2007-2009...and when I came back, the show felt more like OLTL than Y&R with everyone having no real purpose just bumping into each other for random conversation around town. And even now, I think that JG is trying to get back to people working and having jobs although only people we have really seen doing that in any capacity is Neil, Lily, Devon, Tyler...everyone just talks about having a job. Yet we never get to see them perform in it. I had to laugh at Neil, Abby, and Lily the other day when Neil said that he had been with Lily all day at work and Abby and Lily talking about all that they had accomplished at work that day. LMBO! Show these people working and give them a reason to be in each other's orbits instead of having them run into each other...then they all won't look like such flakes.


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#11 Chris B

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 04:18 PM

B&B I thought was terrible for most of the 2000's because the focus was so limited on Brooke, Ridge, Taylor and Stephanie and that story had been played out. I also think they had a difficult time developing a next generation. Once Liam, Hope and Steffy arrived the show seemed to hit a creative stride and has remained good since then. Katie and Bill were also excellent addtions and Donna and Pam don't get much credit, but they too were important parts to rebooting B&B. I think what helps them is that they modernized the show, but it still feels like a Bell soap. You still have the lush, classic scores, but they can still put a modern song in WHEN IT'S APPROPRIATE. The show still looks expensive, like a Bell soap should look. It's also maintained the themes that the show was known for. You have the fashion shows, the business stories, the love triangles, the have and the have nots mingling and the tone has remained the same.

 

With Y&R, it's failed because each new headwriter has made it their goal to simply create a new show. Maria Arena Bell came the closest to properly rebooting the show, but she always failed when it came to picking a co-HW. I also feel she didn't know when to leave well enough alone and end a storyline or write a character off. She often had good stories or good ideas that went on too long and ended up becoming crazy and outlandish. It's a shame she couldn't work out because the potential was there. With the right Co-HW and the right Executive Producer she could've worked. With Lynn Latham, she's another one that had great ideas and I loved how well integrated the minority characters became. Dru was suddenly the leading lady and that was fabulous. The ratings were also terrific during her run (at least until Rowell left and things went downhill). Again, too much power is what hurt her. Had it been say Kay Alden and Lynn Latham as equal Co-HWs with Ed Scott or David Shannessey or Sally McDonald as EP, the show would be rocking and rolling.

 

Y&R also made a HUGE mistake in firing Marnie Siatta, the casting director. She started from the bottom and trained under Bill Bell and cast so many amazing actors. The best thing Ed Scott could've done during his DAYS stint is hire Siatta as the Casting Director. She has done amazing things there and cast actors with such good energy and star power. I don't feel like they're trying to cast ABC stars or DAYS stars or beefcake. I feel like they're casting actors that fit the DAYS brand, which is another thing that has been lacking at Y&R. The actors just don't feel like Y&R or Bell soap actors. I don't know how to describe this exactly, but it doesn't feel right. I guess it just comes down to not casting the right actor for the show.


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#12 soapsnstuds

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:06 AM

I think things like these are inevitable as time goes by.

 

Perhaps there is a younger generation (teens, early 20's) that prefer today's low-quality Young and the Restless vs. the late-1980's Y&R when the show was the epitome of a quality soap.

 

I was just thinking how I have never even heard the No. 1 song in America -- Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell.  Heck, I haven't heard even 5 songs on the Hot 100 yet 10-20 years ago, I knew everything that was on the radio.  And I equate the state of soaps today with the state of pop music or at the very least, why I as a 42-year-old man can't connect with either medium because it seems they don't care for my age demos anymore.

 

Perhaps those of us that loved the show in the 1980's and early-1990's truly aren't who TPTB are going after these days.  Maybe it's those unattached and unfamiliar with the show's former greatness, are who they want to hook.


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#13 Darlotto99

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 11:18 AM

Until Bill Bell ppl return to Y&R it will never be Y&R.
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#14 theherowithin

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 03:49 PM

I never thought Y&R had any quality.  No matter what year or what decade, whenever I looked at Y&R somone was dramatically staring at someone waiting for the piano to tinkle beginning notes to the theme.  Peter Bergman's dramatic intonations and pausing are ridiculous.  He tries his best to recite his dialogue as if he was George Takei if George was doing Shakespeare. 

 

 

Well I don't think Bergman has quite perfected the enunciate every other word technique of Takei/Shatner but I get what you are saying, lol .


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#15 alphanguy74

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 10:22 PM

 

I tried to get into Y&R back in the early to mid-90s, and that was more or less the same feeling I had when watching it. The pacing of the show felt odd to me. It seemed like it moved slowly and had a lot of long overly dramatic pauses. I know it's been a very popular show but for me personally, I didn't see what all the fuss was.

It IS very slow moving, and full of dramatic pauses, but that was it's style... and I was impatient with that at times when I was younger, but as I got older, I appreciated it far more. You just sat back, and let the show and it's atmosphere ENFOLD you. And those dramatic pauses you speak of in the 90's were NOTHING.... when I was a kid, the show felt downright creepy, and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it.


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#16 VirginiaHamilton

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:33 AM

Out of all the soaps, I think Y&R held on to their high standards longer than the rest before eventually falling prey to catering to the ADD generation.  While I certainly can't speak on the the show pre-early 90s, I can say that a large part of the reason why I was so crazy about it during that decade was because they'd taken the time to develop the characters and explain their motivations behind the things that they did.  I think what truly chapped my ass was watching such perfection slowly unravel into a rancid mess without anyone having any intention of steering the ship back to where it belonged (and thrived in) for so long.


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#17 quartermainefan

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:16 AM

 

 

Well I don't think Bergman has quite perfected the enunciate every other word technique of Takei/Shatner but I get what you are saying, lol .

 

 

Don't get me wrong.  Takei is a great speaker with an excellent speaking voice and can really sound impressive.  Peter Bergman however wants to sound impressive even if he is just singing along to oldies radio.   He sounds like a complete schmuck on Y&R at all times.   "Ham" doesn't even begin to do him justice.


Edited by quartermainefan, 15 July 2013 - 11:17 AM.

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#18 soapfan770

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:40 PM

Lazy writing and ideas did both shows in. 

 

Y&R always did rebound, even from Bell's own missteps or even that nasty Alden/Scott feud. Y&R's drop in quality goes back to the lazy pen of Jack Smith who's poorly executed and sometimes bizarre storylines of those two years lead to the complete dismantling of Y&R. The biggest culprit is the fact that nobody seem to bother to actually get a sense of Y&R history or understand what the show was all about. See Latham or the whole MAB/Sheffer/Rauch/Hamner debacle. Y&R became #1 because it was different than the rest, trying to the make the show like any other soap pretty much ruins the whole Y&R experience. Think of it as tampering with the James Bond formula. 

 

B&B fell apart in the mid-00s by Brad Bell's own lazy writing and I think really, really poor story ideas like Brooke's rape and Taylor carrying around Brooke's embryo really turned off what was once an entertaining soap to watch. 


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#19 will81

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:48 AM

Bell ran a tight ship and everyone was in line under him. Unfortunately Alden didn't get the same respect and the power struggle that occurred damaged the show, I say that because if it hadn't happened Alden would still be in charge today and I think Y&R would still be of the same or similar quality to the Bell era. Jack Smith was the beginning of the end, LML and MAB were the nails in the coffin. Y&R was not an easy show to write, it was a delicate balance of a lot of things that only Alden (besides Bell of course) seem to really understand. Not to say she was perfect, the whole sperm fiasco was a bad story, I still hate it to this day.

 

I don't think Brad was a great writer, but he learnt a lot under his father, and I can't help feel Bell Sr. still had a big hand in guiding the show after he stepped down as HW as for me B&B started losing steam around 1998 when Bill Bell retired. Sure there was some good things happening until 2002, but not of the same calibre. Actually both B&B and Y&R lost some of the quality around 1998 and took a dive around 2003. 


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#20 KMan101

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 09:15 AM

I totally agree Will81. I noticed a steep decline in both soaps (and not even watching regularly in their heydays ... too young) around 2003. Totally agree. I watched pretty regularly between 1998/1999 and 2004/2005/2006 (sporadically through those last three years, and LML totally lost me). So for even someone without the history to notice the decline? I'm sorry but that says something. It's not hard to see and know what made this show work. Granted, it WOULD be a terrifying show to write for, actually.

I thought Kay Alden was alright as HW. I though the sperm storyline was awful.

Jack Smith was bad for Y&R though. I actually liked some of his work but overall you could see the shift starting. And I understand his personal life led to probably some very dark writing, however, I agree he was the beginning of the end.
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