Edward Skylover

Did US soaps used to be better?

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Forgive me for my lack of knowledge as I've only watched some 1993 and 2010 Days of our Lives episodes, but did US soaps used to be better? I'm just genuinely curious as I'm too young to remember many of them from when they originally aired in the UK (I know only 1993 Days from repeat airings in Barbados in 2008), is it just a sign of the times changing and less Americans watching daytime soaps or did the shows just used to be better? 

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Yes--they used to be much better.

 

I'll only discuss the four that are still currently on air.

 

General Hospital- The 80's and 90's were wonderful. The show had a great mix of supercouples and great stories. I would argue GH had the two greatest soap storylines of all time: Luke and Laura's love story and Maxie gets Bj's heart. I would say GH started going down hill in 2000.

 

Days of our Lives: This one is tricky. Days has had some amazing stories and even more amazing supercouples, especially in the 80's. They are on and off when it comes to writing. So depending on when you watch, you may love it or hate it. I would say they really started going down hill in the mid 90's.

 

Bold and the Beautiful: This has never been my favorite soap, so I may not be the best one to judge. I would agree that it started going down hill in the mid 00's. The Brooke/Stefanie and Brooke/Ridge/Taylor storylines are what made this soap. I would check those out!

 

Young and the Restless: I used to love this show, however by the end of the 90's it was a shell of its former self. There have still been moments I've loved over the years, but the 80's early to mid 90's were when it was at its best.

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In terms of quality, Days hasnt been good consistently since the early 90s.  Ratings wise since the late 90s.

 

Young and the restless...started a slow decline in the mid 90s..yet since the quality was so good..no one really took note till the early to mid 2000s.

 

Bold and the beautiful..mid 90s especially when Bradley took over.

 

GH..2000s

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1993 is the perfect year IMO to mark the decline of the quality soap opera. There were so many missteps on multiple shows that year, I don't even know where to start.

 

I miss NY actors on soaps.

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1994 was the year of no return for the soap genre - when they started believing fans were fools and worthless. 

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7 minutes ago, koos said:

1993 is the perfect year IMO to mark the decline of the quality soap opera. There were so many missteps on multiple shows that year, I don't even know where to start.

 

I miss NY actors on soaps.

 

Good assessment and yes, I miss NY based soaps very much!

 

I know I annoy people in the Y&R thread with my endless comparisons to the Bill Bell Srs. and Douglas Marlands of the world but in the 80s up to the very early 90s, the writing, the direction, the lighting were all done with great consideration.

 

It wasn't all about the budget either as I have looked on You Tube and notice some very flimsy sets on a few soaps around '83-'84 or so but the stories were so darn compelling, I overlooked all that and enjoyed the stories immensely.

 

Today, the stories rely on worn out old tropes and there seems to be a lot of slipshod storytelling and a very annoying lack of specificity.

I refuse to believe this is all about budget and actor availability. A lot of it is just a lack of imagination and sometimes a lack of effort and respect for the viewers.

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The 80's to early/mid-90's were the best years of soaps IMO....As the World Turns definitely dipped when Doug Marland passed away.  But the early 90's were a rennaissance for Guiding Light...I only watched CBS but even from reading opinions of others, I think most would agree.  Possibly Another World fans might argue that the 70's to early 80's were that show's best.  Edge of Night I watched some and the 70's were definitely its best of what I saw, but I was born in 1970.  I never watched GH - but my one sister did - she loved and watched it from the late 70's throughout to the early 90's, when she switched to Guiding Light during that timeslot.  All of us watched Y&R though.  I think the late 70's throughout the 80's to possibly part of the early to mid 90's were Y&Rs best.  B&B I've never thought was a great show by any means...nothing like I felt for any of the CBS shows like Y&R, ATWT, and Guiding Light. 

Edited by Fevuh
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It is so disappointing that when all these stories should have progessed along with the times, have regressed so far in the past but on a worse way.

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21 minutes ago, cassadine1991 said:

It is so disappointing that when all these stories should have progessed along with the times, have regressed so far in the past but on a worse way.

 

The stories feel very regressive, and in the words of a certain pop star, "reductive".

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Sami Brady was an excellent character on Days. She made me take notice of the show. Unfortunately I never had proper access to the show during the era I liked (early 90s) other than when I was in Barbados. Sami and Lucas were great as a pair. Unfortunately most of the acting on Days seems to have declined whenever I tune into the odd episode of it these days. I don't know if the crap sets and lighting just highlights this.

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2 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

Good assessment and yes, I miss NY based soaps very much!

 

I know I annoy people in the Y&R thread with my endless comparisons to the Bill Bell Srs. and Douglas Marlands of the world but in the 80s up to the very early 90s, the writing, the direction, the lighting were all done with great consideration.

 

It wasn't all about the budget either as I have looked on You Tube and notice some very flimsy sets on a few soaps around '83-'84 or so but the stories were so darn compelling, I overlooked all that and enjoyed the stories immensely.

 

Today, the stories rely on worn out old tropes and there seems to be a lot of slipshod storytelling and a very annoying lack of specificity.

I refuse to believe this is all about budget and actor availability. A lot of it is just a lack of imagination and sometimes a lack of effort and respect for the viewers.

 

The edge of night had flimsy sets and was hanging in by a thread...yet had some gripping material all the way to the end.

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The simple answer is yes, US soaps used to be better. The quality issues don't exist due to the lowered viewership, but are exacerbated by them. I also miss NY based soaps if only for the acting styles that are now completely missing from the genre.

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