Aback

Reinvent the Genre

64 posts in this topic

The soap genre has grown stale and I think it's also due to the them following the same rules over and over, taking for granted they'll be successful.

 

I think there are some unwritten rules that soaps need to get rid off. I'll start:

 

- SORASing: it's unnecessary and lazy writing. If you're forced to recast an actor, it's one thing. But sometimes the shows seem obsessed with SORASing children and then preventing their parents from growing old.

 

- Swearing & Taboos: I wish soaps would push the envelope a bit more. B&B is set in LA and no one is doing drugs. Y&R has never featured a gay couple. What world do they live in?! Nowadays soaps feel like spicey fairy tales.

 

- No one cares about getting married that much: it seems like every storyline revolves around a couple getting married or having a baby. Sorry, but that's not as common as it used to be in the 50s!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think SORASing is an issue if done correctly. The problem with soaps is that they'll showcase kids one week and send them off to return as teens another. There needs to be more time (as in months) before introducing a SORASED character. 

 

I do think that soaps need to break away from being so damn conservative. I agree that if this show is gonna occur in LA that sex and drugs should play a heavy hand on the show. It boggles my mind how Steffy, Liam, Ivy, Wyatt, Thomas, etc. don't engage in actions that many twenty-somethings do. 

 

Marriage isn't something that twenty-somethings should not be uttering too. As you pointed out, marriage is on the decline nowadays, and most people find the institution outdated. That along with women wanting babies. Most women don't even discuss that until they are in their 30s and are established.

 

What soaps need to change (and I say this all the time) is coming on 5 days a week. That's where the genre is hurting. Most people don't even watch the full week of episodes nowadays. Most watch 2-3 at the most b/c some days are filled with filler mess. Soaps need to come on Mon, Wed, and Fri. That way the stories will be tighter and encourage the writers to be half-assed. Soaps here also need to take hiatuses or have finales like Aussie soaps do. From late Dec to mid Jan, soaps need to be off the air. That'll give everyone on the show time to rejuvenate. 

 

Soaps also need to revert back to realism. It is sad that primetime is banking big on shows like This Is Us, which is a soap. Classic human emotion and pathos is enough for soaps to gain viewers. Also, soaps need to rip stories from the headlines again. Soaps used to lead the charge in social issues, and be daring while doing so. Now, social issues on soaps are so PC and handled with kids gloves that nobody is gonna take anything away from those stories. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Nothin'ButAttitude said:

What soaps need to change (and I say this all the time) is coming on 5 days a week. That's where the genre is hurting. Most people don't even watch the full week of episodes nowadays. Most watch 2-3 at the most b/c some days are filled with filler mess. Soaps need to come on Mon, Wed, and Fri. That way the stories will be tighter and encourage the writers to be half-assed. Soaps here also need to take hiatuses or have finales like Aussie soaps do. From late Dec to mid Jan, soaps need to be off the air. That'll give everyone on the show time to rejuvenate.

 

I don't watch any US soaps anymore, so I can't comment on their quality nowadays, but I do agree with the statement above. British soaps like Emmerdale used to do just that. They aired twice a week, with seasonal breaks over Christmas and during the summer. Now Emmerdale airs six episodes each week (Mon-Fri, with two episodes on Thursdays) and it's nowhere near as good as it was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SORASing get so muddled when the characters get aged out of order like Abby being older than Noah on Y&R and Molly being older than Cameron on GH and then the history when they were younger gets rewritten

 

 

 

These US soaps are still stuck in this 50s mentality while still trying to duplicate the OTT stories of the 80s

Edited by cassadine1991

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, I Am A Swede said:

 

I don't watch any US soaps anymore, so I can't comment on their quality nowadays, but I do agree with the statement above. British soaps like Emmerdale used to do just that. They aired twice a week, with seasonal breaks over Christmas and during the summer. Now Emmerdale airs six episodes each week (Mon-Fri, with two episodes on Thursdays) and it's nowhere near as good as it was.

 

Well you know I love Emmerdale and find the show to be the one soap near perfection, but even I agree that they need to cut down on episodes. All the UK soaps need to. They need 3 episodes at the most too. The can do an double episode one night but they only need 3 nights. 

 

1 hour ago, cassadine1991 said:

SORASing get so muddled when the characters get aged out of order like Abby being older than Noah on Y&R and Molly being older than Cameron on GH and then the history when they were younger gets rewritten

 

That is another issue with soaps. I guess they think that we have short-term memories, but we don't. Again, if you are gonna age 'em, age 'em right. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Nothin'ButAttitude said:

What soaps need to change (and I say this all the time) is coming on 5 days a week. That's where the genre is hurting. Most people don't even watch the full week of episodes nowadays. Most watch 2-3 at the most b/c some days are filled with filler mess. Soaps need to come on Mon, Wed, and Fri. That way the stories will be tighter and encourage the writers to be half-assed. Soaps here also need to take hiatuses or have finales like Aussie soaps do. From late Dec to mid Jan, soaps need to be off the air. That'll give everyone on the show time to rejuvenate. 

I agree with everything you said but this here resonates with me👏🏾

 

One thing I'd love to see during that late December-Mid January hiatus is CBS/NBC/ABC run classic episodes for that holiday stretch. Only thing is idk how CBS/NBC/ABC would feel about bringing out the back catalogue. I feel like:

 

CBS would likely do it as they've ran classics back in the day around the holidays and they'd need to fill that airtime before The Talk

 

NBC would do it kicking and screaming (correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the only reason NBC aired the classic 1997 episode of DAYS a while back was because of the NHL lockout going on at the time and NBC needing to fill that airtime?)

 

ABC I feel would refuse for whatever reason and bring back Summer gameshows instead of running classics

 

I could be wrong about the networks, but this is how I'd like to see that holiday hiatus handled

Edited by Brick Flair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Aback said:

- SORASing: it's unnecessary and lazy writing. If you're forced to recast an actor, it's one thing. But sometimes the shows seem obsessed with SORASing children and then preventing their parents from growing old.

 

- Swearing & Taboos: I wish soaps would push the envelope a bit more. B&B is set in LA and no one is doing drugs. Y&R has never featured a gay couple. What world do they live in?! Nowadays soaps feel like spicey fairy tales.

 

- No one cares about getting married that much: it seems like every storyline revolves around a couple getting married or having a baby. Sorry, but that's not as common as it used to be in the 50s!

 

Some great points. I want to point out that Y&R has indeed featured a gay couple, although it was only for a couple of episodes a long time ago. They've done it (under Alden) but it should be much more than that.

 

Irresponsible SORASing is where I think the real problem is. Don't have 8 yo RJ on Monday show up as 18 yo on Tuesday. Send them away for a few months (like others said). Also, if possible, those who were born first, age first (or older). There are some examples were it wasn't that big of a problem, like Colleen being younger than Billy, but those were good characters in good story, so it worked. In other words, not irresponsible. I've always felt that, if you want to age kids faster, once they hit 6 or 7, have them double in age every year. So, they're not 8 they're 9 or 10. Then 12. Before you know it, you can make them teenagers. But that takes long-term planning, and we all know how they do with that

 

Re: getting married. Seriously. 18 yo wanting to settle down. No. NO. NO!!! Not that common. But it's lazy writing. It's easier to write a "star-struck" couple trying to get married or have a baby than build an actual storyline. 

 

As for the swearing, I seem to recall AMC 2.0 trying it, and boy did people bitch about it. But I found it refreshing. Nowadays, the soaps are so scared, they play it almost extremely safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modernization is needed.  In storytelling, in production values, in casting.

 

The best part of the online OLTL and AMC was the teens and 20 something characters seemed like their ages and were mostly well cast.

 

SORAS isn't always the problem.  Going from baby to 16 to 20 in two years is the problem.  I get TPTB are nervous about writing young teens because they are afraid of complaints about teens having sex when they are in a romantic story.  So they either do teenage pregnancy or rape.    They rush to get them in to their 20's, then they rush them in to marriage.  It's so stupid.

 

If they had a couple of strong stories playing for vets and characters people love, if they took some chances on one set of characters it would allow the audience to get adjusted, and possibly be more invested.

 

One of my biggest problems is everyone is either wealthy or well enough off that they are not relatable.  Poor people have interesting lives too!

 

Finally- don't be so afraid of utilizing your canvas.  Maggie worked great on DAYS interacting with the young set.  Marlena scenes with Will were always great.  Everyone loved Katherine on Y&R.  Stephanie on B&B.  Edward Quartermaine.  There is no reason why Bobbie isn't working at GH with a handful of younger nurses, and has a brownstone full of renters.  A cop, a couple of nurses, maybe one of Sonny's kids.  Perfect set up to have group scenes, give Bobbie something to do, and allow relationships to form organically.

 

 

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So many great points!

 

@YRBB oops who was the gay couple? :o

 

I think soaps should air 20 minute episodes per day, and then they should air a 90' or 60' recap episode on Sundays primetime, which feels like a primetime show. Some viewers can choose to watch the Sunday episode, while others could watch the entire programming because they don't want to loose a thing. I know for a fact that if Y&R was as good as it once was, I would not want to miss even a single conversation.

 

Secondly, I wish soaps did music montages with current songs. I know it's wishful thinking given the problem of royalties and such, but maybe a cover song could be the solution. There are so many intriguing music artists out there, and there are as many independent singers willing to cover them on YT. It would be a nice way to tie in the story with current trends. (I'm a Lana Del Rey fan lol, and I think many of her songs could do well in a music montage for a good song)
 

Another thing they could do -- I am all for recasts. But if you need to show some flashbacks and the character was portrayed by the previous actor... I think you should do that! Especially if the previous actor played the character when he was much younger. I know it may seem disrespectful to the current actor but they could get accustomed to that. Viewers are literate enough to understand.

Edited by Aback

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, titan1978 said:

Finally- don't be so afraid of utilizing your canvas.  Maggie worked great on DAYS interacting with the young set.  Marlena scenes with Will were always great.  Everyone loved Katherine on Y&R.  Stephanie on B&B.  Edward Quartermaine.  There is no reason why Bobbie isn't working at GH with a handful of younger nurses, and has a brownstone full of renters.  A cop, a couple of nurses, maybe one of Sonny's kids.  Perfect set up to have group scenes, give Bobbie something to do, and allow relationships to form organically.

 

This is what I don't get. Lulu, Nelle, Amy, and KiKi should all be nurses and under the instruction of Bobbie. Given the tumultuous history between Nelle/Bobbie, it'd be good to see those 2 beef in the hospital, and Nelle always trying to undermine Bobbie. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget the back from the dead stories. Why would I invest in a dramatic DAYS story when I know that the dead person will show up fine in six months?

 

Don't be afraid to write out characters in a dramatic way. Phillip Chancellor was killed in the seventies is still mentioned today.

 

Nobody has to be super rich. We are not in the eighties. 

 

Everyday problems can make a very interesting and refreshing b story. 

 

Respect the viewer and don't be so sure that we don't remember what we watched three months ago. This is my problem with B&B. People pretending that they haven't married someone five times, or that they don't share any history just to make a 8-week story work.

 

Not everybody has to look like a model. 

 

All soaps should be 20 minutes again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Elsa said:

Everyday problems can make a very interesting and refreshing b story. 

 

I co-sign all of your points! I'll add to that one that I love the scenes where an actor/actress who knows how to deal with little children, shares a funny scene with their screen child. I remember GL doing this with Harley and the lovely kid playing Zach. I know child actors can be tricky and there are serious laws protecting them, but I think it's important to build the characters' relationship with their little children, to.. you know, get flashbacks someday!

 

PS. I remember someone said that soaps should get rid of flashbacks once and for all. I disagree. Flashbacks are a quintessential soap element. And by flashback, I mean decade-old scenes... not yesterday's scenes being used as a filler (shout out to B&B).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My issue is the out of order SORAS,aging them up too quickly with no storyline purpose, rewriting history we saw of them as a child, aging them up strictly for PSA Emmy bait, trying to keep their parents still the same age for several years afterwards. 

 

For example on GH Michael and Kristina did not need to be aged to the same age while leaving Molly and Morgan much younger. That teen scene of two did nothing outside of those failed Emmy bait stories. Instead Michael should've  been the teen with Morgan and Kristina as preteens and Molly could've just been left a child for awhile. Once all those characters reached adulthood the writers had no clue what to do with them and then were tampering with their age multiple times.

 

And now Molly is like 19 and I think Cam is still younger then he should be in real time mind you he was born first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most young people would rather watch youtube, facebook live or instagram than watch a crusty old daytime soap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, GregNYC said:

Most young people would rather watch youtube, facebook live or instagram than watch a crusty old daytime soap.

 

I also think soaps should air later in the night, instead of 'late night shows', or maybe Netflix could stream a soap (5 eps per week and a recap/primetimeish one to be released on Sundays).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.