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Everything posted by Faulkner

  1. You might be right. After all, GH had been on cancellation watch prior to that era, so who knows what may have happened. I think there was definitely an early ‘80s bubble that burst, and, in a new economic reality, these shows were left trying to figure out how to move forward with an audience trained on a certain ‘80s excess. We have had some great drama since 1990, but so much of it was painful, demeaning, and desperate that sometimes you wish that they’d gone off the air with some dignity. You know, we’ve all trained ourselves to think of Y&R as this dominant No. 1 soap, floating unscathed above it all, lapping all the other shows in viewers, especially when Bill Bell was still at the helm. But going back and looking at what really mattered, the demos, in the ‘90s, it was VERY tight. Many months Y&R was No. 1 in the demo, but maybe a tenth of a point ahead of GH, DAYS, or AMC. And many months DAYS and GH would be on top despite having far fewer total viewers. So it was always competitive, so I can understand the pressure going back as far as Peter Bergman’s hiring.
  2. I don’t get these late year clay tournaments. Isn’t it jarring to go from clay to grass and then clay again and then hardcourts? In any case, this isn’t Dominic’s first time at the rodeo. Every year we say this, and nothing changes.
  3. McKenna certainly looks older but has aged into DILF status. Torpey still looks adorable. Geiger, I have no words. I guess he looks glad to be there, which is something.
  4. No Mia Korf/Kassie DePaiva shot?
  5. I think probably greed, as in, “This show’s old-fashioned and boring and we get 4.0. If we amp things up a bit and do stunts like Clear Springs, we might get a 5.0.” That’s just my guess. Even if Y&R was #1 it was still seeing declines. And stunt-driven GH (EP’d by future Y&R EP JFP) was often regularly beating it in the demos. (EDIT: I was looking back at old demo ratings from the 2000s, and there were many weeks when GH, OLTL, AMC, and even DAYS were beating Y&R. Given that demos determine ad rates, not total viewers, I can somewhat understand the ABC envy that ruled Y&R post-2000.) I’m sure there was pressure to show growth even if there were good structural reasons for the declines. Not that the stunts did anything to reverse things, but I would just bet that was the thinking. The pitch: “This is a musty old soap for the blue hairs, and we could be doing so much better by ‘modernizing.’”
  6. This is something many have said, but GH’s success with Luke and Laura gave daytime enough rope to hang itself with. Everything became about chasing youth, supercouples, remote locations, James Bond-like spy plots, mob intrigue, etc. L&L’s success showed everyone that the sky was the limit in terms of ratings and pop culture relevance, and everyone jumped aboard with their knockoffs. It was an arms race. But young people are historically fickle, MTV and cable were already on the rise, and society was changing. And by the end of the ‘80s, you had soaps with these massively bloated budgets that, due to downward ratings trends, had to be trimmed, which they’ve been doing ever since, yet they still had the same demands to do more with less. Which means going CRAZY. And I don’t entirely blame the writers: I believe the bad writing is intentional (it’s part of the job description), which is why Curlee and Labine eventually said “Deuces!” They weren’t going to be mercenary and collect a paycheck to write sh!t. Again, the idea of soap became synonymous with the insane and ridiculous, which paid off for Reilly in the ‘90s but even he couldn’t fight the inevitable. Even Y&R, which had survived longer than most and had stayed the course, fell victim to it in the 2000s. I think Sony felt like they were leaving money on the table by not embracing the craziness of the other shows.
  7. I thought Rachel’s season was... weird. Sure, many of them were accomplished, but it was clear that several of the white men, and even a few of the black men, had not and would not date a black woman. It was so obvious that Peter, the dreamboat white guy most people wanted Rachel to pick, was not into her and even recoiled a bit when she tried to kiss him. (Which is why it was strange when Peter seemed so emotional when he and Rachel split.) Add to that the casting of an open racist as one of the contenders. The producers messed up what could have been a watershed season. Soaps made a lot of money for a lot of people relying on housewives, and they just outlived their usefulness at the end of day. It’s crazy that it took 30 years for primetime to learn what daytime had been doing so well, but they stole daytime’s serial storytelling and wound up doing it better than the soaps. All that, better production values, and you could watch their primetime shows when you’re home from work and don’t need a five-day-a-week, 52 weeks-a-year commitment to stay up to date when you’re busy. And if a show begins to creatively fray, just cancel it and move on to the next. There’s no obligation for a primetime show to live forever (hard to do when cast members demand raises each year), but we expect our soaps to live longer than humans do. Almost everything we watch these days is a soap, but no one on Game of Thrones or This Is Us is going to tout the debt they pay to Irna, Agnes, and Bill. Andy Cohen might.
  8. I totally get it. We’ve seen famous black men leave their black wives and seek out white women as trophies (O.J. Simpson being the prime example), which has felt like a slap in the face. If they don’t go outright white, there’s the colorist pursuit of the lightest of the light-skinned. Meanwhile, we’ve seen the studies that indicate that black women (and Asian men) are the least sought-after partners proportionately on dating apps, which is partially the result of centuries of racist, sexist propaganda. So I get why some black women would feel a bit irritated with images of black men with white women. I know it annoys black gay men to see constant images of BM/WM couples. Speaking of The Bachelorette, they had more black men than normal in this year’s cast. Becca, who is white, selected several of them in the first rose ceremony. But, no surprise, those numbers dwindled. She’d strung along one black guy (whom she clearly had little interest in) for most of the season... until riiiight before the hometowns when she’d go and meet the families of her final (white) suitors. It was very cynical, a way of demonstrating diversity, but not really. The old boundaries remained intact in the end.
  9. There was a scene on AMC with Susan Lucci and Alicia Minshew. Erica was supposed to be sick in bed, and she and Kendall were having this emotional argument. Except things went waaaay off the rails, and Lucci kept covering her eyes with her tiny hands to conceal that she was struggling to produce tears. At one point it looked like she was laughing. It was one of the most astonishing things I’d ever seen, and I wish I could find it.
  10. I know many players don’t care about the 250 tournaments because not a lot is at stake, but we’ve seen some woeful performances from Thiem, Kyrgios, Chung, Tiafoe, and Coric this week. Chung at least has the excuse of returning from injury in his loss to Ryan Harrison (ugh). Kyrgios just can’t stay healthy. Not a good look before the North American hardcourt season, and he has points to defend from the Cincinnati final
  11. But there is a lot that soaps haven’t done because the genre is so conservative and restrictive. Just a very small example: I was racking my brain trying to think about a white female character having a baby by a black male while on the show. There are retcons or backstories that happened long before a character was on the show (Opal on AMC, Donna on B&B, Rebecca on AMC, Nora on OLTL), and there are several examples of white men starting families with black women (Lily on Y&R, Simone on GH, Jessica on ATWT, Mel on GL, et al), I could only think of one example (correct me if I’m wrong): Amber on B&B with Marcus, and that was played as a titillating Who’s the Daddy? story with a white dude as the other possible father. Any romance was pretty much offscreen, and they never dealt with the reality of a white mother raising a child of color. IRL black men marrying interracially is twice as common as black women doing so, yet on soaps it’s the opposite. But in this fundamentally racist genre, they’d either never value a black man enough to make him a real leading man with their pure precious white woman leads (and not just a fling or pit stop on the way to a white dude), fear racist backlash (Neil/Victoria, Y&R), or fear betraying black female viewers who want to see black men with black women (understandably given how poorly soaps showcase BM/BF couples). But these are questions soaps haven’t wrestled with, and we’re in 2018. And because the remaining soaps are so desperate and fearful of losing their core viewers (conservative white women in the Midwest and South), they’ll never wrestle with them. Yet they’ll do the crazy, cliched plots because they’ve trained audiences to expect them.
  12. Ha. I don’t get why a lot of actors don’t train lower body. Obviously there are aesthetic benefits, but developing glutes helps tremendously with posture, which is great for an actor. Maybe having a big ass makes it harder to fit into pants (and PF is also a model)? I dunno.
  13. Lol. You’re the Ass Police, and I love it.
  14. Julie Chen is suppose to resume The Talk on Monday. This article asks what might happen to Chen as the walls close in on her powerful boss/husband. https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/julie-chen-leslie-moonves-cbs-future-1202888951/ I’m angrier at our craven, cynical, clicks-and-ad driven media than I’ll ever be at the man in the Oval Office. They helped him get there, as Les Moonves so crassly said. So I take all the fake outrage from Anderson Cooper and his peers with a huge side eye. It’s the 24-hr Trump Show, they are loving it, and I certainly won’t be helping them profit from it. Speaking of $$$, I do worry about Ronan’s safety given the money at stake with these powerful people. Weinstein was on the downward slide, but Moonves is a huge scalp.
  15. Meanwhile, Ed Westwick won’t face rape charges due to “insufficient evidence,” prosecutors say. https://variety.com/2018/biz/news/ed-westwick-no-rape-charges-1202888205/
  16. What can The Talk do? It’s the elephant in the room, just like Sara and Roseanne, but this one hits FAR closer to home. Will they go into reruns, if they weren’t luckily scheduled for a summer hiatus already? Vacation for Julie Chen?
  17. Memories of Phaedra’s “rental car” shade towards Kenya at one of the reunions. (Not that Phaedra could talk from her glass house...)
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