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Who got you through a bad soap time?


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There are certain eras of our soaps which we could barely get through, waiting for the show to improve (if it ever did), but there were some characters, or their stories, which kept you hanging on, kept you interested.

Who were those characters for you?

I stuck with ATWT for as much of 1996 as I could because of Carly, I wanted to see the conclusion of her story. I did lose interest after she left but Maura West was very strong all the way up to the end, when they made her play miscarriage scenes even as she was near the end of her pregnancy.

I went through what seemed like long periods of time with GL during the JFP era where I hung on because of Eve, Nadine, Gilly, Vanessa, among a few others. Their absence by summer 1996, with a brutal murder for poor Nadine and a degrading shameful exit for poor Gilly, enabled me to actually quit watching the show for the first time.

Ryan's Hope 1981, I was "treated" to frosty Faith and her endless Jill raging/pathetic men falling at her feet, whining Kimberly who inexplicably became five months pregnant overnight, endless Delia bashing and moralizing from great paragons of virtue like Faith "oops I almost killed a child, but hey, I was drunk" Coleridge and Roger Coleridge, endless scenes of Delia whining and promising to move out of the Ryan home, endless scenes of sociopathic Joe and the bimboized version of Siobhan.

The main highlight of that year, aside from some brief moments here and there, was the work from Michael Levin as Jack Finelli when Jack lost everything (his reputation and career, the woman he loved, his daughter) and had to slowly crawl his way back, working as a busboy at Joe's restaurant and finding information where he could. He was superb, and I'm sorry he didn't get more recognition for his work.

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Were it not for Beth Ehlers and David Andrew Macdonald, I would have quit GL long before 2005. I was no longer watching for the stories or favorite couples. I was watching for Harley and Edmund.

I really enjoyed the late 80s of DOOL. But then Stephen Nichols left and Patch was "killed off." I hung on a while longer, mainly to see Kayla but then she left and I did, too. Never watched the show again until they came back, and me being away so long I didn't really get interested in any of the other stories or characters. But once the novelty of their return wore off, and the story turned to crap, they weren't enough to keep me taping the show.

On OLTL, it would have to be Clint and Viki. Whatever else was going on at the time, bad or good, they were the main reason I tuned in. More recently, I have to say, I did enjoy the relationship and chemistry of Jared and Natalie and since then, I've continued taping but have lapsed several months behind in actually viewing. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with OLTL just yet.

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Edmund and Harley were also two of my favorite characters, it's too bad what the writing did to them (or with Harley, the writing and the actress both seemed to harden over time).

I've heard several people say what you did about Jared and Natalie.

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You know... I have no idea how I stuck through some times at AMC. I guess just seeing the regulars I loved, like Erica, Brooke, Myrtle (RIP :( )

My other fave soap (well besides Loving/City which I didn't watch long enough to really suffer through eras), One Life I admit there were times I barely watched, half watched, etc. 96-97. Pam Long and JFP. Higley... Even my faves couldn't get me through that (but AMC is, to me, kinda family--and many of the bad eras happened when I was across country away from home so even bad it was kinda comfort food)

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This is an interesting question, but honestly, I'm stumped! :lol: I think that when I'm really enjoying one storyline, I kind of get swept up in the whole show out of my enthusiasm for particular plots or characters. Personally, nothing has topped my devotion to OLTL in the mid-'90s, then my viewership fell off when the Lord saga waned, JFP took over, and Strasser left. I started watching again when she came back but soon realized that things just weren't the same. I thought it was the character of Dorian and her rivalry with Viki that kept me interested. Not so. I realized that I like my Dorian served a certain way. The mere presence of the character isn't quite enough.

Not even Erica has kept me into AMC during its lows which is a bit of a personal shock, but same deal, if you're not giving me Erica Erica, I have little to hold onto. I'll say this though, to answer your question, AMC knows how to tug at my heart strings and remind me why I love the show whenever holiday and anniversary time rolls around. If one thing AMC does well it's nostalgia, it's like one of the show's greatest assets. For a fan like me, it's future (in my life at least) kind of rests on that. So I guess its AMC's great history of storylines and characters that keep me hanging on and hoping for a renaissance.

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SFK you stayed riveted to OLTL after Griffith left and Malone proved he couldn't write a soap without him (the Irish Mafia endlessness, etc) and then Leah Laiman and Passanante's period? (Honestly--that's a soap HW lineup from HELL)

I agree AMC does nostalgia well. I know there's been a lot of arguing on this board about it, but I think actually AMC still has more ofa sense of AMC--when you jsut flip it on anyway--than a lot of soaps do. It's just in the past while the execution ahs more often sucked than not. But it's not a totally non identifiable or recognizable show.

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Yes Carly is what held to ATWT in '96 as well. Same with Lisa, Lily, and Connor back then despite some insipid tales. I really quit watching ATWT regularly after Rosanna left in early '08, but started again with her '09 return.

B&B doesn't have characters I would be drawn to since they killed off Macy and Darla and then Darlene Conley died.

For GL during its down points in the mid-90s I kept watching for Roger, Holly, Ed, Vanessa and Nadine. During the Kriezman years I actually watched just for Josh and Reva because by that time I felt they were the only two worth watching. Of course Dinah too.

Marlena and Sami for Days in recent years. I absolutely loved the writing for Sami from late '05 to early '07.

For Y&R doing some down periods in the mid-90s and early '00s I kept watching because I cared for most of the characters. Today I wish half of the characters were gone.

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I'll be honest, 1997-98 with Days I couldn't stand any of the nauseatingly circular stories like Bo/Billie-Bot/Hope and Carrie/Austin/Sami. I watched purely for the John/Marlena/Kristen/Susan/etc. stuff, and even then it got tedious watching John become such a useless dumbass at JER's hands. Vivian and Ivan really saved that story for me, they could do anything and get a laugh out of me.

I have to say I miss Ivan quite a bit, and loathe Gus. The least they could do was get someone that actually had something resembling a personality as Vivian's tagalong this time around.

But I digress. Other than that year, I've never been good with "sticking through the bad times", I just tend to stop watching the minute the stories don't grab me and move on.

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I'll use the present soap situation for my examples. The three CBS soaps are my faves, but all have been in rough patches lately. ATWT and Y&R are unwatchable. B&B has improved tremendously, but when it was bad pre-Sarah Brown I watched for the scripts and familiar B&B feel. That consistency helps keep me around as do the familiar faces. Watching classic soaps like my current lineup of Port Charles, Dallas, Peyton Place and Melrose Place, along with the British soap Emmerdale, keep my love of soaps alive so I'm still aware of the genre and fully invested. If I just watched the current soaps I probably would hardly post. Very little of interest is pulling me in.

Right now B&B and new surprises AMC and GH are the only soaps I willingly watch. ATWT and Y&R are by pure force and I generally watch them last.

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I tuned the show out for long, long stretches under Higley. It remains the worst I have ever seen the show. If she'd killed Nora like she planned I might have stayed gone. If you think the show is plot-driven and without heart now, I suggest you take a look back and you'll see why I am extremely charitable to RC despite his flaws.

And while the Daniel story got us ratings, it was a despicable, homophobic black mark on the show and I thank God it is not what OLTL's gay legacy will be last remembered for.

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The thing is, under Higley, if the show wasn't offensive or mean spirited--it was BORING. I have some stupid rule against fast forwarding a soap I tape (so if it's really boring I usually go and do something else during a scene I dislike:P ) but I did a lot of that under her, and then just stopped even watching.

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