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I'm all out of kudos to give to a genre that, in 2021 still can't bring itself to push past the idea that the mythical Midwestern house will catch the vapors if she sees anything that wouldn't get past a 1940 censor.

I mean, soaps are still afraid to have a black man in bed with a white woman onscreen?

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18 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

I'm all out of kudos to give to a genre that, in 2021 still can't bring itself to push past the idea that the mythical Midwestern house will catch the vapors if she sees anything that wouldn't get past a 1940 censor.

I mean, soaps are still afraid to have a black man in bed with a white woman onscreen?

You would be surprised.
Y&R was long traumatized by the vicious reaction to the Victoria/Neil pairing in the late 1990s. Kristoff St John (RIP) has talked quite a bit of the impact it had on making the show very skittish about trying anything similar (which rejoins what I was saying about producers being easily spooked by audience reaction, even when they misunderstand the reason for it).
And lo and behold the trial balloon they had with Ashley/Neil in 2018, while it yielded a less intense reaction, STILL got YR a lot of hate mail.

So. Yeah. Watch the news if you don't think there is still not a LOT more of that around. Enough to spook producers who don't feel like they can afford to lose any further part of their fanbase.

That said, I am surprised that of all the things producers tried to revive soaps, most have tried superficial changes like changing sets or pacing of stories and not one has thought to become unabashedly "progressive" on the kind of stories they tell. I bet that would secure a really strong audience, even if it doesn't completely overlap with the current one.
"Generations" was a smart idea and while it failed for various reasons, in a landscape that has fewer of those kinds of shows - and knowing how popular the Tyler Perry crappy soaps are - I think the hunger of a show with bolder tone and representation could definitely sustain at least one soap full-time.

Edited by FrenchBug82
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4 hours ago, Vee said:

The Kyle/Fish story was poorly received by bigots in middle America, which is why it was curtailed. Not the same thing. A lot of the audience loved it, but it was divisive. I don't think you can call it not adventurous when it culminated in the first gay love scene on daytime TV and a mass LGBT wedding in Angel Square years before gay marriage was legalized. Meanwhile, Luke and Noah consummated their relationship by jumping on a bed.

It is amazing how rude you are to old and new members of this board. Goddamn no wonder people told me to stay away from here.

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I think that as fans, we sometimes dwell on the parts of the show that disappointed us and don't give enough credit for the things a show gets right. Case in point: in this whole thread on gay representation in ATWT, I haven't yet seen anyone mention Reid Oliver, who is by far the most interesting gay character I've seen on American soaps. And his relationship with Luke was also the most compelling one I've seen on a US soap, proving to me that Luke (who I'd always found pretty vanilla and whiny, like his mom) could work really well if paired with a character he had actual chemistry with. 

 

Of course, the less said about what the show did to Reid in ATWT's final week on the air, the better...

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I also thought Reid was a breath of fresh air, and reinvigorated Luke by having someone challenge him in new ways.  He was a great character.

 

I thought Paul was on DAYS too, because he brought unabashed sex appeal into the gay storyline, and had chemistry with almost the whole show.

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I actually think we were including Reid in our conversations about Luke because his ultimate fate was because of what we discuss which is TPTB's assumption that people were rooting for Luke-Noah instead.


I will be blunt about Paul: I didn't see it but I know he was popular. However the whole dating Sonny and then Will in such proximity felt very incestuous to me. It was inevitable in a cast with few gay characters but I didn't enjoy it.
But I agree: they tried. And the fact they landed back on Will/Sonny and didn't even have anything for them to do once they got back together also highlights what we are talking about. That producers' assumption about "supercoupling" gay characters limits their ability to fly their wings as full-fledged character.
It is not a LGBT specific thing (see Days Hope) but the truth is when you have two, at most three openly LGBT characters on a soap, producers can't break that paradigm and are not willing to invest enough in the characters to expand their universe.

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5 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

I will be blunt about Paul: I didn't see it but I know he was popular. However the whole dating Sonny and then Will in such proximity felt very incestuous to me. It was inevitable in a cast with few gay characters but I didn't enjoy it.
But I agree: they tried. And the fact they landed back on Will/Sonny and didn't even have anything for them to do once they got back together also highlights what we are talking about. That producers' assumption about "supercoupling" gay characters limits their ability to fly their wings as full-fledged character.
It is not a LGBT specific thing (see Days Hope) but the truth is when you have two, at most three openly LGBT characters on a soap, producers can't break that paradigm and are not willing to invest enough in the characters to expand their universe.

Well, DAYS is sort of the incest soap. Look at Tripp. All of his potential pairings are his step cousins lol So I didn't have a problem with how much Will loved his Uncle Paul

 

IMO, Will/Sonny and Will/Paul were actually pretty similar to Luke/Noah and Luke/Reid. Will/Paul was the better, stronger pairing similar to the way that Luke/Reid were, but in both cases it was the ship (Wilson, Nuke) that ultimately did them in. That fanbase that wanted their first supercouples back together. 

 

And isn't it also true that Jean Passanante actually didn't like the character of Reid?

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On 2/6/2021 at 7:37 AM, DRW50 said:

The main problem with the Daniel story was that not only was he a generic closet case murderer, but the only other gay character on the show was made to be his piece of ass and then shipped out as soon as the story was over. And there were no other gay characters on the show from that point on for years. 

 

It was all done for shock value.

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5 hours ago, AbcNbc247 said:

IMO, Will/Sonny and Will/Paul were actually pretty similar to Luke/Noah and Luke/Reid. Will/Paul was the better, stronger pairing similar to the way that Luke/Reid were, but in both cases it was the ship (Wilson, Nuke) that ultimately did them in. That fanbase that wanted their first supercouples back together. 


I think in both cases it is what the writers/producers THOUGHT the audience wanted rather than what the fanbase wanted.

And my ickiness with the Paul couplings is even stupider than this: it is not the "Uncle" part; it is the fact he slept with both Will and Sonny. I know it doesn't make it incestuous but I am thinking of how I would feel sleeping with two ex-husbands and it feels... weird.

But OF COURSE I have that issue with the fact everybody has slept with everybody else in those towns. It is just that back-to-back made it weird for me because as a gay man I guess I identify with their choices more.
 

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18 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

You would be surprised.
Y&R was long traumatized by the vicious reaction to the Victoria/Neil pairing in the late 1990s. Kristoff St John (RIP) has talked quite a bit of the impact it had on making the show very skittish about trying anything similar (which rejoins what I was saying about producers being easily spooked by audience reaction, even when they misunderstand the reason for it).
And lo and behold the trial balloon they had with Ashley/Neil in 2018, while it yielded a less intense reaction, STILL got YR a lot of hate mail.

So. Yeah. Watch the news if you don't think there is still not a LOT more of that around. Enough to spook producers who don't feel like they can afford to lose any further part of their fanbase.

That said, I am surprised that of all the things producers tried to revive soaps, most have tried superficial changes like changing sets or pacing of stories and not one has thought to become unabashedly "progressive" on the kind of stories they tell. I bet that would secure a really strong audience, even if it doesn't completely overlap with the current one.
"Generations" was a smart idea and while it failed for various reasons, in a landscape that has fewer of those kinds of shows - and knowing how popular the Tyler Perry crappy soaps are - I think the hunger of a show with bolder tone and representation could definitely sustain at least one soap full-time.

 

As a Black woman, I am not going to speak to the supposed skittishness of white viewers. I'm merely stating the ridiculousness of this assumption. By that assumption, Bridgerton should be racking up the threats. Only in daytime do people assume that nothing changes. Except ratings, of course.

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18 hours ago, prefab1 said:

I think that as fans, we sometimes dwell on the parts of the show that disappointed us and don't give enough credit for the things a show gets right. Case in point: in this whole thread on gay representation in ATWT, I haven't yet seen anyone mention Reid Oliver, who is by far the most interesting gay character I've seen on American soaps. And his relationship with Luke was also the most compelling one I've seen on a US soap, proving to me that Luke (who I'd always found pretty vanilla and whiny, like his mom) could work really well if paired with a character he had actual chemistry with. 

 

Of course, the less said about what the show did to Reid in ATWT's final week on the air, the better...

 

18 hours ago, titan1978 said:

I also thought Reid was a breath of fresh air, and reinvigorated Luke by having someone challenge him in new ways.  He was a great character.

 

 

Reid was an amazing character. A strong unapologetic gay man. Along the lines of Gale Harold's Queer As Folk Brian Kinney. The off the charts chemistry. Shared between Princess Luke and Reid was a sight to behold. Luke grew much more as a person with Reid. Then he ever did with bland Noah. Reid was the best thing to happened to ATWT. In it's last days. He was a fluke. That was foolishly killed off at the end.

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Edited by victoria foxton
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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

As a Black woman, I am not going to speak to the supposed skittishness of white viewers. I'm merely stating the ridiculousness of this assumption. By that assumption, Bridgerton should be racking up the threats. Only in daytime do people assume that nothing changes. Except ratings, of course.


OK I hate to be placed in a position to contest this because 1) I agree with you; things can change AND soaps are a good place to force the change even by being a bit ahead of the viewership 2) It shouldn't matter. The bigots can go to Hell. I don't think it should matter that there are some vocal racists when producers create stories and I think there would be MORE to gain in viewers watching than to lose. As often, black women are very underestimated as a powerful audience. Catering to them could give a powerful boost to ratings that more than balances out the white Karens who would decide to go pout. 

BUT the comparison with Bridgerton is very misplaced because the audience for a Netflix or primetime show is not the same audience as for a daytime soap.
Soap producers are targeting the very narrow demographic slice that is still watching soap and it is a very different audience, more conservative on average.
Yes, I agree that they are being TOO cautious by being overly scared of losing even part of that audience because they feel they can't afford to lose any at this stage BUT while it is callous, it is not ridiculous. It is a penny-pinching overly cautious short-sighted logic but it is not an absurd one.

It is just tht soap producers are not known to have a great record thinking beyond the next couple of months when it comes to the interest of their show. And sometimes protecting the next couple of months hurts long-term - like, and we go back to agreeing, in this case.
 

55 minutes ago, victoria foxton said:

 

Reid was an amazing character. A strong unapologetic gay man. Along the lines of Gale Harold's Queer As Folk Brian Kinney. The off the charts chemistry. Shared between Princess Luke and Reid was a sight to behold. Luke grew much more as a person with Reid. Then he ever did with bland Noah. Reid was the best thing to happened to ATWT. In it's last days. He was a fluke. That was foolishly killed off at the end.


I wasn't obsessed with Reid but one thing you said that rings very true to me is that Reid was the rare gay character who entered the scene - gay. 
For narrative purposes, especially when a character is a legacy character, I understand why soaps are fond of coming out stories but it does feel having LGBT characters who are not troubled, struggled, guilty or rejected is a nice change of pace.

Edited by FrenchBug82
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55 minutes ago, victoria foxton said:

 

Reid was an amazing character: A strong, unapologetic gay man -- Along the lines of Gale Harold's "Queer As Folk" character, Brian Kinney. The off the charts chemistry[period omitted] shared between Princess Luke and Reid was a sight to behold. Luke grew much more as a person with Reid [period omitted] than he ever did with bland Noah. Reid was the best thing to happened to ATWT [period omitted] In it's last days. He was a fluke [period omitted] that was foolishly killed off at the end.

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Fixed.

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22 minutes ago, allmc2008 said:

Fixed.

 

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English isn't my first language. Did you get off publicly correcting me? I know i make a boatload of grammatical errors. Which is why i'm constantly editing my posts. But that was cruel and shady.

Edited by victoria foxton
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This may be the first time I've read of anyone praising Van Hansis' acting. Straight or gay, I doubt Lily's child would have been interesting (a problem that plagued many soap children of iconic characters---all of Reva's children were dull as dishwater)...and no doubt the vanilla writing played a part, but to me, Hansis lacked depth. (and I thought a lot of Luke stories were about his victimhood. He was kidnapped by those weird twins to impregnate the girl with the Grimaldi heir, or whatever; Noah's father was going to kill him; Lucinda's closeted husband; Damian trying to send him to a "therapy camp" ) Granted, he ultimately wasn't raped like AMC's Bianca, but I suspect it was more because soaps don't deal with male rape, period, and giving Luke a child to raise would have been even more offensive to some viewers than him being gay.

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