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Do you care about a soap disaster if you know who dies?


DRW50

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There's a lot of hype over the Corrie tram crash and the Hollyoaks fire. The tram crash in particular seems to have a lot of focus on some fans trying to figure out who will be killed off. I don't really see the point, as, although I'd be happy if I'm wrong, most of those who are going to die are probably just the actors who have been fired, and there will be no shocking moment such as Michelle and Sean being sent off to soap hell. If anything it seems like Corrie's worst characters and stories are going absolutely nowhere. Hollyoaks is about the same.

Should a disaster be focused on who dies or hype over who dies? Will fans be disappointed if it doesn't become some sort of carnage fest, as some were upset that Eastenders' Vic fire didn't end with a long line of body bags?

Were stunts like the Dog fire in 2006 good because of a high body count or because of the story?

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I guess it's because the US soaps don't have any money these days. The UK soaps do tend to look good, if the money is there (if it isn't you get the 2009 Loft fire). I think good story is what matters most, although most of the big soap explosions in the UK have had good story.

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ATM I'm not that into the Corrie tram crash hype, and the more hype and rumour around it, the less engaged I become. And an element of surprise is always welcome, and that can come from the stunt, to the the body count, to who actually dies. Knowing who's going to die can take the shine off of it, but if I tune in and I'm emotionally sucked in, and the stunt is wow! I won't care about previously knowing who was going to die. Of course it doesn't take a genius to work out who will be killed off, as all of the cast departures have been announced (for some reason the show can't keep a lid on anything these days), and I know they won't randomly kill off the hellish characters that should be killed, for surprise effect. That's asking too much of Corrie.

But, if its characters that I care about, and I know in advance, it won't matter either way. In this situation, the only thing that would disappoint is the stunt.

The stunt has to look authentic, and not like a stunt - see EE's Vic fire (rushed story), or Emmerdale's house collapse (pointless) - otherwise I won't be invested in it as much as what I should have been.

You don't always need a huge body count, as that can go the opposite way and anger fans. E.G: Sunset Beach's earthquake/tsunami were awesomely done, but the body count only consisted of day players and a character no-one cared about (Philip Vargas), which disappointed a lot of people (me included (and gave us those annoying twits Amy & Brad)). On the opposite scale, Neighbours killed off the Bishop family in the plane crash, and people were vexed (me included (which launched the badly executed evil twin story with Cameron & Robert Robinson).

A good disaster is so much more than a good explosion, but a decent explosion is part of the equation, along with killing off the right characters that don't have a long life ahead of them, throwing in a surprise or two, keeping details under wraps, and making the stunt look as organic as possible. If all this should add up to a good story, then I'll be happy.

Fans will always speculate about who will die, as that's just part of the package, and the more hype that is built up, the easier it'll be to disappoint. But, they'll only have themselves to blame for not using their common sense.

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I'm glad you're posting again. I hope you post some in the soap threads too.

I see what you mean, if the stunt is good enough then you won't care about the rest. I think it has to not seem self-conscious, as a lot of stunts have in recent years, and has to have long-term consequences, like Emmerdale's plane crash did.

I keep thinking about "Siege Week" on Corrie, and the way they kept teasing about who would die, when no one important was going to die, and it just seemed so incredibly silly and pointless, and the story wasn't up to much either.

I guess what makes no sense to me is why you fire actors and then announce a stunt where people will die. Why not keep this a secret? It doesn't take much work to figure out who will die on Corrie or Hollyoaks.

I just wonder if the stunt is even worth it these days -- it's been a while since a soap got a big increase from a mass stunt. I guess you could count the live episode of EE, but other than that the explosions and carnage haven't made a difference It's almost depressing to see some shows rely too much on these. Like the latest stunt with David running over Graeme. I only would have tuned into that if Graeme had actually died.

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I think Corrie's tram crash will get a ratings spike, since it's promoted as the 50th anniversary event.

People don't need to die for a stunt to work, I've never gotten that mindset. If the stunt is used as a way to trigger future storylines, then I think it's been a success, as The Dog fire did for example.

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