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Soaps on the 'Net


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Websoaps. They're out there. Some think they're hot [[email protected]#$%^&*]; others think they're a hot mess.

Got some you could recommend? Got others you want us to steer clear from? As the dude used to say before GUIDING LIGHT's closing credits: "Tell us what you think!"

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I watched a bunch of them one rainy afternoon last year...the time thing is a HUGE turn off for me, though. Some of them sucked me in (there was a shameless 90210 knock-off that I thought was hilarious), but others were just trying too hard. Oddly enough, the ones with daytime personalities working on them were the least interesting ones for me.

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Since I'm the one who began this particular thread, I'm worried about throwing in my own two cents so early. Nevertheless, I just have to agree with you, AMS. If anything, the few that I have watched seem to be guilty of the same mistakes that are crippling the soaps on television that inspired the whole craze; namely, weak characterization, paper-thin storytelling, and the almost total absence of any kind of familial or communal structure. (And that's including the ones "endorsed" by legitimate soap stars, lol.) I don't get it; who on earth believes one-dimensional, fanfic-ish characters portrayed by some of the most "limited" actors around makes for compelling drama?

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These aren't video soaps, but rather written ones -- and they're honestly better than any of the TV soaps, IMO.

There's The Blackthornes, which is set in the world of Hollywood and is in its sixth season online, and About Schuyler Falls, which isn't updated very regularly (but kind of goes in fits and starts, and there are four seasons already online), which is about the secrets in an upstate NY town. They're both excellently written and continuously entertaining. Also, Guasti Cose is about to conclude its several-year run, but it's a bit more supernatural (and Passions-like, at times) than the traditional soap -- still a lot of fun!

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I haven't gotten around to watching most of the more hyped ones, just because I've heard they were poor and also because a lot of the hype at DC and elsewhere tends to turn me off.

I did enjoy Wed-Locked, which was a short-lived comedy series with Lawrence St. Victor and the woman who played Christina on GL. It was a lot of fun, and also had some different roles for the always underrated Kim Brockington and Yvonna Kopacz.

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I used to read written soaps all the time...basically a mix between novels and soaps. A lot of them are hard to get into, though, and are very fan fic. Once I can clearly identify a Mary Sue, my interest level drops several points.

I don't think I've seen Anacostia, but I see that its episodes are MUCH longer than stuff like Gotham, some even longer than B&B. That's definitely more my speed...really, all I need is a solid 10-15 minutes, and I'm good to go. I mean, I don't have to make the obvious metaphor here, but I'ma need something that lasts more than five minutes, y'heard me? AND, I'ma need to get it more than just once every two weeks.

ETA: Anacostia's PTB must be Knots Landing fans :lol:

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I don't think I've seen Anacostia, but I see that its episodes are MUCH longer than stuff like Gotham, some even longer than B&B. That's definitely more my speed...really, all I need is a solid 10-15 minutes, and I'm good to go. I mean, I don't have to make the obvious metaphor here, but I'ma need something that lasts more than five minutes, y'heard me? AND, I'ma need to get it more than just once every two weeks.

Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout, lol!

Mind you, I'm not expecting Marland-esque dramas, featuring dozens of characters in ginormous umbrella stories. But I think the 'net can support continuing dramas that last 10-15 minutes an episode. I'm just saying.

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Once I can clearly identify a Mary Sue, my interest level drops several points.

Same here. I also cannot stand some of the character names. Once, I came across the name "Carrington Farnsworth," and I couldn't even go on with the rest of the story.

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I've watched Venice and Gotham.

Hated Gotham but honestly I only watched about 4 episodes and that's it. I didn't really give it a fair shot since I was so bored by it when it premiered.

The first season of Venice was a mess. A big mess. The second season, when they made the episodes longer (around 15 minutes) and changed writers, was a lot better. It still has a lot of issues, but most of the acting is quite good. With Jill Lorie Hurst writing for the show this upcoming season and Susan Flannery directing some episodes, hopefully it continues to get better. I do think they should just make it a full 30 minutes, and they would benefit from more cast integration.

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Hated Gotham but honestly I only watched about 4 episodes and that's it. I didn't really give it a fair shot since I was so bored by it when it premiered.

I couldn't get over how Martha Byrne kept adding more and more actors to her cast, even though most episodes stayed at five-or-so minutes. At this rate, I said, the only way she'll be able to use all these folks is if she uses the old joke wall on "Laugh-In".

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I think Martha was too hung up in trying to recreate Marland's ATWT (wonder why...) that she didn't realize...Marland wasn't writing the show, the show's episodes are entirely too short for a Marland-sized cast, and...the show's episodes are entirely too short for ANYTHING.

I'm gonna have tons of free time this summer, so I'll give a few of these a fair chance.

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(wonder why...)

Oh, don't you know? Martha was Marland's muse. He practically had a sacrificial shrine built in her likeness and honor.

:rolleyes:

Whatev, Martha. Jane Elliot and Lisa Brown come much, much closer to being his muses than you.

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The shows cost so much to produce that they can only produce 10 minutes of ephemereal nothingness once every quarter. Like, I want to love the good will and intention behind these shows but I find them blandly written, lacking in imagination and far too short for me to remember what the hell they are about. And I like B&B so it's not like I wouldn't be down with a show that was 19 minutes long. 10 minutes is just not enough time to make me latch on to the characters and think about holding on to their mere memory for four months until the "next episode" comes out.

Also, I think these websoaps suffer from starstruckitis. What I mean is that the makers are so in awe of the fact that they managed to scrape together some money and gotten some actors and camera people involved and typed up something that looks like the scripts they used to get on GL or ATWT... that they cannot get to the nitty gritty of what a soap is all about. Instead they are so busy slapping themselves on the back and going "OMGZ, look! We're filming OUTSIDE! We're GROUNDBREAKERS! Oh, hey, there's Lilian from GL" that it detracts from this Super Great Project that is meant to be the future of the genre.

Network TV may be almost extinct but I think TV (or at least a functioning, profitable studio or production company that sells to TV) is still the place for these shows, staffed by EPs and production crews and casting directors and a writing room and the CASH necessary for regular, consecutive episodes. When you have the money men on your back, it forces you to be disciplined in producing a product and thinking about how the audience will take to the show and what they will want from it going forward.

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I think ten minutes can be enough time to develop characters and tell a story. The old soaps did it - the various episodes of shows like GL or Valiant Lady that are on Youtube have some power even at a short format. So do things like Eastenders' web show, E20.

The problem with a lot of the more famous websoaps is that the actors in them seem to think they can get by just on their star power, and the rest doesn't matter.

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