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Daytime's Biggest Soap Cliches


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A list of all those tired cliches the soaps just couldn't let go. I'll start it off with a few.

Who's the Daddy storylines- Does anyone even care anymore? Usually I end of rooting for the opposite man to be the father anyway. And GH seems to be the one that uses them the most.

"Evil" Twin- People don't even know how to write the "evil" twin. Usually the twin just ends of morphing into another even less likeable version of the "good" twin. And I hate when they morph into the original character when I was actually enjoying the bad character.

Back from the Dead- We wouldn't even need thse if writers stopped killing everyone and their mother off for shock value all the time. Especially when people are having problems with contract negotions or an actor wants to leave. The ones who get killed in very violent ways have to go through a horrible constructed story with more holes than swiss cheese to bring them back and they are never the same again. Alot of times I just wish the writers would let people move away normally.

Past Lives: I really hope this cliche died because I'm so tired of past lives parodies and the bad accents that come with them. And some of them like Pirate's of Em's Pant's can easily be written off as impossible. The ones on Passions seemed to be more movie parodies than anything else.

DID: From my experience with it, it seems to be a disease you give a character so they can do strange things and act like a completely different character without ever having to face the consequences of their actions. Also used as a way to make certain characters look horrible while propping up other characters.

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A list of all those tired cliches the soaps just couldn't let go. I'll start it off with a few.

Who's the Daddy storylines- Does anyone even care anymore? Usually I end of rooting for the opposite man to be the father anyway. And GH seems to be the one that uses them the most.

"Evil" Twin- People don't even know how to write the "evil" twin. Usually the twin just ends of morphing into another even less likeable version of the "good" twin. And I hate when they morph into the original character when I was actually enjoying the bad character.

Back from the Dead- We wouldn't even need thse if writers stopped killing everyone and their mother off for shock value all the time. Especially when people are having problems with contract negotions or an actor wants to leave. The ones who get killed in very violent ways have to go through a horrible constructed story with more holes than swiss cheese to bring them back and they are never the same again. Alot of times I just wish the writers would let people move away normally.

Past Lives: I really hope this cliche died because I'm so tired of past lives parodies and the bad accents that come with them. And some of them like Pirate's of Em's Pant's can easily be written off as impossible. The ones on Passions seemed to be more movie parodies than anything else.

DID: From my experience with it, it seems to be a disease you give a character so they can do strange things and act like a completely different character without ever having to face the consequences of their actions. Also used as a way to make certain characters look horrible while propping up other characters.

lol...you hit the mark with these outdated and annoying soap cliches...and they wonder why people dont tone in and only 4 soaps are left. Soaps still use the same cliches from 40/30 years ago. Cant these writers come up with new and refreshing ways of writing a story! Times have changed and so has society.

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I think the cliches worked 20-40 years ago because the stories were told well. There was suspense and you may not have known where the story was headed. For DID, Agnes Nixon and OLTL originally made it a psychological story but RC and writers have made it a joke. Between spoilers and network/writer favorites, you can always tell where the story is headed and I think that's why it does work. Lack of imagination.

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Frankly the Nik Emily thing was just sort of nonsensical and campy and really never amounted to anything serious. Although the writers apparently forgot Emily was adopted. On the other hand that horrible Santo Colleen stuff on Days was just crap and who taught James Scott how to do an accent.

I'll add dopplegangers. Rafe 2 and that god awful Patty Emily crap on Y&R

Or cartoon villains. The problem is with a charActer like a Helena Cassadine, how many schemes can one do to top freezing the world or bringing peeps back from the dead so that when they end up doing evil things like switching paternity results no one cares.

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I think the cliches worked 20-40 years ago because the stories were told well. There was suspense and you may not have known where the story was headed. For DID, Agnes Nixon and OLTL originally made it a psychological story but RC and writers have made it a joke. Between spoilers and network/writer favorites, you can always tell where the story is headed and I think that's why it does work. Lack of imagination.

Some of the ones now used for "shock" value only worked then because they were new and different. Now they are no longer new or interesting and are very played out. Also the audience changed as well as there being far more options now instead of soaps. Alot of stuff from the 80s no longer really works now but alot of writers keep pushing it anyway. My professor in a writing course I took told us "A good writer does not need to rely on cliches" and actually made us write a shorty story that could be used as s how pilot with the challenge of staying away from cliches.

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Maury Povich proves that a good who's the daddy story is still money in the bank.

Two from me:

SORAS: It has been going on since almost the beginning of televised soaps, but I think it is often used as a crutch. Sometimes it is done almost perfectly like the SORASing of Jill and Phillip Chancellor's son. Sometimes it has the negative effect of aging viable characters way before their time and thus limiting future story choices; for example, Julie on Days or Rachel on AW. Sometimes it is done without any logic. For instance Abby and Brady on Days are more or less the same age. Shawn-Douglas was 10 or 11 when Belle and Phillip were babies. I deal with it, but it annoys me when it's done poorly.

Bitchy Bad Girl Turned Into the Show's Lead Heroine: It worked well with Rachel Davis, but then everyone just started repeating it. You know, sometimes a bitch is just a bitch and remains a bitch all of her life. They all don't have to be redeemed or turned into victims.

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Some of the ones now used for "shock" value only worked then because they were new and different. Now they are no longer new or interesting and are very played out. Also the audience changed as well as there being far more options now instead of soaps. Alot of stuff from the 80s no longer really works now but alot of writers keep pushing it anyway. My professor in a writing course I took told us "A good writer does not need to rely on cliches" and actually made us write a shorty story that could be used as s how pilot with the challenge of staying away from cliches.

I agree with you a hundred percent there, I just think the main reason they no longer work is because every soap writer has to do them and they don't tell a true story in the process.

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The worst SORAS was done with Abby and Noah on Y&R. Abby looks 30 and Noah still looks as a teenager LOL.

thats hardly the worst. That honor for me will always remain with Days' late 90s group when they SORASED multiple characters and did so out of order. Not to mention EJ is currently mid 30s and Sami's ex husband when he was born onscreen after her son Will, who is now younger than him and young enough to be his son

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thats hardly the worst. That honor for me will always remain with Days' late 90s group when they SORASED multiple characters and did so out of order. Not to mention EJ is currently mid 30s and Sami's ex husband when he was born onscreen after her son Will, who is now younger than him and young enough to be his son

Lol EJ was a baby when Sami was up to her tricks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N3I8hPT-CI

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And has made death on soaps meaningless. Hell, even fetuses can't stay unaborted.

The worst was AMC last year. I didn't even get the point seeing as they were hoping the show would be picked up to go online. If it had moved to online most of those people wouldn't have been on anyway. And it doesn't matter who JR shot unless it was David as everyone else can raise from the dead. On Y&R last year I thought Cane's death was done nicely. Was never a big fan of the character but bringing him back to life killed any feelings I had towards him to the point where I am indifferent to him.

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Evil twin is something which has not been that common in recent years anyway, although they've had a few crazy dopplegangers who show up a few months.

My two main hates are:

"Edgy" leading men, AKA, weak little boys who sneer and smirk at everyone and can only have a civil conversation on a very rare occasion, and rarely bother to make eye contact. These wastes of oxygen have killed GH, OLTL, and Y&R, just for starters.

Hey, you're my long-lost relative! Why? Well, I'm not quite sure, but this is great! Now let's just rewrite years and years of history and make everyone involved look horrible. Everyone needs to be related, or else we aren't showing how clever we are, and we can't have that. Who cares about story being flushed if we can have a few months a year of PA PA STEPNORA PA PA PA, and let's not forget the INCREDIBLE rewrite of Clint shunning his dying grandchild.

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