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All Soap Fans: When is it time to finally let go?


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Days of Our Lives. The Bold and the Beautiful. General Hospital. The Young and the Restless. There's only four left, and arguably none of them are doing well currently in terms of content. Soap fans will stick with their shows through thick 'n thin, but that was back when there were 8 or 10 or 12 to choose from and there was more hope for an upheaval behind the scenes to turn things back around. 
 
Currently, I feel like DAYS is at the point of no return. They know what the fans want, that's why they did what they did for the 50th. It wasn't perfect, but they delivered something to their loyal audience that they hadn't done in nearly 5 years. Since the new year (which would've been filmed around 2013 or 1978 or whenever), the show has blatantly and deliberately given us half-assed storylines, focusing on new and underdeveloped characters, and are decimating the integrity of their remaining tentpole characters. At this point, it's not that DAYS *CAN'T* turn things around, it's that TPTB don't *WANT* to. Instead, they'll crank out cheap sh*t with half a cast of strangers in order to keep the behind-the-scenes staff and crew employed for as long as humanly possible. They know what it takes to create a worthy product that the fans will love, yet they're intentionally and knowingly not delivering. 
 
When I see shows like GH for their 50th, DAYS for their 50th, and B&B up until last July (the show fell apart post-Aly's death) actually giving a damn about their product, I feel hopeful the genre can still go on and give the audience something meaningful and entertaining. But currently, I'm completely detached, and with DAYS (my 1st and all-time fave), they're pushing me to the point of total apathy. The product DAYS is churning out today reminds me of Guiding Light (my other all-time fave) during their 2005-2007 era, where the product was cheap, the content was half-baked, and the story totally disregarded history for no good reason (perfect example of a "WTF? Just... WHY?" moment being when they randomly aged Rick & Mel's daughter, Leah, from being 4 years old to 16, totally breaking any cohesive timeline of the kids' ages, like Daisy/Susan, Zach, Jude, James,... and then they proceeded to not use the character at all). 
 
Bottom line... I've been speeding through B&B for months, maybe stopping for Brooke/Bill (sorry, I love that dirty ho with her stallion), gave up on Y&R (six years ago), gave up on GH (never much a fan to begin with), and currently have a month's worth of DAYS on my DVR with zero interest in catching up. I'm a loyal Soap Opera Digest subscriber, love the history of the genre and know it like the back of my hand, and have 30+ years of SOD's in storage... yet I've got a pile of current issues collecting dust, as I'm not interested in reading up on them. I'm admittedly a total soap opera aficionado nerd, "celebrating the soaps" for years, but I think my passion and general interest in anything current has finally faded. 
 
I just realized I made this more into a personal blog/place to vent. Apologies for the ramblings, and apologies for the title of the thread sounding suicidal, haha. 
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It's certainly up to the individual, but for me, I go down with 2 soaps.  Another world and GH.  I don't watch GH daily and when I do watch, I don't finish or I ff a lot, but I'm going down with this ship.  When its gone, I won't be sad, however.  

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I've been let all 4 go late last year. I might read a current summation of the show but that is the most. I'm not interested in watching and investing in these shows when they don't even try and fix them. Why give my energy for free when TIIC are getting paid six to seven figures but can't conjure up energy to tell a good story from exposition to denouement?

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I had to accept defeat and give up about this time last year. In a post-AMC and post-ATWT world, I kept throwing out the "Let's see if B&B or DAYS can keep me this summer" line year and year, and while I tried hard, I could never stay interested in either one, and so I just accepted that my years of watching US daytime soaps had finally come to an end.

At this point, I feel like viewers are more invested than TPTB are. If these shows were able to crank out was the generally accepted as good product in the near recent years, I just don't think it was done on purpose. They're going with the flow, business as usual, and sometimes it clicks with the audience (the online audience, at least), but I don't think it's because there has been any change of philosophy or effort to do anything differently. They're all just marking time, and what ends up onscreen is a result of that.

I know one thing, though. People will disagree, but I don't care. The term "soap opera" and the thoughts/feelings it conveys will be way better off on the other side of the remaining four's cancellations. Once they're put out of their misery and can no longer drag the genre deeper into irrelevancy, it might finally get some retrospective respect.

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It's very much a personal choice, I think.  

I don't judge anyone who still watches faithfully hoping for a turnaround, neither do I want fans judging me as disloyal because I no longer watch.  I have gone in and out of active viewing for years.  Sometimes, I just got really busy and even when I recorded the soaps, I'd just be too busy or exhausted to watch (like during most of the mid to late 90s) but over the past several years, my interest has waned and sometimes I used to tune in for a block of episodes due to FOMO up to last year but a few months ago with Y&R, I just stopped and realized that I was indifferent.  

Every now and then, I imagine how differently I would have developed and written characters for Y&R or how I would've written the last decade of ATWT (very differently).  I had tuned into B&B more regularly probably around the time the Avant family was expanding with the addition of Maya's sister but I got bored again and started tuning in only sporadically for awhile and now, it's been probably 6 -7 weeks since I've watched a single episode.  Sometimes I read summaries and spoilers

 

There's so much more I'd like to say but it's been a long day and I'm exhausted. LOL.

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I didn't watch Y&R or B&B - I stopped around (can't remember exactly) but probably at least 2005 to 2013.  I grew up watching Y&R and watched B&B from the beginning until around 2004 or 2005.  I stopped recording them and I was working in an office.  I did tape and watch GL and ATWT until the end -- even when the shows weren't very good I had watched since around 1980 and the people were like family.  Regardless of the writing there were still characters that I liked and the actors that I liked.  The friendships and really the relationships were still strong and more real to me.  They were like family, so I stuck with them until the end. 

I can honestly say I have never felt that way - that strongly about any of the characters on Y&R or B&B.  On either show, there's not anyone I even really like, to be honest.  Mariah on Y&R is maybe the only exception.  When Sharon is decent, I like her.  Phyllis is being written so badly right now that I'm getting tired of her although I like Gina Tognoni.  But really, that's about it.  I have both shows on in the background some days while I'm working, since I work from home and I can't work when it's completely quiet.  But I often will mute them for conference calls.  B&B is just bottom of the barrel to me now - a total snoozer and I'm tired of practically every character on the show...so if either Y&R or B&B are gone - I won't really care.  I still miss ATWT and GL though.

I wouldn't have thought it - I always thought Y&R would clearly be the last soap standing....but now from what I read and what I know, I think it could be B&B that lasts the longest, just due to its popularity overseas (it airs in Primetime there)...and it's 1/2 hour format being much cheaper, less cast salary spend, etc.  But I could see them even taking B&B off the network here, but continuing to produce it and airing online but still producing it for the overseas market if it remains popular elsewhere. 

But the writing is on the wall....DAYS and GH can't have much longer unless the ratings go up and that would require a miracle.  I don't know where people's heads are that they think their shows are still safe from cancellation.  It doesn't matter if alot of talk shows, game shows, etc. fail - the networks will still try and find something rather than put out the expense with fading returns.  With ratings the way they are, they're going to cut budgets again and again, and then the shows start to look shabby.  ABC tried 2 shows when AMC and OLTL were cancelled.  One of them made it - The Chew.  And even if a show doesn't make it...they can always just return 1 hour to the affiliates.  Look at some of the ratings on cable of reruns of comedies - there are many that beat soap ratings easily - and they're already produced and can just be licensed.  CBS - don't even think for one second they wouldn't give Julie Chen another show....."The Talk Again!"  and extend them to 2 hours.  There are plenty of options, and the networks won't just keep producing these soaps when they can do something else for less money.  They'll keep trying until they find something that works well enough.  CBS is happy with their gameshow ratings....they'll try and dust off another version of Pyramid or something else.  NBC already has hours of Today - what's one more hour? 

Anyway, it's up to the person as to when it's over....but I agree with the above...when Y&R and B&B are gone, it will be no big deal to me.

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Looking at the landscape of television nowadays, it's surprising that GH and DAYS are still saved. I'll be surprised if they continue to get a pickup. The networks and cable love to fill their daypart and early evenings with talk, talk, talk. Let's talk about what's happening in pop culture, in world news, in pop culture, in politics, and in pop culture. I can understand holding onto Y&R (and B&B) since they can still rake in up to 5 million viewers on any given day. 

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I quit watching soaps on a regular basis in 2012 because they were no longer telling the kind of stories that I enjoy.  The 80s were the best for me.   Back when they were fast and furious and if you missed a day, you missed something good.  With shows like Game of Thrones and others it's hard to go back to the silliness of today's soaps.  I agree with OP ,  soaps are just there to keep the folks employed and they just want to drag it out for as long as they can.   Also so they can keep the franchise alive.  I'll watch if I happen to be home during the week or watch online a special event.   It's sad because I think they could tell some great storylines if they wanted too but they don't care anymore.   And they don't have the talent anymore either. 

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The first time I cut the cord on DAYS, I had been watching for over a decade.  It was about 6 months before Reilly turned it over to SSM.  I just thought it was stupid and the drama of his over the top stories had been fully replaced by camp.  The whole show was just too campy for me.  I've never watched it longer than a couple of months since, and spent most of the last 10 years not tuning into it at all.

 

GH kept me as a nearly full time viewer from the arrival of Felicia to the death of the younger cast during the text message killer.  I checked back in a couple of times a year, and when Anna came back, but I haven't watched more than once a month in years.  At this point if it were cancelled, I would be sad for nostalgic reasons, but not for what is airing now not the characters focused on.  If the shows won't give me anything I want to see, then why waste my time.

 

The truth is once upon a time you might not like every story, but you followed because you still liked most of the characters.  Now they shove Terri me characters nobody cares about down our throats with stories that don't entertain, enlighten, inspire or resonate.  So why watch?

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I honestly forget that food show is still exists. It managed rather quickly to become less relevant than the soap it replaced or any that are still on the air.

Yet it is cheaper than either AMC or OLTL, and it succeeded. You're going to fight alot harder to keep GH on the Air.  NO ONE believes that the mighty GH can be defeated.  But you better start seeing it.

 

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I wonder why GH has this huge cast.Surely they could make immediate savings by trimming the cast and focusing on the hospital so that the same sets and characters could be used regularly.Just watch some old tapes and see how this worked in the past.

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I wonder why GH has this huge cast.Surely they could make immediate savings by trimming the cast and focusing on the hospital so that the same sets and characters could be used regularly.Just watch some old tapes and see how this worked in the past.

plus hospital dramas are always popular. All they need is a small hospital staff and a revolving door of patients. My biggest reason for not watching GH is that the cast ducks.  Most of those people lack screen presence and can't act worth a damn. 

Y&R is way too inconsistent and relies on the same played out characters too often.

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I honestly forget that food show is still exists. It managed rather quickly to become less relevant than the soap it replaced or any that are still on the air.

Yet it is cheaper than either AMC or OLTL, and it succeeded. You're going to fight alot harder to keep GH on the Air.  NO ONE believes that the mighty GH can be defeated.  But you better start seeing it.

AMC and OLTL were both successful for several decades and though they're deader than disco, they and their huge legacies have earned their places in television history. Trust me, there's nothing that the food program is succeeding in that AMC didn't succeed in at least 35 years ago.

Meanwhile, I'm not gonna fight to keep GH on the air because I've never watched it with any regularity and, frankly, don't really give two sh!ts about it.

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I mostly watch clips on Youtube for actors that I enjoy. I don't think I really care at all about the show itself. I remember tuning in to Days to watch James Scott and I'll tune in to watch Billy Miller now and again for his turn as Jason on GH, I also would watch for Hope/Liam here and there on the B&B. But I can't remember a time I watched live all the way through. I mostly just watch for certain actors/actresses.

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