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The Remaining Soaps and The Next Generation

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Why is it that outside of B&B none of the remaining soaps have been able to establish a proper set of young adults?  When the problem isn't the writing it's the bad casting/acting. None of them having any real aspirations outside of getting married and started a family. Most have had bland romances between actors who can't generate chemistry to save their lives. You have some of the older characters still trying to act young and sexy and like young adults. 

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I think the main issue is not only finding talent, but also keeping it. Even when they find actors who can hold up storylines for potentially years, they leave/get better offers. Even in the 90s you could find decently talented young people who were willing to settle for the stability that a soap provides, but realistically most of them now know that the end is near and then you have shows like Days and their insane shooting schedule. The one appeal to stay on a soap is pretty much gone for actors starting out.

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54 minutes ago, cassadine1991 said:

Because every time other soaps try to bring in a new generation, people complain saying they are taking airtime away from the older veterans 

when do TIIC care about viewer complaints? If they had, the shows would be better

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Because soaps now cast for looks and not talent and with the insane shooting schedule the younger actors can't hack it. There is no way they can improve since they don't have the time to learn on the job. If the shows even got some younger actors for 2-3 years it usually doesn't work as the people don't have the time to mesh as a unit.

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3 minutes ago, ~bl~ said:

Because soaps now cast for looks and not talent and with the insane shooting schedule the younger actors can't hack it. There is no way they can improve since they don't have the time to learn on the job. If the shows even got some younger actors for 2-3 years it usually doesn't work as the people don't have the time to mesh as a unit.

I wouldn't even say they're casting for looks because some of these folks dont have leading looks.

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4 hours ago, cassadine1991 said:

Because every time other soaps try to bring in a new generation, people complain saying they are taking airtime away from the older veterans 

 

That's down to bad writing though who can't weave into the new generation with older characters.

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I really think all of it comes down to bad writing and no money. The children who were born when soaps had good writing have aged out of the teen set now, so we are left with the kids of couples no one ever gave a hoot about. Couples hardly stay together for more than a minute now so full siblings raised together are rare, so no one really has a connection to anyone else their age. Holidays and town-wide weddings used to be times when we saw the little kids all trotted out and they really can't afford those big lots of character events now.

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It's more than just fans only want vets.  When the actor is good and the story is compelling fans will want to watch.

 

It's writing for a 3 or 6 month arc without any plan for a long term.  When shows start killing off next generations for a plot twist, the future of their canvas is decimated because there is no foundation to weave new characters into, which helps lead to newbies nobody cares about.

 

Colleen on Y&R is a prime example.  Ricky on Y&R.  Logan and Georgie on GH.  Emily on GH. Nick on Days.  Will on Days.  Even if you hated the actor, the character is more than just the current actor.

 

i complain on this site all the time about GH having their best teen set in years, who could all be driving adult stories now and they destroyed it for a shitty serial killer story nobody enjoyed.

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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Don't get me started on this one...my response could take several pages to expound on this!:lol:B)

A confluence of factors, IMO.

Go ahead. I would like to see your thoughts 

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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Don't get me started on this one...my response could take several pages to expound on this!:lol:B)

A confluence of factors, IMO.

Oh trust I could too.  I kept my opening post short. 

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4 hours ago, cassadine1991 said:

Go ahead. I would like to see your thoughts 

 

I may have to scatter my posts so we all keep our vision.:lol:

 

Some of the factors have been mentioned but for me, it's a similar case to what makes us stronger also kills us. (One example that I've mentioned before--that of the Supercouple, at its best, fueled ratings and exposure in the popular culture but became like a hydra that sucked a lot of the focus and energy from good characterization of the individual/uncoupled characters).

 

In the case of the young set, so much of the storyline "oxygen" was consumed by characters who became icons at the height of these shows that what came after didn't get much storyline focus.

 

We look at Y&R and AMC as two examples.

Everyone knows Victor and Nikki and Erica Kane from their respective shows. They became well-known in popular culture during the 80s (AKA 2nd Golden Age of Soaps).  They had some of the most compelling stories in their shows' histories and it wouldn't have been beyond the realm of expectation that the children of these characters would take over from their parents, with the show resting on their shoulders but twenty years later (00s) storylines were still very much focused on their parents. 

For awhile, the kids had great storyline and it looked like the likes of Heather Tom and Sarah Michelle Gellar could ascend but we all know what happened after that.  (Even the Nicholas character, in his pairing with Sharon looked to be the next in line to be the next generation of Newman until TPTB decided that Nick had to remain forever a video game playing frat boy and not grow up).

Most of these next generation characters' storylines were often attached to their parents.

ATWT has a similar trajectory too.

 

Lily and Holden were never my favorite couple but they were immensely popular during the 80s yet none of that 'shine' was passed onto their progeny. Not just Luke (who had a couple important, albeit poorly constructed storylines at the end of the show's run) but Faith who was about 15/16 when the show ended. By 15, Lily was involved in some serious storylines, why not Faith? In terms of Aaron and Abigail, Holden's children-- did they have any compelling storylines that didn't somehow directly involve their parents (Julie, Molly or Holden)?

 

I think somewhere along the line the soaps got scared to commit to new young people and kept writing story that relied heavily on their 'used to be young adult' characters to carry story.  The executives didn't  trust the 'new blood' as much as they did the old. They've become risk averse but in clinging to the tried and true, they've failed to adapt.

 

 

Also, options for Daytime actors have changed. Soaps continue to have a very consuming shooting schedule and we've often read of instances of actors requesting a more flexible schedule and being denied but actors (particular the young ones) want the flexibility of being able to act in  indie films, big-budget (when they get the rare opportunity) primetime, and even webseries (with platforms on Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, Vimeo as well as smaller online platforms) coming into their own.  An actor is more willing to commit to an Awkward Black Girl series if they believe it will lead to a future role on a series like Insecure).

And with the struggle budgets and struggle ratings of these current daytime dramas, leaving for a webseries or indie is no longer the tough choice it would've been 20 years ago.

 

*By the way, I don't know whether people realize this but the Actor's Unions are now entering contract negotiations similar to what the WGA just did. I wonder if actors are trying to negotiate more flexibility to work multiple jobs, similar to what the writer's wanted? Perhaps if the soaps allow more flexibility for their actors, they might get larger sample of compelling actors to work with?

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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Here's another thing people forget.  I was young once.  I watched DAYS and GH and OLTL and Y&R with my sister and other relatives.  I loved Bo and Hope, and Felicia and Frisco and Nina/Cricket/Danny/Phillip.  But I also loved Roman and Marlena and Alice and Tom and Steve Hardy and the Quartermaines and Viki and Dorian.  Seeing the older characters did not make me want to tune out.

 

When Marland and Monty and Pat Falken Smith got GH to number one it was the reveal of Lesley/Rick/Monica/Alan that helped them get there.  Luke and Laura get all the credit, and certainly making Genie Francis a vital and important A story character played an incredible part too.  But Rick and Lesley played a huge part.  And those people were not in their mid 20's.

 

Look at Knots Landing.  No show would ever bring in a 40 year old Donna Mils to bring the show alive and sex it up today.  And for primetime no soap character drew me in like Abby, and no couple was as sexy as she and Gary in the early part of their storyline.

 

The smartest thing DAYS did about a decade ago was center the young set around Maggie (before the Daniel reveal). And having Will so close with Marlena.  It grounded all those characters and we got to see sidelined vets helping to drive story again.

 

When you have a balanced show, the kids don't stick out like a sore thumb.  And when half of your teen scene leaves at the end of their first contract, it doesn't decimate the show.  You keep a couple and build from there with them.  And sometimes people come back and you weave them back in once they can't make it big outside daytime.  It takes strategy and planning from the show, and it's clear none of these soap people think that way anymore.  There is a way to do both character work and events, they just don't do it any more because all we have left writing these shows are the hacks.

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