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The future of US soaps


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17 hours ago, Hunk Chandler Massey said:

I did too and thought both shows were tighter and better on Hulu than on broadcast TV. I especially loved OLTL.

 

They were. Ahead of their time, as always, for the streaming game. Sigh. It would have helped to have a better company behind them. So much potential. Shame. If ABC truly cared they should have bumped both to a half hour and launched them in a streaming service of their own.

 

I'd watch DAYS online. I can see it happening. DAYS has always been my #1 so I'd pay for it if the quality was there.

Edited by KMan101
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Looking at that Bill Bell Sr. quote, I think he seemed pretty single-minded about the success of his shows, which I can understand.

He was speaking at a time when there were still a lot of soaps on the air and he probably couldn't have conceived of a time when there would only be four left on broadcast TV across ALL U.S networks. He took for granted that even as some got cancelled, the networks would always be flush with daytime dramas (we now know this is not the case).

Still, in some ways it is an unfortunate quote because it demonstrates the lack of solidarity, particularly with one's network cohorts. He mentioned two soaps that his former mentor Irna Phillips started. Would it have been nice to acknowledge that? Yes, but I guess there are now friends in the fight for ratings.

I think there is safety in numbers and the diminished state of the U.S. daytime drama is a kind of cautionary tale of what can happen when colleagues/an industry doesn't come together to buffer themselves against the forces that sweep in and begin to be a part of its undoing.

Bell Sr.'s mentality is understandable as he sees everyone as his competition, even those on his own network but I've always appreciate rivals who can make each other better, build solidarity and support each other even as they grow.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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2 hours ago, KMan101 said:

 

They were. Ahead of their time, as always, for the streaming game. Sigh. It would have helped to have a better company behind them. So much potential. Shame. If ABC truly cared they should have bumped both to a half hour and launched them in a streaming service of their own.

 

I'd watch DAYS online. I can see it happening. DAYS has always been my #1 so I'd pay for it if the quality was there.

I was hoping they would have succeeded. That way we might have gotten my fav ATWT online too.

 

I'd watch Days on Hulu if CM continued on the show. If not forget it

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5 hours ago, Edward Skylover said:

I like that the US soaps are different to the UK soaps. They don't feel as realistic but more 'fantasy' if you know what I mean. At first that can be off-putting, but I think it might actually be an advantage as it really draws you in. I guess you have to be willing to suspend your disbelief though. I want to watch some old Days, but I might watch some other old US soaps at some point.

 

I prefer the more grounded soaps. Fantasy has its place, but the veneer of it in some of our soaps wanes when it is poorly done, which it usually is these days. The best of Days, of any soap, is long since past.

Edited by Vee
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18 minutes ago, Vee said:

I prefer the more grounded soaps. Fantasy has its place, but the veneer of it in some of our soaps wanes when it is poorly done, which it usually is these days. The best of Days, of any soap, is long since past.

 

I'm surprised how good Days is at the moment. I fully expected it to be crap but I think the lack of budget forces them to explore the characters' emotions more. Plus I really like how the eps are 35+ minutes which allows even more exploration of the characters.

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On 10/7/2017 at 9:25 AM, Edward Skylover said:

 

 

Where though? I don't see many alternatives to soaps 

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As I said, serialized storytelling is everywhere now. Pretty much every show ends their seasons with a cliffhanger.  A short list of shows, current or from the past 10 years, off the top of my head with serialized storytelling:

 

Lost

Once Upon A Time

Star Trek Discovery

Arrow

The Flash

Legends of Tomorrow

Supergirl

Daredevil

Jessica Jones

Luke Cage

Iron Fist

Desperate Housewives

Brothers and Sisters

Empire

Dallas

Dynasty

 

I could go on and on. When Friends ended their first season on a cliffhanger in 1995, that began the serialized storytelling craze that we have today.

 

 

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Reading this thread really makes me realize two things

 

1. I really miss the P&G soaps

 

2. Having the classics easily available online is a godsend

 

My main soap is DOOL but I love being able to go and rewatch stuff from when I was younger (babysitter was an NBC house, grandmas house was CBS house). So I get to see quite a bit of stuff from those eras and appreciate it more now. Being older now I LOVE the P&G stuff from long ago. There’s something about them that were something epic when they were firing on all cylinders (ex: Marland’s ATWT, Lemay’s AW, etc)

 

I really wish that some of the old soaps had made it to the streaming era. They could’ve lived on past cancellation and maybe would’ve not suffered the fates they did. Soaps really could’ve benefitted from streaming and still can

 

UK Soaps: I’m trying to get into them and decided to try the free trial of Britbox to see if they were as good as many here talk about. I’ve been watching Coronation Street and EastEnders and while good, I have no clue what is going on. If someone like @Edward Skyloveror anyone else familiar with them could give a brief who’s who I’d appreciate it so I could know what is going on

 

 

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On 10/7/2017 at 11:27 AM, DramatistDreamer said:

Looking at that Bill Bell Sr. quote, I think he seemed pretty single-minded about the success of his shows, which I can understand.

He was speaking at a time when there were still a lot of soaps on the air and he probably couldn't have conceived of a time when there would only be four left on broadcast TV across ALL U.S networks. He took for granted that even as some got cancelled, the networks would always be flush with daytime dramas (we now know this is not the case).

Still, in some ways it is an unfortunate quote because it demonstrates the lack of solidarity, particularly with one's network cohorts. He mentioned two soaps that his former mentor Irna Phillips started. Would it have been nice to acknowledge that? Yes, but I guess there are now friends in the fight for ratings.

I think there is safety in numbers and the diminished state of the U.S. daytime drama is a kind of cautionary tale of what can happen when colleagues/an industry doesn't come together to buffer themselves against the forces that sweep in and begin to be a part of its undoing.

Bell Sr.'s mentality is understandable as he sees everyone as his competition, even those on his own network but I've always appreciate rivals who can make each other better, build solidarity and support each other even as they grow.

 

Friendly note: The quote is from BRADLEY Bell, not Bill Bell. 

 

I feel that in the past 5 years, with only four soaps left, there's a feeling of solidarity among DAYS, Y&R, and B&B, while GH is in its own world.  GH and Y&R are still playing poaching games, but the DAYS/Bell Soap connections are friendly. 

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56 minutes ago, Failsafe said:

UK Soaps: I’m trying to get into them and decided to try the free trial of Britbox to see if they were as good as many here talk about. I’ve been watching Coronation Street and EastEnders and while good, I have no clue what is going on. If someone like @Edward Skyloveror anyone else familiar with them could give a brief who’s who I’d appreciate it so I could know what is going on

 

Seeing as UK soaps are about 50-60 cast members long, it'd kind of be hard for someone to give you a synopsis of what's going when there's so much. One suggestion I'd make to you is to do research on your free time. Go to the show's wikis and read up on the character. Ask casual questions in the threads in the foreign soap section, which we'll all be happy to help you with. Go on YouTube and watch old clips in your free time. Once you do this for awhile, it'll all fall into place. 

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12 minutes ago, Gray Bunny said:

 

Friendly note: The quote is from BRADLEY Bell, not Bill Bell

 

I feel that in the past 5 years, with only four soaps left, there's a feeling of solidarity among DAYS, Y&R, and B&B, while GH is in its own world.  GH and Y&R are still playing poaching games, but the DAYS/Bell Soap connections are friendly. 

 

Word??!! Well, who cares about what Brad Bell thinks?

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@Failsafe I am happy to give you the lowdown on some of the EastEnders characters, though @Nothin'ButAttitude's suggestions are sensible. Certainly since I've been watching Days on a regular basis I've been reading the characters bios on Wikipedia to find out more of the history. It's starting to fall into place now, but I have to say I imagine DAYS is more difficult to understand from a newbie point of view than EE as there seems to be so much history. Having said that I don't know if it's just because I've obviously grown up with EE and watched it for years hence understand who's connected to who.

 

The main families are probably the Mitchells and Beales. The current storylines have mainly been about 21 year old Ben Mitchell, who went on a few dates with the son of the man who raped Ben's mum Kathy Beale 25 years ago. The rapist's family are taking over the square seemingly wanting to destroy it. Max Branning is helping them reach their goal because he seems to have a vendetta against a lot of people in the square for letting him go to jail for the murder of Lucy Beale, even when most of them knew the culprit was Lucy's brother Bobby Beale. Bobby's step-mother Jane Beale is in a coma in hospital and Max is hoping she doesn't wake up or have any memory because he revealed his evil plans to her in her burning restaurant before she nearly died (she was already crippled from her son Bobby battering her round the head with a baseball bat). Bobby is in prison now. Jane Beale's husband Ian Beale is grieving for his adoptive son Steven Beale who died in the fire. Kathy Beale is mum to Ben Mitchell and Ian Beale.

 

Other main storylines centre around The Carters, who are the family running the Queen Vic pub - Linda Carter left the square to live with her mum for a while when she found out she had cancer (but told her husband Mick that her mum had had a stroke and that's why she was away) as she didn't want him to have to see her suffer. Mick missed her while she was away and kissed his former daughter-in-law Whitney Dean but they've all moved on from that and Whitney is engaged to bar manager Woody. All 4 of them work at the pub. Mick and Linda have a gay son but all he really does is stand at the bar being wooden. Mick also has a bisexual sister called Tina who works in the cafe but she doesn't do much.

 

Other front-runners are Martin Fowler and Stacey Slater. They have 2 kids; Lily from her previous relationship with Ryan Malloy (who is Whitney's brother) and Arthur, who is the results of a one-night stand with Kush Kazemi (Martin's best friend). She is expecting another baby. She has a long history of mental health problems, having suffered postpartum psychosis following the birth of Arthur. Kush's mum Carmel found bruises on Arthur's body and presumed Stacey had been harming him so called social services. The likely culprit is his sister Lily who has been getting jealous of the attention he's been getting recently as he, Kush and Carmel all suddenly discovered they have a rare heart condition.

 

What else? Oh yeah, Michelle Fowler is being stalked by some weirdo she met on a train. Michelle is Martin's sister.

 

Oh - Sonia Fowler is Martin's ex wife and they have a daughter called Rebecca. Sonia is bisexual and was previously in a relationship with Tina Carter. Now she's interested in Gethin who is Rebecca's teacher, but Rebecca and Gethin had a forbidden kiss which he's keen to move on from. He's started dating Sonia.

 

Dorothy Branning is the 90-year old lady who is heavily involved in the church and had a visit from a gay vicar this week. She's not really related to anyone anymore but she has step-children (Max Branning & Jack Branning) and step-grandchildren (Lauren Branning and Abi Branning, Max's kids). Lauren Branning was engaged to Steven Beale who died in the fire I mentioned earlier, but he was having an affair with her sister Abi (who is now pregnant). Lauren doesn't know this, but she never loved Steven anyway and was lusting after her boss Josh, who is part of the rapist's family.

 

The bloke who was posing in the nude is Keanu Taylor, part of the new Taylor family. They're a blank canvas, but there is mum Karen, Keanu the oldest, Bernadette, Keegan and 2 twins with learning difficulties who barely feature and whose names I've forgotten. ETA: Their names are Riley and Chatten.

 

I think that covers most of it, if you have any more questions head over to the EE thread.

Edited by Edward Skylover
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3 hours ago, Failsafe said:

Reading this thread really makes me realize two things

 

1. I really miss the P&G soaps

 

2. Having the classics easily available online is a godsend

 

My main soap is DOOL but I love being able to go and rewatch stuff from when I was younger (babysitter was an NBC house, grandmas house was CBS house). So I get to see quite a bit of stuff from those eras and appreciate it more now. Being older now I LOVE the P&G stuff from long ago. There’s something about them that were something epic when they were firing on all cylinders (ex: Marland’s ATWT, Lemay’s AW, etc)

 

I really wish that some of the old soaps had made it to the streaming era. They could’ve lived on past cancellation and maybe would’ve not suffered the fates they did. Soaps really could’ve benefitted from streaming and still can

 

UK Soaps: I’m trying to get into them and decided to try the free trial of Britbox to see if they were as good as many here talk about. I’ve been watching Coronation Street and EastEnders and while good, I have no clue what is going on. If someone like @Edward Skyloveror anyone else familiar with them could give a brief who’s who I’d appreciate it so I could know what is going on

 

 

A good source to use to know the shows histories is Wikipedia and Wiki. I have found that the bio's of British soap characters are very detailed. Even long forgotten obscure have detailed bio's. Also Wiki has detailed summaries of every Coronation Street episode.  

Edited by victoria foxton
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Um, what would have happened to Santa Barbara creatively if it had managed to last until 1999 or so?  Would it have become less glamorous?  I can't say that I haven't been saddened by news of location shoots for The Bold and the Beautiful in recent years.

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