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DramatistDreamer

Why are soap fans so averse to online streaming?

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1 minute ago, Faulkner said:

And Julianne simply offers it up, without being asked. Like when she reminisced about getting her break on ATWT when she won the SAG on her way to winning the Best Actress Oscar. All that in a room filled with snooty and pretentious Hollywood types. Some comedian mocked her afterwards, but I’m sure she was unfazed.

 

I remember that. She's a class act all the way around. I don't remember the mocking but it's not a surprise. Soaps have long had a stigma that many still cling to. And sometimes the soaps themselves don't help this ... lawd. lol

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1 minute ago, KMan101 said:

 

I remember that. She's a class act all the way around. I don't remember the mocking but it's not a surprise. Soaps have long had a stigma that many still cling to. And sometimes the soaps themselves don't help this ... lawd. lol

I forget who it was, but the comedian who was presenting the next award sort of derisively repeated Moore’s line, “When I was on As the World Turns...” and got a big laugh out of it.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Faulkner said:

I will say, having worked in media, this remains true:

 

 

 

 

 

WOW!

 

I mean, people aren't stupid, they remember where a star got their start. It's bizarre we have this tendency now that if we erase it it doesn't exist ... or pretend it didn't happen ...

 

They should be worrying about other things than that their star got their start on a soap and many of those fans are following them to what they're doing now ...

Just now, Faulkner said:

I forget who it was, but the comedian who was presenting the next award sort of derisively repeated Moore’s line, “When I was on As the World Turns...” and got a big laugh out of it.

 

 

 

Thanks. I forgot about that, lol.

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Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, etc. have been very gracious when speaking about their time on daytime soaps.

 

 

29 minutes ago, KMan101 said:

 

I remember that. She's a class act all the way around. I don't remember the mocking but it's not a surprise. Soaps have long had a stigma that many still cling to. And sometimes the soaps themselves don't help this ... lawd. lol

 

And that's one of the biggest problems, imo. It's done a lot of lasting damage to the genre.

Silly tropes and stereotypical stories that are framed by ridiculous, illogical plot points.  Soaps should've dropped those a long time ago but couldn't resist the lazy, sensational, sloppy way out of a story instead of taking a narrative to its logical conclusion.

Many times execs use writers to write a shock, extreme ending to what really is a BTS issue.  Then years later, seek to correct the extreme plot point with an even less logical story.

There are a lot of storylines that I've looked at over the years that I honestly cannot take seriously and if I were to try to describe them to a non-soap fan, I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face.

 

Sometimes I wonder if the people who produce soaps hate soaps.

 

To bring it back around to the original topic, one of the things that soap genre often had going for it was the relatively high production look of the show--it could often mask some very sh*tty storytelling, at times.

If you take all that away and put it in an even more intimate format than broadcast television (which, at times the online/Internet platform can be-- it's right in your face, your smartphone or your tablet computer that rests on your bedside table, in your pocket, etc), do you lose the appeal? 

Sometimes during a web soap, it feels even closer and your eyes can focus even more on the sets to see the details.  Before TVs had them, computers had 1080p resolution.  So from the very beginning, there was more clarity on computers than there once was on even the most high-end televisions.

There was nowhere to hide on the Internet.  Lack of resources really shone through and poor quality acting and/or writing was magnified in an even starker contrast.

*I often wonder if this was part of the resistance toward the online platform?*

 

I mean, really...I do wonder.  CBS, NBC and ABC were all early investors in HULU and ABC at one time, streamed their soaps on the platform but why didn't all three stream their shows completely online where the pressure of ratings would've been less?  Did they think it an unsustainable enterprise?

What do you think?

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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47 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, etc. have been very gracious when speaking about their time on daytime soaps.

 

 

 

And that's one of the biggest problems, imo. It's done a lot of lasting damage to the genre.

Silly tropes and stereotypical stories that are framed by ridiculous, illogical plot points.  Soaps should've dropped those a long time ago but couldn't resist the lazy, sensational, sloppy way out of a story instead of taking a narrative to its logical conclusion.

Many times execs use writers to write a shock, extreme ending to what really is a BTS issue.  Then years later, seek to correct the extreme plot point with an even less logical story.

There are a lot of storylines that I've looked at over the years that I honestly cannot take seriously and if I were to try to describe them to a non-soap fan, I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face.

 

Sometimes I wonder if the people who produce soaps hate soaps.

 

To bring it back around to the original topic, one of the things that soap genre often had going for it was the relatively high production look of the show--it could often mask some very sh*tty storytelling, at times.

If you take all that away and put it in an even more intimate format than broadcast television (which, at times the online/Internet platform can be-- it's right in your face, your smartphone or your tablet computer that rests on your bedside table, in your pocket, etc), do you lose the appeal? 

Sometimes during a web soap, it feels even closer and your eyes can focus even more on the sets to see the details.  Before TVs had them, computers had 1080p resolution.  So from the very beginning, there was more clarity on computers than there once was on even the most high-end televisions.

There was nowhere to hide on the Internet.  Lack of resources really shone through and poor quality acting and/or writing was magnified in an even starker contrast.

*I often wonder if this was part of the resistance toward the online platform?*

 

I mean, really...I do wonder.  CBS, NBC and ABC were all early investors in HULU and ABC at one time, streamed their soaps on the platform but why didn't all three stream their shows completely online where the pressure of ratings would've been less?  Did they think it an unsustainable enterprise?

What do you think?

My thinking: I wonder if it would have been tough given the still-elderly demos of the soap audience when streaming services were still nascent. The early adopters of these services had been traditionally much younger. I suppose when Hulu started 10-11 years ago, creating high-budget content exclusively for streaming was still a wild fantasy (the HoC reboot was still six years away), and they had little understanding of how to monetize content. (They still don’t actually, to be honest. The content bubble will soon burst). Putting established soaps online would have been a big risk, mostly likely a loss leader, and given how little regard these networks have shown soaps, it was probably not one worth taking. May as well get rid of them altogether at that point. I think, later on, the Prospect Park resurrections were likely more successful than most people anticipated, but they couldn’t sustain it for various reasons.

 

I just think it would have taken some very passionate cheerleaders or a Steve Jobs-level visionary who would have bled to death to present a compelling business case for the viability of bringing soaps online. Too many headwinds otherwise. In short, I just don’t think anyone was or is willing to stick their necks out there to save these shows.

Edited by Faulkner

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I think one of the reasons streaming is awful when it comes to soaps is this: fast-forwarding. If you have a DVR, you can record your show, and easily only watch the parts you want to see, and skip the advertising. The online platforms at least in my experience can be glitchy and it is a pain to even fast forward the parts of a soap you aren't interested in like flashbacks or scenes with characters you don't care for. You basically are stuck watching the entire show, plus advertising, so it takes as long or longer to watch than your DVR or live.

 

I say longer because of a recent fight I had with watching a legal streaming show on the AMC family of networks. I tried to watch an episode, and well at the 20 minute mark it would start over at the beginning again - even if I didn't try to fast forward the beginning and sat through this portion I saw more than once - this was over a 48 hour period. If something like that happens to you enough times, you're going to probably get annoyed and stop watching.

Edited by ~bl~
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Also in the case of actors of color. Most aren't treated well at their soaps so I have no problem if they want to barely acknowledge it or even be vocal about their time their not being great.

3 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

I tend to be more forgiving when it comes to whether a former soap actor wants to talk about their soap careers.  Keep in mind that not every performer had a positive experience on a show and soaps are no exception.

Recently, I read one interview when an actor described in detail what a bad experience he had on one particular soap and he was on there for about two years. 

I wonder if that show and its fans would rather he'd said nothing at all?  I didn't mind that either because although I enjoyed the show for many years, I know there were good years and there bad years onscreen and I figured it was probably even more intense BTS.

Perhaps its not such a bad thing if a former soap actor stays mum--although personally I enjoy the honesty, even if it makes some squirm, LOL.

 

This! Someone who was only on a soap for a year and it wasn't a role their most known for isn't required to have some loyalty. Someone who had a less than positive experience is free to mention it.

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50 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

I just think it would have taken some very passionate cheerleaders or a Steve Jobs-level visionary who would have bled to death to present a compelling business case for the viability of bringing soaps online. Too many headwinds otherwise.

I agree with this mostly.  I do think that within the daytime drama industry, they saw each other as competitors rather than allies.  If there were a unified front advocating for technological advances to be implemented, there may have been a chance of getting there.  

As much of a passionate cheerleader as Jobs was, the years after his death have been some of the most powerful for the tech industry.  There are no longer charismatic front-men like Jobs or recognized leaders like Gates speaking for the industry but the tech industry seems to wield more power than they ever did now that Google and Amazon can decide the fate of entire cities and towns vying for their headquarters or begging for them to lay fiberoptics and other services.

 

35 minutes ago, ~bl~ said:

I think one of the reasons streaming is awful when it comes to soaps is this: fast-forwarding. If you have a DVR, you can record your show, and easily only watch the parts you want to see, and skip the advertising. The online platforms at least in my experience can be glitchy and it is a pain to even fast forward the parts of a soap you aren't interested in like flashbacks or scenes with characters you don't care for. You basically are stuck watching the entire show, plus advertising, so it takes as long or longer to watch than your DVR or live. (I say longer because of a recent fight I had with watching a legal streaming show on the AMC family of networks. I tried to watch an episode, and well at the 20 minute mark it would start over at the beginning again.) If something like that happens to you enough times, you're going to probably get annoyed and stop watching.

 

Ironically, in the earliest years of Hulu, it was impossible to Fast-Forward ads, something I would think soaps would welcome since you can skip ads on VCRs and DV-Rs and even walk out on a commercial break and return.  In the early years of Hulu, you literally had to click on options to show you'd seen the ads before you could return to the actual program.  CBS.com (you wanna talk about glitchy? Whew!) adopted this model on their online platform.

 

Netflix remains glitchy at times but that doesn't stop people from subscribing to their service, simply because the content makes it worth their while.  This brings me back to the notion of whether perhaps better quality content would've had a stronger case for online viability.

 

Some fans were really vocal only about their opposition to the notion of any of these shows reverting back down to 30 minutes or 15 minutes.  It sounded insulting until you remember that the soap opera format began as a 15 minute radio serial before going to live television as 30 minute serials before some went to the 60 minute format.  30 minutes of good drama surpasses 60 minutes of poorly produced content.  JMO and maybe in the end, there were too many headwinds as people have said.

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I can't speak for all soap fans, of course, but I think I'm averse to online streaming -- not just w/ soaps, but really all programming in general -- just because I think that the internet is great for a lot of things (such as message boards and social media) but not great for everything.  Call me old-fashioned, but I think part of the joy in watching any TV series is knowing when it will be on the TV schedule, and on which network, and then planning my weeks accordingly.  (Oh, the memories I have from my childhood, reading the "Fall Preview" issue of TV Guide, and then drawing up little grids that would be, for me, a makeshift day-at-a-glance.)

 

Best example: knowing that no matter HOW crappy my week had been at school, I had KNOTS LANDING every Thursday night at 9pm (CST) to look forward to.  From Monday through Thursday afternoon, it gave me drive; and it was also, for me, a signal that Friday night (and the TGIF sitcoms on ABC) and the weekend were literally around the corner.

Edited by Khan

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I also felt there was some comfort in being part of some imagined community all watching a program at the same time. Aside from something like Game of Thrones, which has a mass audience who feels compelled to watch live to avoid spoilers about who slaughtered whom last night, there isn’t much reason to rush home or allow a TV network to dictate when and where you watch something. If you missed something like Killing Eve or The Americans or Barry, you can always view it on your cable’s VOD, app, or website or buy it on iTunes or wait until it becomes available on a streaming service. Previously, you had to tape on a VCR, wait until summer reruns, or, later on, buy the season DVD if you missed something.

 

But it’s so freeing. It gives me the freedom to watch things when I want them when and how I want them. If a show is preempted for whatever reason (rare in primetime but all too frequent in network daytime TV), I know I have other means to watch.

 

But I still feel like something is lost when people aren’t all watching at the same time. You can still have fruitful discussions about a particular episode you just saw, but much more often than not you’re doing a dance in which your friend is farther along and trying to not to spoil something that happens down the line. I also prefer sometimes to give an episode time to breathe and sink in before immediately moving on to the next one, although bingeing does often allow you to see the overarching structure, with all the tiny callbacks and Easter eggs, more clearly, as you’re less likely to forget what you just watched.

 

There’s also almost too much choice now, and we know from human psychology that having too many options can be paralyzing. Just like with music and Spotify, tons of good stuff falls through the cracks simply because there’s so much churn. And what rises to the top has a certain sameyness, just as Spotify has created a genre called “Spotifycore.” There’s beginning to be a “Netflixcore,” and as these streaming services become more  like networks and more risk-averse, streaming programming only going to become more beige.

 

But a whole audience coming up right now will know nothing else but content on demand and on streaming services. As we know, YouTube celebrities are way more popular than film/TV celebs for people under 30. But having been born seven years too early, I couldn’t pick 80 percent of these people out in a lineup. Yet they are huge stars who command seven and eight-figure salaries.

Edited by Faulkner

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TV Cord-Cutting Accelerating at Much Faster Pace Than Predicted

 

In 2015, there were 205.4 million traditional pay television subscribers in the U.S., but by 2022, the number will have fallen to just 169.7 million, according to a new study.

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tv-cord-cutting-accelerating-at-faster-pace-predicted-1129371

 

 

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Here's a great question: How many on this board watch the online only soaps that presently available?

 

The Bay? Any of them? That's an important part of this discussion.

Edited by SteelCity

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The problem with soaps always seems to be timing. NBC tried a website before it’s time and so did CBS with the ATWT/Y&R spin off. Then you had Proctor and Gamble streaming their shows, the great Prospect Park reboots and you could even include Passions on DirecTV. All of those were done before streaming was popular and more people had accept to internet speeds to make it viable. 

 

Just look at Prospect Park, those soaps always ranked among the top rated shows in Hulu and the show also did well on OWN. Had they had the funding to continue I think they’d be big hits in the streaming age today. Also I do think fans would watch classic soaps streaming if they had accept to them. It amazes me Proctor and Gamble won’t just take what they put on AOL and release it to Amazon. Throw in ATWT and GL and you can’t convince me people wouldn’t watch it. SOAPnet as a network was very successful and found great success with Ryan’s Hope and Another World. There’s no reason to believe the same can’t happen for other soaps in the streaming age. 

Edited by Chris B

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19 hours ago, SteelCity said:

Here's a great question: How many on this board watch the online only soaps that presently available?

 

The Bay? Any of them? That's an important part of this discussion.

True. I admit I’ve never watched because the word of mouth on those shows was so dismal.

 

@Chris B, the timing point is a good one. I almost feel like if soaps could have held on for 10 more years or if we had our current streaming moment 10 years earlier, things could have been different. Alas, that’s a lot of what ifs. 

 

I wish there were more classic TV and classic film options on streaming. Filmstruck’s partnership with TCM has been a godsend, but it’s not enough. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have pretty paltry classic (pre-1980) film offerings. M*A*S*H just got put on Hulu. These streaming services pull tons of data on what people are watching, so if these ventures are successful, we’d see more of them. I always wondered why the BBC hasn’t put EastEnders on streaming in full: they own it, it’s been a huge brand for over 30 years, they often post classic Christmas eps on iPlayer, and it’s still popular. But they might just have good reasons for not doing it. 

 

It wouldn’t surprise if there was some discussion around soap reboots/revivals now. After all, anything that is a recognized brand name from the “monoculture” era is going to cut through the glut of new content out there. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if those reboots weren’t five-days-a-week frequency. They could just turn them into 13 episode a year seasons like any other scripted drama on streaming. And would that be ok for fans? 

Edited by Faulkner

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I could see daytime soaps revived on a streaming platform 

 

If not as is now, then maybe as 13 week 65 episode seasons or even 26 week 130 episode seasons

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