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Casey008

Greatest Soap of All Time?

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If you used a scientific point system to rank the soaps, which would come out on top?

Something like Emmy wins/nominations, historical ratings, number of years on the air, etc..

Edited by Casey008

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Can anyone quantify something so subjective as taste?  If we look at something like Oscar wins and box office, it's still open for debate what would rate as the greatest film. 

Star Wars most certainly did higher numbers than Citizen Kane at the box office, yet Star Wars'  awards are likely limited to the technical categories. 

 

Some of the best heralded pieces of art are not always rated as the best.  For this reason, I'd have a difficult time answering this question in any serious way.  So much goes into the calculus of how a TV show or a film (including timing) performs.  

Also, when it all comes down to it, isn't taste a highly individual metric anyway?

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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Yeah, you could use any set of data you want, no one's going to agree. Debate over numbers is what sports talk is all about, and if you think soap fans get out of line.....

 

But, hey...ATWT. 

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It’s a very broad topic with tons of variables, but I’ll play:

 

Greatest Soap (US)

As the World Turns: It was the first half hour soap and really set the tone for a modern TV soap opera. The cultural impact goes beyond JFK’s assassination. At one point, people discussed Bob, Lisa, Nancy, Penny, et al as if they were real, breathing people. Moreover, its twenty-ish year run as TV’s number one soap was something that had never been done before. The show was co-created by Irna Phillips, Ted Corday, and Agnes Nixon. Their impact on the industry alone came to a head on TV after years spent working together on radio soaps. Bill Bell also served as a writer on the show, and, with Irna, co-created TV’s first super bitch, Lisa (who, I’ll always hold was the real springboard for Rachel, Erica, Jill, etc.). It was also the first soap (in my eyes) which finally cast off the traditions to radio and fully embraced TV. Yes, ATWT lost its way (which soap hasn’t), but it truly set the bar by which all other soaps were measured. If you watch an episode of ATWT from its first 20 years, they always grab you and remain relatively fresh today. 

 

Greatest Soap (UK)

Coronation Street. I really don’t like it, but I will fully admit that it is the greatest soap to come out of the UK and it remains a ratings & awards champ to this day. 

4 minutes ago, P.J. said:

Yeah, you could use any set of data you want, no one's going to agree. Debate over numbers is what sports talk is all about, and if you think soap fans get out of line.....

 

But, hey...ATWT. 

Ha! I was writing my answer when you posted yours.

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8 minutes ago, P.J. said:

Yeah, you could use any set of data you want, no one's going to agree. Debate over numbers is what sports talk is all about, and if you think soap fans get out of line.....

 

But, hey...ATWT. 

Haha, that is very true! There would be no way to get anyone to agree.

 

I'm biased for AMC, but I think if you used a strictly numbers approach  - Y&R or GH would rank highest

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3 minutes ago, Casey008 said:

Haha, that is very true! There would be no way to get anyone to agree.

 

I'm biased for AMC, but I think if you used a strictly numbers approach  - Y&R or GH would rank highest

 

I think ATWT would be right up there, strictly by numbers. Years, years on top, emmy wins...it wasn't a slouch. 

 

See...we're getting into it already.😄

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5 minutes ago, P.J. said:

 

I think ATWT would be right up there, strictly by numbers. Years, years on top, emmy wins...it wasn't a slouch. 

 

See...we're getting into it already.😄

Indeed! 

Without ATWT setting the bar and the template with the help of Agnes and Bill, we don’t get the soaps’ greatest period: The 70s. OLTLAMC, and Y&R really shook new ground and played up what ATWT had created. 

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ATWT would be pretty high on the list. It was #1 from 1958-1978 (when AMC took over :P). They had a lot of Emmy nominations and wins over the years too.

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Just now, Gray Bunny said:

I'd say in terms of popularity, viewership, and cultural relevance, it's a tie between Y&R and AMC

Agreed. 

Even though AMC has been off the air for a long time, people still know Erica Kane and the title All My Children still means something. 

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If we just look at cultural impact and ratings it is hard to not get down to GH, ATWT, and Y&R, the three that lead the ratings books longest.

 

AW should belong there, but it had so many more years where it was not at a creative high than the years where it was.

 

The problem is that this is very hard to quantify, and it’s hard not to be swayed by “your” show.  Which is why I would pick GH every time over Y&R, even though I think Bell’s writing is more nuanced and singular, and GH is more an EP’s show than a HW driven show.

 

If we were talking about the people that made these shows though, I have no issue picking Bill Bell as head and shoulders above folks like Monty, Nixon, the Dobson’s, Marland, Falken-Smith, Labine, Curlee, Reilly, etc.  I’ve loved so many of the work by those creating the shows, but I can’t deny the work of Bill Bell, even if his show wasn’t always a favorite of mine.

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To me As the World Turns has always been tops. Even when it was bad, it was still better than all other soaps on the air at that time. The acting could be stellar, very great cast(for the most part)

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3 hours ago, ChitHappens said:

Another World!  Victoria Windham and Linda Dano alone seals it!

 

My mum would agree with this. She watched AW from its very first episode to its very last. 

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