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TV LINE ranks 10 greatest soaps of all time

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Basically wiping and/or not being alive yet (as having a TARDIS, a Delorean or other time travel device is unlikely) makes creating such a list nearly impossible for most of us. While I know "The Edge of Night" is extremely important, I've only heard about the show, and less than 10 years of its run are available, and that was in its waning days. So how can I judge the quality of something that I wasn't able to see. If one would make it by network, I think it would be easier to come up with a "better"/more accurate list, but you still may be missing something and upset people reading.

 

Bold and the Beautiful being omitted wasn't a surprise, as I think it is more influential in regions outside of North America. As the World Turns and One Life to Live being omitted was more surprising, as they would both be on my personal lists even though I don't have 50+ years as a viewer. While I think Ryan's Hope was important, the big three of ABC are All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital (that order based on time of day they were aired), and I feel like As the World Turns is part of the big three of CBS - whether you put in Young and the Restless as one of the three or not depends on the era of when the list was made/written.

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On 6/16/2019 at 8:25 PM, All My Shadows said:

I really don't hate this list. It seems to value soaps' more grounded history in such a way that they're saying when these shows were good, they were so good that it's enough to dismiss the more outlandish plots they've all had. I actually find their write-up on AMC to be quite lovely.

And jesus, I am absolutely living for the blatant bashing of the Tim Burton DS movie.

My only complaint, really, is that ATWT should obviously have been on this list, and because I kept my screen at a way so that I couldn't see the thumbnails at the bottom as I clicked through the gallery, I honestly thought it was going to be #1. But then came Santa Barbara, and I felt like ATWT fans watching the Daytime Emmys in the late 80s.

 

This is what I thought as well.  I've never watched ATWT a day in my life and I thought they would be #1.  Santa Barbara?!?  Yes, maybe in the top 10 but no way #1.  ATWT should have been on there.

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It would be easy to just do a list of soaps from shortest- to longest-running and call it a top 10. Might be somewhat truthful actually, but predictable and kinda boring. It’s at least interesting to see Santa Barbara rewarded for exploring and playing with soap conventions, and by most accounts, doing it quite well up until the dodgy last couple of years.

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This list lost me on OLTL not being on the list given it's groundbreaking material early on

 

IMHO, EON, even in its last decade was far superior than some soaps today!

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On 6/16/2019 at 6:15 PM, vetsoapfan said:

 

Or, "Ten Shows Our Camp-Loving Editors Are Old Enough to Have Watched & Enjoyed." 😒

I have a list here, source unknown, so bias also unknown, of 12 most popular soaps, ranked from worst to best.

  • Passions (12) All its text does is list the family names in the town & its history first on NBC & then on DirecTV, then cancellation.
  • Ryan's Hope (11) The text gives the family background, overdoing of recasting, its locale, gives a quick lick & a prayer to the gorilla kidnapping & on to cancellation after 13 years.
  • The Doctors (10) Told us that all good soaps have 3 pivotal locations. Here was the cop shop, the coffee house & the hospital, Hope Memorial, in Madison. Cancelled in 1982 after two decades on the air & nearly constant shifting of time slots. 
  • The Bold & the Beautiful (9) Gives it credit for being on the air still & being popular but hands off a large part of that popularity to its sister show's influence! Genoa City lead-in, character crossovers, etc.
  • Another World (8) Uber-popular at one time & still missed by many fans. It spun off two shows - Somerset and Texas. Noted Crystal Gayle & Gary Morris doing its dedicated theme song. Sad cancellation in June 1999 & replaced by a soap that NBC could own on it own (if you follow) Passions.
  • One Life to Live (7) History of the successful show through 43 years on TV. Touched upon the Prospect Park debacle. Rumors of a reboot continue.
  • As the World Turns (6) This show is still mourned to this day.
  • All My Children (5) 40 year tenure, another Prospect Park debacle. Rumors of a reboot continue.
  • Days of our Lives (4) One of the final four, it hits as the third. As things progress, it just may be that this show is the next one on the chopping block.
  • Guiding Light (3) Here lies a soap that's been cancelled almost 10 years but is still popular.
  • The Young & the Restless (2) Popularity & success gives Y&R its #2 slot.
  • General Hospital (1) GH gets credit for all of its edgy storyline and Luke & Laura.

I don't think those rankings would stand up today.

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3 hours ago, Donna B said:

Guiding Light (3) Here lies a soap that's been cancelled almost 10 years but is still popular.

 

Guiding Light is one of those soaps that wasn't buzzed about as one of the "popular" shows, especially during the 90's and up, but in more recent years when I talk to people about my love of soaps of yesteryear, I'm pleasantly surprised how many I encounter who were GL fans. More than anything else, they remember Reva. 

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9 minutes ago, Gray Bunny said:

 

Guiding Light is one of those soaps that wasn't buzzed about as one of the "popular" shows, especially during the 90's and up, but in more recent years when I talk to people about my love of soaps of yesteryear, I'm pleasantly surprised how many I encounter who were GL fans. More than anything else, they remember Reva. 

@Gray Bunny I like what you are saying! But, personally, I thought Reva gobbled up more than her share of the show. I love Holly, Phillip, Beth, Mikey, Buzz, Harley, etc.

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In my own bias, GH should have been #1 and Y&R #2. GH quite possibly had the biggest impact on soaps in the 80s. Likewise the Monty & Riche era were gold. GH also had the best disaster storylines such as the Metro Court hostage crisis in 2007. Y&R had the best presentation. Serious, mysterious vibe, lavish production value (sets, clothes), dark mood lighting, ornate directing in the late 80s-early 00s, the best background music (back then), and the best consistent usage of veteran cast members such as Victor Nikki and Jack (despite how played out they might be at this point, lol)

IMO:

1 GH

2 Y&R

3 ATWT 

4 OLTL

5 AMC 

6 GUIDING LIGHT

7 DAYS (love days but too many over the top plots like devil possession and new Salem etc..)

8 B&B (enjoy b&b aswell but too many repetitive romance plots)

Edited by ironlion

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