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titan1978

When was your favorite soap broken?

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AMC: The rape of Bianca Montgomery. That was when I turned off All My Children for good. It was ugly, vile, and unnecessary. 

 

OLTL: Jill Farren Phelps lands at One Life to Live. The show never recovered.

 

Y&R: Y&R was broken for me when Lynn Marie Latham came in and threw out the lighting grids, the music, the costumes, and flavor of the show. Coupled that with CBS' unending interference, it was a quick decline to the bottom on every front. 

 

All Soaps: Endless doppelgängers, baby switches, back from the dead stories, raping heroines for shock value, recycling awful writers and producers, hiring actors who can't act, and on and on and on... 

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Days of our Lives post Salem Stalker. From the denouement on it's seemed like the show is in a constant rebuild mode and nothing really works. I would also venture to say that the death of Days came from giving James Reilly carte blanche to tear the show apart.

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16 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

And Capitol was so distinctly different from other soaps on the air, even back then. I was young when it got canceled and I was just getting into it when it got yanked.  At the time that it got canceled, the other soaps on the network seemed like a cut above Capitol but all it truly needed were some tweaks and a steady hand in the writer's room. Today's remaining soaps are in far worse condition creatively than what Capitol was when it got taken off-air.

In today's climate, if written well, it'd be the most topical daytime drama on air!

It's crazy how times have changed.  I think well - that was 1986/87...but that's now 33 years ago.  But Capitol was cancelled with a rating between 5.1 and 5.8 and CBS was disappointed.  Imagine what they'd give for those ratings now.  And Capitol I don't think ever went above the middle of the pack.  And B&B started out getting similar ratings and I don't know that it's ever gotten better ratings than Capitol.  Everyone else's ratings went down and that's how they moved up in rankings.  

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3 hours ago, Fevuh said:

It's crazy how times have changed.  I think well - that was 1986/87...but that's now 33 years ago.  But Capitol was cancelled with a rating between 5.1 and 5.8 and CBS was disappointed.  Imagine what they'd give for those ratings now.  And Capitol I don't think ever went above the middle of the pack.  And B&B started out getting similar ratings and I don't know that it's ever gotten better ratings than Capitol.  Everyone else's ratings went down and that's how they moved up in rankings.  

All of them would be salivating for those kind of ratings.  But we can’t compare them because those people are not watching today.  A middle of the pack soap with today’s audience is what, between B&B and GH? So 1.8 to 2.5? I wonder if the show Conboy was producing was just too expensive.  He was from the lavish school of production.  Not that Bell was cheap.  But a network suit knows what they are getting with Bill Bell.

 

Didn’t B&B get into the 6’s though?  I seem to recall them being higher than 5’s when Y&R was in their 90’s glory and Reilly had driven the DAYS numbers up to second place.

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GH -- When TPTB thought it would be a meaty story having Emily raped by her husband's doppelganger. It was vile. I forget if it was Pratt or Guza claiming that they would tell the story with "respect" and "dignity" to honour sexual assault survivors only to have it brushed under a rug for whatever reason. Nikolas being Emily's rock lasted only a second, and he was quick to have an affair because Emily wasn't ready for intimacy. Whether it was because Tyler Christopher needed the time off for other projects or wanted more of a challenge by playing both characters, nothing really recovered after that point for me. It probably didn't help that the actors broke up in real life, but the 180 was jarring with Emily moving on with Sonny of all people, and her being wowed by his magic penis all of a sudden. Emily and Nikolas' eventual reunion was a disappointment, leading to her murder, ghost/brain tumor whatever it was, and Emily's twin coming out of the woodwork. 

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1 hour ago, titan1978 said:

 

Didn’t B&B get into the 6’s though?  I seem to recall them being higher than 5’s when Y&R was in their 90’s glory and Reilly had driven the DAYS numbers up to second place.

 

Oh yes, definitely. In fact, a lot of soaps were hitting 6's as late as 1993. Looking at the numbers, a lot of shows (save for the P&G ones) were on an upswing around '93 and the first half of '94 until OJ..... 

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5 hours ago, mango said:

GH -- When TPTB thought it would be a meaty story having Emily raped by her husband's doppelganger. It was vile. I forget if it was Pratt or Guza claiming that they would tell the story with "respect" and "dignity" to honour sexual assault survivors only to have it brushed under a rug for whatever reason. Nikolas being Emily's rock lasted only a second, and he was quick to have an affair because Emily wasn't ready for intimacy. Whether it was because Tyler Christopher needed the time off for other projects or wanted more of a challenge by playing both characters, nothing really recovered after that point for me. It probably didn't help that the actors broke up in real life, but the 180 was jarring with Emily moving on with Sonny of all people, and her being wowed by his magic penis all of a sudden. Emily and Nikolas' eventual reunion was a disappointment, leading to her murder, ghost/brain tumor whatever it was, and Emily's twin coming out of the woodwork. 

Everything in this post is a horrible reminder of why Guza and JFP drove me away for months at a time and eventually for years back then.

 

Emily and Sonny (puke) was just about the worst thing they tried to make happen on this show.  And Jason and Carly being horrified by it was maybe the last time there was really drama between them that seemed like it would keep them on opposite sides forever.  

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ATWT: There could be a ton of moments in ATWT’s last 14 years I could pinpoint, but one of last sticking points for me was Jennifer Munson’s death just for an Emmy grab in 2006. The show lost all momentum after that, ranging from fun loving Maddie becoming depressing in a serial killer story to stupid Jade and her rivalry with Gwen & Cleo to Danni sleeping with “daddy” Craig to the Z Twins to Damian drugging Meg to Blackie. Ughhh!  
 

B&B: Stephanie lets a drunk Brooke get raped by some perp. Or better yet, anything Thudley Bell has done since killing off Macy. 

Days: I could stretch back to the Tom

Langan era or even Mike&Carrie’s flying bed but I won’t. That much hyped reboot in 2011 when a bunch of unnecessary characters came back for horrendous stories. TBH I may have been in the minority but I was fine with what Days had and actually enjoyed Rafe & Sami becoming the new Roman & Marlena even through it seemed off; Chad 1.0 and Will SHOULD still be together! I hope those fickle shitty Days fans got everything they asked for, even going back to the Days fans that complained about the change in Marlena’s bed sheets back in ‘05.
 

GL: @Khan mentioned only love can save the world, but I’d argue that the hairy hands opening was the WORST, even worse than the 2003-05 opening and made worse after how nice the 2005 opening was! Anyways I think the Conboy & Westin era did this show in but it was compounded even worse by the WEDNESDAY episodes. 
 

Y&R: The moment Cassie died in May 2005 just because it was sweeps month. Thanks a [!@#$%^&*] lot John Smith!!!’

 

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AMC was my first soap. Even when I gravitate to CBS & NBC over the years, I always would check in. But I honestly refused to watch it again after the Bianca rape. I happened to watch part of that episode, not knowing what was planned. I did watch a few revival episodes, but I refused to ever watch it on ABC again. 
 

AW & GL seemed to hit a flashpoint with the pointless killings of Frankie & Maureen, respectively. For some reason, those really seemed like ‘no turning’ back moments. 
 

Y&R was never the same to me after the Lauren doppelgänger. It was the first time I intentionally avoided the show for a long time. Marco sent me away for a year.
 

For some reason I never quit ATWT. Unlike some of the other soaps, the bad eras didn’t sink the core for me. Yes, some bad/annoying characters or weak s/l but the show still stayed fairly grounded. 
 

 

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On 2/19/2020 at 1:36 PM, DRW50 said:

OLTL- While I give most of the "credit" to JFP, I think that the revelation of Victor sexually abusing Viki and Tori murdering Victor, along with the "Fall of the House of Lord" story in general was, in the long-term, a horrible, horrible mistake.

 

- Todd never should have been tied to the show's core family, especially since even by this point, there were no other members of the family to act as a balance to him. As the years passed, viewers not only saw Viki, their moral beacon, forced to support a gang rapist and sociopath, but also saw the male side of the family in particular decimated for his benefit. 

 

- Tina entering into a consensual affair with a man she thought was her brother. I don't believe Malone "got" Tina - I think he just saw her as a somewhat endearing but mostly vapid woman who would always "follow her heart." There are limits to that approach, and Tina committing sibling incest surely should have been among them. While I understand why this particular story was never brought up, it galls even more when you remember that Tina was lured into bed by a man pretending to be Bo, someone she trusted, only to learn that he was a psychopath posing as Bo, and ending in a pregnancy she did not want followed by a gruesome miscarriage. Yet there was little sense of betrayal on her part - instead, she was almost immediately fine with the whole thing, and with conning Viki. Malone treated Tina as a plot device, and along with the miscasting of Krista Tesreau, the character faded into irrelevance. Her relationship with Viki, which brought out the best in both characters, was long forgotten.

 

- The idea of Dorian protecting Viki from the truth. I could possibly believe this for most of their relationship, but not when Viki was trying to have Dorian executed. And this was a story Malone himself wrote! Dorian would have said or done anything to free herself and to make Viki pay for, in Dorian's mind, persecuting her, destroying her relationship with Cassie, and killing Cassie's baby along with Cassie's sanity. 

 

- Too much angst. The backstory for the Lords, and Viki in particular, was already incredibly heavy, with her parents in a miserable marriage, a mother who died young, a father who repeatedly had children with other women, including with Viki's college roommate. Adding a third secret child, along with sexual abuse and murder all helped to break Viki's back as a character. She would rarely again have  the drive or agency she had before the abuse story. Part of that was down to age - a good chunk of it was probably down to age - but this story also served to remove most of Viki's core personality and left little behind to rebuild. 

 

- Misery catnip. The success of this story empowered Malone to try again with resurrecting Victor and having him try to cut out his granddaughter's heart, one of the most disgusting stories the show ever told. The story also made it possible for Dena Higley to tell the Tess story, one of the other most disgusting stories the show ever told. When an entire family backstory is filth and sickness, the door is open to just keep kicking that dead horse time after time after time. 

 

- Ruining Niki. I'm not going to act like the uses of Niki in the early '90s were golden - she was already too OTT (particularly in performance) - but the essence of the character was still there as a destructive, impulsive, but ultimately good-hearted side of Viki. In order to split Viki into various alters, Malone retconned Niki into being a deplorable figure who sexually propositioned Viki's son and was more than fine with her father's sexual abuse. This opened the door to later portrayals of Niki as going around pulling Looney Tunes murder plots, and as taking Viki's daughter to bars where she was sexually abused. A crucial part of Viki was tainted, ruined forever. And while I would have been fine with this if other alters had been further explored, like the fascinating Tori, that didn't happen. Instead we just got a vile mutation of stories that were goosed with an extra layer of rape. 

 

- Dorian and Viki relationship. To Malone's credit, he did try, in both his headwriting stints, to write a more mature bond between Dorian and Viki. The problem is he was not headwriter for most of OLTL's last 15 years. He set up something much too difficult for most writers to follow through with. Their feud, which was so rich and incredibly compelling in 1993 and 1994, such an obvious story gold to mine, could never be the same after viewers learned Dorian shielded Viki from memories of sexual abuse and Viki had unknowingly been responsible for the murder that had haunted Dorian's life for 20 years. Any attempt to go back to fighting and rivalry, even if they had been better written than anything on display in the '90s and '00s, would have looked incredibly pathetic and juvenile, because after that, how could they not? 

 

I think much of the '90s DID story is a masterpiece and an inevitable conclusion, and I don't agree Viki's character never recovered. But I also can't necessarily wholly argue with a lot of these very valid points.

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22 minutes ago, Vee said:

 

I think much of the '90s DID story is a masterpiece and an inevitable conclusion, and I don't agree Viki's character never recovered. But I also can't necessarily wholly argue with a lot of these very valid points.

 

You've made a lot of good points about the story and its strengths over the years, and how many elements were already there long before Malone addressed them. I don't want to put too much blame on Malone, because better writers and producers could have made better product with what he set up. I mostly just chose this as one jumping off point, but I can see where many would rather just focus on JFP, who gutted so much of the canvas. 

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On 2/19/2020 at 8:03 PM, MichaelGL said:

Guiding Light, I wouldn't even say the Clone or San Cristobal broke it. It showed some sign of hope under Taggart/Cullton and it brought me back as a viewer, but somewhere between Ben being a serial killer because he was molested and Jonathan & Tammy against the world/the Coopers taking over the show, the show I once loved was dead and gone. 

Totally agree, even with Mo dead, Alex a shrew, Buzz chewing the scenery, Clones, etc. GL was still GL.  I think that Conwest just totally f*cked it up and Wheeler had no clue or the capacity to change course. Alex as a drug dealer? Ben the serial killer berated by Whomever Brad Cole was playing that week,  Antimonious, Rick and Phillip having a hand in Ross' death and yes, Jammy, Gush and the Coopers suddenly becoming the ultra clean core family (remember the few months they took over the Bauer house) killed it

 

However, I do have to say that San Cristobel really opened the crypt door for the show. Its like a bad early 90s show like Sunset Beach was grafted on to GL and we had two locations, with two sets of characters and the only link being Reva. 

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40 minutes ago, Mitch said:

 

 

However, I do have to say that San Cristobel really opened the crypt door for the show. Its like a bad early 90s show like Sunset Beach was grafted on to GL and we had two locations, with two sets of characters and the only link being Reva. 

I didn’t watch GL back then.  But I had been through the late 1980’s and early 90’s on OLTL with Rauch.  And just seeing this story in soap mags, etc, it really screamed Rauch.  Take Reva out and put Tina or Viki in her place and the entire thing could have been on OLTL in 1990.

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