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Soaps try to be socially conscious unless it is about....


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I think with both mental illness / addiction plots they tend to forget that most of the time it's not actually something you can be cured of, but something that can be handled and you'll need to keep up with regularly.

 

Plastic surgery in general, especially when it's used as a plot device - like someone getting their face horrifically burnt won't make you get a perfect new, albeit different, face - you'll still have scarring even with good/decent results. Of course they'll sometimes have scarring put on, but usually the make up department will get bored of putting it on every day in make up and it's too time consuming so they'll just quietly dump it once the storyline is over.

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Paralysis is an interesting case on the soaps because 80% of cases due to spinal cord trauma do resolve within 12 months.  However, soaps are responsible for some misinformation on the subject:

   - most spinal cord injury patients, and their families, face catastrophic economic losses

   - for visual purposes most soap patients only suffer paralysis below the waist, which is not the most common result of the injury

       - even if the paralysis is below the waist, patients still need support around their torso, so they don't traipse around in wheelchairs like on soaps without upper body restraints

   - @I Am A Swede @Paul Raven Chris Tate lived in a remote farmhouse where all of the bedrooms were upstairs (even though most of his scenes were shot in his living room), so it is unlikely that his primary care would have supported his desire to recover at home.  Most spinal cord patients need to be placed in facilities that are built for people with mobility issues because (for obvious reasons) most soaps don't discuss the digestive/elimination issues involved in paralysis.

 

The other one that came to mind after my original post was abortion.  GH, Y&R, and AMC all featured women who somehow had difficulties conceiving after they had an abortion.  As if a D&C affects the ability to get pregnant?  It often seems as if soap writers are using this as a moral cudgel to punish female characters who have chosen to have dominion over their reproductive rights.

 

Edited by j swift
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Not a story about paralysis but Christopher Templeton, a polio survivor (Y&R) actually used a wheelchair and then a cane.  Sharon's mother was also wheelchair bound, although I don't believe that the actress is actually disabled IRL.

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It seems that older beloved characters were written to be wheelchair-bound once their performers became such in real life. Ruth Warrick referred to Phoebe as "the bitch on wheels" when she started using a chair.
 

Wasn't Anna Lee's accident that paralyzed her relatively early on in her run on GH?

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14 hours ago, All My Shadows said:


 

Wasn't Anna Lee's accident that paralyzed her relatively early on in her run on GH?

I remember her using a cane when I was a kid, during the period of time Monica and Sean Donnelly took all their money and kicked them out of the house.  She was still in scenes standing up when Tracy returned in 1989, although she did appear frail, held on to the set when hugging her.  So not too early in her run.

 

PC had Dr Matt Harmon who used a wheelchair, as did the actor.  I had stopped watching the show before he left, I have no idea how his character was treated.

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Anti-depressants get the worst reputation on soaps. They turn people into zombies, irrational, completely manic and moody (which is the exact OPPOSITE of their effects). I can't stand when they do this. I think the last time I saw this was Hope on B&B, but I know I've seen this happen with multiple characters on soaps throughout the years. It's a terrible misrepresentation and gives those who need it a false impression of their benefits and side effects.  And with older, home-bound, impressionable soap fans who probably need them, it'll deter them from seeking help. 

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On 6/14/2020 at 8:11 PM, All My Shadows said:

Wasn't Anna Lee's accident that paralyzed her relatively early on in her run on GH?

Not sure about Anna, but Lila used a wheelchair beginning in February 1990. The storyline was that she fell at the mansion and had to decide between surgery or permanently using a chair.

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5 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

And with older, home-bound, impressionable soap fans who probably need them, it'll deter them from seeking help. 

excellent point and well stated

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