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What is the appeal of daytime soap operas?

Serious question.

I assume it's tradition and/or force of habit, right?

When I was a kid in the 80s, my family watched AMC and, during the summers, I did too. I understand the appeal of episodic television (and tradition). But I gave it up by the time I was a teen. Even my mom - who is now elderly and mostly housebound - gave up on daytime soaps a decade ago.

Today, when you can spend your TV time watching pretty much anything, why do people still cling to these cheap, poorly written, terribly acted relics that take up five hours a week?

The thread below spurred my post. I nearly laughed out loud when, in one stirring screed, someone wrote this. About daytime soaps. "As far as so-called changing demographics, why must TV networks, and producers of movies, feel they must always appeal to the lowest common denominator?"

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by Anonymousreply 26002/22/2021

At their best, they were riveting.

70s Another World, 90s Guiding Light.

So... fuck you.

by Anonymousreply 111/30/2011

To keep the thick and/ or depressed occupied.

by Anonymousreply 211/30/2011

I used to like them because they were so over-the-top sometimes, especially "Days Of Our Lives". The various hot, shirtless guys on them also helped, too. But if it makes you feel any better, OP, there's only going to be 4 of them left soon.

by Anonymousreply 311/30/2011

It's escapism. Watching people who seemingly have it all (looks, riches), but are miserable. Infidelity, backstabbing, murder, lying, cheating, scheming...we love watching people more fucked up than we are.

by Anonymousreply 411/30/2011

Interesting, R4. But in this day and age, you can get much better escapism from a million other places.

by Anonymousreply 511/30/2011

Umm.. is THIS the new 'thread' now that Ford's Feet was deleted?

by Anonymousreply 611/30/2011

True, R5, but tell that to the millions of soap diehards.

by Anonymousreply 711/30/2011

I should watch The Kardashians instead?

At their best, soaps were outstanding entertainment. I watched AMC for years. It was compelling, timely, and entertaining, until about 1998. After that it went down the tubes.

I stopped watching over ten years ago, but I am still sorry to see it end.

by Anonymousreply 811/30/2011

What r1 said. When soaps were written, acted and directed/produced with an emphasis on character, they were some of the richest, most satisfying dramas on television. Tennessee Williams was a devotee of Another World in the 1970s; during this time, when it was being written by playwright Harding Lemay, Another World rivaled and often bettered prime-time TV in quality.

I'd give anything to relive the greatest moments of Guiding Light, As the World Turns, Ryan's Hope, etc. Powerful, gripping stuff.

by Anonymousreply 911/30/2011

i'm sure OP only watchs PBS and the Discovey Channel.

by Anonymousreply 1011/30/2011

They're obviously not very appealing anymore, OP, because ratings have plummeted and most of them are getting cancelled.

by Anonymousreply 1111/30/2011

There's amazing ATWT stuff up on youtube, r9. Oh, the late Eighties! So well written and an absolute dream cast. Bryggman... Hubbard... Bryce... Bailey-Smith... Zenk.

by Anonymousreply 1211/30/2011

I got addicted to Days of our Lives from 1994 through 1997. What initially hooked me was the character of Stefano DiMera. Stefano during the 90s was one of the most complex and fascinating villains on TV. He was a billionaire crime lord who was as classy as we he was ruthless. He also walked a fine line between insanity and genius.

What interested about his story arc from 1994 - 1997 was that his character's warped sense of love ruined and destroyed all. All his children at the time tried to fight against their upbringing and his dark influence, but all eventually succumbed to his "evil" becoming villains themselves. What made the transformation so enjoyable was how Stefano manipulated them and how gradual and believable their transformation from good to bad was.

Around that time, Stefano also became obsessed with his arch nemesis' love interest, Dr. Marlena Evans. Stefano was not unlike Michael Jackson in that he created a fantasy world where he himself was King and the rules of society did not apply to him. Having already done countless evil things to Marlena and her family, she of course despised him. But her hatred only fueled Stefano's obsession with her even more. Eventually he bought the apartment next to hers and built a secret passageway though her armoire so he could drug her, brainwash her, and take her out late at night to operas and masquerade balls, all while she was under the impression that she was dreaming. Eventually Stefano kidnapped her and held her captive in the catacombs of Paris where his freakish minions really did believe him to be King. It was fascinating, frightening, and highly entertaining to see how Stefano tried to force Marlena to love him by trying to induce Stockholm Syndrome.

That period of the show was like nothing I had ever seen on TV and still haven't to this day. The storylines involving Stefano, Marlena, and John were all very Shakespearean and if you could look past the sometimes hammy acting (though frequently it was quite good) and limited production budget, you would find storylines that were much deeper than you would guess at first glance. Not many soaps have tried to write symbolism and mythology into their shows, but Days did during this time.

Eventually Days became like any other soap opera, but that period from 1994 - 1997 was a heck of a lot of fun to watch and I have no regrets.

by Anonymousreply 1311/30/2011

The scene beginning at 5:47 in the following video is one of the most powerful soap scenes in history. Martha Burne is one hell of an actress, as is Lisa Brown.

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by Anonymousreply 1411/30/2011

I never watched US soaps either, OP. They all look the same - like they take place in an alternate badly lighted, phony and strangely lifeless universe. At least the UK and OZ soaps have a little spark of reality and humor in them somewhere. Hell, even the telenovelas of Mexico are more fun.

by Anonymousreply 1511/30/2011

Human life under a dead elecric light. Disturbing.

by Anonymousreply 1611/30/2011

Oh, r14, Casey was so gorgeous....

by Anonymousreply 1711/30/2011

They seem to appeal variously to the mentally ill, tweens, fat people and shut ins.

by Anonymousreply 1811/30/2011

I think this is one of my all-time favorite moments in TV history.

"I mean, she came back from the dead! How am I supposed to fight that? How am I supposed to compete with that? Okay, so I pretended to be her sister, big deal! I didn't hurt anybody!"

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by Anonymousreply 1911/30/2011

Another iconic, award-winning scene from soap history. Judith Light is peerless.

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by Anonymousreply 2011/30/2011

OP, what's the appeal of reality shows? That genre includes The Amazing Race and Wipeout.

Some soaps are quality like TAR or Idol or DWTS and some are inferior a la Wipeout or some other bad reality/competition series.

by Anonymousreply 2111/30/2011

Entertainment geared towards women. Now what do they have?

by Anonymousreply 2211/30/2011

Erica! Nikki! Viki! Marlena! Reva! Brooke!

by Anonymousreply 2311/30/2011

Why does it concern you so much, OP? You may not like them but millions do for whatever reason. You would, perhaps, prefer shit like The Talk, The View, The Chew, Maury, Springer, and the other crap talk shows on these days?

by Anonymousreply 2411/30/2011

OP here.

Please don't turn this into one of your secret soap threads. That's not the point.

I'm trying to understand why people take soaps so seriously, like R24, who was practically foaming at the mouth.

Yes, soaps might have been fun in the past. They're not anymore. The only time daytime soaps even enter the broader conversation these days is when another one gets canned. The storylines and "stars" no longer breakthrough to the masses, and haven't for more than a decade now.

And yet, some people are so insanely devoted to them.

Hey, I watch crap TV sometimes, too. But I don't devote five-plus hours a week, 52 weeks a year to it. That's what I don't get.

by Anonymousreply 2511/30/2011

Do you honestly think r24 is "practically foaming at the mouth" PO/r25? I can't imagine what a cloistered life you must lead.

by Anonymousreply 2611/30/2011

Also, in response to R24, I have a job and work during the day, so it really doesn't matter to me what the networks air.

It doesn't matter what the networks air to me at all. I watch 100 percent of my TV via DVR, DVD or streaming. Which goes back to my original point, that with all these options today, why do people still cling to cheap, ugly, time-eating daytime soaps?

by Anonymousreply 2711/30/2011

Soaps in the past were so well written that they beat character development of nighttime shows. Every soap had a brand. You had more traditionally shows like Days that then went Gothic and later camp. You had more realistic shows like Ryan's Hope and OLTL. For those of us who liked action or mystery you had Dark Shadows or Edge of Night. For those who liked sharp, fun writing you had Santa Barbara. You had fantasy on GH in the 80's and amazing family drama on ATWT during the same period. As a viewer you choose your poison. Basically, whatever your kick or interest there was a soap that provided you a few hours of entertainment.

I think most soap viewers were like me. We were introduced to soaps by our babysitters or caregivers (my mother worked but my whole family watched nighttime Spanish soaps). Many viewers would pick up the habit and when they couldn't watch or lost interest they'd let go but usually check in periodically to see how their favorites were doing.

The great part for many was that actors/characters were still the same and b/c soap writers kept characters consistent it was like returning to visit family, after a minute or two we'd feel right back at home. That was something very comfortable.

I watched soaps from preschool to graduate school. I watched every show at least once and would stick with one for years. Sometimes watching every day for months, then going on with my life and returning for the holidays or during times I wanted to de-stress.

OP it's not a mystery. These shows were consistent. They were entertaining. Writers used to know what the fuck they were doing back in the day. Something changed around the late-90's and most shows turned to. Interestingly enough, I went back to OLTL to finish it out since I used to be a viewer back in the 90's. While the writing is barely one-tenth as good as back then, it still feels comfortable and I get a kick out of moments of fun camp. In a way it's sad b/c even when we were gone, it was like family in that you felt that you could go back for a visit when the time was right. There will be no more visits now for many of us. Probably why even for those who haven't watched in years, it's still a sad moment to see a genre we grew up with die out.

by Anonymousreply 2811/30/2011

I have a problem with OP's reasoning. look soaps are dying that's fine and this sort of change happens. But if you look at what they are being replaced with, it's less informative or well constructed than even the worst of soaps (Passions). I mean they replaced AMC with a show where three chefs a decorator and a health nut talk over each other and cook crappy food.

Also, while I enjoy the luxury not everyone has or can afford cable, so their choices are limited in that regard. This wasn't a creative decision, it was a cost savings decision and the replacement shows are getting lower ratings (except for the extra hour of Today) than the soaps they replaced.

If creative programming wasn't being replaced with "reality" tv trash, I would wholly agree with you. But I am 24 not some old fogy and I will never be entertained by things like Kloe Kardashian whining "Lamar!" for 30 minutes straight, or Mario Batali trying to convince me that a chicken soaked in orange juice and doused with marinara sauce is "the most delicious holiday dish"

Luckily I have cable so it's not a big deal, but I understand why fans of the genre are upset. Just eight years ago there were 10 soaps on the air, come January there will only be four and rumors have it that Days and GH are over by the end of 2012 so possibly only two after that. Clearly there is a combined movement within the networks to divest from soaps entirely for monetary reasons. That's fine, but that doesn't mean people should be called out for missing their favorites or trying to get them back on the air.

by Anonymousreply 2911/30/2011

This was a great moment from the storyline I talked about in R13. After Marlena agreed to sleep with Stefano in exchange for her freedom, she has a change of heart causing him to flip out. Great acting by Deidre Hall and Joeseph Mascolo. Deidre was in her mid to late 40's here and looked absolutely stunning. She is someone who definitely peaked lookwise later in life, even if she was aided with a plastic surgeon's scalpel.

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by Anonymousreply 3011/30/2011

It's origins are in Greek Tragedy. Seriously.

Soaps used to be epic sagas of family conflict.

People related. It was life reflected back to you on a daily basis but heightened just so.

Soaps were powerful back in the day when they had writers who knew how to write actual human beings and human conflict.

by Anonymousreply 3111/30/2011

Brynn over Judith any day.

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by Anonymousreply 3211/30/2011

What I like is that the soaps can take weeks, maybe months, building up to a scene or an exchange of dialog. And these scenes involve characters that you're very familiar with because you see them every day.

by Anonymousreply 3311/30/2011

Soaps did explosive so well. If you were a newbie you learned enough details on a daily basis about the character that you didn't feel lost. In fact, you didn't even need to know history to get into a story...although having been through it as a viewer, it made everything so much better.

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by Anonymousreply 3411/30/2011

On most soaps, the characters lives are worse than most peoples, all that money and prestige, yet the characters all have major problems.

That seems to be the appeal of today's so-called reality shows, even though the 'real housewives' are wealthy, shop like it was there last day on earth and live in absurd mansions, they all seem downright miserable. They have cheating husbands, kids on drugs or whatever.

Those sort of situations make most viewers feel so much better about their own lives, thinking that money sure can't buy happiness, blah, blah, blah.

by Anonymousreply 3511/30/2011

It started out in Port Charles town Where Frank Smith's mob used to hang around No one could prove that he was a crook Until Luke stole his little black book

by Anonymousreply 3611/30/2011

"THEIR" last day on earth..."

by Anonymousreply 3711/30/2011

Would you ask someone what is the appeal of Dickens? The art of the continuing story is as old as language. Being able to follow one or many characters over the course of weeks, months, years, or decades is a wonderful tradition.

The only reason daytime soaps get a bad rap, despite - for many years- being network cash cows, is because they are considered entertainment for women. They are no more less silly or appealing than sports. I've heard straights go on for hours about teams and players, reciting stats and information. They even do this fantasy bullshit.

And you don't understand the appeal of soaps?

by Anonymousreply 3811/30/2011

I've never watched a soap, but I'm really interested in them for the reason R33 talked about. I love the idea of a slow-burn. It's the same with a lot of the really good Japanese anime. I would love to watch a long stretch from a good series, but I'm worried it would take up too much of my time.

by Anonymousreply 3911/30/2011

OP - here is your culprit:

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by Anonymousreply 4011/30/2011

I think one of the reasons soaps declined is they went away from the slow burn. At one time there would be a slow build-up, a logical climax to the story, and then the aftermath. Soaps started to go for really big events during sweeps months that did not always make sense - plot devices over character development. They started having characters do outragous things, and then once done baiscally sweep it under the rug and move on to the next plot device.

Tad Martin buried a man alive, the man was tortured for days, and ended up dying. The show basically pretended it never happened after, and had Tad still be a moral voice of the community. I think the lack of consequences like this turned a lot of people away. Also most things no longer had any real emotional impact. People make fun of soaps returning from the dead, but most of the time when people died, they died. In recent years, when someone died, it was hard to care, because it seemed like no death stuck. Same with couples breaking up. The last 15 years or so, the soaps became very reluctant to truly break up a popular couple, so even if they did break up, you knew they would get back together even if the couple had run its course and had not a single ounce of chemistry any longer.

by Anonymousreply 4111/30/2011

Daytime soaps are for eldergays trying to carry on the spirit of Dead Mommy.

Needlepoint and binge drinking are other ways they do this.

by Anonymousreply 4211/30/2011

r39, I'm a bit young so I can't reference anything before 1999 on Soaps, but the best one I can recall started with Bianca (lesbian character) getting raped by her mother's business rival in 2002 being pregnant as a result and slowly falling in love with her "straight" best friend Maggie. Trying to decide whether or not to keep the baby which brings back memories of her mother Erica's rape and drives Erica to alcoholism. At some point Bianca kills her rapist and completely forgets about it and everyone in town tries to hide the truth from her, even going so far as to let everyone think her sister did it. Then in a rare soap cross over event her baby gets stolen and given to her friend Babe whose baby was given to another woman, a character on OLTL...

At this point Bianca is being convinced by everyone (some know the truth and others don't) that her baby died in a crash. The writers tortured viewers for a year before finally revealing the truth that Babe's baby Bess was really Miranda Montgomery. It was one of the better umbrella stories I can recall. Nearly every character on the show played a role in either covering up the murder or the baby switch.

Its a great story, and it was well acted for the most part(a rarity in post 1980s soap). I admit scenery was chewed by a few (Susan Lucci and Eden Reigle)But that was sort of unavoidable. It was the best of recent years, that I know of. I also watched Passions but that show was pure camp, Days was good for a few years before they did that alien twins story. I could never really get into YR The Victor Newman show is not my idea of fun soapy times.

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by Anonymousreply 4311/30/2011

I remember watching OLTL with my grandmother. The stories were written a lot different. They would always build a good story for months and months to a great conclusion. The first story I really remember was when Cathy Craig kidnapped Joe and Vicki's baby.

That was an amazing story. Writing for a crazy Cathy on the run and writing for two desperate parents. That kidnapping story was front burner for at least a year before they got their baby back.

The other great story I remember when I watched GH in junior high was Heather Webber in a nut house plotting to kill Diana Taylor. That story was as good as any story on TV or in a movie gets. Turns out old Alice killed Diana. You never suspected.

by Anonymousreply 4412/01/2011

Whenever I hear people lambasting soaps, I think of Anna Karenina, which is, essentially, a soap opera -- a slow build-up to a climax which reverberates among several characters. Hell, there's even a minor character who was switched at birth!

by Anonymousreply 4512/01/2011

The Incomparable Victoria Rowell: Pt. 1

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by Anonymousreply 4612/02/2011

The Incomparable Victoria Rowell--Pt. 2

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by Anonymousreply 4712/02/2011

The Incomparable Victoria Rowell: Pt. 3

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by Anonymousreply 4812/02/2011

The Incomparable Victoria Rowell: Pt. 4

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by Anonymousreply 4912/02/2011

The Incomparable Victoria Rowell: Pt. 5

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by Anonymousreply 5012/02/2011

OP has a good point.

by Anonymousreply 5108/05/2013

The baby switch story was awesome. Even my husband got into it. What I'm really looking forward to now is Miranda and AJ finding out about the baby switch. I dont think they know. And if they do, Miranda still doesn't know that she was a product of rape. Should make for some serious drama.

by Anonymousreply 5208/05/2013

The Edge of Night appealed to me as a kid because the plot lines revolved around murder mysteries.. It was suspenseful, even scary at times, and also showcased one of the greatest soap romances of all time. Adam and Nicole, played by Donald May and Maeve McGuire. I also loved The Secret Storm. Later, in my twenties, I became addicted to One Life to Live. I loved Joe and Vicki. Never really warmed up to AMC. When I worked at a hospital while going to nursing school, I would hang out in the employee lounge before work, and the place would be packed with Doctors and Nurses watching As the World Turns. Roger Thorpe was one of the greatest soap villains of all time. Now, I watch The Young and the Restless. I love Adam, but now that Phyllis is gone, I don't know if the show can hold my interest. Some of the younger actors are really talented.

by Anonymousreply 5308/05/2013

Ho hum. Another soap discontent who doesn't understand the concept of plain ole' storytelling, cheaply made and cheesy as they are. I'm surprised you even brought up this thread, OP, given your obviously superior disdain of the genre.

by Anonymousreply 5408/05/2013

Dickens wrote serialized melodrama. Soap operas were shared entertainment whose demographic has declined dramatically - except on Univision and Telemundo.

Univision was the most-watched net in the US in July, and telenovelas are pretty much its entire primetime programming. Lot of the dayparts as well. Bit they are finite, 150 eps or so, and the loyalty is to the performers (they parrot lines fed into earwigs). No decades-long runs like GH or Coronation Street.

There's very little stigma attached to watching novelas in Hispanic households. Anglo soaps may be dying, but the format lives on in the e.emerging powerhouse demo

by Anonymousreply 5508/05/2013

Which is the one with the mobster crap? The ugly, old short guy who mumbles? He has a borderline retarded sidekick with a meathead look.

by Anonymousreply 5608/05/2013

They aren't what they used to be, but in the 70s and 80s it was like a daily Harry Potter book.

Yes, it's hard to understand when taken out of context. Yes, it's a weird mix of vaudeville and drama and the show has to go on, so some odd continuity things happen.

But it used to be a way for us to be entertained and to peek into someone's life.

Now that "reality" show performers do everything but take a shit on camera (oh wait, that happened on Flavor of Love), there is no mystery about others, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 5708/05/2013

They killed off the meathead, R56. The actor went off steroids and is on another soap pretending to be the sensitive type.

by Anonymousreply 5808/05/2013

Soaps remind me of summers with my Grandma. Game shows in the morning, soaps in the afternoon. Days, Doctors, Another World and Somerset. Followed by Dark Shadows and Brady Bunch reruns on the local independent channel.

by Anonymousreply 5908/05/2013

Is the blonde "fashion designer" still wanting to sleep with every male character? She is probably really old now, huh?

by Anonymousreply 6008/05/2013

OP -- When it comes to ``the appeal of daytime soap operas`` you`re totally clueless, so it makes sense that you`re both asking about their appeal and attacking them for being ``cheap, poorly written, badly acted relics that take up 5 hours a week.``

It would be one thing if you`d actually watched and studied them to come up with your brilliant and well thought out (sarcastic coughing fit) analysis, but watching only AMC as a kid doesn`t qualify your ignorant assumption that people watch soaps out of simply habit and ``tradition.``

Actually most people watch soaps for entertainment and to become involved in the stories of interesting characters -- much like why people read fiction. (Do you read, OP, or did you ``give that up`` when you were a teen too.

I`ve watched some episodes of AMC, Days of Our Lives and Y&R, but it`s the characters (and a lot of GOOD ACTING and WRITING OP) that got me being a big fan of General Hospital. I haven`t read any other responses on here yet, but I know GH is a favorite here on DL. But I don`t dutifully watch it daily and have gone years -- depending on the job I had and lack of a VCR back in the day -- without watching GH and then have gone back and watched it daily.

Right now I love it and have a PVR so I tape all five episodes then typically watch them all at once during the weekend when I`m kicking back. I fast forward any storylines I`m not into or characters or acting I`m not into. (I never fast forward Jane Eliot or Tony Geary ha ha) So no, I don`t watch soaps as a ``habit`that`s hard to break. I watch GH as it`s a favorite show of mine just as Breaking Bad is or Project Runway is.

And your nonsense about soaps taking up `` 5 hours a week`` is definitely ridiculous. First of all, these are DAYTIME dramas, and nighttime dramas are also an hour long so I don`t see your point. There are much worse examples of writing and acting on some primetime dramas than in some soaps, so stop assuming that there isn`t. For example, last fall`s new 1 hour drama, Jersey Girl, was so bad that it was cancelled after only 2 shows aired.

by Anonymousreply 6108/05/2013

R60, you'd think, but the show still revolves around who she's screwing. It's always someone inappropriate, her sister's husband, her daughter's husband. Meanwhile the actress always has that perfect sociopathic unscathed look on her face.

by Anonymousreply 6208/05/2013

Classic universal themes: good vs. evil, taboo love, rags to riches, tragic hero. Trained theatre actors, such as Charles Keating as Carl Hutchins (A W) made the stories memorable.

by Anonymousreply 6308/05/2013

They're one of the last bastions of true, unadulterated melodrama. No matter how sophisticated and cynical we've become as an audience, there will always be a hunger for simple melodrama.

by Anonymousreply 6408/05/2013

Well I should add that I do get that primetime dramas are typically only an hour per week and not five, but reality shows like Big Brother and American Idol are often on three times a week and some shows run 2 hours each -- for the music ones.

One thing I really find appealing about daytime soaps as opposed to nighttime is that the ongoing storylines typically are more consistent in their writing. For example, I used to watch The Mentalist because the Red John storyline intrigued me, but I ended up being really disappointed as there were so many other storylines and only snippets of that that didn`t hold my interest. Daytime soaps are usually much better about giving attention to all of the storylines as well as connecting them with each other. If your fav characters and storyline isn`t on one day, it`s pretty likely it will be the next day.

by Anonymousreply 6508/05/2013

I`m R61

by Anonymousreply 6608/05/2013

I never got into the daytime soaps partly because of the cheap production values, but moreso because it drives me crazy to jump into a show without starting at the beginning. When Melrose Place came along in my teen years, I was hooked right away. One of these days I'd like to get the Dynasty dvd set and watch it straight through. But how do you start a soap that's been on the air for decades, and jump in without knowing any of the characters or their backstories? Obviously it's easier nowadays to research them on the internet, but still.

by Anonymousreply 6708/05/2013

OP, I grew up watching soaps and I always enjoyed them. My mother watched DOOL from the first day it aired until when she died. I could never get into that show, but I loved ATWT, Guiding Light, Search For Tomorrow, Santa Barbara and others. It's a style of storytelling I enjoy, where there's at least one family at the center of the drama and everything radiates out from there.

I also love the telenovelas, and I enjoy the shorter arcs and the sexiness of those shows.

by Anonymousreply 6808/05/2013

WTF happened to Heather Tom?

by Anonymousreply 6908/05/2013

The continuation of the characters from year to year, the way that a "secret" could take months or years to be revealed, in many cases the real life situations that were dealt with that brought awareness to the audience are some of the things that make soap operas appealing.

Example: On Days of Our lives it took years before the true paternity of Mike Horton to be revealed. While one brother thought he was the father it was really another who fathered the child, via a rape.

One Life to Live was a master at bringing issues to the small screen and did not shy away from showing the effects of things like drugs in a way that informed but still made good story. Early on a character, Cathy Craig, became addicted to drugs. She was the daughter of a central character, a beloved doctor. The show wrote in her attendance to drug counseling and meetings using the real Odyssey House as the venue.

The same show introduced a character who married one of the show's staples, Victoria Lord. He was homophobic and refused to accept that his son had died of AIDS. They intertwined this story with the first gay teen to be portrayed on a daytime show. The culmination was the the father reuniting with his other son and going to Washington DC to view the AIDS Quilt, which was presented on air. A first.

Yes, some stories and plots were and are over the top and strain belief but, many, many times they brought information to people without hammering them over the head with it and not coming off as PSAs. When a character the audience is familiar with for years & years struggles with things like addiction, breast cancer, rape, etc it can make a difference to some people and have them even seek medical advice or take action in some other way.

Even now, one of Days of Our Lives most popular couples - with straight women as well as gays - is the pairing of Sonny & Will, the offspring of long established families. This story has made some people re-examine their outlook on gays. How can that be a bad thing?

by Anonymousreply 7008/05/2013

It's the great acting.

by Anonymousreply 7108/05/2013

Everyone is forgetting one of the main reasons soaps consistently had large audiences. The plots moved VERY slowly, and plot points, and character details were repeated endlessly, often in clever enough ways, because the producers knew that sometimes even the most devoted viewers would miss an episode or two. So even if you couldn't watch every day, they made it very easy to follow along.

by Anonymousreply 7208/05/2013

People like stories. They like serialized storytelling. All of the most prestigous high profile shows are basically soaps. Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, House of Cards, Scandal.

by Anonymousreply 7308/05/2013

R61 sounds like a terrible person.

by Anonymousreply 7408/05/2013

Why do I "sound like a terrible person" R74? Just because you disagree with me? At least I answered the OP's question. All you've contributed to this thread is by calling me a terrible person and saying "OP has a good point" at R51. At least I'm capable of more than one 5 or 6 word sentence as a time that is based on this is good/this is bad.

by Anonymousreply 7508/06/2013

Nothing wrong with habit nor tradition. Nothing wrong with devoting time each week to do what I want. I work and have a full life outside of work. I travel, I read, I write, I take classes, and I visit with friends and family. If coming home in the evening and catching up with the good and not so good folks in Llanview and/or Port Charles is what I want to do, so be it. I simply enjoy it and that is all the explanation or justification you'll get.

by Anonymousreply 7608/06/2013

Yes, because Morey Povich, Judge Judy and the rest of the shit today is so much better. Soap operas were wonderful prior to the internet era, netflix and directtv and cable. It was the training ground for many an actor and some of the stories were riveting.

by Anonymousreply 7708/06/2013

[r64] if only that were true

by Anonymousreply 7809/30/2014

Soap operas are the greatest achievement in American history.

by Anonymousreply 7902/16/2015

OLTL was my soap. Absolutely addicted. 1984-1992.

by Anonymousreply 8002/16/2015

Those were among its worst years, R80. 1993 is the first time it got good since the '70s, with Ryan Phillippe as Gay Billy.

by Anonymousreply 8102/16/2015

r3, I was surprised to see a gay plot on "Days." Paul and Sonny. Checked the net and learned they've been together since December. Maybe you should start watching again.

by Anonymousreply 8202/16/2015

More options took away the audience for soaps. The Internet, of course, is a big time-consumer for people now the way soaps used to be. When I was in college in the 1990s, before the Internet really took off, so many kids in the dorms would watch soaps all afternoon. Go to any college campus today and nobody's watching tv in the afternoons, they're all online doing social media etc.

Cable tv with 500 channels and reality tv also took away a big chunk of the soap audience. Soaps were huge in a time when entertainment options were much more limited than they are now.

by Anonymousreply 8302/16/2015

Hot guys with no shirts.

by Anonymousreply 8402/16/2015

Mimi Torchin destroyed the soaps by blasting her damned spoilers over the front page of her rag. I stopped watching soaps on a regular basis directly because of her.

by Anonymousreply 8502/16/2015

What R84 said was very true for me. Sometimes when I would be home from school sick for a couple of days, I'd look at the shirtless hunks on the different channels in the afternoons. It's how I got started watching OLTL.

by Anonymousreply 8602/16/2015

I like soaps in the same way I like sports, they're comforting, love having them on in the background. TMZ, talk shows, all of daytime comforts; all except the manic Price Is Right, never could stand that show.

by Anonymousreply 8702/16/2015

handsome men in various stages of undress and of course with great bodies... homerotic situations too! also the catering to the housewife or lonely old woman too in her home, in where else could she see on tv for example a storyline of a built gorgeous hunk end up with average looking women's old enough to be his mother or even grandmother bed! laugh!

it fed the fantasies of the plain boring housewife or lonely horny spinster for decades..male and female i might add!

beautiful men, women, locations, sets, funny or exciting storylines if highly unbelieveable, etcetera a over the top make believe world anyone could watch in the privacy of their own homes and for free!..

add in the daytime talk shows of the 80's to mid 1990's when it seemed they had male strippers on every week and it was a great time and era!!

by Anonymousreply 8802/16/2015

Honestly, I didn't give a fuck about gay Billy.

Nothing after 92 appealed to me, especially the character of Todd.

I liked Mitch, Tina, and Dorian.

by Anonymousreply 8902/16/2015

I liked their bringing back of Niki, which led to the introduction of Princess and Tommy, and the abduction of Dorian. I hate kidnapping stories, but Dorian deserved the fuck out of hers.

by Anonymousreply 9002/16/2015

Days in the 90s was extremely popular with teens like myself back then

I remember BOYS on my baseball team talking about the Marlene possession storyline

Soaps don't have that kind of reach anymore

by Anonymousreply 9102/16/2015

The funny thing is, when news shows do profiles of soaps, they always get the reasons why people watch totally wrong.

Yes, there's escapism involved. But there's always this assumption that people watch only for catfights, or the Susan Lucci, hairtossing style over the top moments.

I always tell people it's kind of like Harry Potter to me. I picked up on two soaps as a teenager, and it was always interesting to me to see someone evolve, over a year, over five years, over ten years, and so on. It's the same kind of interest we have in other people's lives - watching your friend or neighbor struggle with challenges, or a shitty husband, or whatever.

Anti-soaps people love to shit all over them on the DL, but every SINGLE fucking show they're watching on nighttime has a serialized element. It's been around since Scheherazade.

by Anonymousreply 9202/16/2015

personally i have never watched a soap opera day or evening one for the "storylines"... nope, it was all about eye candy and love scenes and with PASSIONS? the blatant over the top homoeroticism with perhaps the best looking male cast of any soap opera ever?.

by Anonymousreply 9302/16/2015

I heart you, R92. Scott DeFreitas said it best: "People like soap operas for the romance, sure, but even more viewers tune in for the fantasy of a large, extended family that works."

by Anonymousreply 9402/16/2015


I actually used to dream I was a member of the Hughes household, that Bob and Kim were my parents.

They were SO much like my best friend's parents, the ones that I wished I'd had, the one with the warm house always full of people.

I met women in our neighborhood who WERE Iris Cory and Rachel Cory....just, everything about them. Our neighborhood had an Ada, too.

They were fascinating because you knew them. Most of these characters now are a haircut, not a person.

by Anonymousreply 9502/16/2015

Reading R95 on top of Lesley Gore's dying today, I don't think I can take much more. (I wanted to be a Cory.)

by Anonymousreply 9602/16/2015

R96, let's go to Tops and have a drink together. I'll put it on Felicia Gallant's tab.

by Anonymousreply 9702/16/2015

R97 You bet, Liz.

by Anonymousreply 9802/16/2015

Maybe part of it was that nobody worried about money. Even the token middle or working class families on soaps never had money problems.

by Anonymousreply 9902/16/2015

Soap opera fans are the fucking worst. They're worse than the racists around here.

by Anonymousreply 10002/16/2015

I watched Y&R as a young child with my mom before she went back to work. This was back when it first started. The rich old bag was still married to her handsome husband and fell in love with his secretary? or her secretary? Her name was Jill.

As a teen we watched the AMC, GH line up after school but then GH jumped the shark with the Ice Princess shit and, really, who gives a shit enough about Port Charles enough to blow it up? That was the last time I watched any of them. I recently caught a brief episode at the gym and, man, it was bad.

by Anonymousreply 10102/16/2015

[quote]Days in the 90s was extremely popular with teens like myself back then

I remember those days. My grandmother got me into watching Days when I spent summers with her as a kid in the 80s and then I continued watching the show as a teen in the 90s.

Also like R83 said, soaps were big on college campuses in the 90s. Some DAYS stars did meet and greets at college campuses around the country.

NBC's short lived Sunset Beach managed to reel in some younger viewers for awhile and I also liked when Sunset Beach did that serial killer storyline that was similar to Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

by Anonymousreply 10202/16/2015

The point about serialization is a good one, although back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth, most television at night was episodic. The soaps were the only serials. Now there's so many imitators and derivatives they aren't as necessary. Plus, I really think soaps got away from their core offer, which was stories about families and relationships... soaps started to imitate everything else on TV and eventually, with their limited budgets and limited talent pools, they undercut their own strength.

by Anonymousreply 10302/16/2015

Why, R100? What is so "fucking" bad about us? And please, you need to be specific (if you can).

by Anonymousreply 10402/16/2015

Back in the day (1970s and 80s), they had better actors. By the mid-90s, the trend of hiring pretty people was out of control. If you look back at the characters in the 70s and 80s, some were downright homely. For example, Tricia Pursley who played Devon on All My Children. We used to wonder how she got the job. But she played scenes better than many of the gorgeous actors who can't act at all. There is no better example of this than Tony Geary as Luke. He was not attractive, but everyone loved his character.

When I was a kid in the 70s, I got hooked on soaps because of the adult content--affairs, marriage problems, romance, sex, etc. I thought it was far more interesting than kiddie shows. Then General Hospital became a phenomenon with Luke and Laura. I remember rooting for Laura and Scotty, but when Luke and Laura went on the run from Frank Smith, that storyline got me hooked on the two of them.

In college in the late 80s, we used to schedule our classes around our favorite soaps. I got into As The World Turns because it was on during a break from classes. I actually stopped watching GH in college because I always seemed to have a class when it was on. All My Children was the first one I started watching and watched it the longest. I took a year off from college and got back into GH with Anna and Robert. I always liked that pair.

But when I started working full-time, I stopped watching soaps. The first time I caught the flu in my mid-20s, I was home for 4 days. I tried to watch the soaps I used to watch. I couldn't believe how bad they were! The actors were much better looking, but not very good at their craft. I missed Luke and Devon and other not-so-hot actors who really knew how to make the characters work.

by Anonymousreply 10502/16/2015

You're so right, R94. I wanted John Beradino to be my father.

by Anonymousreply 10602/16/2015

"I really think soaps got away from their core offer, which was stories about families and relationships... soaps started to imitate everything else on TV and eventually, with their limited budgets and limited talent pools, they undercut their own strength."

So true, R103. Very well put.

by Anonymousreply 10702/16/2015

Started watching for the cute/hunky guys and stayed for the storytelling.

by Anonymousreply 10802/16/2015

I wanted to marry Andy Dixon, and he settled for that slut Carly Tenney.

by Anonymousreply 10902/16/2015

I wanted to be Blake Lindsay and/or India von Halkein.

by Anonymousreply 11002/16/2015

I loved the family drama and the New York stage actors. I could never get into a Los Angeles soap because they lacked these things.

by Anonymousreply 11102/16/2015

Okay, this made me cry. Miss her.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 11202/16/2015

The problem with some of those family oriented East Coast stage actor soaps was sometimes there was a puritan preachiness about it which made my skin crawl, especially when they tackled issue stories like Andy as a drunk and his return to moral respectability. Soaps should be comfortable swimming around in the gutter to some extent and that doesn't mean everybody fucking everybody, I just mean the dark underbelly of the human condition is where the best stories are told.

by Anonymousreply 11302/16/2015

How would you have handled Andy's alcoholism, R113? Would you rather he have killed Lien and gone to jail?

by Anonymousreply 11402/16/2015

No r114 - we didn't need another alcoholic. I would have changed the story from alcohol to sex addiction. John hires a hooker to take Andy's virginity and from there, he becomes sex mad. When the truth comes out, Kim has a nervous collapse.

by Anonymousreply 11502/16/2015

[quote] When the truth comes out, Kim has a nervous collapse.

Watch it, toots. I know how to handle the tough stuff!

by Anonymousreply 11602/16/2015

I would have liked that, R115. I would especially have liked it if, in his love addiction, he found he couldn't live without Paul, and then Mike.

by Anonymousreply 11702/16/2015

The Hughes family would not have dealt well with the intrusion of carnal lust into their elegant abode. This is why OLTL was the gay's soap of choice, because there was something really unsavory about those characters, the Marco Danes and Karen Woleks and materialistic bimbo Tina Lords.

by Anonymousreply 11802/16/2015

Andy was a prime candidate for gayness and I remember reading here that Scott did play out the beats of Andy's attraction to Kasnoff.

by Anonymousreply 11902/16/2015

[quote]This is why OLTL was the gay's soap of choice

Other than Gay Billy and Viki/Niki/Tommy/Princess, I didn't like OLTL that much. I truly wanted Andy to be gay on ATWT, and later, Steven Frame on AW.

There was an interview in some soap rag, R119, in which Scott was asked what Andy kept on his nighttable. He answered "his Big Book and his framed picture of Mike."

by Anonymousreply 12002/16/2015

OP, it used to be storytelling. As simple as that.

Now, I have no idea what still keeps people attached to a saop since storytelling is the leats of their priorities.

by Anonymousreply 12102/16/2015

My heart went out to Maura in that interview the other week, she said Scott used to knock on her dressing room wall (he was on the other side) just to let her know he was in the building and Maura's trashy co stars assumed that was code for them fucking in the dressing room. Those GH hags couldn't get it through their heads that Scott and Maura were just an old fashioned romantic friendship that later became love.

by Anonymousreply 12202/16/2015

As a young gay, they were good for eye candy. Now with the internet, not so necessary.

I could get sucked into the stories when I was young, but soon came to realize you could tune in much less frequently and still 'catch up'

Nighttime soaps were much more fun

by Anonymousreply 12302/16/2015

I make no apologies for watching PASSIONS most days of the week during college. It was on in lounges and common rooms and had a big following, men as well as women.

PASSIONS was funny and dramatic and campy and had some good actors and great men eye candy. Who can forget Antonio, shirtless for weeks in the hospital, the police chief's tight clothes, Luis, Miguel, Ethan, and Fox? If for no other reason, watching those hot men was a day brightener.

But PASSIONS had a witch, a doll come to life, intrigue, and high camp, it's the only soap I ever watched, but I would think ANY soap would be more entertaining than the housewife shows or those Kartrashians.

by Anonymousreply 12402/16/2015

They're properly referred to as STORIES, not soap operas.

"I have to hurry home, I can't miss my STORIES."

by Anonymousreply 12502/16/2015

There was something about Passions though that was like watching porn. A soap has to have SOME pretentions of being art after all.

by Anonymousreply 12602/16/2015

Andrew Trischetta and the Ford brothers. What was the question again, OP?

by Anonymousreply 12702/16/2015

Passions was the Belle Watling on soaps - erm, stories. No bones about it.

by Anonymousreply 12802/16/2015

I feel like black Americans are the only group who respect soap operas and don't look down on them. As somebody said, they coined the term, "my stories", they commune with this genre in a way that is truly thrilling. Camilla Paglia mentioned that a black soap that was authentic to their spirit would be the best soap on television. Is Empire it? Camille was speaking from 1994:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 12902/16/2015

[quote]Andrew Trischetta and the Ford brothers.

Hot as they were, and just looking at Ford the First makes my eyes roll back in my head, the writing ate baby diarrhea during the years they were on. I tried, I really, really did. But eventually, shitty writing trumped even Triscuit/Ford hotness, and I stopped watching.

by Anonymousreply 13002/16/2015

The only black people I know who watch soaps, watch Y&R. Everyone else, white people, are soap watchers too, they just watch either Days or the ABC lineup. The people who look down on soaps are a bunch of snooty guys here on DL, who think that when Meryl Streep farts, she deserves an Oscar nomination.

by Anonymousreply 13102/16/2015

[quote]the ABC lineup

When's the last time you watched "the ABC lineup," R131?

by Anonymousreply 13202/16/2015

OLTL was huge with the blacks actually. The guy who played Mitch Lawrence got mobbed at the Apollo in the 80s.

by Anonymousreply 13302/16/2015

I would watch with my grandmother and baby sitters. I got into them during that 80's General Hospital craze. I lost interest after a while. I think it was appealing just because there was not much else to choose from and the characters became like friends to lonely housewives, old people, disabled housebound people etc etc.

by Anonymousreply 13402/16/2015

Every soap on the daytime lineup had an essential flaw. It was either too proper or too trashy. No soap has ever achieved a hedy mix that made it a crossover hit with the popular culture.

by Anonymousreply 13502/16/2015

Nonsense, r135. General Hospital made the cover of Time during the Luke and Laura frenzy. Before that, in the late 60s As the World Turns had a 60 share.

by Anonymousreply 13602/16/2015

[quote]No soap has ever achieved a hedy mix that made it a crossover hit with the popular culture.

I don't know about "crossover," but Another World was said to be the best soap from 1970-79, when it was written by Harding Lemay.

by Anonymousreply 13702/16/2015

Yes, Lemay's Another World came the closest to hitting the zeitgeist, making it true art. He predicted the Watergate scandal after all. Iris was planting bugs in hotel rooms about 6 months before it was news.

by Anonymousreply 13802/16/2015

Love the story Harding LeMay tells in his book: Agnes Nixon approached him and Vicky Wyndham at a party celebrating AW's anniversary. "You are very good as Rachel. I created her, you know." Without missing a beat, Wyndham replied, "Thank you for that. And now Harding has RECREATED her."

by Anonymousreply 13902/16/2015

I think of it like minor-league baseball, a chance to catch a rising star. Seen many over the years.

They also do histrionics better than anyone.

by Anonymousreply 14002/16/2015

TVGuide called them SERIALS.

by Anonymousreply 14102/16/2015

[quote]Why, [R100]? What is so "fucking" bad about us? And please, you need to be specific (if you can).

Well, let's start with you. Troll-dar reveals you've posted 15+ times in this thread, almost every one of them having nothing to do with OP's topic.

Also, the majority of you didn't even read what OP wrote.

by Anonymousreply 14202/16/2015

[quote]Well, let's start with you. Troll-dar reveals you've posted 15+ times in this thread, almost every one of them having nothing to do with OP's topic.

R142 I wasn't even trying to respond to the OP's topic, which is from 2011. I responded to [bold]today[/bold]'s posts.

Are you going to bitch at today's first poster, too?

by Anonymousreply 14302/16/2015

And people bitch about the fraus. God.

by Anonymousreply 14402/16/2015

Why is it so upsetting to some people that other people like soap operas? Or Harry Potter movies? Or whatever?

Why can't you just move on?

by Anonymousreply 14502/16/2015

They did an article once about the top soaps in terms of african american viewership- It was:

Y&R followed by


I cannot remainder the remainder of the soaps.

But OLTL was very popular amongst african americans-

by Anonymousreply 14602/16/2015

R143, have you cleared your cookies, then? Embarrassed that I called you out?

by Anonymousreply 14702/16/2015

I don't do it because I'm embarrassed, R147. It happens when I turn one of my add-ons on and off.

by Anonymousreply 14802/16/2015

And seriously, if I were so embarrassed because you "called (me) out," why would I "clear out (my) cookies" and then respond to you? Your thinking is not that good, R147.

by Anonymousreply 14902/16/2015

[quote]Your thinking is not that good, [R147].

Says the guy who wants to gossip about soap operas.

by Anonymousreply 15002/16/2015

You're just here to hate, R150. Must be nice.

by Anonymousreply 15102/16/2015

Very amusing--before the days of out of wedlock babies, it was all jealousy and betrayal with the music to match. Actually, it's still jealousy, betrayal and schmaltzy music, but there's alien abductions and more sex. OTOH, there's always been amnesia, trials and ridiculous plots that go on forever. Upthread someone mentioned the realism of Ryan's Hope". I had college friend who watched everyday and one of the plots was kept going by someone walking up a flight of steps--a few steps everyday. It was sheer camp.

The usual excuse for watching these shows has been "but it all happens in real life", except it doesn't really. Very few people are put on trial for murder. Few people have silly names like Fallon. It's schlock, but so is so much else on tv.

by Anonymousreply 15202/16/2015

R152 seems to be very knowledgeable, thanks for your contribution!

by Anonymousreply 15302/16/2015

R125 one of the few memories I have of my maternal grandmother is the exasperation in her voice as she would say "Don't bother me when my STORIES are on"

by Anonymousreply 15402/16/2015

kristen dimera and susan are wanderful on days as is ej and steudal and moobs. i cant believe theydid anal on tv. and thepenetration was displayed on the face of the bottom. which demonstrated the obviosly large size of thetopper.

by Anonymousreply 15502/16/2015

[quote]You're just here to hate, [R150]. Must be nice.

You're just here to prattle on endlessly about plotlines on 40-year-old soap operas. Must be nice.

by Anonymousreply 15602/16/2015

The first moment of penetration

by Anonymousreply 15702/16/2015

Big pinga!

by Anonymousreply 15802/16/2015

I find them compelling with friends and after we've smoked copious amounts of pot. They become somewhat hypnotic because sometimes they are just such bizarre heterosexual floor shows. And then there's Strudel, don't get me started on that spoiled bitch Will Whoreton. He's such a Jennifer.

Admittedly, I've always gravitated towards the GH/Days sci-fi/horror/suspense/camp brand. I wanted jumpsuits and henchmen and islands and Phil Collins music. The Reilly stuff was fun when I was 14 but it was old by late 1997 and I quit watching during his second run and Melaswen. That was just beyond bad. Even copious amounts of pot would not help.

I wasn't born until the late 70s but I think I would have loved EON and some of you bitches have gotten me hooked on old Another World.

by Anonymousreply 15902/16/2015

R142 is a LOW BORN


by Anonymousreply 16002/16/2015

Remember the story about the drug addict who used to call it "Going to Rachel" because the drugs took him to another world?

by Anonymousreply 16102/17/2015

I used to watch soaps and I guess it was just entertainment, following these people.

by Anonymousreply 16202/17/2015

I told that story, R161! Or at least a version of it (not sure if others used the term too).

My friend wasn't a hardcore addict, though. He liked to get high, and called getting high "visiting Rachel," because it indeed took him to Another World.

by Anonymousreply 16302/17/2015

Most primetime network and cable shows are serialized. Even most movies have two or three sequels these days.

So I guess my point is, why is a continuing story okay, except on daytime television. Why are daytime soaps trash, yet Breaking Bad is an award winning phenom? They are the same thing, only difference is budgets and number of episodes and characters.

The true reason why daytime soap are looked down on is simply because they are considered entertainment for women. Any genre with women as it's core demo, has been trashed and looked down on forever. Romance novels. RomComs. Soaps. It really is silly. Dickens wrote soap opera.

by Anonymousreply 16402/17/2015

Exactly, r164. Put a daytime soap on at night, dress it up and put it in a fancier setting than a cramped studio, and what have you got? Downton Abbey.

by Anonymousreply 16502/17/2015

[quote] The true reason why daytime soap are looked down on is simply because they are considered entertainment for women.

DING DING DING we have a winner.

There are BILLION dollar movies that are comic book based - comic books, which are soap operas for 12 year old boys. Wanna talk about unreal? How about Batman, Spiderman, Superman? But they're guys, so that's all profound and deep and special.

But a soap or a "chick flick" is feminine, and awful, and should be eradicated.

Even though it is, under the skin, PRECISELY the same fucking thing.

by Anonymousreply 16602/17/2015

[quote]The true reason why daytime soap are looked down on is simply because they are considered entertainment for women.

Absolutely. Even when soaps were actually good -- like the sophisticated drawing-room drama of Harding Lemay's Another World -- they were marginalized. Because women and their interests were always marginalized.

For myself, I got hooked as a very young child on AW and kept watching, even though it never again approached the heights of the late 70s, because I liked the continuity of characters. Rachel, Mac and Ada, and later Felicia, Cass and Donna, really felt like old friends. Today, I occasionally tune in to DAYS for the gay story -- but what I like best is seeing Maggie, Julie and Doug.

by Anonymousreply 16702/17/2015

it's all we've gotten to look forward too. Don't ruin it for us.

by Anonymousreply 16802/17/2015

I never got the appeal, either. For one, they are so slow. For an instance, a single scene can take a few days or even weeks.

Secondly, and this is a pet peeve of mine, they were so negative. All this backstabbing and trying to pull one over another. There was never a redeemable character. I try to avoid such people in my life; I don't need to watch them.

by Anonymousreply 16902/17/2015


by Anonymousreply 17002/17/2015

I think people, women particularly, liked to live vicariously through the soaps or "stories" that were popular at the time. A lot of them seemed to think that the characters on the tv soaps were REAL. Actors who played "bad" characters sometimes were attacked by enraged soap fans. Andrea Evans, who played the slutty Tina Lord on One Life To Live, attracted a stalker who sent her letters saying "Death To The Blonde Whore." Soap opera fans are NUTS. Really nuts.

As for soap opera acting...well, praised, revered soap opera acting can be described in one word: histrionic. Consider Judith Light and Anthony Geary. Both were considered "brilliant" actors. And both of them had the same over-the-top acting style. In Light's case her great acting consisted of screaming, crying, and pulling at her hair. Geary would scream and kick and break things. That, in the soap opera world, is considered great acting.

by Anonymousreply 17102/17/2015

That's unfortunately true, R171. Many soap opera fans think the hammier and more over the top the acting, the better.

by Anonymousreply 17202/17/2015

[quote]As for soap opera acting...well, praised, revered soap opera acting can be described in one word: histrionic. Consider Judith Light and Anthony Geary. Both were considered "brilliant" actors.

That was not always so. In the early years, Daytime Emmys went to such actors as Macdonald Carey, Larry Haines, Susan Flannery, Helen Gallagher and Irene Daily -- there's not a histrionic in that bunch. Elizabeth Hubbard won early on, but that was for her very delicate, nuanced work in The Doctors.

ABC changed the daytime landscape in the early 80s with outsize emotions in addition to scifi plots. Every since, the writing and acting on virtually ever was geared to outrageous moments that could be easily promoted and stop channel surfers in their tracks.

by Anonymousreply 17302/17/2015

^^Every since, the writing and acting on virtually every show was geared to outrageous moments

by Anonymousreply 17402/17/2015

Stop painting with such broad strokes. Soap fans are no more crazy than any other fans. If you not taken a look at comic con? Have you been in an Anderson Cooper or Matt Bomer or the Colton Haynes threads on this site. Obsessed fans are obsessed fans are obsessed fans and they are not unique to soap opera.

As for the acting, even Meryl Streep would have issues with 80 pages a day, little rehearsal time, and 250 episodes a year. Yes, outsized emotions and scenery chewing seems to pass for good acting on soaps these days, but I applaud each of those actors for what they do each day. Most actors couldn't do it.

by Anonymousreply 17502/17/2015

[quote] ABC changed the daytime landscape in the early 80s with outsize emotions in addition to scifi plots. Every since, the writing and acting on virtually ever was geared to outrageous moments that could be easily promoted and stop channel surfers in their tracks.

Yup. Gloria Monty changed the shows but she was also the beginning of the end.

by Anonymousreply 17602/17/2015

Check out The Doctors on RetroTV for the way soaps used to be and you will understand why people love soap opera.

by Anonymousreply 17702/17/2015

Apparently the appeal is about over. They're all being cancelled one by one.

by Anonymousreply 17802/17/2015

[quote}Soap fans are no more crazy than any other fans.

Look no further than the recent "Looking" threads here on DL -- they read much like soap opera message boards.

Interestingly, with its slow pace and accent on character over plot, "Looking" is similar to the feel of an old-style soap, just updated with contemporary subject matter.

by Anonymousreply 17902/17/2015

All soap fans should watch this 1983 chat show and pay attention to Susan Sullivan's thoughts as to why daytime is a superior medium to primetime. Susan's comment can be found around the 4 minute mark:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 18002/17/2015

Soap fans are the least intellectual. Let's face it 70% of them are probably lower class peasants without a brain cell between them. A stigma does exist.

by Anonymousreply 18102/17/2015

I totally agree, R181. When I want intellectual stimulation, I find one of the endless DL Golden Girls threads.

by Anonymousreply 18202/17/2015

Soaps/Serials/Daytime Dramas do reflect real life.

This week there's a gay triangle on ABC's"General Hospital" and a football player with partner has come out over at NBC on "Days of Our Lives" .

CBS has to catch-up on "Y&R" and "B&B" with gay storylines, especially since "B&B" is about the fashion industry.

by Anonymousreply 18302/17/2015

[quote] a football player with partner has come out over at NBC on "Days of Our Lives" .

You mean BasePaul? He was a baseball pitcher.

by Anonymousreply 18402/17/2015

Story that my Mom just told while we were packing up my Grammy's house after she'd died. Grammy was one of those "ladies who lunch" types but she loved soap operas. Some character on one of her soaps got the first pap smear in the history of soap operas and it motivated my Grammy to go get a pap smear. She didn't have anything, but she still went to get checked. She wrote the actress a letter thanking her and the actress responded back and it was in with all of Grammy's things when were closing up the house.

by Anonymousreply 18502/17/2015

i think r181 and r182 are mentally disturbed and i understand why no one likes them

by Anonymousreply 18602/17/2015

r129, they attempted a black daytime soap (well, the majority of characters were black) in the late 80s with NBC's GENERATIONS.

r135, how old are you? GENERAL HOSPITAL became an international phenomenon in the early 80s. No daytime soap has ever been able to achieve that kind of mass appeal with the mainstream audience. It was on level with the global fascination with Who Shot JR? It climaxed with the Luke and Laura wedding, still named as one of the top rated episodes of TV of all time. It can't ever happen again because TV has changede, but GH achieved an epic popularity that other shows wish it could have experienced.

by Anonymousreply 18702/17/2015

R186, I think that was sarcasm on the part of R182. As for R81, my IQ is over 150, so fuck him and his "least intellectual" bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 18802/17/2015

r184, salem hospital doesn't have a shoulder fellowship trained orthopedist on staff or any with courtsey priv. there, who would be able to do surgery on paul. he was not only a relief pitcher, but played third base. the likelihood he had complex surgical procedure by an amateur just to be near sonny is unbelievable.

by Anonymousreply 18902/17/2015

That pap smear storyline was written by Agnes Nixon for matriarch Bert Bauer on The Guiding Light in 1963.

by Anonymousreply 19002/17/2015

"It can't ever happen again because TV has changede, but GH achieved an epic popularity that other shows wish it could have experienced."

This is true. GH began playing the Christopher Cross song "Think of Laura" which added to their popularity because the song became associated with GH. When you heard it on the radio, you thought of GH.

Luke and Laura were HUGE in the 80s. And I think one of the few soaps that crossed over into mainstream popularity.

by Anonymousreply 19102/17/2015

Luke and Laura became daytime's supercouple and their wedding received the same type of attention stateside as Charles and Di the same year. People even played hooky from work to watch the wedding. And don't forget Liz Taylor wanted to get in on the game and demanded that a part be created for her, and her presence lent the show/storyline some legitimacy.

I wonder if the other soaps were jealous?

by Anonymousreply 19202/17/2015

I hated Luke for raping Laura (and other things he did), so I have never seen that wedding.

by Anonymousreply 19302/17/2015

R193 why did you hate him for raping Laura?

by Anonymousreply 19402/17/2015

Just about every groundbreaking and controversial storyline that happened on TV happened on soaps first.

by Anonymousreply 19502/17/2015

R194, the Laura I loved never would have agreed to have sex with someone like Luke who was so far beneath her.

Mostly I hated Gloria Monty for trying to whitewash it into a seduction scene.

by Anonymousreply 19602/17/2015

[quote]I make no apologies for watching PASSIONS most days of the week during college. It was on in lounges and common rooms and had a big following, men as well as women.

I won't make apologies either. I had grown up watching other soaps with friends and relatives. I liked that I was able to see a soap opera from the very beginning.

by Anonymousreply 19702/17/2015

r181 here. You people are idiots, truly. I was channeling the voice of the ghastly Phoebe Tyler and you think I was being sincere.

by Anonymousreply 19802/17/2015

As if I watched Phoebe Tyler on the Anti-intellectual Broadcast Channel.

by Anonymousreply 19902/17/2015

r181, r198, no wonder you channel others, you're a disgusting poor excuse for a life. lol.

by Anonymousreply 20002/17/2015

In the 70s university some professors would arrange their schedules to be free at 3pm to watch Another World together. My mother was one of them, a psych prof.

by Anonymousreply 20102/17/2015

R200, please find a grease fire.

by Anonymousreply 20202/17/2015

I got your sarcasm, Phoebe/R198.

There are some truly backwards and obsessive fans, but that's going to happen in any fandom.

Some of the John and Marlena fans at Days are CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY.

by Anonymousreply 20302/17/2015

Daytime soap operas appear to be passé now. But nighttime soaps apparently are still going strong. All those godawful Shonda Rimes tv shows...they suck big time, keep getting more and more ludicrous, but obviously there's an audience for such dreck. But how can people watch such shit? How can they find it entertaining? The crummy acting, the preposterous's just so BAD.

by Anonymousreply 20402/17/2015

It's too bad they destroyed virtually all of the tapes the soaps were recorded on. I would pay for a box set of AMC, OLTL, from 1970 to about 1985. Or the complete Ryan's Hope or Loving. I know Loving doesn't get a lot of appreciation but it was my favorite with Ryan's Hope because I watched it from start to finish.

I'd love to be able to watch Cali Timmins again.

by Anonymousreply 20502/17/2015

R205 why did they destroy them and not put them in a vault or something?

by Anonymousreply 20602/17/2015

They used the tapes over. Saved money.

by Anonymousreply 20702/17/2015

I knew Another World was in serious trouble the day this opening aired.

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by Anonymousreply 20802/17/2015

They taped over the tapes, R206.

by Anonymousreply 20902/17/2015

I knew AW was in trouble the day they played this opening.

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by Anonymousreply 21002/17/2015

r193, you're just very bizarre.

by Anonymousreply 21102/17/2015

r192, Diana even sent a bottle of champagne to Geary and Francis for the (TV) wedding. Diana was a big fan, and requested tapes of the show to be sent to her in the UK.

by Anonymousreply 21202/17/2015

R211, you are too.

by Anonymousreply 21302/17/2015

Take a look, tasteful friends, at Robin Strasser's (Dorian Lord, OLTL) Manhattan apartment. It's up for rent!

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by Anonymousreply 21402/17/2015

All of you old ladies trying to say soaps were once some sort of high art are truly delusional.

Daytime soaps have always been for the bottom of the barrel talent. Tapes were never saved, because it was garbage TV.

by Anonymousreply 21502/18/2015

Hmphf. A soap actress is expected to win an Oscar this year.

by Anonymousreply 21602/18/2015

r201, in the 90s a lot of students would schedule their classes around the soaps. In the student lounges in the dorm buildings there would be dozens of people gathered to watch Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives etc. on the big screen tv. I was never much of a soap fan, but it was a real bonding experience for people, and now of course everybody is buried in their mobile devices and ignoring the people next to them. I think something has been lost because young people today don't really have shared viewing experiences like that.

Also, at 9:00 on Sunday nights, my campus basically shut down to watch the X-Files en masse. That show was HUGE with college kids. We would all crowd into the student lounges (sometimes standing room only) and watch the X-Files like it was the Rocky Horror Picture Show, with group participation. It was a BLAST! And you met people too. I fell sorry that kids today don't have those kinds of experiences.

by Anonymousreply 21702/18/2015


The decor is not my cup of tea but it seems like a great space.

I wish they'd shown the patio/garden. We can see it in the distance of one pic.

by Anonymousreply 21802/18/2015

How does a soap star afford a 3 story Manhattan townhouse? I was under the impression they weren't paid all that much.

by Anonymousreply 21902/18/2015

She made good money working at OLTL, R219. It's also possible she inherited, that she married (and divorced) well, or that she was clever about investing her salary.

It always surprises me when people have a fixed idea in their heads about what other people make and how they should be able to live.

by Anonymousreply 22002/18/2015

Some are paid more than others. During the big money years, a soap star like Strasser would have done very well.

But to answer your question, I would assume that she bought that townhouse in the 70s or 80s when real estate in NYC was dirt cheap.

by Anonymousreply 22102/18/2015

She started forever ago, R219. Being an actor on a long-running show is like compound interest.

by Anonymousreply 22202/18/2015

r202 i trolldared you and you lit this thread like a christmad tree, like los vegas orgay parie, the city lo lights. you afe obsessed with soaps you idiot troll

by Anonymousreply 22302/18/2015

Strasser also did a fair bit of guest work on nighttime shows back in the 90s.

by Anonymousreply 22402/18/2015

"Hmphf. A soap actress is expected to win an Oscar this year."

Julianne Moore did some time on a soap and she'll probably win an Oscar. Melissa Leo also did some time on a soap (AMC) and she won an Oscar. But they weren't what would be considered a "soap actress." It was just temporary work to them; they did not make a career out of being on a soap. Susan Lucci is a soap actress. Erika Slezak is a soap actress. That is all they do. That is all they CAN do.

by Anonymousreply 22502/18/2015

Way to split hairs, R225. They were soap actresses, regardless of how much time they spent on them.

by Anonymousreply 22602/18/2015

People watch soaps or different reasons. The crazy ones actually feal as if these people are real and are part of their lives. The rest of us enjoy the continuing story, the plot lines and character development. Back in the 1970s you got a lot of psychodrama from the stories. Another World was brilliant back then.

by Anonymousreply 22702/18/2015

"They were soap actresses, regardless of how much time they spent on them."

No, they weren't. They just PERFORMED on a soap opera for a time. That's all. If somebody said to them "you're a soap opera actress, aren't you?" they'd probably be really insulted. Because they're a lot more than that.

by Anonymousreply 22802/18/2015

"Phoebe" Tyler wasn't ghastly R198. She was funny, and touching and real. Ruth Warrick was one of the all time greats; the lack of multi-dimensional characters like hers, with both heart and humor is the reason the whole genre is closing down.

I still watch classic AMC clips with "Phoebe," "Marian," "Gillian", "Brooke," et. al. on YouTube.

by Anonymousreply 22902/18/2015

R229 wow dude you really need to get a life then

by Anonymousreply 23002/18/2015

Wrong, R225, Susan Lucci is beginning her third season on the prime-time drama "Devious Maids." If an actress can handle the crushing workload of a daytime soap and still shine, she can do anything.

by Anonymousreply 23102/18/2015

Surely the lowest common denominator is reality shows! It requires little or no talent.

by Anonymousreply 23202/18/2015

LOL at any DL poster, much less a poster in this thread, telling another poster to get a life.

by Anonymousreply 23302/18/2015

I'm a third generation fan of Guiding Light and As The World Turns and that's a big part of how I wound up watching them for as long as I did.

At times when there was little else I wanted to talk to about with my Mom, we could always talk about the soaps we both watched. Family bonding of a sort, I suppose.

Some of my earliest childhood memories include scenes from soap operas.

And the actors you watched playing certain characters for decades become incredibly familiar to you. I never was crazy and assumed I knew anything about the actors, but those characters they played sure are well entrenched in my memory. I get gooey nostalgia feelings for Bauer barbecues just as I might for real life family gatherings. Again: I know it's fiction, but this is an ongoing tale that was part of my daily life for decades.

I saw Julianne Moore in a play once after her soap days were over and it was really weird at first because she was so very familiar to me after seeing her almost every day for years on a soap.

Moore wouldn't deny being a soap actress or TV actress; I know Melissa Leo is proud of her TV work (as well she should be).

by Anonymousreply 23402/18/2015

r227 wow imo youare a wacko, there are many peoplewho fantasize these beautiful soap stars are partsoftheir family. for you to say they are crazy makes you sound defective.

by Anonymousreply 23502/18/2015

R227 I have every reason to believe Pete Lemay can spell "feel."

by Anonymousreply 23602/18/2015

Why are soap fans whackos, but comic book fans and comic con, cosplay people get a total pass?

by Anonymousreply 23702/18/2015

Comic book fans and cosplayers have never been banned from DL. They don't start numerous threads. They don't start stealth threads that you don't realize are about a soap opera until you open them.

by Anonymousreply 23802/18/2015

I think that's exactly right r217. When I was in college in the 80s a lot of people watched because we'd picked up the habit from our moms and it was something we could continue to do together to make new friends in a new place. Some people just never lost the habit.

Without that social component though the shows aren't getting new viewers so they're quickly dying off. I suppose those of us who still do watch do so because we've followed the characters and stories for so long that it's kind of a nostalgia thing.

They can also be pretty funny at times, sometimes intentionally but other times unintentionally funny in a Valley of the Dolls kind of way.

by Anonymousreply 23902/19/2015

R233 someone who spends their free time watching youtube clips with ancient soap stars in their "glory days" needs to get a life

I only posted on here because I used to watch Days for a couple of years as a pre teen and teen in the 90s

As much as I loved the Marlena possession storyline I'm not gonna try to live in the past and search for it on YouTube

I ain't got time for that

I have a life

by Anonymousreply 24002/19/2015

Didn't soaps also start doing blatant product placement last decade? I recall there being a thread here about that and someone even linked a YouTube clip of a soap in which the actress mentioned some frozen dinner product several times and then during the scene did a presentation of how to prepare it in your microwave. I remember people being turned off by that.

by Anonymousreply 24102/19/2015

Eight Years in Another World by Harding Lemay is a must read.

It's on Kindle now, too.

by Anonymousreply 24202/19/2015

[quote]I ain't got time for that. I have a life

Says the man who posts on Datalounge in the middle of the day.

by Anonymousreply 24302/19/2015

R243 but isn't that everyone on the DL or even Internet for that matter

by Anonymousreply 24402/19/2015

People forget that people can go online and post on their phone. They're no longer tied down to their home PC. So they can post pretty much anywhere.

by Anonymousreply 24502/19/2015

R243, what time is one you approve of for posting to DL?

by Anonymousreply 24602/19/2015

r227 here, I do know how to spell, but I was drunk and typing on the phone is challenging.

Eight Years is a great book.

Just visit one of the other threads if you don't think that some soap fans take things a little too seriously.

by Anonymousreply 24702/22/2015

One of you soap fans should start a thread about these two Portuguese boys in Os Nossos Dias ("Our Days"). It's very hard to decide which one's hotter.

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by Anonymousreply 24804/14/2015

That show was nice r248 and Days has essentially turned into a a daytime version snuff porn and old fraus.

by Anonymousreply 24911/21/2015

Storylines, schmorylines. People watch soaps for the same reason they watch the Hallmark Channel...for one reason: Vicarious, soft-core (almost) porn.

by Anonymousreply 25010/09/2019

For me the appeal of soaps is the never ending story. When I watch regular shows, I find myself wanting to know what happens to the characters after the show ends, with soaps you don’t really have that problem. Also once you spend five days a week with a character for years, they become more than just a fictional character, almost a virtual friend or family member. It is why I might be angry when a regular show is canceled but when a soap is cancelled it cuts much deeper. I still greatly miss OLTL because Vikki, Dorian, and the others were more than characters to me and my family, they were our extended family. From the time I was born they had been there. When I went away to college, I scheduled my classes so I could watch them and discuss it with my parents and grandmother. One day I hoped to pass it on to my children. Because of the intimacy of having them in your home everyday, the relationship between soaps, their actors, and the fans becomes much closer than in other genres.

In terms of respect of fans the four top areas of entertainment are soaps, science fiction, Country Music and hip hop. They seem to cultivate and respect their fans, recognizing that without their fans they don’t have a career. Whereas the rest of the entertainment industry just tolerates them and sees them as nothing but dollar signs.

by Anonymousreply 25110/09/2019

The very best television entertainments of the late 1980s were P&G's "World" shows, especially the consistently wonderful "As the World Turns." Douglas Marland truly knew how to write this genre, and that show was one of the high points in an otherwise miserable decade.

by Anonymousreply 25210/09/2019

R251: "For me the appeal of soaps is the never ending story. "

That's PRECISELY why I can't stand 'em. They go on and on for years, using the same freakin' has-beens for DECADES. It's embarrassing...

by Anonymousreply 25310/16/2019

There was a point, from the 70s to the early 90s, where if the right combination of actors and writing hit, it was as engaging as a really good book or movie.

You felt like you knew the characters. And if the writers did their job, they'd draw on history for storylines, so the fact that you knew X or Y about what happened to the character before resonated.

Most of the remaining soaps, and nighttime soaps past (Dynasty) or present (any Shonda Rhimes show) never really got it right. They assumed shock value and slutty behavior was what attracted people. Rhimes' "Scandal" was initially good - strong characters and a few well planted surprises - but eventually just started getting crazier and crazier.

Things move fast now, probably too fast for soaps to ever really work well again the way they were done. But there was a time.......

by Anonymousreply 25410/16/2019

[quote] Days has essentially turned into a a daytime version snuff porn and old fraus.

It's so bizarre.

Soaps certainly have their share of back from the dead but NO one stays dead on that show


The primary romantic lead is a serial killer who killed three people.

by Anonymousreply 25510/16/2019

R208 I happen to love that, but my goodness, it is kind of surreal that that lasted all the way to 1996. It was horribly dated by then.

by Anonymousreply 25610/16/2019

I did not start watching Another World, or soap operas in general, until 1988, so that was the only theme music I knew until they changed it in 1996, to what felt to me like a generic PowerPoint slide show with music. I loved the Crystal Gayle-Gary Morris opening, regardless of how dated it was.

I thought the constant revisions of the ATWT theme/opening were supremely ridiculous. Only one worked. I thought it was appropriate, however, to start a new opening after Douglas Marland died. That supremely peppy late '80s "dah-dah-DAH" opening belonged to his World Turns. No one else's .

by Anonymousreply 25710/16/2019

Can we get another P&G thread? Laurel Falls and Gary Sinclair are both Muriel'd.

by Anonymousreply 25802/12/2021

For you, r258.

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by Anonymousreply 25902/12/2021

Can we get another P&G? Rachel is now Muriel’d.

by Anonymousreply 26002/22/2021
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