Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Death of the Daytime Soaps

Get the defibrillator! Call the Priest! Warm up the fat lady!

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The Days of our Lives as we know it are heading down the path of conclusion... housewives have left the building and the shrinking audience of daytime television is draining the life of what my grandmother referred to as her “stories.”

After all, how many times can Erica Kane get married? How many times can you kill off Luke or Laura?

How many evil twins can one person have?

As a young, girl, I grew up with the soaps on NBC, CBS and then ABC. I suffered with Erica Kane in the early seventies and I married when Luke and Laura were married. I had crushes on Jackson Montgomery, swooned at Scorpio’s accent and was attracted to the Hoff when he was Dr. Snapper on the Young and the Restless well before he began running on the beach with Pamela Anderson.

Erica (last name De jour) from All My Children has been a part of my life for most of my life! Susan Lucci started playing her very young and continues playing her into retirement age. The Soap does not come on regular television screens anymore, it went into metamorphosis and is now a new fancy
‘smancy’ online version called, “Prospect Park.”

What? 

Ok, it's been changed back to All my Children and can be seen on Hula with new episodes and a guest appearance from Lucci here and there. 

New All My Children (Click to see trailer)
Known as the Queen of Daytime Television, Lucci began All My Children in January 1970 and after 12 marriages, some legal and some not, she bears the name Erica Kane Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery and etc...She nearly was killed off when the show ended in 2011, but you know those soap opera characters, they never go away and they never die.

Erica has staged prison breaks, ran corporations, hosted talk shows, hunted down terrorists in Bosnia, and confronted a grizzly bear. Now that’s entertainment!

But the times, they are a changin’ and the serial dramas are fading fast. The tsunami began when after 72 years of marrying, killing, divorcing, and other dramatic activities, the Guiding Light turned off the lights.

I had no clue that Soap Operas could end?

A former Soap addict of the 70’s and 80’s, I had weaned myself off the daytime viewing by the mid-nineties. The main reason? I went back to school, to work, and by that time, I had seen thousands of plot lines that were starting to look alike — very predictable and ridiculous.

The casts began looking more like a soft porn calendar, too good looking! Too perfect.

The thing I enjoyed about Daytime drama…was the drama! The stories, the family struggles in real life events and enjoyable and interesting characters, not cardboard Paper Dolls that looked and talked good but lacked substance.

I moved on with my life which offered many servings of my personal daytime drama.

I feel sad the genre is dying out. I learned many life lessons watching the stories unfold with life and death issues. I saw how extramarital affairs could hurt a marriage, how out-of-child wedlock was tough, how doing evil was usually punished, and anytime someone with good character did anything wrong; it always came to the light of day and with consequences.

I guess I did not realize the seriousness of the soaps demise until I was on a treadmill at the gym, (my usual soap opera viewing stand) when I noticed the words, “The End” appeared on the screen. What? I had never seen that on a soap opera before.

You sometimes see credits, but a finale?

The Guiding Light was dead. Really dead, not soap opera dead where you know somewhere down the road the actor will return with amnesia, an evil twin, or amazingly never died at all because of some amazing survival feat!

All My Children died and has come back as an evil twin.

You have to be careful not to get hooked on Soaps.

While visiting the gym, the same screen that revealed the death of a soap opera began teasing me with Days of Our Lives. No sound, but close caption that lured me in. Before I knew it, I began timing my workout to finish a scene, then the realization that I wouldn't find out what happened the next day caused me to record on my DVR an episode.

All the while telling myself that it was just one episode.

Yep, you know what happens next. I keep up with Salem’s residence on a daily basis now.

It is like any addiction, one drink leads to two and before you know it you’re dancing naked with a lamp shade on your head.

The twins are outraged at my bad habit. They roll their eyes, they grumble out loud when I turn it on, and even have begged me to stop this insanity. I refuse and warn them that they watch hours of nature shows, with poop-eating guides and disgusting exterminator retrievals!
Bear Grylls eats gross stuff

Why couldn't I have my one guilty pleasure?


When they hid the remote one day I threaten to wipe out all their shows unless it was revealed!

It took me a few minutes before I realized the craziness of my actions. It was only a silly television show and my young impressionable boys were just trying to help me be a better person, to overcome my soap addiction. My twins love me enough to take the keys out of my hands! They had called a cab and I was not grateful at all!

Why was I upset? After all, I could watch it via the internet anyway!

Once you could peruse the daytime channels and find a Soap on every station.

Critics use to blast women for watching such trash, but if you see what has replaced the soap operas today those critics would welcome the vixens and villains back with open arms. Jerry Springer-like shows with fights, mud wrestling lesbians, confessions of adultery, fornication, and perversions with every kin, friend, and neighbor, plus, court television marathons and who’s your daddy theme shows that scrounge up the worse of humanity and display them for all of tvland.

Now, at the gym, unless its news or ESPN, I try to keep my eyes averted.

What killed our soaps? Why are we forced to have such junk replace them?

Housewives are not home any longer. Our lives are so fast paced who can afford the luxury of time to watch hours of daytime dramas?

Who can afford to pay real actors their salaries when Average Joe will work cheap for a 15 minute fame moment?

As strange as the plot lines can get on Soaps, they can’t be stranger than real life.

So, are the Days of our lives?

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