Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]

Viewing Single Post From: Ellen Wheeler hopes to save the daytime soap
Member Avatar
Streetcorner Philosopher

The villain in this piece is the reality show. When veteran soap-opera producer Mary-Ellis Bunim created The Real World for MTV in 1992, soap opera’s exclusive grip on emotionally manipulative programming began to loosen. “They’re closer cousins than most people realize,” says TV historian Ron Simon. “If you look at the Internet chat boards for soaps and reality shows, the audiences are asking the same question, ‘Why is the character doing this?’ They’re both a way to measure your own life.”

I don't watch GL but felt compelled to respond to this.

Isn't the core of a lot of fiction "why is the character doing this?" If that's the argument to link the two genres together, it's a bit weak, imho.

Also, I don't understand the logic here. If reality television is the main competition, why would the goal be to model yourself on that? My thinking would take me the other route, trying to be different rather than come off a lame imitation (you're never going to fool people into thinking GL or Days or AMC is "The Hills"). Especially this far into the development of the reality show genre, when the cliches are established and viewers are familiar enough with it to distinguish levels of quality as opposed to be transfixed by the newness of it all.

But what made me post is the whole crying thing combined with this notion that she's out to save the genre. It doesn't come off as a genuine love of the genre when her whole goal seems to be tricking viewers into watching by manipulating soaps into a different form, and that really bothers me. Focusing on form over content is bad enough. Even frickin' reality show producers know to focus on characters and conflict, not just lighting and sets (see: VH-1). Trying to get sympathy for it...that's where I hit my limit.
Offline Profile Quote Post
Ellen Wheeler hopes to save the daytime soap · General Daytime News