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Steve Frame
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You would think they would have learned that lesson last year. It is not so much in focusing on one note characters - the problem is focusing the show around one character or a set of characters too much.

No soap opera can or should ever focus around one or a few characters. Taht was the big problem with the show last year is that every story revolved around Sami, Lucas & EJ who drained the whole life out of the show.

Now this year even though more characters are seen at times still it is the few that are at the center of the stories.

When Days was at the pinnacle of success for it's ratings from about 1972 to 1978 - a time when it was consistent in the ratings and even tied one year for #1 in the ratings for a season, Days had it's big stars who got a lot more air time than others but their stories were not the center of the show nor were their characters. They were the protagonist but they were not the be all and end all of the show.

Now that the fans feel that certain characters are the be all and end all of a show, the writers have begun to write that way. Soaps are generational and work best when the story is written in a way that it affects the whole canvas and you see how stories branch over and affect the community and the family. We are not getting that anymore.

And this idea of characters forever tied to one another - true love to the end is another thing that has hurt daytime. It is just one of the reasons I do not like writers like Sherri Anderson who say stuff like wanting to know at the end of the day that certain characters will forever love one another - which just sets up the problem that shows like Days and others have now.

In real life people change all the time - even changing the true love of their lives from time to time. Yes there are those rare instances when yes you find that true love and you are forever united to them - but it is not the norm - esp in this day and age when people get divorced for the littlest of reasons and even go into marriage with the notion that if it doesn't work out then we can get divorced.

Certain characters are not ever allowed to evolve and move on. They are not allowed to change at all. I have read statements that writers have made on this since the evolution of the "super couple" forever tied to one another and I just want to vomit. And in certain cases their statements reak of hypocrisy. Esp. with Marlena who had basically had 4 loves of her life - but for many the one and only ever true love of her life is John. The fans of the other couplings esp. Don & Marlena fans who put up with years of misery racked upon them and longingly hoped for a reconciliation after they were torn apart after not even being happily married for very long. The statements that were made about Marlena were just like taking a glove and slapping those fans in the face with it.

So many times fans just will not let characters evolve and move on. As I said in a thread over at another site just the other day, AMC fans would not allow Cliff Warner and Greg Nelson to move after both of the actresses who played their love interests chose to leave the show. The show lost 2 great characters and 2 great actors because fans would not allow them to evolve. Look at the limbo that Tad remains in to this day - despite writers trying to let him move on - he is just forever stuck out there - supposedly now for die hard fans of Tad and Dixie Tad is supposed to chop off his dick and live the life of a celibate priest from here on out - forever at a loss because the love of his life is gone.

And look at the limbo that the character of Luke is in on GH. Luke/Laura fans refuse to let him move on. They don't mind the flirtaion with Tracy but don't let him fall in love. His one and only love is Laura.

I hate to think what would have happened to great characters like Penny Hughes on ATWT or Joanne Gardner on SFT if fans had felt this way or writers felt this way in the 60's. Penny's first love died in a car crash. Joanne's first love of her life died of a heart attack. Fans let them move on; let them find new loves. In fact Joanne found at least 2 more loves of her life with Sam Reynolds and Tony Vincente.

And if the forever tied to you craze had attacked ATWT earlier than it finally did, we would have been robbed of Bob & Kim - because Kim would have forever been tied to Dan Stewart who some would argue is the love of her life. Dan Stewart would have probably returned from the dead already. And same for Penny's husband and Joanne's husband, because that is the only way writers would have known to write for them.

I think those are two big problems for soaps and one of the reasons that people just aren't attached overall anymore.
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