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ALL: The Wish List
Topic Started: Aug 8 2007, 11:28 PM (315 Views)
Steve Frame
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Okay all of you know how frustrated I am with the world of soap opera these days. My belief is always that you can either sit around and complain or you can try to do something about it. Dammit I love the soap opera genre too much to not say something.

I have alreayd been writing tons of letters esp. to the networks and production companies about AMC, Days, ATWT, GL, & Y&R - the 5 shows I feel the closest attachment to and the most frustrated with at this point. I know that most people only have 1 show they feel a personal attachment too but for me of the 9 on the air right now these 5 I have had a 30 plus year love affair with and feel so close to the characters (of course on Y&R Kay is the only one that I have history with for that long of a period). Even with AW which is my all time favorite, I can't say that I felt more attached to it than any of these other 5.

Okay as Sophia Petrillo does all the time - I digressed.

Okay back to doing something about it. I have decided to approach each of you with this thread and ask what each of you wish for the soaps today, and create a wish list. I then want to assemble this wish list and e-mail it to SOW, SOD and each of the networks - with the kindest regards from Daytime Royalty membership.

All I ask is I want this to be taken seriously. I know that we all have our faves but please try to refrain from your only wish being "more air time for Chelsea" or "more EJ" or "less Sami" or "more Willen" --- etc. you get the drift.

I want this to be taken seriously and not look like it is coming from a fan base.

Let's assemble a list of the things we want to see on all soaps or even one soap in general.

I will keep this post up and active until August 24th and then close it and create the list from all the responses.

I will start us off (you can continue numbering from mine if you would like). I know that many of you will include better writing and etc. so I am going to refrain from those at this point.

1) More multi-generational drama is my number one wish for soaps. I want to see the shows that have 3 or 4 generations of a family still represented on the show to use that. I want to see grandparents more involved in their grandchildren's lives and vice versa. To bring back classic relationships like Papa Hughes and his grandson, Tom, on As The World Turns.

2) Better balance is my 2nd biggest wish. I am talking about overall balance and not just less of this actor and actress. I would like to see a show have more focus on more characters and less of the trend of having one or two performers who dominate the episode counts as we see today. With that I want stories to feature all age groups. For far too long now the powers that be have been way too concerned and preoccupied with the target demo of 18-49 and giving that generation what they believe they want to see. If the shows would change this focus and quit worrying and catering to one demo and catered to all demographic viewers the show would have better demos in all categories and thus a better total household rating.

3) A wish that doesn't necessarily go along with soap production but I feel will help soaps in the long run. I want to see soap operas on DVD. DVD sets just like the ones the primetime series are doing. Each network and production company can work out deals to garner money for the show thus helping with the budgets.

4) I want the return of breif nudity to the soaps. NOt full blown nudity but brief nudity like the soaps did in the late 80's and early 90's. I see nothing wrong with slight nudity every now and then in a love scene or whatever.

5) I want a return of romance to soaps too. For many of the soaps today romance and sex are no longer part of the routine anymore. Love scenes on both Days of Our Lives and Young & the Restless have gotten very boring of late. Well they are non-existant on Days now. Young virgin Chelsea lost her virginity and it wasn't even shown at all. Belle & Shawn finally make love after years of fans waiting and it was a big letdown. Divorced couple Roman & Anna make love after many many years, and it is all took place off screen.

and my final one..........

6) Better writers. There is not one writer on any of the 9 shows right now that is deserving of the money he or she is being paid. I want a complete housecleaning. I don't necessarily want new blood but have no problem with others being given a chance. I would most like to see the return of many of the writers who know these shows and know how to write for them. Some of the current writers are okay but they are either not suited for the shows they are writing or they need some big time help. Both Hogan Sheffer and Lynn Latham are good writers but not on the shows they are currently writing for. They both need to go soon. David Kreizman and Brad Bell are both okay but they need help with their shows big time. I am glad to hear that Brad Bell is finally going to get help at B&B. The rest need to go now. They have been given a chance and they are failing at it big time. I am including Harmon & Brown at AMC and Carlivati on OLTL in that too for now, but am reserving full judgement to give them some time to win me over. So far they are not doing it.


Okay I will turn it over to all of you now. Please feel free to add any wish you would like to add.
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px780
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Streetcorner Philosopher

With respect to the writers thing- I do think it's time for fresh blood. If they don't know where to find it, I'd send them online. Some fanfic writers are really, really creative, and I can't tell you how many times I've read a thread where people (always the same ones) offer entertaining, exciting, well thought out alternatives to what's being aired.

Besides that, I guess I've got three wishes.

1) Real diversity. Not just ethnic diversity, but people of different economic backgrounds as well. It might add a touch of realism to shows if they weren't dominated by wealthy families (or families that somehow have endless supplies of money), and it could inspire the writers to do something else with them other than the same tired plots. At the same time, I'm not necessarily looking for difference to become the dominant part of a storyline (meaning if they have a gay character, for example, that's just a part of who the person is, not the whole personality). Diversity is just a fact of my world, as it is for most people at this point, and it'd be nice to have that on screen.

2) I would love to see storylines with real, lasting consequences for the characters involved. One of my issues with Days right now is that everything passes within a couple of episodes. All soaps have notorious storylines where things are glossed over, undone, or rewritten in order to keep a certain actor around (cutting the evil out of Jonathan on AMC, for example). While I get that a certain amount of that is the nature and fun of the genre, and while I've enjoyed some of the outlandish stuff before, the lack of consequences and knowledge that everything can be undone is distancing me from my shows of choice. Bottom line, I don't feel like I should bother investing because nothing sticks.

Along with that- when there are no consequences the stories they like to write with characters in peril don't really work, unless I know an actor is leaving (and even then, they can undo any death). If they can't bring real, lasting consequences, I'd like them to find something else to rely on to ratchet up the tension, besides a hostage situation, bomb, kidnapping; etc. Knowing nobody will die, get permanently maimed, or go to jail for bad acts undermines that, anyway.

3) I wish writers would be more careful with the pacing of their storylines. I almost got into AMC, but the storyline I started watching (Bianca's rape and the murder of Michael Cambias) dragged out way too long. The feud storyline on Days has some of the most awkward pacing I've ever experienced, with the overall thing moving slowly and important events being rushed. It's hard to describe, like the parts are going faster than the whole. I don't have a solution or anything, but someone somewhere has to have figured out how to flow through a storyline nicely. I just haven't seen that.
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Steve Frame
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I agree with you px about fan fic and online soap writers being a lot more creative than any on the shows today. I would take any of the 4 writers on DR-TV and put them up against Brown/Esensten, Passanante, Bell, SHEFFER, Kreizman, Carlivati, Reilly, and Latham and the 4 would win hands down. I know that is bragging on myself some since I am one of the 4 but I don't care.

As far as fresh blood - the reason I am scared of asking for fresh blood is that with the way the network heads think these days - always trying to reinvent the wheel -they will get fresh blood who knows nothing about the genre. Give me fresh blood that knows what they are doing. Daytime struck gold a few times with Lemay and Slesar who were not soap opera writers but they have struck out too. Sheffer was good for awhile but it is clear the more and more he writers Days that he doesn't knwo how to write true soap opera. That is what makes the fan fic writers good is they know the show, they know the characters, and they know the genre. And most of all they respect it.

Give me fresh blood that can do that and I will say bring them on.
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King
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Mine are all along the same path: Suspense, Mystery, Intrigue.
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psychofan
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#1 Fan of Daytime Psychos!

King
Aug 9 2007, 02:14 AM
Mine are all along the same path: Suspense, Mystery, Intrigue.

That's basically all I look for in soaps.

With the brief nudity, I don't think that's so much a production issue as it is a network issue. Although in Cristian and Evangeline's love scene, we did see a full shot of his ass.

For better writer, I have to disagree though. I honestly don't see anything wrong with most of the writers in daytime right now....with the exception of Sheffer and Kriezman. I think was the writers need is just someone telling them what the can and can't do.
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oakdalelover


Quote:
 
1) More multi-generational drama is my number one wish for soaps. I want to see the shows that have 3 or 4 generations of a family still represented on the show to use that. I want to see grandparents more involved in their grandchildren's lives and vice versa. To bring back classic relationships like Papa Hughes and his grandson, Tom, on As The World Turns.

2) Better balance is my 2nd biggest wish. I am talking about overall balance and not just less of this actor and actress. I would like to see a show have more focus on more characters and less of the trend of having one or two performers who dominate the episode counts as we see today. With that I want stories to feature all age groups. For far too long now the powers that be have been way too concerned and preoccupied with the target demo of 18-49 and giving that generation what they believe they want to see. If the shows would change this focus and quit worrying and catering to one demo and catered to all demographic viewers the show would have better demos in all categories and thus a better total household rating.

3) A wish that doesn't necessarily go along with soap production but I feel will help soaps in the long run. I want to see soap operas on DVD. DVD sets just like the ones the primetime series are doing. Each network and production company can work out deals to garner money for the show thus helping with the budgets.

4) I want the return of breif nudity to the soaps. NOt full blown nudity but brief nudity like the soaps did in the late 80's and early 90's. I see nothing wrong with slight nudity every now and then in a love scene or whatever.

5) I want a return of romance to soaps too. For many of the soaps today romance and sex are no longer part of the routine anymore. Love scenes on both Days of Our Lives and Young & the Restless have gotten very boring of late. Well they are non-existant on Days now. Young virgin Chelsea lost her virginity and it wasn't even shown at all. Belle & Shawn finally make love after years of fans waiting and it was a big letdown. Divorced couple Roman & Anna make love after many many years, and it is all took place off screen.


Quote:
 
1) Real diversity. Not just ethnic diversity, but people of different economic backgrounds as well. It might add a touch of realism to shows if they weren't dominated by wealthy families (or families that somehow have endless supplies of money), and it could inspire the writers to do something else with them other than the same tired plots. At the same time, I'm not necessarily looking for difference to become the dominant part of a storyline (meaning if they have a gay character, for example, that's just a part of who the person is, not the whole personality). Diversity is just a fact of my world, as it is for most people at this point, and it'd be nice to have that on screen.

2) I would love to see storylines with real, lasting consequences for the characters involved. One of my issues with Days right now is that everything passes within a couple of episodes. All soaps have notorious storylines where things are glossed over, undone, or rewritten in order to keep a certain actor around (cutting the evil out of Jonathan on AMC, for example). While I get that a certain amount of that is the nature and fun of the genre, and while I've enjoyed some of the outlandish stuff before, the lack of consequences and knowledge that everything can be undone is distancing me from my shows of choice. Bottom line, I don't feel like I should bother investing because nothing sticks.

Along with that- when there are no consequences the stories they like to write with characters in peril don't really work, unless I know an actor is leaving (and even then, they can undo any death). If they can't bring real, lasting consequences, I'd like them to find something else to rely on to ratchet up the tension, besides a hostage situation, bomb, kidnapping; etc. Knowing nobody will die, get permanently maimed, or go to jail for bad acts undermines that, anyway.

3) I wish writers would be more careful with the pacing of their storylines. I almost got into AMC, but the storyline I started watching (Bianca's rape and the murder of Michael Cambias) dragged out way too long. The feud storyline on Days has some of the most awkward pacing I've ever experienced, with the overall thing moving slowly and important events being rushed. It's hard to describe, like the parts are going faster than the whole. I don't have a solution or anything, but someone somewhere has to have figured out how to flow through a storyline nicely. I just haven't seen that.





Steve and px780: You hit it on the head for me!

I'd like to see a return to family traditions.What I am talking about,since I only watch CBS is Thanksgving and Christmas stories like the Bauers,Hughes and Snyder's used to have.Nowadays the holday's are basically ignored.
I remember the 4th of July celebrations where the Hughes would raise the flag and Pa made the speech. The tradition went to Chris then Bob.
Real funerals! The funeral tribute to Hal was a joke.

What I am talking about is realism in the soaps.


Soaps should let their producers,produce,their writer's write.
Sure there should be some supervision but a producer should have enough faith in their writer's vision to leave him alone. At least for the first six months.If the ratings aren't budging or falling then act.

No one should be Executive Producer ,Head Writer,Story editor at the same time.
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bellcurve
Unregistered

I don't know how to top your wishlist, especially since all of you have pretty much hit the nail on the head. But...

1) Better Actors. God, remember in the 90's when talent like Monti Sharp and Melissa Hayden ruled the world? Those two, if they tried to be cast on a soap today, would never get hired because they aren't models. I'm not saying that we shouldn't strive for pretty on soaps or that pretty people are incapable of being good actors, but if you have a large pool of talent to choose from, choose the better actor vs. the model!

The biggest problem with daytime is that we sacrifice looks for talent so often. Even if the story is good, it is butchered by the crappy acting on the show.

2) No more stunt casting that doesn't make sense!

With the exception of Tatum O'Neal(who just hit it out of the park almost everytime on MyNetworkTV's WICKED WICKED GAMES), stunt casting blows. What was to be gained by Patrick Duffy joining the show as Stephen Logan for a few weeks, when, probably for the same amount of money, you could have hired back the original portrayer for about six months or even better, recast with a handsome dashing daytime vet who needs work. Kale Browne would have a made a great, charasmatic Stephen Logan or John Forsythe could have added more depth to Stephen and a lot less "nice-guy" to what was needed for that character.

I'm still baffled over Joan Collins getting chosen to play Alexandra, and not even fulfilling the rest of her contract(and I bet anything he got paid for the full guarantee). I could think of a ton of actresses who would do a much better job than her or even Mommie Dearest herself, Marj Dusay.

3) Something New...

The biggest reason why daytime isn't progressing is because I don't feel like there's anything new to offer. This is very unpopular, but I'd love to see a soap cancelled for a new soap. In this day and age(where even MyNetworkTV couldn't get a fair chance), it's highly unlikely to happen.

4) Hire people who WANT to write soaps!

PLEASE DO THIS! Our genre is so passionless with the same hack writers going from soap to soap promoting same agenda that the Network Execs want to promote.

I remember reading on another board people asking who outside the genre would make a fantastic Head-Writer. And one 'novelist,' E. Lynn Harris, came up in conversation. And the thought of him having anything to do with soaps not only makes me sick, but worried. I've met the guy, took classes from him at the UofA and the guy openly HATES soaps, not to mention he'd probably make half of the cast of his show bi and start speaking in Ebonics. He is just not someone who needs to be looked at or approached about daytime.

I know, I know, I know...you're gonna tell me Harding Lemay was a novelist and all the people who were novelist who wrote for soaps. Quite frankly, we're in a different climate these days. People outside of the fanbases, the boards, and the industry cringe when hearing 'soap opera.' They feel like its a 'step down.' And I don't want anyone in daytime who considers soaps a 'step down.' If you don't want to write for daytime, get the fuck out and give your spot to someone who wants to write for soaps!

4) If you're gonna make a soap opera channel, please make it for DAYTIME soap fans!

I guess that is my wishlist.
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MichaelGL
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Sexy Jew

bellcurve
Aug 9 2007, 10:50 AM
I don't know how to top your wishlist, especially since all of you have pretty much hit the nail on the head. But...

1) Better Actors. God, remember in the 90's when talent like Monti Sharp and Melissa Hayden ruled the world? Those two, if they tried to be cast on a soap today, would never get hired because they aren't models. I'm not saying that we shouldn't strive for pretty on soaps or that pretty people are incapable of being good actors, but if you have a large pool of talent to choose from, choose the better actor vs. the model!

The biggest problem with daytime is that we sacrifice looks for talent so often. Even if the story is good, it is butchered by the crappy acting on the show.

2) No more stunt casting that doesn't make sense!

With the exception of Tatum O'Neal(who just hit it out of the park almost everytime on MyNetworkTV's WICKED WICKED GAMES), stunt casting blows. What was to be gained by Patrick Duffy joining the show as Stephen Logan for a few weeks, when, probably for the same amount of money, you could have hired back the original portrayer for about six months or even better, recast with a handsome dashing daytime vet who needs work. Kale Browne would have a made a great, charasmatic Stephen Logan or John Forsythe could have added more depth to Stephen and a lot less "nice-guy" to what was needed for that character.

I'm still baffled over Joan Collins getting chosen to play Alexandra, and not even fulfilling the rest of her contract(and I bet anything he got paid for the full guarantee). I could think of a ton of actresses who would do a much better job than her or even Mommie Dearest herself, Marj Dusay.

3) Something New...

The biggest reason why daytime isn't progressing is because I don't feel like there's anything new to offer. This is very unpopular, but I'd love to see a soap cancelled for a new soap. In this day and age(where even MyNetworkTV couldn't get a fair chance), it's highly unlikely to happen.

4) Hire people who WANT to write soaps!

PLEASE DO THIS! Our genre is so passionless with the same hack writers going from soap to soap promoting same agenda that the Network Execs want to promote.

I remember reading on another board people asking who outside the genre would make a fantastic Head-Writer. And one 'novelist,' E. Lynn Harris, came up in conversation. And the thought of him having anything to do with soaps not only makes me sick, but worried. I've met the guy, took classes from him at the UofA and the guy openly HATES soaps, not to mention he'd probably make half of the cast of his show bi and start speaking in Ebonics. He is just not someone who needs to be looked at or approached about daytime.

I know, I know, I know...you're gonna tell me Harding Lemay was a novelist and all the people who were novelist who wrote for soaps. Quite frankly, we're in a different climate these days. People outside of the fanbases, the boards, and the industry cringe when hearing 'soap opera.' They feel like its a 'step down.' And I don't want anyone in daytime who considers soaps a 'step down.' If you don't want to write for daytime, get the fuck out and give your spot to someone who wants to write for soaps!

4) If you're gonna make a soap opera channel, please make it for DAYTIME soap fans!

I guess that is my wishlist.

Co-sign :) I agree with every point you made.

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kserox10


Better Writers.
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