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ALL: Something That's Been on my Mind...; Are we too critical?
Topic Started: Aug 17 2007, 08:23 AM (846 Views)
psychofan
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#1 Fan of Daytime Psychos!

Okay....I just feel the urge to spill my mind right now. lol. This might not make any sense to anyone but me, but here it goes.

Believe it or not, there was a time when I loved "Days of our Lives". In fact, I more than loved it...I was obsessed with it. Nearly every thought I had was about it. I'd watch an episode two and three times to make sure I hadn't missed anything, and if someone else watched it, you can bet that's all I would talk to them about. I got to the point where I hated weekends because there was no Days! (This was from Reilly-Langan, then during Reilly's second tenure)

But back then, I knew nothing of writers. I hardly ever got in the internet and I didn't know anything about what was going on behind the scenes. I accepted EVERYTHING. I didn't ever say "Ugh, I can't believe JER is doing this". It was always "I can't believe Sami just said that!" or "Kate, you bitch!" ...I mean I would yell at the TV all the time like a mad person. I think that this is how daytime should always be.

I think many fans will bash and bash a writer or show until their heart is content, but really, the writer is still doing their job...as long as you're watching. Will we like everything a show dishes out? No. Just like in life, we don't like everything that happens to us, but we have to accept it. So many people have bashed JER (mainly at other boards) about this Pretty story because of the way he writes her. Well, maybe that's the way she's supposed to be written. Maybe she IS a self-concious bitch who doesn't understand that she's beautiful even with the scar.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is.....maybe we sometimes bash writers, when we should really just forget about them and concentrate on the show itself. Does that make any sense at all? lol.
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kserox10


I totally agree with you! Maybe we should not only look at the writiers but the show itself!
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ArizonaDaze
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Great post Psycho. Until I started coming to message boards a couple of years ago, I just watched no matter what and did like you - yelled at the tv! Lots of good that did except to get it out of my system! I also knew nothing of writers, backstage turmoil, etc. Maybe that was a good thing. I enjoy reading everyone's thoughts whether I agree or disagree because it is very interesting seeing how many different perspectives there are when it comes to what (or who) we like and don't like. It amazes me.
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Steve Frame
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Well for me I have always critiqued the shows I watch whether it be in screaming at the TV or with friends or with a messageboard. Sometimes I knew who the writers have been and sometime I haven't.

And one thing I know for sure is that it has never mattered to me who the writer is. Even the best writers are open for criticism from me if what they are putting on the air stinks.

I was one of the biggest critics of Agnes Nixon when she wrote the story with Jonathan bargaining with the devil for his soul on Loving. I couldn't beleive she went there and I was very vocal about it. That was before messageboards.

So for I will criticize writers whehter I know who they are or not. To me it is not the writer but the product they are putting out that I have the problem with.

People keep calling me a Hogan basher because I criticize Days but I am not criticizing HOgan - I am criticizing the product he is putting out.
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IMissAremid
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After all... tomorrow is another day!

You have a very good point, however, when it comes to how DOOL is being written now I can't just sit back and enjoy the show because the mistakes of the writers/producers are so great, glaring and galling that they take me out of the story and break my concentration on the show as a viewer.

I think the writer has an obligation beyond just getting me to continue watching. I think the writer also has an obligation to the integrity of characters and to a show's history. It shouldn't be so hard to accomplish all of those things.
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psychofan
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#1 Fan of Daytime Psychos!

IMissAremid
Aug 17 2007, 11:45 AM
You have a very good point, however, when it comes to how DOOL is being written now I can't just sit back and enjoy the show because the mistakes of the writers/producers are so great, glaring and galling that they take me out of the story and break my concentration on the show as a viewer.

I think the writer has an obligation beyond just getting me to continue watching. I think the writer also has an obligation to the integrity of characters and to a show's history. It shouldn't be so hard to accomplish all of those things.

I definately understand that one. Hogan is the only writer that I truely hate right now.
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King
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Great post, psychofan.
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bellcurve
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At times, those two things both go hand-in-hand.

I knew of writers prior to getting the internet, because I had Soap Opera Digest.

I can sit back and enjoy the show as long as its well written and watchable. But even during the best written periods of soap, we always find things that leave us dumbfounded in terms of acting, writing, and suspending disbelief.

I did ALOT of that during Reilly I of DAYS, because while the show had its setbacks(i.e. meeting on the rooftop at midnight, vision goggles, etc.), the show was just that damn good! Production, writing, (most of the) acting was top notch! It's no surprise to me hat DAYS was #2 in the ratings after MarDevil and stayed there.

We can sit back and enjoy, but we criticize everything else...films, music, primetime. Why not soaps?
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PhoenixRising05
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GET EM STEPH!!

Fair post.

I know I try not to be too critical because tearing a show limb from limb ruins it overall for me. However, as a result of posting alot the past few years, I find myself wanting to be more critical.

I think sometimes it's best to just sit back and enjoy. I decided to do that with Passions back in January after being very upset with it and it instantly got better for me. I also think when we start comparing the present to past glory eras we tend to see things in a much more negative light. Soaps will never be what they were and they really do have to change with the times. That is the period we are in now and I think alot of fans are just unwilling to accept what has to be the new way of doing things. Sure, the soaps all screwed up and pissed off fans but it is what it is. If we truly love our soaps and want them to survive, we need to just take the good with the bad. That does not mean accepting crap stories but it also does not mean endlessly bashing shows, boycotting, etc. I think all fans need to show a bit more patience in waiting to see things play out as a whole before judging what is happening. The first half or so of a story could suck and then it can get better in an instant.

I think we need to give the soaps a little more breathing room to work, especially the ones that are trying. If a show seems like it isn't making an effort and is just trash, then bash away. I only feel that way about Y&R right now whereas the other soaps I feel are trying for the most part.

If soaps are going to attract any new fans, they have to change to accommodate young fans and fans new to the genre. Otherwise, there will be no interest. JMO.
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SpiritualJunkie


Very interesting post, psychofan!

I've never really been one to shamelessly bash headwriters. There's a lot of stuff going behind the scenes that we don't know about. When I don't like the way a character is being written or the way a storyline is going, I always talk about "the writers"...and that basically lumps anyone responsible for the crap I feel I'm witnessing on television into one big group. 'Cause really, I don't believe there is just one person solely responsible for writing garbage.

I have found, that people either blame writers too much or blame the character/actors too much. There have been times when great performances were left unnoticed or good writing was left unnoticed because people hated the actors/characters. But I think the same occurs in real life? Anyone ever have a job where you felt you worked your ass off only to have your boss completely praise someone else time and time again?

Hate to say it but soap watchers are a very fickle and hypocritical bunch.
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Steve Frame
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SJ,

You bring up a good point in blaming actors too much too. I get tired of that moreso than even blaming writers or producers.

Actors do not have control on their shows. They might be asked every once in awhile for input but it is not welcomed unless it is asked for. Who knows these characters better than someone who has played them for years and years. I am not saying go in and ask a newbie but esp. new writers and producers go the actors/actresses who have been there, who have played these characters.

I will never bash an actor or actress for speaking out about anything. All they are paid to do is act. A writer and producer are hired to make the show better as far as story and production values. Actors contribute by performing their characters to the best of their ability. Also it is actors who are the ones who have to take the brunt of the budget cuts or are the main ones who are being cut. What writer has been asked to go on recurring? What producer has been asked to take a pay cut? You tell me one and I will back off of that argument.

I get so tired of people like Erika Slezak, Drake Hogestyn, Julia Barr, Ellen Dolan, Bryan Dattilo and Kim Zimmer being called bitches and bastards all across the Internet just because they are trying to preserve their jobs or trying to preserve some part of their character or the life that they have built for themselves. I am just waiting for one of them to be a true bitch or bastard and say well I'll do this Mr. (fill in the blank) when you take a pay cut too.

Fans are so quick to throw actors to the curb if they say even one thing negative about their show. Why just look at the uproar over Mary Beth Evans' little statement that she made about she should have stayed at ATWT which was just a joke. Fans jumped on that and immediately she was a bitch for saying it. I am surprised there wasn't more uproar over what she said in the BuddyTV interview a couple of weeks ago when she said that for the 16 years she was off the show she didn't even watch the show or keep up with it that much.

I find that last part funny that not just Evans but many stars when asked say they are too busy to watch much TV but yet they expect us too. I think some fans are so jaded that they think the stars watch the shows and keep up with them just like they do. But for many of them it is just a job. I can't even hold that against them.

Actors are there to do a job and they want to work just like the rest of us. And after giving a company or a show loyalty it is nice to get a little back - to be felt like you are truly appreciated. And not to be the only ones who are the fall guy when budgets need to be cut or the total blame when ratings don't go up.

One last thing on actors, I have been shocked to read so many times over the last few years about vets just phoning in performances. It is said a lot of vets like Philip Carey and Eileen Fulton and others. I can't hold that against them either. For these vets they once loved these shows and would give anything for them. But what did that do for them. Absolutely nothing. Actors want to work like everyone else. And when they know that they are only kept there because they have been with the show for so long and not because they are wanted - then it has to affect your attitude and your performance. The older vets esp. know that in this day and time their not the target demo and are not wanted. So just do it and get it over has to be their motto.

I find it funny that the foreign soaps use their older characters and vets a whole lot more and actually feature them. And their soaps are still popular. Also many of them don't just hire models but every day looking people too.
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px780
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Streetcorner Philosopher

SteveFrame
Aug 17 2007, 07:08 PM
I get so tired of people like Erika Slezak, Drake Hogestyn, Julia Barr, Ellen Dolan, Bryan Dattilo and Kim Zimmer being called bitches and bastards all across the Internet just because they are trying to preserve their jobs or trying to preserve some part of their character or the life that they have built for themselves. I am just waiting for one of them to be a true bitch or bastard and say well I'll do this Mr. (fill in the blank) when you take a pay cut too.

I so disagree with you on this. Respectfully, of course.

To me, all they're doing is pandering to the fans to try and get what they want. Nothing to do with preserving a job, everything to do with ego, at least for some. I can't blame them for doing it, but I'm all for bashing them when they do. They can do their griping behind the scenes or when they quit (or get fired). Otherwise, I don't need to hear the bitching. If they were as popular as they think they are there's no need to try and stir up the fans with public comments, imho. (Course, I'm trapped in a shit job and don't have a magazine to talk to and message boards full of adoring fans to agree with my comments so I'm biased)

As to the critical thing- I don't think I know how to just sit back and watch a show. Half the enjoyment for me is talking about it on this board, and with my soaps of choice half the excitement is drama backstage. If the shows don't hold my full attention then my brain wanders and finds the fun elsewhere. That's talking trash online, most of the time. It's usually done with love, though.
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Steve Frame
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px, It is alright to disagree. I still hold to what I said. I find it funny that it is only the older stars who are having to speak out. And that is sad. They have given the most time to the shows. What makes me the most mad is that these stars like Zimmer, Slezak, etc. could have left soap operas behind for something bigger and better. And when they made it completely ignored soaps and speaking wickedly of them.

These stars have not used soaps. They have stuck with these characters. loved them, nourished them, been ambassadors for these shows, and how are they treated for it. Like shit that is how.

I don't see why some stars can speak out too and they are not regarded that way. Many of the young stars can write in their blogs about things and nothing much is said about it, but an older star speaks out or refuses to take what is given them and they are just ungrateful bitches or seeking attention.

Many of these young stars that are so popular right now are going to do the same thing that so many others have done. They are going to make you love them and love their characters, and then they are going to want to go on to bigger and better things. The soap world is constantly full of those. That is fine and dandy and just part of it, but frankly I am tired of seeing them rewarded and given booghoodles of money to come back for short visits while many of the tried and true actors and actresses are being thrown out to pasture even after they have given their whole acting lives to the genre and their character.
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SpiritualJunkie


Steve...you make an interesting point about phoned-in performances. Most of the time, those who start phoning in their performances are actually really good actors who are being given really bland stories. Can't say I blame them. I used to always think that a great actor will turn shit into gold but it's also human nature to let your boredom show through. It really depends on who you are and I hesitate from attacking any actor who I thought used to be great when they start putting out tired performances and it's clear the writing is to blame.

px...I'll also have to lean towards your side of the argument. I can't stand actors who complain too much and I also can't stand those who pimp every single storyline of theirs..no matter how bad they are. I think some type of middle ground is needed. I have respect for the vet actors for staying as long as they have with their respective shows but I can live without the smugness..which some actors do have.
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NikkiSmith


Psychofan, I know how you feel. Every once in a while, actually quite often, I catch myself bitching and whining about every little thing.

The problem is, every time I make the resolution to be more positive, or to even just be on the lookout for the positive, some new outrage arises.
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Ridge
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I A with a lot of what people are saying here, especially you psychofan, I am not afraid to admit that I was just like that back in the day LOL! Weekends sucked b/c there was no DAYS or OLTL and often they involved me re-watching episodes too.

But it is no doubt that people will become critical of a show when they can not simply sit back and enjoy it anymore. That is usually when people start to nit pick, try to rationalize or find reasons for their disinterest and their unhappiness and that is when the critical-ness takes over. DAYS for one has been guilty of this for many times, the problem this time around is that it has not been able to recover -- nor has it been able to make itself enjoyable (for me anyways, and obviously many others), which is why many DAYS fans remain critical rather than sitting back and enjoying.

When my soap is on fire I have no problem just enjoying it, but if it is failing on many levels there is no way you can just ignore so many things that are prohibiting you from enjoying it. It is also a question of what comes first the chicken or the egg. People just don't start becoming critical one day for the heck of it. Something precipitates it-- and it is usually disinterest or falling interest in the show.
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