Rant about the sorry state of my favourite soaps at the current time.
Okay, it’s gonna be short and not-so-sweet, but I’ve really got to vent about what are rapidly becoming my erstwhile favourite shows. Yes, I do mean shows, as I loathe primetime, it’s the proverbial vast wasteland, although the IIC at daytime are doing their level best to make it just as bad a viewing option, if not worse; why, I’ll never know. Unless it’s the almighty dollar, but that really can’t be it, as I don’t see the cheaply produced game and talk shows pulling in a whole lot of ad revenue, but then again, what do I know? I’m just a disgruntled viewer.
As to why I consider primetime TV to be such a colossal bore, the answer can be summed up in one word---variety, or to be more specific, the lack thereof. All that’s on is death, drugs, disease, and the occasional dollop of dirty (heaven forfend it should be loving!) sex. From House to Bones to the innumerable CSIs (not to mention alternate offerings such as True Blood, and Weeds) darkness and dreariness prevails. The only “comedies” are smarmy and not very funny; I’m hard-pressed to get a laugh out of any of ‘em. And not because I’m such a prude, either, it’s just that humour which derives from casual sex and is primarily physical, even scatological in nature is not amusing (to me, anyways---outrageous and even stupid I can do, but comedy has to bring the funny, also, and today’s shows are a complete washout there).
Turning to the soaps, when they’re not busy dropping like flies (GL and ATWT, to name but 2), they’re busy showing us exactly why they’re dropping like flies. Of the shows I watch (or used to watch, as the case may be), this same lack of variety is responsible for reducing my interest in them from extremely high to pretty much nil.
On GH, it’s always been Sonny Central (or at least since about 2000), but even though I despise the character I still hung in there because some of the characters I did like very much (Carly, The Q clan, Luke and the various Cassadines, among others) were still being featured prominently. However, as the years have passed, the Q’s have been gutted; Carly, a character I used to love because even though she was a bitch she still had a most remarkable air of vulnerability about her, has now been turned into a shrieking, snarking, downright hateful piece of work, who rarely, if ever, displays any of the insecure humanity that made me root for her so hard for so long. Other characters who I used to quite like have been trashed, and/or reduced to ciphers (see Nikolas, Liz, Brooke Lynn), or turned nasty (Spinelli springs to mind), and promising new characters (most recently, Claire) scuttled and/or turned into caricatures of their former selves. All this for the sake of one singularly loathsome character, Sonny. For his sake, all other characters must be made “less than”, and sacrificed at his feet of clay. And now, with the advent of Bren-duh, one of my most abhorred PC residents ever, GH has not just one little tin idol, but 2, and together they cannibalize the entire show, leaving naught but waning ratings in the dust.
Bold and Beautiful which was on fire (!) at the beginning of the summer with the revelation that Brooke had boffed yet another daughter’s man to the sizzling strains of Daddy Yankee’s “Pose” has begun its Autumn run with a whimper (as opposed to a bang!). The whole Stephanie’s got lung cancer and is gonna bite the big one has been not only interminable since it began (with only a few random scenes of Bridget and Owen’s BS baby angst---yuck!), but also terminally boring. When one SL (and a bloody depressing one at that!) dominates the show to this extent, there’s a problem. The elephant in the room seems to be the simple fact that no one is irreplaceable, not even the inestimable Ms. Flannery. Sure, her take on Stephanie has shined ever since the show’s debut, but the character has changed a lot since then, and it only stands to reason that instead of possibly gutting the show by killing off such a vital and integral character, why not just recast? There are certainly a number of excellent actresses out there who are the right age and capable of portraying the legendary Steph very ably, indeed. (In fact, for me, the actor Shirley Jones comes immediately to mind, as I think she’d be awesome in the role!). In fact, I am certain that a talented performer could bring out facets of Stephanie’s personality that may have been dormant, without changing who the character is one iota. Right now the show has become one big pity party/snoozefest.
Well, those are the two main soaps I wanted to discuss today. I’d like to address One Life to Live and Days of our Lives at a later date. They too, have problems; in the case of OLTL, seemingly insurmountable ones.