Saving the Soap Opera
By Maggie Christian
A comment to my blog: “ABC Is Cancelling Two Soap Operas: AMC and OLTL” has inspired me to write further on the subject but with the thought in my mind of the need to save the Soap Opera. Brilliant suggestions were made and I feel they would make the Soaps more visible to the public. Two examples that were suggested were: 1. To send Soap Opera Stars around the country visiting college campuses to discuss acting – writing – TV production. This would draw an interest from the younger generation to an exposure to Soap Operas and to create a potential interest in watching the genre. 2. To have Soap Opera Stars promote and endorse the products that support the shows through their advertising. It is too ridiculous that ABC doesn’t make every effort to save these Soap Operas. Having Soap Actors in commercials might actually draw people to those ads and the DVR might pause to view them rather than fast forwarding ahead to the next scene. Instead of the Soap Operas being cancelled the programmers should be replaced with people who have the creativity to promote the Soaps and reach out to draw in more viewers. I do not believe Brian Frons is being truthful that there is a decline in numbers of viewers. It’s the way in which viewer-ship is counted. There are a variety of ways to watch Soap Operas in our technological age: DVR – Internet – Alternate Channels (SoapNet – but ABC is cancelling that Network as of the beginning of 2012) – and viewing as the Soap Operas are being transmitted over the airwaves. There is a strong need for the entertainment that Soap Operas bring to our culture. Losing AMC and OLTL is going to cut into so many people’s emotional and mental needs. They satisfy a continued ingredient in people’s lives that nothing else can satisfy. Story telling has existed since the beginning of communications between humans back to cave drawings. Soap Operas have that special story telling capability that no other medium has. If you study the shows that succeed the most on Prime Time Television you will find that they are character driven stories that develop a continuity connecting from one episode to the next. An example is TV Guides voted on Most Favorite Drama “Castle”. The relationship between Kate Beckett and Richard Castle propels that series forward and the most popular episodes are those that show a growth in their relationship. Soap Operas give you that relationship development in great detail like no other medium on television. I feel this is a healthy form of storytelling that people need in their lives for escape and for enjoyment and for its potential to expose the viewer to socially relevant issues in our society. There are certain forms of entertainment that should not be tampered with except to continually improve their characters development and to write the best stories for the actors to portray to the best of their ability. Is it attention deficit disorder that brings Brian Frons to his heinous crime of killing off AMC and OLTL? Does he think the public has lost their intelligence to follow story lines that continue for extended periods of time until resolution and then follow into the next phase of any characters development and the course of their lives as they continue on living an interesting life as the writers continue to create into their futures. If they have any future. According to Brian Frons – he doesn’t think so. I do not feel he is right and I think there are millions of fans out there who feel and think the same.