By Michele Dargan

It’s sad to see the soaps dying – one-by-one.

Last year, Guiding Light.

This year, As The World Turns.

Ugh!

For someone like me, who’s been watching soaps for more than 40 years, It’s just plain sad….sad to see what soaps have become.

I look back on the old days of soap operas, when the writing was compelling and storylines revolved around core families…they were people we cared about and were invested in.

And there wasn’t this graphic and prevalent violence…don’t even get me started on that one!

Oh, how I miss the days when there were no revealing previews and no Internet spoilers…..actually, there was no Internet, which on many levels was a blessing.

You would turn on the TV each day and wonder what would happen next.

Quite frankly, what is the point of watching the show if you know what’s going to happen.

I don’t get the appeal of spoilers, but that’s just me.

At any rate, there are a plethora of reasons for the failure of soaps these days.

Author Kelly Wittmann lists the top 12 reasons for the demise of soap operas on her blog “Five Agents and A Funeral.”

Numbers 3, 4, 5 and 9 would be tops on my list.

I wholeheartedly agree with Kelly’s assessment and offer her blog entry for your perusal.

Click on the headline below. It’s a good read!

“One Writer’s Opinion of Why Soap Operas are Dying.”

So what do you think?

Agree or disagree?

Or do you have additional reasons to add?

6 Responses to “The Reasons Why Soaps Are Dying”

  1. Hi Michele!

    She definitely makes some strong points in that blog post. My two biggest pet peeves are the lack of respect for the shows’ histories and character inconsistencies. I think those two things alone can kill a show about as fast as anything. I also agree with what you said about the spoilers. While I have been known to look at them from time to time, sometimes they are a little hard to miss in fact, they have taken away some of that soap opera mystique that was there years ago. And many of these spoilers do more than just wet your appetite for what’s about to happen they practically lay out the scripts for you on a silver platter.

    Paula

  2. You know, Michele, I also mourn the loss for a myriad of reasons. I wrote a piece at Blogcritics about Frances Reid and the overall state of soaps after experiencing them for about 42 years. And what resonated with so many readers if how I reminded them of how generations of daughters would share their views on their “stories”. And, it’s not only limited to daughters. There are plenty of males who are as loyal.

    The soap companies thought that by creating these serials they would draw loyal audiences and lure them into buying their products. In the process they sols us a cornucopia of products from household to personal to even appliances. As the economy exploded with the number of products available, life kind of got a little complicated. The soaps actually educated – their commercials enticed. As a result we needed more which meant double income households. So in the liberation of the American housewife, the serial or “soap” has begun its decline.

    There’s one thing Madison Avenue ad executives underestimate — the shear intelligence of an average soap viewer. We’re not mindless lemmings who follow stories day in and day out. We watch, we question, we react. If a story arc is unacceptable, we say so. If writers mess up on history, they know it. What has happened to soap opera illustrates the complete lack of respect network executives have for viewers and their loyalty over the years. Daytime cast & crew get it. And they respect the voice of the fans. They know that theirs is a unique relationship to the audience – with a certain intimacy not experienced by prime time and movie celebrities. Today’s soap aficionado is more akin to the audience of Shakespeare than most actors realize.

    I think in the next ten years the phenomenon of soap opera may very well become an Internet staple. As the so-called “aging” population becomes more proficient in surfing the Net, somebody will pick up the idea and run with it. Who knows? Maybe that’s healthy. All I know is I miss Another World most of all. It was a sophisticated soap with a rich tableau. The average AW fan “got it”. They appreciated the work of all involved in putting together the production. It’s a loss – to our culture, to the industry, and to advertisers. The fans will return the favor for the lack of loyalty. It’s inevitable.

  3. Hi Paula!
    I agree with ya on your two biggest pet peeves – and, unfortunately, it’s happening more and more.

    And, the spoilers…well, you know how I feel about those!! I tell ya…I know I sound old, but sometimes I just have flashbacks to watching my soaps in the 1970’s, when I really had no clue what was going to happen and the soaps were so exciting to watch each day…Not to mention the great writing back then – but don’t get me started on that!!

    As always, I enjoy reading your posts 🙂

    Thanks for posting!
    Michele

  4. Hi Silas!

    As always, I so enjoy your analyzations of the soaps.

    I def think that one of the big reasons for soaps’ decline is the advent of the double-income households and women in the workforce.

    I’ve gone thru many cancellations of soaps that I watched back in the 70’s and 80’s – The Edge of Night, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Ryan’s Hope…But the good thing was that there were other soaps that I also watched and were not cancelled.
    These days, when a soap is cancelled, it’s not replaced with anything and the fear is that the entire genre will be dead in the near future and I so hope that isn’t the case.
    I never did watch Another World…I guess I had too many others that I juggled – Lol!
    ITA with what you say about soap actors. They really do appreciate their fans and visa versa.
    As far as soap watching on the Internet, I think you may be right…However, I can’t see myself sitting at my computer and watching soaps. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but I do think that may be the case.

    I really enjoy your posts, Silas! 🙂

    Thanks for posting!

    Michele

  5. Hi Michele!

    Thanks! I enjoy reading your posts as well. I think we think a lot alike when it comes to this genre. You don’t sound old either, soaps were a lot better when they had better budgets and better writing. Of course if the writing is there the big budgets aren’t that big of a deal. I know that that sometimes means they lose actors, but when you think of how many good actors are probably unemployed it sort of puts that into a different perspective.

    The whole soaps being on the internet only thing scares me. I hate trying to watch something like that online. I had to watch GH online Friday night and it was so aggravating. Every few minutes the commericials would come up and you have no choice but to sit through it. Then if you have to rewind or fast forward a scene you have to make sure your cursor clicks on the exact right spot. I’m afraid if soaps become exclusive to the internet a lot of fans will quit watching altogether.

    Paula

  6. I just wanted to say something when you said something about spoilers.

    I love spoilers. I love knowing what is going to happen before hand because this way the mystery is out of the way and I can enjoy everything else about the show.