Friday, April 15, 2011

The children have left the building along with the other soap operas

Shocked initially but not surprised that two more soap operas have been cancelled. One of my used-to-be-favorites, All My Children, received its walking papers and now I'm faced with how to fill the hour but I digress.

Over the years there has been a deterioration of plots and story lines along with the addition and sudden deletion of characters. Some, as is the case in any soap opera, suddenly vanish never to be seen or heard of again, while others disappear for a while to suddenly show up as a twin of the deceased or suffering from amnesia or serving a term in jail... Things that we normals rarely encounter. The story lines were at least plasusible if that's possible living in Pretendville and seemed to have a direction to sustain interest. However, over the past year or two, missing a day or even a week of Erica's love quandries or Tad's PI investigations and the frequent appearances of love children didn't really bother me and therein lies the problem.

A soap opera or day time drama as some people call them, requires the telling of a story that holds the interest of the reader and in this case, the viewer. In the end, it's the story that is the glue to hold things together. Unfortunately, the writers of AMC seemed to have forgotten this. It was as if they were trying out various ideas and then if the ratings didn't pan out, suddenly try something else. The low ratings can't entirely be blamed on the viewers, who stop watching when they are presented with stupid premises that are...dumb. Seems that people are hooked on reality TV, which is where the industry appears to be heading. Cheap to make and attracts sponsors, which is what it's all about: $$$$$

Perhaps in the end, the TV soap opera which was a main-stay in the 1950's to now, has grown out of fashion with this generation. Back in the day as they say, there were stay-at-home moms who lived vicariously through the glamorous and exciting lives of soap opera heroes and heroines. Many women these days are actually out of the house and contributing to the work force, while teens and tweens are busy texting and involved in social networks.

It's sad to see their demise especially since word has it they're being replaced by talk and reality TV shows. How many talk shows do we really need or want to watch? As for reality shows - been there, seen too much of that.

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