The sorry state of daytime
For the Week of April 25, 2011
Other Two Scoops for the week of April 25, 2011
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I'm in love with soaps. I've watched them for 30-plus years. I've written about them for nearly eight years. I tweet them, Facebook them, stand in line to meet actors, promote people connected to them, talk on Soap Central Live about them, answer dozens of emails about them. I love Daytime Drama.

I'm in love with soaps. I've watched them for 30-plus years. I've written about them for nearly eight years. I tweet them, Facebook them, stand in line to meet actors, promote people connected to them, talk on Soap Central Live about them, answer dozens of emails about them. I love Daytime Drama.

But my soapy lover is about to break up with me and my heart is broken. Reasons have been given, but they make no sense. The story is that people want more reality TV. I don't believe that. Executives want people to want more reality TV because it's cheap to produce. It employs no actors, no writers, and has no artistic value. It's all shock and no substance. Seeing people hit each other with chairs on Jerry Springer might be mildly amusing, but it has no lasting impact like, say, the episode of One Life to Live I watched 20 years ago where Karen Wolek confessed on the stand to being a prostitute, or the episode of All My Children when Jenny's Jet Ski exploded and crushed Greg, or the episode of General Hospital when Stone died, or when Tony laid his head on Maxie's chest to hear BJ's heart.

Nothing on any daytime reality cooking show will be remembered 20 or 30 years later by anyone. It's fluff, and it boils down to greed. Two ABC shows have been axed, and if you think GH is safe, you're wrong.

I'm bracing myself and just waiting for it; I know it's coming. I am hesitant to get my heart too wrapped up in GH because I know it's going to vanish before my eyes one day. And it breaks my freaking heart, as I know many of you have had your heart broken, knowing AMC and OLTL have been axed.

But in my mind, the basic premise for that choice is absurd. Let's look at some of the most popular shows in primetime -- House M.D. is a soap. (House's pill addiction, his relationship with Cuddy, etc.) The Mentalist is a soap. (Patrick Jane's ongoing quest to find the Red John serial killer who killed his wife.) Desperate Housewives is a soap. (If you need this one explained, you aren't paying attention.) Glee is a Soap. (Romantic triangles galore, focuses on socials issues like bullying, teen pregnancy, etc)

So to say the public no longer cares for this kind of programming is ludicrous. People like good stories they can follow and in which they can engage. Perhaps Daytime numbers have dwindled because a lot more viewers work during the day -- fine, show the shows in the evenings or on weekends. Maybe people stopped watching because the quality of writing has disintegrated -- so, hire new writers, pay attention to the fans' opinions, and stop killing off core characters.

There are fixes to what ails daytime, the problem is that no one but the fans want daytime fixed because having someone whip up an omelet on TV is much cheaper than hiring makeup artists, hair stylist, wardrobe people, set builders and designers, writers, actors, etc. It's about greed, and nothing more, and no one can convince me otherwise.

Okay, enough ranting, back to GH. My column is very, very, very late. Last week was Easter, I work at a giant church and worked all weekend. Monday night I had a seminar. I was supposed to write last night but had one too many margaritas with my husband and fell asleep. I could lie, but why? I apologize for this being so dreadfully late, and I'll just hit the main points…

  • Michael confessed to Brandon's killing. Predictable. However, I hope Abby did it and gets sent to Lady Pentonville.
  • Liz still didn't tell Lucky he was Aiden's father, having decided she is sparing Lucky by letting him marry Siobhan.
  • Siobhan cleaned up after Luke's last binge because they have to keep finding things for her character to do to justify her existence. I hope she gets shipped back to Ireland the same week Abby goes to prison.
  • Lucian isn't Brenda's kid, but she's stubborn and won't listen to the person who loves her most -- Sonny. On the other hand, she is perfectly willing to believe the woman who lied to her face about her son being dead for two years.
  • Crazy Lisa is trying to get Kristina hooked on pills for reasons I don't understand. Why hurt a kid when Lisa already knows how to break in and kidnap Emma at will? Really, Robin and Patrick need to install security cameras.
  • Sam can have a baby, but now Jason's being passive to her aggressive.
  • Anthony got a nice haircut in prison and is allowed to garden. He's the funniest maniac in Port Charles.
  • Maya has mysteriously vanished. Will we ever see her again? Who knows. She probably got fired and I missed it in all the ABC cancellations saga.
  • Johnny and Lulu had a conversation that reminded me why I loved them as a couple.
  • Olivia has also vanished, speaking of Johnny's exes.
  • Ronnie is acting pretty self-righteous for someone we know helped Franco escape -- does anyone but me remember that Ronnie has some odd tie to Franco? Hey writers, I didn't forget.
  • Even though I know Sonny's a thug, I love it when he justifies doing horrible things. I find myself always on his side, although I know his morals are really bad. Like telling Dante to lose the evidence the cops have on Michael. That fight scene was riveting to watch.
  • Glad to get a glimpse of Dr. Lee. I wonder if she's still a sex addict? Yeah, writers, I remember that dropped storyline, too.
  • I can hardly wait for the "Luke's Intervention" scenes, but I'm terrified, too, because that seems like an ending for his character, and we all know what that means.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will we tune in tomorrow to find any shows we love still in existence? Is there anything we can do to save our shows? Check out our special Support Our Soaps section at http://soapcentral.com/sos/index.php.

Truthfully, readers, I haven't got the heart for jokes right now. I didn't even know what to say in this column, it's just all so unthinkable to me. I'm sad. Part of me wants to wean myself off soaps now before they rip them out of my hands, but the other part of me knows if I do then I am part of their demise, and I couldn't live with that.

I've been writing for soapcentral.com for eight years now, and when I came up with that sign-off in my first column, "I'll tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows," it never ever occurred to me that someday there might not be a tomorrow for my beloved shows.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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