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Monday, November 17, 2008

I Love the Eighties (Strikes Back!)

Hey all!

So yeah... crazy weekend, right? Rumors persist that more Days stars are being cut loose in favor of less expensive, less experienced, less interesting actors. And Guiding Light is bringing back more people from its past (Welcome home, Eleni!). If history continues to repeat itself, we should see a big John/Marlena return in July of 2010 just when they decide shooting all of their characters in one set isn't working, no?

In the meantime, I'm trying to remain a little brighter than I was on Saturday. Don't get me wrong, I'm still slightly climbing the walls over the bizarre choices being made across the board. (Don't get me started on what General Hospital did with Luke and Laura... oh wait! I don't have to! Sara already did for me!)

So I gave myself a weekend to mourn, as yet more nails were hammered into a coffin, and no more. I've got some mental jumping jacks to get ready for the MIT conference this coming weekend, and lots to do with my own personal projects (not to mention two days of part-time work thrown into the middle of it) so I'm turning my rant-mode off to focus on other things.

With morning coffee in hand (topped with Hershey's syrup and whipped cream - how's that for a good Monday morning?), I started going through my mail - and as I flipped through Soap Opera Digest, wouldn't you know it it, but there I am! I was interviewed awhile back for an article about whether or not the 80's were the heyday of soaps, by the wonderful Mara Levinsky (a gal I can talk soaps with FOREVER). I had completely forgotten all about the interview, but it's in the latest issue with Eric Braeden on the cover. (Oh wait - that's all of them!) It was a fun interview, and I find it highly ironic that the persisting rumors of two Days 80's icons being fired coincided with this issue showing up in my mailbox.

I'm curious what you all think. Do you think the 80's were soaps' shining decade? The 70's? The 90's? The 00's? (I'm so curious if anybody thinks it's that last choice, and why)

What do you consider to be the greatest soaps era? And as we head into the "aught-teens", what stories do you think will become instant classics from this decade?


SimplySusan said...

I don't know about other soaps, but I think Days' best period was the 80's. The 90's were okay, if a little odd, and the 2000's have been... well, I don't even have words. I like to get my "good old Days" fix on youtube every now and then with clips from the 80s!

Axl4ever said...

I think the 80's were the best times for all soaps. I think that killing off or getting rid of core groups of characters and families is killing soaps, especially GH. There are alot of problems with soaps but one thing that would help is everyone would remember what soaps orginally were about - romance. Get back to basics. Don't work a core group of actors into the ground or but newbies on everyday. Just because they're on everyday, doesn't mean that we'll like them. Bring back love, romance, conflict and adventure. The mob story of the month isn't working. Why do people think GH - Night Shift did so well? It was basics people. All soap writers and producers need to watch the second Night Shift in order to learn how to write a soap again. It was struggles with relationships, and not just couples, but family and friends. There were touching stories and the history was honored. That's a soap my friends.

Anonymous said...

I think the best years at Days was in the 80s. There were so many storylines going on that you were actually interested in. And no one was an "island" per say, all the characters interacted with each other and when one storyline was over and the next began the transition was so smooth. Couples were actually given the time to fall in love, instead of just falling into bed. And you could become invested in characters, good or bad, unlike today with so many changes all the time, from storylines dropped, to storylines that just don't make sense. Also, you saw all the characters on a regular basis, not like today when you see the same characters 4 or 5 days a week.

Rashad Khan said...

IMO, nothing tops the soaps of the Seventies. I won't say they were "perfect", mind you; I'm sure there were cliches aplenty back then that no one would want replicated today. OTOH, the individual shows never needed astronomical budgets, or cutting-edge special effects, to draw viewers' attention. All they needed were good stories, featuring good actors. As simple as that.

'Mira said...

I say 90's. I LOVED GH (we still had Luke & Laura, THE REAL DAMN LUCKY WHO WAS SMART AND STRONG AND HAD HIS FATHER'S STREET-WISE SENSIBILITY AND HIS MOTHER'S HEART, Stone and Robin, Jason and Robin, the Nurse's Ball, AJ & all the Q's, a likable Sonny, Brenda, Clik-Boom, Cassadines, the four Musketeers: Lucky, Liz, Nik, Emily, etc) OLTL (Viki vs Dorian, Vapid, Sexy Blair, Interesting to watch Todd Manning, Asa, not annoying as hell Jessica- esp when Dorian hit her with her car, Dorian sexying-up Joey-- soo hot!, Viki's DID carrying over from the 80's), B&B (Tridge, Brooke and Thorne, Sally Spectra, FASHION WARS!!, Macey and Throne, Stephanie kickin all blonde-bimbo's asses, early Amber and Rick- 1999, Did I mention actual FASHION WARS!! Glamor, etc), Y&R (too much too name... this show was on fire-- REAL Victoria, Nina, Ryan, Dru, ABBOTTS & Mamie Johnson!! Diversity- Liv & Nate, Dru & Neil, & Malcom, Jill slutting-it-up, ETC!!!), AMC (Erica vs Brooke, Dixie and Tad, Edmund and Maria, Noah and Julia, Erica and hell, everyone, Adam), DAYS (Mar & John, Bope, Jack and Jen, Bitchy-crazy Sami who only fake-cried to get what she wanted, Eric, the fab 4- Sami, Lucas, Carrie, Austin-- I wanted Sami/Lucus to win!)... LOVED them ALL during that time.

Now, we have crapp that obviously no one wants to see, and apparently no one wants to fix:

Where do I sign the petition to get you on as head-writer at DAYS?

bl said...

I read the article in SOD, and it depends on the type of story telling you prefer. If I was old enough to watch in the 70s and remember it, I wouldn't be surprised if I loved it.

My favorite time in soaps wasn't a decade, but the late 80s and early 90s (after the writer's strike and before Doug Marland passed away). Some of the shows went through a neo-traditionalist period more closely mirroring older eras, but still had the larger casts.