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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Turkey Soap

Hey all!

It's been a crazy week, and it's only Tuesday morning. To be honest, I have yet to fully catch up on the soaps from last week, and have no idea what's been going on. Between the trip to Cambridge, helping a friend of mine out at her store for the holidays, and preparation for a photo shoot I'm working on next week, I feel like I haven't had a minute to myself to enjoy a good thirty-six minutes of daytime drama.

I'm especially looking forward to Thanksgiving, and seeing how the soaps treat the holiday. In recent years, it's been getting harder and harder to really deliver an original, moving, heart-warming Thanksgiving episode. Not because we don't want to - quite the opposite. It's just that every year, so much time and care is put into the Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes, and it gets harder and harder to do something that's never been done before. The first year I worked at One Life to Live, Thanksgiving was all but ignored, for example, in favor of rushing the Santi story to its climax with Tico's shooting. When I was at As the World Turns, there was always this struggle trying to deliver something fresh and innovative (words Chris Goutman was a fan of, and I don't blame him for it), while still holding true to traditions such as the Hubbard Squash at the Snyder farm. Last year on Days, Hogan wanted to combine a Thanksgiving toast/dinner with the wedding of Shawn Brady and Belle Black (DiMera). It's always a struggle - everyone knows viewership is generally pretty low this week, as people are traveling and spending time with their families. So you don't want to advance story too much - but at the same time, you want to try and find people who are home a reason to watch. Some soaps feel like they don't want to put a hold on the momentum their stories are gaining - while others encourage their writing teams to write something people don't need to watch, even if it's a little slow.

Me, personally? I love me a good old fashioned Thanksgiving episode. I want to see people around a table, coming together, sharing scenes that may not advance the plot, but remind me who these people are, and why I want to spend Thanksgiving Day with them and their families. I don't need a "special" episode where the actors all play other characters, and I'm not really looking for a big Sweeps-stunt. I want to be reminded that in spite of all the trials and tribulations my favorite romances, families and friendships suffer through all throughout the year... that somehow, that's able to be put on hold for a day. That people can still come together and be grateful for each other... and maybe find forgiveness in these troubling times.

Of course, with our luck, someone will get shot and someone else's baby will die.

I truly hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and the usual family dramas that take place around ALL of our dining room tables (real or fictional) are both enlightening, AND entertaining. And I look forward to seeing how the soaps treat this holiday come next week, and learning who embraced it and who wrote against it... and why.

In the meantime, eat up! And have a wonderful holiday week!

Much love,



Emily said...

I miss the Quatermaine Thanksgivings, the way they were before Guza eviscerated them.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

(a longtime lurker)

Anonymous said...

I think Y&R was the only soap that delivered a somewhat traditional soap opera Thanksgiving this year, and ATWT as well to an extent.

Scott N said...

Since I only regularly follow 2 soaps, Y&R and B&B, I get different vibes on that from each.

On Y&R, we fortunately got to see Thanksgiving, including how the holiday was being celebrated by the Newmans, the Abbotts and the Chancellors. The best thing about it was that the action didn't stop. Victor's being in jail, Jack's lies and stunts and the adjustment to a world without a Kay Chancellor, all of which have been prominent in the show, worked their way into the Thanksgiving framework. So it felt like just another Y&R episode, albeit one acknowledging the holiday, rather than being served as "a special holiday episode" of Y&R.

On B&B, the other hand, you wouldn't have known it was Thanksgiving, since the only holiday that gets celebrated there is Christmas. I guess that's because, as a half-hour soap, they only have 19 minutes each day to cram as much story into, and it would be hard to due most holidays justice without slowing down the pace. Still, I keep wondering what the Forresters and Logans give thanks for, since we don't get the chance to see it. :)