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Daytime Opinion Article


Why Soaps Are Being Canceled By Suzanne

AMC's Ryan and David -- both characters ruined beyond repairTamara Braun, Shelly Henning and Chrishelle Stauss - great actresses, often badly written

It was quite sad and shocking when we learned last week when we learned that ABC had canceled All My Chlidren and One Life to Live. Every year for the past 5 years, they have canceled one of the soaps. To cancel two at once was like a one-two suckerpunch to soap fans.  It's not just the people who have enjoyed AMC and OLTL over the years, but all soap fans, that feel horrified that the genre is dying and that the TV network executives don't seem to care.

In some ways, though, it is not too surprising.  To me it always comes down to the writing and the bad decisions they make in that regard. Actors come and go, and sometimes it's not the network's fault when they do. I don't blame them for that kind of thing, usually.  The writing, however, has gotten really bad in the past 20 years, as have the ratings, and that they are to blame for.


baby snatchers Babe and KrystalStolen babies

Recast characters

Rapidly-aged kids

Switched paternity tests

Shocks and surprises in stories that come out of nowhere, with no hints (not in a good way)

Introducing new characters

Avoiding GLBT* issues, characters, stories and romance

Jason threatens to shoot Luke for killing JakeShootings, stabbings, kidnappings, fires, explosions and serial killers

Dead children and other sad tales

Couples who meet and instantly hate each other for no apparent reason


Back from the dead


Characters who get stuck in elevators, caves, sewers, and snowstorms

Stacey Morasco on OLTL killed off way too lateCharacters we hate that suddenly dominate the show

Under-used actors over 40

Hokey or cheesey or campy or contrived stories

Re-using of the same plots over and over

Secrets that come out too soon

Dumb cops and smart criminals

Changing characters' personalities overnight for no reason

Calling each other "sis" and "bro"

Story-driven without regard to character or history

The Ford brothers on OLTLBland big-lipped model actors made up to look like Taylor Lautner

Characters acting in a completely unrealistic fashion

Stories and dialogue that would never happen in the real world

Lack of morality (even in "good guys")

Characters changing bed partners so fast that it makes your head spin

Brooke and Oliver on B&BConstantly breaking up popular couples and not letting them be happy for more than two minutes

Obvious and repetitive scenes, such as two people talking about their "big secret" and the person who needs to hear the secret walking in just then

Weddings or other major events with only 10 characters present

Stupid plot devices like Flashbacks, daydreams, nightmares, musical montages and monologues

Weddings that come together in a week

Stories we would like to see that happen off-camera

Rafe #2Evil twins

Children that never appear or are rarely talked about

Changing or ignoring history

Usage of bad grammar by characters that are supposed to be educated

Inconsistent plots and characters

Stories or characters that irritate us and make us switch the channel or turn off the TV

Adam of Y&RAssuming that soap opera fans are stupid and will watch anything

Trying to redeem murderers, rapists and liars by turning them into heroes

Good primetime dramas to compete with (and to compare to)

Predictable stories!


Robert and Anna ScorpioRomance (not just sex)

Family interaction, discussion, feelings, events, support

Fun and humor


Couples that act like real couples do, touching each other (other than sex)

Characters that are charming, likable and unusual, and make us want to know more about them

Advertising or publicity or support from the networks

Recovery time or scars for characters who had cancer or operations


Epiphany of GHUse of entire casts in stories (especially people over 40)

People of different types: colors, cultures, religions, sexual preference, etc.

Weddings and other big splashy events like they used to have

Improvement in writing or writers for the past 20 years (unlike primetime)

Contemporary stories

Respect for the soaps and their fans

Have something to add? Complain about? Email me!

*GLBT means Gay Lesbian Bisexual or Transgender

Page updated 12/27/11

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