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Daytime Opinion Article


Too Much Violence on the Soaps, Part 2

Written 10/27/03 by Suzanne originally for Bella Online

I was wondering what I should write in my second segment about violence on soaps, but then a couple of things happened. I read in one of the soap magazines that on one show, the actors were told that every scene must end with a shot or a slap. Oh-My-God! Soaps need less violence, not more--whose stupid idea was that? These things may occasionally be exciting, but overdoing it like the soaps have been doing lately is BORING and hurts our characters and story. When will they realize that?

Apparently One Life to Live is going to have a serial killer story for sweeps. That is not what we need. Soaps should be creative and original, for one thing. They should not copy each other. There is way too much violence on OLTL, so we don't need more.

There is supposed to be another soap starting serial killers soon, too. What is this?? Are they all on drugs or what?

Then I read, in an article about Days of Our Lives and its serial killer story, that they were making the killings really gruesome because they wanted it to be like CSI and Law and Order. Are they insane?? These are soap operas, not primetime. We want romance, medical stories, and focus on families, not shootings, stabbings, and other violence. Is there anyone out there listening to fans?

There is one ray of hope. I think these violence trends are on the way out. A while back I read that GH is going to move away from the mobster stories and focus more on the hospital again. Hurray! Then Maurice Benard (Sonny) said that he wanted Sonny out of the mob, and lo and behold, I read that in next week's shows, Sonny decides that violence is endangering his family, so he wants out of the mob. I plot this, even though part of me is thinking, he already did that once, when he left Brenda at the altar....I never did understand the reason he went back to being a mobster, though.

I hope the GH writers are doing this for the right reasons--that they realize there has been too much violence. I had a good laugh at Carolyn's column in SOD, where she said, "let's do a drinking game whenever anyone on GH gets away with a crime or gets shot. See you at Betty Ford!" A lot of people have said they don't like all the mobsters on the show, but I really don't think that's what they mean. What they mean is, they want the show to focus on all of the characters, and not just Sonny, Carly, Jason et al. It's not as if the show has shown us the every-day work of being a mobster, any more than they have shown us the daily grind of being a doctor at GH or working at ELQ. Aside from a couple of meetings, we don't see that part of Sonny, Jason, or Alcazar's lives. We see lots of shootings, explosions, planes falling, etc. but they are motivated by love and jealousy, or revenge because of love, not by mobster territory fights. But enough is enough!

What we want to see is less violence, even though the writers or producers think they are making it more exciting for us. Once in awhile, shootings and those things are exciting. After months of seeing them every week, they become mundane and boring. We know that Sonny isn't going to die when he gets shot, and so the suspense is lost. It gets ridiculous when Carly has to endure so much violence during her pregnancy. Think about it--she's fallen through the ice, been kidnapped twice, been electrocuted, been chained to a wall, been in a forced plane landing, been near an explosion, fallen down the stairs, and now she's been shot! This baby must be super-human to have survived all that.

I like to harp on GH and OLTL, but the other soaps aren't any better. This week, Bonnie or Marshall (or both) of ATWT will die in a violent way. On B&B, Amber recently got hysterical and almost committed suicide WITH her baby in her arms, while Sheila went around shooting some people and trying to kill Ridge by shoving him in an incinerator. Let's not forget that Macy is lying in a coma because she was hit by a falling chandelier. On Guiding Light, another soap with mobsters, Philip is "losing it", while three of the female characters have become Charlie's Angel-type detectives (one was a doctor!). One of the most popular couples on the show, Gus and Harley, are cops, so there are lots of shootings and fistfights. On Y&R, Ashley had a car crash and lost her baby. Brad, blaming Victor, went after him physically. There are always numerous cat fights between the women on that show. Well, at least there aren't any shootings...lately.

We don't want to keep seeing our favorite characters do violence and then get away with it, either. Don't get me wrong, we don't want to see them go to jail for any length of time...that's why they shouldn't be doing these things in the first place. We want our good guys back and we don't want them constantly in danger. Let's hope the soap writers and producers figure that out soon!

Page updated 12/27/11

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