June 6, 2018 at 5:31 pm #1202560090
Ok everyone search your memory banks: what stands out as the one storyline on a soap that just you are totally embarrassed to have watched or having happened to still watch the show? Here’s mine:
On General Hospital, Casey the alien. It’s …jarring that the Robin character would go from this just INSANE piece of wtf to one of the all time great stories with the AIDS storyline in just a few years. And plenty of soaps play around with science fiction (Hell Passions based one of its major story points on a witch and her talking doll.), but few ever try to execute them this poorly. Poor plotting, poor character use, just poor poor poor. And even as soaps embrace their past, I think it must be written in Finola Hughes’ contract that we never ever speak of this again.
What do you all think for other shows past and present?June 6, 2018 at 9:04 pm #1202560134
On Days of our lives, i am going to go with a) Marlena’s Possession
and B) MelaswenJune 7, 2018 at 5:00 am #1202560253
I’ll be honest, Marlena’s possession was always a guilty pleasure of mine. But I see how polarizing it could be.June 7, 2018 at 6:53 am #1202560271
I dislike almost all science fiction stories on soaps; I esp. hated David Hayward’s stories on AMC. I absolutely hated the killing off of Alan Quaretrmaine and A.J. Quartermaine. On Days, I hated hated hated the killing of Will Horton (which has since been changed).
I am watching The Doctors and it was wonderful in 1975 until a change in headwriters and the show is mostly awful in early 1976 (looking forward to Douglas Marland’s stint as headwriter, sometime in ’76 or ’77 for a year).June 7, 2018 at 9:43 am #1202560424
I get why some people didn’t like Marlena’s possession storyline, but there are a lot of things that worked for it, including giving the character and Deidre Hall interesting material to play and a bit of a reset from where she was. I loved that storyline, so when they went to a similar well by having Marlena be the “killer” in the Melaswen story and then basically undoing most of what they’d been doing for a year before, but was hugely disappointing.
Still, I think the worst and most embarrassing story DAYS ever did was the Austin and Greta in virtual reality story. It seemed like an effort to capitalize on the latest technology trend, but the whole story was incredibly pointless and stupid, seemed to last forever, and seemed clearly written by people who either didn’t fully understand how VR worked or assumed the audience wouldn’t know. I believe this was during the time when Tom Langan was headwriting the show, and there were quite a few misguided storylines in those days.June 7, 2018 at 9:54 am #1202560440
On One Life to Live, this wasn’t a capital crime or anything, and I’m sure there were worse stories in its history that I didn’t see, but the story where Rex got struck by lightening (I think) and went back in time, which I realize was a nod to a previous story, was pretty silly, mostly because of how long it lasted. I liked it was something that happened in a day or for a week, but it really went on. Oh, also Jessica’s mental state reverting to a teenager after she was nearly raped by her biological father Mitch Lawrence. A disgusting setup for a story that maybe felt exciting in the writing stages but seemed really dumb in execution.
For Another World, what stands out is the infamous and brutal murder of Frankie Frame. AW ran more than its share of questionable storylines in its last 10 or so years — I hated Felicia’s affair with John, and that secret garden with Amanda near the end of the show’s run did not work at all — but Frankie’s murder was a bad move in so many ways.June 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm #1202560645
^it must have been bad because I don’t remember Amanda’s secret garden and I watched daily from 1993-99. I enjoyed Felicia and John’s affair but only because it gave Anna Holbrook great material, for which she won her Emmy (: Killing off Frankie was truly awful! But for funny & hilarious: when Jensen Buchanan decided to no longer play both Marley and Vicky they had Donna run one of them over and recast the role with Ellen Wheeler (who had originated the roles), who was almost a half a foot taller than Ms. Buchanan! (;June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am #1202561152
YES! OMG, watching Ellen Wheeler and Jensen Buchanan play identical twins was hilarious. That felt like jumping the shark to me, and seemed like a crazy move in terms of writing because with Vicky having been as toned down as she became in those latter years, it didn’t make sense to me to have Marley around anyway, certainly not on a full-time basis. It seemed like Wheeler enjoyed playing the crazy stuff they had Marley do after that, though.
I really don’t remember a lot of the details of the secret garden story. Amanda and someone, I think Gary’s hot brother, whose name I don’t even remember, were going into the garden and going back in time or something nonsensical like that. This was pretty close to the end of the show, I believe. Amy Carlson and Timothy Gibbs were both gone by them, and Sandra Ferguson had come back as Amanda.June 10, 2018 at 6:27 pm #1202562452
The truth is, soaps have always had bad stories. Even in the glory days of the 80s, there were often weak stories interspersed with stronger ones, which I attribute in part to the expansion of soaps to one hour.
It’s funny, but the bad stories tend not to stay with me. What does stay with me is when I don’t buy the characterization.
I hate it when a character suddenly reverts to behavior after long since growing beyond it. Laurie Brooks returned to Y&R for a limited run in the early 2000s and behaved in a way that did not seem sensible given her age and character evolution. Around the same time, Heather returned to GH and reverted back to the insane version of the character for which she was famous. ATWT’s Craig Montgomery was somewhat devious in his early days, but became the resident good guy. Suddenly, he became nefarious and it never really made sense.
I also hate it when a character just completely changes for no plausible reason. For example, the character of Roseanna on ATWT completely changed and the transition made no sense whatsoever. She went from being extremely principled and honest to devious and selfish.
Lastly, I hate it when a character that I like does something that is essentially unredeemable. The example that comes to mind is when Dorian let Clint have a heart attack on OLTL. Someone who did that in real life would be considered a monster. I hated watching that even though I mostly loved OLTL.
EmmyLoser, I actually liked the time travel story on OLTL, lol. I didn’t watch AW, but I am shocked that Jensen Buchanan and Ellen Wheeler aired at the same time. I remember the show taking a lot of heat for killing Frankie.
The problem with the story of Marlena’s possession is that it undermined the credibility of daytime. My mother does not watch Days and still thinks of it as the show where Marlena was possessed by the devil. It’s hard to escape that kind of branding. I understand that it received publicity and raised ratings, but I don’t know that it did the show any good in the long run.
Sean, I wasn’t watching GH when they ran the alien story. I was watching GL at that point. But I remember reading about the story and thinking that it more or less confirmed my decision not to watch GH (though I did go back later).
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