some random observations (in no particular order):
i wasn’t expecting much, and i wasn’t disappointed. less than a minute in and there were the bitch slaps and catfights. pretty much set the superficial tone for what followed. despite the focus on hyped-up, over-the-top drama, for a lot of viewers, the real pleasure of soaps is watching (and listening to) a couple of characters just having a conversation.
i mentioned earlier the shameful absence of the p&g soaps. i knew the focus would be on the abc shows, but the reality is that soaps’ breakout into mainstream was built upon the that of the p&g soaps (‘as the world turn,’ in particular) in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
and for all the focus on luke and laura’s wedding, it’s worth noting that soap’s first super couple was atwt’s jeff and penny. while no movie stars asked to attend, their 1959 wedding was a taste of what would come 20 years down the road.
but, at least they did acknowledge irna phillips (but not ted corday). sad to say, my expectations were so low i wouldn’t have been surprised (though i would have been pissed) if they didn’t.
i want to know who the blond diva with the white boa from atwt was. i’m guessing eileen fulton, but they cut to susan lucci before becker could say.
maurice bernard: ‘even if the show’s not good, they (fans) think it’s great.’ while there are fans who stick with their show come what may, there are also fans who don’t. and the attitude that there are no rules and that writers can make up any shit they please and fans will simply follow along is part (how big a part i can’t say), but of why soap viewership has declined.
as noted above: ‘dallas’ was not the first prime time soap. peyton place was — on abc, no less. and irna phillips was story consultant.
why was jon hamm there when it would have been so much more interesting to hear from matthew weiner, who often talked about the soap troupes he used in ‘mad men.’ of course, that would have required the show have some structure... and maybe a proper introduction of the interviewees — and what expertise they brought to the conversation. and it would have been nice if their comments were relating to a larger point being made. as it was, so many of the comments seemed random and unrelated — and repetitious.
not to pile onto andy cohen, but his observation that soaps are no longer necessary was, well, self-serving?
glad they included jill farren phelps’s observation that reality shows and cheaper and easier to produce than scripted shows, because that’s been a huge driver.
finally: i don’t recall who said ‘how can you keep up with ‘general hospital’ when you’re binge-watching ‘orange is the new black,’ but there’s a real cognitive dissonance in abc doing a show ostensibility celebrating soaps where the explicit message is that the daytime soaps are not necessary.
eta: for all the talk about social issues, cannot believe that ‘one life to life’ was ignored. the first show to include race, class, and ethnicity: beyond the groundbreaking carla gray passing as white story, there was her african-american mother sadie, head of housekeeping at the local hospital; the trainors, an upper class black mother and son; the polish-american, working class wolecks, the interfaith marriage of patricia riley and dave siegel,