Too Much Violence on Soaps Part 1
Written 10/27/03 by Suzanne originally for
First of all, I donít want to sound like those people who complain about
violence on television being bad for us, or for children, or society, blah
blahÖ.I hate those people and think theyíre wrong. I donít believe
violence in TV or movies causes people to become more violent. And I donít
think children should be watching violent shows, but thereís nothing wrong
if the rest of us want to (parents should be policing their own kids).
Soaps are not for kids, either. What I object to is that the soap opera
writers or producers seem to think that we want more violence on the
soaps. Maybe they think that if we watch shows like NYPD Blue, CSI, etc.
that we want our soaps to be like those shows. Iím hear to tell them that
they are wrong.
I donít know why, but the writers on soaps lately seem to think that soaps
are about violence and action. They donít seem to ďgetĒ soaps or their
audiences. We want stories about, first and foremost, romance and
relationships. We want to have character development. We want stories
about illegitimate children, backstabbing friends (but not literally
back-stabbing!), cheating spouses, and young lovers. Soaps have all that,
and thatís fine. But lately it seems as if they also have way too much
other junk that gets in the way of the romance and relationships.
Iím not saying I want soaps to go back to the old days of sitting around
and talking while they pour coffee. I started watching soaps in the 80ís
and there was plenty of action and adventure. There were lots of spies and
cops. But they were at a minimum, used sparingly. Take Another World,
which Iím watching now on Soapnet. It has kidnappings, serial killers,
psychics, etc. But they werenít the primary focus of the show and they
didnít have all of those things going on at once.
This summer alone, three soaps have serial killer stories (As The World
Turns, Guiding Light, and Days of Our Lives). Thatís not only horrible but
uncreative. Canít they think of a new idea? Kidnappings, shootings, rapes,
psycho killers, psychics, vampires, witches, and murder mysteries abound
on the soaps every single week. It gets depressing and redundant, and it
has nothing to do with what soap fans want to see. A little bit of
jeopardy here and there is good, but itís overwhelming the characters now.
No wonder the ratings are always going down on soaps. This kind of
ďexcitementĒ is not going to keep viewers around, or draw in new ones.
Maybe theyíre thinking that if the shows are exciting like primetime, they
will draw in more viewers who donít normally like soaps, like guys. I have
news for them. Primetime will always do action and cop stuff better than
daytime. They have a slower shooting schedule, bigger budgets for special
effects and stunts, and can afford better writers. So all you are doing is
making your regular soap fans very unhappy.
I am not going to sit here and say that I have never enjoyed any of the
stories mentioned above. I do enjoy many of them, but there are just too
many of them, too often. In the writersí haste to speed up the plots, they
neglect character development and relationships that are the most
important things on soaps, and throw too much of this action in our faces.
It makes for a temporary and unsatisfying roller coaster ride. That might
be fine for a summer movie but itís not going to work on soap operas!
I love General Hospital but how many times can I watch Sonny get shot or
Carly get kidnapped? When it happens so often, it no longer evokes the
desired reaction. Instead I think, ho-hum, I know theyíre not going to
die, why are they trying this again? I watch One Life to Live but lately
itís hard to recognize. All of the cast changes are bad enough, but then
when someone on the show is going crazy or taking hostages every week, it
makes you wonder why you should care. Frankly the only people I really
care about on the show right now are Al and Marcie, but I hear heís being
killed off, so what does that leave me with? Recently weíve lost Sam,
Todd, Troy, Ben, and will soon be losing Al and MaxÖ.but weíre supposed to
care about the new Joey, Kevin, Jessica, Walker, River, Kelly, Flash, and
that Latina girl, and the new D.A. (I can never remember their names)Öand
yet Viki and Roxy are hardly given anything to do. I do like Bo and
Gabrielle, but I doubt they will last long because everyone seems to think
that Bo and Nora should get back together. Been there, done that. And may
I say that I really hate the new Kevin, who is very smarmy?
Anyway, getting back to my point, which was not JUST to complain about
everythingÖthere needs to be more balance and not so much violence.
Part 2 Coming Soon!
Page updated 2/28/13
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