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Passions Article

Shirley's Opinion #30

By Shirley

8/11 - 8/15/03

I think I'm going to go a different way this week.  We all know what the stories are doing, where the characters are, and why, so I'm not going to go over the same old complaints this week.  I am going to give my opinion on what appears to be the writer's opinion of us, the faithful viewers who help keep them on the air and keep their salaries coming to them on a steady basis.  I hope you don't mind, but it is just bugging me a lot.

My first thought is this: What on earth did we ever do to give these writers the idea we are all idiotic numbskulls?  Is it because we keep watching week after week, all the while complaining about the never-ending stories and boring dialog?  Is it because we haven't risen up and gone to picket the studios for better scripts?  Or is it just the fact that we take the time out of every week day to sit for an hour and watch the show?  Whatever it is, I don't like it.  I am not ignorant, I do remember what happened before, I do have a life outside the show, and I believe that applies to at least 99.9% of all of us, so why do they think they can get away with the stuff they foist off on us day after day?  Let me try to explain what I mean, although if you have been reading these articles every week you know where I stand.

Whatever happened to the continuity that used to be part of a show?  Sure, there have always been glitches in soaps.  Some are planned and some just happen, but they are there.  However, this show has made a career out of changing established facts!  When the show started, we knew that there were basically five families in Harmony, six if you count Tabby and Timmy.  The Cranes, who owned the town, the Lopez-Fitzgeralds, who worked for the Cranes, the Bennetts, the Russells, and the Wallaces. 

The Cranes were snobby, evil people who used and discarded the people of Harmony at will, except for the evil Julian's wife, Ivy, and their son, Ethan. 

The Lopez-Fitzgeralds were a poor but honest family.  The mother worked as a maid for Ivy Crane, the oldest son was a policeman, and the younger sister and brother were students. 

The Bennetts were a good family, of good moral character.  Sam was the police chief, Grace ran a gift shop and Inn, and she had amnesia, and the kids were Noah, who was away at college, Kay, who was in love with Miguel, and Jessica, who was a brat. 

The Russells consisted of TC, a high school coach and a loud mouthed bully, Eve, a doctor with a secret past, Whitney, a tennis ace through whom TC was living out his own dashed dreams of being a tennis champion, and Simone, the sweet little sister. 

Beth was a very good girl, Luis' girlfriend, and owned a bookstore/coffee house. 

Now, since this show started, the only ones who have stayed as they were first written are Tabby, Timmy, and Alistair.  Everyone else has changed and morphed into evil beings or morons unable to figure out what was going on around them.  My question is, how did all this happen, and why?

I know stories evolve.  I don't mind that.  Having David come to town pretending to be Grace's long lost husband, with John, their "son" in tow, was a soap staple  with a twist.  David isn't really her husband.  He's working for the now evil Ivy.  Why did they turn her so evil?  I loved Ivy when the show started.  She was so beautiful and kind, and the kind of person you hope all wealthy people were like.  Now she's pure evil.  It's mind boggling.  Having Ethan turn out to be Chief Bennett's love child is also a staple.  Having him turn from an extremely smart, competent attorney into Ethan, Boy Blunder is not.  Does this guy even have a brain?  If so, he needs training lessons, because he sure can't use it anymore. 

The same for Luis.  How on earth did that man become a policeman?  Come on!  He can't hear (remember Sheridan calling him from a few feet away, and wandering around the living room at Beth's house, blindfolded?), he can't see (Sheridan was 10 feet behind him and he couldn't even turn his head to see if she really was in the room with him until she was carried out by Charlie) and he can't figure out that the bulge under Beth's shirt is a bag full of sugar, not a pregnant belly.  What, did they figure they had to make him as clueless as Antonio so we'd believe they really are brothers? 

We had John come on as a just-graduated high school student, looking for a good college to go to.  Fine, but he was supposed to be Grace's son from her first marriage, yet at the time John came on the show, Noah, her son with Sam, had already been in college for two or three years!!  Is John ignorant, or is Noah a super whiz kid? 

And then there's Chad, who would be somewhat older than Ethan, who is supposed to be in his mid to late 20's, at least.  TC allowed him to date his daughter who isn't even out of high school yet!!  What is he thinking?  And there are many other instances I could point out, but I'm running out of room.  My point is this: yes, characters grow and change, but not at the rate we see here.  Circumstances change, but the basic underlying facts don't, no matter how strange the show is.  And you can't fool Mother Nature.  People all age at the same rate.  We may gain maturity at different ages, but we all age the same.  So, if Chad was born before Ethan, and we know he was, he is way too old for high school girls, and no self respecting father would allow his young daughter to date a man 8 or 10 years older than she.  And if one child is born a couple of years before another child, the second child can never, ever become older than the first.  No way!!  People can become less intelligent, unable to do their jobs or fend for themselves, but there is usually an underlying medical reason.  It doesn't just happen.

I would just like to tell the writers to get real!  I know this is not a "normal" soap.  There are supernatural goings on, magic, demons, hell fire, visions, people return from the dead (Wait a minute.  That one sounds like half the cast of Days, come to think of it)  Well, anyway, the point is, stop writing the show as if no one is watching who has brains enough to figure out no one in the writing room is paying attention to what has already happened and what are already established facts.  Quit treating us as though we are half-wits who don't understand anything.  Give us some intelligent, well written stories and dialog.  And for goodness sakes, if you can't think of anything, put something else on.  Stop taking us in these never ending circles that just keep going right back to the same scene we just saw last week, and the month before, and last year......get some new ideas, ok?  And if you don't have any.....ask us!!  We have plenty!

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