|From "GH" to "Batfleck", who's listening to the fans?|
There are only 4 soaps left and in that microcosm you can see a host of issues that extend far past Daytime. As a new day dawns and social media becomes an ever present reality for promoting TV, movies and music, it also creates a chance for the captains of the creative ship to change course amidst an ill-received storyline.
The response to utilizing social media to make on-screen changes, has been muddled. The positive argument seems to be “who better than the passionate fans who spend their time tweeting, facebooking or writing posts on message boards, to bring awareness to a storyline lemon?” Then there’s the counter argument “those are a small but vocal percentage of fans and they cannot be used to gauge the overall reception to storylines.”
Keeping this in mind, let’s head over to “Days”. NBC’s sole surviving soap is hitting a transitional period. Series stars Alison Sweeney and James Scott who play fan favorites Sami and EJ, respectively, are leaving the show. As “EJami” they are one of the show’s most popular pairings and fans have rallied for them to be together for 7 years. Given the announcement of their impending exit, fans justifiably expected a happily-ever-after for their favorite couple. Well…that doesn’t seem likely at this point. In a highly controversial storyline, EJ cheated on Sami with college student, Abby Deveraux, setting both Sami and the fans ablaze.
Why in the closing chapter of the duo’s run would the show want to destroy them? Why weren’t the fans heard? It’s a puzzling quagmire that offers no logical answers. Over on “General Hospital” Robin Scorpio has gone from the show’s moral center to a deadbeat mom whose willingly ran out on her family to save a sociopath. The writers had to write off the character due to her portrayer, Kimberly McCullough, leaving the show. Was it necessary to damage the character of Robin, in the process though? No. Meanwhile, “The Bold and the Beautiful” remains transfixed on the dull Liam/Hope/Wyatt triangle, which has hopefully met its end.
With soaps there is always hope that things will turn around. GH's awful Carly/Franco pairing is finally reaching its end. The fans were listened to and GH can respond to them fairly quickly, as there is about a month's lead time between filming and the airdate. While DAYS takes 4 and half months. As the soap genre's fate hangs in the balance, it's imperative to remember that sticking it out, will oftentimes prove rewarding. Continued...