ABC The Story of Soaps recently aired on ABC. The special took a look at the genre and its impact, as well as the personal stories of people involved. Let’s take a look at some of our personal favorite moments, as well as a downside.
The Story of Soaps is the people
The best part of the show was seeing the actors showing genuine affection and love for the genre and what it did for their careers. Vivica A. Fox talked about how ‘Days of Our Lives’ was her first job on camera. Can’t get a better start than that.
Meanwhile, John Stamos talked about working at his father’s restaurant and he got the audition. This shows how The Story of Soaps is about changing people’s lives. He shot his first episode two days later, and was a well-known face a week into his run.
It’s also all about how hard they work. Numerous actors and other people connected with the shows talked about the frenzied pace, and how much it teaches you quickly. Erika Slezak (Viki Lord, One Life to Live) shared that a well-known actor joined the show at one point. The workload was so much greater than other shows/movies, he was apparently begging to be released fairly quickly because of the pace. To put that into perspective, Mark Teschner (Casting director, GH) said they shoot 120 pages a day, which is about the length of a movie. But Genie Francis (Laura Webber, General Hospital) said getting to tell stories is worth it.
The Story of Soaps is shocking
Obviously, we know the shows have insane twist. Finola Hughes (Anna Devane, GH) talked about the plot where she had a relationship with an alien. Meanwhile, Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans, Days of Our Lives) reminisced about the infamous devil possession story. That’s why it’s no surprise people might react a little strange when they hear the plot descriptions. That led to one of the funniest moments of the show.
Carol Burnett, a huge soap fan and actress on AMC, talked about being away and wanting a friend to keep her up to date on All My Children’s plots. At the time, they had to use telegrams to get the information across quickly. The manager who saw the telegram, according to Burnett, was shaking. It spoke of kidnapping, comas, and other soap twists. This had her laughing hysterically, and her husband had to jump in and say it’s about her soap opera.
Of course, we mentioned how The Story of Soaps is about changing the actor’s lives. This also came across in a bunch of interview footage where people talked about the cons and connecting with fans. Seeing the footage from these events shows just how loyal the fans are, and Maurice Bernard (Sonny Corinthos, GH) emphasized that point a couple of times. We can definitely see how. There was a lot of talk from various contributors about growing up watching the shows, and how soaps get passed down through generations.
The Story of Soaps is incomparable
If there’s one thing we didn’t like about the special, there was a bit too much of an effort to convince us reality TV shows are the new soaps operas. We feel it’s a disrespect to the genre and the people who work so hard to put them together for our daily entertainment. We honestly feel there’s no substitute for scripted television stories told by talented performers. Especially from an escapism standpoint.
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