Commentary BB

Should Soaps Listen To Fans When Writing Story?

Is there a soap that is currently getting it right?

Should soaps listen to fans

No one loves soaps more than their own viewers. That said, since the first soap hit the airwaves (radio back then), you can bet there were fans of that show who were complaining about what they just heard. It’s human nature! Viewers invest their time and energy into keeping up with their stories — but should they have a say in what’s airing?

Soaps: Can’t Please Everyone All The Time

When Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) reminded Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford) of all her past sins in a fiery diatribe, The Young and the Restless fans who’d been making the exact same points ever since Phyllis, Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott), and Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) — not to mention Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) — decided that Diane Jenkins (Susan Walters) had committed sins worse than any of them ever had, and must be driven out of Genoa City for the good of humanity, finally felt vindicated. The Young and the Restless listened to their viewers and were able to give them what they wanted — because they only shoot their episodes a few weeks before they air.

Alternative Facts

On the other hand, no matter how much pushback fans may give to such Days of our Lives stories as Chanel Dupree’s (Raven Bowens) lame secret and her mother’s even lamer attempts to blame everyone for what happened next except the person actually responsible — herself, the horrible botching of Jada Hunter’s (Elia Cantu) abortion story, or the tepid response to Kristen DiMera’s (Stacy Haiduk) latest scheme to trap Brady Black (Eric Martsolf), there is nothing they can do about it — because they have already taped all their episodes for at least the next six months.

Listen Up Soaps

Now, we’re not saying soaps should always do what viewers want. They should have a strong vision for their story. If only because fan opinion is never unanimous. Then again, if fan opinion were never taken into consideration, we might never have ended up with the pairing of Laura Webber Baldwin (Genie Francis) and Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) on General Hospital. She’d still be with good guy Scotty Baldwin (Kin Shriner) to this day!

The Bold and the Beautiful was airing the umpteenth iteration of “Does Ridge Forrester (Thorsten Kaye) want to be with Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) or Tayler Hayes (Krista Allen)?” And the fans were not digging it. Luckily, like their sister show, Y&R, B&B, had the time to right this ship, and they did it with quite a surprise twist that thrilled fans when both women dumped him. Will it stick, though? Tune in tomorrow.

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