In the movies, when they want to show you something from the past, they turn the actor into a special effect, like Jeff Bridges in Tron.
On primetime TV, when they want to show you something that happened earlier, they stick a wig on the actor, shoot them with soft lighting, and tell them to “act younger,” like on The Arrow. On daytime, they go to the actual video tape.
How do fans feel about soap opera flashback? We heard from over 34,000 of you!
Bring Back the Past
How awesome was it to see Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) through the years on The Young and the Restless, says 65% of you. She was a baby when she started! So was Jack (Peter Bergman)! Even Victor (Eric Braeden) looked less scraggly. And how the heck has Sharon (Sharon Case) not aged a day?
Or remember seeing Susan Seaforth Hayes’ first day as Julie on Days Of Our Lives? The classic Ryan/Kevin (Jon Lindstrom) scenes on General Hospital? A living Stephanie (Susan Flannery) on The Bold and the Beautiful? What other genre allows for this?
The main drawback is when soaps flashback to something that happened the week before. For those of us with a working memory, it can get tedious. We want to see the old, classic stuff, not boring repetition.
We watch soaps to find out what happens next, not what happened before, 35% of the audience counters. Been there, done that, seen it. (Can catch it on YouTube if I want to see it again.)
Tell us a story, and keep it moving. Flashbacks only slow down the action, and make us want to switch channels to find out what’s new…someplace else.