Monday, September 19, 2011

READER RESULTS: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History

We Love Soaps recently counted down the 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History. Last week we asked for your opinions and the results are in. Here are the rankings of our readers for the Top 25 Blunders plus a few extra that received multiple votes.

25. Misogyny in a genre watched by primarily women

24. Spinning off Iris from ANOTHER WORLD into TEXAS

23. Recycling writers from one soap to another, many times from canceled soaps

22. CBS canceling its remaining radio soaps a.k.a. "The day the radio drama died"

21. Expansion of soaps to 60 minutes

20. The Messy Murder of THE EDGE OF NIGHT

19. Making Jill the daughter of Katherine Chancellor on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

18. The early 1970s soap purge

17. Rotating Romans and the forever ret-con of John Black on DAYS OF OUR LIVES

16. Marlena's Devil Possession on DAYS OF OUR LIVES

15. Firing Wendy Riche from GENERAL HOSPITAL

14. The unnecessary death of Maureen Bauer on GUIDING LIGHT

13. Never bringing Laura back permanently on GENERAL HOSPITAL

12. Erica's unabortion

11. The launch of the new GUIDING LIGHT production model

10. Firing Michael Zaslow from GL when he became ill

9. The Mismanagement of the Final Years of AS THE WORLD TURNS

8. Networks not merchandising the soaps

7. Lack of Diversity on Daytime Television

6. WIPING (Decades of soap history destroyed)

5. ABC canceling ONE LIFE TO LIVE

4. Networks and soaps spoiling their own storylines

3. Elimination of Core Families

2. Introduction of focus groups and the obsession with a younger demo

1. Hiring Brian Frons to run ABC Daytime and SOAPnet

Honorable mention (write in comments by multiple people):
* Hiring Dena Higley as head writer of DAYS OF OUR LIVES
* The brutal murder of Frankie Frame on ANOTHER WORLD
* Killing Jo's son on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW
* The cancellation of RYAN'S HOPE
* Science fiction storylines/Ice Prince Storyline
* Elimination of the Executive in Charge of Production of P&G soaps
* Making rapists heroes
* The handling of the Jason Quartermaine Morgan story on GENERAL HOSPITAL
* Actors finding out they are fired on Twitter

- COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (25-21)
- COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (20-16)
- COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (15-11)
- COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (10-6)
- COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (5-1)


  1. Couldn't agree more with the Rapist Hero issue, especially in a day and age when rape, abuse and their consequences have become so much clearer than it may have been 30 or 40 years ago. IMO there is absolutely no excuse for networks and writers to include rape as a part of romance in this day and age, when it is still a prevalent, under reported crime with many victims continuing to blame themselves for a crime committed against them.

  2. Ditto with the rape issue and the rampant misogyny that has taken over soaps.

  3. Issues that are pervasive and which affect the overall quality of soaps, such as misogyny, rapist heroes, and the recycling of incompetent headwriters and executive producers, are more important than damage done to individual soaps.

    I totally agree that Brian Frons is the worst soap blunder ever.

  4. All blunders are on the money. But number 1 is so very true, sadly.

  5. I agree with the Brian Frons blunder, too--Yuck!

  6. I kept reading comments on different sites about how good GH has been. When I tuned in today -- I saw Maxie and Elizabeth being assaulted -- By a man-- Same crap by the same people.

    GH is gone next year anyway to make room for Jane Pauly errr...Katy Couric's new show.

  7. I agree with the whole "making rapists heroes" issue. I was absolutely disgusted when OLTL debuted that bumper with TSJ's Todd and it had him described as a hero.

  8. Oh absolutely! The buck stops here on BF's desk!! All of it, going back to hiring Chuck Pratt & his style of micro-managing- all of it's on him. I only hope the Chew is his downfall.

  9. I know it is very current to focus on Brian Frons from CBS. However, I firmly believe the bigger blunder was the destruction of ATWT. Unlike every soap then and now, ATWT still had a large number of characters tied to the very beginning of the show. When I saw the way that show was driven into the ground and ultimately cancelled (even though I strongly felt it could be saved with proper guidance), I knew most (if not, all) of the rest of the shows would follow.

    Like the ATWT at the end, the current AMC and OLTL and all of the others as well are a shell of how good they used to be. Unlike the others, ATWT still had deep and very relevant ties to its past.

  10. The Misogyny on soaps is a big one. Showing a strong woman on a soap is rare. Can't think of who could be the next Reva Shayne (if that were possible) because virtually all soap females are weak and needy.

    Guiding Light's mistake was bringing in Ellen Weston. She re-wrote history and then sent popular characters and couples packing. And then viewers sat helplessly as the show started it's decent towards the bottom.

    And what's really said is that I see the same trends in MAB's writing for Y&R. Characters are out of character, characters are assissinated to prop other characters, and then there is the plot-driven style of writing. When you have to write for plot instead of characters there is a problem.

  11. The whole rape turned romance just doesn't fly today. It's such an insult to the strides made in bringing awareness to this crime against women. Days of our Lives imo is one of the worst in taking a responsible stance in how they portray the after effects of rape. They presented a story of rape, swept the real emotions resulting from the crime under the carpet and soon had the female character desiring the rapist. They continue to play up this couples attraction despite another rape instigated against her again by the same male character.
    Why should I support a show that treats their women characters with so little respect?
    Story lines should reflect the pulse of the times. If they can't do that viewers will stay away.

  12. I agree with Ava in terms of the slow painful demise of ATWT. One issue that really BUGGED the heck out of me was the re-writing of characters decades after the fact...i.e. Craig Montgomery and Dusty Donovan. Dusty was as not as bothersome to me personally as the Craig transformation as it seemed to go strongly against Scott Bryce's portrayal and Marland's writing Craig into a leading man. Hunt Block and Jeffrey Meeks, et al are undoubtedly very talented but they were not Craig in the true sense as Craig had become a grotesque caricature, a shadow of the complex character than he once was. Over the last decade or so before the show's end, the writers completely trashed Craig's relationship with Bryant, killing the much wanted son off (made no sense) and belittled his relationship with Sierra (an all too brief but powerful love story). That alone left a bitter taste in my mouth and helped make the show unwatchable over the last several years.