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Old 06-28-2018, 01:24 AM   #1
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Default Douglas Marland's "How Not To Wreck a Show"

1. Watch the show.

2. Learn the history of the show. You would be surprised at the ideas that you can get from the back story of your characters.

3. Read the fan mail. The very characters that are not thrilling to you may be the audience's favorites.

4. Be objective. When I came in to ATWT, the first thing I said was, what is pleasing the audience? You have to put your own personal likes and dislikes aside and develop the characters that the audience wants to see.

5. Talk to everyone; writers and actors especially. There may be something in a character's history that will work beautifully for you, and who would know better than the actor who has been playing the role?

6. Don't change a core character. You can certainly give them edges they didn't have before, or give them a logical reason to change their behavior. But when the audience says, "He would never do that," then you have failed.

7. Build new characters slowly. Everyone knows that it takes six months to a year for an audience to care about a new character. Tie them in to existing characters. Don't shove them down the viewers' throats.

8. If you feel staff changes are in order, look within the organization first. P&G (Procter & Gamble) does a lot of promoting from within. Almost all of our producers worked their way up from staff positions, and that means they know the show.

9. Don't fire anyone for six months. I feel very deeply that you should look at the show's canvas before you do anything.

10. Good soap opera is good storytelling. It's very simple.

Last edited by TMC; 07-19-2018 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:41 AM   #2
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I have been watching lots of As the World Turns episodes from the late 80s and early 90s on YouTube when Douglas Marland was the head writer for the show. It was definitely the Golden Years of the soap, when the best characters were written with some of the best storylines. I can definitely see the difference in the show's quality from before he was the head writer and after he passed away. The show quality was good for a year or two following his passing because of the groundwork he had put in place, but by the mid to late 90s the quality had suffered.

He was responsible for introducing great characters like Lily and Holden as well as Duncan and Shannon, who would become super-couples and he also brought the character of Lisa (Eileen Fulton) back to the forefront, along with other older characters such as Nancy, because he knew how important they were to longtime, loyal viewers. He was talented at weaving multiple storylines together at the same time to capture the viewer's interest. His James Stenbeck storylines were always good, as James was one of the great soap villians of all time!

I hated the final episode of ATWT, as I was upset that Lisa, the show's reigning queen, was relegated to window dressing with no storyline at all. I realize it can be difficult to end a show that ran for fifty years, but this was a huge let-down... I still miss Oakdale and its citizens.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:03 PM   #3
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12 Soap Opera Storylines Fans Are Totally Sick Of

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12. GHís Cassadine Curse
When General Hospitalís (GH) Luke and Laura got married in 1981, Helena Cassadine cursed the couple, launching a feud that lasted decades. A slew of Cassadines have died over the years only to return to Port Charles to continue the curse and rivalry with the Spencers, including Helena herself, her son Stavros, and now Valentin. With the entire Jason/Drew storyline moving forward, and Helenaís name mentioned on the show multiple times, fans canít help but speculate if sheíll return from the dead? Many fans hope not simply because they are tired of the curse and rivalry and just want it to go away.

11. Y&Rís Annoying Couples
There are some Young and the Restless (Y&R) fans who love seeing Billy and Phyllis, Devon and Hilary, and Cane and Lily together; however, there are those who find these duos utterly annoying. While Cane and Lilyís reunion makes sense, some find it unrealistic how sappy these parents of teenagers have become. Others feel that Philly lack substance. When it comes to Hevon, many Y&R fans wish these two would go their separate ways and take a chance on love somewhere else cause Hilary is too unstable for Devon!

10. DOOLís The Mystery Of John Black
Even as a senior and respected citizen of Salem for decades now, John Black continues to remain a bit of a mystery. Undoubtedly, Black is one of the most popular Days of Our Lives (DOOL) characters in history; however, his past is still something that is uncertain. The one things many fans hope for John in the future is that his past doesnít creep back up to haunt him. It seems like whenever things lag in Salem, something pops up from Blackís past that he doesnít remember. By now, it seems that John has dealt with every decade of his life before Salem and DOOL writers should just leave well enough alone and focus on other storylines for this pivotal Salem character.

9. Paternity Switch-Ups
Anyone else sad to see the Abbott family crumbling? Many Y&R viewers are devastated that Jack isnít Johnís son and at this rate, it seems like Tracy Abbott is the only child linked to John Abbott, biologically-speaking (but that could all change too). Paternity switch ups plague all soaps, from GHís Franco once being considered a Quartermaine and Jasonís twin to him now being a Baldwin. Even the popping up of Stefan DiMera on Days raised a few eyebrows. While some of these Ďsecretsí that come out decades later are nicely linked to history, some that come out of the blue make everyone want to roll their eyes.

8. Ruining Well-Established Families
Speaking of, one of the reasons many Y&R fans are so upset with the Jack Abbott paternity storyline is that when you look at the Abbott family, a once prominent one in Genoa City, itís now only dwindled down to four characters: Traci, Billy, and Billyís kids, Katherine and Johnny. The Quartermaine mansion on GH used to be the center of the universe in Port Charles too, and thanks to deaths, character exits, and plot twits, the family is a lot smaller. Some GH fans also once viewed the Cassadines as an established family, but now that family only consists of Valentin, Charlotte, and Spencer.

7. Y&Rís Victor and Nikki
These two have been on a roller coaster for decades, falling in love, breaking up, making up, getting back together, breaking up, making up Ö you get the picture. At this point, with both Nikki and Victor grandparents, these two have to stop this craziness and either decide to be a loving couple or part ways for good.

6. GHís Hero Franco
While there are many who adore Franco Baldwin, there are some haters out there who feel like the character is being Ďpushedí on audiences. GH writers continually place Franco in romantic storylines with popular female leads (i.e. Carly and Elizabeth) when many feel the chemistry is not there. They also tend to place Franco in situations where he doesnít belong but ends up being the hero, like his recent discovery about the fact that those Niagra assets were signed over to Port Charles in the end.

5. DOOLís Obsession With Islands
Sonny, Paul, Chad, Gabi, Lani, Eli, and J.J. were stranded on an island last year. John and Bo landed on one and needed rescuing in 2010, and then there was Melaswen Island in 2004. Itís clear, DOOL is obsessed with jungles and islands, and every so often, writers will center a cheesy storyline around this. Days fans are just sick of them.

4. De-SORASing Characters
Most soap opera fans are familiar with the term soap opera rapid aging syndrome (SORAS) where a child character will go off to boarding school and three months later return as a teenager. While this is an annoying occurrence as it is, de-SORASing characters is even worse. This is when an older character is put in storylines that make them appear younger than they really are. Like the Y&Rís Phyllis hanging out Hilary, Marlena Evans getting pregnant in 2005 when she was technically in her late 50s, and even the coupling of Ava and Griffin are examples around how some older characters are kept young on soaps.

3. The Paternity Question
Anytime a woman within the child-bearing years has an affair, soap fans can see what will happen from a mile away. Yes, the Ďwhoís your daddyí storyline launches and while some of these can be interesting if there is a twist involved, some feel like the same old, same old. DOOLís Abigail technically didnít cheat on Chad with his brother Stefan (due to her mental health issues); however, fans can see a pregnancy/paternity storyline on the horizon for these three.

2. Mental Health Issues
Speaking of, while GH has been able to nail mental health with stories that show a realistic (for soaps) view on bipolar disorder (i.e. Sonny and Morgan Corinthos), for the most part, when mental health is involved in a soap storyline, itís way too over the top. Many DOOL fans will agree that actress Marci Miller is doing a phenomenal job with her current dissociative identity disorder (DID) storyline; however, the arc in itself is cheesy. Y&Rís Pattie Williams is entertaining when she shows up in Genoa City, but her mental health issues sometimes come off as exaggerated.

1. The Baby Switch
This storyline was intriguing when first done a few times on soaps years ago but now is simply too much. Two women in the same town end up pregnant and either one of two things end up happening (with the same baby switch result): either both babies are born and purposely or accidentally switched, or one mom loses her baby and moves on to pretend sheís pregnant, only to steal the other womenís baby or have some else do the stealing/switching. Said baby (or babies) live in a household with parents that arenít really theirs for months Ö sometimes years! Itís a crazy storyline that has lost its shininess, and many GH fans are hoping there isnít a baby switch on the horizon for Nelle, Maxie, or even Lucas and Bradís baby-to-be.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:55 PM   #4
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ya i watched the later years and i thought it was a really good show. then when i heard it was cancelled i stopped watching it.
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