Why do small moments make all the difference in big soap tales? Check out what Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey has to say about what’s happening across the daytime dial.
Soaps need to fill in big stories with smaller moments to make the overall tale more … soapy. Play the buildup while we wait!
Big, splashy weddings have gone the way of the pay phone, but shows could still script traditional beats like bridal showers, bachelor parties, and — I’m going out on a limb here — finding a location.
DAYS’s Rex (to Philip): “Sarah and I are getting married today. I’m going to ask my parents if we can use the pub.”
Rex’s big wedding plan was for his parents to close down their restaurant that day with zero notice. Was there a dress, a ring, a guest list, an officiant?
Rex (to Philip): “I’d like you to officiate. You have to get ordained.”
In an hour? Even Joey Tribbiani couldn’t pull that off.
Rex: “I’ll meet you at the pub.”
Philip: “See you there.”
Sigh. Quickie weddings tell us the show isn’t invested in the couple which is a shame because I liked Sarah and Rex, and I looked forward to watching sweet Maggie and the always-sarcastic Kate become in-laws. But then…
Kate (to Roman): “Apparently Sarah Horton gave birth to our grandchild and no one told us.”
Rex: “I’m not the baby’s father. Xander is the father of Sarah’s baby.”
As hurried as those nuptials were, the aftermath was even more rushed. Xander confronted Sarah about the baby, Chloe dumped Xander because the baby “changes everything”, Sarah asked Rex for a divorce, and Chloe and Philip left town — in a handful of episodes. That’s weeks of story! For a show that tapes six-plus months in advance, there must be a way to plan big events more than one scene ahead.
Better was the fun of watching Vivian order a Dumpster to start redecorating Victor’s mansion when we knew Maggie was going to get it all back.
Kate (to Marlena): “Vivian Alamain is going to be kicked out on her ass.”
Now, that’s a moment!
There aren’t many big events to look forward to on Y&R unless you count hirings and firings, which I don’t. The SUCCESSION-fest at Newman Enterprises is getting tired because the only current jeopardy is which office these people will wind up sitting in and that’s not very soapy. Phyllis taking money from Tucker to hack into her ex Billy’s bank account to make it look like Billy embezzled from her other ex Jack was a new low for her (octopus not included) and it made her a villain.
Billy: “Phyllis admitted to working with Tucker?”
Jack: “No, but I know her. She wants redemption. Phyllis may be just the weapon we need.”
To stab Tucker in the back for redemption? Seems more like moving chess pieces around on the rotten people chess board. Ditto Adam taunting Tucker with his blackmail dirt.
Tucker: “You’ve made me your enemy.”
Him and the rest of the town. A story full of bad people doing bad things to each other should be layered with moments of humor and heart. Where’s Ashley? Tucker needs to pay for cheating on her with Audra and I want to watch every moment of that. Put Ash into Jack and Billy’s battle with Tucker to unite the Abbotts, and layer in Kyle when he finds out Audra’s been sleeping with Tucker. Base the story on family rather than office politics and you’ve got all the moments you need for a heartfelt tale — and raucous reveal.
A good blueprint for a buildup was the way Y&R brought Mamie back. Why was she lurking around her family for weeks and what was with those juicy flashbacks of Jill paying Mamie $1 million to leave town years ago?
Mamie: “I bought out a private investor. I now have a major stake in Chancellor-Winters.”
Jack: “That is giant news! This is great for you, Devon and Lily. I hope you’re prepared for the roadblock…”
Mamie: “Who can prepare for Jill?”
No one — and that’s the fun of it. Thanks to those flashbacks, we’ve been reminded that Mamie bought Jill’s company with the investment proceeds from Jill’s own money so bring on Jill vs. Mamie 2.0!
B&B is pitting Ridge vs. Eric with everyone taking sides as they build to the fashion showdown. It’s a solid umbrella tale colored with glimpses of Eric’s ill health, which adds jeopardy and rooting value.
Donna (to Eric, after the doctor left): “It’s time to tell Ridge.”
Not so fast … In addition to the Forrester Follies we’ve got the “Everyone Hates Sheila” tale, which has been going on for three decades.
Taylor: “Sheila is incapable of love or being loved by anyone.”
Deacon (to Sheila): “Will you marry me?”
Proposing to the woman who spiked Brooke’s drink, left Steffy and Finn for dead in an alley, cut off her own toe to fake her death, etc. is a choice but we’ve now got Finn’s mother marrying Hope’s father. That could work!
GH has done a good job with buildup lately. We wondered for months who Marty’s ex-wife was (Blair!), who was stalking Anna (Charlotte!) and couldn’t wait for Gladys to get busted for doing Sasha dirty.
Sasha: “You drove me to insanity. I actually thought you loved me. How could you betray me?”
Gladys: “I was going to pay the money back!”
With what, her ace gambling skills? Nina clued Sonny in and it was ovah for Gladys. Sonny: “I’m done with your lies.”
We’re currently longing for Laura to find Nikolas, the Pikeman story to resolve (please God), Nina’s romantic fate to be decided, and how long did we wait for “Sprina” to make love? Two years.
As Agnes Nixon said, “Make ’em laugh, make ’em cry, make ’em wait!”
Hey. It’s only my opinion.