Has anyone logged onto SoapNet's website lately? There's a sleek, silver screen, complete with a digital video clip announcing a new 24-hour model for the site that will cover celeb gossip, fashion, primetime and of course daytime soaps. It looks hot and I for one can't wait! I also can't wait to see the cablers airing of the Canadian sudser MVP, the next chapter of General Hospital: Night Shift and the very VH1-esque Relative Madness specials. I can't help it, I love all things soap!
SoapNet has been on the forefront of the changing face of daytime for years. And while like many I have my gripes (When are we gonna get new episodes of Soapography? Why'd they cancel Soap Talk? Where's Knots Landing?) for the most part the channel and its online counterpart have been a huge part of my daily routine sine 2004.
I absolutely loved both the General Hospital spin off Night Shift and the reality soap The Fashionista Diaries. I never could understand what all the griping about Diaries not being a "real" soap was about. Some of the best soaps don't air in the daytime (Dirty Sexy Money, Nip/Tuck) and many aren't scripted (The Hills, America's Next Top Model).
If daytime is going to grow and survive, it has to change with the times. There's a reason why websites like Perez Hilton that follow the real soap opera lives of the rich and the wanton are so wildly successful, while daytime is dying a slow death.
If you take a look at primetime, no one is gasping in awe over gays kissing, in fact Brothers and Sisters is all set to have a big old gay wedding as its season finale! While daytime mags and sites-including this very one-are questioning the decision to have a teen girl become pregnant on a soap in the Year 2008, ABC Family is doing an entire primetime drama around the concept from the writer who gave us the wholesome 7th Heaven of all people. Did I mention this show would be on ABC Family?
If we don't want daytime to go the way of the Dodo, it's high time we embraced the future, and trust me I am preaching to myself as well. I'll always have my memories of Hope Williams in a big tacky confection of tafetta, silk and lace, with enough animal-tested rouge on her face to keep PETA busy for decades, marrying her Brady, but its a new world people and a new soap industry and SoapNet seems to be heading in the right direction. Now if they could just get the rights to Santa Barbara (Okay, okay...baby steps!)