What’s Wrong With As The World Turns


ATWT

As the World Turns is something of a mystery to me these days. I haven’t been blogging regularly about the show because, honestly, I am kind of flummoxed about what to actually write about from day to day.

I love ATWT. The show is blessed with some of daytime’s strongest actors. In this age of massive cost cutting, ATWT found an arguably better production alternative than Procter & Gamble sister show Guiding Light. Speaking for myself, I find most days, most characters, most stories and most events to be sufficiently captivating to keep me coming back.

Nonetheless, something is badly amiss in Oakdale. The usual criticisms of ATWT are all-too-familiar: far too many recasts, underused vets, storylines that turn on a dime, compressed storytelling and ever shrinking production values to name a few. While those issues are real and important, they are only symptons of several larger problems that encapsulate the issues that I, other Daytime Confidential bloggers and commentators all over the internet have found themselves dismayed about over the last several months. After trying to put a finger on these issues while attempting to "figure out" what’s going on at ATWT from a larger perspective, several things have jumped out as serious structural flaws, like a cracked foundation in a beloved old home.

A MATTER OF CHARACTER: Everyone knows about the recast mania that afflicts ATWT, coupled with newly introduced but ill-defined characters. In the last few months alone the show recast Jade (Davida Williams), Craig (Jon Lindstrom), and Lucy (Sarah Glendening), all of whom debuted within roughly two weeks of each other! In the middle of this and since, a brand new character named Josie (Kristin Connolly) was introduced; Matt (Eric William Morris), Elwood (Alex Charak), and Kevin (Karl Girolamo) were reintroduced; and new romance kicked off between newcomer Derek (Benton Greene) and recast Bonnie (Chaunteé Shuler).

I want to focus on recasts for a moment. Whether the edict to recast comes from CBS Vice President of Daytime Barbara Bloom, Procter & Gamble/Telenext, Executive Producer Chris Goutman or all of them in concert, the fact is that the sheer number of recasts can be overwhelming. While obvious arguments can be made about the supposed detrimental effects of recasting roles on viewers, something else jumps out about how recasting almost every role is specifically detrimental to ATWT.

First, there may be more method to the madness than simply recasting a role because the talent might be less expensive than the actor who previously played the role. While that’s the obvious answer, recasting ultimately allows the show to have it both ways: soaps need new faces to keep things fresh, but viewers are more unforgiving than ever of new characters. Also, actors leave or are fired for any number of reasons. The solution ATWT has settled upon is to pluck names of old characters from a hat and often recast them with new and, presumably, less expensive talent. The show has been gambling for a couple of years now that viewers are more invested in the characters than they are the actors who portray them, or as Days of Our Lives Executive Producer Ken Corday has called them, "spokes in a wheel."

A number of recasts actually do work! Lindstrom is doing great work as Craig and Williams is doing an admirable job of interpreting the troublemaking Jade as we remember her when Elena Goode played the role. In fact, some of daytime’s most iconic, popular and enduring roles are recasts. In short, there are some roles that should be recast for many reasons, but ATWT’s wholesale solution is to recast every role it wants to bring back to the canvas.

Here is why that thinking is wrong when implemented on such a large scale. Soap viewers today are not just generally hostile to new characters, they are also generally hostile to new actors. Making matters worse, not every character that ATWT brings back was popular during their first (or second or third) go round on the show. Therefore, ATWT shoots itself in the foot more often than not by plopping new actors in familiar roles in which they have to fight harder than might be necessary for acceptance, especially when the recast character has few interactions with family or connections that they naturally would have like the recently departed Dani Andropolous (Deirdre Skiles).

Finally, most of the time there seems to be no real plan when recast characters are brought back or whatever story they were involved in abruptly changes for no discernable reason. Complicating things is the fact that many recast characters bear little resemblance to how they were portrayed or written previously; in short, they often come across as new characters with old names. Most grievously, even when new characters or recasts actually do start clicking with audiences, they are abruptly written off. Consider Dani: why introduce the potentially juicy plot twist that Dani is a villainess with a twisted daddy complex and then ditch the character not two or three weeks later? This kind of thing happens all too often. The upshot is there is far too much turnover in the cast and on the canvas, and viewers are left scratching their heads wondering what, if anything, was the point.

I do not want these new actors fired or their characters written off! I just want their characters defined, their actions to have motivation, and the stories they are involved in to play out instead of switching on a dime because somebody among ATWT’s brass gets bored. This is no way to keep one’s audience invested in a show, indicating that ATWT’s brass suffers from….

20 Responses

  1. Profile photo of bonobochick
    bonobochick

    Great write-up! :) I hope you sent this to SOD and other places who can possibly give this more attention cause it deserves to be read!!

    RE: too many recasts that serve no purpose…
    I am still cringing over that recast Maddie that came back over the holidays and bore no resemblance to the Maddie I remember who was feisty and had a backbone. THE HORROR.

    The writing is a problem. The breakneck pacing is a problem. The lack of character driven plots is a problem.

    Right now, ATWT is a hodgepodge of rewound plots, hastily dropped stories, retraced relationships, missed opportunities and a revolving door of new characters and actors that that barely get a chance to catch on. It is the soap opera equivalent of throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what sticks, although more and more it seems like monkeys hurling the aforementioned feces.

    So much word!

  2. Profile photo of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    The only thing I like about ATWT right now is Carly and Craig and to some of the ways they bother Jack and Janet. Otherwise, I agree with your assessment. The show has lost the ability to show soapy stories. Its like amateur hour on ATWT.

  3. Profile photo of curacaoman
    curacaoman

    I am also lost on the express storytelling. Stories are resolved within days, not weeks like on other show. This can be mindboggling as to what is going on. On the other hand, I would have loved for the GH emergency mess to be over a couple days, rather than all the time it took.
    Somewhere there must be a middle ground!

  4. Profile photo of sudsmuffin
    sudsmuffin

    Please, somebody, express mail this wonderful blog to Chris Goutman, Jean Passanante, and the suits at P & G and TeleNext ASAP. This show is long overdue for an overhaul and this blog spells out the reasons why. I can barely watch the show anymore, it has become so disconjointed and repetitive. I love all your ideas. Great job!

  5. Profile photo of PJ
    PJ

    Wonderful write up. The only point I disagree with is that “a few” viewers found the Holden/Carly affair disasteful. I think a clear majority of the viewers found it repulsive for a variety of reasons. Including the depths to which Holden kept both women on a string, the way it ruined the off and on friendship of Carly and Lily, and just the underlying feeling that the story NEVER would have been told if Martha Byrne had still been in the role.

    But you are right…if TIIC were going to make that move, then they should have really asked themselves if they had the balls to stick with it for the forseeable future. And since I suspect they really didn’t have any way to justify a true relationship between Carly/Holden (and honestly have very little use for Holden period aside from being Luke’s father) they should have found a way to make it an “emotional affair” (which can be just as damaging to a marriage) rather than a physical one.

  6. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

     PJ,

    I used the phrase "a few" viewers found Holden/Carly distasteful because we really don’t know what the majority feeling was — certainly not a clear one — at the time their affair was abruptly ended.

    I think it is more accurate that large numbers of viewers were not pleased with the affair when it started, but as it progressed sentiments started to change in favor of it not because they liked Holden/Carly so much (and a number of folks including me liked the "taboo" aspect of them together) but because the fallout was so spectacular as their affair was revealed.

    Had Holden & Carly kept their affair completely in the dark and it became one of those "we’ll never tell" deals, that would have been one thing, but as the show started to play the fallout across the canvas, the dramatic potential became obvious and things changed in terms of attitudes.

    As a story, Holden & Carly are loosely analogous to the Todd/Marty "rapemance" on OLTL only in the sense that the latter was (and still is) a widely reviled storyline. However, that story — that many say should never have been told — has yielded spectacular fallout across the canvas. Multiple storylines converged and spun out of it and the ripple effects are going to reverberate for years to come.

    Holden & Carly held the same promise. All of the items you listed as having a deleterious effect on the characters would have been fantastic! That’s what good, soapy drama is all about! Lives ruined! Friendships torn apart! Familys struggling to cope with emotional trauma! Lovers ripped to shreds! It is from those kinds of places that one begins to rebuild, reconstruct and renew!

    Having been short-circuited, the affair still could have had major consequences across the board, but the show reset everything to almost exactly the way it was before they slept together, which is both lazy and hard to swallow. This just gets back to my point about considering long term story and playing out the consequences, something ATWT has dropped the ball on for quite a wile now.

  7. Profile photo of Worldturner
    Worldturner

    Great article!

    My thought on the whole Holden/Carly affair was they really didn’t intend to make it any longer as they referred to it as a “summer story.” When the ratings hit 1.7 I think they tried to just make it go away. I think one problem many of us had was Holden never thought very much of Carly and they never gave us any reason why he suddenly changed his opinion. Good heavens he was furious that his wife schemed so they could have a night alone but suddenly couldn’t stay away from the woman that lied about dying? How does that make sense? I said right from the beginning this should destroy Lily and Carly’s friendship and Holden and Jack’s forever and should have impacted the kids. The fact that they chose to overlook that with the exception of an occasional comment from Lily to Carly was a major mistake. And Michael Park has said he really thought Jack should get to slug Holden lol. Just because many didn’t like the affair, doesn’t mean we didn’t want to see the fall out. That would have made the whole thing worth it. That’s such a huge problem with the stories told on ATWT that there is no payoff and with this story they seem to just be trying to pretend it never happened. Thanksgiving at the Snyder farm should have been much more uncomfortable this year and not because Jack was announcing his engagement. Most stories are ended before the best part of it ever happens. We want to see how lives are affected and impacted. So that part I totally agree with and it happens way too often.

    I also totally agree on the episodic writing on ATWT. That is destroying the show. And with only 2 stories on a show, it makes it very easy for the viewers to only watch the stories or characters they want. Viewers want to be interested enough to watch 5 days a week contrary to what Mr. Goutman thinks. And by making them episodic we are missing so many beats. We care about these characters and we want more of their motivations known, especially when we see them acting like characters we don’t even recognize. As they whip through the stories so fast we lose all character motivation.

    The other big thing that to me is either sloppiness or just a total disregard for viewers is ignoring even recent history. We all know Casey returned to Oakdale and took a job as a bartender, meaning he was 21 and he again told Emily he was legal over the summer. Is it that hard to remember that long? So why did they have him turning 21 at his party? And for such a small party did it have to be a major birthday? Couldn’t they have just celebrated his 22nd birthday? So far at least I don’t see the significance of him turning 21 as being key to the story yet it was blatant disregard of history. Viewers pay attention to detail and so should the viewers.

  8. Profile photo of Lewis0817
    Lewis0817

    ATWT got me hooked on soaps, it was my first and i always thought i would never miss an episode. Now to my horror I stopped watching weeks ago, their is nothing good on the show. Not one story is worth watching. The last interesting story was Lucinda/Brian/Luke/Noah, mainly because we got to see Liz Hubbard almost every other day. None of the recasts are working, nuCraig esspecially, i can’t see him as the character. Paul & Meg is just boring now, i was happy when they finally got married over Sophie’s grave, but since then and their break up after break up, they arn’t worth watching. Dusty’s return has been terrible from the beginning, and my CARLY IS ACTING LIKE AN IDIOT. The show has no structure right now, and i seriously miss watching it, but it is just so damn boring, its not even one ounce of pleasure to watch!

  9. Profile photo of voch
    voch

    Terrific article, and I am in agreement – there is so much wrong with ATWT, and yet so much potential for this show to be as amazing as it once was (during the Douglas Marland era).

    With layoffs and cutbacks and the economy, daytime drama is going through a very tough time right now, and it shows. On ATWT alone, the lack of diverse sets (is the Lakeview the only place in town where people live AND eat?) is scary. The fact that actors like Hunt Block and Larry Bryggman are considered “too expensive” to hire/keep on is a sad reality (just look at what Y&R and Days are going through right now). The list goes on and on.

    I’ve been reading a ton of articles recently about the growing fears and problems that are affecting daytime drama – did you know the Daytime Emmys aren’t even going to be televised this year? That is a huge blow to an industry that is barely surviving. Any additional exposure on primetime tv would only help draw in more viewers.

    So here are some ways I think ATWT can better itself (if in an ideal world where budgets were plentiful…):

    New Executive Producer: Change starts from the top. Chris Goutman’s tenure has been positive overall, but his time has come and gone. There needs to be fresh blood at the top (I’m currently unemployed and would gladly take the reins!).

    New Head Writer: I started watching ATWT right before the Douglas Marland era, and the show needs to get back to that; it has to go back to its roots, of family relationships and the connection of Oakdale-ians to each other.

    New title sequence: YouTube has a great selection of all of ATWT openings – it is truly amazing to see the progression of the opening sequence. But in the last 10 years, there have been a total of 4 new openings. Time to pick one and run with it. The current one, that lasts of all 5 seconds, is boring. The longer version isn’t my favorite either – the actors movements (ie. walking ahead or looking to their right or left) comes across as weird. I’d much prefer the first opening that showed the cast shots (though some argue that the sound effects sounded like a toilet flushing). I’d also incorporate the credits in the opening scenes (similar to what a number of soaps are doing now) and I’d incorporate the cast names in the opening sequence, similar to Y&R.

    New sets: Remember Diana’s? Mona Lisa? The Falcon Club? These were sets that brought many characters together in one setting. Why not do this again? Get rid of the Lakeview, or at least stop spending so much time at that hotel. Re-design Memorial so the set is bigger… the fact that there are always two rooms opposite each other on each floor where one room is always free isn’t reality. And why don’t Tom/Margo and Lily/Holden have kitchens? And why are most of the sets so dark? I love mahogany and dark colors but this is ridiculous. I’d get rid of Fairwinds (reminds me of McKechnie Castle) and bring back the Walsh Mansion and Hughes home.

    The Veterens: It’s time to bring the Hughes back to the front burner. One storyline could involve so many different people. I’ve been reading a lot about Douglas Marland, especially his list of how not to wreck a show. One of the items he talks about is not to change a core character. Are the current Dusty and Paul characters really acting like they should? I keep thinking back to young Paul and how he interacted with characters like Andy (bring Scott DeFreitas back!!) – adult Dusty and adult Paul are mere shells of who they used to be, and Grayson McCouch and Roger Howarth are being wasted. I’d write off Meg and Dusty (you know Craig is going to win custody of Johnny) and I’d let Paul give up on Meg and focus on… work. And by work I mean Barbara Ryan Originals. Yes, I know Craig took it and renamed it Monte Carlo, but why not make Barbara a designer again, with Paul as CEO? Add some tension in the mix by offering Carly a job. Hire Andy Dixon as the head fashion photographer (re-establishing the Andy/Paul friendship).

    I recently started to re-watch the show and those old feelings re-surfaced. I used to love ATWT, and watched it religiously. One of my favorite moments is when James re-appeared in the castle and took off his hood, to Barbara’s horror. I started screaming for joy, jumped up and down, and immediately called a friend of mine, who was also an ATWT fan! Remember James going after Margo, rescuing her but her losing the baby? Another great memory is when Bob refused to leave Kim’s home, and instead kissed her for the “first” time, and those two realized they were in love and meant to be together. Why not have Nancy share this with Casey, who is going through something similar with Alison?

    BTW, I love NUKE! But I would tweak Luke’s character – he’s a bit too whiney. I’d also like to see how Holden handles Carly’s involvement with Craig. I wish they wouldn’t have given up on the Lily/Holden/Carly triangle so quickly.

    I could go on and on. Suffice to say, I’d love to see the show get back to what once made it so great. I think it has the potential to get there. We’ll just have to see how long it takes to achieve this.

  10. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones
     We’ll have to disagree again. There was no way to "rebuild, reconstruct and renew" Holden, Lily, Carly or Jack by letting Holden and Carly play out their relationship as Oakdale watched. Not that relationship; not the way it started. 

     "Rebuild, reconstruct, and renew" does not mean necessarily "reestablish." I didn’t suggest reestablishing those relationships. That has been the consistent throughline of what I’ve been saying: things can change and fallout is good when handled properly. Passanante/Gooutman certainly have been handling that aspect of narrative badly, or were the 750 plus words in that one section alone where I used the Holden/Carly affair and its ultimately non-repercussions as an example to outline how this was not handled properly not clear enough?

    Holden/Carly threatened to change everything, including those very relationships of which you speak. That, in my mind, can be a good thing if a writer has the conviction to follow through on the consequences. Your argument seems to essentially boil down to these core relationships not changing; my argument essentially boils down to an embrace of change even if it means turning over the apple cart.

    Would it have meant a long term or permanent  break up of Holden and Lily? Sure! Fantastic! You point to the last year or so of story. But let’s look at the last several years. For one reason or another, their marriage has been falling apart since around the time of Lily’s obsession with Rose’s during the latter’s arrival in Oakdale and Rose’s subsequent death. Holden’s affair with Carly was the perfect excuse/reason to finish it off for good. Now, I’ve already outlined in broad sketch how that fallout could have played for years. And, yes, Holden & Lily could have come together after a long period of tortuous soul searching. It would have taken time and it would have been different, "not that relationship" as it was but hopefully stronger than what they have with the still present tenseness between them.

    One of ATWT’s best marriage breakup stories somewhat mirrors Holden/Lily: the dissolution of the Hal/Barbara union. It was long, painful and messy and it played out over a year and a half or so, if I recall. No, they didn’t have the storied history of Lily & Holden, but they also didn’t have Lily & Holden’s  more extensive tortured history of affairs and breakups, either. What both stories had was deep mistrust that built up over time.

    Then, before that, there was Bob/Kim/Susan imbroglio, one of the stories written by the now sainted Douglas Marland. Bob and Kim were growing apart due to Bob’s increased work at the hospital and Kim’s increasing involvement with her then-alcoholic son Andy and, by extension, Andy’s father John Dixon. In the middle of this, Bob grew much closer to Susan as she confided in him about her problems (just like Holden & Carly), and the two docs eventually slept together. Kim became a tortured, ice cold bitch (the same direction Lily was headed), and Bob was in the doghouse (just like Holden), having to fight his feelings for Susan (which Holden would have had to do for Carly) and then he had to fight his way back into Kim’s life (which Holden might have had to do with Lily). The parallels in that story compared to Holden/Carly is down right scary from drunk Andy/Luke to dismayed mothers Nancy-Emma/Ellen-Lucinda. The town was shaken to it’s foundations, people took sides, their children were put through and emotional cuisinart. You know: exactly how I described the possibilities of the Holden/Calry affair that should have played out much longer. Enough time has passed between those stories for it to have been retold with new spin.

    In the end, Bob & Kim did come back together and they were not the same couple they had been prior to his affair with Susan, but the solid, unshakable pillars of Oakdale society that they are today and have been ever since. The repercussions and fallout for that bombshell story played out for about 2 years and still resonates between Kim & Susan to this very day! Now that is what I call "good soapy drama." Therefore, when you say in disagreement with me…

    Wishing for a speedy conclusion to a contrived story is not the same as relishing the fallout.

    I’m not sure where you got that from since it certainly hasn’t informed a word I’ve written. In fact, I don’t see how that remotely relates to anything I have said or advocated, given the fact that I’ve repeated ad nauseum that the Carly/Holden affair was ended too soon! Furthermore, my cirticism of the way Passanante/Goutman handled the story was not limited solely to the Holden/Carly affair, which as I clearly stated was only an example of this constant and consistent laziness on their part along with another example of how Josie’s potential was completely squandered.

    So, historically, ATWT has precedent for telling these types of stories that shake things up and turn them inside out and I’m all for it if they are done properly.


  11. Profile photo of inspiron
    inspiron

    after decades of watching abc soaps, i have started watching ATWT last month (i decided i missed Roger Howarth too much)
    i can only tell you how impressed i am with the storytelling-the storylines are continuous, i.e., they make you want to tune in each day to find out what is going to happen unlike other soaps i watch which tend to be more shock and awe.
    i just wish they would add more humor to this show!

  12. Profile photo of Lacon
    Lacon

    Excellent analysis. The Holden/Carly affair defines what is wrong with the show right now. The story came out of nowhere and didn’t trade on any character history (There were even rumors of pairing Lily and Jack, which made even less sense.)And with Lily recast there was no history with Jon and Noelle, so it didn’t really look as if Holden was cheating, just as it didn’t look like a reunion when they reunited. With Carly and Jack divorced, there was no cheating on that side of the equation either.

    But as time went on I became invested in the story, particularly when Jack and Luke found out, and both felt betrayed. Van and Michael turned in excellent performances that day, and left me anticipating months and months of drama as Holden and Carly worked to regain the trust and respect of Jack and Luke.

    But instead we got instant forgiveness and all was right with the world. Jacks move to Janet was logical and welcomed, but Luke’s instant forgiveness was hollow and cheap.

    Then we get a story where Luke is spiraling out of control, and Holden is nowhere to be seen. He is no longer a force in Luke’s life. If they had played out Luke’s bitterness and sense of betrayal, it would have added a logical layer to Luke’s complex downfall, since he would no longer have the support of the father he has depended on all these years. And it would have added to the complexity of Damian’s imminent arrival as well.

    But Goutman and Passanante no longer have the vision or the energy for this type of complex storytelling. It’s such a shame that neither is up to the task of working with this great cast and well developed characters. it’s time to hand over the reins to someone who does.

  13. Profile photo of Purple_J
    Purple_J

    What an excellent article – GREAT JOB! You said everything I have felt and more.

    I think the writers are missing it by not involving the vets with the newbies and coming up with storylines that involve more than 3-4 people. I bet ratings go up when viewers see more of our longterm vets involved in a storyline.

    But dont just bring on the vets to prop up a storyline – give them something substantial and meaty to do. In recent years, unless Lucinda is having some major health issue, we only see her butting into Holden and Lily’s life.

    Speaking of Lucinda, Babara, Lisa, Susan – why cant they have a real love life? Why is it you have to be a 20-something to have a love life? Case in point, as soon as Lucinda got a love life, her breast cancer returned and her husband turned out to be a man on the downlow and closet gay, Susan’s last fling gave us Dr. Death played by the wonderful John James) – but my point is they all end in major disaster.

    And ATWT doesnt have to go far to see what to do right. Tune into Y&R! Because of Y&R’s 4.0 ratings a couple of weeks ago, all the CBS shows gained viewers – but ATWT doesnt have the ability to keep them.
    Y&R doesnt do everything right, but they get far more right than wrong.

    I watch ATWT out of habit and hope! I hope that one day I will tune in and the show will be great. I was not a generational ATWT fan, I began watching about 8 years ago. But the show that snagged me – I want that show to return.

    I want humor and not campyiness, I want love in the afternoon, business intrigue and mystery, but not this doom and gloom drama (like the psycho killer -Henry’s sister that killed the college students or the nuAdam that returned from Californaia as a rapist, or James Stenbecks 999th plot to teach Paul a lesson and acquire a grandchild). But it seems that Goutman, Passante & company think if they keep throwing this garbage at us we will eventually like it. NOT! -:(

  14. Profile photo of Soap_Stud
    Soap_Stud

    Hogan Sheffer isn’t the head writer anymore. That’s the problem. I sampled ATWT when AW went off the air, but when HS started writing the stories…I was hooked.

  15. Profile photo of akbad806
    akbad806

    I’ve never been a huge ATWT fan, but I loved it when Hogan Sheffer was Head Writer. Barbara almost being killed in the boathouse is the shining moment for this soap for me, but what do I know? I’m a hardcore Y&R junkie.

  16. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003
    siomonstuart2003

    This show is becoming a recycle, cliched plot point mess and I don’t watch it anymore. I use to love Paul, but he has become watered down and a Todd-clone that it is not working and the writing for him hasn’t help, either. I hope that the show gets new writer, but that will never happen.

  17. Profile photo of atwtfan8
    atwtfan8

    Since ATWT was to afraid to go through with Holden/Carly, I hope they will continue to take a chance with Craig/Carly and Jack/Janet respectively. Both pairings are working so far.

  18. Profile photo of PJ
    PJ

    ….Holden & Carly held the same promise. All of the items you listed as having a deleterious effect on the characters would have been fantastic! That’s what good, soapy drama is all about! Lives ruined! Friendships torn apart! Familys struggling to cope with emotional trauma! Lovers ripped to shreds! It is from those kinds of places that one begins to rebuild, reconstruct and renew!

    Having been short-circuited, the affair still could have had major consequences across the board, but the show reset everything to almost exactly the way it was before they slept together, which is both lazy and hard to swallow. This just gets back to my point about considering long term story and playing out the consequences, something ATWT has dropped the ball on for quite a wile now……

    We’ll have to disagree again. There was no way to “rebuild, reconstruct and renew” Holden, Lily, Carly or Jack by letting Holden and Carly play out their relationship as Oakdale watched. Not that relationship; not the way it started. To have that “good soapy drama(tic)” effect, the viewers would have had to believe in the basic foundation of that story–that Lily’s abrupt departure created such a hole that Holden began to see a new side of Carly. Every move TIIC made it impossible. The latest Holden and Lily reunion was short-circuited by the her reluctance to rid herself of Dusty’s momentos. They got a “hopeful” departure to facillitate Byrne’s exit. Beck came on within weeks, and Holden’s joy at Lily’s return and recommitment to their marraige was stupidly derailed by a silly reaction to a common white lie many women use to “surprise” their husbands.

    Wishing for a speedy conclusion to a contrived story is not the same as relishing the fallout.

    Yes, the “reset” was a lazy, unbelievable way out. But it’s hardly the only story in the years under Passanante to get that treatment. I’m not even sure it’s the worst example from last year’s stories. My vote would go to the Meg/Paul reunion after her January miscarriage.

  19. Profile photo of GGBACALL
    GGBACALL

    Christopher Goutman needs to tune into Y&R for one month. Although, it too is hurting in the ratings, Y&R has been number one for over 20 years. Other than the role of MacKenzie Browning and Billy Abbott, you can tune in and say Oh there’s Lauren or Nina’s back in Genoa City. Isn’t that Phillip III? He died over 20 years ago in an auto accident. How old is Katherine Chacellor? She just got married again. They actually have a storyline for her at her age.

    ATWT fails miserably with providing an emotional punch to its stories, it doesn’t connect the dot very well with character and plot interaction and the revolving door of actors and recasts is dizzying. The Holden/ Carly story could have been one of those Y&R style plots that effects the entire Snyder/ Walsh clan but no, Mr Goutman and his add water and stir approach leaves his audience thirsting for substance.

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