When TPTB Don't Care About the Fans
by, 01-22-2009 at 05:51 PM (679 Views)
As most ATWT fans recall, a few months ago Executive Producer Christopher Goutman had a now infamous interview about the state of As the World Turns and pretty much why he considers himself "God" and the best damn producer the show has ever had in 50+ years. Goutman claimed he works on instinct, his alone, and doesn't listen to the fans complaints or desires.
I think that's why Casey and Emily were broken up this summer even though so many fans loved them, why Paul and Meg are on 3-4 days a week breaking up and getting back together incessantly, why Carly and Jack aren't given a fair shake, why Carly and Holden's affair was tossed by the wayside, why Luke and Noah aren't treated like other couples, why some characters are completely forgotten about for weeks/months on end (Bonnie, Henry, Vienna, Dallas, Lisa, Barbara, Lucinda etc.), and why the beloved vets of the show, the lifeblood of it if you will, are used as props for some storylines and not even included in others that would make sense for them to be a part of. Wouldn't it make more sense to see Susan or Dr. Bob treating Paul Ryan's 700th gunshot wound instead of some random day player viewers can't remember the name of, much less care at all about.
If Goutman thinks his instincts are best for the show, how can he explain the dismal ratings? Yes, I know the ratings system for soaps is terrible (not accounting for episodes watched on cbs.com, msn.com, dvr episodes watched over 24 hours after the original airing etc.), yet other shows are still much higher than ATWT and they are hurt by the same ratings system! I think that ATWT has the best cast in daytime, I might be biased, and sometimes some of the best writing and directing (some storylines are top notch while others are complete messes, this show seriously can be bipolar!!).
Amazing actors are hired, top notch ones that were stars on other soaps, but they are given messes of stories to work with. Let's take Wally Kurth (ex-Sam) for example. He was scorching with Carly, I thought thew could have been fabulous together, even if just as friends! But he was paired with a dummy! and made into a rapist and subsequently murdered, all within a few months. Daniel Hugh Kelly (ex-Winston Mayer) also suffered a similar fate. He came to Oakdale with great promise, turned into a psychopath with murderous tendencies, and ended up dead.
As Nelson Branco from TV Guide Canada likes to say "hair models" are hired and given substantial parts (Sophie, the recent Lucy and Maddie recasts that were on for a blink and you missed it second, Ameera etc.), yet these actors couldn't act if their lives depended on it. And yes, Jake Silberman I'm including you in this. The scenes with Elizabeth Hubbard, Laurence Lau, and Van Hansis are perfect examples of why Luke needs to find a new man, dump Noah, and be done with his absolute boringness.
Marie Wilson is another one that needs to be gone. Apparently Goutman and Jean Passanante (head writer) love this actress/character, she is given primo screentime and has constantly been in a front burner storyline since she came on to Oakdale in 2005. Her scenes with Roger Howarth (Paul) and Grayson McCouch (Dusty) show how weak an actress she is, and her scenes with Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara), one of my favorite actresses/characters that NEEDS her own storyline ASAP, are unwatchable because MW can't even stand up to CZP in the talent department. I'm sure Marie Wilson is a lovely woman, she seems to be very nice and all, but I cannot stand to watch her. Maybe it's the writing for Meg, wishy-washy, needy, boring, maybe it's Marie Wilson, maybe it's a combination of her not being the best actress and not having the best writing for the character, but I've gotten to the point where I can't watch any of her scenes.
These are all problems Executive Producers need to address. When they have storylines that aren't working or are just completely rehashed from 3 months ago they must be thrown out, redone, or reworked somehow. If there are actors that are just draining the rest of the cast and all the screentime they either need to be backburnered, given a long vacation, recast, or just let go completely. If the head writer seems to not know what she's doing half the time then she needs to be fired and replaced with NEW BLOOD. Soaps have such a high turnover rate and it seems like the same people are hired over and over again, only on different soaps. One of my biggest problems with the genre today probably has something to do with the fact that new people cannot get into the business.
I just wish that Chris Goutman, Jean Passanante, or some other higher ups from P&G and the show would take some time to read the fan mail, check the message boards (the soapcentral.com ATWT forum is lively and has great ideas from loyal fans who have been watching for YEARS!!), and listen to the calls that come in to the comment line. Certain actors/characters/storylines are absolutely abhorred and need to be fixed/finished yesterday, other actors/characters/storylines are beyond loved and the viewers want to see them on their screen in an A storyline 3 days a week, not once a week in a B storyline or backburnered without a storyline. If you claim something is going to happen then follow through! Barbara's oral cancer was supposed to have a great story but was thrown to the wayside, and Nuke has been promised fun and adventure but all they've been given is half-assed drama. Carly and Jack are supposedly "end game" according to Jean Passanante, yet it seems all the writers are interested in is keeping them apart for no real reason. Us viewers are given glimmers of hope that our favorites will be reunited, they might be "true north" and have "it," but TPTB don't seem to see it. If they want people to still watch the show and care about the characters then maybe it's time that they listen to the fans, the ones who are responsible for their paychecks, and try and follow through on promises made to said fans.