At the Writers Guild Awards at B.B. King Blues Club the other night, one lady was really singin’ the blues.
It was Claire Labine, a renowned soap opera writer who was being honored with a career achievement award for her work on Ryan’s Hope and several other landmark shows.
“I am in mourning,” she admitted in her speech.
“Yes, some of the shows had gotten silly.
“Yes, some of the budgets had gotten bloated.
“But there are more creative solutions than cancellation across the board!”
Labine talked about the “emotional values” soaps have provided for viewers and said they gave people human connections that were enriching and entertaining.
“I’m appalled,” she concluded, “that more care was not taken with this form that I love a lot.”
Well, I haven’t watched a soap since the dwarf from Passions died, but I think maybe the audience got too sophisticated for the form?
Once all the viewers got online, they probably became a little too savvy to buy into all the conjoined-twin double-dating plotlines and the dead characters returning as vases and handbags.
Nah! Then how would you explain the popularity of reality shows (a way lower form than the soap because you’re supposed to believe all the melodrama is really happening)?
Maybe the soaps just needed some restructuring and rethinking rather than death by firing squad.
Whatever killed them, Labine ended her speech by asking for work on behalf of herself and her writers.
I know! How about a reality show centering on out-of-work soap opera writers?
I’ll shut up now.