Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Days of Our Lives can learn from The Bay

Wow. Where do I start?

1. Fans want to see their favorite A list actors. Is it any surprise that The Bay could find a home on cable tv with their line up? You would think the powers that be would rethinking their not-so-brilliant idea to fire their most popular actors to save money. Mary Beth Evans, Martha Madison, and Matthew Ashford are all three popular ex-DOOL actors that have been fired or treated poorly by the show who are currently on The Bay. Let's not forget the uber-popular Charles Shaughnessy. He has a very thriving prime time career, yet DOOL used him last summer to "pass the torch" from Shane Donovan to Rafe Hernandez as the show's new super spy. Yeah, it did not work. Fans wanted to see a long-anticipated Kim and Shane reunion, but instead got Shane propping Rafe.

2. Fans love cliffhangers! It amazes me that an online show that lasts no more than eight minutes an episode can have a cliffhanger or drop a major secret in every episode. Igor and his bomb, Peter's amnesia, Brian kidnapping Isabella, are all wonderful examples of edge-of-your-seat type writing you get on The Bay. There are no obvious foreshadowing either. Your jaw hangs open every episode in awe. When's the last time DOOL did their Friday cliffhangers? I loved those as a kid.

3. Spoilers ruin the show. The Bay is spoiler-free. What a throwback concept! lol When was the last time Days of Our Lives actually shocked you? I understand the show needs to do some spoilers for press coverage in the soap magazines, but why not be vague? The Bold and the Beautiful hid the fact that they were going to have a character successfully commit suicide. The actors do a good job not revealing too much on Twitter. Then big mouth Ken Corday talks to the mags and gives up a good three months' worth of spoilers. Why? This concept of DOOL being spoiler free, would not cost them a dime to implement. Why not give it a shot? A lot of fans do not watch the show because the spoilers sound awful to them.

4. The Bay uses more locations/sets than DOOL. I am so bored of seeing the same tired sets everyday on DOOL. The Bay with very little money for sets and location scenes, looks fresh and realistic while DOOL looks fake, tired, and old. Some of The Bay's sets/locations do not look that great, for example, the hospital scenes and Marley's apartment, but at least we do not have to look at them every single episode.

5. Every character has their own storyline. Even though Mary Beth Evans' Sara is the main character of the show, every episode does not revolve around her. There are plenty of other story lines that get just as much screen time as Sara's. Balance has always been a problem for DOOL. The same few characters are on all the time for years. Some actors have not been involved in any major storylines in years. Why can't DOOL write a story for the Carvers? Why is almost every storyline now on the show revolving around children?

6. The Bay has more diversity than DOOL. It still amazes me the size of The Bay's cast. The Bay has more minority characters than DOOL and at least one gay character (I still think Brian is on the down low.) The diversity adds more to the realistic look to The Bay over the very plain vanilla look of DOOL.

7. The characters interact in a group setting. Oh! Now that's a major pet peeve of mine. The Bay's first few episodes had a significant amount of characters at the engagement party. DOOL routinely fills up their wedding scenes with extras. This week's EJole wedding has a few close family members, but the vast majority of the wedding guests are extras. Remember the good ole Days when almost the entire cast went to weddings or fancy parties? Every character in the current cast of DOOL has interacted with each other at least once, why not have most of the cast at weddings?

8. Quality acting is important. All the actors on The Bay can act, no doubt. Can you say the same about DOOL? It has been said that the show only wants beautiful people reciting lines without emoting. The producer tells the actors that the fans will "get it" by just hearing the lines being read. DOOL is also notorious for not having the actors rehearse and not allowing more than one take. Fans care about quality acting. To think the fans do not care or do not notice the bad acting is insulting to the fans. DOOL wonders why they do not win Emmys? Bad writing, producing, directing, editing, and acting are five very good reasons why they do not win.

9. The scenes do not last ten seconds. A lot of you know I do live tweets during DOOL. That is hard to do when you do not type that quickly and the scenes last ten seconds each. The scenes on The Bay last for actual minutes for an episode that lasts less than ten minutes. You feel the emotions of the scene before being cut to the next scene. DOOL chops up every scene into little bits that you do not get the full breath of emotion from the scenes. The scenes seem cold and unemotional. Again, the fan is being insulted because DOOL thinks we have limited attention spans, thus the ten second scenes. No, the bad editing does not let us feel what is going on. I have seen scenes recently where Melanie and Nathan met in three different locations in one episode to have one conversation. Really? Wouldn't it be easier to have them stay in one location and have a heart to heart talk instead of chopping up the scenes into different locations and nothing gets said?

I am sure I will have more ideas for DOOL to steal from The Bay. What do you like about The Bay that you wish DOOL would do?


  1. The show also seems not to use sex scenes to pad the show. In fact there has not been any. I think there was only that one scene with Brian that a character was shirtless. And it was hot. Less is more.

    I notice too that the show uses the actors in characters which made them famous on other shows. Matthew's Steve raped Mary Beth's Sara, two former agents in their respective shows, Charles and Tristan, are cops.

    I think the young cast has potential, and the over 40 crowd is not sacrificed for them. Also, they seem to keep the younger actors with the vets, which is good for that is how they learn. On DAYS, it seemed (when I watched) they were on all the time and together, that is not a way to learn how to develop acting skills.

    I was listening to an interview with Gregori on the Red Carpet before the Indie Soap Awards, and he was asked the difference between network soaps and the indie soaps, and he said that they do not have the networks getting in the way of what they want to do. I just hope that this autonomy continues when it goes to cable/satellite -- though I think it probably will remain the same since it seems the cable/satellite and the pay cable/satellite shows do not have this problem, hence their quality.

    I also think things will not be so black and white, I think they will actually develop the stories and the ramifications, and that characters will be more shaded and not one note.

    And again, the show was shrewd enough to get big names who have fan followings. The actors cannot be paid much, and it shows that if actors are given the chance they will take pay cuts if given good material. I think that is something else DAYS needs to learn.

  2. Forgot to add, about the diversity. And it does not seem forced. And the Hispanic and black characters are not just buds of the white characters, and have their own stories.

  3. "Is it any surprise that The Bay could find a home on cable tv with their line up?"

    The Bay hasn't found a home on cable TV yet. Jim Romanovich is shopping it around.

  4. Very good points Diva.

    Very good points also first anonym but i disagree with you about one thing : no need to have the actors in the same type of characters they were famous for.
    The main goal of an actor should be versatility.
    However the creator of the Bay chose great soap actors so they are good with the characters they play no matter what type of character it is IMO.

  5. To the first anon: Sara doesn't remind me of Kayla at all. I don't think Gregori tried to match up actors with characters they played on soaps. Steve Jensen doesn't strike me as Jack at all.

    I forgot to add about diversity: the minority characters aren't stereotypes either. The doctor on the show is black. All the minority characters can read which used to be a huge minority stereotype on soaps (Drucilla.)

    I did not say The Bay is going to be on cable, I said it "could."

  6. Well, I do not mean they are the same. But there definitely is some connections there, which I think is some tongue and cheek in-joke.
    I do not see Steve being Jack, and I think that unlike the Jack/Kayla rape which was definitely rape, that in this case -- since we did not see it and it has only been Sara saying it was rape -- that it might be more uncertain.

    I did not mean that Sara is Kayla, she definitely is the opposite. But again, I think that it Matt could have played any character but there was a reason why he was cast as Steve and not someone else.

  7. I understand. They are definitely not ripping off DOOL in any way.

    Matt's good at playing diabolical characters. He's giving me the creeps already. lol

    Sometimes things just work out the way they should. He could have played Mackenzie too. Matt's go the right part imho.

  8. Diva, I couldn't agree more. Gregori knows what fans want and expect from a soap, and he delivers. I do hope that The Bay lands on TV. I can only imagine what a success it would be. DOOL, as well as the other newtwork soaps could learn a lot from Gregori. While they are busy killing the genre, he's busy saving it.