Gone fishin’

Well, I think this blog is going back into storage, folks.

I’m just not following the remaining four soaps very much. I do watch DAYS occasionally (to my great surprise) but that’s about it.

And there are SO many serialized shows elsewhere that there’s nothing terribly specific, or special, about this blog’s coverage of them.

I do think there’s more moments where we can celebrate memories and great stories of the shows we love, but quite frankly, far fewer people are reading blogs in general, and far fewer see this one in particular.

The chat about those great memories and old favorites are happening mostly on social media.

I’ve had joyful moments in the last few years watching Another World, As The World Turns and – the one that will forever be admittedly closest to my heart – Guiding Light.

But those moments are mostly in solitude, watching flickering images on YouTube, reacting with the joy of rediscovery, tinged with nostalgia and a sense of time gone by.

In the present day, I’ll still be keeping a toe in the serial storytelling world. I hope to be part of a soap related project in the next few years.

So, is that all there is? Never say never, of course. If Roger Thorpe could crawl up the side of a cliff, anything is possible.

Thanks for reading, as always.

I’d like to offer my appreciation to all the people – writers, producers, crew and all the support staff – behind the scenes at the various shows, past and present.

I began writing about these shows almost 15 years ago — first as a fan, and then within a more academic context. In that time, I’ve developed a much better understanding of all of the intricacies of writing and producing 200+ hours of TV every year.

If I can say one thing for sure that’s different than when I started circa 2005, it’s that I better understand that creative decisions aren’t one person or one team, but a series of stakeholders that can be dizzying in number.

It’s not to say that there haven’t been legitimate criticisms, or that I shouldn’t have asked the questions, of course — just that the answers, or the blame, were never quite as simple as those of us in the cheap seats sometimes believed them to be.

And also, special thanks to Sam Ford, Elana Levine and especially Lynn Liccardo, who continue to inspire me with their work, and who have all been kind in their comments and encouragement over the years. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do.

EDITED TO ADD: I would be remiss if I did not also mention Roger Newcomb, whose We Love Soaps site has been a great source of information and historical clips and documents for many of us – as well as his work in trying to nudge serialized stories forward on the Web. He’s worked tirelessly for years and deserves great thanks for all that he’s done.

4 thoughts on “Gone fishin’

  1. I was just going to reply to your previous post. So, hang on a bit!

    I posted the reply! Will still hopefully be writing something somewhere…..just not much to say in the blog format these days.

  2. Aw, thanks, Patrick! I’m still reading your blog! But I understand that your energies are better placed elsewhere these days.

    Thanks, Elana! I am hoping to still do a thinkpiece now and then, and I’ll still be on social media too. Just seemed like the blog format isn’t necessarily the best fit these days. Hope to keep in touch!

  3. Patrick –

    Want to say a proper goodbye and thank you before take this down.

    I can’t begin to tell you how much of what you’ve written in this final post resonates for me. I can’t remember the last time I watched General Hospital, my final port after ‘World Turns and One Life to Live went off the air. And yes, while there are so many (perhaps too many) serialized shows available, nothing has, or can, replace the intimacy and familiarity watching a daily soap provided. I miss it, and the online community that grew up around it.

    Yes, Michael Fairman and Jamey Gibbons still post news and interviews on their sites. But the era of serious soap analysis and criticism of contemporary soap opera is gone for good. I am pleased that on We Love Soaps, Roger Newcomb continues to keep soaps’ history alive. But I miss the substantive commentary of years past, so much of it lost in the netherworld of the web: Snark Weighs In; Media Domain; Television Without Pity; Red Room (though some material is floating around in the Wayback Machine). As the soaps decreased from eight to four, the people who created that commentary, often drawing from and commenting on each other’s work – Sara Bibel; Tom Casiello; Marlena de la Croix; Mimi Torchin; Jennifer Gibbons and Lana Nieves (from Red Room); MarkH (I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone) – have all moved on.

    As are you. I’m so grateful you stuck it out as long as you did. But as I was writing, I started thinking about the the role network programmers like Fred Silverman, Brandon Stoddard, Leonard Goldberg and, perhaps most important, Douglas Cramer, played in extending the influence of daytime soaps, in particular, As the World Turns, into primetime. So, perhaps it might be time for me to create a blog where I can collect my soap musings for posterity. We’ll see.

    Thanks, Lynn.

    Hopefully, I’ll still have a chance to have my say somewhere. I have some projects I’m exploring. I think a blog would be great as an archive for your wonderful, insightful work.

    I do think the conversations have moved to social media. Good in some ways (immediacy and participation levels) and bad in others (harder to archive/save, versus message boards, old Google boards, etc.) So this just felt like it needed to become an archive.

    Tom, Sara, Connie/Marlena, Mimi, Jennifer and Lana – a murderer’s row of strong voices for sure. Miss their commentary, but glad that some of their work is online. I should also thank Roger Newcomb, who’s worked tirelessly for years and is a phenomenal soap archivist. In fact, I’m going to edit my post to do that.

    Thank you, and to you – and everyone else – please keep in touch!

  4. Patrick,

    Thanks for your many insights over the years. I’m terribly sorry to see you go; I liked your ideas and the chance for discussion.

    I understand that social media is where most of the soap discussion is moving. But I think that is the wrong place for long, thoughtful discussion like you offered simply because social media is set up for short and quick postings, not carefully considered, deliberate musings. I much prefer blog posts because they do provide both the space for longer conversations and the time for follow up.

    Good luck with your endeavors. I hope to read your soap related thoughts again soon!

    Thank you, James! I’m hoping to write something longer – but I won’t share too much about the idea right now as it’s still in the planning phase. Appreciate your comments so much over the years!

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