Why has Grey's Anatomy succeeded where 80s soaps failed?

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Michael Torrance, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Krystle had not yet changed completely in season 2, but all of their marital problems, including the rape, were forgotten as soon as Alexis walked into that courtroom. The Pollocks had their own bible to implement, much of it written for a the prime time soap they had created, and so they did not spend that much time picking up on last season's arcs. Even Fallon's ambitions for the company were forgotten in season 2, and she just cared about Nick Toscani.

    I must admit, you got me there!
     
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  2. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Now wait just a minute. Krystle had already returned to Blake at the end of season 1, and then in season 2 she was pregnant.
     
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  3. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    She was pregnant as a result of that rape. She had returned in season 1 but there was still a rift between them both because of what Blake had done with the necklace charade and the rape. The rift magically vanished by the second episode--in fact Krystle was upset because Blake was expressing gratitude that they had no children together. Krystle from season 1 would not have glossed over everything just because she was pregnant--the rape happened when Blake found her birth control pills, because she was not sure she wanted to start a family with such a ruthless man. Besides the Matthew treatment, she also had seen how he had his thugs beat up Michael. In season 2 all she cared about was that Blake might not want the baby, and later that he was bonding too much with Alexis at the hospital when Steven's life was "in danger" (which in Dynasty terms means no danger at all).
     
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  4. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Must have been True Love then.

    Yes, the bad guys got away with a lot of things, it's not how it would happen in real life.
    Normally, Krystle would never speak to or be in the same room as Alexis after she had learned the reason for her accident.
    But that would be the end of the story.
    If every illogical soap twist upsets you, then it must be very hard to watch these shows.
     
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  5. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    .....

    And by turning the tables, you have loved every single episode of Dynasty and never complained about any illogical twist on it. :D
     
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  6. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    The first time I watched it I worshipped every minute of it.
    Not so much about the twists, but more about the things that didn't happen. Dynasty was never awful enough to hate it, but its plotlines could be very disappointing and underwhelming sometimes.
    Still, I can find enough to enjoy in most (if not every) episode.

    I'm a pragmatic person and therefore mostly interested in profit.
    I can forgive Krystle forgiving Blake, if that helps the story to continue.
     
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  7. SantaCarrintonEwingsBells

    SantaCarrintonEwingsBells Soap Chat Addict

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    None of the soaps really utilised "Gen X" characters, which in the 1980s is a shame, soaps from the 2000s however did acknowledge that there was indeed a generation gap between the Gen X parents and their millennial teenage children, yet in a way there was a much bigger gap between Boomers and Gen X's in attitudes and lifestyle,
    Lucy on Dallas wasn't enough, and technically she displayed more
    Latter day Boomer qualities than early Gen X.
     
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  8. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Perhaps her relationship with Uncle Ray was to bold a step when Dallas began. I'm not sure if the writers were going for shock value (it didn't work in my book) but to me it does appear they truly didn't understand how to write for Lucy. She was all over the place until Mickey arrived and then she appeared to relax into her role. To add value to the story Mickey was dispensed with and again the writers didn't know what to do with Lucy.
     
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  9. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Dallas and dynasty were about a main family (plus the colbys and the Barnes). Once the main actors quit there are only so many long lost neices and mothers one can have without stretching believability beyond repair. And rarely does a replaced head on an established character work in prime time soaps. Greys is about a hospital where staff members can come and go all they like without losing the shows centre. Lose a shows core family members and its bye bye viewers :-(
     
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  10. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    The only character I really missed was Erica Hahn.
     
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  11. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Both shows were about two families, and Dynasty three initially: The Carringtons, the Colbys, and the Blaisdells. Dynasty was even killing original characters like Claudia even when the actress did not want to leave. S9 showed that the show was not out of story, if anything with Sable on it was bursting with potential, and if they had made smarter decisions earlier on they could have kept on viewers. In S6 they had all their main actors sans PSM, but they had them in the Moldavia and Rita mess. I refuse to believe that the show lost many viewers because Linda Evans left in S9, for instance--what had these viewers been watching Krystle do in the previous seasons? More or less nothing. As for Grey's, it looks now like this is a "people come and go" show because the show-runner handled the exits skillfully, but in early seasons it was obviously an arc about these interns, Meredith and her friends, making it to the end of their residence ("Nobody knows where they might end up" as its title song stated as much). Of course she has more plausible venues to go story-wise because it is a hospital, but look at where Grey's is ratings-wise and creatively at the end of season 13 and where ER was at the same point and obviously who is in charge and what they decide makes a difference.
     
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  12. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

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    Yes, TPTB at DYNASTY had clearly lost interest in their characters and no longer had any story they felt compelled to tell regarding those characters as early as, say, Season 4.

    How can that show survive under those creative circumstances.

    Good producers know how to keep their core group of characters interesting and engaged with one another. But as Forsythe said by Season 6, "the bosses weren't minding the store."
     
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  13. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    A tenth season would have been great, yes. More than that? I'm not sure.
    Season 11 was Knots' last great season. Season 12 was absolutely horrible (except the last 4 or 5 episodes) and both season 13 and 14 were a mixed bag.

    I'm not saying that a family-based soap is an excuse for doing a bad job, I was merely pointing out that it needs a stronger narrative than hospital/courtroom/cop soaps because it doesn't have all the stand-alone plotlines (patients, law suits, investigations etc).
    Therefore it feels a little "apples and oranges" to me.

    Actually I find it more interesting to see that GA continues to succeed (or at least, exist) in our current TV landscape.
    5 or 6 seasons seems to be the max these days?
    Not that every story needs to go on forever. - and hospital shows seem to be most suitable for that neverending story. Life, death, tragedy, mixed with doctors love stories - people love it.
    They can't kill off that many characters on soaps, although Falcon Crest surely tried. And three of its characters actually died in a hospital bed (!)

    I've watched 190 episodes of GA.
    Meredith, Christina and Miranda had become insufferably unlikeable (for different reasons) and there was still hope when April Kepner (the "Carly Fixx" of the hospital shows) left, but then they brought her back.:r&r:
    Watching the episodes became a struggle and overall I lost the desire to find out what would happen next.
    But the first 6 seasons were absolutely amazing.
     
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  14. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    That's actually not true. In the beginning of Season 2, Blake and Krystle had that fire-side conversation where they reconcile, and during that moment, Blake brought up the "night I forced you", and he looked like he regretted what he had done. Matter of fact, the rape was referenced again in Season 6 when he almost raped Rita out of frustration, but stopped himself, saying he almost destroyed their marriage once before but wasn't going to do it again.

    I find it interesting that it was always Blake who remembered the rape. Krystle may have forgiven him, but Blake may not have forgiven himself.

    Awww, spoilers! :lol: Oh well, it wasn't that big a spoiler, and I'll probably forget about it. X)
     
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  15. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Fireplace "reconciliation: scene: Blake goes downstairs from his empty bedroom and meets Krystle in the study, where he pours her a drink and they discuss the verdict. He talks about how he uses force in personal and professional life (no specific reference to the rape here) and says he wishes he had handled Ted Dinard differently and wonders if he can change. Krystle tells him he has the strength to do anything he wants. Krystle says what she wants to do is go back to bed, his bed. Blake is not having it because he thinks it is pity. Krystle says it is not pity, it is love. And here is Dynasty writers working through all the problems the couple had and Krystle's concerns: Krystle marrying Blake because she thought Matthew did not want her, Krystle discovering Matthew pushed her to Blake and feeling the pull of their love again, Blake being ruthless toward both Matthew and Walter and Michael and having the latter being beat up, Blake having his son blamed for a sabotage he caused, Blake playing that mind game with that necklace to show Krystle who is in charge, and finally Blake raping Krystle : "When I left you that night, I was hurt. And when I came back, I was still hurt. But not anymore. I love you Blake. And I need you. It's that simple." Cue in romantic music as they kiss. Who the hell needs marriage counselling and the like when the Dynasty writers are able to erase all past problems with their magical pen?
     
  16. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    That's strange, I could have sworn Blake talked about it? I still have the episode downloaded, I'll have to give it another look.
     
  17. Gatsbyesque

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    I stopped watching Grey's years ago, and so did most people that I know. Yet, somehow, it still apparently manages to pull decent ratings.

    I think the primary reasons that Grey's has hung on for so long, and will indefinitely, is because of the power of Shonda Rhimes in presenting both Scandal, and HTGAWM, respectively. If those two shows didn't exist, Grey's would have been gone by now. She has successfully used their respective peaks to leverage more time for Grey's than, I believe, it otherwise would've had. TGIT, baby.
     
  18. Gatsbyesque

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    *barf*
     
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  19. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

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    I have been thinking about this and like others have said it is probably easier to spin new story and arise new dramas in a workplace or location situation. Like Grey's, Melrose and even Knots. The family dramas can of course do that too and succeed but they need to work harder and take risks. I don't think any of the Prime time soaps really wanted or even knew how to do that. If you think about medical shows or even stuff like Knots and Melrose, new characters come in, say new doctors or nurses on Grey's, new residents on the cul-de-sac or at the apartment complex. They don't really need links to anyone. They simply arrive and get to work being this new character and they shake things up. They form love interests and get promotions and interfere in what has already been established. With say, Dynasty or Dallas rarely did new characters ever get to really shake up what was established. Adam comes along on Dynasty and is entertaining enough, but he didn't really change the formula. He's just son #2. Nothing really happened. His animosity with Steven was kind of unexplored. He was always going to be relegated to being outside of the big three stories. That of Blake/Krystle/Alexis. I think part of the primetimes soaps failure was the fact that they were unwilling to change or grow. They were set in very limited formulas. Blake and Alexis hate each other and try to ruin each other. JR the crafty devil always outwits everybody at the last minute. Sue Ellen drinks and gets sober and drinks. It's like they never wanted to rock the apple cart and upstage their leads or that formula. But if you watch that formula every week for 5 or 6 years it becomes dull and you lose interest.
    The primetime soaps needed distant/surprise relatives showing up to add some spice and relief from that tired old formula. Shows like Grey's don't need that. Anyone can show up, unrelated and just work at or be at the hospital and cause a commotion.

    I think Peyton Place managed to do it best. It had the family saga with the Harringtons, it had the big beautiful mansion with the staircase and ominous portraits. It had the town/community thing and it also had the hospital/medical drama and the family business thing at times.
    The Harrington family on Peyton Place twisted and mutated with every secret reveal/new relative and it grew beyond what it initially started out as. The Peyton/Harrington mansion changed hands multiple times and was even burned down. And somehow the show managed almost seasonally to reinvent itself and yet stay true to what it was. They weren't confined to a strict formula of what made the show a hit. They didn't seem to have keep delivering what they thought the public wanted. I think the '80s soaps got it all wrong. They thought what made the show popular must be ordered in bulk and force fed to us over and over. There was no real growth for the shows. It was just more of the same, more of the same...

    Then again... Peyton Place didn't even last a quarter as long as Grey's. So...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  20. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

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    And while GREY'S a hit, a hit today doesn't compare to a hit in the '80s when audiences were far larger.

    There's less pressure on it, among other things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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