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« I Don't Think These Words Mean What He Thinks They Mean | Main | General Hospital Week in Review »

May 09, 2008

Um, The "Madness" Part is Right on the Money...

I regularly receive emails from SOAPNet. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not this is because, as part of my on-going feud with Brian Frons, I like to keep an eye on what my enemies are doing or because I like the thrill of seeing an unread email in my inbox ("FW: htworger? How intriguing!"). So I got one yesterday, reminding me to tune into the premiere of SOAPNet's new ripoff of an E! ripoff of a VH1 show.


Frankly, all it did was serve as a reminder for me to make an actual appointment with an actual therapist to determine why I torment myself by watching ABC Daytime/SOAPNet at all. I'm leaning towards self loathing, but it would be nice to have an expert confirm that for me and perhaps make suggestions of safer alternatives. Like maybe huffing.

I did think that some parts of that email were interesting, in the way that it's interesting when you hear how war was fought in medieval times. Like the fact that they hope readers have a sudden craving for details on "the A-list Drama Mama's latest boy toy" (as if that sentence is actually real and not a hellish group of words cherry picked from Ted Casablanca) and then showcase Minnie Driver (!!!) when you go to their homepage.  Minnie Driver is A-list? This is like when they say Sonny is a good man: just because you repeat something endlessly doesn't make it true. My life would be a lot different if that were the case...

Of course, the most interesting thing of all was that the word "soap" appeared four times, and as part of SOAPNet each of those times. It's like Brian Frons thinks that soap operas have cooties.

Because of the aforementioned self loathing, I clicked on the link in the email that brought me to the Relative Madness page which had a troubling poll on it.


What the hell kind of demographic is SOAPNet going for? In that poll alone, they are trying to hit the blind, Becca and eight year olds, respectively. But not, like, soap viewers. Could they not make a soap poll about siblings? It's not that difficult.

That took me all of a minute and a half, although I do have the advantage of not being mortally afraid of soap operas.

Also of note, on the Relative Madness page, the only things remotely soap related are tiny pictures of Ali Sweeney (fine), Judith Light (Ugly Betty is kind of a soap and she was legendary on One Life to Live) and Chandra Wilson (um...she hosted the Emmy pre-show last year). On a soap channel's website.

I did not watch this show, which is surprising considering that I watch a wide variety of crap television programming, but I like to think of it as taking a stand and protesting, like I'm the Norma Rae of bitter soap fans. Also, I didn't think it would be good for my senses to go from the brilliance of The Office and 30 Rock to a show that is the brainchild of Brian Frons. Can you imagine the whiplash?!

But, out of morbid curiosity, I did take a look and see who their list of "Drama Mamas" included. I don't know what a "Drama Mama" is, why any self respecting adult would use that phrase aloud, or why someone is paying money to produce this show and not just setting piles of cash ablaze, but whatever, here is the top 15:

  • Sami Brady
  • Sharon Osbourne
  • Lynette Scavo
  • Debbie Rowe
  • Marcie McBain
  • Marie Osmond
  • Laura Spencer
  • Bridget Moynihan
  • Courtney Love
  • Martha Stewart
  • Claire Meade
  • Mel B.
  • Dina Lohan
  • Erica Kane
  • Britney Spears

I...I don't know.

I don't know why a countdown show on a soap network, hence the name SOAPNet, has a Top 15 with only 4 soap characters (6, if you count primetime soaps, which I don't). I don't know why the caption for Debbie Rowe said "Birth the babies, then Beat It!" as if that were remotely clever. I don't know why Bridget Moynihan is a celebrity. All I know is that I am starting to understand why people do bad things. Because the monumental idiocy of Brian Frons forced them into it.


Also why a countdown show at all??? Between VH1, E!, Bravo and just about every other cable channel there are already too many countdown shows. Yes, I get it: they're cheap to make. But showing old soaps (or soaps shown that same day) is cheaper. And umm, relevant to the entire concept of the channel.

And why are they combining real people with fictional characters?

As I was doing my nightly channel surfing to watch anything OTHER than GH at ten pm...I happened to see the listing for that and went...ummmm What Fresh Hell? Instead I chose to save my sanity and watch two reruns of Forensic Files. I'm thinking I made the right choice.

And I resent on behalf of Laura Spencer fans her includement on a list that includes the names of Britney Spears, Dina Lohan and Debbie Rowe. ACtually I resent it on behalf of all the daytime women that actually MADE the list on a Soap channel.

I know its pointless to ask this by why oh why does Frons still have a job? I know from my sister that basic speicalized cable station like this is like the lowest paid gig in TV but most people are trying to move up in their careers and try their best to do good work. Is SoapNet were TV productions careers go to die?

Why must Frons infect everything with his suckitude?

Erica Kane should NEVER have to share any kind of space with Dina Lohan. Erica would cut a bitch.

I know I'm late to this realization, but Frons has absofreakinglutely no respect for the soap audience. He thinks that people who watch them are no different than those who follow every weird appearance of Paris Hilton, or want to know when Britany will get to see her kids.

Now, I happen to know something about Hilton and Spears because, as an American, you can't help it if you watch TV, but I don't watch soaps because there's no celebrity news during the day. I watch them for the same reason the Brits read Charles Dickens in the last century--for the human interaction, the drama inherent in people falling in love and having children, and yes, affairs. The best stories are the ones where people get into impossible situations when they are trying to do their best, but circumstances conspire against them.

People who watch soaps are not stupid, nor are they bubble-headed, out-of-touch or unself-aware. I am tired of people who think they are; and I am especially tired of cable executives who disrespect their soap audience.

And I hope I have not offended anyone who loves Paris Hilton or Britany Spears. To each his/her own!

I am becoming more & more convinced that Brian Frons doesn't realize that some of those *cough*choke* "Drama Mamas" are really only characters on a show and aren't all real people.(Hello, I am an actor and I play the role of.......)

Hmmm...now doesn't that explain a WHOLE lot about everything? The man cannot separate what is real from what isn't.

And this dude is in charge of what we get to see on our screens.....again, are they all delusional at ABCD? Doesn't anyone have their toe stuck in the doorway to reality? Yeah, I know, stupid question,huh?

Laura Spencer

Um, what? No...seriously...


I occasionally watch Best Week Ever and The Soup. That's as much celebrity/reality TV I need. Frons really has no idea why we watch soaps. Or that soap characters and real people really shouldn't be on the same list. I think it's clear that Soapnet will someday not be Soapnet. It will try to transform itself into an E!-like channel.

Even taking into account that Laura Spenser is fictional, on what planet does it make sense to put her on that list? What was "Drama Mama" about her?
Dramatic? - Yes
A Mother? -Yes

Brian... Brian, *sigh*
I don't think you get what "Drama Mama" would mean if you use the phrase and list a Spears child. It's not good writing anyway.

Why have someone in charge who really doesn't like the medium? Is he serving some kind of community service for ABC?

How long before there aren't any soaps shown on SoapNet? Personally, I give it about a year, probably around the time that everything on TV goes digital.

I can't believe there is such a list that has Laura Spencer listed with Courtney Love, Dina Lohan, & Britney Spears?

The only problem with the soap brother quiz is that the Sonny & Ric option doesn't clarify that part of the date will include dumping Sonny's body over a boat near the coast of Boliva. Without that I obviously had to choose Nik and Lucky. Even Ric isn't pretty enough for me have to deal with the jazz hands and flying barware.

this crapfest was on this morning at 11. i thought i was tuning into my saturday morning dose of 90210, and actually watched absentmindedly for a few minutes before i realized it was not a promo. i was PISSED. i will never get those minutes back.
::big, dramatic SIGH::

What would make me happy is if they ran old GH episodes, like Ryan's Hope.

One can always get Britney Spears news, even on CNN. Enough already! :[

Brian Frons is an idiot. I don't have the strength for anything more.

You left out Jax and Jerry.

I think they'd be a much better double date than any of the above.

No matter how psycho Jerry is, when he looks at Alexis, the air sizzles.

Please make this the topic of your next Soap Opera Digest column (that is, if you can adequately describe this stupidity within the word limit!).

The really weird (well, incredibly stupid) thing is that, if you were in charge of a network like SOAPNet and honestly believed that focusing just on "pure" daytime soaps wasn't a good idea, it wouldn't be hard to diversify and stay true to the network's purpose. There are tons of shows out there that could get picked up (especially when you have the ABC network's library and the Disney empire behind you) - hell, practically any dramatic show with ongoing storylines and a large recurring cast can get labelled a "soap" and stuck on the air without turning yourself into another Not History Channel. Or make original programming; TBS' "House of Paine" and Lifetime's "Army Wives" both seem to be proving that original cable programming that isn't reality TV can make waves. Or produce American versions of Latin American telenovas (look at "Ugly Betty"!) or just broadcast them with dubbing or subtitles. Why is none of this feasible? Why don't I have Brian Frons' job? But, most of all...WHY IS TURNING A NETWORK WITH AN ORIGINAL MISSION STATEMENT INTO A CLONE OF E! A VIABLE BUSINESS STRATEGY?!?!

In honor of Becca and Mallory's AWESOME lists, which I TOTALLY *HEART*!, I present to you:
Ways In Which Brian Frons' Could Better Spend The Time Which He is Using To Destroy Soapnet:
-Looking up the word "balance" in the dictionary and showing it to Guza.
-Finding out just what in the FUCKING HELL they are smoking in hair, makeup, and wardrobe.
-Imploring Megan Ward to bring back the bob.
-Envisioning ways in which Jax and Kate can be brought together, and Sonny and Carly and Claudia can end up in some endless triangle together-this is so that I may watch Jax and Kate, whom I like, and ffwd. through those other 3 "characters?" w/as little inconvenience as possible.
-Fixing Patrick-or killing him off and bringing Jason Thompson back as Patrick's equally hot, but non-sleazy or dickish or asshole-ish, long-lost twin.
-Finding Robin's spine and brain.
-Figuring out why Sarah Brown came back looking so, um, dude-like.....except for the breasts, which are Pamela Anderson-like. I'm very confused.
-Having wardrobe let out the tops of all of Sarah Brown's dresses, as I'm sure that there is a worker's comp suit in there somewhere, what w/y'all making her press her breasts all the way up to her chin every day.
-Updating resumes for yourself, Guza, and JFP, as I just KNOW that, someday soon, whoever is in charge of y'all at ABC or Disney or wherever is going to put down the crackpipe and realize that you three have, along w/those dumbasses at AMC, DECIMATED ABC Daytime, you bastards!

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