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PLANET 360: Back From The Dead, The Baby Switch: Should These Overused Soap Plot Devices Be Shown The Front Door?

Courtesy/HallmarkMovieChannel

Courtesy/HallmarkMovieChannel

In today’s latest installment of  the “Soap Dish” segment on The Hallmark MOVIE Channel’s weekly news entertainment Series Planet 360, Crystal Chappell (Venice, The Grove, The INN), Galen Gering (Days of our Lives) and Ignacio Serricchio (General Hospital) are back discussing this week’s topics:  overused soap opera plot devices.

The main point of discussion today was that of the obvious “back from the dead” storyline that is used to bring back characters, or actors, to their noted roles when they were “killed-off” in the first place! In addition, the often times long drawn out baby-switch plot device, and “Who’s the Daddy?” storylines,  which we have seen used over and over again, are bantered about!

Watch the segment after the jump. Then let us know if you think it’s time for returns from the dead and baby switches to be shown the front door at your favorite soap operas, in favor of a something less predictable and original?

 

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Natalienicola@hotmail.com
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Natalienicola@hotmail.com

soaps could succeed with more realistic plots. we should deal with taboo subjects of politics, religion, class, race.

su0000
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su0000

If soaps did that they would not be fantasy and believe, and that is the core true nature of soaps.. People watch soaps to getaway from the problems of the real world we need to live in.. They do bring in those subjects in at times, but then still it is 50%BS and 50% soap story telling lol .. and I like that soaps are not real to life nor would I want them to be. But c’mon, bringing back the dead is a bit overkill .. All the jokes that were made about Dixie Martin and her 3 returns… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

They need to start writing soaps more like Revenge and Dallas! fans need more these days to keep them interested. This G rated soaps are not like the twisted tales and romps in the sack like they used to be! What happened to the knock down hair pulling cat fights! ZZZ We need more lots more! Love and sex and mystery in the afternoon! 🙂

Dmitri
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Dmitri

I agree with you 100%! Dallas intrigues me SO much, and Deception. I also saw Revenge’s pilot, which was good too. DOOL is very boring. They need better writers.

su0000
Guest
su0000

I am OK with a ‘back from the dead’ IF only if it brings brings back a cherished/loved actor/character who is missed terribly, then cool with it.. The most ridiculous and stupid bringing back the dead was Dixie Martin brought back 3 times or was it 4 times, anyways that was pure idiotic writing .. I do not think people should come from from the dead.. If it is a fan fav person leaving then do responsible writing and send them to Timbuktu for whatever reasons. Baby switching is also stupid and way over used.. Hate waiting 15/20 yrs to… Read more »

Gillian
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Gillian

I like bringing characters back from the dead when it fixes previous plot mistakes. AJ on GH is a perfect example of this. Previous regimes decimated the Q family, the main family on the show. AJ, Alan, Emily, Justice … all dead. The only Qs with a storyline were Jason (Morgan – mob) and Tracy via Luke. Huge mistake. I welcomed AJ back from the dead and honestly hope we can get an Emily return as well. Some characters shouldn’t be killed off, especially when it is for no purpose other than shock value as I believe Emily’s death was… Read more »

Gillian
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Gillian

not dormitory … supposes to be I’m all for that. Hate auto correct. Lol

aria
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aria

i feel the back from the dead plot device has been overused, especially at my fave show GH but at the same time if they didn’t do it it would prevent all these great comebacks they are currently doing. sometimes its needed to right the wrong of a previous regime, so hopefully the shows will learn not to kill off characters and instead find more logical ways to send them away. thats why i’m glad GH rencently instead of killing steve webber as everyone was speculating, he got send to jail, and i hope they send off jonny by just… Read more »

su0000
Guest
su0000

The now GH is be more sensible and not killing the characters off but rather sending them away, leaving them alive to someday return, perhaps….
Steve and Johnny sent to prison..
Lulu kidnapped and whatever will follow..
Jason is still missing and assumed dead, but not verified dead..
Caleb was not killed off but walked out of the morgue in a different similar looking body wearing the/his ring.
But poor Tray went forever bye bye but there was no connection to PC to keep him alive somewhere
lol the short stay characters can die; I need the drama.. ..

jim
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jim

Trey did have connections in PC: his two mothers…Kate and Connie! lol

Matt
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Matt

Nothing should be off the table when it comes to writing any show, as long as it’s done well.

Regarding this Planet 360 show– if you’re going to have a little content, you should step up the visual. The hosts look like they just ran out to the grocery store.

Patrick
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Patrick

Diana Taylor, General Hospital, Merideth Lord, OLTL, and Jenny, AMC. I’ve been watching soaps for most of my life and I find I was far more committed to a dying character than I do now. Today every character who dies can always com back, you as the viewer invest less.

jim
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jim

Days overused killing off Stephano and bringing him back from the dead so much iv grown sick of it just as much as when you see the same characters remarry more than twice like Victor and Nikki. I dont mind bringing characters back from the dead maybe just once(if to get a favorite back) or if no body was found. I also dont like it when characters have this ‘new’ face like when John claimed to be Roman yet he had a different height, different voice, different eyes, and the rest of his body is completely different than the original… Read more »

jim
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jim

Time standing still in Salem is what currently bugs me just a little. The mantel clock on the fireplace in the Horton home is always set at 7:10 am or pm? And the glass on it looks deliberately frosted to cover it up so most viewers wouldnt see it. Is it suppose to be a working clock or just there for appearances…like Hope, Abe, and Kayla?

jim
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jim

And thats another problem…when you have good actors like K.O, J.R. and M.B.E playing Hope, Abe, and Kayla and you treat them like background props! Whats the point?

DavidEvanSmith
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DavidEvanSmith

You watch soaps for the tangled lives of these characters. A baby switch can tie two couples or families together for YEARS. It can provide story for decades and create really layered and complicated relationships between characters. Back from the dead is more a result of course correcting bad choices of the past, which is the worse sin in my eyes, “killing off” a beloved vet or character and realizing too late that they should have come up with something else when that actor left. But these are ongoing shows, 52 weeks a year, that unique format causes writers to… Read more »

Rose
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Rose

I love that characters can come back from the dead. It makes nothing final on soaps and I like that. Keeps the audience on their toes. The baby switches can get old. They are fine as long as they are used sparsely. Any show using any plot too often gets old and redundant.

su0000
Guest
su0000

weeell…
I think they should bring ”the kitchen” back from the dead..
In olden days the kitchen was the heart of the home, all were seen in the kitchens..

Now there are no kitchens in the homes .. where do these people eat lol ..

jim
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jim

They dont need kitchens…theyr always eating out which makes me wonder why they are not all overweight with all the recent headlines complaining about fattening restaurant food ect and no one working out except for in the bedroom. lol

Chaz
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Chaz

The main problem with the baby switch stories, IMO, is that they get wrapped up too fast. Although it wasn’t a baby switch story, it took YEARS for the reveal that Mike Horton was not Mickey’s son but his brother Bill’s. That secret was always in the back of fan’s minds and when it finally did come out it had great impact for the characters and the fans. Back from the dead….only if it makes sense. As was said, Zombie Dixie was getting old. OLTL did it pretty well when it was assumed John McBain was dead but was really… Read more »

jim
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jim

I think it took 8 or ten years b4 Mike Horton(they aged him of course) b4 he found out Bill was his father. It even took Julie and Doug like 6 years b4 they tied the knot. People had more patience back then, and i sure miss those slow paced character driven plots that seemed more believable than todays constant split them up, bedhopping, too faced paced storytelling.

jim
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jim

I meant too fast paced…guess i was too fast paced writing this …dang it!

bc
Guest
bc

Replace these back from the dead storylines w/ more storylines for leading characters who are African american and Latino american and Asian american. hollywood needs to create more soap operas w/ racial minority leading characters bec they can succeed. The 18-49 demo of american idol is only .1 higher than scandal. That’s how great scandal is doing. It could very well topple fox’s highest rated tv show! Yet hollywood still lacks a lot of racial diversity from their day and night and reality soaps. Compare racial diversity to the plethora of gay representations from hollywood. Yet only 1.7% of the… Read more »

Dmitri
Guest
Dmitri

You’re very right. I do like that soaps are moving forward with LGBT characters, but we need more racial diversity, especially on DOOL. However, I don’t see how the soaps bash minorities.

bc
Guest
bc

Racial minorities are bashed through hollywood’s portrayals. Practically every soap opera only has rich families who are white while the racial minorities are portrayed as lower class. All the help of victoria on “revenge” season1 were women of color. The only woman of color was ashley from season1 of that horrid soap. She was of a lower economic status compared to all the white chars. The only Asian american char was takeda on season1 of horrid revenge. He never had any romantic storylines while padma had to be paired w/ nolan. The only Asian american female char had to be… Read more »

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

I think it depends on the why the writers are killing off the character and character whether or not I mind the character coming back. When an actor is leaving the show, and they are a highly associated with the character then having them “die” but not find the body, leaves room for the beloved character to come back- that is okay. And I’m okay with a character like Stefano on Days, dying and coming back, because it is part of his character. It is part of the fun figuring out how Stefano is going come back and when, that… Read more »

jim
Guest
jim

I actually wouldve liked hearing the opinions of the soap writers on this subject who write this stuff instead of the soap actors who play it.

Dmitri
Guest
Dmitri

I’m tired of characters being “brought back” after they die. Stefano is a good example. Either let him die or keep him alive. As for baby swaps, I hated the whole thing going on now with Parker being Daniel’s kid on DOOL. Too confusing and doesn’t make any sense. These storylines are good only if barely used, but it seems like that’s all that happens now, so it gets boring.

SnapeGirl
Guest
SnapeGirl

Over the past 30 years, I have seen every soap cliche used, and they don’t bother me if they are done well with good writing and acting. But I’ve never been more viscerally disgusted than by what is currently happening on DAYS with Chloe moving Parker to Brazil and putting Jennifer in the position to break up with Daniel so he can see his son again. I’m shaking with anger that this storyline was even approved, let alone that it’s actually playing out on my TV screen. I actually know someone that this happened to, and his life, and his… Read more »

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Kicks-Off Possession Storyline Revisted with ‘Doug’ Twist Cliffhanger, Followed by Fall Preview

Did the ‘Devil’ make them do it? Doug Williams  (Bill Hayes) is Satan? In what can only be described as major surprise twist on NBC’s Days of our Lives, for weeks, fans have thought they were about to embark on another dementia or Alzheimer’s storyline on the soaps with another beloved character.

However, Days head writer, Ron Carlivati ,and his writing team came up with a way to make it seem like this may be Doug’s fate only to use the long-running character as the impetus to bring the classic possession storyline back on the air some 25 years later.

It all goes down after Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) calls Marlena (Deidre Hall) to ask him to see Doug, after his MRI and other tests proved inconclusive for dementia, etc, to see if Dr. Evans can assess him.  The phone call to Marlena happened after John (Drake Hogestyn) was discussing the past, since Johnny (Carson Boatman) is ramping up to a shoot a movie on Sami’s life, that will include the time that Sami walked in on John and Marlena having sex, which caused Sami to act out for years and years.

 

However, and this is key, John tells Marlena that moment in time also left her alone and vulnerable to the darkest time in her life – alluding to when she became possessed by the devil – and Marlena was clearly having difficulty admitting that or going down that road of remembrance, when the phone call from Kayla saved her from digging deeper into the past.  Well now, John and Marlena may never have that conversation as she is primed to once again become possessed.

Meanwhile, Johnny is reading Will’s script for the Sami movie, and is shocked to read in it that Marlena was once possessed by the devil, as John takes out a dusty box with his Father John collar, a bible, and a news clipping of Marlena being possessed.  John is feeling that this movie will bring bad things on to all those he loves, especially Doc, and he looks to be right!

Now at her office with Doug, he admits he knows something is wrong.  He acts out and does strange things and does not know why.  Marlena brings up why Doug locked Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) in a freezer by accident. Doug gets adamant saying: “That was no accident. I locked that bitch in there on purpose.”  Marlena is shocked at his word and tone.  Then as Doug laughs, he says, “I’m not Doug.”  Next thing you know, the lowered voice of Satan comes out of Doug’s mouth and he tells Doc, “It’s been over 25 years Marlena. But did you really think I wouldn’t come back for you?” End of episode.  Great cliffhanger!

Now, check out the fall preview released following the airing of Friday’s episode by NBC below, which teases more demonic moments on Days. Then let us know in the comment section, what you thought of the ‘Doug’ twist as the possession storyline begins?

Plus, make sure to cast your vote in ‘Michael’s Poll’ of the week on the revisiting of this classic tale now in 2021 below the preview.

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on the Creation, Scenes & Cast of ‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’

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Days Of Our Lives

‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’ Stars Talk the ‘Making of’ the Limited-Series & the Moments They Loved

Five of the cast members from Days of our Lives limited-series on Peacock, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, chatted with Michael Fairman as a wrap-up following the conclusion of the streaming of all five episodes.

Joining Michael in a special conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel are: Eileen Davidson (Kristen/Sister Mary Moira), Charles Shaughnessy (Shane/Drew), Peter Porte (Kyle/Dimitri), Zach Tinker (Sonny) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben).

During the conversation, the actors share stories of the making of the series, and give insight and behind the scenes tidbits on their scenes including: how Eileen and Lisa Rinna (Billie) played recreated the ‘Amsterdam’ showdown from their time together on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but as their Days’ characters of Billie and Kristen, how Peter learned to do the Tango from Dancing with the Stars Louis Van Amstel and Lisa Rinna, plus the drag show scenes where Zach became “Sonny Delight”, and more.

In addition, Charles Shaughnessy talks on how the series harkened back to the 80’s and 90’s campy action-adventure heyday of and the opportunity to work again with Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn as John and Marlena, while Rob fills-us in on trying to keep it together when working in scenes with soap vet Adrienne Frantz, when Ben and Ciara find themselves at a swinger’s party.

The interview is filled with many laughs, and candid moments that fans of the limited series will enjoy, especially the intel offered up by the cast.

Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem continues to stream on Peacock! Make sure to check it out if you haven’t, or rewatch it a second, or third time if you want to see more series like this in the future.

Below check out the interview with Eileen, Peter, Charles, Zach and Rob and make sure to subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity conversations.

Now, share your favorite moments from Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, and this video interview, via the comment section here.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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