Best to Mess |Part 1: Mess | One Life to Live’s openings

In honor of One Life to Live’s last year on our screens. I decided to rate the openings from Best to Mess (worst sounds cliche, don’t you think.) This week I am going to do the messes:

Mess:

OLTL- 1992-1995 opening

I use to like the music to this opening when I was a kid. But now, seeing where OLTL was back then with the groundbreaking storylines, such as Marty Saybrooke’s (played by Susan Haskell) gang rape and Viki Lord’s (played by the sensational Erika Slezak) multiple personalities that was created after her own father molested her, did we really need to see the champagne exploding when the new man walks into the girls bedroom? Also the whole opening in general reeks of a bad Calvin Klein commercial (One Life…Calvin Klein) and is a rip off of what the soap opera Loving’s opening which ran from 1991-1992.

I actually like the Loving opening way better than the OLTL one. The glass shattering was an awesome effect (more so than the phallic champagne) and the couple at the end embracing in the sunset was more realistic than the couple on the OLTL opening. Where the fuck do babies comes from? A champagne bottle? The more I try to make sense with this gawd awful opening, the crazier and senseless it becomes.

So 1992-1995 opening of One Life to Live: Messier than Jessica Buchanan’s back to high school storyline. NEXT!!

2004-2012 opening:

This was where a man, whom I referred to a Daytime’s Biggest Dummy in the last entry, decided re-branding ABC Daytime with similar openings would be a great idea. This was the worst excuse for an opening to come out of the ABC Daytime re-branding. The worst part is, when the show goes off the air, this is the opening that we will associate with the final year of OLTL.

What is so bad about it? The cast shots are horrid especially Bree Willamson’s Jessica Buchanan-Brennan-Ford’s sad attempt to be sexy. The fact that a stage light is in the way of Blair Cramer’s (played by Kassie DePaiva) shot. Don’t get me started with Jerry VerDorn (who portrays Clint Buchanan) awkward shots.  The first opening at least had some signs of buildings but as it evolved, it was replaced by squares and the title of the show flying around. A lot of the cast members who have been with the show throughout this opening , failed to have their cast shots updated. For some reason, current cast members John-Paul Lavoisier (who plays Rex Balsom) Michael Easton (who plays John McBain), Farah Fath (who plays Gigi Morasco) all had different opening shots through out the years the opening was in place. Long term actors like, Melissa Archer (who plays Natalie Buchanan) Bree Williamson (who’s opening shot I hate for another reason, the fact her hair grew like a lot since that shot first got recorded) and Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan) had the same shots since 2004. Aside from Williamson’s sexed up pose of Jessica needing a make over, Hillary B. Smith’s (Nora Buchanan) shot desperatly needed an upgrade. It looks weird now that Catherine Hickland (Lindsay Rappaport, Nora’s sworn enemy) got fired from the show. The initial shot in the opening was a shot of Hickland and a transition shot between Hickland and Smith’s shots. I think that they should have redone Smith’s shot when Hickland was taken out of the opening.

I think this is the only soap opera that if it weren’t for it ending in January 2012, I would say cut your losses and have a non-cast opening, like the good old days. You didn’t see Judith Light (who played Karen Wolek from 1977-1983) posing in an opening when she was on the show. The opening was centered on the sky (and *spoiler* I will talk about it more in the best section.) Once again I am going to bring up Loving. All of Loving’s openings were non-cast openings. As The World Turns would up having a non-cast opening in its last year after failing to put half the cast in its 2007 opening. Just please, put some music that is not from the end of the first act.

Something worth mentioning, Erika Slezak has two different shots. One wearing a pink top and one wearing a black top. I like the black top shot better. The pink top looks like she is thinking “oh, you are actually going to watch this crap, be my guest.” Not that OLTL is a bad show now. It was at the time of this opening, in my opinion. So I think the black top should stay and they should have had her re-shoot the pink top with more of a “Welcome to Llanview, PA” look on her face. Just my opinion.

So I that wraps up this mess. So I am going to go over why I love rest of the openings next time.

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Two ABC Soaps…DEAD!!!

This doesn’t surprise me at all. I know this blog is suppose to be about Soap Opera Themes but I think we all need to take time out and think about what the cancellations of One Life to Live and All My Children mean to the world.

Daytime TV’s biggest dummy, Brian Frons, thinks that replacing the shows with reality/talk shows will fill the void in our aching hearts. Umm, no. Yes soap operas are a dying industry but wouldn’t saving two iconic shows by keeping them on the air prove that you care about people who watch soaps. First SOAPnet going off the air, now this.

Full article at this link:

http://abc.go.com/site/abcdaytimenews?cid=facebookabcannouncement

Why is it that telenovella’s in Spanish-language countries and international soap operas like Neighbours in Australia and EastEnders in the United Kingdom are profitable? I am wondering if 10 in Aussie and BBC in the UK are actually listening to fans. Telenovella’s are a different story. They only stay on for a year and get replaced by, GASP, another telenovella. Keeps people interested in it.

My heart goes out to the hard working cast and crew of One Life to Live and All My Children. I saw an interview with Susan Lucci (when you think of soap opera’s you think of her) and she honestly didn’t know the show that made her famous was getting taken off the air.

Interview and article:

http://www.popeater.com/2011/03/28/susan-lucci-all-my-children-cancellation/

Now for all you fans of OLTL and AMC fans. I shall do what I do best. Post the first openings to each soap opera:

All My Children:

One Life to Live (ok second opening but I couldn’t find it on YouTube. Strange because their last anniversary show had the first opening.):

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Let’s Recreate!

This post is different from the previous posts but it shows that people in the Soap Opera fan base are creative and passionate about their soaps.

Here are a few recreated openings (via youtube) that I have found :

The City Opening-

This opening is actually for the continuation of the storylines of the short-lived gem, The City. Smith wrote a few chapters of life happening in SoHo after the last episode in 1997. He included characters that weren’t on the show including Port Charles’ Ion Overman (who played doctor turned sexy vampire, Gabrielle), and the creator of the opening himself David Evan Smith. He is no stranger to putting himself as a character in openings. If you check out his channel, he casts himself as various characters in various openings he has created. I give mad props to you, Mr. Smith,  for doing that. I know I would love to be cast as Angie Hubbard’s daughter Cassandra Foster but I don’t have the guts putting my fat butt in an All My Children opening. Though, if Lorraine Broderick is writing now I could see a social issue storyline about gaining weight. But I digress.

I do love the casting choice towards the end of the opening. How great would it have been to see Heather Locklear as Sydney Chase’s (Morgan Fairchild) sister? Yeah, it would have cost the Mouse House more than she ever got paid on Melrose Place,  but it would have gotten viewers to see what is going on in SoHo.

I love shots of SoHo at the beginning and Sydney’s famous white boots when coming off the airplane was from the first episode. I like the shots of the characters from the first promo and even shots from the actual show.

As the World Turns Opening-
Perfect! The cosmic sounding opening did scare me for a time when I was a kid but once I found the opening on WoST, I loved it. Then to go a step above Chris Goutman and include the openings from the 1980’s (The World Turns On and On), 1990’s (Jelinda’s Theme) and the video globe from 1999. Bon appetite! If the world didn’t stop turning, I would have marched to their studios in Brooklyn and DEMANDED this be the opening. No cast members to screw up the opening, no “fancy” CGI opening, none of those bells and whistles. As the World Turns started out with an iconic opening, I think it should have ended with something iconic.

Mr. Lee (of “Buzzworthy Radio”) you should be proud.

Note: I, in no way, endorse Buzzworthy Radio money wise. I am just a fan and longtime soap opera peer of Na’vell J Lee.

I would like to thank people for the early support. The good news is that in my class we are required to write more postings (at least one a week.) So expect more from me, 😀

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Like Sands Quickly Falling Down the Hourglass | Days of Our Lives HD opening 2010-present

Soap opera openings often fall victim to time constraints. NBC ‘s only soap opera Days of Our Lives, shortened its iconic opening to 15 seconds starting with the first High Definition episode on the shows 45th Anniversary show on Novenber 8th 2010.

When I first saw it on SOAPnet, I thought it was a SOAPnet edit. When I finally saw it on NBC, I was upset that such an iconic opening needs 15 seconds cut off.  The music, which has been a staple since its 1965 debut, is not played fully.  The opening is beautiful in HD but don’t fans want to see the sky going from sunrise to afternoon like it was in the 1993 update.

I do want Days of Our Lives to follow in the footsteps of CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful. The show recently updated its opening in February. There has been different edits of the opening to fit time constraints. At least once a week, the full version of the opening has aired. Other days, the opening has been cut from its full length of 45-seconds to either a 26-second opening only featuring the cast or a 10-second opening only featuring the runway models.

What Days of Our Lives should do is bring back the full opening at least once a week and then have its 15-second opening on other days. Its opening is too iconic to be wasted away due to time constraints. I do not want it to end up like the defunct soap opera As The World Turns where it leaves out the theme song in favor of the music of the scenes before the opening. Speaking of the music, what happened to Days of Our Lives’ closing music? I do not like the underscore as the music. Days of Our Lives had a beautiful closing they don’t bother to use for the SOAPnet airings.

So lets, my friends, mourn the passing of the 1993-2010 Days of Our Lives theme because of time constraints.

While were at it, lets kick it OLD SCHOOL:

Very OLD SCHOOL:

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All My Concerns | Part 2 | 2004-2010 opening and 2010-present opening

Part 2 of All My Concerns focuses on Brian Frons’ branding of ABC Daytime with openings similar to each other starting in 2004. I always thought it was a bad idea because each opening looked the same and that ABC Daytime should be renamed “All My Life to Live in General Hospital.” It also focuses on the brand new opening which debut in December 2010 and if the opening is cursed to not be updated properly like its predecessors.

All My Children was the first opening to start the ABC Daytime rebranding of the openings. My problem with this opening was it looked too cheesy. I was having a conversation with people on a soap opera message board and they called the part where the pictures fly in the air above a town before Susan Lucci’s Erica Kane appears a Teletubbie moment.

The opening was easily updated in the beginning but had slacked off by 2009-2010. An example of this is when Amanda Baker’s Babe Carey Chandler died during the Great CGI tornado of 2008. She wasn’t replaced with her twin sister Marissa Tasker (then-played by Brittany Allen) until May of 2009.  In fact, that was the span of time the opening wasn’t updated to include the return of David Hayward (Vincent Irazarry) who wasn’t put into the opening until May of 2009.

By the 21st update of the opening in January 2010 (according to the youtube channel of ABCsoapfan88), no new or recasted characters were included and departing characters including David Canary’s Adam Chandler and Ray MacDonald’s Joe Martin were both still in the opening even though they retired in early 2010. Greenlee Smythe (played by Rebecca Budig) had returned to the show and stock footage from her time on the show before was added. The opening was in serious need for an upgrade but possibly due to the move of production of the show California, it wasn’t updated for nearly a whole year.

In comes the current opening which debut in December of 2010. This was just in time for the recasts of Marissa (currently played by Sarah Glendening) and Scott Chandler (now played by Scott Cosgrove who was previously with the show in the 1990’s.) The opening included characters that never appeared in the previous opening, a list too long for me to write. I am concerned with this opening. It looks like it will fall victim to the previous openings that updated early on and then stopped.

I am proud to say that this opening has been updated to take out Melissa Claire Egan (who played Annie Chandler) and include Christell Stause’s Amanda Dillon Martin, after fans were wondering why she wasn’t in the opening to begin with. It also updated shots of Madison North (played by Stephanie Gaschett) and Scott Chandler. It even added a teaser for Jackson Montgomery (played by Walt Willey) and Erica Kane fans that they may get back together.

It seems that the show is doing good with the updates, but only time can tell if they can keep up with updating this opening.

So the moral of these posts are, update your soap opera openings. You may have new viewers who are wondering why people aren’t on the show and if fans can come up with updated openings, who ever is in charge of updating the openings needs to step up and get their shit together and not get bored. Heck, I can update the openings. Just give me a computer with Adobe After Effects on it and I will do it.

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All My Concerns | Part 1 | 2002-2004 opening

As my first article in this blog, I had a concern about soap opera openings not getting updated. Naturally, I could have picked The Young and the Restless’ current opening, which hasn’t been updated in several years. However, I am taking about a soap opera that in the previous decade had two openings that, for some reason, were updated easily in the beginning and slacked off in the end. I am talking about All My Children.

First, I am going to start with the 2002 opening. This opening marked the return of the iconic 1990-1994 theme song, in the form of a remix. The opening, which was split into two openings to featured all contract players, featured the cast posing in either a picture with a Polaroid of the character with a still from the show next to them, a framed photo album picture which looks like a single page, or two characters sharing a double framed picture. Susan Lucci’s Erica Kane appeared posing in a photo in both openings and her picture falls into a photo album, which closes and featured past scenes from the show’s then 32 year history before revealing the title at the front of the album. The way that the opening was unique is that the characters first names appear as if it was a signature when each photo was shown.

The opening debuted on the heels of Josh Duhamel (Leo Du Pres) and Marj Dusay’s  (Vanessa Bennet) exit from the soap. When both characters met their maker, Duhamel’s picture was removed from the credits. As for Dusay, who shared a double frame with Elizabeth Hendrickson’s Maggie Stone, the double frame was removed and Hendrickson was featured in a framed photo album picture. The next removal was when Live with Regis and Kelly host Kelly Ripa decided to leave the show to focus on, at the time, her new career as a talk show host. Like Duhamel, she was removed from he credits.

As the years went by, new, returning and departing characters were on the show. However, whoever was supposed to update the opening was slacking off. For example, in 2003-2004 the opening was not updated to include new characters, only to remove departing characters.  I remember in 2004, talking to my friend who was also a fan of the show. When we watching the opening, we named all the characters, which were introduced that year as contract players, that weren’t in the opening. Apparently, the opening became difficult to edit. Personally, I think this is bull crap.  When I was on The World of Soap Opera Themes, my fellow posters and I updated this opening. I remember my update of the opening using the full 1990-1994 release of the song edited so it won’t be too long and will also include the characters that were paired up as couples. It got a good response. However, I didn’t think to save my openings before my computer crashed so they are lost forever.

Next time,  we will talk about  the 2004-2010 opening.

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