Reports that Ed Scott, who is the current supervising producer of ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, was about to return to Genoa City to replace Jill Farren Phelps, don’t appear to be true. Nothing more than hoped-for rumor in some circles. And that simple statement basically ends a major storyline.
Soap operas are clearly constructed so that intentional speculation results. So, if the last line in the preceding paragraph were dialogue, it’s revision could end with the words ‘for now’. Because most television careers are often uncertain.
‘The Young and the Restless’ has been under fire for awhile from a segment of its current, or claimed-past, fan base. Phelps has fairly, or unfairly, received the brunt of most personal attacks. Selective perception divides its soapy army through a last sentence that was written by a neutral scribe.
In consideration of YR’s Daytime Emmy wins last weekend, it’s plausible to believe that a ‘story’ about Phelps’ removal was intentionally strewn into cyberspace as a way to lessen what was achieved and to shift this week’s public script. It would hardly be the first time a political play was performed in Hollywoodland.
Certain daytime devotees weren’t afraid to repeatedly express outrage regarding supposedly wrong decisions Phelps was believed to have made while heading past beloved shows. Apparently deciding that many fundamental problems in the soap world were linked to this specific person, a digitally connected squad transferred its gaze to CBS’ number 1 steamer the instant JFP was hired.
Building from significant social media mentions, online petition movements were enthusiastically launched shortly after Phelps’ YR arrival that called for her dismissal. A coalition of individuals, who can loosely be classified as daytime supporters, remain disenchanted with multiple cast changes and perceived convoluted storylines that were seen since Phelps’ first show aired in the fall of 2012.
Soap opera fans have long been pegged as volatile human beings who form obsessive connections with the actors who play fictional characters on their TV screens. That harsh description can easily be disputed, but a number of other sharp factors can’t.
The serialized story form intentionally generates connected scenes within every hour (or half-hour in the case of BB) to keep viewers highly-engaged. Stories bleed from one weekday to the next, with Friday cliffhangers always offering promised Monday semi-resolutions. Then, long term story arcs feed extended dialogue addition.
Offending one section of a loyal customer base, no matter its size, is dangerous because the voices within any passionate group are often loud. Remaining patrons will turn away from the noise if the message being shouted seems wrong. But, if the chorus isn’t crazy their lyrics actually invite a sustained, rising song.