Thursday, May 12, 2011


I chatted today with Victoria Rowell for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments regarding the infamous Dru/Malcolm confrontation about the night they slept together while Dru was knocked out on cough medicine and dreamed he was Neil.

Got thoughts on that iconic Young & Restless scene and storyline? Send them to me at or post them in the Comments below for possible publication.

But, there was something else Victoria said during the course of our interview that got my attention.

She told me, "I understand the dynamics of the genius of what William J. Bell Sr. did for daytime drama, as did Agnes Nixon, as did Irna Phillips, as did all these incredible soap opera creators. Historically, the longer you can keep a storyline that has resonated with the audience going, the longer you can keep building on a soap opera's leading actors, the principle actors and their storylines, the longer you can capture an audience. The longer you can keep a secret, the longer you can stay on the air. "

These days in soaps, the buzz-word seems to be to move the storyline faster, to skip the build-up and get right into the big confrontations (often leaving the audience to fill in the gaps). The slow burn is out of favor, constant action is in. The belief is that keeping a secret for too long is boring. That the audience will lose interest and tune out.

Personally, I love a good, long secret. It adds subtext to even the most banal scenes. And I'm a sucker for subtext. Something that soaps do particularly well do the fact that their long histories give practically every character a dramatic past with every other character.

But, I pose the question to you: How do you like your secrets kept... and when do you want them revealed?

Tell us below!

(And make sure you check out Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments when it's released this Fall for complete interviews with Victoria Rowell, Linda Dano, Tina Sloan, and many other daytime heavyweights sharing their exclusive peeks behind the scenes of your favorites stories!)


Tyrus said...

Secrets should be kept for a LONG time. Many years if possible.

eman sherkawy said...