Hollywood Soap: Are Fans Getting Their Fix From Real Life Supercouples?
The wildest soap town of the all, Hollyweird, is all abuzz about the break ups of A-list "supercouples" like Madonna and Guy Ritchie and Californication's David Duchovny and Tea Leoni (Lisa, Santa Barbara). Tabloids and gossip blogs on both sides of the pond can't get enough of every soapy detail of Madge and her Brit director's bust up. Was A-Rod involved? What's going to happen to the kids? Was their a pre-nup? Can Guy keep the cone bra?
Duchovny and Leoni's split is also causing tongues to wag and fingers to furiously type out speculation across cyberspace. Did Duchovny's role as a sex addicted writer on Californication spill over into his real life? Is Leoni banging Angelina Jolie's ex-Billy Boby Thornton? Who knows? Who cares? Funny you should ask. Apparently everyone one.
As magazines fold daily and newspapers lay off thousands of employees across the nation, the celeb rags have managed to flourish or at the very least remain stable. I'll tell you why, they have successful turned the lives of the rich and the wanton into real life soap operas.
In this day of civil, financial and political unrest, people craving a good dose of escapist melodrama, complete with affairs, sex, drugs, money and divorce, don't need to tune in and watch Jack and Carly marry for the 18th time in front of a sparse field on As the World Turns when they can get their pot boiler fix during a five minute visit to Perez Hilton's website or by picking up a copy of Us Weekly.
For the life of me I can't figure out why daytime isn't capitalizing on America's renewed thirst for seening wealthy, beautiful people with problems, primetime sure has. From Dirty Sexy Money to Entourage, to Gossip Girl and The Starter Wife, primetime serialized dramas about rich people behaving badly are proving quite popular with audiences and critics alike.
Sure daytime has made a few attempts at capitalizing on the country's Bush-era fascination with wealth and debauchery. Tess on One Life to Live was supposedly inspired by Paris Hilton, as was a SORAS'ed Lizzie Spaulding on Guiding Light.
At first these characters lined up fairly closely with the images of the Hiltons, the Olsen Twins and the Lindsay Lohans who constantly make the Page Six headlines, Lizzie even had a yapping purse-pup! But of course Tess has since descended into a stereotypical soap opera maniac, driven cuckoo by dick, meanwhile Lizzie isn't doing sex tapes, she's being a good, little soap opera heroine (read: victim) by being held captive by a man who will no doubt become her next true love.
The last time the country experienced eight years of gluttony and greed, daytime was right there with primetime when it came to creating fabulously-wealthy characters to satirize. Primetime had Dallas, Dynasty and Falcon Crest. Daytime had the Spauldings, the Buchanans and the Capwells. Granted, two of those families are still around, but instead of Alan Spaulding dealing with an insider trading scandal or trying to take down a Lewis alternative energy project, he's spent the Bush years chasing after babies and killing blonde teenagers.
OLTL has been attempting to do a corporate takeover storyline, but instead of a ruthless hedge fund managers trying to seize B.E. or Todd struggling to keep his tabloid afloat in the days of the web, it was Dorian—again, because of dick— who seized B.E. Meanwhile Todd is too busy psychologically re-raping the woman he already assaulted over a decade ago. Oh well, it's time for me to go get my soapy fix from Perez, but first let me delete all of these Guiding Light eppys. Gotta make room for The Hills.