Tyler Perry Could Save Daytime Soaps
This summer, I started watching Tyler Perry's TBS's comedies. I sort of got drawn into them the same way I did The Edge Of Night when I was a child. I was up early Sunday morning and an episode of House Of Payne was on. The family was at a christening in church, while Calvin opened the door on the way there and got shot. It drove me crazy. It took them two episodes to find Calvin laying on the floor and to get him some medical attention. The whole thing was pure classic soap opera.
Years ago, Diana Taylor got shot and it was an entire week before her body was finally discovered in her apartment. It drove me crazy as no one went to her apartment and found her laying on her kitchen floor in a pool of blood. I was about to pull my hair out, wanting to scream, "When are they going to find her?" It was the same way I felt watching the Payne family go home and Miranda trashing Calvin for not showing up while Calvin was laying over at CJ and Janine's bleeding to death. I was screaming at them, "Go over and find him for the love of God." It was absolutely pure classic soap opera the way soaps used to be before people got put in charge that don't know how to write them.
I started watching reruns on House Of Payne on TBS and the more I watched the more of classic old school soap it seemed to be. The show began when CJ's wife Janine became addicted to crack cocaine and burned down their house. CJ and his two kids were forced to move in with his aunt and uncle, while Janine hit rock bottom and began living on the streets and breaking into the Payne's house and stealing things to sell to buy more drugs. Eventually, Janine checked herself in rehab and CJ's Aunt Ella even let her move in with them. CJ and Janine, now divorced, slept together before becoming involved with other people, only for them later to get back together when Janine was pregnant with CJ's baby. And that's just a bit of CJ and Janine's story.
Last night, I watched the marathon for For Better Or Worse and that too has an old school soap feel to it with the romance of Marcus and Angela. Marcus and Angela were doing fine in their marriage until a letter showed up saying Marcus was the father of a three month old baby, complete with a picture of Marcus in bed with this woman. This all happened after Marcus' baby mama came on to him and he turned her down. Marcus swore he hadn't cheated on Angela, but she wouldn't believe him because of the picture. Things got really ugly between them when Angela put all of Marcus' clothes in his car and set it on fire a la Waiting To Exhale and Marcus retaliated by cleaning out Angela's bank account to buy him a new car and new suits, which ruined Angela's plan to expand her beauty shop. In the latest episode Angela finally went to confront the woman to find out the truth and the woman admitted she never slept with Marcus; she also wrote Marcus a letter saying someone set her up to doing it. Was it Keisha his rejected baby mama?
Now, just as Marcus and Angela are trying to get their marriage back on track, a man from Angela's past has returned. Angela got drunk before she married Marcus and had sex with him and now he's suggesting that maybe he and not Marcus is the real father of Marcus and Angela's son, MJ. The show is wrapped in comedy with a laugh track but this is pure classic soap opera.
When soaps were good before people got in that have no clue how to write them this is what they were about: family and friendships and overcoming all these types of problems. The Paynes are a middle class family. Curtis, the patriarch and comedy relief, used to be the fire chief and now that he's retired, CJ has taken over the job. Calvin was a volunteer fireman for awhile, then he was working for the fire department before he got hooked on pain pills after being shot and having to recover from his injuries. Marcus and Angela and their friends all seemed to be relatively well-off. Marcus and Angela live in a large house with a maid. Angela runs a beauty shop where she and her girlfriends usually hang out together, while Marcus and his friends are producing a sports show together.
I've seen people complaining about House Of Payne online because the show doesn't seem like much of a comedy with all the gut-wrenching drama that's mixed in with it. As I said before, the shows are sold as comedies, but they're really classic soap operas. Maybe Tyler Perry cut his teeth watching soap operas when people knew how to write them like I did.
I know the odds of Tyler Perry getting in control of daytime soap operas are a million to one, but the man knows how to write soaps the way they're supposed to be written. If this man were in charge of them they wouldn't be on the endangered species list. He could bring them back to their glory days.
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