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The Death Of Daytime -- Part Seven
What Happened To Right And Wrong?
Something that has bothered me for some time is that soap operas no longer present any positive values. What happened to if you do the right thing, you'll be rewarded in the end. Or when someone does bad things they'll get punished.
Once upon a time I used to love the character of Sonny on General Hospital, but I believed in time he would get out of the mob and get his life together. Not going to happen. Now his kids are getting suck into the evil mob vortex. Duh, Sonny, what did you think would happen when you continue to be in the mob. Even worse is Jason Morgan, a cold-blooded killer, that is written like a hero. Neither of these characters represent any kind of positive values. I could find the mob story acceptable if the characters hated being in the mob and wanted to get out, but Jason and Sonny glory in the mob lifestyle and wouldn't give it up if they had to. That's makes both character morally unacceptable. To make Jason and Sonny's lifestyle acceptable and to pass it off as just another job, the show has been turned from a morality play into an immorality play.
Sonny and Jason are hardly the first morally corrupt characters a show has tried to turn into heroes. Over at NBC, two of the biggest most morally corrupt villains were given the same treatment, when Days of our Lives tried to make Stefano morally acceptable and pair him romantically with Marlena Evans, the woman whose husband he killed, and Another World tried doing the same to Carl Hutchins by pairing him with Rachel Cory. To buy into the pairings you had to forget all the evil things both of these men did. These men weren't just villains, they were super villains who did horrendous things.
It isn't just making people who do wrong suddenly right, soaps have eroded all the basic moral values we all once held dear. Years ago All My Children tried to make adultery acceptable when supercouple Tad and Dixie entered into an illicit affair while Tad's wife Brooke sat at home being clueless to what was going on and trying to have a baby. After that, Tad and Dixie were never really the same. Tad and Dixie were the real couple, but Tad married Brooke on the rebound, so somehow that was supposed to make it okay, because the right couple was getting together, even though it was happening in the wrong way.
Currently on One Life To Live, Clint Buchanan has done a lot of rotten things, and it appeared he was finally going to get his just due. But just as he was arrested and facing murder charges, he pulled a rabbit out of his hat. His brother, the police commissioner's son Matthew, actually killed the man. Matthew's mother is the district attorney, so she moved to drop charges against Clint. While Clint may be innocent of murder, his guilty of a host of other things that he'll apparently get a free pass on. If Bo and Nora want to make Clint pay for this crimes, they'll have to make their teenage son also pay for his crime, and that doesn't look like that's about to happen. The sad thing is Bo and Nora were once the two biggest moral compasses of the show, now they're becoming as morally corrupt as Clint, to protect their son.
It's gotten so bad that it's nearly impossible to find a character that hasn't committed some kind of crime. That's how morally corrupt the soaps are getting. And what kind of message is that putting out? The only way to get ahead in life is by doing the wrong thing? By breaking the law or stabbing someone in the back? That message goes totally against the rules are society is supposed to be based on. I still believe in doing the right thing, despite the messages these shows are now sending out.