How the Daytime Soap Opera Took Over Prestige Television


Despite being unfairly criticized for too long, daytime soap operas may be on the verge of disappearing. But their DNA has been absorbed by prime-time premium television.

Fans of the daytime soap opera General Hospital could have noticed a change in their beloved afternoon medical drama around the year 2000.

The titular hospital in the made-up city of Port Charles had previously been the focus of the ABC television program, which had been airing since 1963.

In the 1990s, stories focused on socially conscious subjects, such as a young couple coping with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

However, macho energy replaced the soap opera's tender, humanistic overtones in the early aughts.

It was obsessed with the violently inclined people around Maurice Benard's dimpled mob don Sonny Corinthos.

Television critic Ed Martin dubbed the show "Sopranos in the daytime" as a result of this about-face.

This was the ultimate accusation: a prime-time masterpiece that was once considered the crown gem of daytime television had been transformed into a Great Value ripoff.

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