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September 1, 2014

TV Squad Soap Report: No experience necessary

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 11th 2008 2:02PM
soap logo tvsExecutive experience. We've been hearing an awful lot in the media lately about what constitutes executive experience and how important it is when a person gets the chance at an important position. Well, you know what I've learned while watching soap operas? Experience is overrated. Anyone can be a CEO or mayor or run a company, it's easy.

Take Donna on The Bold and the Beautiful. Until recently, Donna was a model. She used her beautiful body, great features and dazzling smile to show the finest in Forrester Creations. Now, due to her husband's heart attack which resulted in a coma, Donna has taken over the company and appointed herself CEO. It doesn't matter than Donna's never designed a thing or knows how to mass produce, market and distribute a clothing line. Never mind that she couldn't balance her checkbook let alone the bottom line of an international fashion business. Because she had Eric's power of attorney, she took control of the company. Executive leadership was something that she absorbed from Eric, right? Like osmosis or transference. Yeah, right.

If you can't marry into a power position on soaps, it helps to be born into a family that will bestow it on you. Look at the big wigs on The Young and the Restless. The Newman kids, Victoria and Nick. Would they be running businesses if papa Victor hadn't opened every door and given them titles? Exactly what experience does Nick have to publish a magazine? I'll stretch my imagination to assume that Vic and Nick snuck in a college degree when they were recast from child actors to adult. But Brad Carlton? He was a pool boy. And Jill Abbott -- a hairdresser. Where did they get all that big business acumen? On the other hand, Neil Winters is a legitimate candidate for the board room. He was presented as a Stanford grad with an M.B.A. in business. Even Adam, Victor's other son, is a Harvard business school grad, so some real execs manage to sneak in.

All My Children has a self-made diva who has oodles of executive experience, Erica Kane. In her career, Erica's never been a worker. She's always the queen bee, the CEO, the star. Qualifications are overrated. Erica hires accountants to crunch numbers and others to do the grunt work. She's the face of every business she's ever run.

One of my favorite characters to rise to power is Luke Spencer on General Hospital. In fact, like Sarah Palin, Luke was a mayor. He was so popular in Port Charles that he won an election back in the 1980's. You see, it didn't matter to the public that Luke had had a scandalous past. It didn't matter that he'd once worked for the mob or been a fugitive from justice or skirted the edges of polite society every chance he got. He was a hero and a beloved member of the city. So, popularity was more important than experience in public office -- of which he had none! -- and Lucas Lorenzo Spencer became mayor. He was a terrible politician, but he had the office nonetheless!

Currently on GH, the one guy in the mob that could actually run it like a business is Jason Morgan. It's funny, really, that Sonny Corinthos is considered the sharpest businessman in the crime syndicate. His experience is all on the job, from running a strip club to taking over the docks in Port Charles. Jason, ironically, is college educated. He was getting a medical degree before the car accident that destroyed his memory (and parts of his brain). You'd never know that now, and if I had to choose who might be running the business at a profit, I'd choose the enforcer, Jason. Also, Sonny is manic/depressive, and that's got to affect an executive if his medication is off even a little.

Guiding Light and One Life to Live are both deep into the executive suite storylines. On GL, while Bill Lewis has a sheepskin and business experience to come on like the tycoon he's been playing of late, Lizzie Spaulding is a neophyte. All she knows of running a company is what you learn from watching TV. Probably soap operas!

One Life to Live, on the other hand, has seasoned pro Clint Buchanan running his father's company, BE (Buchanan Enterprises). What's weird about this executive story is that Clint used to be a newspaper man. He was an editor, a writer, a reporter. He had no interest in big business, and presumably, didn't have lots of experience in corporate shenanigans. Well, I presumed wrong. The Clint that's on screen now is a shark. He's underhanded and nefarious and cruel. He is nothing like the man that ran a newspaper and was a member of the fourth estate.

If life were like a soap opera, college would be completely unimportant. Why spend years getting an education when you can marry well and become a CEO, or be popular enough to go into politics and win, or switch careers like you change your shoes. Yeah, but life's not really like the soaps, right?

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Beth

On B&B I never cared for the Donna character she wa so fake! She couldn't act at all! I was so tired of her having the spotlight! So glad Eric woke up and gave her the boot! You don't love someone and mess around with someone else.That brings me to Nick & Katy ! I'm sick of them to! I was so glad Bridget told them what for! I'm tired of Bridget getting the shaft by men! Glad Stephanie took control again and maybe we will see some good scenes again!

September 14 2008 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joy

Just yesterday, on AMC, Ryan told Zach that he had *no* experience in running the casinos that Ryan's now in charge of. And Zach said, doesn't matter, you'll figure it out.

I'd like a job like that.

Please and thank you.

September 11 2008 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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