Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the set of General Hospital, a show that I’ve been watching (with the occasional break here and there) for over 30 years. One of the most exciting parts of the visit was getting to watch scenes being filmed. As you can imagine, filming for a soap opera is different than filming for a television show that only airs 22 episodes a year. There’s no time to dwell. The actors say their lines, do a couple takes, and as long as everything looks and sounds good, it’s on to the next scene. And General Hospital has been doing this consistently for over 50 years. It’s just mind-blowing.
It got me thinking about serialized storytelling, and the fact that it’s not easy. And that led to me reflecting on what an accomplishment the Star Wars Expanded Universe is. Publishing has been telling Star Wars stories without a break for 23 years. That’s only two years less than The Simpsons. That’s soap opera territory.