Husky14620 (http://www.youtube.com/user/husky14620) continues to put up parts from the Saturday discussion sessions at the Gays of Our Lives event. He's doing the first two sections at a time of each panel, and now he's on the sixth session. Scott Evans had some good things to say. During the sessions, Hal Sparks compared having gay characters to having women characters several times, and at length. I didn't think it was that great a comparison. You have people saying they "don't believe in homosexuality." It's true that some people say that -- I've heard it. You don't hear people say they don't believe in women, not in the same "I disapprove/It doesn't exist" sort of sense. When people refuse to believe in something, it really cuts the conversation off. If you say you're queer yourself, they may put you down as a sinner, or voice their thought that you're just saying it to be contrary and that you want to break society's mores. It's not so much the case with the younger generation, unless they're believers in a fundamentalist religion.
Certain persons there later said that it would have been good if Hal as the moderator for the first few sessions had familiarized himself with the German soap operas. I knew the differences between them. Verbotene Liebe has the aristocrats and the common people, and there's often some focus on characters leading glamourous lives. It started out as a show with an incest plot in the center of it, and have had variants on that theme since. In general, there are plots to do with sex and love, and plots to do with businesses. Considering the show's beginnings, the sex scenes are often relatively restrained and non-explicit. Verbotene Liebe takes itself pretty seriously. Some of the characters are allowed to have funny lines once in a while, but it's a more stately show. It has a long tradition of having gay, lesbian and bisexual characters who have family, friendship and work ties to the straight characters.
Alles Was Zahlt is a trip to wackyland. The characters may have angst, but most of the actors do comedy as well, so there's a mix. Sometimes the wild plots work, sometimes not so much, but you can count on the show to gleefully throw itself over the top in an attempt to please. You've got the cracky dream sequences and hallucinations, evil scheming, competitiveness, and divas to spare. The show has had a gay character from the beginning, but hasn't always had much idea of what to do with him, or given him much to do. Happily, things have changed on that front. Characters aren't usually all evil or all good. The good guys do bad things, and some of the bad guys have feelings, too.
I didn't watch enough of Gute Zeiten, Schlecte Zeiten to get a feel for the whole show. Lenny and Carsten's existence seemed to be grim and gritty, and they hung out with a band of juvenile delinquents, with Lenny joining in to do thuggish things. It gave me bad flashbacks to some of the teenage and early twenties jerks I hung out with when I was that age, so I couldn't watch much of it. It didn't have a regular YouTube channel, either, since the show was more vigilant about copyright and had requested some clips be taken down.
But I definitely have a good idea of the differences between the shows, even more now that I'm reluctantly watching full episodes of Verbotene Liebe to see if I can get a few minutes worth of seeing Christian and Olli. I couldn't have done it in public, but I could have verbally articulated the different styles of the shows.
Dennis more than held his own in the discussion sessions he was a panel member of, and the one he moderated. Jo and Thore seemed self-confident, and it didn't appear to be an act on their parts. Their English is very good, especially Jo's. Jo picked up on some of the random commentary and the jokes faster than some of the native English speakers did. If you watch, you can see how very quick his comprehension is. The others seemed to have a decent grasp of what was going on, enough to understand how passionate and knowledgable their fans were, and how they wanted to answer the questions they got.
More thoughts later...