April 13, 2012

hello, my name is jennifer, and i'm a soap addict

If my grandma were still with us today, she would be absolutely devastated with the precarious state of soaps these days. I can't help but think of her every time I watch them. If losing two of the soaps she had watched for decades weren't enough--Guiding Light ended in '09 and As the World Turns in '10--then the demise of All My Children and One Life to Live would have sealed the deal, causing worry and speculation the remaining FOUR (yep, I said four) would be next on the chopping block.

She watched all four of the CBS soaps (back when there were more than four soaps total) for, well, I don't even know exactly how long. Forever practically. The love was passed down to my mom, who passed it down to me. I was watching Young and the Restless from the womb!! I remember when I was three or four, drinking water daintily from a Dixie cup, pretending I was the very rich, very elegant Katherine Chancellor.

For anyone who doesn't understand a soap fan's love for the genre, there are a few things to know that might help clear up the confusion. First of all, watching them is usually passed down from generation to generation and is something that as an adult you can fondly remember from your childhood. Such is the case for me. I can remember the times I watched them at my grandma's house while on summer break from school, or the times my mom and I watched the episodes she taped for when she came home from work. It's something tangible you can hang onto and use to feel close to your parents and grandparents if they've passed on.

The characters and dialogue can be superb. Those are my favorite moments, when I have to rewind and watch a scene a second time because it was written and acted so well. I need that second time to absorb the moment. If you know the characters and their histories really well, then certain dialogue between characters is so witty and simply entertaining to watch--for instance, when snarky characters are being especially snarky with some snappy comebacks.

Soaps are an escape from the "real world." Are there crazy storylines that could never happen in real life? Absolutely! But we soap fans watch anyway to be entertained, suspending our disbelief in order to escape for an hour or two from the daily grind.

When you think about what it takes to produce a soap, there are a lot of constraints that must be dealt with--for instance, there can only be so many actors and consequently, only so many love interests, etc. for characters to interact with. They put out five shows every week. There are pages and pages of dialogue for the actors to memorize in a very short time. Writers have to remember history when writing new scenes and storylines--sometimes decades and decades of history. And these are just a few examples!

So yes, I am a soap fan. And I am so not ashamed of it! :D

Upcoming Posts:
  • SOS (Saving Our Soaps)
  • i'm with the band ~ part iii
  • nice guys finish last
  • book reviews


  1. I think I understand what you're saying about soaps being an escape from reality. Although I could criticize the recycled plots of some of them these days. (from what I see) It kind of makes things a little boring. These days reality TV has become the new soap opera type of things. Which is kind of weird considering that you're useing reality to escape from reality.

    1. Even we soap fans complain about recycled plots among other issues. I grew up watching The Bold & the Beautiful, but these days, it's completely ridiculous and unwatchable! I think a lot of people out there watching reality shows could be watching soaps, haha.


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