To Soap or Not to Soap
No, I’m not talking about what you do in the shower, but what you watch on television. You know, those day time or night time shows called soap operas.
I have to admit I’ve watched Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless on and off for years and since I’m currently in the ‘on’ stage the news that Days might be ending soon bothered me. Then I read that Sony picked up Days so the show is safe for about another year and a half (it’ll run into 2010 but to save money they have to get rid of veteran actors like power couple Marlena and John) but still. When I say I’ve been watching them for years, I mean it. In the early 70’s I remember sitting on my Grandmother’s living room floor and watching DOOL with her on an old fashioned tv set ~ the kind that was made with wood and was another huge piece of furniture. This was back when it was only a half hour show. ("Days of our Lives," which will celebrate its 11,000th episode in January 2009, first premiered as a half-hour drama in 1965 and expanded to an hour 10 years later.) Then in the early 80’s I started watching Y&R along with Days when I was home sick from school. Also in the 80’s I began watching Santa Barbara and was happy that it came on in the afternoon so I could catch it everyday after school. I watched SB from the first day it started till the day it ended in 1993. [Robin Wright Penn (Princess Bride & Forrest Gump) first achieved fame from being on that soap.] I was never a General Hospital fan and could have cared less about Luke and Laura’s wedding. Back then I would have said give me the power couples of DOOL any day. Then comes the late 80’s and early 90’s… this was my first ‘off’ period. Not only was I working full time and going to college and had no time to watch them but the writing got super cheesy. Marlena possessed by the devil? Come on. And Stefano was up to his antics again and got a crazy lady, who thought he was Elvis, pregnant. Ugh. Then in the late 90’s I had a serious health problem that kept me home for awhile and over a couple of years I caught up with the goings-on in Salem and Genoa City again until I went back to work full time and entered another ‘off’ period. Then came the beginning of 2006. I have satellite television and there’s a channel called Soapnet. So I check it out. DOOL & Y&R on in the afternoon and evening? Cool! I have TiVo. Even better. I started watching Y&R again because of the snippets of commercials promoting the murder of some character and it piqued my curiosity. Days I started watching again because I was trying to figure out who Chelsea and Zack were. Now I record the shows and watch them when I want, which is a good thing because if I don’t like a storyline, I can just fast forward right through it.
I watch the soaps not only because I grew up with these characters but also as part of my research – chemistry between characters (love how Rafe and Sami & Stephanie and Phillip are attracted to each other), how antagonists work, what’s cheesy and what’s not (wish DOOL would take a lesson or two from the writers at Y&R), etc.
What happens if soaps do come to an end? I’ll be a little sad for a tiny bit, like I was when SB ended and when I finished reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series, because these have been a part of my life for many years. But that 'grief' won't last long. After all there are other shows I can get my research and hunk fix from. Like MVP, a show that revolves around the lives of hockey players and their SOs, as long as they bring it back for season 2…
Do you watch soaps? If so, what and do you have a favorite character and/or story line?
If you’re interested about the term ‘soap opera’ check out: http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/S/htmlS/soapopera/soapopera.htm