Welcome back! I have always been a soap opera watcher. The minute I was born it seems like soaps have been a part of my life. I have very strong memories of the death spree on Loving. I remember the famous returns of James Stenbeck. I loved watching Michelle and Danny stay together regardless of what was thrown at them. Reba coming back from the brink. Brooke living on the beach in a hut taking care of fake children. Yeah, I grew up on CBS soaps. One could say that soaps sparked the writing bug within me.
However, soaps have become a bit stale. Stuck. Dark. Too realistic maybe? There are lots of theories and ideas on why soaps aren’t what they were in the 80’s and 90’s. I’m here to talk about what I want to see again in my soap operas. Specifically, four elements of the classic soap opera.
I’m not a violent person by nature. With that said, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good slap or two on my daytime television. Daytime television seems to be held to a different standard when it comes to sex, violence, and general debauchery. The slap is one of the refuges soaps could take. It was satisfying for viewers, built some tension up and sometimes could be funny. A quick slap can be lots of fun and provide quality ‘gifs’ (I pronounce that with a ‘g’ since that makes more sense).
I found old episodes of Guiding Light (RIP) recently. One thing that grabbed my attention was the varied characters and what they did in the town of Springfield. Every character had this corner of the canvas and they worked that corner beautifully (uh…yeah…meant to put it that way). What I miss is the fantasy element. Royalty to be exact. I understand people these days like reality. Things that would work out in the real world. I do too but something you need fantasy. Daytime television used to be fantasy. Now it’s just sad and dreary all the time.
Yes. There are super couples but not like the 80’s/90’s level of super couples. There are a ton of couples on soaps right now that don’t scream long term. Fans want them to be long-term but my gut usually tells me they will be screwing someone else by the end of sweeps. What happened to ‘never say die’ and ‘constant devotion’ with soap couples. The reason we come back week after week. Why we invest in the families in soaps, not just the individual characters.
Love in the Afternoon the current state of soaps is not. There seems to be a lack of romance lately. You can say this about primetime television but that is for another blog entry. Romance is the cornerstone of the soap operas. Romance is why families have been built up on soaps. Without a romance, the soap gets dark and sarcastic. Some people who already have a sarcastic soul would like to see some light show up on television. Let soaps lead the way!
There you have it! Regardless of my constant ragging on soap operas, I do truly enjoy watching them. I think people are so angry these days because they know the shows they know and love can be better. They know the actors and everyone behind the scenes can do better than what they are given. I believe soap operas can be popular again it will just take time to realize that what is happening now isn’t working.
Until next time, the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed.