Soap Opera Subjects

Are DAYS OF OUR LIVES, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and GENERAL HOSPITAL actually good for you?

Soap Opera Morality

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Are DAYS OF OUR LIVES, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and GENERAL HOSPITAL actually good for you?


The world can be divided into two classes - the soap opera watchers and the soap opera bashers. To find out which class a person belongs to, you merely have to mention the words "soap opera." A soap watcher will immediately respond, "I love soap operas," and will then continue to give you the plot summaries of his or her favorite daytime dramas for the last three years. A soap opera basher, on the other hand will immediately respond, "Soap operas? I hate those things." Then he or she will give you any number of reasons from the plots take too long to resolve to they're too unrealistic to watch.

Interestingly, the line between the soap opera watchers and the soap bashers can sometimes get a little blurred. I'm a soap watcher, but I'm also among their harshest critics. I analyze the writing, acting, directing, lighting, casting, costumes, etc. of every episode. I'm the first to criticize if I think something is wrong because I want daytime dramas to be the best they possibly can be. There are some soap opera bashers who claim to hate soaps, but when they give their reasons, they seem to know more about daytime serials than some of their greatest fans.

If you are a soap basher and you like it that way, beware! This article is going to turn you into a soap watcher before you can say "PASSIONS." After all, a medium that entertains and informs tens of millions of people around the world (American soaps are syndicated internationally and many regions produce their own as well, most notably Latin American telenovelas) everyday can't be all that bad. If you are already a soap watcher, take heart. This article is for you too. There are many valuable reasons to watch soap operas. Now you can find out why we've all been spending the DAYS OF OUR LIVES worrying about THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS over at GENERAL HOSPITAL.

Soap operas have been called modern morality tales. Wait, you say, aren't some of those characters the most immoral people you've ever heard of in your entire life? On daytime television, sleeping with your brother's girlfriend/fiancée/wife (extra credit if she gets pregnant and pretends that the baby miraculously belongs to your sterile brother) is not only encouraged, but practically required behavior. Murdering a rival in business or love (or preferably both) is a popular occurrence on many soaps.

   

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This soap opera material was written as part of an academic research project.

Please cite it as you would any other source.

Original Version © 1992 Second Edition © 2006 by Matthew W. Grant

Revised & Expanded Third Edition (© 2011) Now Available At:

Sex On Soaps: Afternoon Love & Lust On Television Daytime Dramas