Soap Operas Provide Hope
As mentioned previously, soaps often provide hope for their viewers. One way they do this is by showing characters who change their behavior. Occasionally, a dastardly villain is reformed by the love of a good woman and a soap bitch mends her ways for a decent man. Of course, the character in question must really want to change. If he or she is sincere, most of the people in the soap town will eventually accept that the person has been redeemed.
Sometimes, an older character will take a younger character who is heading down the wrong path in life under his or her wing. The mentor shows the younger person the error of his or her ways by explaining how the bad actions will only lead to heartbreak.
In the old days of soaps, a villain or villainess would sometimes be redeemed right before dying. A popular method of redemption was for the bad character to die saving a young child from getting hit by a car. Then the other characters would comment that there is some good in everyone after all. Today's soap writers are a little subtler, but they still get their messages across. They believe that the baddies we love to hate are not entirely evil and with proper sincerity and repentance for their sins, they can be redeemed.