Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

“Growing Old Together” assignment

Posted by roseconway98 on August 28, 2016

In my opinion, I am not a fan of soap operas and not a fan of much TV at all. Growing up my mother watched soap operas everyday, but being so young I didn’t invest my time in them. Reading “Growing Old Together” definitely gave me much more knowledge on the background of soaps and how much is invested in them. To me, I think it is a waste of time to put years into something like that. And in all honesty, it’s kinda boring to carry on a story for that long of a time. Especially being the person I am, all the dramatic turns, pans, and zooms are quite comical.

Now thinking about it, over summer I was browsing through the TV channels and something caught my eye. Darin Brooks, also known as Alex Moran off the TV show Blue Mountain State, was a part of the cast on a show. Thinking it was gonna be a show about college football players ruining the lives of others, I was caught off guard that it was the opposite. It was a soap opera! It was so funny seeing Darin Brooks as a man with feelings and emotions rather than a drunk jock. At the time I didn’t think much about it, but now that this class has brought it to my attention, I didn’t realize soap operas were even still around. They aren’t really talked about but apparently they’re still pretty popular. Nonetheless, you would never catch me watching a soap opera, and if you do, you should ask me if I’m ok.

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Why Media Spreads Intro – It’s taking over our lives!!

Posted by loganhamilton on August 28, 2016

I think the idea that if media doesn’t spread its dead is fairly accurate because how can something survive if not nourished by an outside source. Exactly. Today the media is everywhere and follows those who are seen as idols or stars in todays world. Sometimes it is crazy for me to think how someone could be chased around with cameras int heir faces every day and be watched with their every move just because they have a beautiful voice or they have an amazing acting career. If I were in that position i would want to be left alone and not have lies spread about me throughout the media every other day. The media is a great place to see what the world is and what it has become. Social media such as Facebook twitter Instagram and snapchat are all ways in which the media can control our lives and that is what i feel it is doing to each of us every day. I don’t know many people including adults that can say they didn’t go on a social media site for one day weather its for work or leisure. It is taking over our lives and I’m not bashing it or saying its completely wrong but eventually the media will know every persons every move throughout every day and thats exactly what i do not want. That is why just the other day I deleted my twitter and Facebook because I don’t have time to look at what other people are doing with their lives. If they cared about me or I them, then I would text or call them myself haha. I sound like an old man from the 70’s but no I was just thinking about these views the other day while reading the intro to Spreadable Media and it just hit me and made me really think. So whats out there for us? A bunch of laughs and happy birthday posts maybe another from a trip out of the country. Yeah thats cool but in the end speaking long term I would rather have my personal life be kept secret and say from those who can possibly use it against me. Again this is pretty extreme but its a view i recently acquired and I like it a lot!

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Growing Old Together

Posted by jennnymarks on August 26, 2016

I can personally say soap operas have not been a relevenat thing in my life, which is not a good nor bad thing. I never fully understood the acting, characters, or story line of a soap opera. Many fans of these kinds of television shows tend to be a little on the older side, since, of course, many of these fans grew up watching soap operas. And with that being said, the fans have formed relationships with the characters. This relationship was never formed with the new generations simply because we were not there for the beginning. The younger generations were introduced to a new type of television shows from a very early age, making these shows their comparisons to all others. And that is why I tend to compare soap operas to mainstream televisions shows of the early 2000s.

Since I was born into this younger generation, it is very hard for me to understand people’s love for these shows. Here is my main question: How does one form a relationship with a character that is constantly being played by a different actor/actress? I, personally, could not do this. My example, being very mainstream, yes, is Gray’s Anatomy. I have watched all 12 seasons twice. Because of my extreme binge watching, I have formed very close relationships with these characters and would not have the same love for the show if these character’s were played by different people every other season. I fell in love with the distinct characteristics these actors and actresses have put on the characters in this show, and other actor’s simply couldn’t do the same. Each actor puts his or her own flair on the character, which inevitably changes the character almost completely. In soap opera’s each character is never the same throughout the seasons unless the same person has been playing the roll. This is one of the main differences between soap operas and modern television.

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Soap Operas are old news

Posted by loganhamilton on August 25, 2016

I enjoy the idea of soap operas as they decide to focus on a different focal point than most all of the shows. Maybe this is because they are so old and are never usually around anymore or rather that they decided to think out of the box in a new more distinct way. my view is that they bring a light to a kind of humor that revolves, as Sam said, around the characters and not around the entirety of the show. Each individual character has a personality that is shown every time a show is produced and thats what makes them so enjoyable. some might say this is the exact reason as to why they are outdated and just foolish but not me.

Each character has his or her own personality as I said before an they can each find themselves in their own sticky situations which most of the time can relate to the viewers themselves. While the gossip in each episode keeps things interesting, each episode is relatively easy to understand and follow along. Now a days people like all that complicated stuff where there are ten different things going on at once and all these different situations occurring but soap operas have that X factor where its simple and fun to watch all at the same time which is the main thing I like about them. I think Sam says is very well on the fourteenth page of his text, “A history not welcoming to new viewers and a longtime audience that demands continuity with a show’s history. What i think he means is that the show is on going and long and the viewers that stick around the the beginning and really pay an interest in the work of these shows take the advantage of understanding the true potential of what a soap opera even is and that is the beauty in it all to me.

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When growing old together is disrupted…

Posted by tynecart on August 25, 2016


Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a show that has definitely ran it’s course in my house. My dad watched it growing up, I became a fan of the show in middle school, and my nine-year-old niece even watches it on nick-at-nite. One day, my dad was scrolling through the channels and it happened to be on and so we began discussing how funny and versatile Will Smith is as an actor, and just the show as a whole: Carlton’s dancing, Hillary’s superficiality, and oh no…the two Mrs. Banks.

Mrs. Banks, or Vivian/ Aunt Viv, was the mama bear of the show and one of those maternal characters who gave great advice while still being the glue of the household. The shock of the show was when the original Aunt Viv, portrayed by Janet Louise Hubertwas no longer on the show and replaced with Daphne Etta Maxwell-Reid. This was a dramatic switch not only because we (the audience) grew up with the first Aunt Viv but they were just different in age, personality, and physically. My dad discussed how my aunts stopped watching the show and the controversy of colorism in the African-American community sparked; due to the first Aunt Viv being “dark-skinned” and the new Aunt Viv being “light-skinned”.

A controversy that still exist today as rapper JCole referenced the show in his single Don’t Save Her: “I want a real love, dark skin Aunt Viv love”. My dad told us that the media tried to brush it off and state that change is good for the show. And in cases like Tom Hughes being SORASed, maybe change is good. Tom Hughes depicted a character facing issues of the time: divorce, family dynamics, drug abuse, masculinity, etc. But the change of Aunt Viv seemed like it just added to the issues of the time, rather than face it.

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Soap Opera: Work and Reward

Posted by darkholmzero on August 25, 2016

As someone who views TV shows, movies and stage plays as examples of my craft and potential work to pursue, I have a somewhat complicated view of soaps. I have seen a few episodes throughout the years and I have to say that I really don’t like them. I don’t like the aspect of never ending stories or how cumbersome the narratives can become over time. Most of what I have seen seems to indicate that genuine character development is eschewed for big plot twists.

However with that being said I do have, and always will have an appreciation for the sheer amount of work that goes into being a regular on a soap. The level of line memorization and spot work that one must go through on a daily basis is mind blowing. This is especially true when you consider that these people still have to actually try and act. Soap Operas can be a good source of steady employment but it is definitely not easy.

So when I look at a Soap Opera i can empathize with the actors and crew, but on the other hand most of what makes them so uniquely difficult is what can also make them uniquely off putting. So when I think of a Soap Opera I think of a good, solid, honest and hard work for an actor. However I also think of a particular kind of show I have no interest in watching, and this (to me anyways) is kind of sad, because it is so much work for so little reward.

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Growing Old Together – My response

Posted by cliffordpaulparsoniiiesq on August 25, 2016

When I consider the kinds of TV series that I usually enjoy, what comes to mind are short, concise episodes that don’t rely on the context of earlier installments. In other words, my favorite shows are the ones that I can catch late at night as a re-run, or watch on Netflix with the push of a button.

After examining this article, I have come to suspect that soap opera audiences must have their brains wired in a totally different way. I can watch a mid-season-7 episode of Friends and get a laugh out of it, regardless of whether I’ve seen the earlier seasons. With a series like As the World Turns, a decades-spanning chronology packed with more subplots than the average mind has room for, it’s hard to imagine anyone watching an episode out of context and enjoying it at face value.

Clearly, anyone who keeps up with such a series must have a deep appreciation for elaborate plot lines and character development. Yet, after reading about Tom Hughes and his contraction of SORAS, I have to wonder if soap opera fans are better at suspension of disbelief than the rest of us. Why is it that a dramatic, serious show like ATWT can get away with speeding up a child’s growth process in order to advance the plot?

I’ve always poked fun at the fact that Bart Simpson has been in elementary school for more than two decades, but that’s just a cartoon. ATWT is a drama about complex people with deep emotions, so why are the show’s viewers so good at turning off their logic box when it comes to something as basic as a character’s age?

It’s something to ponder as I learn more about soaps and the culture surrounding them. But like the article puts it, it could be something that only the fan community will ever “get.”

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Soapy Oprahs

Posted by chiggywiggysupreme on August 25, 2016

It’s admittedly really impressive to see how much work is put into developing the characters and their decades-old backstories, keeping these same characters throughout decades of the show, and creating something to interest the viewers in every episode. At the same time though, it’s kind of sad to see how much work people put into all of this only to be rewarded with a soap opera and a fan base for it. It’s just a soap opera after all and these people are spending years and years on it.

I believe that people should feel free to get down with whatever they want as long as it makes them happy. If acting in and writing numerous soap opera episodes makes them feel really nice and tingly inside, they should, by all means, keep it up and just do their thing. I dislike soap operas though, so these people just seem pretty nutty to me and I think they are WRONG ,AND ALSO DUMB !

In conclusion, kudos to the creators of As The World Turns for devoting some big, beefy chunks of their lives to producing such an intricate masterpiece of a television show. It’s incredible how they could change the show to cover any topic, especially the controversial ones, they saw fit for the U.S. at any given time in the past few decades using one set of characters. However, this didn’t change my opinion of soap operas and I still think the people who worked on ATWT wasted their time.


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Response to “Growing Old Together”

Posted by wilscott1 on August 25, 2016

Prior to reading this article, a majority of my soap opera knowledge consisted of what my mom and grandma had told me. One time my mom was watching TV, and as I was walking by I noticed that Darin Brooks, the actor who portrayed Alex Moran on the TV series Blue Mountain State, appeared in a soap opera. Because of that, I sat down to watch a few minutes of The Bold and the Beautiful. I hated it. I got up and left the room with a complete disrespect for soap operas.

I now realize that a lot more goes into the creation of a soap opera than I originally thought. The intense focus on character development, such as that of Tom Hughes, makes it easy to see why there are so many fans of soap operas. However, I still don’t think I will ever become an avid soap opera fan. This is because the plots and character arcs of soap operas have been developing for decades, and I feel like it would be very hard to become invested in one. It would definitely take a lot of time, which I do not have. What I do have is a newfound appreciation for soap operas and respect for those who spend their lives creating and watching these masterpieces.

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Growing WAY Old Together

Posted by libbygriggs on August 24, 2016

Whenever I hear the words “soap opera,” I automatically think of my grandmother and how she would always have them on every time I was at her house as a child.  I never understood what was going on when I watched them, and they always looked even more over-dramatic then what I was usually watching on Disney Channel.  I remember being so bored and unenthused and begging her to change the channel.

It baffles me to think that a show can go on for decades at a time.  I mean sometimes I even find it hard to get into some of the series on Netflix.  I think the fact that there is a Guiness World Record for the longest portrayal of a character played by a single actor in history (wow, that’s a mouthful) and is held by an actress in a soap opera just amazes me even more. I’m actually not sure what other kind of actress could hold a record like that, but that must really take a lot of acting to get a world record.

What I also can’t seem to understand is how people can stay in-tune to what is happening in the story when different people come in to play the same character.  Maybe it’s just me, but I definitely couldn’t follow.  I would always see the new person as a completely different character and be lost for the rest of the series.

Although it’s hard for me to grasp the concept of a soap opera, I do see where it is something that people easily pour their heart and soul into.  Especially if you are truly passionate about your craft and can connect with the ongoing story.  So kudos to those who have literally dedicated their LIVES to not only creating such a long, dramatic, on-track story, but spending so much time watching it as well.

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