Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Archive for March, 2016

The Long Lasters

Posted by sdwellsblog on March 31, 2016

So what the hell is the value of the overacted,  melodramatic novellas? There like reading a really dense book. Or speaking another language. There’s in culture and out culture that only a few people are in on. Besides the the exclusivity principal there is the completion principal. You brain is hardwired to desire to finish or complete a task, as a reward your body gets a shot of dopamine. This is your body’s natural reward and punishment cycle. Addiction can work this way, but I’m going into the the complexity of at the moment. A third reason why these long laster, The Soap Opera is a hearty and undying medium despite all seeming sense of sanity is the fact the elitism of the in group creates a fundamentalist and iron forged fan base. This rewards the community involve as by following the long running and convoluted plot points that appear and disappeared is challenge in of itself, but sharing that accomplishment with others means speaking a language and living in a sub-culture where you can finally communicate your experiences. The other benefits is the community is not filled with”posers” or “phonies.” The time slots and long running natures makes it unlike to spread via the net or prime gathering. Cult followings are easier to manifest as the product was denied a full length run ( for most television cases anyway) making word of mouth popularity easy to induct new members of the community in due to the manageable amount of episodes. So “posers” or others who have not been in the community since the start and struggle with the ups and downs have to deal the newbies who cramped 3 seasons in a week showing off. The factionalism is lessened, and the community loyal, and costs making it a profitable manner of show to fund.


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“At 5, I have my shows”

Posted by Curly Fry on March 31, 2016

I am very familiar with soap operas. I grew up watching my great-grandmother set aside an hour or so just to watch these fake characters dramatize their lives. It was like crack to her. We great-grand kids could do WHATEVER we want…until her shows came on. But I can understand why she loved them. She was a 90 year old woman who could barely get out of the house due to her cataracts and arthritis. These “shows” helped her enter the world again; participate in life. We talk about how pop culture is the connection between media and person, and I think soap operas (like wrestling) is a great example of that.

Soaps connect people to the characters, and since they’re one every day, the connection strengthens over time–like in real life. Like wrestling, it can cause its fans to forget the dramatization of the whole scene. They think these characters are real, and the actors play along most of the time, and the audience grows fond and protective and loving of the character(s). And these characters often last a lifetime. The audience watches them grow up and have kids and grandkids, just like you would do in real life, and they start feelinf connected to the TV family.

So, after watching my great-grandmother watch these shows day after day, I understand their appeal and their power in the media. To some, this is the only connection they get. It’s how they feel connected to the world. And that’s pretty incredible, if you think about it, for a simple TV show to do.

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Soapy Bubbles, or Operas

Posted by gabriellashartzer435com on March 31, 2016

When a new show is being ran, the dependability and duration of that show’s success depends on the audience, as in, how many viewers watch that particular show. The world’s longest-running TV Soap Opera as of today was a show called “Coronation Street”. This show first started back around 56 years ago on December 9th, 1960. Newer shows today even still depend upon how much the fans are interested to be able to set aside time in their life and sit down to watch a Soap Opera.

One topic we discussed in class briefly was interactions with the fans now a days within shows. One person for their curation project mentioned about how the show “Psych” had started to become interactive, when each episode contained a pineapple, and fans that were watching the show could live Tweet about where/which scene they saw the pineapple appear, and therefore, the show became more interactive and popular, because it was like you were there with other fans and with the cast being a part of that situation. Many other shows have started doing this also, whether it is a company/organization/Inc. that promotes a hashtag so that people can use it, and they can see how well the show does when it comes time to live tweet or just tweet or post on social media in general.

Soap Operas were made to be dramatic. They were meant to entertain and keep us happy and throw new drama at us, so it seems more interesting that we can feel intertwined with characters personal lives. I think we all need to realize how well social media has manipulated us, in a positive way, to be more interactive with the shows so that we can feel more connected.

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The shameful addiction: Soaps

Posted by leahsmith95 on March 31, 2016

I am really struggling this week, and made my post on something completely not about soaps, so here is my soaps post to make up for that. I used to be completely obsessed with All My Children. I started watching this with my mom. She started being a stay at home home when I was in the 5th grade and this is where the whole soap thing started. She just started watching it while she ate lunch every now and then, and before we knew it we were addicted (don’t worry we are over that.) Soaps never end. This week’s reading brought  up some interesting points. One thing about soaps is when you start watching them you know that you’re getting into a never ending story. There aren’t seasons. It plays year around you are committing yourself to a story that will have more dramatic and ridiculous plot twists than you can ever imagine. It is interesting that that soaps began with stage actors who needed a day job. Another interesting aspect of soaps are the number of stories they have going at once. They just jump from one scene to another about the sometimes mundane sometimes exciting lives of the actors. This is what I think I found so addicting during my soap opera obsession. Soaps seem really boring to a lot of people, but really… watch it for a week and tell me keeping up with all the drama of so many different stories doesn’t intrigue you at least a little bit. Also the topic in one of the articles about recasting is something I noticed in soaps. If an actor has to leave they simply have to be replaced, because the show must carry on, right?? I watched this happen in All My Children. All of the sudden a character is played by a different actor, without warning, they just expect you to roll with and accept it. Some actors, though, will play in soaps for literally what feels like forever. Being a soap opera actor is more of a career for many actors than a job.

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Posted by duncanmcken on March 31, 2016

To be completely honest, I was a bit surprised to find interest in this article, as I have no interest in soap operas. I thought it was a bit mind blowing that a character (Tom Hughes) was actually born onto the show and grew up as a character on it, even becoming an “attorney”. However I was a bit less shocked when I found he was played by 13 different recasts and found it the whole idea of SORAS hilarious. I thought it was very interesting that this was a device that was used for As the World Turns, but understand why such a device had to be used. It is very eye-opening to see how the discussion of how an actor makes the show, and the wonderful transition into this example. Interesting how all of these actors, however short their stint as Tom Hughes can completely shape, mold, and define the character for years to come. Also intriguing how the writers could just set devices they could use years and years later, such as Adam being Hal’s son but raised by Tom. . I also found it very interesting that characters, even one (played by Helen Wagner) in particular was on the show for fifty years.

Another thing that interested me about Sam’s article was the fact of how diverse the topics of real life drama were covered. From Tom’s drug problems to Vietnam back to more drug problems… Then the whole introduction of the HIV positive character raping Tom’s wife. The show even featured problems with Tom’s son Casey and his online gambling addiction. However, I suppose you really need to cover all the bases when broadcasting for over 50 years.

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Posted by thegirlwithgrit on March 31, 2016

Soap operas to me are just okay, I think they are entertaining   but can totally relate to those who don’t watch them or like them.  Most would say because it just isn’t their thing and that’s fine. I have seen episodes that go from zero to 100 real quick. I think people that love soaps love the drama of soaps. It is something that keeps then entertain and continuing to watch the SOAPS years later. . It different and crazy to me that 13 different actors have played (Tom Hughes) in the same soap operas. Yes they aren’t real and they are acting but if they weren’t doing these things it wouldn’t be a soap opera. I think that fans continue to watch soaps because they are fans. It is something they begin watching since the beginning and they don’t see a point in stopping now while other genuinely like SOAPS because of the story line. I just don’t understand why they repeat the same stories over and over again but use different characters for it. You are going to know what happens if they use the same story line. I think that the dramatics of SOAPS is something that all TV shows have they just have a different way they express or even show that they are dramatic.  SOAPS to me  have different types of fans they are die-hard fans who have been watching for forever  and will continue to watch them as long as they are on.They have some viewers that are middle ages, and older. They older crowd is the viewers and fans that are the most invested in the future of SOAPS. I feel like soaps today are starting to turn into like reality tv because of how things are changing. All in all without SOAPS and their drama, reality and TV shows wouldn’t be a thing. I just think that over the year soaps have changed tremendously.

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Posted by lanaewashington on March 31, 2016

I have never been one to watch Soap Operas, but I have been a few episodes before. I genuinely just think they are weird. Weird. Also, my opinion on them is that they are just… dramatic and horrible at acting because I know its not real. They don’t interest me at all. I am more of a reality TV person. Even though yes I know the stories behind reality TV, but it just intrigues me in some odd way. Again, just my opinion. And maybe it was the specific one that I watched, but i just cant get into the Soaps. The article says to understand them you have to understand the genre and how to analyze it. It says that it is very hard to explain them. If you don’t keep up with them, then you won’t really know what is going on. If you aren’t a faithful viewer then you truly won’t know what is going on inside of the show. You may get someone to explain it  to you, someone that watches the show and they try to keep you updated. You can make little visuals and scenarios in your head, but them explaining it is nothing like you watching it because there are so many details and small things that happen that you have to catch to keep up with. And I also think that I couldn’t get into them because I knew they were scripted and they were trying to make it seem like it was real life. Like in my mind, all Soaps are just a made up love stories that goes bad somehow, someway.

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Gettin’ Soapy

Posted by hlybkr on March 31, 2016

Oh soap operas… Believe it or not, we go way back. I mean as a 19 year old, I watched a lot more than my peers. My mom was a very avid soap watcher. Her shows of choice were “As the World Turned” and “General hospital.” I remember when I was quite young, too young to truly grasp all the insane drama being portrayed, I would lay on the coach as my mom would watch GH. She would think I was asleep but really I was listening to all the juicy fights and betrayals. One thing that I really noticed about soap operas throughout the years were the ever changing faces. As the article by Sam mentions, how long term performances by one actor for a certain character is extremely rare. They’ll either be replaced by a somewhat younger looking actor, or just cut from the show without a trace or explanation. Sam talks a lot about a character named Tom Hughes throughout the article, which I’m not familiar with, but I don’t think I would be able to stand this in the shows I watch today. I get too attached to characters, and would not want them switching every couple of months. I am not too up to date with these shows any more as I don’t live at home anymore, and don’t have my mom or grandma to fill me in with who has done what, who died, or who cheated on who. Although, I am sometimes curious..

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As The World Turns (faster than reality)

Posted by nattmelch on March 30, 2016

I cannot say that I have ever gotten into a soap opera (unless we’re classifying One Tree Hill as a soap.) I remember watching them when I stayed at my Grandma’s house and thinking how on earth do people get into this? Watching a soap to me is like riding a roller coaster. It goes up, down, around, and side to side quickly and then it’s over. But this essay has sort of informed me as to why these shows air the way they do. As a viewer, I think it’s hard for us to take into consideration the reality of things. There is only so much you can do with certain characters and stories before they burn out or are in dier need of a refresher. So how do these shows progress? The essay tells me by SORAS. At a glance of the concept of SORAS, it’s easy to see where it could potentially piss off fans. A lot of viewers want to stick with their characters as they develop and SORAS kind of takes that away if you’re looking at the same cast playing. If you look at is from the technical side, the concept is actually pretty clever, especially for a show that intends on airing for a looooong time. For as fast as events are happening in soaps, re-casting characters so can progress with the themes of the show is smart. Now if you waited for the actual, realistic age progression of a character, it would slow down the drama and ultimately take away from the soap opera vibe. I’m cool with it as an outsider because it makes sense to me. I understand how that may not be what you want (especially if you’re a fan of the person playing the character) but if you want the show to continue, their characters need to reflect the storyline.

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Recasting Sucks

Posted by araethom on March 30, 2016

I won’t be in class tomorrow, because I’m working the spot light for the morning school performance of Guys and Dolls. (It’s a lot harder than it sounds)

I liked this article, but what really stuck out to me the most was the topic of recasting. It’s interesting to me that recasting is more common in soap operas. I thought recasting in soaps would make the dedicated fans angry. I personally hate recasts.. I’m a huge fan of Roseanne, so whenever I’m watching the show and all of the sudden there is a new Becky, I’m pretty pissed. I like for the actors to remain the same throughout.

I can see where recasting for aging purposes is needed. I thought it was crazy that there were once seven actor changes in a span of seven years. Amazing. I would love to see this. See the transition and how accurate the aging process turned out to be. Recasting for aging needs must be very complicated. The casting director must find someone who fits the exact age range needed, looks the part and can do the part. I can’t imagine doing this in theatre.

I always thought soap operas were known for “killing off” unwanted characters or actors. Remember on Friends when Joey was cast on The Days of Our Lives, but got fired by his character being killed off of the show..? I thought that was real. maybe that’s just something Friends did to be  funny.

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