Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

General Hospital’s General Plot

Posted by emilyfalicaa on March 2, 2017

Spreadable Media bring in the argument that certain TV shows such as soap operas aren’t so much spreadable media, but drillable media. Drillable in the way that it causes fans to drill for more information on the storyline, characters, and many individual aspects. With soap operas you can’t miss a single episode. You’ll have stories from multiple characters in just one show meaning one day two characters are married, another is on vacation, while the original couple are having their third kid. Then on the next episode the newlyweds steal the third kid and the person on vacation gets the blame and gets murdered. They are wild stories that are crazy from start to finish, creating a captivating entertainment value that sticks around for decades on end. But while each episode seems like a whole other world, they keep a similarity in the plots to keep old fans watching the new material. I love watching General Hospital so much. My first job was at a radio station and I had a full hour every day to watch that show. At some point I told my Mom how much I enjoyed it and she asked me to fill her in since she watched it at my age. I told her all about how Luke was in big trouble with his family and the police, Sonny was accused of murder, and that Ava was plotting something. Instead of trying to figure out what happened between now and the last time she watched it years ago, she just laughed. This was the same exact plot for these characters that they had in the beginning of the show. It was clear over 50 years later we still don’t know the backgrounds of characters. And I think this is where memetics and drillability really meet each other. Soap operas create a meme for themselves, a replica of a plot that people are familiar with and attach to. Then they create a need to drill into the show more to finally get the answers that we have been wanting for decades on end. These two concepts work miraculously together, otherwise General Hospital wouldn’t have been on air since 1963.


2 Responses to “General Hospital’s General Plot”

  1. Yes, I completely agree with you when you say that certain TV shows such as soap operas are drillable media. You also bring up a good point saying that they “keep a similarity in the plots to keep old fans watching the new material.” Also, I like how you included the example of you and your mom watching General Hospital because I can relate to that too. My mom and I would talk about the characters on All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital all the time when we watched it.

  2. cameronbrooks3 said

    Agreed. I feel like all parent and or grandparents watch soaps. The reasoning in my opinion is because, since it is so dramatic, but yet simple for older viewers to understand the plot. They are also related to the real world in real life situations.

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