Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Growing Old Together

Posted by taylorbelcher on March 6, 2017

In this essay, it says that “…soap operas focus on character instead of production values, actor instead of set… value character over plot, reaction over action, and relationships amongst the characters over more episodic “situation” stories.” This statement really made me stop and think for a minute. While some television shows today share with soaps the similar complexity of a character’s story, something that is different between them is that there is not a lot of shows that focus on the actor and not the set. I was also surprised when I read that they “feature a cast of up to forty” because I knew they had a lot of cast members, but I didn’t realize it was that much. It’s astonishing because there’s definitely not as many shows today that include a large cast like that. Instead, they focus on a few characters once a week, not like 40 every day. It’s truly mind boggling in my opinion. 

I also found it interesting when Sam informed us in class that “The soap opera genre got its name on radio because of the shows’ sponsorship by soap companies…” Like I’ve mentioned before in previous blog posts, I grew up watching All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital with my mom and grandmother. However, I never knew how soap operas came to be and why people were so intrigued in them. Another quote I found interesting was: “From 1958 until 1978, ATWT was unchallenged as the top-rated soap opera, until growing competition in the 1970s ended the show’s dominance.” Since I had only watched the three soap operas that I mentioned, I was not even aware that there were other soaps on tv, such as As the World Turns and The Young and the Restless, until I got much older.


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