Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Understanding the U.S. Soap Opera, Pt. 1

Posted by tristendenney14 on March 6, 2017

After reading the journal article “Growing Old Together: Following As the World Turns’ Tom Hughes Through the Years” by our professor Sam Ford, I am truly amazed at the complexity and many different ways storytelling becomes involved in soap operas. Also, I never realized the history and social effects these soap operas have, as they discuss current social issues relevant to their respective time period. For example, my mother watches soap operas and I have watched them from time to time with her, but never quite understood the plot and why characters did certain things. Furthermore, if I ever confused one for the other, since my mother watches two different ones, I would become even more confused and decide not to watch the rest of the episode. This is where this article clears everything up for me. One of the lines in this article discusses how the plot from even one season could fill up a whole book. I did not believe this initially, but after processing that everything I had just read in this article about As the World Turns’ was essentially only referring to Tom Hughes’s character changes, I quickly realized how true this statement is. Plus, like we have discussed in class, since there are so many episodes, practically one every day for an entire year, it is nearly impossible to keep up with every character and plot sequence, especially with a show like As the World Turns’ that aired for over fifty years. Therefore, not only are soap operas a complicated piece of media entertainment, but a piece of American history that will continue to influence society for years to come.


2 Responses to “Understanding the U.S. Soap Opera, Pt. 1”

  1. Kimberlea Ferrell said

    I like your thoughts! I didn’t even realize until now that soap operas are actually important pieces of our history. I always thought, oh yeah those exist they’re weird though. I have a new understanding and respect for them now.

  2. emilyjones232 said

    I like how you called soap operas pieces of American history; I’d never thought about it that way until this week’s readings!

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