Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

I’m Having Trouble Coming to a Conclusion

Posted by Sean Hull on March 8, 2017

I’ve seen my share of cancellations & finales, but I never knew how easy I had it until reading today’s assignment on the end of As The World Turns. Since the assignment has already addressed the fan reaction & the producers’ refusal to provide a more comprehensive conclusion, I suppose I’ll have to dedicate this post to more idle speculation about Soap Opera viewers, and the contentions I have with Soaps based on their reaction to ATWT’s end.

ATWT’s finale suggests a system of storytelling that I could never enjoy. Though I have previously said that the continuous, dynamic narrative of Soap Operas are a fascinating concept, if the impossibility of true resolution is a consequent of this type of writing then I will eagerly avoid any franchises that would make use of it.

Even if a longer conclusion had been given, I wonder if it would have been satisfying. Once acclimated to the idea that disaster follows in the wake of resolution, can any ending provide closure? Did fan discontent with ATWT’s end stem from a lackluster conclusion, or had its constant drama and dynamism made the very concept of conclusion seem impossible? If the latter, then what type of conclusion could fans have possibly expected to satisfy them?

Perhaps I simply cannot understand the perspective of Soap Opera viewers; I love the proper conclusions offered by other types of media too much. Even if some bizarre hypothetical Soap Opera catered towards more stereotypically masculine genres such as action or mystery, I could not expect to enjoy it if no conclusion would ever be in sight, even after it had already passed.


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