Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Understanding the U.S. Soap Opera, Pt.2

Posted by tristendenney14 on March 8, 2017

As we near the end of our soap opera discussion, I am beginning to see why the end of As the World Turns 54-year legacy, or any soap opera in general, are such a monumental moment for media industries and fans. After reading our two assigned readings, “As the World Turns: Season 52, Episode 181” in particular, the finale and end of a show with the type of influence it had are almost all too surreal. For example, though I have seen very few soap opera episodes in my life, the ending of something we love, a TV show in this case, is something we never want to see. Also, though I will never understand the feelings of someone who was dedicated to a show like As the World Turns for multiple decades, I can vouch for the disappointment of feeling left with no answers, or left with a “cliffhanger” as described in media today. I say this because as we left class on Tuesday I honestly kind of wanted to know what happened to some of the characters like Tom and Margo with their fight, or the backstory to the multiple women falling in love with the one man who’s name I can’t remember. What I am trying to say is, like our professor Sam Ford states in the first reading, “The finale of a U.S. soap, then, is a particularly complicated narrative moment—a final text destined to be unsatisfactory…” Also, this is why “Soaps are commonly referred to as “worlds without end”. Though these shows could go on forever, all good things must eventually come to an end. Therefore, although As the World Turns’ 54-year legacy may have come to an end with an “unsatisfactory” finale, the torch has simply been passed on to other modern soap operas to continue the change and betterment of soap opera history and television media.


One Response to “Understanding the U.S. Soap Opera, Pt.2”

  1. jacobkaraglanis said

    I also think it’s annoying when a series that I am watching does episode or seasonal cliffhangers. I honestly do not think I could handle doing that for 54 years… I also felt the way you felt, after leaving class on Tuesday. After only watching an hour long video, I still felt curious. Despite the fact that I was not really a fan of the content.

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