Introduction to Popular Culture Studies


This is the class discussion blog for Western Kentucky University’s Introduction to Popular Culture Studies course. Here, students will be sharing their insights based on what we are reading and discussing in class, and engaging in online conversations about related issues. The site started as a blog for my classes on the U.S. soap opera at MIT and WKU (hence the legacy URL, which I still use so that links from the past still work).


7 Responses to “About”

  1. Mark said


    I saw the guest column over at the PGP blog, and I just had to check out this site. I’m Dutch, the Netherlands is the only country besides the US and Canada that airs ATWT. We’re 1 year and 7 years behind, but I also watch the US episodes. I just wanted to tell all of you know how interesting I think all of this is (I would love to have a class in college where you can watch and talk about ATWT). I saw that Luke and Noah is one of the favorite storylines. Maybe the students are interested in the rest of Luke’s storylines? I’m uploading every Luke scene on YouTube as they are broadcasted on TV over here. Here is my YT account: http://www.youtube.com/user/MarkDutchViewer


  2. samford said

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for your note. Is ATWT fairly popular still in the Netherlands? I also wanted to know more about the fact that the show is both a year behind and 7 years behind. Does that mean that there are two different timelines currently playing? Are they on the same or on different channels? I appreciate your writing to us and hope you feel free to join in on the blog regularly. Thanks for passing your Luke videos along. We are going to talk more about his coming out in the future. It seems to be the storyline that people know ATWT for more broadly at the current moment.

    How long have you watched?

  3. Mark said

    Hi Samford,

    I think ATWT is fairly popular here. We have only two US soaps right now, ATWT and Bold and the Beautiful, and ATWT has better ratings. There are about 16 million people in the Netherlands and ATWT has around 500.000 viewers (and that’s without the two re-runs). Shows like Days of our Lives and Young and the Restless were cancelled here because they had bad ratings.

    I’m not sure why we’re 1 year and seven years behind, but someone told me that somewhere before 1990 people here could watch the show without subtitles on Sky Channel. They stopped airing the show, but when the channel RTL4 started in 1990, 1 year and seven months later, they picked it up where Sky Channel left. I watch it here on TV and the US episodes online (because it’s impossible to watch CBS here on TV), so sometimes I’m a little confused.

    A funny detail is that I saw Paul get shot by Craig and falling of a cliff first in the US episodes and then a month later he was shot by Emily and falling of a cliff in the episodes on Dutch TV.

    My mom has been watching since the debut on RTL4 (1990) so I saw some of it, but most of the time it was on during school. But I started to watch every day around the time that the Rose/Lily storyline started. Rose was my favorite character and I was really upset when they killed her off. Sometimes I think about how great she would’ve been with the teenager Luke, since she and Luke always had a nice relationship.


  4. samford said

    I have early memories of ATWT, but my most solid memories come from the late 1980s and early 1990s, the time many people consider the “glory years” of ATWT. I started watching in the summers and then keeping up by videotape through the year. I quit watching from mid-2000 until early 2004 or so, so I’ve spent time trying to catch up on that period I miss, as well as refresh some of my early memories of the show. My confusion at first was that I didn’t realize you meant “one year and seven months” behind, but rather thought there were two different runs of the show airing simultaneously.

  5. DakotaCelt said

    I have been watching ATWT off and on since the “Glory Days” of the 1980s.

    Other shows I have viewed over the years are Search for Tomorrow, Guiding Light, DOOL, General Hospital, OLTL, Another World and Santa Barbara. I will ocaissionally watch the Bell Production soaps of Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful.

  6. I love what you’re doing here. I’ve long been a believer that soap opera is an important genre that gets thrown by the wayside. It is a distinctly American form of storytelling – at times great storytelling. It is also a piece of our social fabric.

  7. samford said

    Thanks for stopping by, Lana. Everyone should click on her name to check out the link to her site as well. Glad that you found our class’ site as a helpful destination for you. I know we all had a great time spending a few months looking at the history, current state, and future of soaps.

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