Watching the “Soaps” Has Become an American Pastime

Why Are These Television Shows So Popular?

Television soaps have accumulated their popularity by extending our relationship with them. If the majority of people who watch soaps were asked to describe them with regards to reputation, on the whole most would respond with suggestions that soaps relate to their audiences. To some degree this is factual, but with a significant variation. Soaps are dramatised to generate an effect that will continuously intrigue and motivate spectators to continually watch these programmes daily. Occasionally, events occur on a frequent basis in correspondence to what they would do in reality. Therefore, making the story dramatic and revealing secrets behind a character’s life becomes a necessity to the plot of the soap. These characters are created as interpretations of the ‘everyday personality’.

This is potentially another reason for the appeal of soaps. Characters support and relate to our personalities, providing comfort and security to those who feel closely attached to a particular personality portrayed on the screen. Audiences thrive upon character growth, recognition and response to challenges in life. We are intrigued by the prospect of being exploited by plots that reveal our bond with daily circumstances. Beyond this point, once the credits begin to roll, the audience reflects on the content, realising a state of reality, revealing to themselves that the state of actuality in life is far steadier and less abrupt then the recurrent themes behind the camera and on set. The set never alters, revealing similarities to everyday human life. Soaps offer a reflection of dealing with particular settings or locations and how to deal with everyday scenarios such as conflict and relationships. Soaps exploit how we live in each others pockets; how secrets are revealed and potential outcomes are fronted by characters incapacity to keep undisclosed information to themselves. This reveals that soaps offer significant messages to the audience, giving guidelines with how to react to everyday circumstances.

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