Have you ever watched any Soaps? I’m guessing there’s a better chance you’ve made fun of the daytime dramas: how they are so ridiculous, so over the top, so dumb? I’m here to plead a case in defense of daytime dramas. I think there are some things here we can learn from these shows, so maybe I can sway your opinion just a bit if you are a nay-sayer.
My soaps of choice are 'The Bold and the Beautiful’ and 'The Young and the Restless’, also known as B&B and Y&R respectively. I started watching Y&R in 1986 when I first started college. In our dorm we would all gather at lunch and watch the insidious and salacious antics of our favorite characters. It was a fun, bonding time back then.
I took a break from Soaps, for…22 years, life and career got in the way, but then I started watching them again in 2009. To my delight and surprise many of the characters were still on the show!! I loved Jill Abbott and Victor Newman back then and I still love them now. Now I also have a few new favorites like Adam Newman and Steffy Forrester.
I think it’s great that these shows value their long-term characters and particularly the women who have a loyal fan base, but guess what, they aren’t young and ‘classically magazine’ hot anymore (By the way I think they are more beautiful, I’m just speaking from a western societal perspective). But these actors are still as talented and as riveting and as fun to watch as the young actors. Movie starlets have until about age 25 it seems to make their big screen career happen, otherwise they become too old. There’s a few exceptions to this age cap like Julia Roberts, Helen Miren, but they are not the norm. The same goes for prime time TV and the life-span of actresses who seem to be predominantly young hotties. I love that daytime drama honor and reward their aging female actresses. In my shows they have such strong, powerful, confidant roles. They are often leaders in business, lawyers, doctors, or talented musicians, or coveted fashion designers. I love even more when these actresses are involved in some sexy storyline where they show their confidence in themselves and their bodies with their sexcapades.
I also think these long time actors are almost more fun to watch because their characters have literally been developed upon decades of material. The writers do a great job keeping the characters authentic and not forgetting their 6 past husbands or 5 kids from different fathers, or their crazy twin that died. That’s not easy to do. Another bonus is if you have a favorite character that dies, the writers can find some clever way to resurrect them.
The writers also do a great job resolving issues fairly quickly. The boyfriend finds out she cheated in 2 weeks. The romantic tension is resolved in one week of episodes. The villain gets imprisoned in a month after this wrongdoing. Things move fast. Sexual tension is resolved. Doesn’t it drive you crazy the underlying sexual tension in some of your favorite prime time shows, that goes on and on? Well they have to keep that tension going or there would be no show. (Think Moonlighting, that didn’t work out so well after Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepard closed the deal).
Daytime dramas also address relevant, important and topical issues on a regular basis. Issues such as Leukemia and bone marrow donation are brought to light. Or Homelessness and how you can help. Domestic Abuse and how to get to a safe place. Very often they run PSA’s at the end of the show directing the viewers to the non profit website. I applaud the producers and I am grateful that they use their shows to draw attention to these important issues.
On a lighter note, I also watch for fashion and styling tips; best hair, make-up, clothes and accessories anywhere on television, hands down! Watching Soaps is better than buying fashion magazines. The looks are current and I love how courageous the actors are at changing their looks up on a regular basis.
TV can be an addiction though and can be a monumental time waster. How many times have you started watching an episode of Law & Order, to realize you have already seen this episode but you keep watching it anyway? So ridiculous, but it has happened to all of us. There’s so much bad TV, and bad reality TV. I think Daytime Dramas should replace reality TV to be honest. I think it’s less staged and with better content. What about some of the other networks that have a ‘Real Something’ that is just one big commercial promoting some product, book, or other show, It’s very off-putting. Again the only selling I’ve seen on a Soap is in promoting a cause.
I think there is cross generation appeal to the Soaps, and I’d love to see them around for decades to come. The future of Soaps are at risk, at least the who, how and where is in question. There are some terrific people out there who are better informed than I and are very passionate about the future of Soaps. They are filming a documentary called ‘Soap Life’, so they can show the world the importance of keeping these shows alive, hopefully to be released this year:
Finally, I enjoy the Soaps and fashion so much I started a blog about it. If you haven’t already please check it out www.soapsstyle.com. Soaps Style is meant to be entertaining, and fashion centric, based on the fashions of The Bold and the Beautiful. Thank you!
Anyhow, back to the shows. You should try one out for fun and see for yourselves if you like it, learn something from it, or just have some fun watching.
Thanks for tuning in! Run well, pdub