Today’s guest post comes to you from a book editor, blogger and book reviewer in India who goes by the name Romila.
Soap Operas are popular because of their undemanding nature and their perennial fascination with everyday situations. Originally the Soap Operas were a part of the American radio programs in 1930’s. Their immense success resulted in their being made for TV in the 1950’s. These Soap Operas were essentially made to cater to female viewers in a household with the intention of selling soap powder to the traditional homemaker as Proctor and Gamble soap manufacturing company was the original sponsor of these shows and hence the term soap.
Soap Operas have come a very long way since then. Although they still remain popular with women, today they are watched by men, children and teens too. Most men are closet watchers and hate to admit to watching them.
Popular Soap Operas are placed at prime time with dinner every day. This leads to families watching them together. Soap Operas addicts watch simply for the entertainment. They probably don’t take it too seriously. It is just a break from their own lives and problems. For an hour a day, one gets immersed in the fairy tales.
Soap Operas provide a parallel life, a life which progresses as the viewers lives do, only with fictional characters and scenarios. Sometimes the plots are so ambiguous they make us laugh, sometimes so intense making us cry. Soap Operas spell relief for those who lead lonely lives. The old and retired find it a good way to deal with their extra time they have on their hands. For many it is not just one Soap Opera. It is several Soap Operas lined after another until it is time to tuck into the bed.
Melodrama is one of the key ingredients of a popular Soap Opera. Cliff-hangers are prerequisite for these Soap Operas to keep the audience coming back for more. Their placement at the end of each episode makes the viewers hungry for more. Most of the Soap Operas are unrealistic. The characters refuse to age. They are perfectly dressed all the time. The protagonist is always the poor man. Just mindless activity.
Soap Operas have progressed over years from half hour TV shows to one hour daytime and night-time storylines that lasts for months or even years at a time. In a market with increasing TV channels, Soap Operas are now struggling with viewership. Nevertheless they are here to stay because they have an increasing number of loyal fans under their sway.
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