Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Influence of Soap Operas on Everyone's Taste

It's no secret that the soap opera is pop culture's bastard genre. When someone tells you they watch soaps, you either get a judgy look from said person or the subject is immediately changed. Because, unfortunately, the soap opera has gotten a bad reputation throughout the years: they're campy, ridiculously outlandish stories told on TV during the daytime for housewives. Which is definitely how they started, but in the years since, things have definitely changed.

Yes, soaps are legendary for plot twists; characters coming back from the dead 25 years later and people plummeting to their death off cliffs. But people who don't watch daytime soaps fail to realize that a lot of the storylines with said plot twists stripped down to basics are what many people call "top notch TV". There's been several primetime soaps over the years, some of which people don't even realize are essentially soap operas. And a lot of the plotlines people find edge-of-your-seat entertainment are really plot twists once originated on soaps.

Gone Girl, a bestselling thriller novel and later a major motion picture, essentially tells the story of a couple; the man is having an affair and the woman fakes her death to implicate her cheating husband. Critics called it "sinister" and "original"... Nope. It's really not. I can't tell you how many times I've seen that happen on assorted soaps. Yet people who most probably don't watch daytime soaps read the book and see the movie and call it top notch entertainment. So, do said people really reserve the right to hate on daytime soaps? I should say not. (I almost regret using Gone Girl as an example because I hate it with every sense of its being.)

Of course, obviously some people have made this connection I'm making and just don't like soap operas in general; daytime or primetime. But my point is... Viewers and critics today seem to love thrillers and dramas with plot twists left and right yet they give soap operas a bad name (or just don't give them the time of day, frankly.) So for soap fans, like myself, to see thrillers and dramas with plots already done on soaps is sometimes aggravating. But there are also original pieces that makes it better. Yet today people must realize the influence of soap opera's on everyone's taste.

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