Exploring Soap Operas Essay

3492 words - 14 pages

Exploring Soap Operas

This work is all about soap operas or `soaps'. A soap is a drama on TV
which shows various aspects of family, or ordinary daily life.

Soaps include aspects of family life, issues within families are
greatly used parts in soaps. With family life you can see people
growing up, people's attitudes towards each other changing, for better
and for worse. You can see families develop, falling in love, getting
married like Nat and Barry in Eastenders. You get to see what the
outcome is when one partner of a relationship goes behind the back of
the other one, they have an affair. Eventually the good partner finds
out the there are a lot of questions, will they stay together, will
they not, what about the baby if there is one. Also what about the
person the partner was having an affair with, what happens when the
people around them find out. There are a lot of issues that can be
raised by family life and an almost endless list of situations that
can be created. These family life storylines are based around real
life and shows good information and hidden messages to people,
especially younger people about what goes on in life. They also show a
number of outcomes and resolutions to help viewers.

A soap is generally set in a limited location because as they concern
family life the soaps stay around the area in which the families live,
the house, the work place and public places like pubs or town parks
etc. In Eastenders the work places arecentredaround the square like
the arches for Gary and the Queen Vic for Alfi, Spencer and their Nan.
Lynn works in the café and Pauline works in the launderette. There are
many more jobs such as market stalls and the fish and chip shop. Also
there is the night club, Angie's Den. Some scenes are set outside of
the usual location eg. A scene at an airport or a shopping center out
of town, also nearly all of the soaps today are set in smaller towns
and villages so they don't have police stations and bigger hospitals
so scenes that need to be produced in such locations means the soap is
set in a different location for the duration of the scene. Eastenders
is set in Albert Square, a small town on the east side of London.
Emmerdale is set around a small country village with a farm, a few
small town shops and old country houses. This soap also deals with
family life but has the added bonus of the countryside and farms,
which can create added storylines and drama.

All soaps have no main character, one or two characters may be singled
out over a period of two or three episodes of the soap if they are
involved in the end and after math of the main storyline currently
running through out the soap. They may have been involved in the build
up but it only becomes a main storyline when a curtail event takes
place. The soaps also involve a fixed...

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