Soap operas are very popular. All ages watch soaps, from young children to retired grandparents. People are interested in soaps because they reflect life in the 21st century. They reflect life in the 21st century by making the characters seem real and by making he setting like an average town or part of town. I think that soaps are popular because they offer a chance for people to escape from the real world. Soaps make peoples problems seem small.
People think that their problems can never be as bad as peoples problems in soaps because characters in soaps have such extreme problems which makes people feel a little better about themselves.
Another reason that people like soaps is because it conveys society in a dramatic way, they cut out all of the small talk and everyday routines which nobody is interested in. Most people are interested in other peoples business and know that soaps aren’t real. The way soaps are made give it some reality so watching soaps is the same as knowing other peoples business but soaps mix the extreme with everyday life.
As the soap characters problems are dramatic and usually major, people become absorbed into the story and soaps usually finish with a cliffhanger, which leaves you with half a story so that you will have to watch the next episode(s) to find out how the story ends. Soaps have many different characteristics, which are peculiar such as the fact that the show is ongoing; the only repeats are on channels such as UK gold.
The characters have peculiar characteristics too. The characters are extreme.
They are extremely nice people in soaps and then there are evil people. The characters also forget things very quickly. Things that happened two months ago aren’t mentioned now. Soaps are like a microcosm, the problems are bigger than usual and more focused on. The characters problems are also never ending, as soon as one ends another begins or a new problem arises at the worst possible time. Compared to a drama there are no central characters, a few peripheral characters, and the setting is always the same, there is no travelling outside the setting.
I think that soaps for fill a social purpose because when people watch sops they know that they don’t want some of the things that happen on soaps to happen to them. People may subconsciously receive messages about life, for example teenage pregnancy. If a teenager has seen the consequences of unsafe sex perhaps they won’t make the same mistake. On the other hand people may think that things that happen in soaps can never happen to them. The language in Eastenders tries to be realistic. Because it is a soap this is impossible to make it the same as real life speech.
The reasons for this are time and the fact that it would make the soaps boring. People in soaps don’t talk about the weather because it’s not what people want to hear. Characters in soaps don’t stutter or hesitate because it wastes time as there is only half-hour to squeeze everything in. Characters don’t swear as much as they would in real life because of the time it is shown. The way soaps try to be realistic is by using some slang, having background noise and the use of accents although some accents are obviously put on, It also isn’t very realistic because speech is very structured.
Everybody has immediate responses in soaps and that isn’t how the real world works. Different soaps are aimed at different people but generally speaking soaps are aimed at teenagers and families. I can tell this because of the times soaps are shown at, the characters in soaps and the issues in soaps. There are all sorts of characters in Eastenders and issues about teens and about adults. It is on after people get home from work but before children go to bed. This information shows that Eastenders is a family soap. Soaps change with the times so I can see changes in soaps in the future.
Soaps change because the world changes. The big issues in the world are reflected in soaps so as the world’s problems change, soaps change. Soaps can also teach us morals such as things can only get better. Characters in soaps are strong teaching us to be strong. When bad things happen to bad characters its showing us that people get their just desserts. I think that soaps can’t really affect our lives unless you are easily influenced but it can affect our lives in the way I mentioned earlier. It can make us more aware of problems and make us not want to be in that situation.
Since working on this my attitude towards soaps has changed a little. I’m not a big fan of soaps but doing this essay has made me a little interested in soaps. This may be because I’m more aware of what goes on in soaps. In my opinion soaps do reflect life in the 21st century because they have the same problems as real life people but it isn’t realistic because if it were too real people wouldn’t be interested. This is why the characters are more extreme and why there are a lot more problems for one character than in real life.
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