The Reasons for the popularity of TV Soap Operas
Television plays a major role in the lives of people in the modern world. Through television, people can obtain news as well as stay entertained. Entertainment is one of the most significant roles of television and various TV stations produce programs primarily aimed at entertaining the audience. Soap operas are some of the most popular entertainment programs aired on television. Coyne documents that popular soap operas attract millions of viewers per episode (346). Many people from all age groups are addicted to these programs. This essay will discuss some of the reasons why Soap Operas are popular among many viewers all over the world.
Soap operas are popular since they have interesting stories that captivate the minds of the audience. Bielby observes that the programs are full of drama and suspense (36). They can draw an individual in and provide a lot of enjoyment. Soap operas are often surrealistic and humorous, which ensures that the viewer will be entertained and mesmerized. According to Frisby, the average soap opera world is filled with “drama, intrigue, sex, lies, and intimate relationships” (60). All these elements change dramatically from one storyline to another ensuring that the audience is never bored. An interview of male soap opera viewers by Frisby revealed that it is the drama, humor, and surrealistic plots in soap operas that keep them coming back for more (59). Many people, therefore, watch soap operas for their entertainment value.
In addition to this, soap operas are popular since they keep viewers company. In a modern society where people are busy with their undertakings, individuals often find themselves alone and in need of a company. Keeping viewers company has been a major goal of soap-opera producers. At the onset, these programs were designed to keep housewives company during the day. Frisby confirms that the storylines in soap operas keep viewers company (47).
People, therefore, turn to soap operas for the companionship they offer. Unlike movies, soaps can go on for many years or even decades allowing the viewer to form extended relationships with characters who become familiar over an extended period. Russel notes that soaps allow viewers to form relationships with characters over time (134). The individual can forget about his/her loneliness or boredom by becoming engaged with the characters in the TV program.
Another reason for the popularity of soap operas is that the audience can relate to some of the issues the characters in the program face. Soaps involve socially tuned narratives that have contemporary themes that the audience can identify with. Despite the unusual plots and unexpected drama that the characters experience, viewers can relate to some of their situations. Brennan explains that many soap opera characters face difficulties involving a relationship with a lover, friend, or family member (75). Most soap operas involve the theme of unrequited love and unfaithful lovers. These are situations that many people can relate with since such events are frequently experienced by ordinary people in real life. The audience can therefore easily become interested in and sympathize with the situation of the soap opera characters.
Finally, soap operas are popular since they provide information for social and personal interaction. Humans are social creatures and interactions with each other are an important aspect of life. Soap operas focus on the interactions among people in various situations. Riegel reveals that soap operas are organized around the real world in which viewers live (202). The lives of the characters and their interactions are therefore very realistic.
Social situations such as parties, weddings, dates, and dances are constantly featured in soaps. Many viewers, therefore, watch this genre to get information on how to interact in social and personal situations (Frisby 57). A viewer can learn how to portray a certain image in public from watching soap operas. Frisby reveals that some men watch soap operas not only for entertainment but also to learn how to pick up women (60).
Soap operas are very popular among TV viewers and there are several reasons for this. This essay set out to discuss some of the reasons why many people watch soap operas. It has shown that soaps are popular due to their entertainment value. Many people are captivated by the dramatic and intriguing storylines.
The programs are also popular since they help keep the loneliness away by keeping the viewer company. The paper has also shown that soap operas are popular since they have relatable characters. Finally, people watch programs to obtain useful information on social and personal interactions. For these reasons, soap operas are popular today and it can be expected that they will continue to attract even more viewers over the years.
Bielby, Denise. “Whose Stories Are They? Fans’ Engagement with Soap Opera Narratives in Three Sites of Fan Activity.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 43.1 (2009): 35-52. Web.
Brennan, Eddie. “Soap Opera, Commercialisation and the Proletarianisation of Cultural Production.” Irish Journal of Sociology 13.2(2004): 66-83. Print.
Coyne, Sarah. “Fancy a pint?: Alcohol use and smoking in soap operas.” Addiction Research & Theory 17.4(2009): 345-359. Web.
Frisby, Cynthia. “Reaching the Male Consumer by Way of Daytime TV Soap Operas.” Journal of Advertising Research 42.2 (2002): 56-64. Web.
Riegel, Henriette. “Soap Operas and Gossip.” Journal of Popular Culture 29.4 (2009): 201-209. Web.
Russel, Cristel. “Consumption in Soap Operas from Brazil, New Zealand, and the U.S.: Production, Products, and Process.” Advances in Consumer Research 33.1 (2006): 134-137. Web.