A soap opera is a work of fiction taking the form of a serial, generally televised or radio phonic. They made their appearance with the radio in the Thirties. When the large networks started to develop, naturally these series followed .This designation comes from the fact that the first American radio phonic serials were sponsored by American laundry soap companies like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Pepsodent. The term opera comes from the fact that operas tell a story, just as the soaps do. These serials were diffused in week during the day, aiming at the audience of the housewives. The soap is a particular kind in the field of the series because it does not answer any traditional diagram of construction of a series. Their great force lies in the fact that they manage to allure the lasting public for astronomical periods which can go up to 50 years for the oldest still broadcast (Guiding Light, 1952, radio soap).
[...] Soap as an educative programme Soaps as a social identification programme: "When I sit down to watch, I belong to the family in a way . I can enter into all the characters because they're so familiar" (comment from a viewer's interview). Livingstone says that viewers create an “active parasocial relationship” with soaps characters. Many of them try to identify themselves with the plots and the characters, as if they were concerned and affected in their own lives, and as if these actors and actresses were their own friends or relatives. [...]
[...] Besides, it increases their self-confidence. This feeling of having to solve a mystery makes soaps seem all the more exciting to the audience. What is funny is that commercial breaks are often programmed at the very high suspense moment during the episode, as to fuel the suspense. Moreover, programmes are popular if viewers enjoy talking about them: “Talking about television programmes and what has happened in them is essential to making a programme popular”. Soaps are known to fuel many conversations, especially women's. [...]
[...] In France, Plus Belle la Vie seems to cope perfectly with these demands, would it be the same with the pioneers of soap opera? References: Brown, M E (1994): Soap Opera and Women's Talk. Newbury Park: Sage Brunsdon, C. (1984): 'Writing about Soap Opera'. In L. Masterman Television Mythologies. London: Comedia Livingstone, S. (1990): Making Sense of Television. Oxford: Pergamon Robert C. Allen Speaking of Soap Operas. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press Lance PETTITT, the article “screening Ireland, film and [...]
[...] Remarkably, it seems that the soaps such as EastEnders and Home & Away which contain these 'social realist conventions' attract the attention of the soap viewer, who gains a lot of pleasure from watching soap opera that portrays so many things that are happening today, and doesn't shrink away from real life, but instead, faces us with the problems that do happen. Soap as a gendered programme: It is argued that soap opera's popularity is due to the fact that it has been labelled as the 'women's genre' because of its lasting popularity with women. [...]
[...] Finally, as a French student and a TV viewer I decided to focus one part of that essay on a concrete and French example of soap opera. Thus, since three years the French small screen has been living a kind of revolution with the launch of the first French soap opera: Plus Belle la Vie is more beautiful”). I found that interesting to analyse this success-story in a sense that it helped me better understanding what makes a soap opera popular. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee