Hook, Line and Soap Opera

Andrea Freedman

I have a secret. For the past thirty something years I have devoted one hour of each day, Monday to Friday, to watching my favourite soap opera. It is a guilty pleasure that gives me an excuse to stop whatever I am doing and relax for just one hour a day.

I have repeatedly vowed that if they did certain things on the show I would stop watching it. For example, when an actor quits the show or gets fired I think they should kill off that person’s character rather than bring in a new actor to play that person. I think that would be my biggest complaint about the ridiculousness of soap operas.

Couples planning to get married will often not make it to the altar and if they do, it will only end in divorce soon after. It is not unheard of for a character that is supposedly dead to come back years later, sometimes as someone else who had plastic surgery to look like the deceased. Characters on the show divorce and remarry each other, of course not before marrying or at least sleeping with their ex’s brother or sister or in some cases father, all in the name of love.

Lies that are covered up always come back, sometimes many years later. Faithful fans try to play detective and figure out who did what or who is going to end up sleeping with whom next. The storylines and the dramas of these people’s lives are nothing short of preposterous and fans cannot help admiring someone who in real life would be thought of as heartless and cruel. All of a sudden a character who was supposed to be a child only months earlier in real time comes back as a teenager.

Having said all that, no matter how silly or unrealistic some of the things that happen on my soap opera may be, or how many times they switch actors on me, no matter how many times stories are recycled from years past, unforgivable mistakes conveniently swept under the rug and cause me to sometimes actually get angry and yell at the TV screen, I still keep coming back for more. These people have been coming into my living room for decades and I look forward to seeing them every day.

Friends who started out watching the show with me years ago but have long since given it up are shocked when I admit that I still watch it. If any of those same people dare to call me during the show I think to myself “Don’t you know what time it is?”

I have been teased many times with comments such as “You know these people aren’t real, don’t you?” There have, however, been some real life tragedies over the years such as the passing of long-time beloved actors. The show would never be the same but it was something the fans had to get through together.

There are many people who say that soap operas are just plain ridiculous and a waste of time to watch; nonetheless, I always find it funny that many of these same people just so happen to know the names of all of the main characters on the show that I watch and sometimes, even bits and pieces of the storyline.

I have asked myself what I would replace that hour with if I really did decide to stop watching my soap opera. Perhaps I would get something productive done, like say, more writing. But maybe I would just want to find another mindless time-waster to fill the slot in my daily routine that has been otherwise occupied for so many years.

There is no denying that daytime soap operas are a dying breed but for as long as my soap is still on the air I will most likely keep watching. The characters may not be real but they’ve got me hooked and no matter if I get on my “soap box” to complain about their behaviour, holes in the storylines or changes in actors, I might as well face the fact that I will most likely be a devoted fan right up until the end.

I guess there is pretty much nothing they could do that would get me to cease watching my soap opera once and for all. I would not want to be friends with many of the characters on the show but for as long as they keep coming to visit me in my living room every afternoon that is fine with me.♦

Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2014


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on January 22, 2014, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You would make Kay Chansellor proud!


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