In this essay I am going to look at Soap Opera. How Soap Opera was formed, who it is aimed at and how Soap Opera varies in different countries. I will also examine its rules and format and how it differs from other televised dramas. I will also look at how it effects society.
A Soap Opera is an ongoing fictional televised drama. It started in the 1930's as radio plays and became known as Soaps. " 'Soaps' refers to their origins as radio broadcasts in which various soap manufacturers were the show's sponsors," and would plug their household products during the commercial breaks. It was broadcast during daytime slots and its audience were mainly female, housewives. When television kick off in the 1950's its popularity grew even more and grew into it own genre.
Like any genre, ther are rules or distinct charachteristics to identify the Soap Opera. The soundtrack or opening theme tune is distinct, even if you are not a viewer most people would recognise there countries Soap by its theme tune. Most Soaps today are between 30 minutes and 1 hour in screen time (which include commercial breaks.) They have multiple storylines, each episode would contain at least 3-4 narritives. These storylines would be told in 30 second - 1 minute or 2-3 minute slots all intertwined for the duration of the episode. They would be edited differently to other television dramas, where other dramas would have quick transitions, the Soap Opera would have slower, seamless transitions and sound for the following scene can be heard a split second before it cuts to the next scene. This is done to get the viewer ready for the new or other storylines that are happening. Like most continious dramas the Soap Opera would be recognised by its episode ending, the cliffhanger. Not finishing off one or more storylines so that the viewer will tune in next time to see what happens. Most popular Soaps are broadcast at primetime, between 7 and 9 pm. Thus, the watershed comes into affect.... [continues]
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