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You can get away with anything in soap operas

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My wife is a fan of the soap opera General Hospital and has been for years. All I really know about the program was the wild popularity of the show back in the 70’s or 80’s when the Luke and Laura storyline was running and there was a rap song on the radio about it.

I sometimes walk through the room as my wife is watching the program and I see bits and pieces. Apparently, you can get away with all sorts of stuff on a soap opera. One thing I found kinda weird is they keep the same actors, but they recycle them and change their characters. There is one guy on the show who has been like different characters. There’s a least one other actor that has been two different characters. And twice they’ve had a character change personalities, effectively becoming another character for a time, before ‘coming back to their senses’ and returning to their original character.

The viewers either don’t notice, or don’t care. I should think it would be confusing trying to keep track of who is which character on the show.

Also, there isn’t a sense of time within the stories. The characters will be talking about the same thing for weeks, say between Hallowe’en and Christmas, and even though time hasn’t progressed within the story arc (because the characters are still in the same room, carrying on one conversation) they magically have the days pass and they celebrate the different holidays on time.

I’m sure it takes a lot of work to put on a daily TV show, and I guess they roll with the punches as best they can. Actors come and go, as they get better jobs and move on to different series, or get their other series cancelled and have to come back to the soap. Juggling all the plotlines must take organization on a scale that would crater any spreadsheet program used to track them.

And through it all, the viewers stick with them. I’m not sure I get it, but then again I’m not the target audience. I can only hope that as I build my audience, I can keep them entertained enough to stick with me, even if I go a little nuts during a storyline.

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