Essay on Soap Opera

2764 Words Nov 24th, 2005 12 Pages

1. Origin/History
The soap opera form first developed on American radio in the 1920s, and expanded into television starting in the 1940s, and is normally shown during the daytime, hence the alternative name, daytime serial. The first concerted effort to air continuing drama occurred in 1946 with the serial Faraway Hill.

The term "soap opera" originated from the fact that when these serial dramas were aired on daytime radio, the commercials aired during the shows were largely aimed at housewives. Many of the products sold during these commercials were laundry and cleaning items. Broadcasters hoped to interest manufacturers of household cleaners, food products, and toiletries in the possibility of using
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That is the reason why sitcoms are often aired with a laugh track.
· Famous sitcoms: The Simpsons (1989-present), Mr. Bean (1990-1995), Friends (1994-2004)…

· Dramedy is a contraction of drama and comedy. It used to be known as "comedy-drama".
· As a combination of two genres, dramedies are favored by all kinds of viewers.
· Dramedies do not have typical subjects or characters.
· Dramedies are aired without a laugh track.
· Each episode can last either half or one hour, even though one-hour-long dramedies have usually proven more successful.
· Famous dramedies: Charmed, Buffy-the Vampire Slayer, Ally McBeal… III. VIEWERS OF SOAP OPERAS
Soap viewers (often assumed to be only women, and in particular working-class housewives) are characterized unfairly as naive escapists.
Women are more often interested in the family issues and love affairs than men are.
It has even been suggested that soaps are made to be heard rather than seen.
There have been many theories put forward as to why men don't like soap operas.
Elderly people, on the other hand, enjoy watching soaps because they find the distinction between past and present events in soaps very appealing.
Nowadays, soaps in general have a predominantly female audience, although prime-time soaps are deliberately aimed at a wider audience.


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