My 1 pm trip to Mem Gym treated me to an experience I have not had in years; daytime soap operas. More specifically, Days of Our Lives. The television that is usually tuned to ESPN had, by some strangely wonderful oversight, been changed to NBC. The teletext did not hinder my viewing experience, it only enhanced it; I have never been much for the heavy handed non diegetic music anyway. Days of Our Lives has been going strong since 1965, and although the characters have changed, the plots haven’t.
Why Soap Operas Actually Rock
1. A single phone call can last an entire episode. “Don Juan? It’s me. Ivonne. I have something to tell you…” Cut scene
2. Someone is always trying to kill someone else’s sibling/parent/long lost relative
3. Guarenteed at least one character just got out of the hospital, rehab, or prison. Bonus points for the trifecta.
4. A 5th grader who has never seen [insert obnoxious soap opera title here] could, within seconds, figure out the plot of episode 6, season 20.
5. The likelihood of any two storylines, let alone all six of them, happening concurrently is completely bogus, and therefore comic gold. Your Mom is banging your boyfriend who you found out fathered your comatose sister’s daughter who is now in juvenile detention?! Turn the volume up, don’t mind if I do!
6. People who watch One Tree Hill/The OC etc pretend that they are above soap operas, when these programs are actually just glorified iterations of soap operas with slightly better production credits.
7. To state the obvious, the transparently shitty acting and the male hairstyles. Iced tips…really? They haven’t been cool since Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys got fat in the mid 90s.
8. They are wonderfully analogous to a one night stand: afterward you feel dumb, dirty, tricked and mistreated, but rally on the notion that you will never have to see them again (although, if you have the [channel] number, you may want to)
9. The British and Aussie soaps (Hollyoaks, Eastenders, Neighbors, Home & Away). In 5th grade I perfected my Australian accent and held a dream of being a fat old bloke who spent his days in a pub drinking endless pints of Guiness.
10. The knowledge that, on their sick days, our fathers are not watching Sportcenter or CNN as claimed, but catching up on their soaps and maybe some Oprah.
It takes a rather special sort of person to follow soaps. You have to be highly intelligent (to understand them), & thick as a brick (to want to).