Essay about Soap Opera Genre

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Soap Opera Genre

"Before I saw Neighbours, I didn’t know there was an Australia" (Jerry Hall, The Clive James Show, UK, 31 December, 1989) The soap opera genre originated in American radio serials of the 1930s, and owes the name to the sponsorship of some of these programs by major soap powder companies. Proctor and Gamble and other soap companies were the most common sponsors, and soon the genre of 'soap opera' had been labeled. Like many television genres (e.g. news and quiz shows), the soap opera is a genre originally drawn from radio rather than film. Television soap operas are long-running serials traditionally based on the close study of personal relationships within the everyday life of its characters. Soaps are a consistent
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Like the melodrama genre, the soap opera genre shares such features as moral polarization, strong emotions, female orientation, unlikely coincidences, and excess.

Another related genre is the literary romance, with which it shares features such as simplified characters, female orientation and episodic narrative. However, soaps do not share with these forms the happy ending or the idealized characters. Some media theorists distinguish between styles of TV programs, which are broadly 'masculine' or 'feminine'. Those seen as typically masculine include action/adventure programs, police shows and westerns; those seen as more 'feminine' include soap operas and sitcoms. Action-adventures define men in relation to power, authority, aggression and technology. Soap operas define women in relation to a concern with the family. For example in Neighbours the love triangle between Karl Kennedy, a married man and his secretary Sarah. Viewers knew the secret of the affair however; it was not by Susan Kennedy, or the Ramsey Street community. Therefore allowing the secret to maintain it’s status and continue to be a valid plot thread. Although Karl has attempted to institute some redressive action, by taking a holiday with his wife, the crisis still exists. As there has been no redressive action directed towards Sarah the crisis still exists in
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