Monday, July 7, 2014

Things I learned from soap operas

Hope trying to choose Wyatt or Liam
I've seen a book titled something like "Everything I've learned, I learned from Star Trek" and "Everything I know I learned in Kindergarten."
I'm ready to write called "Everything I know, I've learned from soap operas" because although I'm not a die-hard fan (I can quit anytime I want!), there are certain directions in which the plots always go and some things the characters never seem to get.
No matter what the situation or how dire the consequences they tend to react in the same ways.
For instance, it seems to me the Golden Rule of daytime drama is: Always lie first, tell the truth when there are no other options. The baby is going to need a blood transfusion so the mother will have to admit there is more than one guy who could be the father.
The character is dying so it's time to tell the truth about switching the babies.
Belle? Maxi?
The wedding is heading to its final stage so the best man, the bridesmaid or the most nervous person in the audience has to stand up and shout "Objection!"
Another rule obviously draws out the drama and keeps the audience dangling a few more days: This is the rule about holding your face still: Look away. Look pensive. Look as if you're about to answer but wait three or four episodes before you do. Don't let on which way you are leaning.
And be aware: Recognize that nothing positive will last from marriages to business decisions. In fact, the better the situation, the more chance it will explode or go bad.
Understand that on soap operas age makes no difference when it comes to getting together.
Phyllis stopping Nick from punching Daniel
Neither does job experience. The same character can be the head of a company, a super model, a bartender and a doctor/surgeon/gynecologist/psychiatrist within weeks of "applying for the job."
And money is no object.
The characters live lavishly without having to show up for work at all.
Also note that children on a TV drama love to color with little or no supervision required. They go off to bed and to brush their teeth the first time they're told. And they grow up at an alarming rate (Especially when they go off to summer camp).
Pregnancies go quickly as well, from conception to hearing the heartbeat to the sonogram to the birth (usually in a storm or an elevator) to the paternity test in just a few weeks.
The dead don't stay dead. They come back when least expected and often with amnesia.
It's really an interesting world and one that perhaps leads women at home who aren't watching these shows to develop unrealistic expectations of life.
Not me, of course.

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