Soap Operas – what’s all the fuss about?

After exploring the roots of all the fuss-making to do with Valentine’s Day, I started wondering about the effect of media – more specifically soap operas and why they appeal to us. I am a self-confessed sitcom-addict, but soap operas deal in a whole different genre. At times controversial, and at times just plain exaggerative, soap operas are concerned with melodrama. And I’m not a fan.

Here’s why:

It’s not realistic. I know, I know. Neither are sitcoms, or any sort of tv shows really. Who wants realism on the telly, when you can stare out of  your window and get plenty of it. But there’s a limit, for Pete’s sake. Don’t you just love it when someone responds to a completely unrealistic plot line saying “I can connect with what’s she’s going through”. Can you? It’s fiction, and the very poor sort.

Which brings me on to my next complaint. At least in most Indian soap operas, we get our female protagonist who goes through fighting the evils of the world on her own sniff sniff. Her life is of the worst kind. She has cancer, has to fight against her male chauvinistic boss, has been mistreated by her in-laws, has been cheated on and yet somehow she is the most pious, most self-righteous and most loving woman on Planet Earth, or even the Universe. I mean, who’s to say? She may even be God herself. (Oops, did I give the climax away?)

Stereotypes are the subject of my next rant. There will always be the god-like female protagonist, the male chauvinistic boss/husband/any figure of remote (perhaps useless) authority, the evil female villain (who WILL get the world’s worst background music every god-forsaken time she comes on screen) and there will the underdog who will shine all thanks to our heroine. Isn’t this obviously how life works? So obvious, in fact, I’m starting to wonder if I should have even bothered writing this article (!).

And here comes my own climax to this article. The one thing what doesn’t only touch a nerve, but tap-dances on it. I’ve mentioned it in  passing, but it needs more focussing on. And lo behold! It ‘s the response from that avid and oblivious fan. “How can God let something so evil happen to such a poor woman (our heroine obviously).” Ummm, God didn’t? Please don’t equate a crazy sicko writing out his/her fantasy in the form of some twisted tale to God. What’s worse, you get advised to be like this worm-like figure of insanity! “You should always remember that you have to fight against the world, like she does.” Don’t. Just, just don’t.

And maybe I’m jealous of all the attention that this flat, undeveloped character gets from society. Or I’m just sensible. Whatever be the case, I just don’t get what all the fuss is about. Or so I say, after fussing about a faceless, fictional character for 486 words. Oh, the irony!


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