July 2022

'I'm pleading guilty, Your Honour'. 'So, you admit that you are addicted?' 'Yes, Your Honour'. 'Right. You are sentenced to one year of no tv viewing and full addiction treatment. And apologize to your husband. Session closed'.

I wake up sweating. A bad dream. I recall that in my dream I'm being summoned by my husband (the loser) to appear in court. He feels completely forgotten due to my soap opera obsession, and he says he suffers badly from it.  Ridiculous this, really. I don't watch soaps at all. Correction: I see one in particular now and again when I am bored and zapping: B&B.

It sounds silly of course, but soap operas intrigue me professionally (yes, I know what you are thinking, but it really is not true). I don't want to bore you with my analysis of soap opera making, but how can one write and play scenes within a rather small family setting for 35 years now, day after day? Nearing 10.000 episodes! Brilliant.

The 'Relationship Carousel', as I call it, is what characterizes this show. Fascinating is that such relatively small number of people have romantic relationships with more or less all others of the opposite sex over the lifetime of the show. Furthermore, you see one chain of dialogues during an episode. People are talking to each other (!) all the time, whatever issue (and there are a considerable amount) is the case. And last but not least, there is this 'bubble gum' type of scriptwriting, which stretches the dialogues to their limits. It has the effect of hamburger eating. You long for it, but when finished, you wonder: 'why have I eaten this again?'.

Should watching soap operas be seen as a guilty pleasure? Not if it remains proportionate. In that case, enjoy it without feeling guilty. Does it reach the level of obsession, then watch your steps (instead of the tv). You could lose your partner easily.  

Does a soap opera represent real life? In a sense, it does. But when one is longing for a steady romantic relationship, rather a partnership – yes, there is a difference – then don't take a soap opera as an example or inspiration. It is fake life. 

Back to real life: Partnership Mystery Unveiled. Click here. 

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