I might come off as an elitist asshole in this post to modern soap fans, but I say it like I see it.
Remember Bold & the Beautiful?
Naa na na naa na naa naa! *camera light bulbs flash, dramatic portraits of soap opera characters*
I’m fuzzy about the names but this is how it kind of went.
Ridge: How.. how could you, Brook? The children! Think of the children!
Brook: I don’t know, Ridge, I just… I have something to tell you… *stares at Ridge, chin quivering*
At this point the camera zooms in on Ridge’s face, and then on Brook’s, then on Ridge’s.
ZOOM ZOOM. DRAMATIC FINAL ZOOM. COMMERCIAL.
Oh the suspense. What ever could it be that Brook is about to tell Ridge? It couldn’t be that she slept with Eric, before sleeping with that other guy with the blonde hair, and then having a baby and not really knowing who the baby daddy is? Even if it is, who could hold her whorish ways against poor blonde chin-quivering Brook (especially when she has to deal with Stacy’s weird return to life after dying in the previous season and Rick’s return this season as a new actor entirely).
Needless to say, twas all hilariously ridiculous. I was about 10 and there was nothing to watch on local TV besides soaps and GI Joe and Jem & the Holograms. Remember Jem? I loved Jem.
Anyhoo. Soaps are so last decade. You can’t walk around today and proudly declare you watch Bold & the Beautiful unless you’re a 40 year old crazy cat lady/ bored middle aged housewife. So producers everywhere sat down in their little foldable chairs with the PRODUCER tag at the back and thought, hmm what to do to bring it back?
I know! Make all the characters younger, hotter, richer, and use cinematography to trick viewers into thinking the soap is just another intelligent series! And then, One Tree Hill, The OC, and Gossip Girl, were born. Among other inane modern soaps whose names I forget, since they’re all essentially the same thing.
It starts out as a pseudo-ordinary-series, a bunch of friends, some humour, some boy/girl drama. Then slowly, sneakily, they bring out the soap ingredients… scandalous inappropriate sex (oh no, becky slept with her daughter’s boyfriend, ooh!), pregnancies and inane drama enhanced by emo soundtracks, absurdly no unattractive people in the series, and last but not least.. urgh, the cheese. Chad Michael Murray in One Tree Hill is nice looking and all but man, at that point when he started spewing off quotes from boyband songs one after the other (‘oh to wake up next to you is all I ever wanteddd! grovelgrovel!’), to the ‘love of his life’, I just needed a box of tissues. Not for tears but to wipe the bile from my mouth.
Very clever though. Now under the guise of being a ‘teenage series’ and part of ‘pop culture’ (what with episodes featuring the latest fashion and obscure ‘arty’ indie band music), guys and girls alike of any age are free to watch these modern soaps without being criticized for being morons with too much time on their hands.
Drama and series have now merged into one new genre: neo-soap-opera. It’s got everything that soap operas used to have, minus old people, minus the blatantly dramatic camera zoom-ins, plus pretentious teenagers teaching viewers annoying sesame street-esque lessons about friendship and love, and when they’re not doing that, getting teary eyed about their ‘larger than life’ problems.
Why do people watch it? Why do I find girls and guys my age, sitting down with me, and saying, omg remember that episode when blahblah dumped blahblah, and blahblah was like totally heart broken, but then she got together with blahblah and they got married but then blahblah crashed the wedding and was like-
I completely zone out at this point, trying to calculate the energy the person is wasting on talking to me about something I couldn’t care less about.
–chuck bass is so hot. But like blare is such a bitch, but omg her clothes-
Zoning out again.
-and when hayley’s mum died I totally cried! Right?
Silence. Oh it’s my cue to say something. ‘Yeaah.. bye.’
Has modern TV really just become totally inane gossip about fictional drama queens? Who slept with who, and who’s wearing what, and who found out who was his real father. Is everyone so depressed that they have to escape into the scandalous details of the lives of some ridiculously rich and beautiful people, whose entire lives revolve around their philandering family members and the oh so elusive objects of their lust? Not trying to be rhetorical here, I’m actually posing a genuine valid question, which is, LOLWUT?