My Soap OperaPosted: January 5, 2015
I’ve never been a soap opera fan. There might be a reason for that.
Perhaps I don’t like them because my nap time fell during my mother’s favorite shows when I was a kid. Even toddler me found it a strange coincidence that my biological for a nap started just before Days Of Our Lives started and ended when the credits rolled on The Doctors. Or it could be that I am no more the target audience for soaps now than when I was a tot.
Every Girl Crazy ‘Bout A Sharp Dressed Man
When I go to the gym in the afternoon, I can count on a few things being on the array of televisions in front of the elliptical machines – a cop show, the Kardashians, news, ESPN, and a soap opera. I always exercise in front of the television showing the sports channel but, from the corner of my eye, I can’t help seeing what’s going on in the soaps.
In the past few weeks, out of the soap opera corner of my eye, I’ve seen:
- a woman go in to a padded cell and unsuccessfully seduce the straight-jacketed man inside.
- the man in the straight jacket being held hostage by his evil twin.
- a man who was breaking up with a woman at a party, aided by a video presentation he’d created.
- the lead up to New Year’s Eve and the aftermath of the glamorous parties that mark that occasion.
- that everyone on a soap gets lucky after a New Year’s party. E V E R Y O N E.
If an alien came to earth and learned about our society from soaps, they’d probably be convinced that we are all attractive, overdressed people who air our dirty laundry at parties, and have sex on beds prepared for the occasion by men who take time to make a heart out of rose petals on the blanket before they go out.
Let’s face it. Soaps aren’t based in reality. Successful couples don’t air their differences by doing a Power Point presentation at parties. We’re only well dressed on occasion. Sexual contact is not usually a part of mental health treatment, and I have no idea where to get a big bag of rose petals. That’s why I’m going to create my own soap opera.
Reality Isn’t Gorgeous
My soap will be carefully cast. People will audition for parts. Actors and actresses to whom words like hot, handsome, gorgeous, or striking could rightfully be applied won’t get roles on the show. The universe of my soap will be populated by average looking folks who, at best, are worthy of a “well, I wouldn’t kick him out, but…”. Why? Because most of us don’t look like the model-like people currently acting on soaps. I want my audience to see themselves in the show.
Speaking of seeing themselves in the show, the settings will change. My soap will happen in cube-farm style offices, warehouses and restaurant kitchens, not in the board rooms where today’s soap stories are told. The drama will center on who gets overtime down at the plant, not who controls the company. And people will go home to tract houses and garden apartments, like real people, not to penthouses with vista views.
Sure, the characters in my soap opera would still go to parties. They’d find themselves sitting around the bar in their friend’s basement, playing Cards Against Humanity and discussing how awful the music on New Year’s Rocking Eve is. And sure, probably someone will get lucky because it is a holiday and there’s been drinking.
Other characters will go to hospitals staffed by un-seductive doctors and nurses. They’ll receive treatment and get visits from family members who, out of common decency, will avoid bringing up upsetting topics. As those visitors leave, they’ll discuss how they’re going to pay the medical bills and whether they’ll stop for a bite on the way home.
My soap opera will show real life. Will it be dramatic? Certainly. We all have joys and stresses in our lives and the show will reflect those sort of feelings. Because really, we’ve all got to pay the bills, but how many times have you had to decide how to respond to the woman who is trying to seduce you in your padded cell?