Close to a decade ago, a shift in my circumstances led me to, after a long hiatus, return to soap operas. Not how I refer to the dramas of my existence, you’ll understand, but the long-running episodic drama series which are the mainstay staples of television programming.
In the light of YouTube, Netflix and podcasts, to name but three challengers traditional entertainment media faces, the likes of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Neighbours, Home and Away and EastEnders (I never really got on with Emmerdale) seem almost ridiculous in their dated approach to catering for our needs, but somehow they still demand my intention. Perhaps it is so I can keep an eye on what passes as normal human behaviour to the normal humans so alien to me that make up the viewership. No, not for the first time, I don’t have to be alerted to the irony.
I sometimes struggle with the storylines, and will abandon even my sporadic viewing until a specific plotline runs its course or, so I’m sure it can’t be resurrected, at least one of the characters involved is killed off. Largely, however, and to varying extents across examples, soaps are informative mirrors to society, and progressive. There’s the banal and the misrepresentative, sure, but soaps educate and enlighten as a matter of procedural policy.