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How successful are soap operas in simulating reality? Should 'simulating reality' be the main goal of this genre?

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Introduction

Soap Operas How Realistic Are Soap Operas? I think that soap operas have to be realistic in a way because if they weren't they would be considered as fiction or science fiction, and shown as a drama or movie rather than a long continuous series of episodes such as Coronation Street which was first aired in 1960. The soap must deal with factors that may occur in peoples' lives, but in soap operas they tend to be exaggerated for viewer entertainment. This is also why a variety of people from all walks of life are cast in soaps, so the exaggeration occurs among a larger, more varied group of people, making the effect of entertainment greater, and increasing the chance that the public can relate to the show, which would in turn create more ratings for the soap. Soaps are obviously not set about real families, which is why such dramatic events can occur that cause so many different opinions in the public. ...read more.

Middle

The actions of the character/characters they seem to relate to sometimes can cause people to do the same, just because it works out OK for them on TV, but this doesn't mean it applies to real life, because the lives of TV characters can be manipulated. The aim of soaps is to provide entertainment, but today's soaps are aimed to emotionally link the public to characters they like, so that they may excite and entertain them by manipulating their lives on TV. But this causes people to mimic the actions they have witnessed on TV, which isn't healthy. On the other hand, you could be sceptical about soap operas and not tend to watch them as much, or take as much notice of them and watch them purely for the thrill of the plot... but then older soaps with more interesting fictional plots would probably suit them better! ...read more.

Conclusion

How relevant are soaps to today's society? Soaps are considered relevant by a large majority of people in the UK. Over a third of the population of England tune in to watch Coronation Street and just under a third watch Eastenders. Looking at these statistics alone, it is clear to see that soaps are relevant enough to attract at least 15million viewers! Many soaps of this decade have dealt with social issues, except the odd one or two such as Sunset Beach, which was based around a completely fictional storyline. People find that soaps are relevant because they deal with issues that are commonplace all around us such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancies and vandalism and robbery. People find that they can relate to the show, so they feel it is relevant because they may learn how to handle situations and realise the consequences of their own actions. ...read more.

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