• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The History of the 'Soap Opera'

Extracts from this document...


The History of the 'Soap Opera' Soap operas have been one of the most popular forms of television in the world, being the foremost genre in Britain for thirty-five years, ever since the first episode of Coronation Street was screened in 1960. The continuous plots and new characters that viewers could relate to sparked I new passion for the common soap opera. Ever since, new soap operas have been released, still using the old ingredients and standard story lines, still managing the captivate audiences on a constant basis. The original soap opera weren't television programs as they are now. The original soap opera began in the US in the 1920's - 1930's, when the main form of entertainment was the radio. ...read more.


The 'opera' was because the plots were often dramatic and surreal as were the theatrical operas of the time, hence the name 'Soap Opera'. To keep loyal listeners, radio stations would each have their own different type of opera, however they all followed the same basic plots involving romance, drama and topics the audience could relate to, such as politics. Soap operas were soon everywhere as they were very popular and very cheap to produce, an ideal combination for the soap and radio companies, however after the war listeners were flocking toward the television, and the radio soap operas were finding it difficult to complete. By the mid 1950's the radio soap opera was dead! ...read more.


All soap operas have different character types, i.e. reckless teenagers, rebelling children, drug addicts etc. For example 'Peggy Mitchell' is the matriarch figure in Eastenders, and 'Grant Mitchell' is the thug. This helps viewers identify the program as a soap opera, and added predictability to the show. This helps as the viewers will know what a character may do next which may add tension. This also helps the shows creators shock the audience by having a character doing the opposite of what's expected. Over time soap operas have evolved from radio stories listened to by housewives, to being viewed by all. Ever since television soap opera companies have been using the same ingredients and basic storylines to keep up with society, and even though there are few housewives in this era, soap operas still manage to keep their audiences entertained. Steven Anglin 11CP 13/11/2003 Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Television section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Television essays

  1. Examine the conventions of the soap opera genre with reference to at least two ...

    Soaps are supposed to represent the society we live in and the groups within it. These include ethnic minorities, for example Dev in "Coronation Street" and the doctor's family in "Eastenders". There are not many ethnic minorities in soaps and they are under represented.

  2. Match of the Day Production Schedule

    It is a lot easier this way to record what was said instead of writing everything down which would understandable take too long. Another resource which they would need is transportation. This would be for the presenters to get to the studio from their homes or from where they are staying.

  1. Soap Operas.

    other activities while watching the program, being unable to devote time to concentration. This explains the relatively undemanding nature of soaps that are designed to be followed with the great ease. The soap opera genre actually reinforces the status quo regarding the position of women in society.

  2. Soap Operas.

    It is not an unrealistic assumption that sexuality is exciting to watch and learn about, especially for curious young individuals. Recently the issue of homosexuality has been incorporated within soap operas. In All My Children, the teenaged character Bianca came out as a lesbian.

  1. What is a soap opera?

    This happened with the return of 'Dirty Den' storyline recently in Eastenders, and as a result the programme achieved its highest viewing figures ever. Soaps are shown regularly: usually a few times a week, so watching them becomes a part of people's daily routine.

  2. The history and background of 'Soap Operas.'

    and Emmerdale which made the transfer from its original early daytime slot to its current 7pm peak viewing slot. Good decision by the Yorkshire T.V Company who makes the soap. There are various key conventions used in the common 'Soap Opera, for example the very successful "Eastenders"," Emmerdale," Brookside"and "Coronation Street".

  1. The History of Sitcoms

    It is shown late at night, and is put in the 'alternative comedy' slot along with programs like Alan Partridge and The Office. Although its audience is small, the Royle Family has developed a loyal 'cult following' with its unconventional situations and controversial humour.

  2. English media - soap operas

    A close up shot of a character's facial expression or a freeze on some dramatic action is often shown at the end of an episode in all soaps. At the end of an episode of "Coronation Street", a close up shot of Emma's face was shown after she swore upon the Bible that she would tell the truth in court.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work