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The Key Conventions of Soap Operas.

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The Key Conventions of Soap Operas. Soap operas have many conventions that make them different to the other types of programs we watch on TV. Soaps can be separated from even their closest types of programs by looking into and studying their conventions. The Bill for instance shares many of the conventions of a soap, but not all of them, which separates it from being a soap. Broadcasting To get a wide range of viewing, almost every single soap is broadcasted before the 9 o'clock watershed. So children can watch them as well as adults. Some soaps are broadcasted around lunchtime and repeated after school around 5. One reason for broadcasting at lunchtime is for the housewives to take a break, sit down has lunch while watching what they want to watch. If they have small pre-school children, they would feel safe with them watching it too because its before the watershed and is unlikely to contain anything unsuitable. ...read more.


Cliffhangers At the end of all episodes there is a cliffhanger, an enigma that is there to encourage you to watch the next episode. The most well used cliffhanger is when a character finds some bad news out; the viewer will have to watch the next episode to find out how that character takes the bad news, and what he or she will do about it. Characters In the very popular soaps there is always a wide range of strong characters. Characters usually cover a wide range of ages, races, religions, professions, stereotypes, backgrounds, relationships and more. For instance in Eastenders there are black white and Asian characters. Characters go from very young - Nitta's children to old - Dot. There are teenagers, parents, doctors, landladies, market stall owners and more. As Eastenders is set in London, is has to represent the sort of people living there, for example there are a lot more ethnic minorities in London then in Emmerdale which is set in Yorkshire. ...read more.


For example in public areas you can show people meeting and having public discussions. In private areas you can show love scenes and more, that wouldn't be shown in a public scene like a pub. Realism Soaps are meant to seem very real for the audience so they go to a lot of trouble to make the soap as realistic as possible. The word mise en scene means everything that creates the scene, this is something very important to consider when making something realistic. For example some of the older soaps like crossroads had scenery and props that used to wobble, fall over and generally look unrealistic. Newer soaps such as Eastenders use partly real scenes (Albert Square) and partly made up scenes in the studio. Some soaps even go to the trouble of buying a whole street of houses to film in, to make it more realistic looking. Although in convention soaps are meant to reflect real life, many of the storylines are very unbelievable, but they are essential to draw in more viewers. ...read more.

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