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The Search for Tomorrow in Todays Soap Operas
The Search for Tomorrow in Todays Soap Operas explains that feminine character portrayed in the narration of soap operas is not a meaningless product of mass culture. In fact, Tania Modelski attempts to convince the audience that soap operas are not primitive. She mentions that they represent the lifestyle and worldview of common people. Moreover, she believes that since soap operas are often vital for a certain population group, they should have a new significant value. The essay examines her explanation of the reasons why soap operas enter the lives of house makers so easily, why women adore watching them, and why the feminine method of narration is more convincing and adequate than masculine.
Modelski states that the soap opera phenomenon is based on the inherent feminine element, which provides unique narrative pleasure to the viewers. It is also highly adaptive to life routine of the audience. She asserts that expectation for a child to call or the family to reunite in the evening after the working day is the inseparable part of the life of every house maker. Womens homes can resemble the waiting rooms in hospitals (Modelski 147). Therefore, the structure of the soap operas plot is made to sustain the feeling of anticipation which lasts due to additional problems the characters encounter. The audience should have new questions, the answers to which will be in the next episode. Alternatively, they can be surprised by the fresh twist of the plot. Soap operas promise the viewers to witness the element of surprise (Modelski 131). As a result, women, who are more likely to wait for the resolution of an issue or the emergence of the additional problem, can easily dive into the plots of TV shows.
Female addiction to soap operas became the need to overcome their separation with family. For many women of the 20th century, the families were the only support. They were extremely afraid of losing it. Watching the series together in the evening meant that they were not alone or abandoned. Soap operas offered women the assurance of the family immortality. They created an image of a caring mother, who should be ready to help her children and other relatives while resolving daily problems (Modelski 132).
In addition, Modelski explains that soap operas are appealing to women because this type of entertainment constructs and cultivates the proper psychological disposition of a woman at home (Modelski 139). In reality, the housework is the repetition of routine actions with no particular sequence or sign of progress. It shows the permanent need to be connected with the lives of others (Modelski 139). The settings, situations, problems, and characters of the soap operas resemble the reality of viewers. This fact distorts the boundaries between the imaginary world of the TV show and real life. Moreover, it leads to the psychological fusion of the viewer and the character (Modelski 140).
The flow within the storylines of various soap operas and programs reminds the schedule of the housework. Women should always remain focused because not only do they keep the house clean, but they also guard the atmosphere inside. They are forced to connect with several people frequently who usually have conflicting moods. Thus, they leave their tasks to manage new problems at the moment they emerge. The house makers need to remain in the state of permanent multitask functioning (Modelski 141). As a result, daytime shows and interruptions to commercials make women habitual to permanent distractions, which characterize the housework in general (Modelski 141). In addition, since women are frequently distracted, soap operas, specifically their narration type, are intimately bound with the womens work at home (Modelski 144).
Lastly, the author states that soap operas as a cultural phenomenon should be re-evaluated by contemporary art critics. The structure of the soap opera is opposite to the classic male narrative of anti-progressiveness, which is usually based on dialogues. Obviously, the soap opera unfolds typically feminine approach to resolving problematic situations through the talk and perceptions. Thus, this image is much closer to the real life situations. Moreover, compared to masculine narrative film, where the climax brings the resolution and restores an order, the storyline of the soap opera offers a range of mini-climaxes. They do not simplify the characters lives but make it more complex by introducing new lines. Such a distorted image of main heroes could resemble the flow of life more accurately (Modelski 147). In addition, Modelski emphasizes that soap operas are valuable since they demonstrate and explain the womens collective fantasies. Every house maker dreams about a large family consisting of several generations that live together and share the same problems and concerns (Modelski 147). Soap operas give house makers the extended image of their own isolated family. It means that they could finally find the desired family where every event is a remarkable experience (Modelski 147). Television series is a tool to make the reality brighter and the woman more relaxed.
The author convinces the audience that the criticism of soap operas for being primitive or lacking value is inappropriate because they have changed the perceptions of many house makers. Television series not only allows women to escape everyday problems or listen to their needs but also gives an opportunity to understand the advantages of their lifestyle. Women enjoy watching soap operas because the episodes give hope that their lives could also become more meaningful and eventful.