People make fun of soap operas, but they have passionate fans who appreciate the unique opportunity to follow characters over decades of drama — not just marriages and divorces and babies and affairs but kidnappings and amnesia and even an alien abduction. Soaps were the first scripted shows to present the audience with controversial material like abortions, interracial relationships, and gay characters. Stars like Meg Ryan, Alec Baldwin, Julianne Moore, and Susan Sarandon got their start on soaps and movies like “Tootsie” and “Soapdish” were set in that world. From their earliest days in radio (the name comes from the advertisers trying to sell cleaning products to housewives) to the era of internet, cable, and women working outside the home, all of which cut into the audience, people still love to see these characters triumph — and suffer. This new documentary tells the often-soapy story of the soaps, taking us behind the scenes to see the past and wonder about the future of these stories.