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Trailer: Soap Life and the Rise and Fall of Soap Operas

posted by Nell Minow
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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.

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  • Toby Clark

    “Stars like Meg Ryan, Alec Baldwin, Julianne Moore, and Susan Sarandon got their start on soaps”

    On that note, I’m rather curious to see if Neighbours (Guy Pierce, among others) or Home and Away (Chris Hemsworth, also among others) will get any focus.

    • Nell Minow

      Good point, Toby. And wasn’t Margot Robie also on “Neighbors?”

  • Toby Clark

    That’s correct, and she was probably one of the best teenage actors the show’s ever had.

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