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Real life hard to find in television dramasPosted Wednesday, November 24, 2010, at 2:38 PM
I admit to a dirty little secret.
It's one I've tried to hide for a long time ... but here goes.
I like soap operas -- both the daytime kind and the nighttime versions -- from "All my Children" to "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy."
I started watching a daytime soap in college, as me and 30 or so of my sorority sisters would crowd in the TV room and watch together, making comments as we went. Through the years I've continued to watch whenever I could. (The good thing about soap operas is that you don't have watch often to keep up.)
Now, with modern conveniences, I'm much more likely to watch at odd times or on the Internet as I am at the actual airtime. Needless to say, it's easy to keep up.
I'm trying to figure out just why I and about a billion or so other people watch these shows.
After all, they are nothing like our real lives. Not even close.
When I was college, I wonder if I actually thought my "grown-up" life would be like those you see in soap operas. Did I really think I'd never have to go to work or actually go to college to become a world-renowned doctor or multi-millionaire business owner?
Did I think that if I ever had children, I'd have a two-month pregnancy, followed by a five-day birth, all while being held at gunpoint in a rural cabin by the town playboy-turned-serial-killer?
Or that I would be married six times?
Now, after a few decades of "real-life" there is no doubt. I realize these dramas are nothing like reality. Not even close.
For one thing, with few exceptions, they never actually eat on soap operas, which I guess is why all the "townspeople" are so skinny.
A quick look around here and it's obvious: real people like to eat. And we have the bodies to show for it.
And have you ever noticed that the doctors and other hospital workers seem to spend a lot of time in the "supply" closet?
I think because of these soaps, I find myself wanting to open every closed door when I walk down the halls in our local hospital! If the sign on the door, says "Supply" I am really curious.
Yeah, that's a sign I'm starting to blur the lines between television and reality.
On soap operas and nighttime dramas, people seem to work very little and drink A LOT.
As entertaining and tempting as that might be, I'm pretty sure that doesn't work as well in real life.
The children go upstairs as 3-year-old chubby-cheeked babies and come back down, six months later, as rebellious teenagers.
Of course, usually within the next year, they go off to college for a month, right before they go into rehab (all that drinking), where they come out six months later as world-renowned heart surgeons.
(And the boys often leave as 5-foot 9-inch skinny brunettes, only to come back as 6-foot 2-inch blondes, with arms and abs of steel.) Hmm, maybe that's why we watch ...
In soaps, no one seems to actually work. The millionaire captains of industry never leave their living rooms, and with the exception of the doctors (in between the supply closet visits) no one seems to do anything but TALK about work.
I'd like to see a soap opera with real people -- perhaps farmers, going to work in real clothes, no suits, working 12 to 15 hours a day, while their wives go to town to work (no cocktail dresses) to help pay for insurance and other luxuries.
I'd like to see a drama with dirty houses -- the ones with toddlers, littered with Cheerio bits and spilled milk, or the ones with farm homes cluttered with boots, muddy coveralls and manure-stained clothing.
Or how 'bout real small-town people who are factory workers or teachers, working long hours and grabbing supper in a hurry at the drive-through in between children's activities.
On second thought, never mind. We probably wouldn't watch it a show like that.
Way too boring!!
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