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Soaps - Would they be better if they were more realistic?o silly?

(27 Posts)
Eloethan Wed 01-May-13 11:35:18

I admit it - I'm a Coronation Street fan, despite the fact that my husband rolls his eyes when it comes on and beats a hasty retreat. But I enjoy it. I enjoy the characters, the humour and the drama.

But what I sometimes find irritating is the total lack of realism - e.g. somebody decides to sell their business and the next day they've got a buyer, signed the contracts and jetted off to a new life half way across the world.

I accept that soaps have to be pacy and engaging so can't wholly mirror ordinary lives but surely more realism in practical matters would make storylines more believable?

numberplease Wed 01-May-13 16:36:08

I find that in the Aussie soaps, Neighbours and Home and Away, a couple get engaged, then straightaway there`s a wedding, no saving up or frantic preparations, or, someone decides to leave for pastures new, in a day or so they`re packed up and gone, how do they do it? I still love watching though!

Eloethan Wed 01-May-13 16:46:57

And people buy or rent houses practically overnight - if only!

LullyDully Wed 01-May-13 16:59:09

I find soaps very addictive, you just have to know what the people are up to. They become like real people living real lives. My SIL is more interested in her soaps than any of us!
I weaned myself off EastEnders years ago and just went 'cold turkey'. My only indulgence is the Archers which I have listened to since I was a child.

Eloethan Wed 01-May-13 17:04:43

I went right off Eastenders - the characters became more and more unlikeable and the plots increasingly unpleasant. Though I was born in South London and have lived for many years in East London, I don't think I've ever met people as obnoxious and unprincipled as the people on Eastenders.

numberplease Wed 01-May-13 17:30:09

I agree with all that, but I still love Eastenders!

annodomini Wed 01-May-13 17:35:12

I have given up soaps entirely. Nothing good ever happened in East Enders. No-one ever seemed to have a steady job and yet no-one ever claimed benefits!

Greatnan Wed 01-May-13 18:04:52

I have accepted that a series which just showed the lives of ordinary people would be pretty boring, but it is a bit daft that inhabitants of Coronation Street are 56 times more likely to die a violent death than the average Briton. The conveyancing bit annoys me, as does the way serious crimes are tried within weeks, and nobody has any relatives outside the street to attend their weddings or funerals. Mothers are usually in Spain and Cyprus when their daughters get married, and don't seem able to fly back.
When a character dies, or moves away, they are rarely mentioned again.
Factory workers can afford to buy rounds in the pub, and Emily, the devout methodist, is partial to a sweet sherry.
On the plus side, the child actors become extremely accomplished (I wish the Archers team could use the same agents) and the humour is great. Some of the accents are a bit dodgy - I speak as somebody who grew up in Salford.
Young writers don't seem to check their facts - in Emmerdale Jack started out as a successful novelist living in Italy, who came back to run the farm when his father died, but in a later programme claimed to have been farming all his life. They also sold Emmerdale Farm but miraculously became owners again later on. These anomalies are annoying to faithful supporters.

petallus Wed 01-May-13 18:09:07

Doesn't most of this apply also to many novels?

The dreary details are missed out and everything is a bit larger than life.

jeanie99 Tue 28-May-13 11:15:24

I don't watch soaps I think mainly because you have to keep watching day in and out.

I'd watch say a series which as a complete storyline in one or two nights.

HappyNanna Tue 28-May-13 11:34:47

Totally agree with the comments that some of the story lines are unrealistic. We have a saying 'it could only happen in soapland'. In Corrie, one storyline in particular has always annoyed me. Michelle's son Ryan was supposed to have been swapped at birth in hospital with 'Alex' (I think his name was) who was her real son but no mention has been made of him for years.

Ana Tue 28-May-13 11:39:02

Are you sure, HappyNanna? confused
Michelle's only been in Coronation Street for a few years and Ryan was already a teenager....

Ana Tue 28-May-13 11:59:13

Hmm...actually, that storyline does ring a slight bell, now you mention it. It's like all those children of Ken Barlow's that never get mentioned from year to year....

HappyNanna Tue 28-May-13 12:14:21

Absolutely certain. It came to light because the the guy that is Ryan's real Dad (i.e. not Michelle's dead husband) started stalking Ryan because he had found out from some tests with the lad he thought was his son (Alex) that he was not Alex's Dad. He had found out from the hospital that Ryan had been born about the same time as his son. (Don't forget it's Soapland). Anyway, to cut a long story short Michelle and Liam (her brother) - yes it was quite a while ago - went round to the guy's house to confront him. The door was opened by Alex and Michelle nearly fainted because Alex was the image of her dead husband. Anyway, when everybody knew who everybody was, Michelle carried on seeing Alex for a while but Ryan even knowing the truth decided that Michelle was the only Mum he'd ever known and didn't want anything to do with his real family, though he did see his real Dad for a while.

Ana Tue 28-May-13 12:18:03

Yes - I remember now!

JessM Tue 28-May-13 12:25:36

Springwatch last night reminded me of soaps. It was about Ospreys and the webcam photos of the nest were superb HD closeups. They can track the individual birds.

Osprey called Monty (I think) turns up late (from a winter in Africa) to discover potential love of life flew out just the day before, having waited in vain for his arrival. Then a bedraggled young hussy turns up and demands lots of attention and presents (trout, mullet etc) while promising torrid times just as soon as she gets over her jet lag. After lots of posh dinners she leaves him in the lurch. Why do chaps always fall for the helpless ingenue act? His usual girlfriend still not shown up from Africa. Has she missed her flight? Has she deserted him for another Osprey. More excitement in tonight's episode.

celebgran Tue 28-May-13 12:36:10

Gosh well done happy nana totally forgotten that one!

Am corrie fan. Do hate this business with Karl will he ever be found out?

goldengirl Wed 29-May-13 11:53:48

I watch the Pobol y Cym omnibus - with subtitles, and really enjoy it. It covers a wealth of issues and doesn't strike me as forced even though the village folk seem to have every problem going! The combination of serious dilemmas with one scenario and humour with another makes it, I think, well balanced. I can't get into the other soaps at all.

Eloethan Wed 29-May-13 12:00:36

Though I think much of Coronation Street is silly, I do love its humour. I especially liked Rita's description of Norris as "Jodrell Bank in a cardigan". And I think Roy's mum's acerbic comments are very witty.

I'd completely forgotten about the Michelle/Ryan saga - which only goes to show that soaps go in one ear and out of the other.

PRINTMISS Wed 29-May-13 16:24:15

I have only ever watched one episode of Corrie - no idea why! We follow Eastenders avidly, again, no idea why, - it drives us mad. Just plain daft, I suppose, and I think we sometimes watch to see how much worse it can get.

JessM Wed 29-May-13 16:37:43

Osprey love life reached new heights last night on Springwatch, with 3 females competing to move into Monty's pad. Much boyfriend abuse, stalking , harrassment etc. Seems that he finally bowed to the persistence of a rather bruising big female from England. Who would have thought - in quiet mid Wales? Predict he will be an osprey-pecked husband smile

Deedaa Thu 30-May-13 21:51:54

Never mind the ospreys! What about the menage a trois with the jackdaw and the two magpies on Springwatch Unsprung? Even Eastenders wouldn't get away with that one grin
The only soap I watch now is Doctors which is so hysterically unrealistic I can't resist. I've lost count of the number of women who've given birth on the surgery floor while waiting for the ambulance! The shortest labour I've managed is 9 hours - I obviously wasn't trying!
Many years ago I used to watch Emmerdale Farm - as it was then. It was lovely and depicted the sort of things that went on in my own village. A bit of extra marital sex, but no plane crashes, murders or explosions!

JessM Fri 31-May-13 08:11:42

Bit like the archers, eh Deeda - which I listened to for decades until I got fed up with the writers making all the irritating characters female while men get written as "loveable rogues".
My favourite ever soap moment was in Neighbours, years ago, when the kids used to watch it after school. A woman called Daphne gave birth on a river bank without removing her dungarees grin

Maggiemaybe Fri 31-May-13 15:11:21

Well, celebgran, re Karl and whether he'll ever be found out - my eldest noticed that when he came back to the bistro after starting the fire, Paul the fireman turned round and sniffed, with a puzzled expression on his face that seemed to say he could smell the petrol or whatever it was on him. My DD managed to find and show me the clip and she was spot on. We thought this was how he was going to be found out - I can't imagine how this could be resurrected after all these weeks though!

They say that Corrie is usually very moral and makes sure that the wrongdoer gets their come-uppance. It never happened for the maungy Leanne though when she burnt down her own restaurant - I wish it would, as I can't do with her miserable face and yappy voice.

Deedaa Fri 31-May-13 21:49:39

JessM I've always remembered Daphne giving birth! My daughter and I still have hysterics about it grin I had townee friends who were big Archers fans and were discussing Tony's problems with his silage clamp in great depth before finally turning to me and saying "actually what IS a silage clamp?"I loved the fact that they could get so involved in the programme while not understanding half of what they were talking about.