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Wednesday 15 December 2010

The laws of soap opera

Having watched soaps in various formats for most of my life, I think I've got a pretty good handle on how they work.

Soaps have a code, and they have standard-issue storylines that are used over and over, with variations but the rules behind them generally stay the same. For instance, a murderer will always get caught eventually.

 Over on my other blog, I've written about Soap Laws and outlined some random standards that I've observed over the years in categories such as Murder, Love, Babies, Weddings and Death, among others.

 Have a read and if you think of some standard soap "rules" do feel free to add them in a comment!


abbyk said...

Crime & Punishment:
Hmmmm, John didn't actually kill Colin and only struck Charlotte during a spike in a period of prolonged, nutter-induced duress. He did steal Colin's identity and cover up his death; those crimes required planning but are not in the same league as the Richard & Emily/Maxine, or Tracy & Charlie murders. There's still so much story potential at the Stape-Brown house, I'll cling to the hope that John will stick around.

Billy Niblick said...

More Soap Laws:

1. Unlike virtually any real pub in the UK, there is ALWAYS a free seat available in the Rovers/Queen Vic/Woolpack.

2. There is no such thing as a job interview in soap. The closest anyone gets is a brief chat along the lines of "We could do wi' someone else behond t'bar at Rovers/Queen Vic/Woolpack. Can you start Monday? "

3. Similarly, in said "interviews" nobody EVER discusses wages or terms and conditions.

4. Nobody ever commits suicide in soap. No, they "do summat stupid". See " I hope you weren't thinking about doing summat stupid, Tyrone".

Tvor said...

Though there are suicides on occasion, they are usually the exception to the rule. And witness Katy Harris who killed herself, she was a murderer so there was a consequence. She couldn't live with the guilt. In most cases, suicides or "doing something stupid" may be considered but as a rule do not happen as the powers that be don't want to be seen as encouraging it

Tvor said...

John did kill Charlotte though. Not really self defence as she was running away from him at the time. He didn't plan to so it's manslaughter at the very least.

Anonymous said...

Manslaughter? It was a mercy killing! For months, the "Planet of the Apes" was missing a chimp; she can now return whence she came.

Looney Baloon said...

How about:

When anybody takes a tumble down stairs they will usually be dead, rather than just have a sore bottom or sprained ankle.

Any sensitive or highly confidential information has to be discussed in a loud voice in a public place, just as the subject is lurking around to hear everything.

Refurbs are organised within days, with a ready available builder, nothing going to the planning department, lo and behond its done!

Purchases/Sales of properties also go through in a matter of weeks or even days, rather than the months and months it really takes.

All personal meetings have to take place in the pub, rather than the comfort and privacy of your own home

Everyone can afford to eat their breakfast, lunch, snacks, refreshments etc at Roys or the Rovers, rather than just popping home at a fraction of the price.

Tvor said...

Conversely, at least in the pub, you can have a normally voiced conversation within 10 feet of someone and they don't hear a thing (unless the plot requires it!)

Oh and if a character not on the screen is suddenly spoken about several times or more, they will make a reappearance.

Clare said...

Every character owns a car, which is mysteriously only on the street when they're about to get in it.

Beth said...

Well, Gail took a big tumble down the stairs and she lived (just)

I too hope that despite all the drama whether it self defence or cold blooded murder, that John Stape sticks around. He's grown on me and will be better now that loony tune Charlotte has gone.


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