By MAMOON AHMED Throughout the history of public service and commercial television the mainstay of its success and a massive ratings winner, none more so than in the latter years of its existence, has been the immense popularity of soap operas. Soap operas have become a fundamental and now traditional part of British life.
There have been occasions when the audience have confused reality with the soap world e. It is instances like these that show how popular some characters can be to all members of a large and diverse audience.
By introducing dramatic and sometimes extreme storylines, a producer can capture the attention of a large audience. The typical melodramatic characteristic of soap is the notorious cliff hanger e.
This is a clever media technique that entices the viewer into watching the following episodes that will reveal who was involved. It is a good way of enticing all members of a large audience into watching a soap as it involves an occurrence that could happen to any member of that audience in everyday life and it is not just appealing at one section of the audience e.
When soaps are trying to attract new viewers to their programme they will introduce a new controversial storyline that will have some sort of twist to it to entice people to watch it. They will publicise these episodes highly in the hope that new people will be attracted to the soap.
The moral stance and informative nature of soap storylines means that some viewers are attracted due to their realistic and education insights.
It is evident that soaps often focus on issues that are socially shunned and unless introduced in soaps, they would never be brought up as a topic of conversation between two people e. It is important to keep in mind that the realism of a soap opera can only truly be judged by those living in the area which it is set e.
British soaps are often viewed as being realistic because of their emphasis on the everyday happenings of life and their depictions of the working classes who in reality constitute the mass of the British population.
This realism appeals to a large and diverse audience because it allows viewers to put their knowledge of the world and knowledge of the conventions of television into play.
The camerawork of soaps is also highly influential in how much the audience is appealed to soap. Alfie Moon in Eastenders is continually putting on a brave face even though his marriage is falling to pieces. In this way, the characters are emotional representatives inviting the audience to partake in the arising issues and conflicts in order that they make seek temporary solutions to the problems they are experiencing in real life.
Time is the foundation upon which the soap is organised i. This appeals to viewers because is allows them to imagine the goings on between episodes and again, adds to the realism of soap, which is such a major factor in determining if the audience are drawn to watching it.
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