on April 21, 1998
A beautifully illustrated book with plenty of information on the history of soaps, this book may be as interesting to sociologists as it is to soap fans. Most noteworthy, is the way it
differentiates the soaps from one another in terms of issues that each tackles and why. It is
interesting to trace how soaps such as "Painted
Dreams" began on radio and what appealed (and didn't) to various audiences throughout
the decades. Eg: Isn't it hard to believe that
"Guiding Light" (On Cable In Sydney) was
orginally a 15 minute radio serial about four ministers? Many soaps mentioned in the book
will probably be unknown to younger Sydney
audiences such as "Search For Tommorrow"
and "As The World Turns" which haven't been on the air for years (decades?) but there is
good coverage on todays lineup as well. If you like this book you may want to check out A book by Jean Rouverol called"Writing For The Soaps" (1984) and "Soapbox" (1990) Hopefully
a television special of a similar nature to this book could be done because the archive material itself would be priceless viewing.
Let's face it, Soaps, because they are generally geared and attracted to a largely female audience has never received the respect that it richly deserves. Think about it, where else is one hour episode done per day with constant revisions and a good memory to memorize all the lines. Of course, there is romance which women crave but it doesn't take just sex and romance to sell a soap. The soaps are largely family oriented in small towns or cities like Genoa City, Salem, Springfield, Llanview, Port Charles, and Oakdale. I was reading a British soap actor, Mike's Reid's autobiography, where he was dismissed by other actors on a morning show because soaps are still considered to be trash television. Unfortunately, American soaps which was as many as 14 and now as few as 8 on the networks today are seen as too expensive and the audiences are not the same as they were in their popularity. But I love soaps and so does my whole family including my late father who watched him, the soaps provide a different form of entertainment. You're not going to get Shakespeare every day and you don't want it. Some episodes are just brilliant and phenomenal while others are just typical much like life itself. The shows are quite conservative in nature and are very sensitive to delicate topics like homosexuality and abortion. Besides Luke and Laura, there is Roger and Holly on Guiding Light who fought more than made up and they were as equally complicating and intense. I'll never forget actors and actresses who has passed on and neither have the cast members who continously work. Soaps have provided roles for women on daytime like Erica Kane on All My Children or Marlena Evans on Days Of Our Lives as well as Reva Shayne Lewis on Guiding LIght. The actors and actresses as well as the cast and crews of these shows deserve a lot more credit. A few years ago, I tried to get the attention of the Kennedy Center HOnors to recognize William J. Bell, soap's Shakespeare who wrote for 35 years, and actress Helen Wagner who epitomize the good wife on As the World Turns since day one for the last 52 years. Sadly, Bell has died and Helen will turn 90 years old. Nowhere else would you have such longevity, dedication, or devotion. Every day is different from yesterday. With Soapnet, I hope more people tune in to watch, give it a chance, you can't just decide in one episode. Some soaps like General Hospital has had their share of crazy storylines. We have RADA graduates like six time Emmy Winner Erika Slezak and Jennifer Bassey among them. Soaps are better than any play, musical, or even films on television or at the cinema. You don't know what you got until it's gone and soaps are now endangered of being extinct with network politics. It is easier and cost effective to have another court show or talk show in it's place. I never gotten over the cancellation of Another World in 1999. I have watched many soaps kick the bucket before their time. These shows launched some of the finest actors and actresses of our time. It's time to show respect to the soaps in America.
"World Without Ends..." is a very well-researched and well-written volume on the history of daytime television soap operas from their birth as 15 minute radio serials to the 60 minute format that most soaps were aired in by the late '90's. Every single serial that aired up until 1996 is covered from the little-known ones like "Somerset" to "Dark Shadows" to "General Hospital".
The authors, really scholars of the genre, write about what makes the afternoon suds so popular and why they will forever be a mainstay of afternoon viewing.
Simply a must-have and a treasure trove of info on the most beloved form of story telling TV has ever known.
The book also comes with exclusive pics of behind-the-scenes shots of all the wonderful great dramas that have graced our screens for decades.
on August 28, 2010
This book was so fascinating. I enjoyed reading about the different soaps that have come along throughout the years. I also loved the fact that there was a section on African-Americans in the soaps. As an aspiring writer, it gave me better insight on a business that I would love to be in one day. I appreciate that world of television, and I am certainly glad that someone took up the opportunity to explore it in a book. A fine read!!
on November 11, 2012
I am a soap opera fanatic. I have narrowed myself to two now, "The Young and The Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful". I have watched both of them since they premiered. I love them! Still, I love to read about the history of other soap operas that I once watched. I like to catch up on the characters and find out how they got started. This is a big plus in reading. So interesting..