November 8, 2012 in Dag

Not happily ever after – and that’s exactly the point

Does anybody remember the TV show Soap?

Way back in the early 80s (or was that late 70s – surely I’m not that old) it was one of my favourites. But there was one thing about it that used to always really annoy me.

I really got into that show. I really liked the characters – really cared about them. Whatever tribulations were occurring – whether it was this one charged with a murder they didn’t commit, or that one’s baby being possessed by the devil, or another one being kidnapped by aliens (yes, it was that kind of show), I would get really concerned about them. Then, when things finally got resolved (the real murdered was her adopted father, the devil got exorcised, and Burt escaped from the aliens with the help of Saul, the man who had been held captive for several thousand years), I always felt totally relieved. At last, things were good. Everything had worked out and now everybody could be happy.

Except it didn’t happen like that. Everything didn’t work out, and everybody wasn’t happy. No sooner had one plotline been resolved than something else happened, and suddenly all sorts of new problems had been thrown up.

Looking back now, it’s kind of funny to think that I had that attitude. Obviously, I totally didn’t understand the significance of the title. Soap was a parody of a traditional daytime soap opera – and a very funny one too. If the characters were ever allowed to resolve their problems and achieve peace and contentment, then there wouldn’t be much of a show left.

As a writer, I look at programs like Soap and think about how much fun it would be to be part of that writing team. I like to believe I’m a compassionate person, who would do what I could to ensure all the characters had an easy and satisfied life. Then I think, hell no, where’s the fun in that? Let’s see what else we can throw their way.

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