January 28, 2011By Marc Wilkofsky Posted: Jan 28, 2011
Why do I watch soaps? One of many reasons is that the writing is inspirational...I've said that for decades, and I've meant it. The entertaining and often complex writing in daytime dramas inspires me as a writer.
Why do people watch soaps? For innumerable reasons...but one reason comes up a lot: They learn to care about the characters. Yes, these characters go through fictional misery, but they also enjoy relatable, realistic, amazing triumphs.
I had to defend, in a pleasant way, soap operas at a recent party. Yes, you should watch every episode of a daytime soap, but you don't have to, even with today's fast-paced episodes (and boy, was ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Jan. 27 episode fast-paced). No, daytime's not all rich, astonishingly beautiful people, like people believed DALLAS and DYNASTY were. There are several "real-looking" characters on soaps, and a wide variety of economic classes is represented.
Before I joined the staff in 2000, I used to regularly read Soap Opera Weekly during my Friday lunch, and so much was new and fun to me. Now that I work here, an article is occasionally new to me after I go on vacation. That's what happened with the Jan. 25 issue's story on Maurice Benard (GENERAL HOSPITAL's Sonny) missing his January events due to a panic attack that prevented him from flying. I closed the issue, feeling sad for him and his fans. I recently opened the issue again, and was pleased to notice the sidebar on what Benard's GH castmates did to keep the events going. Steve Burton and Chad Duell (Jason and Michael) traveled to the locations and kindly subbed for him at three of the four East Coast events. I was truly moved, and again reminded that daytime is, in fact, full of beautiful people, inside and out. It's something the loyal fans already know.
And it's another reason why I watch, and support, soaps.