It has been reported that in colleges across the United States, the daytime serial drama known as the soap opera has suddenly become “in”. Between the hours of 11 a. m. and 4:30 p. m., college television lounges are filled with soap opera fans who can’t wait to see the next episode in the lives of their favorite characters.
Actually, soaps are more than a college favorite; they’re a youth favorite. When school is out, high-school students are in front of their TV sets. One young working woman admitted that she turned down a higher paying job rather than give up watching her favorite serials. During the 1960’s, it was uncommon for young people to watch soap operas. The mood of the sixties was very different from now. It was a time of seriousness, and talk was about social issues of great importance.
Now, seriousness has been replaced by fun. Young people want to be happy. It may seem strange that they should turn to soap opera, which is known for showing trouble in people’s lives. But soap opera is enjoyment. Young people can identify with the soap opera character, who, like the college-age viewer, is looking for happy love, and probably not finding it. And soap opera gives young people a chance to feel close to people without having to bear any responsibility for their problems.