I was explaining to Daniel, (you know Cane Ashby from The Young and Restless?, yeah him) the meaning and the sentiment behind the phrase Masha’Allah (don’t ask, long story) when it suddenly dawned on me that this guy acts in a soap opera, how gay is that? And yeah I’ve always known he acts in Y&R, but it never really occurred to me that it’s a soapie until that moment. It’s like a light went on.
Ordinarily, I hate soap operas. I hate Days of Our Lives. I hate The Bold and The Beautiful. I hate Passions and All My Children…including the local soaps, Egoli and Isidingo and whatnot. To me they’re all mindless crap and I would lose less brain cells if I sat around and smoked weed all day. But for some reason, I seem to tolerate The Young and the Restless…I don’t know why. I suspect it’s because they move at a pace…unlike Days and Bold where you’ll hear Brook and Ridge or Sammy and Lucas in the same conversation for the entire month. I think that soaps actually compete to see who can spin the same lines in a myriad of ways. Here's an example:
Monday: (Brook to Stephanie): I can’t believe you said that!
Tuesday: (Stephanie to Brook): How dare you accuse me of saying that?!
Wednesday: (Brook to Stephanie): Just admit it, admit that you said that!
Thursday: (Stephanie to Brook): You can accuse me all you like, but I said nothing!
Friday: (Brook to Stephanie): Why Stephanie, Why would you say that?
And it goes on and on and on and on. Makes me sick. I’m usually in the study or the kitchen but the TV is always loud enough to follow this preposterous conversation audibly.
Another reason Y&R stands out for me is that they’re a little more ummm, realistic. I stopped watching Days of Our Lives after Marlena became the Devil in the early 90’s. I just couldn’t take her seriously after that. People die and come back to life significantly less in the Y&R too. The creators and producers of Days and B&B are avid believers in re-incarnation of the Jack Sparrow kind. Although I have a hard time consolidating real life with make-believe.
Don’t get me started on the local crap that we’re fed every evening between 6pm and 7pm. Between Scandal, Rhythm City, 7nde Laan etc, I don’t know which is worse. Sometimes I actually wish that a gargantuan tidal wave of some sort could come and drown everyone in “The Deep”…that would be the end of Isidingo.
And I’m convinced that these soaps can NOT be good for the youth that are drawn in to watch them. I blame the lack of activity of our youth, not enough homework, as well as a limited amount of brain cells which makes this kind of shit interesting and tolerable. My sister insists that its mind numbing qualities are used as a form of escapism. I’m not buying it. I’d rather watch Pirates of the Caribbean for the 6523rd time.
The number one reason I like Y&R? They have the most gorgeous men acting in a soap, hands down. What I especially like about the Y&R guys is that 90% of the time, they’re clothed. For some reason, whenever I pass through the lounge from the kitchen and Days is on TV, I always seem to get a glimpse of at least three different shirtless men. WTF is up with that? Its not sexy at all…they look like freaks who can’t keep their clothes on.
Sure every now and then I get irritated with most of the characters on Y&R too, and I want to slap or kick all of them…but who can resist watching this:
But despite the eye candy, when it comes to incest, I don’t know which soap is worse. I’m sure B&B takes the cake with everyone else coming a close second. I don’t get why they can’t just find their partners and get on with it. Why must everything be a love triangle and why must every single character have a love child or three. Apparently monogamy is against the law in Salem and LA and Genoa City etc. etc.
That said, here are the top five ingredients to ensure a successful soap opera:
1.Incest. The more the merrier. Only biological sons and daughters are off limits, unless their Maternity/Paternity can be proved otherwise.
2.Love Triangles. Also, the more the merrier. It is imperative that when the Guy likes the Girl, that she be in love with someone else, who’s in love with someone else, who’s in love with someone else and so on.
3.Witchcraft. Any kind is welcome, although a special appearance by The Devil himself is always advantageous.
4.Half naked men and women. Because in real life, people walk around in their underwear and lingerie all the time. And a bottle of Baby Oil or 10 as well as a hose is very handy so those pecks and abs can glisten all day long.
5.Murder and Re-incarnation. What kind of life is it if there are no murderers? How else are the residents going to die? And if they can come back to life because someone kidnapped them and took them to a strange man-made island for decades at a time, all the better.
It’s so absurd, outrageous, unrealistic, ludicrous and daft that it’s beyond description. Exactly when did TV deteriorate and disintegrate to this level? I think around the time The Devil guest starred in Days. Even some of the reality shows are better, and I regard most of reality television (with the exception of Survivor and Amazing Race) with an equal amount of contempt and disdain. Buffy and Angel were more believable. I’d rather watch Desperate Housewives and Prison Break in those time slots, thanks.