Soap Opera Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:26:25
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Category: Soap Opera

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Now that you have an idea of what a soap opera is and what elements shape a soap opera, I will now present the O. C., which is a modern primetime soap. I will explain later on what distinguish it from the daytime shows such as Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless. Just to give you an overview of the show. The O. C. actually stands for Orange County. The show portrays the lives of a group of teenagers and one of them is Ryan Atwood, a troubled and troublesome teen.

He came from a rough neighbourhood and when he is about to become a full time law-breaker, he is taken under the wing of a public defender, Sandy Cohen. Sandy invites his client to live in his wealthy home in the city of Newport. At first, Kirsten(Sandys wife) and Seth(his son) are unhappy about having Ryan stay with them, but they soon start loving him and began treating him like family. Throughout the series, the teenagers go through as series of fights, love, break-ups and even, death. The families of the teenagers also encounter a number of hardships.

As I said earlier, The O. C. sits in the category of what we call the prime time or nightly series. Although the contents of afternoon and nightly shows look often similar, they are, however, produced differently and is largely different in terms of longevity. Just like any other soaps, The O. C. involve families , most importantly the Cohens (Sandy, Kirsten and Seth and Ryan , since hes like family to the Cohens) and the Coopers(Jimmy, Julie, Marissa and Kaitlin). The Cohens are a wealthy family and own a humongous house in the upper-class neighbourhood of Newport.

The Cohens provide a picture of a family which, though it is always in the process of breaking down, stays together no matter how intolerable its situation may get(Modleski 229) . Mainly in the season 2 of the series, hostilities heat up between Sandy and Kirsten Cohen when he accepts to help, Max Bloom, find his daughter, Rebecca, whom was Sandys first love. Sandy admits to his wife that he still has feelings for Rebecca. Later on, he keeps Rebeccas presence in Newport a secret from his wife until one night, Kirsten heads for Sandys office and is shocked to find Rebecca there.

Thus Kirstens conflict about Rebecca carries on . However, although the family was almost on the verge of breaking up, they managed to solve their problems within the family and remained closely together until the end; Sandy, although he still cares a lot about Rebecca, returns to his wife and reconcile with her. As for the Coopers, they also find themselves in constant turmoil, however, unlike the Cohens, they did not manage to stay altogether until the end. Julie and Jimmy Copper ended up divorcing in the shows season two. Jimmy moves on and relocates to Maui.

The Cooper women are left alone in Newport. In Modleskis article, Kathryn Weibel enumerates some of the frequent themes in soaps such as marrying for money and the alcoholic woman. In fact , these issues were presented in some episodes of the show. Lets take Julie Cooper for example. Its obvious that she married Jimmy partly for his money since when Jimmy started having financial problems, she immediately wanted to divorce him. She claimed that she deserved better. Later on, she marries Caleb Nichol, Kirstens father, which made her one of the most powerful women in Newport.

She was then appointed CEO of his company, the Newport Group. There was a point in the show where Kirsten became an alcoholic woman. As she sees her marriage almost falling apart, she then turns to alcohol as a compensation. One night, she crashes her car while driving drunk. After that incident, she still carries on drinking until her family finally intervenes and convinces her to check into a rehabilitation program for alcohol abuse after her fathers funeral. Apart from that, theme such as social class distinction is also introduced in the show.

The viewer assists in Ryans struggles as he embarks into an upper-class environment. As for the structure of this prime-time serial, the O. C. adopted the soap operas continuing plotlines from episode to episode. Unlike afternoon dramas such as Days of our Lives, The O. C. aired not more than once a week, and only a part of the year. It also does not take the never-ending nature of soap opera, which is its dominant defining characteristic. In prime time shows, an eventual end is foreseen. , thus we call this closed serials instead of open serials.

The O. C. hen is defined as a closed serial since it faced a closure after running a total of four seasons. It originally aired on Fox from 2003 to 2007. The last episode basically shows what has become with the characters years later following the earthquake that struck Newport: Julie Cooper remarries and graduates from college; Seth Cohen and Summer Roberts get married as well while Kirsten and Sandy welcome a new baby in their family. As the episode reaches its final closure Ryan, now an architect, reaches out to a young boy , much in the same way Sandy reached out to him several years ago.

There is also a vast difference in the way in which prime time shows are produced. The popular prime-time shows were shot on film, unlike their daytime counterparts, which have always been shot on tape. This results a different overall feel to the viewer. Compared to afternoon shows, primetime serials offer a softer, more picturesque feel about them mainly because they are shot on film and also feature a number of outdoor location scenes in natural light. The viewers were given the impression as if they were watching a motion picture on their television. Prime time shows have a more fluid, professional look to them.

In contrast, the look and the feel when watching a daytime serial is almost similar to that of watching a play on stage. The difference in appearance can be explained by the fact that the networks only aired prime time shows once a week, instead of daily. This means more time could be invested in production and post-production, therefore ensuing a better-looking outcome. One element defining soaps is the use of closed-up shots. As Modleski claims in her article, the audience is privileged to witness the characters expressions¦the entire emotional register(233).

In the scene where Marissa Cooper is on the brink of death, the spectator witnesses a close-up view of Marissa, as well as Ryans face. When Marissa finally stops breathing and closes her eyes, we see, on Ryans face, the pain that fills him up. Theres a sort of emptiness inside him- it seems like he wants to scream but he cant blurt a word for losing her is too painful. Thus close-ups like this provide the spectator with training in reading other people, in being sensitive to their feelings at any given moment.

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