The Death of the Soap Opera

April 15, 2011 By:
The Death of the Soap Opera

What happened to the Great American Soap Opera? I never used to be able to stand in line at the grocery store without looking at the face of Susan Lucci on the cover of celebrity mags. Now, all I see are the Kardashians, the latest Teen Mom, and Snooki. It seems we've traded in our soaps for reality TV.

Because nowadays, people are waiting in line to air their dirty laundry on television. And even more people are waiting to watch it. Your friends might claim they’ve never seen an episode of “Kourtney and Kim Take New York”, but it’s kind of funny that they know who Scott Disick is, don’t you think?

Hollyscoop spoke to The Young and The Restless star Kate Linder, and she gave us her take on soaps losing popularity to reality TV:

“Our drama is great, that is a different kind of drama,” Linder told Hollyscoop. “I think a lot of that drama might be fabricated and this kind of drama people are playing the characters, playing the stories of what is going on they are totally different kinds of dramas. I would rather be involved in ‘Young and the Restless’ actually.”

So what kind of drama is happening on soaps these days? Hollyscoop asked Days of our Lives star Molly Burnett what’s been the craziest thing her character has done.

She told us, “I had a sex tape made about me,”

Girl, please. Today, a sex tape is basically a rite of passage. You can’t write that stuff…because it’s really happening! People would much rather see the real pain and heartbreak of Kim crying over leaked footage sex tape with Ray J than an actor portraying it. But Molly continued:

“I was shot on my wedding day by a mom I did not know I had.”

Ok, we’ll give you that one. You’re probably not going to see that on the Real Housewives of Orange County. But still, the popularity of soaps is fading. It seems like people would rather see real-life drama than any kind of fabricated drama, no matter how grandiose.

Still, soaps have given so many actors and actresses their start. Think Eva Longoria, Kelly Ripa, and Meg Ryan. Another Days of Our Lives star, Shelley Hennig, told Hollyscoop:

“I love films, I love features that would be a huge dream for me. Let’s see what happens.”

But who knows if reality television will have the same effect on a star’s career. While Paris Hilton might have some movie cameos, as far as a career goes, she hasn’t deviated much from her days on The Simple Life.

And with Twitter around, stars are even more accessible to us. They retweet us. They read our comments. They talk (sometimes too much) about their real-life drama. Gone are the days of our favorite stars being actors portraying a dramatic role. We’re now hooked on drama queens who—usually— have no acting chops whatsoever. And we’re okay with that.

But for now, soaps are hanging in there. We still have Days of Our Lives and General Hospital, after all. Soaps still have a following, proving there’s still a demographic interested in the larger-than-life problems that arise when you have your mother’s boyfriend’s baby and then get it mixed up with another newborn while at the hospital.