The tragic life of a soap star
From the ever-dramatic events in Albert Square to the misgivings of many a resident in Weatherfield, Hollyoaks and the supposedly tranquil Yorkshire village of Emmerdale. Yes, soaps have been churning out drama, weekday evenings for decades now and millions tune in to watch the tragic lives of their favourite soap star’s lives.
Like many TV shows, from sit-coms to dramas, soaps are designed to mirror the everyday goings-on of normal life, making them more relatable to their audiences. But with regular tram crashes, arson attacks, serial killers and other large scale tragedies taking place on a regular basis, how close is the to the daily life of the average Joe?
Soaps vs reality
The average person probably experiences very little drama on a day-to-day basis. Running out of coffee, missing the bus or having a minor disagreement with a workmate are probably the closest that most of us will get to real life tragedies, yet the soaps tell another story.
A recent survey by First4Lawyers, discovered that many soap fans wanted writers to make soap stories more relatable, with 35% of soap opera fans saying that soaps didn’t represent real life, with a further 49% saying that they wanted more stories relating to real life.
More deaths, please
That said, 12% of avid soap fans said that they wanted a higher death toll in their soaps. That’s right, in addition to having more storylines closer to real life, soap fans want to see more characters biting the dust more often. Male soap fans were 10% more likely to want to see higher death rates in their favourite soaps.
Most soaps are set in small towns and villages that already boast worrying death tolls. When characters aren’t getting crushed by collapsing buildings, hit by a runaway car/tram/plane then they’re left to burn inside a burning pub.
Whilst it’s not the norm for British towns and villages to have a resident serial killer, lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike, the soaps tell a very different story. Every soap opera has its bad guy reaping havoc on the lives of the other characters and seemingly avoiding being caught.
The survey found that 33% of those polled had a favourite villain, with Cain Dingle from Emmerdale being the most popular. Sinister landlord of Albert Square’s Queen Vic, Dirty Den came second and the perennially angry Phil Mitchell came a close third.
With their tragic and dramatic storylines, there’s little wonder that a lot of people find the life and times of soap characters a little depressing. Whilst 21% of respondents said that Coronation Street was the most upbeat of the four soaps, yet just under half of those taking part in the survey really would like to see less bleak storylines and something cheerier instead during each episode.
Credit: First 4 Lawyers