At a time when soap operas are falling off free to air television in the developed world, its lack of subtext helps developing nations overcome disturbing social issues.
In a great episode of Radio National’s Future Tense we get to hear about the after-life of the soap opera.
It kind of gives more credence to this idea that the soap opera is an important part of television’s childhood and that in a lot of countries that’s exactly where television still exists.
In Australia, Neighbours has be moved to a “non-core” channel and in the US shows including All My Children and One Life to Live have been cancelled.
The question remains, though, if this is the end of our childhood then what sort of adolescence are we expecting for television? Is it going to be another 50 years? What is that 50 years going to look like?
Have a listen to the episode and then please leave your thoughts in the comments.[audio:http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2011/07/fte_20110707_0830.mp3|titles=Soaps: love, death, evil twins and a whole lot of social change!|artists=Radio National Future Tense]
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I stumbled across some info tonight quite by coincidence – the rights to All My Children and One Life to Live have been sold and might continue as online series. Apparently they’ll ‘pick up where they left off with the same cast and crew’. (I haven’t listened to the episode of Future Tense so if this was already mentioned, sorry!)
I can only hope that when Neighbours is inevitably ripped off the air it might also continue online. I have to have my daily dose of Ramsey Street shenanigans!