Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Soap Opera Isn't Dead

My grandmother watched her "programs" faithfully for years. In fact, when I visited their house, we often watched them together. When I was in college, she would catch me up over breaks when I went home.

Soap operas were something of a joke back then. Popular, but a joke. I remember one show had a story line where one of the main characters was possessed. In one of the shows my grandmother and I watched, several of the characters had married - and re-married - eachother multiple times in some twisted sort of round-robin. One of my favorite movies, Soap Dish, mocks how soap operas will bring characters back from the dead - no matter how unlikely the resurrection would be.

One by one, the soap operas that were prevalent in my childhood have gone off the air. There aren't many left. But I recently discovered a replacement.

Comic Books

Our family loves comics. My husband makes a weekly stop at one of our local comic shops. We love the Marvel movies like the Avengers. (I am less of a fan of the DC options). I read a few comic books, but not too many because I find it frustrating not to know the backstory of the characters.

Recently we have been watching the X-Men movies as a family. I decided to see if I could find some of the backstory I crave by doing some internet research. I started with the X-Men character, Jean Grey. I found this article online.

What struck me as I was reading through this was how much it sounded like the plot of a soap opera:
*exposed to radiation, changing her powers
*turns evil, and kills herself when she has a moment of clarity and sees what she has done
*resurrected because the evil version was only a copy (a twin - classic soap opera ploy)
*cloned and the clone married her husband (who thought Jean was dead) and now that Jean is back, the clone wants her dead
*loses her powers

Well, you get the idea. And this is just one character! So, if you are missing the soap operas of old, or if you are looking for some new stories that are just as intricate (and sometimes convoluted) as you can imagine, check out some comic books!

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