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Soap Opera – Opiate of the Masses



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    A soap opera, every now and then called “soap” for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera came from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers, as sponsors and producers. These early radio series were broadcast in weekday daytime slots, when most listeners would be housewives; so the shows were aimed at and consumed by a predominantly female audience.

    An important element that defines soap opera is the open-ended nature of the narrative, with stories across several episodes. The defining feature that makes a television program a soap opera, according to Albert Moran, is “that form of television that works with a continuous open narrative. Each episode ends with a promise that the storyline is to be continued in another episode”. Soap opera stories run at the same time intersect and lead into further developments.

    An individual episode of a soap opera will generally switch between several different simultaneous story threads that may at times interconnect and affect one another or may run entirely independent of each other. Each episode may feature some of the show’s current storylines but not always all of them. Especially in daytime serials and those that are screened each weekday, there is some rotation of both storyline and actors so any given storyline or actor will appear in some but usually not all of a week’s worth of episodes.

    Soap operas seldom bring all the current storylines to a conclusion at the same time. When one storyline ends there are several other story threads at differing stages of development. Soap opera episodes typically end on some sort of cliffhanger, and the Season Finale ends in the same way, only to be resolved when the show returns for the start of a new yearly broadcast. Evening soap operas and those that screen at a rate of one episode per week are more likely to feature the entire cast in each episode, and to represent all current storylines in each episode.

    Evening soap operas and serials that run for only part of the year tend to bring things to a dramatic end-of-season cliffhanger. In 1976, Time magazine described American daytime television as “TV’s richest market,” noting the loyalty of the soap opera fan base and the expansion of several half-hour series to a full hour in order to maximize ad revenues. The article explained that at that time, many prime time series lost money, while daytime serials earned profits several times more than their production costs. History of Foreign Soap Opera

    The term “soap opera” was coined by the American press in the 1930s to denote the extraordinarily popular genre of successive domestic radio dramas. 2 The “soap” in soap opera alluded to their sponsorship by manufacturers of household cleaning products; while “opera” suggested an ironic inappropriateness between the domestic narrative concerns of the daytime serial and the most elevated of dramatic forms. In the United States, the term continues to be applied primarily to the approximately fifty hours each week of daytime serial television drama broadcast by ABC, NBC, and CBS, but the meanings of the term, both in the U.

    S. and elsewhere, exceed this generic designation. Long before the days of television, radio dramas ruled the airwaves. The radio programs were commercially sponsored by the manufacturers of household cleaning products – the use of the word “soap” in soap opera. The term “opera” refers to any form of elaborate dramatic entertainment, not necessarily one set to music. By 1940, about 90% of all sponsored daytime radio programming fell into the soap opera type. Even today, soap operas remain the most continuing and effective form of broadcast advertising vehicle.

    3 The advertising industry publication Advertising Age named “the birth of the daytime soap opera” as the 29th most important milestone in the history of advertising. The first so-called television soap opera debuted way back in 1946. Faraway Hill considered by television historians to be the first network soap opera. It took three more years before the soaps found a home in the daytime hours. In 1949, These Are My Children debuted on NBC. The 15-minute show aired live and was the first continuing daytime drama. 4 On June 30th, 1952, soap giant Procter & Gamble introduced The Guiding Light on the CBS network.

    The soap opera had aired on radio since 1937. 5 Now minus the “The” from its title, Guiding Light is the longest running serial program which that some of these children debuted in the interview on NBC for the television history. Between 1940 and 1970, soap operas enjoyed a large and stable viewing audience. The core viewers of the soap opera were what advertisers came to call “housewives,” a term used to describe married women who remained home to take care of children. Foreign soap operas surged in popularity in the 1970s due, in part, to heavily-publicized romances, such as Luke and Laura’s wedding on ABC’s General Hospital.

    The viewers tuned into the Spencers’ wedding, making it the most-watched show in the history of daytime television. But by the time the 1980s started to wind down, television ratings for soap operas started to decline. Gone were the days when women were supposedly duty-bound to remain home and take care of the house and kids; it was becoming necessary in many households to have two sources of income. In 1976, Time magazine described American daytime television as “TV’s richest market,” noting the loyalty of the soap opera fan base and the expansion of several half-hour series to a full hour in order to maximize ad revenues.

    6 The article explained that at that time, many prime time series lost money, while daytime serials earned profits several times more than their production costs. The issue’s cover notably featured its first daytime soap stars, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes of Days of our Lives. 7 A couple whose onscreen and real-life romance was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press. Hisotry of Local Soap Opera In the Philippines we have this “teleserye (television series)” or “teledrama (tv drama)”, and now we also have “telepantasya (tv fantasy)” or “pantaserye (fantasy series)”.

    These kind of shows has been part of the Filipino culture for years. The first Philippine Soap Opera was first aired on the radio, it was Gulong ng Palad on 1949 then expanded into a television series in the early 1960’s. 8 In the 90’s Soap Operas like Mara Clara begin to air, and it is one of the longest running Soap Opera in Philippine History, a story about two child that were exchanged with different parents, and ended up as mortal enemies, a story plot that has been used by modern teledramas even up today. Soap operas in The Philippines originated when Gulong ng Palad was first heard on radio in 1949.

    Then it was presented into television in the early 1960s. The first Philippine TV soap opera was Hiwaga sa Bahay na Bato in 1963, and it was produced by ABS-CBN. Liwanag ng Pag-ibig, Prinsipe Amante, and many others soon followed. 9 The “soaps” were usually shown during daytime, however in 1996; soap opera programming was moved to primetime because of the popularity gained by the Mexican telenovela, Marimar, which was aired here in our country on RPN 9. This marked the start of the telenovela craze here in the Philippines. Major networks followed the trend by showing local and foreign telenovelas in their different timeslots.

    Philippine primetime started to focus on serial dramas and anthologies; both becoming highly watched programs. Last 2008, TV5 revived serial dramas for Philippine Primetime television. In 2000, ABS-CBN, made a milestone move in television when it introduced Pangako sa ‘Yo, which became to be the first official teleserye, and Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay. These teleseryes set the standard for present teleserye productions in the Philippines. This new type of soap opera became a big hit in the country, and its popularity was soon spread to other countries.

    Because of this phenomenon, subsequent soap operas shown on television have regularly come to be referred as teleseryes and GMA Network began referring to their television dramas as teledramas. In 2011, GMA Network, recently make their drama series like, Amaya (first historical drama show in the country), and Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin (first TV drama had a remake of the classic series in a same network). ABS-CBN did a remake of the longest running teleserye, Mara Clara and Mula Sa Puso. TV5 did also a remake of the long running teleserye, Valiente. 10

    Today, Philippine dramas gained international recognition from international award-giving bodies, cementing the reputation of the Philippines as a prime drama producer. Most of these nominated dramas were from ABS-CBN. It started with Lobo winning the Best Telenovela category in the 30th BANFF World Television Festival. Several dramas were also nominated in the International Emmy for the telenovela category, including ABS-CBN’s Dahil May Isang Ikaw, Kahit Isang Saglit and GMA’s Magdusa Ka. Magkaribal of ABS-CBN was recently nominated in the 2011 New York Festivals TV and Film Awards.

    Another show, Eva Fonda managed to win awards from the Seoul International Drama Awards were also the lead actress Cristine Reyes managed to get a nomination as Best Leading Actress and a Special award for the show. Statement of the problem The study aimed to determine the factors that make the viewers want to watch soap operas and to have a more in-depth evaluation of the effects that they give to the viewers. Significance of the Study This study focuses on the different types of Soap Opera and its viewers about its influences regarding their values and character development obtained from watching foreign and local soap operas.

    1. This study will provide information about foreign and local soap operas. 2. This study will stress out the different soap operas that are regularly patronized by the people. 3. This study will give motives and gratifications that are achieved from watching soap operas. 4. This study will present important factors needed to prove how soap operas contribute to the moral development of the viewers. Definition of Terms Standard Definition. The terms included in this research will be defined by using the printed materials (e. g. dictionary, encyclopedia) to facilitate easy understanding of the study.

    Culture. The word refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance. Electronic Media. It is the media that utilizes electronic or electro mechanical energy for the end-user to access the content like the television and radio. Impact. The word means having a strong effect to something. Industry. The word means manufacturing of goods and services within a category. Influences. It is the power of two persons or things to affect others. Innovation. It refers to the act of starting something for the first time. Local Media.

    These are shows produced and aired in the different TV that were bought here for local viewing. Local Soap Operas. These are soap operas that are considered to be proudly Filipino. Soap Opera. This is an ongoing, episodic work of fiction, usually broadcast on television or radio. Telenovelas. It is a distinct genre different from soap operas, for telenovelas have an ending and come to an end after a long run. Television. It is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with or without accompanying sound. Values.

    It can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. Viewers. It is the people who watched or avid fans of the localized soap operas. NOTES 1″Sex and Suffering in the Afternoon”. Time Magazine, (1976). 2url: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Soap_opera#cite_note-Bowles-118-0 3A. Wissbert, “Television Across Asia: Television Industries. Program Formats and Globalization”, Television Across Asia, (2005). 4Gerard J. Waggett, One Life to Live. The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. (1997), 91. 5Christopher H. Schemering, The Soap Opera Encyclopedia (1997), 66–73. 6Jason C.

    Mittell, Television and American Culture. (New York: Oxford University Press. 2008), 191–192. 7Rina Jimenez-David, “The Rise and Rise of Asian Entertainment”, Inquirer Magazine, (January 27, 2008). 8url:http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Philippine_drama 8url:http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Telenovela 9url:http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Philippine_drama 10url:http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Philippine_drama CHAPTER 2 Impact/Effects of Soap Opera Soap operas are by far some of the most powerful shows on television. Powerful in the sense that it has the ability to get you deeply immersed into the themes and the type of characters it presents.

    Drama is an essential for humans. But of course its not always loneliness that triggers soap addiction. Sometimes people could watch it for the sole purpose of entertainment or this relentless desire to become a daytime actor/actress. The majority feel that such contents should be aired on Lifetime: Television for women, but the truth is that a handful of men also watch it, such as moi. Depression is usually caused by increasing moments of solitude. This is when your mind gets delirious and urges you to seek alternative sources of connection and drama.

    Soap Operas are perhaps the best mediums for these as characters have the ability to fiercely drop axes on hears and at times tickles hearts. It serves as a prescription for healing our hearts when we feel that it belongs nowhere. The psychology behind this is just ravishing. There are a lot of research will be done in health communications to figure out every correlation they can between soap operas and as to how it engages the human mind. It’s astounding what chemistry viewers can share with some of the characters. What’s even more astounding is how charismatic they can really be and how this affects you as an individual.

    Women feel a more superior need of connection than men do but more men should watch it because some of the male characters of these soaps resemble some of the superheroes and villains that we read in comics or watch in other programs; with blends of other characteristics that make them worth following. Foreign Soap Opera Soap operas became something of an addiction for millions of television viewers. The weekend couldn’t end fast enough for many viewers and fans as they waited for Monday’s shows to see what would happen following the now-infamous Friday Cliffhangers.

    And while soap opera addiction many not be anything nearly as serious as an alcohol or drug dependency, the way to wean people from the addictions is very much the same: cold turkey. The first time that many soap fans were unable to visit their “television families” was when the three major networks – ABC, CBS, and NBC – broadcast the coverage of the OJ Simpson trial, and there was no longer an option for the viewers to watch their episodes at a later date or time. The viewers were forced to go without them for weeks and weeks.

    Initially, fans flooded the networks with complaints, but as the separation anxiety started to lessen many fans found other things to do or other programs to watch. A real life soap opera had supplanted many loyal viewers from their second homes. And while industry experts warned the networks that taking soaps away from their loyal viewers was going to result in trouble for the networks, most networks either refused to believe that the soap fans would tune out for good or they just didn’t care. This was not the first time that the networks’ opinions were misguided. The effects of soap opera are the same as the television.

    A psychological effect there is a theory that when a person plays video games or watches TV, the basal ganglia portion of the brain becomes very active and dopamine is released. Some scientists believe that release of high amounts of dopamine reduces the amount of the neurotransmitter available for control of movement, perception of pain and pleasure and formation of feelings, although this remains a controversial conclusion. A study conducted by Herbert Krugman found that while viewers are watching television the right side of the brain is twice as active as the left which causes a state of hypnosis.

    Physical effects studies in both children and adults have found an association between the number of hours of television watched and obesity this study found that watching television decreases the metabolic rate in children to below that found in children at rest. 1 Local Soap Opera Philippine soap opera/teleseryes were used sometimes to show the different status or situations of the Filipino people in the present time, sometimes it is all about the past experiences that we’ve gone through so that the viewers will be able to relate themselves in the soap opera.

    Here in the Philippines soap operas are in the primetime/evening slots where people are in their respective homes in that time. Soap Operas became a daily routine for the Filipino viewers. Philippine drama had its ability to the range of popularity in early 2000s (decade), many of these dramas have become popular throughout Southeast Asia, East Asia, Africa and North America, particularly in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Cambodia. These dramas are often dubbed into some languages, and sometime have its English and other foreign subtitles when imported into those markets.

    ABS-CBN started the exportation of their dramas, like classical dramas as they often have a universal message. Pangako Sa Yo (The Promise) is one of the most successful Philippine dramas abroad. Prior to China, the story mesmerized people in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia and Africa. ABS-CBN also introduced a website called ABS-CBN International Sales, for easy access to their shows. Another ABS-CBN shows, Sana Maulit Muli was also aired in Taiwan, Lobo (dubbed as She-Wolf: The Last Sentinel), Tayong Dalawa, Dahil May Isang Ikaw, Kahit Isang Saglit and Katorse.

    2 GMA Network’s Boys Nxt Door, a teen melodrama, was the first Philippine TV series aired in South Korea and 1994 Mexican remake MariMar was aired in Thailand, Malaysia, China, Singapore,Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya and Hawaii, USA, another GMA Network shows such as Habang Kapiling Ka, Kahit Kailan, Bakekang, Muli, Impostora, Mga Mata ni Anghelita and Dyesebel was also released in some countries in Southeast Asia and East Asia. Promoting soap opera through culture Culture has been defined in many different ways.

    One of the ways is that culture is seen to equate with Mass Culture as a commercial culture, mass produced for mass consumption. In recent years, Korean popular culture has gained much recognition across many Asian countries through mass media entertainment such as dramas, movies, and songs since 1999. The trend is known as “Hallyu,” which literally means Korean wave in English. 3 The Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism appointed “Korean Wave” stars as cultural ambassadors in countries that have had a strained political relationship with Korea (Cho, 2005). The Korean wave affected intra-regional tourism, from Asia to the U.

    S. , supporting an increase in inbound tourism. Popular culture such as TV programs, soap opera or drama and pop-star has been a very effective vehicle in attracting tourists to a destination while boosting the economic impacts). Media relations such as news articles, movies and popular culture, commonly referred to as autonomous agents, are considered to be more influential on image formation in that they have higher credibility and ability to reach mass crowds than the destination-originated information (Gartner, 1993; Gartner & Shen, 1992; Henefors & Mossberg, 2002).

    Most research about autonomous agents focuses on the strong influence of negative impact from news media such as political issues, violence, terrorist activities, and natural disaster. However, little research has been devoted to examine the impact of pop-culture on destination image formation in the aspect of an autonomous agent. Popular culture such as soap opera offers tremendous marketing opportunities for tourism organizations, such as destination marketing organizations (DMOs).

    4 DMOs can use pop-culture as springboards for destination promotions and generate marketing opportunities at the different stages of the destination promotion process. It is significant for marketers to take the exposure as a chance to rebuild their image management strategy, depending on how the destination is represented through soap opera. Promoters should understand the content of the soap opera and identify how the destination is depicted in it. NOTES 1 William J. Brown, “Sociocultural Influences of Prodevelopment Soap Operas in the Third World”. Journal of Popular Film and Television (1992), 157.

    2 url:http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Philippine_drama 3 url: http://opinionator. blogs. nytimes. com/2012/01/26/steamy-plots-with-a-social-message/ 4 url: http://whatis. techtarget. com/definition/soap-opera-effect-motioninterpolation CHAPTER 3 Conclusion There are many positive and negative aspects about watching Soap Operas. One positive aspect would be watching educational and learning shows which allow us to learn through listening and watching. It allows us to listen to the information as well as watching videos and see pictures which are more informative than certain books.

    A negative aspect about watching soap operas would be the number of inappropriate material that is included in it. Another negative would be the wearing of the eyes. Many people have problems with their eyes due to much digital exposure. Negative Aspects could be that some shows might lead you to believe something is real and it is not. It can cause you to use the TV as your only source of information and children/adults can use television to much and lack social experiences outside of the TV.

    You might happen to learn about something that you’re not ready to learn about or get wrong information depending on what you are watching. It concluded that localized foreign and local soap opera are shows that will lead to preserve the Filipino national identity. It also a way of preserving the Filipinos culture and tradition for the benefit of the future generation. So that will increase the number of viewers of the local programs because of having the localized foreign soap operas in the local TV programming will create the attitude that the local media is really for the Filipino people.

    It will create the demand to localized foreign soap operas for local programs. We found out that with the rise of the localized foreign soap operas it would be increase of ratings on the local programs that would be given a chance to conceptualize new programs. It challenges the Filipino artists to improve their values on the production so that the negative impression of people that Filipino artists being greatly uninspired would be erased from the idea of the viewers.ф

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