Why do soap opera story-lines literally never end? Days of Our Lives had lasted for over 20 years- and is still going. Don't fans ever get tired of watching the similar storyline returning every season?
Yes. Which is when the next generation come in and start watching the show. By the time they get tired of it, the next newest generation starts watching.
I have the same problems with soap operas that I do with the Lifetime Movie of the Week: The women are all wimps who either get beaten by their OMG EBIL husbands/boyfriends or are slutty adulterists with no natural reassuring qualities! Just once, I'd like to see a soap opera when a good woman who, when trapped- PUNCHES THEIR TORMENTOR IN THE FACE! Plus, everyone is absolutely miserable, and so dysfunctional that I'm sort of offended that we're supposed to relate to them! Just stop crying and bitching and do something badass!
Try some British soaps for size. These are usually chock-full of "strong" women who don't take any crap from anyone.
Several Brazilian soaps as well. I remember one where a good woman actually traps the villain and then proceeds to punch her in the face.
Spanish-language soaps also feature a lot of slapping fights, too.
Why soap? Was there NOTHING else to sell?! Are a lot of people in the market for a different brand of soap? I want to have one soap and stick with it. I don't have time to be always thinking about different soaps.
Different soaps can give you different feelings. Some can make you feel 'dirty'.
It's not so much there being nothing else to sell as none of the other products thought to do what the soap industry did.
And, there's one important thing to remember. When we think of soap nowadays, we think of bath soap. Back then, "soap" was a catch all term that also included laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid. These are the primary parts of a housewife's arsenal, and they do tend to want to switch if their clothes aren't clean enough, if their old brand leaves spots on the glasses, etc.
I generally like soap operas, but one thing bothers me. I hate the 'Raised From the Dead' method of storytelling. So what you're trying to tell me is that I saw you explode in 1975, but somehow you're back 20 years later because the show needs a ratings boost? Shows like General Hospital and Young & The Restless try harder than the others to be realistic, so raising people from the dead undercuts it.