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Most [[SoapOpera soaps]] fall under two categories, LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters and LongRunners.

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Most [[SoapOpera soaps]] fall under two categories, LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters large casts and LongRunners.



By starting a new story about half way through another, there is a constant rotation of new plots. The drama keeps flowing, and these people never receive a moment's rest. This is the SoapWheel, the time-tested way to turn LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters into a nonstop cavalcade of drama.

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By starting a new story about half way through another, there is a constant rotation of new plots. The drama keeps flowing, and these people never receive a moment's rest. This is the SoapWheel, the time-tested way to turn LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a large cast into a nonstop cavalcade of drama.


* ''Series/{{Dynasty}}''

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* ''Series/{{Dynasty}}'' ''Series/Dynasty1981''


* ''Series/BabylonFive'' - WordOfGod is that each season is structured to introduce a new StoryArc in the first several episodes, while resolving the StoryArc of the previous season about on third of the way in. The series creator stated that he felt the biggest weakness of most "mystery driven" series is that at some point viewers will either get bored with the mystery or decide that it will never end up being solved. By ''actually resolving'' previous arcs viewers are more invested in the current one.

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* ''Series/BabylonFive'' - WordOfGod is that each season is structured to introduce a new StoryArc in the first several episodes, while resolving the StoryArc of the previous season about on third of the way in. The series creator creator, Creator/JMichaelStraczynski, stated that he felt the biggest weakness of most "mystery driven" series is that at some point viewers will either get bored with the mystery or [[TheChrisCarterEffect decide that it will never end up being solved.solved]]. By ''actually resolving'' previous arcs viewers are more invested in the current one.

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* MTV's ''Series/{{Undressed}}'' did this in a firmly delineated manner. There were always three storylines: high schoolers, college students, and adults in their twenties. Each season was self-contained, consisting of several dozen episodes, and especially in later seasons all stories across age groups were in continuity with each other. Stories were of different durations, with starts and ends staggered, apart from all stories starting in the first episode and all stories ending in the final episode of the season. When a story would end, a new story would start in the same age group, often by shifting focus to a minor character featured in a previous story.


* RumorsOfWar is a [[WebComics web comic]] that makes use of a variant of the SoapWheel (by combining [[RotatingProtagonist Rotating Protagonists]] with [[TimeSkip Time Skips]]) to create a Cast-Go-Round. The plot keeps the moving even though tons of significant action takes place off-screen. Even the characters are left but to comment on what's happened and prepare for the next.

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* RumorsOfWar Webcomic/RumorsOfWar is a [[WebComics web comic]] that makes use of a variant of the SoapWheel (by combining [[RotatingProtagonist Rotating Protagonists]] with [[TimeSkip Time Skips]]) to create a Cast-Go-Round. The plot keeps the moving even though tons of significant action takes place off-screen. Even the characters are left but to comment on what's happened and prepare for the next.


* ''{{Eastenders}}'' was an early pioneer of this format and still uses it today.

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* ''{{Eastenders}}'' ''Series/EastEnders'' was an early pioneer of this format and still uses it today.



* ''FamilyAffairs''
* ''{{Neighbours}}''
* ''HomeAndAway''

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* ''FamilyAffairs''
''Series/FamilyAffairs''
* ''{{Neighbours}}''
''Series/{{Neighbours}}''
* ''HomeAndAway''''Series/HomeAndAway''



* ''{{Dynasty}}''

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* ''{{Dynasty}}'' ''Series/{{Dynasty}}''


* And let's not forget ''{{Soap}}''!

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* And let's not forget ''{{Soap}}''!''Series/{{Soap}}''!


** For example, see the early issues of Creator/JohnByrne's run on WestCoastAvengers. During the "Vision Disassembled" arc hints are dropped about the Great Lakes Avengers. When the GLA take the main stage, you start seeing subplots about the Scarlet Witch's potential abduction. During all of this, the Witch's "imaginary children" plotline is given a few panels each issue.

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** For example, see the early issues of Creator/JohnByrne's run on WestCoastAvengers.ComicBook/WestCoastAvengers. During the "Vision Disassembled" arc hints are dropped about the Great Lakes Avengers. When the GLA take the main stage, you start seeing subplots about the Scarlet Witch's potential abduction. During all of this, the Witch's "imaginary children" plotline is given a few panels each issue.


* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' used this. In the UniverseBible, Ron Moore cited ''Series/HillStreetBlues'' as an influence.

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* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' used this. In the UniverseBible, Ron Moore cited ''Series/HillStreetBlues'' as an influence.


* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' used this. In the UniverseBible, Ron Moore cited ''HillStreetBlues'' as an influence.

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* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' used this. In the UniverseBible, Ron Moore cited ''HillStreetBlues'' ''Series/HillStreetBlues'' as an influence.


Plot A -- one of the teenagers is pregnant. Halfway through this StoryArc, Plot B will kick in - someone has amnesia. By the time Plot A is finished and the teenager has undergone a heartwarming transformation, the main character in Plot B is in a hospital bed and has just remembered that his wife was the one who tried to kill him. Then in another part of the cast, a long-running character's never-before-seen daughter has started taking drugs - Plot C starts. When their parents find out, Plot B's wife is in jail and he is happily settled in his new life. Meanwhile Plot A's baby is now a toddler due to SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome, and is being stalked by her real father and the mother is going slowly mad.

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Plot A -- one of the teenagers teens is pregnant. Halfway through this StoryArc, Plot B will kick in - someone has amnesia. By the time Plot A is finished and the teenager has undergone a heartwarming transformation, given birth, the main character in Plot B is in a hospital bed and has just remembered that his wife was the one who tried to kill him. Then in another part of the cast, a long-running character's never-before-seen someone's daughter has started taking drugs - Plot C starts. When their parents find out, Plot B's wife is in jail and he is happily settled in his new life. Meanwhile Plot A's baby is now a toddler due to SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome, and is being stalked by her real father and the mother is going slowly mad.


* ''{{Hollyoaks}}''

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* ''{{Hollyoaks}}''''Series/{{Hollyoaks}}''


* Happens in the Kyoto Animation version of ''{{Kanon}}'', too.

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* Happens Utilized by several anime adaptations of visual novels, notably ''{{VisualNovel/Kanon}}'' and ''{{VisualNovel/Air}}''. A justified use, since it's a good way to merge several characters' nonconvergent individual stories from the games into a series that gives everyone a chance in the Kyoto Animation version of ''{{Kanon}}'', too.spotlight.


* ''DaysOfOurLives''

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* ''DaysOfOurLives''''Series/DaysOfOurLives''


* ''Series/BabylonFive'' - WordOfGod is that each season is structured to introduce a new PlotArc in the first several episodes, while resolving the PlotArc of the previous season about on third of the way in. The series creator stated that he felt the biggest weakness of most "mystery driven" series is that at some point viewers will either get bored with the mystery or decide that it will never end up being solved. By ''actually resolving'' previous arcs viewers are more invested in the current one.

to:

* ''Series/BabylonFive'' - WordOfGod is that each season is structured to introduce a new PlotArc StoryArc in the first several episodes, while resolving the PlotArc StoryArc of the previous season about on third of the way in. The series creator stated that he felt the biggest weakness of most "mystery driven" series is that at some point viewers will either get bored with the mystery or decide that it will never end up being solved. By ''actually resolving'' previous arcs viewers are more invested in the current one.

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