This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on May 28, 2008.
I wanted to start out a full round of post-Memorial Day blog entries today with highlights of a couple of things worth seeing from around the Web. For this post, a few interesting soap opera related posts:
First, see the new blog from Sara Bibel. Sara is a friend of mine who I had the pleasure of meeting through my thesis work on soaps. She was formerly a writer for The Young and the Restless. She used to work with Kay Alden, one of the members of my thesis committee and a current writer for The Bold and the Beautiful, and it has been a pleasure getting to know Sara through some e-mail correspondence over the past year. Now, it's even better, since her thoughts--bolstered by some experience writing in the genre--are freely available online, through Fancast.
Here's her introduction:
It started, like most addictions do, with a pusher. I was in junior high. My best friend encouraged me to check out a show called All My Children. After a couple episodes not only was I hooked, but my life was forever changed. I had fallen in love with soap operas. At first they loved me back. In the 1980s, they provided me with romance, glamour and awesome female role models. During high school, the couple of hours I spent watching the goings on in Genoa City and Santa Barbara were often the highlight of my day. I still want to be a hybrid of Julia Wainwright and Erica Kane when and if I grow up.
As an adult, our flirtation became a long term relationship. I got my dream job at The Young & The Restless. Eventually, I joined the writing staff for several happy years. Then I wrote for All My Children for several not-so-happy weeks. Next came the writers' strike. And here I am, soap writer turned soap blogger.
Speaking of my thesis work, another of my thesis advisors--Lynn Liccardo--now likewise has a regular venue where she is collecting her writing, and her thoughts. We look forward to continuing to host Lynn's writing and comments here on the C3 blog from time to time, but you can find her material regularly over on her blog. In a recent post, she writes about the stigma of fandom:
One of the better-know soap opera columnists refuses to call herself a fan, and takes issue when others refer to her publicly as a soap fan for fear that her words won't been taken seriously. Yet her affection for and knowledge of soaps is implicit in every word she writes. So, why not a fan? And one of the television critics for this country's newspaper of record (at least east of the Mississippi) writes about soaps, primetime and daytime. What she writes suggests her familiarity with and affection for soaps. A fan, no? Yet, she undercuts her expertise with condescending prose; I suspect describing her as a fan would not sit well either.
Finally, check out this great entry about the Ameera Ali Aziz character from As the World Turns as a rare depiction of a Muslim woman on U.S. daytime television.