Re: POTUS (Donald) many legal issues cornering himMar 3rd, 2019
Story and episode structure
A crucial element that defines the soap opera is the open-ended serial nature of the narrative, with stories spanning several episodes. One of the defining features 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". In 2012, Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Lloyd wrote of daily dramas, "Although melodramatically eventful, soap operas such as this also have a luxury of space that makes them seem more naturalistic; indeed, the economics of the form demand long scenes, and conversations that a 22-episodes-per-season weekly series might dispense with in half a dozen lines of dialogue may be drawn out, as here, for pages. You spend more time even with the minor characters; the apparent villains grow less apparently villainous."
Soap opera storylines run concurrently, intersect and lead into further developments. An individual episode of a soap opera will generally switch between several different concurrent narrative threads that may at times interconnect and affect one another or may run entirely independent to 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 broadcast 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 rarely 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 (if a soap incorporates a break between seasons) 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 air 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 into hour-long broadcasts 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. The issue's cover notably featured its first daytime soap stars, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes of Days of Our Lives ,  a married couple whose onscreen and real-life romance was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press at large.
Plots and storylines
The main characteristics that define soap operas are "an emphasis on family life, personal relationships, sexual dramas, emotional and moral conflicts; some coverage of topical issues; set in familiar domestic interiors with only occasional excursions into new locations". Fitting in with these characteristics, most soap operas follow the lives of a group of characters who live or work in a particular place, or focus on a large extended family. The storylines follow the day-to-day activities and personal relationships of these characters. "Soap narratives, like those of film melodramas, are marked by what Steve Neale has described as 'chance happenings, coincidences, missed meetings, sudden conversions, last-minute rescues and revelations, deus ex machina endings.'" These elements may be found across the gamut of soap operas, from EastEnders to Dallas . Due to the prominence of English-language television, most soap-operas are completely English (or in the case of a foreign soap opera, dubbed into English). However, several South African soap operas started incorporating a multi-language format, the most prominent being 7de Laan, which incorporates Afrikaans, English, Zulu and several other Bantu languages which make up the 11 Official Languages of South Africa (the subtitles are always in English).
In many soap operas, in particular daytime serials in the US, the characters are frequently attractive, seductive, glamorous and wealthy. Soap operas from the United Kingdom and Australia tend to focus on more everyday characters and situations, and are frequently set in working class environments. Many of the soaps produced in those two countries explore social realist storylines such as family discord, marriage breakdown or financial problems. Both UK and Australian soap operas feature comedic elements, often affectionate comic stereotypes such as the gossip or the grumpy old man, presented as a comic foil to the emotional turmoil that surrounds them. This diverges from US soap operas where such comedy is rare. UK soap operas frequently make a claim to presenting "reality" or purport to have a "realistic" style. UK soap operas also frequently foreground their geographic location as a key defining feature of the show while depicting and capitalising on the exotic appeal of the stereotypes connected to the location. As examples, EastEnders focuses on the tough and grim life in the east end of London; Coronation Street and its characters exhibit the stereotypical characteristic of "northern straight talking".
"If we want to blend an actor back into a show, there's always a way. You can generally find a way to twist and manipulate something. You rarely see a dead body, but hey, even if you do, he or she can always come back to play the evil identical twin."
– Marlena Laird in 1992, during her time as a line producer and director for General Hospital .
Romance, secret relationships, extramarital affairs, and genuine hate have been the basis for many soap opera storylines. In US daytime serials, the most popular soap opera characters, and the most popular storylines, often involved a romance of the sort presented in paperback romance novels. Soap opera storylines weave intricate, convoluted and sometimes confusing tales of characters who have affairs, meet mysterious strangers and fall in love, and who commit adultery, all of which keeps audiences hooked on the unfolding story. Crimes such as kidnapping, rape, and even murder may go unpunished if the perpetrator is to be retained in the ongoing story.
Australian and UK soap operas also feature a significant proportion of romance storylines. In Russia, most popular serials explore the "romantic quality" of criminal and/or oligarch life.
In soap opera storylines, previously unknown children, siblings and twins (including the evil variety) of established characters often emerge to upset and reinvigorate the set of relationships examined by the series. Unexpected calamities disrupt weddings, childbirths, and other major life events with unusual frequency.
As in comic books – another popular form of linear storytelling pioneered in the US during the 20th century – a character's death is not guaranteed to be permanent. On The Bold and the Beautiful , Taylor Forrester (Hunter Tylo) was shown to flatline and have a funeral. When Tylo reprised the character in 2005, a retcon explained that Taylor had actually gone into a coma.
Stunts and complex physical action are largely absent, especially from daytime serials. Such story events often take place off screen and are referred to in dialogue instead of being shown. This is because stunts or action scenes are difficult to adequately depict visually without complex action, multiple takes, and post production editing. When episodes were broadcast live, post production work was impossible. Though all serials have long switched to being taped, extensive post production work and multiple takes, while possible, are not feasible due to the tight taping schedules and low budgets.