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The Influence of Soap Opera on American Culture

  • Broadcast in Entertainment
Silas Kain

Silas Kain


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This week we’ll be talking the rich history, current status and fate of the American genre known as Soap Opera. Journalist Michele Dargan from SoapBox1.com joins me for a frank and robust discussion about ABC Soaps and the state of Daytime in general. There’s plenty to feed our chat from the cancellation of As the World Turns to the reprisal of Brenda Barrett by Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo on General Hospital.

We’re going to take a novel approach tonight and discuss how soap operas have contributed to the rise of women in society. Whether it’s wife Vanessa Dale Sterling on Love of Life or the tough as nails Erica Kane on All My Children, strong, powerful female role models have made their mark!

Before Sonny Corinthos or Luke and Laura made General Hospital a household word, there were others who contributed something to the national debate. One Life to Live took on interracial romance and made the news wires. Dr Althea Davis from The Doctors (the REAL one) became a role model for thousands of female medical students. And the McCandless family became the subject of political science classes across the land. When you think about it, it’s possible that the majority of Americans have been directly affected by soap opera in the smallest ways. So let’s talk about it! Stop by, tune in and get involved. There’s one way to turn the tide in Daytime, let’s do it!

About Michele Dargan:

Michele Dargan has worked as a journalist for more than 20 years at newspapers in Connecticut and South Florida. A staff writer at the Palm Beach Daily News, Michele covers politics, religion, courts and equestrian sports.

She began watching soaps in the late 1960s with “OLTL” and segued into “AMC,” “GH” and several others over the years. Her husband and three stepchildren understand and support her soap addiction, which she has passed on to her stepdaughter, Christina, a big “One Life To Live” fan.