Scholar Horace Newcomb on the Pleasures and Influence of Soaps
This chapter presents Newcomb’ views about the influences and pleasures of soap opera narratives. Newcomb cites the power of cognition as one reason why people become soap opera fans—the “game” aspect, if you will—in which viewers “know more” than characters, know the frames and schema that are in play, and are always watching for variation, violation of norms, and new strategies. A great deal of viewer pleasure would be lost if soap operas were to cease to exist.
Keywords: soap opera narratives, daytime television, cognition