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Soap Opera Critics and Criticism

Soap Opera Critics and Criticism

Industry and Audience in an Era of Transformation

(p.250) Soap Opera Critics and Criticism
The Survival of Soap Opera
Denise D. Bielby
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the work of soap critics, focusing on their understanding of the soap genre, the industry’s impact on their evaluative practices, and their relationship to television’s networks, actors, and audiences. Relying upon interviews with soap critics themselves, it explores the critics’ background and expertise, the criteria they deploy to evaluate soaps, and the effects of the decline of the soap opera audience and the emergence of the Internet upon their practice of soap criticism. A particular goal is to understand how recent changes to the soap opera landscape have altered the legendary struggle between audiences and critics over claims to the narrative and the implications of these changes for the future of the genre.

Keywords:   soap operas, daytime television, soap critics, soap opera industry

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