Soap operas are not for me; when a show starts getting too soap opera-y, I give up on it.* If every imaginable tragedy and disaster happens to you in the run of a show, if I watched at one time, I’ll walk away from it sooner than later. As with my tenuous relationship with science fiction, there’s only so much I’m willing to suspend my disbelief. If you can’t be clever in your content, I can’t be bothered.
But soap operas are called soap operas because of…soap. I would never have imagined that to be true because that’s absurd. The spanish word, telenovellas, makes clear and obvious sense. Soap operas less so. But it actually does make sense. The term comes from the time of (one can assume overly) dramatic daytime radio programs that were sponsored by — you guessed it — soap companies.
*see: Grey’s Anatomy — abandoned somewhere in the second season, Glee — abandoned a few episodes into its third season, and True Blood, which despite the presence of two very tall, impossibly gorgeous, often half-naked men, lost me a third of the way into the fourth season.