I was talking to a young woman today who mentioned that her boyfriend liked to come over on certain days of the week. Coincidentally that seems to be the days that pro-wrestling is on T.V. and that is what he wants to watch. Makes you wonder if he doesn't have a T.V. or something. But, hey, let's give him the benefit of the doubt, he may enjoy watching it with her young son. Her son initially scoffed at all the drama "and too much boring talking" in the pro-wrestling. Now, however he is starting to enjoy it she says. She called wrestling a "Men's soap opera". Nice.
That caught my attention. Being a Manly Man myself (and not a pro-wrestling fan) I wondered what it is that appeals to men about pro-wrestling. I recalled being a boy and a teenager and watching pro wrestling but I couldn't get into it too much (at least that is how I remember it now). I Do remember Andre the Giant however who was more famous for his role in The Princess Bride.
The show that most resembled a soap opera that I watched with my mother as a child was Dark Shadows. I don't remember much about it except that Barnabas Collins was the main character and it was a black and white show, a little scary and about a vampire. (I guess what comes around goes around, now we are back to vampires in the Twilight Series.)
Many shows have elements of soap operas, some more some less. Even life has a little bit of soap opera in it. Sometimes a man's old girlfriend does marry his brother, or you find out you are related to someone you either hate or love or possibly you find that the person you married is really the sister of the woman you loved and you have to work 8 years to marry her too! (Remember that one from the scriptures?)
But most often life isn't a soap opera but is doing normal stuff over and over and working hard and relaxing sometimes and vacations don't come around often enough and ice cream melts too quickly in the summer and most often people are loyal to each other without causing a lot of drama. Soap operas just take a little part of reality and make it seem like it is the whole of reality, isn't that the definition for exaggeration.
I'm reminded of a time when Lisa and I were engaged or first married, I can't remember which. The evening soap opera "Dallas" was popular and Lisa had a shirt that said "I love Dallas" with a heart replacing the word 'love'. She loved me is what the shirt meant. We were walking one day and overheard someone who couldn't believe she liked that television show. They just didn't know me. In life people do choose to love each other and even though hurts do happen with those whom we love, it most often isn't done on purpose or in such spectacular manner as shown on T.V.
I don't like it when shows slip into soap opera drama. I prefer the mystery, the tracking of the bad guys or the emergency room scenes. But letting your emotions run so rampant that you don't consider the consequences or don't care who you hurt to get what you want... Well it happens but it isn't very much a part of the reality I live. Maybe that's why I like Elder Maxwell's quote about Soap opera's (click here for whole talk):
"Yet we must not be intimidated or lose our composure even though the once morally unacceptable is becoming acceptable, as if frequency somehow conferred respectability!...Today, lust openly parades as love, license cleverly poses as liberty, and raucous sounds mockingly masquerade as music. Evil even calls itself good and often gets away with it!...We are lathered with soap operas in need of nothing so much as soap—for the scrubbing of themselves! Some seriously maintain that media violence and sleaze leave consumers untouched. But revenue is received from commercials precisely because of their influence. Either we deserve reforms, or sponsors deserve refunds! (Keep in mind this talk was given in 1993.)
Life is not a soap opera, so don't wish it were because life is much gentler and much kinder per minute than soap operas. And life is much more worthwhile than soap operas. Let's keep it that way.