Vani’s Musings

Soap Operas

Posted on: January 8, 2007

If there is anything I have a really hateful feeling about, it is Soap Operas.

Sopa Operas were originally concieved in the west. They were melodramas, meant to entertain the homemakers of the 70s, and were sponsored by soap companies, and hence the name “Soaps”.

 The first Soaps I got to know were in the early 90’s, which came with the advent of Cable TV and Foreign Channels in India. Those days, the “in-thing”was to be updated about what was going on in “The Bold and The Beautiful”, “Dynasty” , “Santa Barbara” etc. I was in high school at the time, and did not understand head or tail of the show, but was conversant with the names of all the characters, and being a teenager, was constantly having a “one-minute crush” on one or the other male character.

If you did not know about these shows, you were unpopular and were literally ostracized because of your ignorance. Such was the hold of these shows.

 But, even today, I fail to fathom the complex relationships the characters share. Suppose there is a family of 4, with Parents, son and daughter-in-law (DIL), for 6 months, son and DIL stay together. Father divorces mother and son divorces wife. Then DIL marries Father in Law. Then they both divorce. Then mother remarries father. Daughter-in-law marries someone else, divorces him and gets back with the son. Then the same cycle repeats. Gosh! Why make life so complicated?

Verncacular Channels did not stay far behind and cooked up their own stories. Since India is still having a few values, people did not dare to copy the story line directly. But they found something better- Mother-In-Law Versus Daughter-In-Law. They wear heavy make-up, decked up in Sarees, loaded with jewellery and are always talking about “Sanskaar”, “Adarsh Naari”, “Maryaada” etc.

 One among these is a evil lady, conspicous by garroulous make-up, different mannerisms and a scheming evil smile.She enters the family with the sole aim of putting the others on the streets. And each  soap is based on a “Super Rich” family, where people only speak of 500 crores or 600 crores and nothing less.

Worse, these soaps run for more than 10 years, with more than 5000 episodes. According to the story, each person must be having a lifespan of not less than 200 years, and though the characters are quite old, the people portraying them look 35 or 40 at the most. 

And they run almost 24 hours. Worse still, some channels have started airing reruns of their soaps.

Can not the discerning viewer do without them? Lets hope that in 2007 at least, restrict the entry of new soaps and end atleast a couple of the old ones.


17 Responses to "Soap Operas"

Heh heh… enjoyed reading this – especially because I enjoy dissing these soaps too 🙂

You forgot Bindis – designer bindis – the more cruel the woman, the more sensational the bindi 😉

You know what, Vani, previously, I used to get very agitated and angry with these serials..(an old post of mine).. but now I just laugh at all of them – the serials, the characters, the makers, and the audiences.

Hope ektha kapoor reads this – woudnt be surprised if she laughs because her main income is from these soaps you mentioned.

Few suggestions are
a) Do NOT participate in any silly SMS for these programms – these ensure they are there on telly forever.
b) do NOT buy products which endorse these soaps. Only exception can be life saving drugs i suppose
c) Write emails to the producer saying we have had enough of it

and adding to these – each and every channel have at least 2-3 of this kind…
and in some soaps, over a period of time same character will be enacted by more than 4-5 actors!!

The best example for longevity is shown in such soaps…Remember the character Baa in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi???? 😉

Shruthi I remember reading that post of yours and laughing at the aptness of it all 🙂 N the point of the designer bindi is soooooooo true..Though Shanthi started it off for a very powerful, not-villanous female character, the rest of the breed are today significantly recognized by this 🙂

Who remembers Hum Log ( or Hum Golu as we called it)?

The Original DD soap…. used to watch it without fail.. mainly because TV was still new…more so color TV 🙂


Most of the serials are full of “GOLU”, some new soaps are part II of some other popular series.

Some popular soaps are remade in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and other regional channel, attire and looks are modified according to the local set-ups, but the story remains same.

Apart from all said above, one lady is Shanti in some serial, preethi in another, sadhana in another. She is a sweet woman in one, a venomous villanous in another, a Godly in one, a sympathiser in another.

ooops…how much people can remember? In the evening talks, ladies cook their own stories, mixing all the things from all these soaps!!

Long live SOAPs

Vijay I remember Hum Log n Buniyaad too 🙂 Watched their reruns without fail 🙂 N do u all remember Karamchand and Byomkesh Bakshi N Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne??? I loved watching them all 🙂

Srik, what u say is true…It’s so bad that my granny relies on others (read us – ie mom n me n any willing relative / neighbour) to keep the characters straight 😉

Can Mukta be called Soap ? Just asked…!!

Vani, I am yet to read the post, just glanced all the comments.

A very very good question veena.

Yes, Muktha is also a soap. It was sponsered by product promoting companies ( remember how TNS was made to elongate the serial by minimum 1 year at end) just to ensure viewership of their respective advertisements.

Muktha too had its good v/s bad and we can debate til cows come home regardgin hero,villain, anit hero et all but the essential ingredients of a soap were present there.

Somebody may argue how can there be only good or just bad , soaps mirror day-to-day happenings. Its good and reasonable as long as viewers can relate to individual experiences and that is where TNS got a master stroke. All of us out there would some how relate each in those scenes/snapshots due to which it would take some gleen of the soap!

Well, I have only one suggestion to Ekta Kapoor. Rename your co as “Soap Factory” in place of “Balaji Telefilms”.

True Mohan , All long run episodes are soaps including muktha TNS defenitly got a master stroke

Good post Vani, yes i remember those barbaric days of santa barbara , bold and beautiful and their endless affairs, swapping of husbands etc.

I see that this generation is getting hooked to TV the sweet devil which hosts so many virus(channels) 24 hrs. Children get hooked to Pogo, cartoon network and some channels and are bribed by the parents that if they do their homework they get to watch 1 hr of carton network … irony.

Youngsters get hooked to TV for watching latest gossips of hollywood and bollywood and other woods( only virtual) , i wonder what they get in knowing who married whom and who will marry whom and ditch whom??
We parents and elders get hooked to TV foron going soaps whose directors are themselves confused about the end and direction of that serials. Elders end up developing this TV viewing habits among children and later get helpless about it.

Few suggestions:

Why dont grandparents try to spend time with grand children in taking them for walks, trying to tell them about their earlier quality life, develop their reading habits visiting libraries, take them to parks, spread awareenss of preserving nature etc in those early stages , dont they think its needed, grandmothers can sing, tell stories of puranas and our cultures and pass on the rich heritage ,
Moms can definitely avoid the junk pack they give their children instead spend some time and energy giving them healthy food and diciplinary guidance, of course dads have their bit too they can always take them around to places like palanetoriums, govt schools and other NGO activities, swimming classes , outdoor games and all of these will definitely help these young generation to develop into a responsible citizen and a good parent further, doing these activities believe me i wouldnt have even 1/2 hr extra for these soap operas …. By the way above activities are never boring

The main problem with “soap factory” is it reproduced the same crap in all regional falvours!!

How can your message reach all the parents?..iis full of honey and even if one parent can follow your words, think it was worth your comment. Hats off



If anyone can realise and implement it i will be more than happy 🙂

Usha.. Today on 9th Jan 07, I take an oath to follow atleast many of what you mentioned.
tumba hi-fi aadru kashTa. I spoke about that obsession on any classics is also very allergic to people like me. so lets spare the kids with our ideas, I mean impositions!!

Mohan, I am glad today!.. you know why ??

Why, why, why is the basis for scientific temper it seems.

Veena share with me too your secret of happines pls 🙂

[ It should come from the horse mouth is the gade ] Kall yethe odibedi “kudure” andidike.

Note: One important observation is where ever muktha gang is around, they turn the main topic into a NO topic very quickly!!! Vani beware.


Mohan.. Addu bidde swamy. Your observation is intact perfect. neevu adakke contributor alve ? Main Contributor annisutte.

Mohan, you remember that saying .. srirangapatna dalliro ranganaatha eddaaga, kallina kOli koogidaaga, chamundi bettada basava eddaaga praLaya antha.. kudure oddaaga can be added to the list enantheeri 🙂 ??

Is there any aware of a place in India or abroad , where I can buy TV serial MUNGERI LAL KE HASEEN SAPNE on tape or dvd.

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