Fuck I love these. Just look at their faces. In the below credits.
Obviously, the ability to act in a soap, involves a certain regimented rules-following, in that:
Act suddenly surprised.
Shake their heads in wonderment.
Act suddenly surprised, then shake their heads in wonderment. Someone does something silly, and without fail, a father figure looks at the person, cracks a smile, shakes his head in wonderment, then winks at the camera. As if to say, “Kids. (shakes head) He's playing with a dog. Isn't he amazing?”
Spray water on each other. (Then act surprised, shake their heads in wonderment). (“That Kylie, what a prankster...”)Or (“Kids. (....) Playing with a dog, imagine that. Isn't he amazing.”) Very evident in the Ozzy soaps.
Look deep and thoughtful – when someone asks , “So how was your day?”, or “Do you think you're gonna eat that apple, or can I?”
Look powerful and demonic if you're the bad guy. And have powerful and demonic names like Deacon or, the mafia-laced Stefano. American soaps love this. Or, evidently, be a man-whore with a name like Ridge. And try to convince the world, Ronn Moss, that you're not gay.
Have a mullet/80s bouff.
Family snaps. Often during the closing/opening credits. All standing outside the wholesome dwelling or next to the family Volvo. Beautiful, but when was the last time your family actually did this?
I bet when there's a lesson to be learned (someone goes missing, as a random example....) there's a moral message at the end of the soap along the lines of “A SIMPLE phonecall could avoid this in the future!” (“Sorry we made you dream about blood and death next to a mangled car wreck, Dad.”) And “Yes, we've certainly learned our lesson!” Then they hug, ruffle each other's grotesque hairstyles, which are stiff with mousse, jump into their Tata Indica's and zoom off into the sunset. All is resolved.
I especially love the Neighbours opening sequence, when Jason Donovan (or the likes) throws a ball at Kylie Minogue (....). It hurtles through the window dramatically, the initial smash momentarily distracting the soundtrack.
Home & Away. Crikey, I'm spewin feathers here. Sally - about 20 years younger - is feeding her baby doll fake tea out of fake tea cups! You just don't get a more contrived picture. Heath Ledger's big break was because of a cameo role he played on H & A. Don't mock it.
The expansive Capwell residence in Santa Barbaric. Polo players montaged with a lady in a one-piece. And how sexual are those impressive arches?
Eastenders. I got seasick seeing this, how many times can you spin the Thames around before focusing on Hounslow?
MacDonald Carey. (Days of Our Lives) Dude. Even though you were an alcoholic in real life, you played the surly father figure very well.
The moral? I want to be a soap star. But only back in the 80s. That's imperative. Having “Loving, the character of Ava - 1987” on your CV has to top anything Jane Fonda ever did. Ever.