The popular perception of soap operas among those who are not fans is that this form of television entertainment is little better than reality TV with outrageously unbelievable storylines, B-grade acting and a genre where actors who can’t make it in prime time TV or movies go to linger. Fans of soaps know better. For the true fan, a soap opera is a family friend, and the place where forbidden topics are first introduced into the American conversation. By that standard, soaps are often a life saver for many who watch on a daily basis. By introducing controversial topics long before they have entered the mainstream, soaps have often acted as a sounding board and test case to determine what Americans think of a particular issue. Many could argue that soap writers and actors have treated the American people with much more respect than so-called main stream media and press, because the soaps trusted Americans to be able to handle controversial issues without slipping into a hysterical panic.
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