Wednesday, June 01, 2011


When China made it's pair figure skating debut at the 1980 World Championships (trust me, I'm going to tie this in to soaps in a minute), the team of Yao Bin and Luan Bo finished dead last. Primarily because, not only were they training without a coach, but they also had to learn all their moves and tricks from photos and videos of other teams. (Yao Bin went on to train China's subsequent, powerhouse squad of World and Olympic medalists, but that's another - awesome - story for another time.)

The reason I'm bringing this up is because, with the pruning of American soap operas from network television, those of us who need a serial fix are, by necessity, turning to other options. I know a lot of people are loving their telenovellas, but I don't speak Spanish.

On the other hand, African soaps operas, such as those featured on the Africa Channel, Isidingo, and Generations (not to be confused with the African-American soap of the same name), are broadcast in a combination of English and (English subtitled) Afrikaans.

Not only do these shows feature African characters the likes of which you hardly ever see on Western television (and school even the most self-satisfied "diverse" programs a lesson in how it's done), but - and this is why I brought up the Chinese Pair teams - Isidingo and Generations give the impression of having been written, directed and performed by people whose only exposure to soap operas was America in the 1980s - and it's awesome.

Everything you could possibly want from a soap opera - dramatic proclamations, pregnant pauses, intense looks, blackmail, betrayal, deceit and hot, hot people - is available for your pure, classic, soapy enjoyment. It's like they didn't get the memo that women (and men) are no longer interested in this sort of thing!

Do you miss ATWT and GL? Are you already mourning AMC and OLTL? Give the soaps on The Africa Channel a try!


Thanks to everyone who let me know that the Comments section wasn't working. It's a Blogger problem, and they promise to get it fixed ASAP.


In the meantime, if you have a contribution to Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, please e-mail it to me at Thanks, and sorry for the inconvenience.

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