Soap operas: they’re a staple of American popular entertainment. Unlike shows that run on prime time, soap operas pump out a near-daily stream of drama, intrigue, emotion, and life.
They first popped up in the 1930s on the radio. However, they gained new life in the 50s-70s with the growing medium of television.
This article will walk you through the best soap operas of all time.
6. Days of Our Lives
“Days of our Lives” is a classic soap opera, certainly one of the names that come to mind when people talk about daytime drama.
The show had a great run in the 60s, headed by the man who later created “The Young and the Restless.” The show went on to be one of the longest-running soap operas of all time.
5. Dark Shadows
“Dark Shadows” earns a unique place on this list. Soap operas are often known as “daytime dramas” — indeed, their quick production pace requires the simple production of a drama.
However, “Dark Shadows” was able to combine the soap opera format with elements of gothic horror and fantasy. While the show only ran for five years, its influence was vast: it gained a 21st-century remake and influenced macabre drama for years to come.
4. All My Children
“All My Children” got a little bit of a later start than the other items on this list. However, it quickly overcame the newcomer’s disadvantage by focusing on humor, social issues, and young love.
This attracted a dedicated fanbase of gen-Xers who were a bit more skeptical, cynical, and countercultural than their parents.
3. As the World Turns
“As the World Turns” isn’t the longest-running soap of all time. However, it held the title for a while. Its run is particularly impressive — perhaps even more impressive than the longest-running of all time — because it started back in the mid-50s and ran until 2010.
Considering how much changed in the world of television, culture, and entertainment between the 50s and the 21st century, “As the World Turns” stands as an achievement.
2. General Hospital
This classic soap opera holds the Guinness World Record as the longest-running soap opera of all time. It takes place in an upstate New York town and was originally centered around a busy hospital (though the hospital has now taken a back seat).
Created by a skilled husband-and-wife team of writers, the superior scripts and casting brought in a large viewer base, particularly in the 80s. Any fan would remember Luke and Laura’s wedding, which brought in 30 million viewers in 1981.
1. The Young and the Restless
There’s no doubt that this show, whose name is practically synonymous with soap operas, is the greatest soap of all time.
The show follows the longstanding relationship of a rich family with a poor family. It was created and named to reflect the youth of the era. It was also the first soap opera to delve into sexual themes.
For more information on “The Young and the Restless,” check out this link.
The Best Soap Operas
As you can see, the world of the best soap operas is diverse and fascinating. Now, you can find a soap opera that’s still running, and watch it during your daytime hours.
For more articles like this, check out our “entertainment” section.