I recently heard a priest give a funny homily that compared soap operas to real life.
I am sure there was a very important lesson I should have learned from his talk, but the whole time he was speaking, I kept thinking to myself, ‘why are they called soap operas?’
I am not an expert on television melodramas (or soap for that matter), but I can’t understand where the name comes from.
My only guess would be that seeing what the characters do and say on these shows makes some mothers want to wash out their mouths with soap.
Side note, does anyone still use that as a form of punishment? With all the types of flavored soaps these days, I bet that punishment was much more harsh years ago when the only type of soap was the block white, chalk flavor. In fact, I used some apple cinnamon soap the other day that smelled so good, I wanted to drink a little.
Back to our regularly scheduled program…
According to Wikipedia, “the name soap opera stems from the fact that many of the sponsors and producers of the original dramatic serials’ broadcast on radio were soap manufacturers, such as Dial Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers.”
The story goes that these companies wanted to sponsor a program that had a mostly female audience.
That is fantastic branding by soap companies.
Good thing women weren’t the majority of the audience for basketball or wrestling. If so, those things might have been called basketsoap or soap fighting.