Soap Town

Every Friday I define a new soap term. Find more of them on the Soap Opera Jargon page.

Soap Town – Soap operas are sometimes set in a real town like Washington, D.C. (Capitol), Los Angeles (The Bold and the Beautiful), or Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara) and sometimes in a soap town. Soaps set in a real town tend to do better in the ratings internationally than those set in soap towns. A soap town is a made up town. Normally it’s the size of a small city, large enough that anything the writers may want to put there (factories, airports, corporate headquarters, yacht clubs) is viable, small enough to that a small group of people can easily make up the ruling elite of the town. Sometimes these towns are tied to a particular state and sometimes not, for example, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania while Guiding Light‘s Springfield was kept floating for years. Often they are alternative versions of real towns. Oakdale, Illinois (As the World Turns), Geona City, Wisconsin (The Young and the Restless), and Bay City, Illinois (Another World) are all named after real towns, but don’t reflect those towns in anyway. Even their relation to the ocean can change from one writing regime to another, sometimes being on the coast and at other times inland. Sometime a soap will switch towns for instance Guiding Light was set in Five Points (any state) and Selby Flats, California before Springfield.

UPDATED November 13, 2015: A couple of minor clarity edits and added current signature block.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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One Response to “Soap Town”

  1. glmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on Glmanny's Blog and commented:

    We revisit the definition of soap town.

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