No need to name names, but 2016 was definitely a stressful year for anyone watching American politics. However, life wasn’t all bleak in 2016. Art is often seen as an outlet to help people get through difficult times. And my definition of art includes the NBC daytime soap opera Days of our Lives, which is on from Monday-Friday every week of the year. And it very rarely doesn’t air an episode.
I first started watching 'Days of our Lives' when my mom was dying of cancer three years ago.
Sure. Watching a soap opera might seem frivolous. But it gave me something to invest in everyday, which ended up being relevant once again in 2016.
People ultimately underestimate soap operas because they aren’t as superficial as they seem by only containing convoluted storylines.
Nope. That isn’t the case. The irony is, larger than life storylines allow for character development because 'Days of our Lives' has a lot of time to explore a plot since the show does well over 200 episodes a year.
The show’s recent love triangle between twenty-somethings Abigail, Ben, and Chad is a perfect example of character exploration. Abigail started dating Ben. And Ben even seemed like a nice guy. But Abigail’s ex-boyfriend Chad came back to town a couple months after Abigail and Ben started dating. Chad treated Abigail like dirt when he came back to town (because she had a tryst with his brother months before she met Ben). But Chad softened up by acting friendlier.
Meanwhile, Ben and Abigail were still dating. Ben was slowly unraveling, though, because Chad got under his skin. Chad even goaded Ben on purpose a couple of times because he was jealous. Ben and Abigail continued dating, though. Although Ben started getting suspicious of Abigail and used an app on her phone to track her. Chad and Abigail eventually hooked up and Ben found out about it. But Ben still stayed with Abigail. Abigail then got pregnant and the baby’s paternity was up in the air. But then, bam!!! The necktie killer storyline started and Ben started killing people and framed Chad for it because he wanted him out of the picture so he and Abigail could have their perfect life together. Ben was eventually exposed and Abigail ended up with Chad.
My point still remains clear, though. The Ben-Abigail-Chad love triangle was great because viewers got to see different sides to the characters. Ben went from being an outstanding citizen to a serial killer. Chad went from being a jerk to be kind. And Abigail was genuinely confused about who she wanted to be with it. That type of plot line would have taken a long time to unravel on an evening drama and might have been condensed. But it was nice that 'Days of our Lives' got to explore the storyline because people that shipped Ben and Abigail got their way for a while before Abigail and Chad shippers got their way.
'Days of our Lives' offers people something because life can be complicated. As a result, it doesn’t even matter if a convoluted plot is realistic. It mirrors people’s intense emotions because everyone has moments of disappointment, anger, or grief in life.
Don’t get me wrong. 'Days of our Lives' isn’t perfect because killing off the legacy character of Will Horton during the necktie killer storyline just for ratings was a joke. Will Horton was one-half of the gay super couple Wilson (Will and Sonny), which did a lot by giving the LGBTQ community visibility.
But 'Days of our Lives' does give people a successful outlet. Because let’s be honest. People are will need escapism in 2017. Besides, every show has an occasional storyline blunder. The important thing is 'Days of our Lives' is back on track because Sonny is back on the show (he left Will after his antics became too much, but then came back for the funeral a few months later before then leaving again for 9 months).