Friday, 2 December 2011

Me and My Soapies

Yeah I have become quite a TV addict, from hardly watching TV to having so many favorites that I can't keep up. I used to be an avid reader, reading book after book after book, non stop, but now find it very difficult to read so I have turned to TV. I always read true crime, biographies and autobiographies, mainly about child abuse and children and then just junk like Danielle Steele, Barbara Taylor-Bradford and Marion Keyes and similar authors, just for light reading and escapism from the heavy books I preferred reading, now I just can't read them anymore. For one, concentrating is a major problem and 2, because the escapism is just too trivial and a load of junk, and the others just too sad and stressful. So now it is TV, mostly sitcoms that I started watching with Chad and a few soaps and I love my soaps. Also watching TV, does not not need that much concentration. What you miss with the mind, you see with the eye and what you miss with the eye, you hear with the ear. In other words, you use a few senses, where as reading you don't.

Some people or most people believe watching soaps is mindless rubbish, but I disagree. OK, I don't watch things like the Bold and Days, that is mindless rubbish and you learn absolutely nothing from them. Where as the South African soaps, not all but some, teach you so much about other cultures and beliefs. There is almost always a lesson to be learnt in every episode or story line. Yes, they have the drama and intrigue and murder and mayhem, which may seem far fetched, but read any news site and you will see the drama and murder plots are very realistic in a world where a life is worth very little, more so here in South Africa, where you will be killed for the gold in your teeth and more often than not, by a family member or someone close to you. So no, my soapies are not far fetched at all. The ones I watch are Isidingo and The Wild and both have a lesson to be learnt or something you can take from it.

So many people criticize South African soaps, but then watch reality shows. I guess we are all entitled to our own opinions. Now for me, reality shows are far more scripted and more "unreal" than any good soap. Honestly, I will never watch anything about someone's superficial meaningless life, people who plan and do everything for the benefit of the camera. It did take me some time to get into The Wild, but now I am hooked. The story line, rural customs and beliefs merging or conflicting, living side by side or clashing with westernized life;  its a good way to learn about different beliefs and customs and people should embrace different cultures and colours and stop looking down on them and insulting or criticizing them. What better way to learn the importance of different cultures. The other story line - poaching and in particular rhino poaching - nothing superficial about that. It is real and the ones behind it are the ones you least expect. Then the other story line. The two BBF's and no, that is not a typo and me thinking one word and typing another. Yes I meant Backstabbing bitchy girls and not Best friends forever. How true to life is that?? Friends that call themselves best friends, who are actually just competing with each other, being bitchy and nasty, the one giving everything to the friendship, whilst the other one just drains everything out of it, all in the name of BFF's. That is so true to life.

So yes I am addicted to my soaps, but am also particular about which ones I watch. Isidingo also has such good story lines and they always include current news and affairs when appropriate. So, no!! I don't think they are mindless; amateur; superficial shows. Even most of the sitcoms I watch,  have a lesson to learn about life, people and friendships. Unfortunately, most of my favourite shows are no longer showing, so I have to find new ones to watch and my list of favourites need to be updated. I absolutely love Family Matters, but that is no longer on. There is no lesson to be learnt there, but Chad and I have side splitting, juice spluttering, choking moments watching that show. We now made a rule - no drinking whilst watching!!!! The one bit of advice that was given to me by the first psychologist we saw, was to go and watch a really good comedy with Chad. It forces you to laugh or at the very least, smile, which in turn lifts your mood and endorphin's without any effort and against your will, so you can't fall into a deep dark hole of grief and depression. So I did that and Chad and I have our comedies we watch and they are all a good laugh.

The other TV show I have started to watch with Chad is 90210. I used to watch the other one years ago, Beverly Hills 90210. Chad got me hooked on this one now. I missed season one and a lot of season two, but am quite into it now. Chad watches it for the hot girls. He had a major crush on Silver last season, now it is Naomi and Ivy, although I think the jury is still out on Ivy. Besides the crushes and hot chicks, I am pleasantly surprised at Chad's take on all the drama in their lives. During the ad breaks and before and after the show, we talk about the dramas they are having, Chad is the one that initiates the conversation normally and he has a very mature and positive outlook on whatever they are up to or dealing with. I just believe that watching shows like that gives you a lot of insight into your teenagers' thoughts on teenage stuff. Clint was also very open about his thoughts on teenage stuff and also had a mature and positive outlook to those things and I am happy that Chad also does. Discussing each drama they have is really good for open communication. It is not threatening to your child and knowing what they are thinking is only a good thing. The show might seem like a bunch of spoilt brats doing superficial stuff, but they all have a story that affects all teenagers at some stage of their lives or might affect them, so its good to know what your child thinks. Looking at the kids on the show, besides the fact that the actors are mostly older adults, the characters look just like your average teenager. Chad's school does not have a uniform, so other than his school being very small, the characters in that show could be any of the kids at his school and they all have their dramas too. So yes TV, does play a role and a positive role in our lives and is not all bad.

There was a news report the other day about a parent complaining, because one of the questions in the grade 9 arts and culture exam, set by the Gauteng Department of Education,  name three characters from a soap on TV. All these parents were up in arms on the different forums about the question saying it is not art. Of course it is art. Drama and acting is an art and a career, so why can't that be included. If they took any notice of the curriculum, they would have known that film and film studies was part of the curriculum and of course it is important to education, it is a career. That is South African's for you - hate change - hate anything different to what they are used to and refuse to embrace the differences in life.

Well that is my opinion on all things important or not so important!!!

Miss Piggy watching Isidingo - Eyes Wide Open - Very Intrigued

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