The two British soap operas that we have studied are Eastenders and Brookside.
These come on TV on a regular basis and are no longer than 30 mins, except the omnibus edition. There are several codes and conventions that are used in soap operas. Opening titles. Eastenders starts with a map of London and zooms in to the Eastend. Brookside uses real images, several cuts of people doing normal daily things, ands how’s recognized Liverpool buildings. International soaps usually use the opening title with the characters of the soap.
I. e. neighbours.Opening narratives- these soaps have been running on TV, the same time for several years, they are open narratives as the stories never finish they carry on for several episodes. Multi-narratives.
– In the episodes we saw, there are around 10-12 different storylines in Eastenders, and brook side 4-6 storylines, but each episode has a ‘main’ more ‘concentrated on’ storyline. In our case ‘terry and Janine’s relationship and Max and Jackie’s marriage connection with Suzanne. Interwoven stories- most stories are linked in these soaps, as everyone knows each other and they are set with a certain amount of people.E. g Eastenders, Peggy and Henry planning to go on holiday, but Charlie want to take Peggy. Dramatic short-term stories. – The story of Asif and Paul, and loses the cat litter, and Paul, loses his temper, the story.
Finishes in one episode, but are used to have a long-term effect o the characters i. e. Paul, stresses even more about his mother. ll the stories have some sort of conflict, which leads to suspense and drama. Stories about social issues.
– The main convention of British soap operas is the use of social issues.Stories have been used so the evidence can relate to them, this is the main effect to create realism, and soaps are used and show the positive and negative aspects of the stories. In Brookside, marriage problems, unprotected sex, greet, coping with death.
Eastenders, also death. Cliffhangers function as a hook; they keep the audience hooked till the next episode. They create suspense, tension, excitement, and drama. In Eastenders, the cliffhanger evolves round Janine and Terry.
In the episode, the story with the cliffhanger is given more attention. Minimal sound, and extreme close-ups create tension.All major story lines have Cliffhangers. Ellipses. Time periods cut short, e.
g. when Jackie is at home and then she’s at the graveyard in the next scene, the time period in between has been cut. Also each episode tends to represent a day no more. * Audience Superiority – Past knowledge of the story lines helps to create dramatic irony, e. g. in Brookside, the audience knows that Max has killed Suzanne, and Jackie doesn’t, so we feel superior, so we react different as to a person who is just watching Brookside for the first time, as we know what is happening.Also continuous recaps of what is happening is a famous convention of British Soaps, e. g.
Brookside, we see Katie, and just say you were watching it for the first time, the nurse acts as the audience and so Katie tells the story of what is happened. Character Types – These are used to appeal to a wider audience but character types change after they are used for there function e. g. Martin when he became a addict, was seen as a Rowdy youth.