DefinitionAmerican “fantasy” soaps are based on unrealistic storylines highlighting the dreams of American society such as; wealth, fame and romance. It contains extravagant costumes, hair and make up
The differenceThis differs from British soap opera‟s because storylines are based on average people who the British audience can relate to because of things like; Jobs, Family Issues, Wealth.
Character StereotypesFemme Fatale: is a mysterious and enticing woman whose charms capture her lovers in bonds of irresistible admiration, often leading them into dangerous situations – possibly death.Heartthrob: this is normally a male character whose good looks excite immature romantic feelings in women.Bad Guy: the usually male character who causes trouble between other characters, sometimes violent.Mother Figure: The one who looks after and gives advice to other characters.
Examples of American “fantasy” soapsDallas:www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV8O7qaENfk90210:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arxmIDmvZiUDesperate Housewives:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVBCqGtkvvAOne Tree Hill:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th6unMtmQCs
LightingThe colour in American “fantasy” soaps tend to be very saturated and the lighting is mainly bright with an orange tint due to using artificial lighting but also used to set the mood e.g. darkness when there is death.Contrasting with this British soaps do not vary the lighting and colour as much. There tends to be very little contrast and colour. It is very much based on daylight.American British
Camera There are different camera angles and shots used in American “fantasy” Soaps for different purposes. E.g. This High Angle Establishing Shot is used to set the scene for the entire programme including the location. E.g. This two-shot shows the reaction of the characters after an important event.
SoundThe sound in American “fantasy” Soaps tends to have a lot of non-diegetic sound e.g. Background music, sometimes very dramatic. It is used to fit within the scene.Also, diegetic sound is used in these soaps to set the scene and give subliminal messages e.g. Dialogue, Sirens, Gunshots, Screaming, Door knocks etc.
Editing American „fantasy‟ soaps use editing to emphasise the storyline in the scene. For example they use a montage of characters‟ reactions when there is a major event. Also they have flashbacks to emotional memories which are relevant to the current storyline. E.g. Annie has a flashback to her hit and run incident.(90210)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msXL2sA1is4 Camera movements such as tracking, panning and zooming are used to exaggerate the story and to establish the location of the scene. E.g. When Jimmy Edwards takes students hostage (One Tree Hill).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rvdEaILjkQ Time Dilation is the unusual handling of the passage of time, this can be like when a single story day takes weeks of episodes to play out. On the other hand, international travel can take place in just a few minutes of story time.
StorylinesAmerican “fantasy” soaps have exaggerated andemotional storylines which are aimed to keep theaudience wanting more. These storylines caninclude: Affairs Car Crashes Death/Near Death Weapons Drugs and Addictions Medical Emergencies Teenage Pregnancy Mental Breakdowns Sex Suicide Abductions Family Problems