What is a soap opera?
A soap opera is a serial drama with a mutli-strand narrative that focuses on
the lives of multiple characters within each episode.
Trailers are used to promote such shows, especially when important and
dramatic events are to happen within the narrative. The purpose of a soap
opera trailer is to appeal to viewers of the show who may be unaware of a
new series or episode and what is to happen in the programme in the
upcoming weeks or so. It can also appeal to new viewers who may have
not watched the show before. It is important for soap operas to gather a
large audience as generally soap operas work in competition. For
example, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and EastEnders usually aim to
beat each other in the ratings.
The content of a soap opera trailer includes some of the characters,
storylines and themes that feature in the programme. For example,
Casualty on BBC One is a soap opera based around the events in a
hospital and so the trailer for it would include scenes of disasters and
crisis, and have characters dressed to show their medical occupations as
nurses and doctors.
Repetition and Difference Theory
Neale has a theory relating to the nature of mediums, such
as soap operas, whereby the characters should be
stereotypical in order for the audience to recognise and
relate to the characters and their personalities to find
However, Neale claims that it is important for mediums to
have original ideas and characters also, to create originality
and avoid predictable characters and plot. This will result in
the medium becoming more unique and appealing to an
audience looking for something fresh and away from the