Friday, December 10, 2010

Soap Operas With Zombies And Shootouts!

I've gotten my thirteen year old addicted to soap operas.  I didn't mean to, but it happened.  He likes stories with characters that go through trials and tribulations and come out better people.  Or just survive.  I've been reading books like that to him all his life that he can remember.

I didn't warn him about the addictive (and frustrating) nature of soap operas.

When I was a kid, my mom watched General Hospital.  She did up until the very end, and she's got one of my brothers hooked on it too.  I didn't care for them because they were painfully glacial in development.  I cut my teeth on Tarzan, Doc Savage, and the Shadow.  Pulp style stories where everything happened on every page and there was a neat ending.

You don't get that in soap operas.  Things move along and continue, and you keep waiting for the next penny to drop.  Instead, the writers tend to hold back the really important events and keep baiting you.

Case in point:  In The Walking Dead Rick Grimes was thought dead and doesn't know his partner Shane slept with his wife Lori.  Chandler and I are both waiting to see that particular nugget to hit the fan.  We thought we were going to see it in the last episode of this season's series when Lori scratched Shane for coming on too strong.

Didn't happen.  *sigh*  Now we're gonna be waiting for months.

So far, Chandler hasn't shown any signs of frustration.  He's just hyper interested.  I've been talking to him, letting him know that it'll probably be a while before we see that happen even next season.  I've read the comics and have seen the particular resolution on that, but the television series has already taken some wicked twists and turns so I'm not sure what's going to shake out in the long run.  Alternate history Walking Dead.

I got him hooked on another soap opera earlier in the year.  Thought Justified was just going to be a shoot 'em up cop show.  One of crime writer Elmore Leonard's most popular characters, Raylan Givens, stars in this series.  The premise is that he has to return home to the small Kentucky coal town he grew up in and deal with his criminal father, old friends, an ex-wife, and figure out where he's supposed to fit in all of that.

And whether he wants to stay.

Chandler and I sat down every Tuesday and watched the episodes, wondering what was going to happen next and how much trouble Raylan was going to get into.  Then we'd howl at the moon at where we sometimes got left.  But we're gonna be back for Season Two in February, and we're picking up the first season when it comes out on DVD.

I know Chandler and I aren't going to go around telling people we're watching soap operas.  Nope, we're gonna insist we're watching shows about surviving the zombie apocalypse and quick draw US Marshals.  We'll play down all that sissy stuff about waiting to see how characters end up (in love or not).  But it still matters to us.  We just don't want to admit it and lose man points.

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