Melodramatic, improbable and unbelievably convoluted – soap operas or, simply “soaps,” are the Great American guilty pleasure when it comes to television. These sprawling dramas feature some of the most absurdly complex character arcs and plots and while you may laugh at the idea of these things, one thing they are almost always consistent on is entertainment. Lots of networks carry soaps but the quintessential channel for all soaps all the time is undoubtedly Soapnet.
Soapnet first launched on January 20, 2000 and it mostly aired soap operas that were also being shown on ABC. Because of this close affiliation with ABC and Disney, this afforded Soapnet some latitude in the early stages of its life and access to not only current soaps but reruns of classics like Dynasty, Dallas, and Another World.
Today, the network has wound down its operations to feature mostly the current favorites with a few golden oldies thrown into the mix. Despite the overall change in format, Soapnet still manages to do what it has been doing best for over a decade – giving viewers just the right amount of melodrama and convolution to get them through the day and maybe even put a few things in perspective.
Soapnet is home to some of the best and most compelling soaps around.
One Tree Hill: When two basketball-playing brothers are forced to set aside their differences and play on the same team, rivalries quickly cool into earnest, bonding experiences. These experiences ultimately threaten to reshape the dynamics of the small town of Tree Hill and bring together possibly one of the most dysfunctional families in America.
General Hospital: Murder, mayhem and mansions – it’s all pretty standard fair for the people of Port Charles, New York and the characters of one of the longest-running soaps in television history. Over the years, General Hospital has evolved to confront the socially-relevant issues of our times while still remaining faithful to its own sprawling mythology.
One Life to Live: Name a socially-relevant issue and there’s a good chance One Life to Live has confronted it with both grace and respect. That’s what this long-running soap is known for as it follows the jealousy and scandal-filled lives of the people of Llanview, Pennsylvania.
All My Children: Bitter feuds and scandalous love affairs pretty much come standard with any soap on television, but All My Children has been doing it for decades and doing it well with a cast of loveable characters – or characters you love to hate – and hard-hitting stories about murder, homophobia and what happens when friends stop being friends.
Days of our Lives: For more than 12,000 episodes, Days of our Lives has covered everything from the standard murder and love triangle spiel inherent to all soaps to darker and more fantastical elements of demon possession and the occult.
As you can see, Soapnet lives up to its name, featuring a litany of improbable but still incredible dramas. It’s hyper-reality at its finest and Soapnet is one of the best places for anyone looking to catch up with their favorite families or at least a serious reality check.