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eBook " Crossroads " : Drama of a Soap Opera download
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Author: Dorothy Hobson
ISBN: 0413501507
Pages 160 pages
Publisher Methuen (July 8, 1982)
Language English
Category: No category
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 283
ePUB size: 1873 kb
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eBook " Crossroads " : Drama of a Soap Opera download

by Dorothy Hobson


The repercussions of that announcement were immense and highlighted the gulf between the broadcasting authorities and the progaramme's critics, and the 'Crossroads' production team and the audience.

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Realism, Naturalism and Television Soap Opera. D. Kellner - 1982 - Theory, Culture and Society 1 (2):136-138. John North, God's Clockmaker: Richard of Wallingford and the Invention of Time.

HOBSON, Dorothy Crossroads: the drama of a soap opera. A significant proportion of the book is dedicated to studies on soap operas. London: Methuen, 1982. A milestone in using empirical evidence in studying soap operas. In his chapter, ‘Bursting bubbles: soap opera, audiences, and the limits of genre’, Robert Allen discusses the problems of genre and considers some definitions. He also notes that soaps are changing as they seek new audiences which is reflected in the different character types that are now appearing.

Television historian and author of the book Soap Opera, Dorothy Hobson, tells the BBC: "When new . The ambitious final episode, which was broadcast live, involved 65 actors and a 300-strong crew portraying the aftermath of a devastating gas explosion. Live drama marks Corrie landmark.

Television historian and author of the book Soap Opera, Dorothy Hobson, tells the BBC: "When new sets are being built it gives an opportunity for disasters as the old set is destroyed. Keep an eye open in the next year when EastEnders' new set will be finished. Who knows what could happen then. Live Corrie attracts 14m viewers. 3. The Crossroads motel fire, 1981.

The biggest difference between soap operas and drama series is the pace of the storytelling. A major incident in a story will only take 1 episode to unfold in a drama series but the same thing in a soap opera will drag for the next two weeks. k views · View 2 Upvoters. Related QuestionsMore Answers Below

A soap opera is a radio or television serial dealing especially with domestic situations and frequently characterized by melodrama and sentimentality. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers.

A soap opera is a radio or television serial dealing especially with domestic situations and frequently characterized by melodrama and sentimentality. BBC Radio's The Archers, first broadcast in 1950, is the world's longest-running radio soap opera; the world's longest-running television soap opera is Coronation Street, first broadcast on ITV in 1960.

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In summer 1981 ITV sacked the heroine of the successful but often criticized English Soap Opera „Crossroads“. A wave of viewers’ letters ensued and even the Times took notice of the storm of protest against the TV producers. Crossroads at that time had 13 to 14 million viewers in the UK midlands. Why did viewers of a soap opera feel so much offended by the sacking of the bad actress playing the good heroine? Dorothy Hobson was working on a PhD thesis on Soap operas at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies then. The book “Crossroads” is an excerpt from this PhD for the public debate.
Hobson starts by describing the Soap genre and gives a narratological formula. Soap operas create the illusions that the characters and the location exists and continue whether the viewers are there or not. There is no need for any storyline to have a final resolution. The death of either the real actors or the fictional characters has dramatic consequences, as shown in the 1981 sacking.
Hobson followed the production of several episodes of “Crossroads” with the production team and describes the production process. She shows the time and budget restraints on the serial which was often the reason for complaints about lacking quality. She interviews the actors and deals with the relationship between the acting performers and the characters they play. Most viewers know that performers are acting a part. But sometimes performers who play bad characters are attacked by viewers. When the script writers wrote the good heroine out of “Crossroads” in 1981 in order to sack the actress, many viewers were filled with moral indignation. The sets have become so familiar and established to viewers that they see them as real locations. Crossroads is set in a motel and sometimes viewers want to book a room or apply for a job in the fictional motel. Hobson’s study gives interesting examples for the discussions about fictionality.
The strongest part of the study is about watching with the audience. Hobson talked to people about the programme and watched Crossroads with different viewers in the latter’s private environment. Watching television is part of the everyday life of viewers and not a separate activity. Household duties and watching Crossroads have to be coordinated. Mothers with young children have a different way of viewing Crossroads. Some of Hobson’s interviewees say that fictional characters can compensate to a certain degree the isolated life of housewives. Here the study is probably a bit outdated. The mostly female viewers of Crossroads are mostly housewives with traditional family roles.
Hobson contradicts the widely held opinion on the nature of soap opera. Soap opera are not mainly about escapism. Viewers relate the problems of the characters of Crossroads with their own lives. Knowledge of the characters and stories belong to the cultural capital of the viewer. Hobson describes a discussion between pensioners on Crossroads in a train. The myth of the passive view is about to be shattered. They do not sit there watching and taking it all in without any mental activity or creativity.
Hobson provides evidence for Stuart Hall’s “Encoding/Decoding” theory, which was at the heart of most of the Birmingham Cultural Studies work. The readers or viewers are creative too while reading (or viewing) the text. Crossroads does not have a meaning for all viewers. But individual viewers give Crossroads an individual meaning.
At last Hobson analyses more than 3000 letters to the television editor about the sacking of the actress. The letters give an overwhelming evidence of the importance of Crossroads for the viewers, which were predominantly female and working class. Many elderly viewers confessed they have not many other pleasures. For them the sacking of Crossroads belonged to the general destabilization of society. Hobson says that we should consider TV and soap opera as a serious and important form of art and avoid elitism.
Hobson’s book is a model of ethnographic research in Cultural Studies, very similar to Paul Willis “Learning to Labour”. There is no critique of ideology. Hobson does not deconstruct the gender and class ideology behind “Crossroads”. In an interview 2013 she confessed that she never supported the Marxist ideas of Stuart Hall. With the help of an ethnographic approach Hobson created a wonderful book that probably changed my way of thinking about soap operas. The lack of critique of ideology on the other side contributed to an obvious de-politicization of cultural studies.