I never really have time for soap operas. It therefore horrifies me every time I go home, for some mystical reason my mother persists in watching things like The Bold and the Beautiful. What is even more alarming is how many of the characters, literally decades down the line, persist in the programme despite having already had relationships with every possible person in the cast who is not direct bloodline to them. Talk about a guaranteed job for life.
Besides the fake floral sets and the copious Botox, one of the things that never really makes any sense on soap operas is how, in the twenty first century, noone seems to understand how cellphones work. If people just called each other and communicated a bit more there would, of course, be a lot less intrigue.
It’s things like this that have made shows like the BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ interesting as, being set in contemporary time, a very clever set of rewriting was necessary to allow Sherlock to be a modern man using technology while still holding the intrigue created from the past. Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie both wrote the great whodunnits in times when the telegram was an advanced form of written ’email’. (‘Telegram? What’s that?’ I hear the millenials shout) When telephones were genuinely not the first option for communication. Often the delays caused by the alternative means of conveying information, the reliance on newspapers, the awaiting of the written word in the form of a posted LETTER are what allowed murderers to think they could get away with their crimes.
I don’t actually think the texting children of today would be able to write mommy a letter without their fingers developing some kind of sprain although their thumbs may be overdeveloped from all the texting on the phone.
Of course, one would be excused into thinking if, therefore, we have all these clever means of staying in touch, we should be more connected than ever. Never mind that most people have no idea what their Facebook friend is really feeling beyond an update to 300 other people telling them ‘I just ate a cupcake’. Never mind that divorce rates are higher than in previous centuries as we all believe we have the freedom to leave if it’s too hard to work out. Never mind that people are in therapy and on prescription drugs with greater ease than before.
No, we are in better touch than ever before. I know, because I got a ‘personalised’ email from my online retailer telling me so.