Friday, July 22, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Soap

          "Soap opera" means grandmother. It also means the end of the cartoon broadcast and the impending evening news.

          That's why they used to feel so boring. We didn't watch them at our home so that's why my association with them is with my grandmother, not her home per se, cause she tended to find a perfectly comfy place in front of the TV around 6.00 pm wherever she was. (I never got the old women's fascination with those shows, sweet old grandmothers in their cozy lil homes observing a life of betrayal, sex and lies. Actually, yeah I kinda understand now.) It was mostly "the Young & the Restless" (*fun fact#1: In Turkey it was named "Yalan Rüzgarı"/"The Wind of Lie" cause they obviously wanted to fit it with the  initials)

Evolution is a long, long process

          Then I sort of grew up and for some reason the American soaps stopped airing and left their place instead to Brazilian ones, which I still hate. Then CNBC-e started to show "Passions" and which started out to be innocent let's-check-it-out's turned into me watching it whenever I can (hey Spike also watched it, so can't be that bad). I was never a fan but I was curious. I liked how they prolonged a storyline until it was on the ground kicking like a dying giraffe..I liked how different actors would perform the same characters over time (and very dramatically)..I liked how there were always various mysteries & schemes going on. Then I stopped watching, maybe because they stopped showing. But since then I've always like the concept of the soaps, if not the soaps themselves.

          Recently, thanks to the internet, I've learnt about the existence of a supernatural soap called Dark Shadows that originally ran between 1966-1971. It had vampires, witches, werewolves and took place in a gothic setting (I mean who doesn't love Hitchcock's "Rebecca"?). After a year of not thinking about it, here I am, watching it from the beginning. 
          It's surely camp, but sometimes I even marvel at the way they web out a storyline. The quality of production is actually bad, they were shooting using live-tape (a system that I can't really understand) and all the scenes had to be done in one take each. But the fact that the cameras (they use 3) try to find focus when characters move, or actors looking at the prompters when they forget their lines but try not to be obvious bout it, or props sometimes falling and shaking during the scenes doesn't ruin the experience, they make it all the more fun!

          So, with the Tim Burton's adaptation as a feature film coming up (yeah yeah, once again with J.Depp and H.B.Carter) I feel lucky that I discovered it before the hype, though I don't actually think anybody who's impressed with the film will actually want to watch the whole thing.

          Anywaaayz, about the blog...despite this one post- it will be fun. It is about me getting on my grandma suit and watching and sharing my observations every now and then. Fans of the show are always welcome, I'll also encourage my close friends to visit as well if they don't want to hear me rant about it all the time (yes, you Melis!!! You!!) but I'd like to see this mostly as my pink series diary! (i hope the irony of calling a black & white show pink doesn't miss)

          And those who have no idea what's going on, as the next post I will try to write a short summary on what has happened in the last 80 episodes of Dark Shadows so there's no way of escaping (Hear that Melis?!)

          And I promise this is the longest I will ever write!! (Well I had to inform my hundreds of fans about what this is all about)

           And I expect an invitation to the premiere of the film when it comes out by Mr. Burton himself as on the sly I'm basically doing a free publicity for his film (and it's also on my birthday)!!

New Year's Eve. My grandma trying to solve a web of lies and deceit like every grandma should.
Also raise your hand if you wish the fashion of the early 90's never do a comeback.


Melis said...

*raises hand*

Caner Luele said...

I was thinking of writing the same comment (raising hand) before I saw yours Melis =)