Drop the "Soap" Already

Burma chose Myanmar. Persia opted for Iran. Bombay went with Mumbai. Just three in a host of countries participating in the name change game. In sports the Bullets became the Wizards, the Indians morphed into the Guardians and the Redskins chose the monicker, Commanders. Companies, too, have been known to amend their nomenclature: Pepsi Cola was once "Brad's Drink", Yahoo went by "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" and Google?... yeah, their initial handle was "BackRub" (don't believe me, google it). Oh, and when it comes to people, plenty of candidates there: Cassius Clay became Muhammed Ali, Mark Sinclair nee Vin Diesel and, of course, Prince, "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince". And lest we forget Sean Combs who went from Puffy to Puff Daddy to P Diddy to Diddy to Brother Love. Can "the Music Producer Formerly Known as All Those Other Guys" be far off? The upshot, if it's a person, place or thing it's a potential candidate for an identity change. Justifications may entail a shift in society's mores, a realization that the name is no longer accurate, a change in location, caterering to a wider audience or just the basic yearning to be cooler.

So yeah, under "the name is no longer accurate" category I nominate "soaps", also known as "soap operas". Initially produced in the 1930s as radio and later TV dramas, their label being derived from their sponsor, the soap products manufacturer, Proctor & Gamble. Odd that I would bring that up, you're probably thinking, what with the stilted plotlines, pedestrian direction and overly dramatic actors chewing up all the available scenery. What am I, some kind of fan? Do I actually engage in this lowly form of entertainment?. Why else would I deem the name no longer accurate?... The answer is no, no and osmosis. Truth be told, General Hospital is a mainstay weekdays in my household and, through no fault of my own, I occassionally--much like Pink Floyd--catch a fleeting glimpse and tend to notice stuff (like how Esme Prince, that conniving little wretch wreaks havoc in the lives of anyone and everyone coming in contact with her!) and that soap products, once an advertising staple, have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Indeed, while the daytime serials may have the occassional Tide, Mr. Clean or Lysol spot in the mix the reality is this medium is now being bombarded with commercials for medications. There's the over-the-counter standards: Alka-Seltzer, Tylenal, Robitussin, Advil, Centrum, Claritan and Zantac. And the RX arsenal, seemingly a new one every week: Qulipta to treat migraines, Evenity for osteoporosis, Rybelsis aiding with diabetes, Tremfya to lessen the symptoms of psoriasis and the Chron's disease fighter, Skyrizi, whose ads have to have a blue sky in the background at all times to make sure you don't forget the crazy made-up name (speaking of, who could forget Carly has been sitting on the news that Nina is really Willow's mother for months? Who wouldn't tell a pregnant woman with stage 4 Leukemia that her mom's alive and well and living in Port Charles?!).

And while I'm at it, I wanna call special attention to that creepy antidepressant commercial for Rexulti, seemingly being aired every ten minutes. Throughout the entire ad a woman carts around a placard depicting a sad face symbolizing the masking of depression. FYI, I totally sympathize with anyone suffering from this debilitating disorder but isn't the ultimate purpose here to depress the TV audience to the point where they end up pleading with their own doctor for a prescription? And while you may feel that's paranoid thinking (kinda like how Elizabeth and Nicholas have been worrying that Esme's amnesia is only temporary and that she'll eventually tip off the authorities that the two held her hostage in his castle for weeks on end!) but that's my take (which BTW, what's with the take these actors have in each scene just before commercial break; the one where they stare wide-eyed at each other as if wondering "who farted"?).

So, yeah, I'm advocating a name change for the daytime serials. Let's just call them what they are... "the meds", bought and paid for by our good friends at Big Pharma. After all, a name should reflect what's really going on now and not that of yesteryear (sorta like the dated serial tagline, "Love in the Afternoon" which is complete misnomer. It's more like people hiding in plain sight, listening in on others to get the dirt then bribing them to do their bidding, all the while bedding down with anyone and everyone who has a pulse! It's really the 3 L's: "Lust, Lurking and Leverage in the Afternoon"!)... So, anyway, like I said, I'd never actually watch those lowbrow, doltish, programs. I mean, getting caught up in five hours a week of vacuous drivel, that'd be crazy, right? Nah, it's just me catching that fleeting glimpse. Ya' know... osmosis.