I recall my first exposure to 'The Young and the Restless' on Hong Kong television in the late 1970s. The episodes were only about 20 minutes in length and they led into the evening news. It started in 1973.
|The Young and the Restless 1974|
|The Days of Our Lives 1973|
|The Bold and the Beautiful 1987|
Many things have changed. Fashions and hair styles obviously. The romantic tangles may be modern but the underlying thread of them seems no different.
One very noticeable change is the move from indoor scenes to apparently outdoor scenes. In those 1970/80s days every scene was set indoors as far as I recall.
Nowadays, in an apparent attempt for greater reality, outdoor scenes are featured. Sometimes they are actually filmed outdoors but mostly it seems they are still indoor productions. In those moments I focus my attention on the extras in the background; not on the main protagonists.
The extras presumably are supposed to represent a realistic group of people in a public space. Except that they don't act realistically at all.
There are couples standing or sitting and mouthing silent conversations in the background. If the extras move it is mostly slowly as though in slow motion. No-one is in a hurry. There are no prams blocking aisles. There are no children screaming at hassled parents. There are no wayward shopping trolleys whose wheels defy the intentions of the pusher. There is no traffic noise.
As ever, these soap operas inhabit the most unreal of worlds.