Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale – they might be set in different regions of the UK, but they're all cut from the same melodramatic cloth.
Although soap operas – which we love, by the way – are supposed to depict everyday life on screen, there's much about them that simply don't wash. And we're not just talking about the fights, fall-outs and family feuds.
Life in Soapland has its own strange set of rules and its characters are just running with it. Here are some of the most bizarre things that happen in soaps that just don't happen in real life...
1. No one eats branded goods
How about a nice packet of salt and vinegar Kingland crisps, washed down with a refreshing pint of Skaus-Brau and a Kosock vodka and lime chaser?
Ever notice how the mini-marts in soaps stock products no one's ever heard of before? That's what happens when you do your weekly shop down Freshcos.
The honourable exceptions, of course, are Weatherfield's officially licensed Costa outlet, and Emmerdale's deal with McCain. Thanks to the BBC's public-service license, however, the people of Walford will forever be stuck with drinking "Luxford & Copley" beers.
2. They never eat
"My husband's just been murdered, my kid's developed a heroin habit and I've got a bloody pub to run. Better get a good breakfast in to keep my energy up. Perhaps this freshly cooked plate of bacon and eggs? Actually, nope, a bite of this apple will do."
For some reason, characters in Soapland never seem to have time to eat – and even when they do, they'll take one bite before fisticuffs starts and they're forced to leave their plates full. There must be one heck of a food-waste problem in Walford.
3. Everyone works in the same four places
We don't even know why anyone in Soapland bothers to look for a job, because you know they'll just end up working down the pub, the launderette, the cafe or the shop. It's no wonder everyone's in each other's pockets the whole time.
4. Despite this, they're always in a rush
Yes, although there are no trains to catch and everything they could possibly need is just a stone's throw away,they're often in a rush or telling their loved ones to hurry up, or they'll be late. Late for what?
5. And somehow always have money for pub grub and drinks
They're broke, they're below the national living wage, they've got kids and/or a drug habit to feed and yet they can afford to eat and drink out more often than the Kardashians.
While most of us mere mortals would have to exist on brandless cereal from Freshco, the characters in Soapland jump from the cafe to the pub like they're bankrolled by the queen.
6. Forgiving and forgetting comes way too easily
It seems like the characters on soap operas have the shortest memories on TV – either that or they just don't hold grudges like we do.
When someone does something bad like, say, cheating on a spouse, framing a bestie or coaxing a family member into the criminal underbelly of the local borough, the headlines always read: "Can they ever be forgiven?" But you know a couple of weeks down the line and the sworn enemies will be working down the local watering hole and laughing like old friends.
There's a difference between forgiving and forgetting and just straight up forgetting.
7. The characters only use taxis when they're leaving for ever
We were always left wondering how Charlie Slater (Derek Martin) ever made his living as a taxi driver when no one ever orders one unless they're leaving Soapland for pastures new.
Then again, who needs to get a cab when they're only going down the [insert one of four destinations here]?
8. They have an uncanny ability to communicate by staring
Countless scenes portray characters communicating a great deal to each other by staring mutely, something Charlie Brooker once described as "some sort of weird silent theatre of the mind."
You'll find it happens a lot when you look out for it. In Soapland, a sigh and a gaping mouth is worth a thousand words.
9. No one will even acknowledge the curse
The fictional realms of soap operas have higher fatality rates than some of the darkest corners of the earth. You can't start a relationship without it falling to pieces within weeks and people pick up and drop family members like they're putting together a fantasy league. And yet, no one so much as questions why their town is cursed.
We're well aware that soap operas are fictional, but a little existential crisis would certainly make a welcome break.
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