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26 February 17th, 2013 Huffington Post Blog: “21 Life Lessons I Learned From Soap Operas!” – What Have You Learned?


In an anticipation and excitement for the return of All My Children and One Life to Live online, writer Mark Brennan Rosenberg posted a hilarious and insightful blog of soaps most infamous plot devices and how they can relate to our own lives, well sort of, in a new post today at Huffington Post entitled, “21 Life Lessons I Learned From Soap Operas!”

Rosenberg prefaces his life lessons learned from the soaps by stating, “There’s simply no reason not to watch these shows (AMC & OLTL) and since they begin filming again next week, now is the perfect time to get excited about soap operas again. Everything I have ever learned about life was acquired by my soap opera pathos. Because TV, is, in fact, just like real life, here are the 21 life lessons I’ve learned from soap operas.”

Here now are a few excerpts of some of Rosenberg’s 21 life lessons learned from the soaps, but make sure to check out all the rest on the list!

1. If you’re going to “accidentally” hit someone with a car, make sure it’s not yours  – “Duh. If you are in hysterics, driving down a country road at 90 miles an hour and accidentally plow over a woman (who of course you know by name and is most likely pregnant) it’s always best that you’ve borrowed a friends car beforehand. And even though you didn’t mean to do, you will deny that you hit said woman with your car until the day you die. If all else fails, you can always blame Lindsay Rappaport.”

2. Time Stands Still – “What may seem like days, weeks or years of your life going by mean absolutely nothing. Because life is like a soap opera, you’ll often find yourself in the same outfit, in the same room, fighting about the same thing for an endless period of time. The problem will most likely never be resolved. I know, because it happens to me all the time.”

3. Time Flys By.-  “You may be in the same outfit you were wearing last week, but your child has aged rapidly while you were busy fighting with your arch nemesis in the living room for the past five weeks. Just yesterday he was in diapers, today he’s getting girls pregnant and trying drugs. Kids on TV are boring unless they’re stirring up some kind of bullshit, so hang onto those fleeting childhood moments — because they won’t last long.”

14. You Can Come Back With A New Face. - “Feel like leaving town for a bit? Go ahead — and feel free to come back with an entirely new face. Not only that, no one will ever question that you have a different voice, height and facial expressions than you did before.”

17. So You Thought You Had An Abortion…  - “Well… think again. That fetus you thought you aborted 25 years ago was actually put into another woman, carried to term and is now a doctor… who’s out for revenge against YOU! Because hospital doors are literally NEVER locked, it’s easy to do something like this. It’s also effortless to switch DNA and paternity tests which is great because you’ll most likely need to do that twice in your lifetime at the very least.”

So soapers, what did you think of the 21 Life Lessons I Learned from Soap Operas?  Any more you wish to add? And, which was your favorite?  Let us know, as we get ready for the kick-off of production for OLTL and AMC very soon!

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  1. Jeff says:

    Very, very funny:)


  2. Jewell says:

    That is funny, but I’m still mad they undid Erica’s abortion. Ha


  3. jim says:

    I have one of my own: “Someone sure has a death wish…” Its when one character bravely confronts a killer and says im going to the police and tell them what they know, instead of going directly to the police in the first place. Are they hoping to be the next victim, or are they just plain stupid?


  4. jim says:

    Another one: I had amnesia for nine months and forgot i was pregnant? A good execuse to explain to the long lost child you 4got you had when he or she shows up on your doorstep 18 years later.


    jim replied

    I know sometimes a character may not want someone know they had a child and it happens in real life, but its become such a predictable plot device over the years cant the writers think of different ways to write for over 40 actors and the children they already have? OLTLs Dorian had a daughter Cassie but instead of keeping her we suddenly find out Dorian had another daughter the much younger Adrianna. This is their polite way of saying we need to replacing the aging Cassie in favor of a much younger Adrianna to keep the younger viewers tuning in. Then instead of at least say Cassie had a young daughter they dump young Langston on Dorian. I dont mind the younger characters and know why the soaps do this, im just saying there are better ways of doing this without writing the female so dumb that the completely 4got they had a child until years later.


  5. Joanne says:

    Never tell anyone that you will be together “forever” It generally shortens your life expectancy to less than one week.

    Also, the bigger your funeral, the more likely it is that you are alive. No funeral guarantees that you dead as a doornail.


    jim replied

    I just got back online to write something like that and you beat me too it. lol


    jim replied

    and even when they are dead they sometimes come back!

  6. Tom D. says:

    Love this so so so much! and so proud that my best friend Mark Brennan (like Jessica) Rosenberg wrote such a witty piece about our beloved shows.


  7. jim says:

    So what if you are in love with my father and tried to kill my stepmother, it doesnt mean we cant sleep together. Im sure Days fans know what im talking about. And dope on a soap. im not really talking about Brady here. im talking about all soap hospitals where anyone can just walk in and steal drugs too easily when most are usually locked up and there are security cameras. How about the way a character can be snooping around a place like a hospital and find a complete doctors outfit thats just the right size. I guess one size fits all. I also love the no waiting hospital that has one doctor who specializes in every medical condition known to man.


  8. jim says:

    Ok, this is my last one. I have to leave town to figure out how to resolve our familys current problem. If thats how i would have to deal with my family problems, id be gone all the time. Come to think about it, maybe its not such a bad thing running away when it comes to my family. lol


  9. ethel says:

    you can go from one town to another in warp speed!


    abclove replied

    Hey EthelL: Whatever happened to barbara m…… I forgot the intial of her last name—-its been awhile….


    ethel replied

    come to think of it it has been quite a while since i have seen any posts from her – hope she is ok………

  10. Salemnite says:

    What life lesson I’ve learn from the Soaps?

    ** Never talk to yourself out loud… **
    ** Momma’s baby, Papa’s maybe.. **
    ** Tea & Sympathy = Resolution….**


  11. Mary SF says:

    My biggest life lesson from soaps- Never, ever, ever tell anyone you are completely happy and life can’t get any better than it is, because when you do, the Big Soap Opera Writer in the Sky- will either have you fall off a cliff, get a fatal disease, find out your husband is in love with your sister, or maybe your brother- or- sadly you will have to take an unexpected trip out of town never to be heard from again, yet all your friends and family believe you are coming back any day now.


  12. Sheryl Postin says:

    Never walk dow.n an aisle to get married to someones spouse is dead because they always show up and they didn’t die.


  13. jim says:

    When your getting married have the Priest eliminate from your wedding vows’If anyone has reason why these to should not unite in marriage speak now or forever…’ because if you dont someone is surley going to say something to ruin your special day.


  14. RLeternal says:

    Never expect an EP, HW or writing team of a soap to be sensitive to viewers/fans. Also, never expect your favorite soap story or character/s to have a happy ending. I learned not to have any expectations after the horrendous Luke and Reid SL ending on ATWT. Actually, I have stopped watching soaps on a regulat basis since that debacle. And, I have definitely never watched/will never watch anything with which Chris Goutman and Jean Passanante are associated. I learned from that experience that investment in a fictional story can bring a lot of hurt and pain; and resentment and anger towards TPTB I prefer watching reality shows or even talk shows. At least there you know that there is going to be no hurt or turmoil.


  15. su0000 says:

    when on the phone never have your back to the door, someone will be standing there listening to you ..
    phone calls are always heard by the one person that should not hear it ..


  16. jim says:

    That the dead can come back(OLTL&AMC)! and this time its believable! YEAH!


  17. RICKIE says:

    My biggest lessons?
    * Avoid leaving the house in February, May and November. These are sweeps months, and someone enevitably gets killed during this time.
    * Smirk or smile mysteriously when you’re about to do something bad. Unfortunately, evil-doers on soaps have to smirk with their backs away from their intended victims and toward an unseen camera.
    * If you’re African-American, be prepared to hook up with the only other nonwhite in town. Witness: OLTL’s Carla Gray/Ed Hall; ATWT’s Heather Dalton/Roy Franklin; AMC’s Frank Grant/Caroline Murray; The Doctors’ Hank Iverson/Lauri James; AW’s Quinn Harding/Zach Edwards; EON’s Calvin Stoner/Didi Bannister; GL’s Gilly Grant/Hampton Speakes.


  18. jim says:

    Guilty when your innocent. Innocent when your guilty.


  19. TnT 2.0 Forever says:

    Do you really want me to answer this question? Because honestly, sometimes being a soap viewer feels like being in an abusive relationship. It can really uplift you as a viewer at times and really disrespect/insult you as a viewer at other times. I’ve learned that some soap writers play favorites and will primarily write for their favorite actors/characters while ignoring story-lines possibilities for actors/characters that they are not so fond of which is a great disservice to viewers and the art of storytelling. Its truly sad when I can watch a show and figure out which actors TPTB like just judging by the story-lines and airtime given to specific actors irrespective of their level of popularity with viewers.


  20. Dmitri says:

    Funny and clever


  21. Johnny says:

    I have learned that evidently almost everyone has an Evil Twin.
    I am still waiting for mine to show up here in town.


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